La Coquille











Information Bulletin for Safari Condo Owners Vol. 6 Number 3, December. 2004


An enjoyable Cross-country Adventure!


By Jean-Claude Bélanger


Is there anyone who has never experienced cross-country skiing? Some have tried and quickly set it aside because waxing is tedious, it’s too slow, one often glides back instead or forward, walking is dull, it’s exhausting, or one would rather go south in a fine Safari Condo. Others however have embraced it after a single try. They make the most of Quebec’s natural winter scenery until that time of the year when skiing or cycling in the rain leads them to more favourable climate aboard their Safari Condo.


How can Quebecers not take advantage of a sport so readily accessible as cross-country skiing? A most complete sport that is good for both your muscles and cardiovascular capacity. A low-priced sport offering fresh air and outstanding winter landscapes, a sport that allows you to enjoy a good meal with a bottle of wine without compunction, a sport that burns 8 to 10 calories a minute. Figure it out yourself: after a two-hour trip, one more hour and you can eat a second helping of dessert without exceeding your daily calorie requirements.


If you are not yet convinced, consider a visit to La Mauricie National Park. Although great trails abound throughout the region, this outing is not your average Cross-country Club ski trail but an adventure in itself


La Mauricie National Park is located North of Trois-Rivières, near the hometown of our famous ex-prime minister. With a group of friends, we rent either the Wabenaki or Andrew Lodge, former fishing camps host in the 30’s to rich Americans like Rose and Joseph Kennedy. These lodges, now



Translated by Yvan Dumontier

Heritage Buildings, have been restored to provide winter-long comfort while preserving the original styling. I mean adventure since there are no roads leading to the lodge. You must leave your car or Safari Condo in the parking lot near St-Gérard des Laurentides and cross the lake (3,5 km) on skis with your food and sleeping bags. Cross-country skiing with a loaded packsack is a great though humbling balancing act. Luckily, the lake is flat and the distance covered reasonable, so the run was not too tedious even with a backpack. In the lodges, one finds showers, fireplaces, comfortable rooms or dormitories. There is a fully equipped kitchen located at Wabenaki Lodge. Not quite what you call hardship!


During the day, we must vacate the premises between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. – Parks Canada policy to foster outside activities. Warming huts located throughout the trail system provide shelter in case of harsh weather conditions.


The La Mauricie National Park network of marked and groomed trails is just great with its 120 km of trails through lakes and mountains with almost sumptuous heated shelters throughout. After a nice day of skiing, what a joy to wine and dine heartily with the other members of the group. And to top it off, a night of peace and quiet in the park, except for a few snorers. Two days in this environment is sure to put any worker back on track and incline any retiree to stay a little longer.


This haven, almost kept secret until recently, is more and more in demand every year, such that early reservations are now necessary. What a relief! A short luggage-carrying trip with little pain and lots of comfort. This is my type of outing. No more cross-country ski excursions sleeping in a more or less heated prospector tent, going three days without a wash and using an outhouse on windy nights!      


If you are not already a cross-country buff, consult a specialist who will guide you in choosing equipment that meets your needs. Very expensive skis are not always the best considering your skiing technique. Insist on a ski with an camber corresponding to your weight to make moving forward easier. A good salesman will provide sound advice on ski waxing, no longer a chore: and guide you in selecting multiple layers of clothing instead of one very warm outfit. Never dress like snowmobilers! Finally, a few lessons with a pro to learn how to glide over the snow: in cross-country skiing, more gliding means less effort and more enjoyment. Group skiing makes it even better. Try joining a group or a club that skis on a regular basis. Faced with colder than expected temperatures or snowflakes blowing in the wind, knowing that friends are getting together at the ski club can be the spark that gets you out of bed that morning. See you on the trails! There are more than 1 000 km of marked trails within a 30 minute driving radius of downtown Québec. Unlike anything else in the world! Don’t miss out!


To learn more about La Mauricie National Park  go to: or our SkiNeige club  website at:



Neologism ?

By Camil


“You said Safari Condist? Is this a new word? What is it exactly?”


Set under its awning a few feet from the sea, its vehicle’s rear wheels against the rocks marking high tide, eyes scanning wavelets and whitecaps looking for a surfacing whale, it’s a Condist. Condist is short for Safari Condist. Parked behind the campground office, on a newly paved drive-through site, the camper attempts to set-up his satellite dish behind his RV as not to miss his weekly telecast. One is either a camper or a Condist: the difference can seem either overwhelming or barely visible.


