Sometimes I wonder how some people ever get to the point in life where they can afford an RV and become fulltime RVers, or even weekend campers, because they are just so…. well, there’s no other way to say it….so dumb!
One of the good things about my job is that I get a lot of mail and e-mail from newbies just starting out in the RV lifestyle, asking my advice. And one of the bad things about my job is that I get a lot of mail and e-mail from newbies just starting out in the RV lifestyle, asking my advice.
I really like helping people, and I find it very rewarding when somebody a year or two or three down the road tells me that my advice helped them transition successfully into the RV lifestyle. However, there are some people that I just want to say “Why do you ask for my opinion, if you just plan to ignore it, or argue with me about it?” Over the years, I have had quite a few people ask me how to do something, or what product or service to use, and then tell me why my advice is totally wrong. I know I’m not the last word on anything, and I sure don’t know everything, but still…..
A good example is a fellow who recently contacted me asking what emergency roadside service I would recommend for his truck and fifth wheel trailer. I told him that we have used Coach Net for years, and overall, we have been very satisfied with their service. He replied that his regular insurance company offered towing, and wanted to know why he shouldn’t use them, since they were about $40 a year cheaper.
I explained that as a fulltimer, the insurance he used in his sticks and bricks house might not be the best option, that we have heard of some polices that would tow his truck but not his trailer, and others that don’t understand the needs of RVers, and the specialized equipment needed to tow an RV. I added that Coach Net also has RV service techs available that can often talk you through a quick repair to get you back on the road. His reply to me was “Yes, but we’re talking $40 bucks here. For a rich guy like you, that may not be much, but it is to me.” What can I say to a guy like that?
Back when we had our MCI bus conversion, I put the whole story of our bus conversion project on our website, and since then, I have heard from a lot of folks wanting to convert a bus, or who were in the process, asking for advice. More than one asked me about school buses, which can be purchased at very attractive prices. I always tried to explain why schoolies were not the best choice; they don’t have bays underneath for storage, many insurance companies won’t insure a school bus as an RV, and some RV parks won’t let them in. Yet, more times than I can remember, the response was “Yes, but I can get a great deal on this bus.” Okay, go for it.
One that really befuddled me was the gentleman who was converting an MCI bus similar to ours, and spent several hours going over our plumbing system, asking me where we got our fresh and waste water tanks, water pump, and such. The next time we pulled into Elkhart Campground, he was there with his bus, and proudly came knocking to invite me over to check it out.
The first ting I noticed was a metal rack he had built onto the roof of the bus, and the several large plastic tubes in that rack that ran the length of the bus.. He explained that instead of “wasting” bay storage space on a fresh water tank, he had built the rack and fabricated a system of long PVC pipes, that he had capped off on both ends and plumbed together, so that his fresh water tank was on the roof. “See, I didn’t have to buy a $350 tank, and I didn’t need to spend $75 bucks on a water pump, or $350 on a water heater,” he explained. “I just crawl up on the roof with a hose and fill the tanks, the water flows down by gravity so I don’t need a pump, and since I painted the tubes black, I get enough solar heat to give me hot water. I saved a ton!” I wanted to tell him that he added a ton of water to his roof, and to ask him how the bus handled on curves, but instead I just walked away.
And so it goes. I welcome questions, and I’m flattered that so many Gypsy Journal and blog readers seek me out to ask my opinion. But if your mind’s already made up, I sure don’t want to confuse you with facts. It’s a waste of both of our time, and it gives me a headache.
Yes, sometime you can save a buck. Once in a while you can even save a “ton?” But then again, you can also lose a bundle.
Thought For The Day – In life, when you know you’ve done all you can do, and you know it is right, let it go and move on. Only then will you be able to start living again.