Nick Russell

Rainy Days

 Posted by at 12:57 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 292017
 

We are definitely in the rainy season here on the Florida coast. Just about every afternoon we watch the clouds build up and then they let loose and we get a downpour, usually accompanied by lots of thunder and lightning. A door next to my desk opens onto a small carport on the side of our house and sometimes I open it up just to watch the rain come down and to listen to it on the roof of the carport. There’s just something about the sound of rain on a tin roof that I love.



I’ve been working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, pushing hard to get it done and out to our subscribers. Unfortunately, I have still got a ways to go so I’ve got some long hours ahead of me before I’m done. The good news is, I think it’s going to be worth it. We’ve got some interesting places to share with you in this issue.

A couple of readers have asked me if now that we have pretty much gone off the road and are selling our motorhome, how long will we continue to publish the Gypsy Journal. Nothing lasts forever, of course, and Terry and I both turn 65 this year, but we don’t have any plans to stop at this point. We just hit the 18 year mark with the publication and I would like to take it to at least 20 years. But do I want to be publishing it when I’m 70? 75? Who knows if I’ll even be around that long? And if I am, will I still have enough gray cells left to write a complete sentence? I would hope so, but then again, the folks who know me well are aware that sometimes I can’t form a complete sentence even today. But don’t worry, that’s nothing new. Sometimes I couldn’t do it when I was 30, either.

Somebody also asked if I plan to continue doing the blog. Oh yeah, you’re not getting rid of me that easily. I enjoy sharing my thoughts, past RV experiences, and keeping you all updated on what we are doing these days. The blog is part of our business model, but it’s also a lot of fun for me to do.

Speaking of RV related business, my friend Gail Alexander from RV Space Savers has announced that they are selling their business due to medical issues. This is a great little business that has helped pay for their travels for quite a while now. They were vendors at some of our Gypsy Journal rallies and always had a steady flow of customers to their booth. If you’re interested in acquiring your own business and becoming a working RVer, contact Gail at contact Gail at rvspacesavers@gmail.com



It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is not one, but two great RV books. John and Kathy Huggins from Living The RV Dream have donated autographed copies of So, You Want To Be An RVer? and So, You Want To Be A Workamper? To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

A lot of you do your online shopping by clicking this Amazon link or the Amazon Search box at the top right sidebar of this blog. We appreciate that, because when you purchase an item on Amazon any time of the year from one of our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us offset the cost of publishing the blog.

Thought For The Day – I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Jun 282017
 

Something that Terry and I learned very quickly after buying our house is that customer service is sadly lacking in this area. Businesses will make you all kinds of promises, but when it actually comes to following through on them, forget it. Just because you have an appointment doesn’t mean they will keep it. They show up whenever they feel like it, if they show up at all.



We have experienced this several times when we have called repair and service companies. I needed a welder to replace some rusted steel tubing in the frame of our garage, and three different ones that I called never showed up. Well, I take that back, one did actually show up unannounced two days after the appointment we had set up. He wanted me to give him a large deposit to cover materials, but didn’t really know when he could get around to doing the job. But he would put me on the list! Thanks but no thanks. I called somebody else about another project, and he didn’t show for the appointment, but did call a week later to tell me all about the problems going on in his life and that if I would give him a second chance he would be out there that afternoon. It was like listening to a real life country song. Yeah, that didn’t happen, either.

But I have to give kudos to John’s Appliance & Bedding in Daytona Beach. When we ordered Terry’s new Speed Queen washer and dryer they said they would be delivered on Tuesday (yesterday) afternoon, and that somebody would call us Monday to give us an exact time. When that call came in, we were told they would be here between 3:30 and 4:30 PM. But yesterday around 2 o’clock they called again to say that they were running early, and would it be okay if they came by in the next half hour or so. Sure, why not?

The two man delivery crew came and took out the old units, installed the new ones, and did a great job of it. You will note that the dryer, on the right, sits up higher than the washing machine does. That’s because we had to make a pedestal to set it on so that the door would clear the step landing in front of it.