Is it the size of the vehicle or the high-tech equipment? Maybe! Under pouring rain after a bike tour, two youths take a shot at bracing their tent and try their best at covering everything with a tarp tied to branches full of water and offering fierce resistance: they are campers. They are also potential Condists! Condist is a great word, referring to either male or female enthusiasts, even future enthusiasts!


Some differences are more striking: bivouacked on a lake near a cluster of fishing cabins, or alongside a snowmobile or cross-country trail, condists having a good time round a table and ready for another great day outdoors.


Condists are part and parcel of their vehicle and use it all the time, they are first and foremost campers at heart who love both travelling and the great outdoors!


If, as Condists, you wish to continue receiving our newsletter La Coquille, please send us your e-mail address: this will keep S&H costs to a minimum. Too often, we discover that some of you e-mail us for appointments, but have not sent us their address for our newsletter database. Please send us your e-mail address to update our mailing list.




By Daniel


Tires for Condos


Four all-season tires marked LT (Light Truck) are standard on all M and L Series Safari Condos. These tires, with sturdier and more rigid sidewalls, offer a firm ride and are less affected by crosswinds that tires marked P (Passenger). They are great in summer when we drive around with bikes, kayaks, tanks full of water and other thingamajigs all over our vehicle. If you intend to use your M or L Series Safari Condo as a car in winter and anticipate purchasing snow tires, it is not mandatory to purchase LT tires since your vehicle is lighter, at least in principle. P tires are then adequate and will give a smoother ride. 


The L Series up to and including 2002 came with 15 inch tires; when new tires are called for, we recommend the purchase of LT tires for improved vehicle stability. Starting in 2003, GM installs 16 inch P tires with a lower profile (Series 70) on the Safari; these tires are well matched to the vehicle and perform very well. For snow tires, not unlike the  M or L Series, P tires are adequate since the vehicle is probably lighter.


No LT type tire carries Road Hazard Protection and, if and when we recommend LT tires, it doesn’t mean they are less expensive or have a better price-quality ratio: it simply means that this type of tire will provide the most stable drive. A more rigid construction means better resistance to tire deformation due to load changes and wind conditions.

Under RV Battery Tray


Each time your Safari Condo is up on the lift for an oil change or other maintenance, it is a good idea to check the six tray-retaining screws holding on to the auxiliary battery tray under the RV. Simply check the tension on the screws, and replace any missing screws. As for your deep-cycle batteries, they should be checked and cleaned once a year.



Spring Maintenance Appointment


Whether you temporarily put away or use your vehicle all year round, take note of any adjustments required or problems to solve, and call us for an appointment as soon as possible. You want a solar panel or new toilet installed, don’t wait till Spring comes around. Spring and early Summer are hectic periods at Safari Condo: you can help us put your vehicle back in top shape to go on holiday as soon as possible. Help us to help you, call early! Contact Frédéric, our technical advisor.




 By Michèle


Havre d’un soir


The Safari Condo family is growing fast, and so are available services. We have just updated the Havre d’un soir database available on the Safari Condo website, or the paper edition that you have received if you don’t have access to the web. Take this opportunity to camp overnight free of charge at the home of another Safari Condist. You may also register as a host so others can camp at your place. To gain access to Havre d’un soir, simply e-mail us to receive the required codes.



To all 2004 Picture Contest Participants: Well done!


Bravo! And many thanks to all of you who participated in our annual Picture Contest. Such talent and inspiration made judging a difficult task. To do justice, we would need a 24-month calendar, at least! But thanks to the web, all is not lost and all participants’ photos are available to view as you please. It is interesting to note that while 3 years ago only 5 to 10% of photos were taken with digital cameras, this year is a complete turnaround with 70% of participants now using this new technology. A sweeping success!



1st Prize, Paule Blouin and Martin Blanchet, 200$ Gift Certificate from Dumoulin Ste-Marie de Beauce


2nd Prize, Jean Laroche, 100$ Gift Certificate from Safari Condo


3rd Prize, Jean Lamontagne and Andrée Hallé, 75$ Gift Certificate from Safari Condo


Draw: Christian Blouin, 50$ Gift Certificate from Safari Condo.



Working Behind the Scenes


Every day of the year, we enjoy the fruit of his labour, but it is only in the 2005 Edition that he signs off. You probably placed his production on your desk, on the fridge or close to the telephone. This behind-the-scenes worker sheds new light on your artistic abilities in designing our annual calendar. Laying out a calendar is a Herculean task that requires not only computer graphics expertise, but also the soul of an artist and kindness of heart. True, this is volunteer work, just like La Coquille and our annual Rendezvous.


