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. We have a Verizon MiFi Jetpack and have been considering changing carriers. This is our only access using it for phone and internet. The phone is for my wife and I use a TracFone. We both use the MiFi for our internet. Our concern with changing to another carrier is what kind of connection capability is there when we travel. The MiFi has served us well in that regard but the cost to add another phone for me is astronomical. I was wondering if you had your Consumer Cellular on your recent trip to Arizona and, if so, how did you fare regarding access? I can’t remember if you got it before or after your trip.
A. We switched to Consumer Cellular after our trip to Arizona. Consumer Cellular uses both Verizon or AT&T towers and you can choose which one to go with when you sign up. Both have very similar coverage areas, so I think you’ll be fine.
Q. Okay, call me forgetful, but what is the name of the wonder spray that you and Greg White both use for electronics and rusted stuff and things like that? I know it’s not WD-40, you guys both said it was better than that.
A. It’s called Strike Hold and everybody should have at least two cans around. We keep one under the kitchen sink and a couple more in the garage, and it has never let us down.
Q. We are looking at a used Alfa See Ya! motorhome that looks very nice at first glance, but when we get close to it we notice a bunch of what I can only describe as acne looking blemishes on the outside. The person selling it is not the original owner, but he said he was told that’s common for this brand of motorhome and not to worry about it. Have you ever heard of this? Is it delamination? Should we walk away and look for something else?
A. This is quite common with Alfa motorhomes and we have seen several like you described. I have been told it was caused by a problem with the resin mix when the fiberglass was formed. Whatever the reason, given that and the fact that Alfa is no longer in business, I would be looking for something else.
Q. My husband had a stroke in late October and died three weeks later. We had been fulltiming for almost two years when he went down. Since then I have been parked in my daughter’s driveway, and I am bored to death. I want to get back out on the road and travel but she insists that as a 64 year old woman, I am foolish to even consider it. She says I will be a third wheel in any group of RVers and easy pickings for every crook and con man or worse in the country. I know how to drive our 32 foot motorhome and can handle all of the hooking up and stuff. What do you say, Nick? Am I foolish or should I go for it? By the way, my daughter and I have a poor relationship at best and she has told me I need to sell the RV and get an apartment someplace.
A. We know many solo RVers, both male and female, and as long as that’s what you want to do and you are physically and mentally capable of handling it, I say go for it. And don’t worry, you won’t be alone. There are some excellent groups for single RVers, including Loners on Wheels (LOW) and Wandering Individuals Network (WIN). As I’m sure you learned in your time on the road, RVers are some of the friendliest people around and like to include everybody, so don’t worry about being a third wheel. Get out there and have some fun!
Q. It’s been a couple of years now since you and Miss Terry hung up the keys and gave up the fulltime RV lifestyle. Do you have any regrets about that decision?
A. No, we always told ourselves that the day it stopped being fun was the day we would look for something else to do. That day came, and though we miss our many friends from the RV world, we are quite content with our new life here on the Central Florida coast.
Q. We want to go to Alaska this summer but won’t be able to leave until mid-June due to doctors appointments we have scheduled. We live in Georgia so first we have to get across the country before we ever even enter Canada. That’s about 3,000 miles and since we don’t like to drive more than 250 to 300 miles a day, that would probably put us at the border north of Seattle sometime around July 1st. Then it’s a couple thousand more miles to Anchorage. Do you think that gives us enough time before bad weather sets in?
A. A lot depends on how long you want to be in Alaska and what you want to see and do while you are there. You can certainly drive to Alaska and back in that time, but as to how long you will have to experience all that is up there before you need to head back south, I can’t really say. Sometimes winter comes early and sometimes it’s a bit delayed. Either way you’re going to have to hustle.
Q. We have two dogs, an Akita and a Doberman mix. Two different campgrounds have told us we can’t stay there because our dogs are too big. Can they do that? Is that even legal? It feels like discrimination to me.
A. Any business owner can refuse to do business with whoever they choose, as long as they don’t discriminate based upon race, gender, sexual orientation, and things like that. As for a campground, they have every right to limit the size and breed of dogs they will allow. In fact, some companies that insure campgrounds require them to follow company-mandated size and breed limits.
Q. Based on a recommendation from a friend, I bought your three e-book box sets of the first three John Lee Quarrels and the first three Big Lake books and love them. How many more are available in each series and do you plan to continue them?
A. I am currently working on Sweet Tea And Jesus, the sixth book in the John Lee Quarrels series, and I have a lot more of them planned. Big Lake Wedding, the 15th book in the Big Lake series, came out in mid-January. I will be releasing Big Lake Ninja, #16 in the series, this summer, and there’s more to come after that.
Q. We’re looking at a 1998 Bounder gas powered Class A that a man has had sitting in his side yard for at least six or seven years. The tires look weather checked on the outside but have lots of tread left and he said they are fine. There is a mildew smell inside that he assures us will clear up if we just open it up and air it out, and it needs a very good cleaning. The ceiling has a lot of what looks like water stains to me. It wouldn’t start because it needs new batteries and the inside lights don’t work. He was asking $5,000 for it and my husband offered him $3,500 and he accepted it real quick. My husband assures me we can clean it up and be on the road within a few weeks and we will save a ton of money. I’m not so sure. All I see is headaches ahead. We have not paid him yet, we’re supposed to do that when our tax refund comes. What would you do?
A. I would run away from that accident waiting to happen as fast as I could. It’s going to be a money pit and that $3,500 you can buy it for is only a drop in the bucket compared to how much it’s going to cost to attempt to get it serviceable and safe.
Q. We plan to become fulltime RVers sometime in the next 6 to 8 months. Right now we’re sorting through everything we are going to keep and take with us and deciding what to do with other things. We have a house full of very nice furniture, but neither of our children needs or wants any of it. My wife says we should store it for the day we get off the road, which we have no foreseeable plans to do, and I think we should just sell it and buy new furniture if we ever decide to stop full timing. Any suggestions?
A. We know many fulltimers who had to make the same decision, as we did ourselves. And like many people, we stored some things for the first year or so. And again, like many fulltimers, we realized that for what we were paying in storage fees we could buy all brand new furniture down the road sometime if we ever decided to hang up the keys. Imagine what we would have paid for storage over the 18 years we were on the road. And when we did stop fulltiming, that furniture would have been very old and frazzled.
Thought For The Day – Why do we put round pizza in a square box and eat it in triangles?