Terry is very pleased with her new washer and dryer, and we are both very pleased with the excellent customer service from John’s Appliance & Bedding. I wish everybody around here cared as much for their customers.

Since we are downsizing and stepping away from the RV lifestyle, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to getting rid of our old grandfathered in Verizon unlimited cell phone plan. I have it on both my phone and on a 3G WiFi air card, but since we will not be traveling as much or as extensively, I’m not sure it’s worth continuing to pay for them. While newer “unlimited” plans don’t compare, they are cheaper and would probably meet all of our needs, so there’s no use paying more than we have to every month.

I’m also going to start getting rid of some things we won’t be using now that will be spending most of our time at home. One of those things is the HiBoost cell phone signal booster I reviewed recently. While it’s not a good choice for a large RV unless you are willing to use it in one area of the rig, it would work well with a Class B or small RV like that. You can see my review on it at this link. The only time it was used was for the review, since the company’s weBoost 4G RV Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit works better for bigger rigs like our Winnebago motorhome. The retail price of the system is $349.99. If anybody is interested, I will let it go for $300, shipping included. Just let me know.



Several people asked if we will be selling our Thousand Trails Elite membership. That has already been snatched up, and one of our blog readers got a heck of a deal on it. We were sorry to see it go, because it has saved us a ton of money over the years, but I didn’t see us using it enough to justify keeping it any longer.

A lot of you do your online shopping by clicking this Amazon link or the Amazon Search box at the top right sidebar of this blog. We appreciate that, because when you purchase an item on Amazon any time of the year from one of our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us offset the cost of publishing the blog.

Thought For The Day – I’m a firm believer that every traffic jam is a chain reaction that begins with just one idiot.

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

The Enchanted Highway

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 272017
 

Note: This story is from the November-December 2011 issue of the Gypsy Journal.



As soon as we hit the road as fulltime RVers, people began telling us about North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway, a 32 mile long stretch of two lane road between Interstate 94 and the little hamlet of Regent, to the south.

The Enchanted Highway’s claim to fame is the series of giant whimsical metal sculptures that artist Gary Greff built along both sides of the road.

Greff, a teacher and high school principal, lives in Regent and had never done any artwork or welding before he conceived the idea of the sculptures as a way to bring traffic to his small town. And oh, what sculptures he dreamed up! They are amazing for their sheer size, and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Geese in Flight, located at the north end of the highway, at Exit 72 on Interstate 94, about 20 miles east of Dickinson, is 110 feet tall and 154 feet long, and has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest metal sculpture.

More gigantic sculptures are waiting for you as you drive south, including grasshoppers, deer jumping over a fence, and pheasants.

And there are “humans” too! The Tin Family includes a farmer, his wife, and son. These were Greff’s first creations, and were made from used farm machinery, with the help of local farmers and friends in the community.

Theodore Roosevelt Rides Again is a 51 foot tall tribute to the role President Roosevelt played in North Dakota’s history. The sculpture is made of used oil well pipes.

If you like to cast a line, you will appreciate Fisherman’s Dream, a lake scene with 30 foot long fish swimming below the surface, and a 70 foot rainbow trout leaping from the “water.”

The detail that Greff incorporated into the sculptures is impressive. The 45 foot tall Tin Man, of the Tin Family sculpture, holds a pitchfork in one hand, while his wife holds a basket of flowers, and their son grasps a lollipop.

There are pullout areas beside the highway at most of the sculptures, to allow you to stop and admire them safely. Once you get to Regent, there is a small RV park just off the main street, but you won’t find much in the way of dining or shopping except for a small gift shop, a historical museum, and a handful of other buildings.

But as always in the RV lifestyle, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And a journey down the Enchanted Highway is one you won’t soon forget.



A lot of you do your online shopping by clicking this Amazon link or the Amazon Search box at the top right sidebar of this blog. We appreciate that, because when you purchase an item on Amazon any time of the year from one of our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us offset the cost of publishing the blog.

