I’m back with more questions from blog readers about RVing, what’s happening in our lives since we hung up the keys, and all kinds of other things. While I try to answer all questions individually, I also share some here occasionally.
Q. My husband is an introvert who is perfectly happy staying home reading books and watching TV. I am an extrovert who needs to interact with people on a regular basis. We are snowbirds and the last two winters we stayed in an RV park in Mission, Texas that has all kinds activities going on all the time. My husband tells me to go and have fun and that he’s quite content to stay home and do his thing while I do mine. But I still feel guilty leaving him out of it. How do I handle that?
A. I doubt that your personalities changed after you became snowbirds. How did you handle it before that, or when you are home for the summer? From reading your letter it seems like your husband doesn’t have a problem, so stop beating yourself up and go enjoy the activities at the campground.
Q. I know this may make me sound like I’m crazy, but I swear it’s true. We go to visit our daughter and her family at least two or three times a year. Every time we turn on her street we have to drive past a police station and a fire station next door. And every time we do our tire pressure monitors start going off. Once we get a short distance away from those buildings they stop beeping. Is it possible that something there is setting them off?
A. Not only is it possible, it’s quite probable. Tire pressure monitoring systems work wirelessly, and if there is a transmitter or something at the police or fire station, it may be setting the system off when you drive past. We had it happen to us at least once that I can remember.
Q. We are new to all of this and will begin fulltiming right after Christmas. We bought a used motorhome that has a crank up TV dish on the roof, but the handle is broken so we can’t get it to work. The previous owner had a dish on a tripod that he left in one of the storage bays. The two times my husband tried to set it up it was so frustrating that it ended in a screaming match. Do you have any suggestions besides a very expensive automatic rooftop TV dish?
A. I have friends who use the self-aiming portable Dish Playmaker satellite domes and are very happy with them. They’re easy to set up and take all of the aggravation out of trying to find satellite signals. It might be the solution to your problems.
Q. This is not intended to be negative, I am just truly curious. As a fulltimer we all get rid of so much stuff and I for one found that very freeing. Just curious how you and Miss Terry feel now that that you once again have “stuff.”
A. We laugh about that. We had large collections of antiques, guns, and other things before we hit the road, as well as enough books to fill a small library. Like you, we found it very liberating when they all went away and we moved into the motorhome. When we first looked at this house it was so big that we said no and walked away. Now we are wondering how it got so small! I don’t know, maybe we’re making up for lost time after losing our retirement, nest egg, and more to Terry’s cancer years ago. So if not now, when?
Q. I know you have written before about some way to clean out a Splendide RV washer/dryer combo when the spin cycle won’t completely drain it, but I can’t find that information anywhere now that I need it. Can you help me out and post it again, Nick?
A. Here is a link to that blog post, I hope it helps. Many people actually print out and save it somewhere near the washing machine, because it’s a process that should be repeated on a regular basis as preventive maintenance. http://gypsyjournalrv.com/2018/09/splendide-washer-dryer-fix
Q. Due to a family illness two years ago, we hung up the keys after five years of fulltiming to take care of an elderly parent. She passed away in August and we really want to get back on the road again because we miss the lifestyle. The only problem is that my mother-in-law had a dog that has outlived her. It was her only companion for many years and on her death bed she made my husband promise to take care of it until it died. The dog is 12 years old, half blind and stone deaf, and leaves messes all over the house. It misses her and walks around the house looking for her and whining all the time. It gets car sick if we even start the engine with it in the car. I really think it’s time to put it down but my husband says he feels like he would be breaking his promise to his mother. I feel like we’ve given enough already and now it’s our time again. I know that my husband values your opinion very much, so I guess the question is, what would Nick do?
A. You paid your dues and you deserve to enjoy your lives doing the things you want to do. It doesn’t sound like the dog’s quality of life is very good at this point. I may offend some of the animal lovers who read this, but if I were in your position I would have it put out of its misery. Tell your husband Nick said I don’t think his mother would want the animal to suffer any longer.
Q. We don’t care to have a gun with us in the RV, but I have heard many people say that they keep a can of wasp spray next to their door and say is just as effective as a gun for self-defense. Is that true?
A. When was the last time you were attacked by a wasp? I have heard this many times myself, and I imagine getting zapped in the eyes with wasp spray would not be very pleasant. It also would be very unpleasant if the wind was blowing the wrong way and you got it in your eyes instead. And no, I don’t care how big a can of wasp spray you have, it is not as effective as a firearm in stopping an aggressor. I also don’t believe anybody should own a firearm unless they invest the time and money for proper training and have the mental preparation to actually use one if necessary. Many people travel millions of miles in their RVs and never have a crime related problem. Yes, it does happen, but it’s very rare. Just use common sense. Don’t park in shady areas of town, don’t open your door to anybody who comes knocking, and if you feel threatened, start the engine and drive away if you are in a motorhome, or call 911 if you can’t leave.
Q. I smell a rat. A “friend” we recently met at a campground in Alabama wants to sell us his Western Horizons campground membership for $500. According to him he paid over $5,000 for the membership. He has a guide to the campgrounds that are in the chain, but the guide is at least 10 years old. Looking online I can’t find anything about them and our supposed friend is very evasive when we ask them questions. What do you think?
A. As the old saying goes, I think with friends like that you don’t need any enemies. At one time Western Horizons operated a large chain of campgrounds, but then they began selling them off one by one. We were members for a short time and got cheated out of the money we invested in the membership, as did many others. You can read more about them at the Ripoff Report.
Q. We are in Texas right now and gas prices are at an all-time low, which is very nice. But diesel doesn’t seem to have dropped at all. Do you foresee that happening anytime soon, Nick?
A. If I could predict what OPEC and the oil companies and the retailers were going to do ahead of time, I would give up this writing gig and retire to a beach somewhere in Tahiti. Fuel prices are like the weather, forget trying to guess what’s going to happen and be prepared for anything.
Q. We are fulltimers and decided we wanted to get a small dog to keep us company. We went to the animal shelter near the campground where we are staying and were surprised that they would not even consider letting us adopt a pet because we don’t have a home with a fenced yard and because we are on the move and don’t have a regular veterinarian. We told them that we walked our previous dog regularly and kept him up to date on his shots and everything else, but no go. We thought that was strange but have run into the same thing at two other shelters in different places. Have you ever heard of RVers being discriminated against when it comes to adopting a pet?
A. Yes, I have heard of that. A solo fulltiming friend of ours had the same experience recently. The shelter had five cats they said had to be rehomed or they would be euthanized. She begged them to let her adopt one, or even two, but she got the same response. It’s appalling that they would rather put an animal down than allow it to go to a loving home, just because it has wheels under it instead of a foundation.
Congratulations Sandy Bronstein, winner of our drawing for a pair of e-books, the first two novellas in my friend Mona Ingram’s Dear Santa Christmas romance series. Their titles are The Bride and The Party. We had 51 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – Deja Poo – the feeling that you’ve heard this crap before.