I get a lot of questions from blog readers about RVing, what’s happening in our lives since we hung up the keys, writing and self-publishing, and all kinds of other things. While I try to answer all of them individually, sometimes I also share some here.
Q. Nick, can you recommend somebody in southern California that can be trusted to work on our motorhome? The hydraulic jacks are not working right, I have a persistent fuel leak that I can’t seem to locate, and a couple of other issues. I’ve had it to two shops and neither seem to be know what they’re doing.
A. Contact Redlands RV in Redlands, California, and tell them I sent you. Keith and the rest of the crew there are good people that you can depend on. I highly recommend them. http://redlandstruckservice.com/
Q. Several people have told me about some kind of computer chips that you can put in a diesel engine to up the horsepower. Are you familiar with these, and do you think they’re worth the investment?
A. Yes, I’ve heard of them, though I don’t have any direct experience with them. My feeling has always been that a lot of highly educated and well trained engineers designed the chassis and powertrain of my motorhomes and they probably knew a lot more about what was needed than I do, so I didn’t try to improve on their designs.
Q. Is there a site for locating parts from now defunct RV builders? I need a compartment door for a 2003 National Sea Breeze, dimensions are 58″ wide x 28″ tall.
A. Try Colaw RV Salvage in Carthage, Missouri. They are the largest RV salvage company in the country, and if they don’t have it they might be able tell you who else to ask. https://colawrvsalvage.com/
Q. With all the years that you and Miss Terry were fulltiming, is there any place you didn’t get to that you wish you had?
A. Not really. We visited a lot of places in our 17+ years as fulltimers, and there are a lot of places we would love to go back to again, but I can’t think of any place that was on our bucket list that we didn’t get to. Early on, we really wanted to go to Alaska. But as we spent more time exploring all the continental U.S. and hearing from people that had gone to Alaska, we lost interest in it. There was just too much that we wanted to see and do down here to keep us occupied.
Q. We started fulltiming about three years after you did and met you guys at Life on Wheels just before we took the plunge. It seems that most of the people we knew from those days have hung up the keys and are no longer traveling. A lot of people who were vendors or speakers at RV rallies and events all seem to have disappeared. What happened and where did everybody go?
A. Time happened. Terry and I were just talking about this the other day. So many of our RVing friends and associates are off the road now. We all got old, some of us passed away, and a lot of us have hung up the keys and are embracing a new phase of our lives. RV fire safety expert Mac McCoy is enjoying retirement at his home in Oregon. RV speaker and awning expert Russell Maxwell is living with family members in California. Dick Reed, who founded the RV Driving School, still travels in his bus conversion when he is not hanging out at home in California. John and Kathy Huggins got off the road due to medical problems and bought a house south of the Tampa area. RV insurance agents Charles and Chris Yust have retired and are living in an RV park in southern Florida, though they still travel sometimes, and we’re here on the central Florida coast. We lost track of some of the others, and hope they are doing well.
Q. I just finished reading your newest book, Big Lake Fugitive, and loved it. The teaser for the next one says that Sheriff Weber and Robyn are finally going to get married. Please tell me this isn’t going to be the end of the series?
A. Don’t worry about that, I still have a lot of stories to share with you from Big Lake. I have no plans to end the series at this point.
Q. The other day a couple stopped to let their dog do its business at the edge of our campsite, right where we have to walk to get to our car. Then they just kept walking without picking it up. I wanted to go outside and hand them a plastic bag and tell them they missed something, but my wife said that might just start an argument. What would you do?
A. Once somebody let their big dog take a dump right in front of our motorhome’s stairs and walked away without cleaning it up. I went outside and handed him a bag and told him to clean up the mess, and he replied that it was biodegradable and it would wash off in the next rain. No problem, I cleaned it up for him and then emptied the bag on the hood of his white Ford pickup truck. He really didn’t like that, but I told him not to worry, it was biodegradable and it would wash off in the next rain.
Q. I know this sounds like a crazy question, but it is real. I play the bagpipes, and find that when we are in RV parks we are always parked almost on top of people. My wife doesn’t want me to practice in such close quarters. Any suggestions?
A. Have you tried boondocking out in the middle of nowhere? I actually enjoy listening to good bagpipe music once in a while, but I am sure that your campground neighbors would not appreciate it.
Q. I’m so confused about what toilet paper to use in our RV. Some people say we have to buy the expensive RV stuff, others say any one-ply paper is fine, and still others say use whatever you want, as long as you have enough water in the tank. We are brand new at all of this and so afraid of making an expensive mistake.
A. There are as many opinions about what toilet paper to use and what not to use as there are RVers. We always used Scott Extra Soft in our holding tanks. As you have been advised, make sure there are at least two or three toilet bowls full of water in the tank, use plenty of water when you flush, and don’t dump until the tank is at least three-quarters full.
Q. What happened to Bad Nick? I miss his blog, and with everything going on in this country right now, I think we need his common sense approach to things. Surely he can find plenty to write about these days.
A. You’re right, there’s plenty to write about these days, but my doctor tells me there’s not enough blood pressure medicine in the world to keep my head from exploding if I start getting into all of it. I miss Bad Nick too, but right now I’m focusing on writing my books and enjoying our semi-retirement.
Congratulations Tom Wallace, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Koinobi, the first book in author Reid Minnich’s Koinobi science fiction trilogy. We had 27 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – I’m not sarcastic. I’m just intelligent beyond your understanding.