Thought For The Day – Old minds are like old horses. You must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order – John Quincy Adams

Click Here To  Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Jun 262017
 

We have been on the go so much lately that we really needed a day at home just to recharge our batteries and get caught up on things around here. So we never left the house yesterday, which was just fine with both of us.



We slept in a bit and then after breakfast we checked the measurements for where the new Speed Queen washer and dryer are going to go. As it turns out, we need to raise the dryer up about two inches so the door will clear a step in front of it when it is opened. That will not be a problem, we will get some 3/4 inch plywood cut to the proper size and layer it together to make a base.

With that detail done, I called the appliance store and finalized the deal. They will be delivered sometime Tuesday.

Then I answered a bunch of emails that had come in, including one long rant from somebody who was irate because he had to pay a toll on the New Jersey Turnpike. He said he had never had to pay a toll before in his life because they don’t have them where he comes from, and since he was not a resident of New Jersey and did not vote for the turnpike, he felt it was unfair that he had to pay. He said some stuff about taxation without representation, but by then I was bored and stopped reading. I replied that maybe he should just stay in his home state, where there are no toll roads.

Another email was from a lady complaining about a couple in the RV park where she is staying who have a large dog of some kind, whom she has encountered on her daily walks. She said she likes dogs, but this one is overly friendly and wants to jump up on her every time they pass by. She said the owners do have the dog on a leash, but don’t do anything to control it. All they do is just say “Don’t worry, he’s friendly.” Yeah, so what if he’s friendly? I met a friendly elephant one time but I darn sure didn’t want it jumping on me! Folks, if you are going to travel with an animal, be a responsible pet owner. Your mutt may be the greatest dog in the world and you may love it to death, but that is no excuse for allowing it to jump all over people.

With the email out of the way, I parked myself in from my computer to work on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal. Our aborted RV trip messed my schedule up and I’m going to have to really hustle to get it out by my deadline of July 1. While I was doing all of that, Miss Terry was working her way through a huge stack of paperwork.

Then, about 4:30 in the afternoon our friend Jim Lewis stopped by with his cousin Gail and her husband Larry, who had been visiting him over the weekend. We chatted with them for an hour or so, and then they left to go back to their place in Land O Lakes, about 150 miles southwest of us.

I got all comfy in my recliner to watch the evening news, and the next thing I knew Miss Terry was waking me up to tell me that dinner was ready. And what a dinner it was! Delicious roast beef, mashed potatoes, made from scratch gravy, corn for me and steamed spinach for her. Yummy!



Today we have to run some errands and get the plywood for the platform for the new dryer. Then when we get back home I’ll be back to work on the new issue of the paper. And that’s pretty much all I’ll be doing for the next few days.

Congratulations Bruce Fay, winner of our drawing for a one year subscription to www.OvernightRVParking.comWe had 226 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – The joy of travel is in the wandering. – Joe Robinson

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

That Would Explain It

 Posted by at 12:38 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 252017
 

Thank you to the many blog readers who responded to my story about the phantom power showing on the voltmeters in our Winnebago motorhome, even after I disconnected all the batteries while putting it in storage. Quite a few of you suggested that the small solar panel on the roof might be giving us the readings, and the more I think about it, that would explain it. It’s the only place electric could still be coming into the rig. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself.



Quite a few readers have asked if we have changed our minds about downsizing now that we’ve been home for a while. No, we haven’t. It’s the thing to do at this point in our lives. We had already pretty much reached that decision before we took off on last week’s aborted trip to Arizona to visit family. As I wrote in the blog the other day, it doesn’t make sense for us to keep a 40 foot diesel pusher in storage if we are only going to take one long trip a year and the rest of the time make shorter jaunts closer to home.

Although there have been several people express an interest in the Winnebago, most of them so far have wanted me to tote the note, which isn’t going to happen. I did have one offer to trade it for a mobile home and lot in Georgia, but I’ve already got a home in Florida and don’t need another one. But I am open to trades for part of the equity. Anybody got a nice pontoon boat or ?

