Point Pelee National Park Review

Review Date: May 2016 (Coming Soon)

General Information / Location / Address

Point Pelee National Park is located in a lush Carolinian forest oasis at the southern tip of Canada.  Point Pelee National Park resounds with migrating song birds in the spring, hums with cicadas in the summer, flutters with Monarch butterflies in the fall and is a peaceful place of reflection in the winter.  (Description taken directly from the website).  

1118 Point Pelee Drive
Leamington, Ontario
Canada
N8H 3V4

Capture

Entry / Layout

A few kms south of Leamington, on Pelee Point Drive, is the beginning of Point Pelee.  At the start of the park is the main office, where you pay for your entry (click for fee details).  There are no parking lots, but just two lanes.  One for people with memberships (left), and the other for people who are coming for the day (right).  Directly after the main office, is a long road that heads to the Visitor Center.  Currently, the visitor center is as far as you can go.  On this main road, you will find small side roads that heads to beaches, trails and lookouts.  I would suggest checking out the map of the park ahead of time, and plan your route.

Here is what the entry gate looks like:

General Discussion

Before I get started on some tips that I have, I want to first let you know that Google Street View has 3D mapped every inch of this place.  If you’re not sure what that is, Google has walked every driveway, path, trail, beach and shuttle ride and captured photo spheres of EVERYTHING!.  Click here to go to Google Maps, and drag the Google Man icon (lower right) onto the map, and check out every inch of this place, before you even get there!  I found this handy to see what the trails are like, or to see where the parking lots are, etc, etc.

This can be a VERY busy place.  I would suggest getting to the park around 9am-10am.  We got to the park at 10am, and there was 3 cars in line, and on our way out at 2pm, there was 40 cars in line.  As well, according to a tripadvisor review, someone witnessed a line-up of 500 cars.  Check here for park hours, and again, get to the park early to avoid the lines.  As well, I would suggest heading directly to the visitor center first, as according to the front office, they reported to me that the shuttle to the “tip” is far less busy in the mornings.  When your at the “tip”, I found it very relaxing when there wasn’t a bazillion people there.  I will discuss more later about what to visit on the way back from the visitor center.

Once at the visitor’s center, there is a round about on the West side, where the bus shuttle stops.  There is covered benches that you can use while you wait.  The shuttle seems to come every 20 minutes.  There is no schedule, or tickets, it’s first come first served.  So whenever you see the shuttle, just hop on, and take a free ride!

Once on the bus shuttle, make sure you keep your mouth closed, as there are fish flies EVERYWHERE!.  The shuttle takes you to another depot closer to the point.

From here, you can check out some of the exhibits, then head to the point.  There are three ways to get to the point.  1) Take the board walk right from the depot, 2) Head west and take a larger path close to the water 3) Head east through the woods, out to a nice beach, then walk along the beach to the point.  3) is what I suggest.  Check it out below:

After you’ve checked out everything at the Tip, just head to the depot, and wait for the bus.  Once it comes, hop on and head back to the visitor center, and check out all their exhibits within.  It’s a really neat place.  I would also suggest watching the 12 minute video in the theater.  This gives you a good idea how the park was developed, and the problems and struggles it’s been through. Highly recommended!

After the Tip is done, and the visitor center is done, you can then decide how many trails you want to go on.  Check out the map above, which shows you all the trails, or go to the parks website to see a description of all the trails.  We decided to head right to the Marsh Boardwalk.

The parking lot here is fairly large, and should be plenty of spots to park.  It’s also the area to rent canoe’s, and paddle out into the marsh.  I highly recommend getting out into the canoes!  The Marsh Boardwalk parking lot also has a small store, with ice cream bars, snacks, and other souvenirs.

We really enjoyed the boardwalk.  You can check out the whole walk below:

A couple other notes and tips.  On the West side of the park, along the main road, are small parking lots for beach access.  There is also spots with a shelter, and bbq’s.  Below:

The majority of the paths are chip and dust based, and are plenty wide.  You can easily fit a large stroller down them, or even a wheelchair.

There is also a bike path that goes from the front of the park, right to the visitor center.  I would suggest taking this trail instead of driving.  More exercise!