On behalf of all Condists, I wish to thank you Stéphane not only for all the hours worked but for your enthusiasm in creating our 2005 Calendar.



Keeping in touch


Keeping in touch will owners of all 650 Safari Condos to come out of our plant to date is very important. Through La Coquille, we want to be in a position to offer you technical support, provide advice on using your RV to the fullest, and create a forum for sharing your adventures and experiences. La Coquille, the Calendar, Havre d’un soir, all services that are absolutely free: in exchange, we ask but one thing of each one of you: a correct address.


Moving? Let us know your new address to keep our listing up to date. Upon transfer or sale of RV, notify us or have the new owner contact us to access our free services without interruption. We thank you in advance for your support.

Rendez-vous 2005: June 23, 24, 25 and 26 in Shawinigan (or Portage on the crest)


Nested in the heart of beautiful Mauricie Region, Shawinigan, city of a thousand faces, awaits you. Rooted in nature , in a land of wood and water,  it offers both the hustle and bustle of downtown Shawinigan and the great outdoors within walking or cycling distance. Our homeport is right in the middle of the St-Maurice River, on Melville Island, across from the town centre. On Ile Melville Park, you will find a campground, hiking trail, d’Arbre en Arbre Trails, white-tail deer sanctuary,  bicycle path, water craft rental facilities, and the famous Cité de l’Énergie. As you can see, our G.C.O. (Gracious Condist Organisers) team from the Mauricie Region really did their thing and concocted a rather exciting weekend.


From 3.30 p.m. on Thursday June 23, a reception committee will find a cozy comfort able spot for you. We don’t expect power to be a problem this year, but bring along extension cords and splitters. Weather permitting, a fire master will oversee a bonfire on Thursday and Friday evenings,. Those who choose to partake in our Wine and Cheese Party will de guide by Mr. Sébastien Brière on a wine and cheese tour with a theme: travelling.


Mornings are set aside for lectures: at the Condo-Boutique Mr. Michel Martineau, sea kayak Instructor and Parcours Aventure owner will speak on and demonstrate this emerging outdoor activity. In keeping with tradition, Daniel will discuss this year’s new products and technologies involved in the manufacturing of Safari Condos, and answer any questions you may have about our vehicles.


Don’t forget our traditional Saturday dinner under the festival tent transformed into a casa mexicana complete with Mexican buffet and Mariachis in un aire festivo. Mexico, Mexiiiico!


On arrival, you will find in your welcome pack, admission tickets to La Cité de l’Énergie. While in the only theme park of its kind in Canada, you will discover the magic of energy and technology through the history of Shawinigan; you will experience an unobstructible view of the region from atop its 115-metre lookout tower; and much more. Admission tickets contain detachable coupons valid for one full year. You may thus tour the facilities as you please throughout the weekend, and come back during the summer or later if you wish to complete the visit.












Different guided tours are available on demand for groups of cycling enthusiasts. The package deal as noted also includes water craft rentals at Melville Park. Our Mad Scientist Competition is in its Sixth Edition and growing in popularity. Therefore, once again, if over time you have tweaked, improved or invented something for your Safari Condo and wish to share your latest find with Safari Condo and fellow Condists, simply register and a panel of “unbiased” judges will review all participating entries over the course of the weekend. Many inventions of previous years have found their way – completely or partially – into our vehicles, making your Safari Condo a unique product developed jointly by the manufacturer and the ones with most at stake, the end-users.


Those who feel plucky will be able to test their skill and courage on d’Arbre en Arbre Trails. Adult-sized Adventure trails, d’Arbre en arbre provide in a safe and secure setting a mix of excitement and the simple joys of childhood. To participate (this is not included in the package deal), reservations are required using the registration form included with La Coquille: groups of 20 will be formed and assigned specific departure times. The organisers will accept no reservations after the cut-off date; group listings and departure times will be included in your welcome pack.


Unlike previous years, no reserved sites for artists and crafts persons: all are nonetheless invited to exhibit their creations on their own site.


As usual, however, all Condists who require minor adjustments to their vehicle are urged to make an appointment with Frédéric, at the plant, and explain the exact nature of their small problem. Only minor adjustments will be done on the spot.


This year, the cut-off date is very important: we expect record attendance and early reservations are required in order to plan the weekend activities..


I have told you all I know about Rendez-vous 2005, but our GCO’s have told us that surprises remain a possibility! J



Best Wishes to All for the New Year!

Be Careful and Stay Sharp !