Yesterday we had to take Terry’s new Chrysler Pacifica back to the dealer in Daytona Beach to get a special coating put on the exterior that is supposed to protect it long-term and prevent damage from things like Florida’s notorious love bugs, which can really tear up your paint in a hurry.

We’ve got less than 150 miles on it so far, but were both really impressed with the ride quality and how comfortable the van is. As I said before, it came with all kinds of options that will probably take me a year to figure out. One of them, which is pretty cool, is a self-parking feature. You’re supposed to be able to pull up next to an open parking space, push a button, and the van will parallel park itself. So yesterday I had to try it. And it works! It’s kind of weird sitting there without touching the wheel as the van backs itself into a parking spot, but it did a great job of it even though the space was a bit tight.

Fortunately, when I was a youngster learning to drive, a neighbor taught me how to parallel park, and following her directions I’ve always been able to do it quite easily. Over the years I’ve taught quite a few other people how to do it, as well. And believe it or not (and Terry will tell you it’s true, because she guided  me as I did it), I even parallel parked a 36 foot Class A motorhome between two other RVs once. So I probably don’t need the self-parking feature on the Pacifica, but if nothing else it will be fun to impress people!

When we purchased our home back in October the previous owner left an old and very used washer and dryer. He told us that he didn’t know how much life was left in them, but we figured what the heck, if they worked for a month or two, it was that much longer before we had to buy new ones. And they actually worked well until just a week or two ago, when the dryer stopped heating. I could probably replace the heating unit in it, but like I said, both of them are very old and all I would be doing is buying some time. Besides, Terry deserves a new set, don’t you think?

She has been researching what she wanted to replace them with, and when we were done at the car dealer yesterday, we stopped at an appliance store in Daytona Beach that was well recommended and Terry found just what she was looking for, a heavy duty Speed Queen washer and dryer set that does not have all the digital electronics that so many do these days. We needed to check a couple of measurements, so after we got the pricing squared away we came home to make sure they would fit where we want them to go. It looks like we can make it work with no problem, so I guess today we will finalize the deal and arrange to have them delivered this week.



Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for a one year subscription to www.OvernightRVParking.com. This is a great resource for RVers, listing well over 13,000 free places where you can park overnight. It’s a $24.95 value and it could be yours free if you’re our lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Thought For The Day – Work is what you do most of your life so that someday you won’t have to do it anymore.

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Phantom Power

 Posted by at 12:51 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 242017
 

Most of you probably know about phantom electrical loads in an RV. They are those parasitic things like the memory and instant-on feature for your television, satellite TV boxes, various alarms and such that make miniscule draws on your battery bank. As long as your batteries are in good shape, these are not a real issue when you are dry camping for a night or two, or staying in someone’s driveway and plugged into a 20 amp electrical circuit in their garage. But if you are putting the rig in dry storage, they can kill your battery bank over time.

But I seem to have just the opposite issue. As crazy as it sounds, our Winnebago seems to have some kind of phantom power thing going on. When I parked it in the storage lot the other day I hit the battery disconnect switch, but the electric step still worked when I closed the door. That was strange, but since the battery disconnect is only for the house battery bank, I thought maybe the step is connected to the starting batteries.

Since I don’t know when we are going to be starting the motorhome again, I decided to unhook the positive and negative cables to the starting batteries, then I had Terry check inside, and while the two digital voltmeters inside the coach both showed zero for the starting batteries, the house battery bank still showed 13.8 volts. Apparently the battery disconnect switch didn’t do it’s job. So I then disconnected both the positive and negative cables to the front most of the three batteries in the house battery bank, thinking since they are all connected together that would do the trick. And we were still showing power inside! By then it was getting pretty hot and I was getting pretty frustrated, so I decided to leave it for a day or so.

I called my buddy Greg White, who said that even though I had disconnected the cables from the front battery, maybe there was a positive hooked to one of the other two batteries in the bank. Greg suggested I disconnect all three negative cables from the house battery bank, which should kill power to everything.

