There are a lot of things in the RV lifestyle you should know, from how to get your mail forwarded to which are the best states to choose for your legal domicile, to what kinds of (choose one – fire extinguisher, insurance company, tire pressure monitoring system, toilet paper, etc. you should choose). I have covered most, if not all of them, here in the blog in the past.
And if there’s anything I have missed, or that you missed by skipping the blog for a day (how dare you!), some Internet research can usually provide the answer you need. Or, you can order John and Kathy Huggins’ excellent book So, You Want to be an RVer?: Celebrating the RV Lifestyle, which I consider to be the bible of RVing.
The first thing is the 10 year rule. At least once a week I hear from somebody who has been told that RV parks will not let any rig in that is more than 10 years old. They usually hear this on the Internet, and we all know if it’s on the Internet it has to be true, right? Because they can’t put stuff on there that isn’t true. Everybody knows that. Well, maybe they can, and they definitely do! Yes, there are some upscale RV resorts that enforce a 10 year rule. The idea is that they don’t want run down, junkie looking rigs staying there. But trust me, for every one of those parks, there are dozens, even hundreds more, who will welcome you with open arms. For over eight years we fulltimed in a 30 year old MCI bus conversion that we built ourselves. We were never turned away anywhere we wanted to go. Yes, I’m sure if we pulled up to the gate at one of those fancy elitist campgrounds, they would have turned their nose up at us. But that’s okay. That’s not the kind of place we want to hang out anyway, so we don’t go there.
Another thing you can ignore if you’re a member of Thousand Trails, are those calls inviting you to an important meeting about changes in your membership. They are just a tactic to get you to sit down for a sales presentation, and the only changes that are going to happen in your membership are if you buy whatever they’re selling and upgrade. Last year I was getting calls every day telling me that it was very important that I had to come to one of these meetings. At the time we were at the Seaside Thousand Trails in Oregon and I talked to both the manager and the on-site salesperson there. They both told me that these calls come from an outside company, they are not even Thousand Trails employees. They work for a company contracted by Thousand Trails to try to bring in more money by selling membership upgrades. If you want an upgrade, talk to the on-site salesman at your favorite Thousand Trails preserve.
The third thing you can ignore is highway weigh stations. Unless you are a commercial vehicle, just keep on driving. Yes, I know some of them say vehicles with tow bars must stop, but they don’t mean motorhomes pulling dinghies, and nobody is going to chase you down and give you a ticket. All you will accomplish by stopping is to irritate the people who work there and the truckers waiting their turn to get weighed and back on the road.
As long as you are ignoring things, go ahead and ignore your black holding tank monitor. I think the false readings they give create more angst among RVers than bad weather, the yappy little dog next door, and slow campground WiFi combined. I have heard about a thousand solutions, from fancy commercial chemicals that will clean the gunk from the probes inside the black tank, to homegrown remedies like baking soda or throwing a bag of ice cubes in the tank and driving down the highway. None of them have ever worked for me or anyone else I know. Over time you will begin to recognize the sound your toilet makes when it is getting full. Or, just go by your old Uncle Nicky’s simple rule – when you flush the toilet and your butt gets wet, it’s time to dump.
And finally, there used to be 10 million experts about everything related to the RV lifestyle. Then the Internet came along and now there are 100 million experts. No matter what question you have, all you have to do is post it on any of the Internet forums and you’ll get dozens of answers, and many of them contradict each other. You’d be surprised how many of these experts have spent little if any time at all in an RV, yet they know everything. So just ignore the so-called experts. Half of them don’t know what they’re talking about, and the rest are liars. Trust me on this, I know, because I’m an expert.
Thought For The Day – I talk to myself because sometimes I need expert advice.