The first official outing of the Blue Whale was on the June 23rd weekend, at the Stoneham Campground.
We camp there every year, with the same bunch of relatives and friends: me (popup), my brother Eric (Airstream trailer), my brother Luc (popup), sister-in-law Roxanne (tent), cousin Jean-Luc (fifthwheel trailer), friend Gerry (Class A motorhome), cousin Roger (Class B motorhome), and of course my parents, with their "new" Travco 270. With the spouses and kids, we were about 25 people, installed on 8 campsites along a beautiful little river.
Most of the campers in our group showed up at the campground during the afternoon. Except the Travco, wich was still missing. Remembering in wich state the Travco was the last time I saw it 4 days earlier, I kept wondering how Dad would ever get the thing ready in time. Soon after I got to my campsite, I phoned Mom to enquire about the situation. She said that the front wheels were still off, but Dad, while filling the engine with coolant, said he was confident they would be in Stoneham before sunset. At the campground we were all waiting for the Travco to show up.
Around 8pm, as we were chatting in Gerry's motorhome, the Travco suddenly showed up. We all came out to welcome the Blue Whale.
Nobody really knew what to expect (in fact no one was sure they would even make it to the campground!), so most expected to see an old wreck of RV, with a smoking and rattling engine. But to everyone's surprise, what we were looking at was a very nice looking classic RV, with a very smooth running and almost silent engine. Everybody was impressed, to say the least.
In a few seconds the Blue Whale was parked, and all could finally get closer to the old-style motorhome. All could climb aboard and visit, in fact we actually spent most of the evening inside the Whale, talking restoration, what has been done, and what's left to do. That's where I learned that Dad woke up at 5am on that day, there was still so much to do to get her ready that he was working on it a 5:45 in the morning!
Once on it's way to Stoneham, everything was perfect. The engine ran smoothly, handling was good, good braking too. It also was Mom's first ride in the Travco, and she sure enjoyed the trip.
Good friend Gerry taking a closer look at the famous retractable step:
We all spent a fantastic weekend at Stoneham, and the trip back home was uneventful.
From now on, Dad is going to take it easier on the restoration work. Most urgent repairs have been completed. There are still a lot of things to fix, but nothing major. I'll keep the blog up to date with pictures of the restoration work as much as I can.
8 months ago