So yesterday we went back to the storage lot and I unhooked all three negative cables, just as Greg directed me to do. Then Terry went inside the motorhome, and the digital voltmeter above my desk was bouncing between 4 volts and 13.5 volts, while the one on the control panel in the rear was showing all kinds of odd numbers. None of which makes sense because with all the negative cables off, there shouldn’t be any power going out. But just to be sure, I unhooked the positive cables, too. So there are no connections between the batteries and the coach. And guess what? The meter on the control panel still shows power going to it!

There are a lot of things I don’t know much about, but thanks to an excellent shop teacher in high school, I’ve got a pretty good grasp of electrical theory. I designed and installed both the 12 volt and 120 volt systems in our MCI bus conversion, I can swap out breakers in a house or install a new electrical line with no problems, but this has me mystified. Where the heck is this phantom power coming from? Greg asked me if our Onan diesel generator has its own battery, and said maybe that’s where the meter was showing power from. I don’t think it does but I will check it out today. Greg also said maybe it’s just my electrifying personality. What the heck? I guess that’s as good an explanation as anything.

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? If not, you really need to do so. This week’s prize is a one year subscription to www.OvernightRVParking.com. This is a great resource for RVers, listing well over 13,000 free places where you can park overnight. It’s a $24.95 value and it could be yours free if you’re our lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Speaking of books, a couple of my author friends have some freebies going on right now that you should take advantage of. Popular romance writer Mona Ingram has just brought out the first two books in her new Second Chances series about the small town of Chance, California, which is losing businesses and residents at an alarming rate. Can five women who suffered recent heartbreak put their energies into stopping the town’s decline? Check out the first book, a prequel that is free on Amazon at this link.

And my buddy George Wier is offering After the Fire, the ninth book in his excellent Bill Travis mystery series, free this weekend on Amazon. George also just released the audiobook version of the tenth book in the series, Ghost of the Karankawa. It’s another great story.

Thought For The Day – You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.

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Almost A Miracle?

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 232017
 

Do you remember the old Bible story about how Jesus fed the multitudes with just a few loaves of bread and two fish? How did he make so little last for so long? I guess the only explanation was that it was a miracle.



It seems that we have a couple of much smaller miracles happening here. Okay, so they aren’t really miracles, but like those loaves and bread and those fish, they seem to go on forever.

I usually go through a toner cartridge for my HP laser printer about every three months. Typically I will get a notification saying that the toner cartridge is getting low, and past experience has taught me I can squeeze out another two or three weeks on it before the type starts getting too light and I have to replace it.

So back in late December when I got a message on my computer screen from my printer that it was getting low on toner, I ordered a new cartridge from Amazon. Using our Prime membership, it was here in just a couple of days. So I sat it on the bookshelf in my office, where it would be handy when I needed it. And it’s still sitting there. And though every time I print something a message pops up on my screen that my toner cartridge is dangerously low, it just keeps chugging along turning out crisp, clear pages. I’m not complaining, those things are not cheap and I hope it keeps on doing the job for a while longer.

The other similar “miracle” is a small flashlight that used to sit on Terry’s side of the bed in our Winnebago motorhome. I’m not sure how we missed it when we put the RV in storage back in late October, but when we were packing for recent trip Terry noticed that the flashlight was where she had left it in the motorhome, and it was on. She tried to turn it off, but something is wrong with the button and it won’t shut off. And we can’t unscrew it to take the battery out for some reason. It’s just a cheap little penlight and I suspect there is some corrosion on the threads holding it in place.

Since we were busy packing the rig for our trip, I told Terry to set it aside and I would mess with it later. Well, later never came and I figured eventually the battery would go dead, but the darn thing is still on! As far as I know, it was on all the while it was in the RV, since neither one of us turned it on and we didn’t even notice it was on until it got dark the first night. That’s been over two weeks ago. So now it’s sitting on Terry’s desk and we are just wondering how long it will last. Okay, so they’re not miracles, but can we call them almost miracles?