That’s all I can think of right now.  Again, if you’re interested in what anything looks like here, just check out Google Street View.

 

Surveyor trailer floor repair, with TrafficMaster vinyl plank flooring

My wife and I bought this trailer in June of 2012.  It’s a 2007 Surveyor 192T, 19ft. Hybrid  It was in great condition, without any visible problems.  After bringing it home it sat in our driveway for us to get it ready for camping.  After a hard rain storm, I noticed BUCKETS of water pooled in the folded up bed canvas.  The problem was the hybrid bed door only had a rubber seal on the camper side, and nothing on the inner door.  I picked up some nice rubber seal, and attached it to the inner door, and that kept ALL the water out! The below was our first trip with it!

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We continued to use the trailer for the remainder of the year, and throughout 2013.  No problems!  But also no preventative maintenance.  During the winter of 2013/2014, I went into the trailer to get something, and noticed the floors were crunchy.  I felt like there was a layer of ice under the linoleum.  This only means that water is now getting in somewhere.  Spring came along, and we got the trailer out, and use it 3-4 times until about June of 2014.  We could feel the floor getting soft at the door, and decided it was time to pull the linoleum and see what’s going on underneath.

The floor in this trailer is Styrofoam, sandwiched between two layers of plywood.  Under the floor is a black fabric that keeps the dirt and water out.  Above the floor is one sheet of linoleum.  I sliced the linoleum away from the walls, and doors, and peeled it back.  I was met with a VERY wet layer of plywood.  It was so wet, I could use my hands and break the plywood away.  I took the top layer of plywood off, and was left with wet Styrofoam.  After breaking a few pieces away, I saw the bottom plywood was wet also.  I think this water came originally from the bed doors not being seals, but also because I’ve never re-sealed the roof, or any other joints since I owned this trailer.  That’s the most important thing I’ve learned.  Whether there are leaks or not, get up on the roof, and re-seal all cracked in previous caulking.  As well, go over ALL joints on the sides of the trailer and make sure it’s all water tight.  Don’t wait for a leak before doing this!

The problem with fixing this floor, is there are no joists.  I cut the plywood, and Styrofoam away at the edge of the trailer, and by the door.

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To rebuild the floor in that area, I used the trailers Frame rail, and screwed a L bracket to that piece of aluminum at the edge of the trailer.  This allowed me to fill that area with regular wood. You can see that L bracket in the below picture. I then took the top later of plywood off the rest of the floor in that area, and filled it with 1/8″ plywood.  I glued this new plywood down.

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I then had to do the exact same thing by the front compartment door, between the dinette seats.

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As well, the floor was a little wet under the couch.  I pulled the linoleum here, and the Styrofoam was solid, but the top layer of plywood was wet. I peeled that away, and replaced the top layer.

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This is the way I left the trailer for a year or two.  I duck taped down some new linoleum just to get by for a couple years.  Finally, in the beginning of 2016, I started to finish the floor.

First thing was to put a 3/8″ layer of plywood over the existing floor.  I just wanted a little more support, and to make sure the surface was all level before installing the final product.  To shape the plywood, I used sheets of Bristol board to create the template, then traced it onto the plywood.  After the plywood was cut out, I placed it on the floor, used PL400 to glue it down, and then weight it for 24 hours.  Here are some pics of that process.
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Here are a couple videos I’ve made showing progress of floor, and also outside caulking.

Now that I have 3/8’s plywood over the whole floor, it’s time for the final product.  I chose to use Vinyl Plank flooring by TrafficMaster.  I chose the 12″ x 24″ tile, that snaps together with tongue and groove.  I do have a few concerns with these tiles.  They suggest installing between the temperatures of 18c, and 30c.  Well, we haven’t had those temperatures yet this year, and am hesitant to install this outside of those temps.  Also, I’m concerned about the shrinking and expanding of this product through the different seasons that we have, as well as the difference in temps from day and night.  I have yet to complete this, and will update once complete!  I will also be posting updates on this site as I progress.

UPDATE – April 25/2016.  Floor is complete.  See video below regarding the tile flooring. I will continue to do video updates, and paste them here.

UPDATE – April 26 2016 – I finished the floor today, and put everything back in.  See above video for tips, tricks, pros and cons.

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