Valens Conservation Area

We needed a quick weekend get away close to home and still open at the beginning of November, so we decided on Valens. At just over an hour from home, it’s nice and close and of course we’ve been there often enough to know it’s a great park! I decided to tow up alone and was able to get our winter campsite #56.


I arrived early on Friday morning and had no trouble backing it in alone. This time I positioned it farther back in the campsite. We wanted to test this out and make sure we could auto level on a slope. On this particular site, the farther back you go, the more pronounced the front to back slope. Well, after backing in, let’s say in more ways than one she was all downhill! I dropped the front jacks then tried to unhook. I couldn’t pull the lever all the way out and it stuck halfway in/halfway out. The jaws wouldn’t release. I tried to back up a bit, nothing I would usually do would release the pin. I tried to put the front jacks back up to put the weight back on the truck but my auto leveler decided to crap out at that moment. I started getting random errors and could no longer use the control pad. I called Niagara Trailers and as they were walking me through some things, the control pad blinked out. It came back on again at the message to press enter to acknowledge the error – FINALLY! I tried again, still couldn’t release it. Went through the same procedure again. By this time, my friend that was camping in the same loop came over and suggested I put the jacks up again and hit the pin hard to try to snap the lever back into the hitch. The auto leveler errored out again. I ended up on the phone with Lippert tech support. At last, we got the controller working properly and I could get the jacks up. I backed up hard and the lever snapped in. We were then able to unhook the fifth wheel properly and I’m happy to say the auto leveler worked ok. I found out from Lippert tech support that the intermittent issues with the control pad were due to low voltage and we should get our dealer to look at the battery.

At last I was finally unhooked and set up! I joined my friend at her fiver for a much needed coffee while the furnace warmed the fiver up! What a start to the weekend! Thankfully the weekend didn’t continue that way. Friday afternoon I drove back to St.Catharines after picking up some camping groceries and picked up Dave too. I took the back way as I always do and and missed a huge accident that had both directions of the QEW closed at the skyway. Didn’t know until we got back to camp and someone asked us if we got stuck in it.

Friday night we celebrated our friends birthday (a little late) with birthday cake shots and some little brownie cakes I made. We enjoyed a campfire and their company! Saturday we hung around camp for awhile then went for a hike around the lake. This was the first time I’d hike entirely around the lake. Usually it’s cold when we’re winter camping and I’m not up to hiking that distance when it’s that cold. Wimpy, yes I know. It’s a beautiful trail and I’m thinking enough to get me past my wimpy winter hiking attitude!

Saturday afternoon our friends Albert and Diane came for dinner and a campfire. It was so nice to see them and spend some time together! We also went hiking around the park together. It was such a beautiful day. Too beautiful to waste sitting around!

Albert and Diane headed home a little later in the evening and we were actually debating going to bed when our camping neighbors and friends and friends Ron and Glenna invited us over for a campfire. It turned out the rest of the gang were already their! More birthday shots and Tequila Rose shots delivered! It was an awesome night and I must admit, I’m glad I left the outside light on!

It was such an awesome weekend and reminded me of why winter camping here is so awesome! It’s not just the beautiful park, the perfect campsite, our wonderful fifth wheel and even each other – it’s also being with the wonderful camping friends we’ve made over the years! I can’t wait until December 30th when I take our fiver up again to start our winter season! Plans are already under way for our New Years Eve potluck! My goodness life is SO good to us!