By the way, speaking of the Biblical bread above, ever since we started fulltiming way back in 1999, we would occasionally see loaves of bread on the side of the highway. Not just one, but sometimes a dozen or more stretched out over a couple of miles. If this had happened once, or even twice, we might think some unfortunate bread truck driver lost his load. But we have seen it many times. The first time was in Texas, then someplace in Oklahoma, then Iowa or Illinois (those I states start to run together in my head), and in Michigan. Those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head, but I’m sure there have been others. What’s that all about?



Before I close for today, Miss Terry wants to thank everybody who sent her birthday greetings through the blog, email, instant messaging, Facebook and with telephone calls. You all made her feel really special. Of course, I already knew she was really special.

Over 130 people have already entered our latest Free Drawing and I’m not surprised, because we have a great prize this week, a one year subscription to www.OvernightRVParking.com. This is a great resource for RVers, listing well over 13,000 free places where you can park overnight. It’s a $24.95 value and it could be yours free if you’re our lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Hurt me with the truth, but never comfort me with a lie.

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Jun 222017
 

Today is a very special day at our house because it is Miss Terry’s birthday. And though it may be her birthday, the rest of the world, and especially me, got a wonderful present when she was born. Happy birthday my love, I’m going to try very hard to make sure you have a wonderful day. You deserve it!



It’s interesting that June 22 was also my mother’s birthday. I wonder what some psychologist would have to say about that?

I’m not sure what we are going to do today, because it’s all up to Terry. I suggested driving up to St. Augustine for the day, or we could go buy the new washer and dryer she needs (yes, I’m that hopelessly romantic), or anything else that strikes her fancy. Or, except for going out to dinner, we may just stay home and relax. Sometimes that’s exactly what Terry wants to do, and that’s fine with me, too.

A few times over the years people have asked why I always call her Miss Terry. And a couple of times people have asked if we are actually married. Yes, we are not only married, we are very happily married and it just gets better every day. In fact, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary come January. I call her Miss Terry as a term of affection and respect.

Several years ago somebody contacted me and said they wanted to subscribe to the Gypsy Journal, but as born-again Christians they first wanted to make sure that Terry and I were not living in sin, because it would offend them to give their money to somebody living as a couple who were not married. I assured them that, yes, we are married. But I also suggested they keep their money because I told them I was pretty sure it would only be a matter of time before I found some way to offend them.

Yesterday Terry vacuumed the motorhome and did a bit of cleaning on the inside while I washed down the water bay, and then we moved it over to our community storage lot. I have had some inquiries from people interested in purchasing the Winnebago but so far, nothing has transpired. I’d really like to get it sold so somebody else can enjoy it.

Of course, I could have sold it several times already if I would have been willing to take payments. But I’ve got a deal worked out with the local bank manager; I don’t make loans and he doesn’t write books. It seems to work out pretty well for both of us.

A couple of people have asked me how we plan to tolerate the hot summer here in Florida if we’re not traveling. Two words – air conditioning. Like anybody who lives in a hot climate, we will go from our air conditioned house to our air conditioned car to the air conditioned store. Yes, it will be hot and humid. But after deciding this area was where we wanted to settle down, we spent last summer in Elkhart, Indiana, within spitting distance of the Michigan state line. I watched the weather there and down here every day, and it was usually no more than 5° hotter here in Florida, and the humidity was maybe 5 to 10% higher. So what’s the difference if it’s 92° and 65% humidity, or 97° and 75% humidity? Either way, you adjust your lifestyle to accommodate the weather, just like people do living in cold climates.



It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing and we’ve got a great prize this week. Jim O’Briant has donated a one year subscription to www.OvernightRVParking.com. This is a great resource for RVers, listing well over 13,000 free places where you can park overnight. It’s a $24.95 value and it could be yours free if you’re our lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, and some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It’s called balance.

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Terry’s New Ride

 Posted by at 12:29 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 212017
 

Miss Terry’s birthday is Thursday, but she got her present a couple of days early. As I have said before, we have decided to downsize and take a new direction in our travels. We considered a smaller RV, but that really wasn’t what we wanted at this point in our lives. So instead, we decided to shop for a comfortable vehicle that would be good for regional road trips and our one long journey west to Arizona every year to see family.



And after a good bit of research and some shopping around, this is what we came up with. It is a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Plus, and I think you can tell by the smile on Terry’s face that she really likes it.

It came loaded with just about every option available except a sunroof, which we really didn’t want anyway. We have one on our Ford Explorer, and I think we’ve had it open three times in the seven years or so that we have owned it. Seriously, this thing has so many bells and whistles on it that I’m pretty sure if you sneeze a voice says “bless you” and a robotic arm comes out of the dashboard and hands you a Kleenex. It will even parallel park itself!

Of course, it will probably take me six months to figure out how everything works. Where is Greg White when I need him?

Somebody asked if we are going to keep the Ford Explorer and our Ford pickup, now that we have the van. Yes, we plan to. They are both paid for and in good condition, and we like them. And what the heck, with an 1100 square foot garage, we’ve certainly got the room!

Now that we’ve talked about new vehicles, let’s talk about old ones. My buddy Al Hesselbart, retired historian from the RVMuseum in Elkhart, Indiana, has a brand-new book out titled RV Capital of the World. Al is a popular speaker at RV shows and rallies, where he presents seminars on the history of RVing. We have known Al ever since our first year on the road as fulltime RVers, and he is a walking, talking encyclopedia of RV history. Every time I sit down and talk with him I learn something new about the old days. His new book tells the story of the Indiana RV industry and how the Elkhart – South Bend area became famous for the number of RV manufacturers and support companies located there. If you have any interest at all in RVing and history, this is a must read book! It’s fascinating.

Thought For The Day – One advantage of marriage is that when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall back in again. ~ Judith Viorst

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Playing Catch Up

 Posted by at 12:11 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 202017
 

We’ve been doing a lot of that since we got back home on Sunday afternoon. Catching up on email, catching up on blogs we have missed in the week we were on the road, catching up on laundry, and catching up on rest. And in today’s blog I will catch up on some things I haven’t had time to post yet.



The first thing I need to do is answer the many questions from blog readers wanting to know who our accountant is who managed to do such a wonderful job on some complicated tax issues we had, saving us a ton of money in the process. Her name is Donna Poirier and her company is Diversified Accounting Solutions, here in Edgewater, Florida. Her telephone number is (407) 325-9505. Most accountants I have talked to in the past don’t seem to understand the whole fulltime RVing and running a business on the road thing because we are square pegs that don’t fit into round holes. But Donna works with a lot of construction people and truckers who live a similar lifestyle, so she gets it. And she can usually work with you long distance via email and telephone calls to get the job done.

I always like to show off Miss Terry’s creations, and here are two scarves that she took off the loom right before we took off on our road trip. As with everything she weaves, they are beautiful.

Over the years a lot of people have bemoaned the loss of the Life on Wheels program, which was the “college” for RVers. Terry and I were very proud to be instructors for Life on Wheels because we know how important good education is for those entering the RV lifestyle. And while Life on Wheels may be gone, the Escapees RV Club has recently launched an excellent educational program called RVers Online University (RVOU). The new program brings the Escapees’ acclaimed RVers’ Boot Camp online with lessons on topics ranging from driving safety to RV maintenance, with new lessons and topics added regularly. I’m impressed with everything I’ve seen so far, and I think you will be, too. Check it out.

I got some inquiries as to whether we are going to continue with our free drawings here in the blog, since there wasn’t one last week. Yes, we will start off with a new drawing this Thursday. I’m sorry, but with everything going on I completely forgot about it last week.



And in closing, I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that in the process of downsizing we are going to sell our 2002 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage. I’ve got it priced low for a quick sale, and I might even consider a nice pontoon boat in part trade. But please, folks, I’m not a bank or a credit union, so don’t ask me to carry the note. I had inquiries from six different people who are interested and wanted to put down a couple thousand dollars and drive away with it. I’m sorry, but if your bank won’t trust you enough to loan you the money to buy an RV, what makes you think I should?

Thought For The Day – Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. – Seneca

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