I’ve been getting a lot of questions from Gypsy Journal subscribers and blog readers, and while I try to answer all of them individually, I wanted to share some with the folks here today.
Q. I know that you and Terry built a bus conversion and lived in it for quite some time before getting the Winnebago. My husband has talked about doing that. What kind of bus was it, and do you have any tips for somebody wanting to do the same thing?
A. We lived in our 1976 MCI bus for over 8 1/2 years and we loved it. But building a bus conversion is a lot of hard work, and if you don’t have a place to work and the time to do it, it can be pretty difficult. I would advise anybody looking at building a bus conversion to go with a newer four-stroke engine instead of the old two-stroke Detroit diesel like we had. Those old engines are bulletproof, but very underpowered if they do not have a turbo, and sometimes tended to overheat in hilly or mountain country. And we found that it’s getting harder and harder to locate good mechanics who are familiar with the old two-stroke’s. Today everything is electronic, and it seems like if they can’t plug it into a data port and run a diagnostic test, a lot of shops don’t know what to do with the older buses.
Q. It’s been a year since you and Terry bought your house. Has hitch itch been a problem after so many years on the road?
A. Not at all. We loved our RVing life, but when we hung up the keys we were done. We still want to travel, and we will, but we will be sleeping in hotels from now on, not campgrounds.
Q. You talked about taking some short trips in your van. Do you have anything planned right now?
A. At the moment, I’m hard at work trying to get my next Big Lake book out. Once that’s done we may take a trip up to Savannah, Georgia for a few days, or maybe to Charleston, South Carolina. We also plan on a day trip to Saint Augustine soon, and we may find someplace else to visit. We’re taking things one day at a time
Q. We are new fulltimers with a very nice 2008 Newmar Dutch Star. We keep hearing that a lot of RV parks enforce a 10 year rule and won’t let us in. Is that going to be a problem?
A. There are a few places that do enforce a 10 year rule, and others that have it but only use it selectively, depending on the look of the rig. As I said above, our bus was a 1976, and there was only one RV resort where we couldn’t go. And we wouldn’t have wanted to go there, anyway. Don’t worry, there are plenty of places that want your business and will be glad to have you.
Q. We haven’t heard anything about you being out on your boat in a long time. Aren’t you using it?
A. We are not acclimated to the hot Florida summers yet, so the boat has been in the garage since late spring. There is not nearly as much fishing activity going on in the summer as there is once things cool down. We hope to be out on the water very soon.
Q. What’s happening with the sale of your Winnebago? You haven’t had anything to say about that in a while.
A. I haven’t had anything to say because nothing is happening. We had the one deal that fell through soon after we took it to PPL Motorhomes in Houston, and since then there have been some lookers, but nobody has made an offer. Hopefully we’ll see some action soon.
Q. Quite some time ago you posted info on how to go online with Dish to change your service location when you move. I saved that and used it, and it was a lot quicker than talking to someone on the phone who couldn’t speak English. Now we’re getting ready to go to Yuma for the winter, and I can’t find it. Can you help me out?
A. To have Dish change your service location every time you arrive at a new location, log onto www.mydish.com and set up an online account if you don’t already have one. From then on, log into http://www.dish.com/chat/ and choose Chat Now. The wait is usually less than five minutes. I have a paragraph typed up and saved on my computer that I just paste in when the rep comes on the line, with the local address substituted. Here it is: Hello. We have your DISH service in our motorhome and need to change our service address to (insert your location address and zip code). This is a change of service address only, the billing address will remain the same.
Q. Have you ever taken an RV caravan, and if so, what did you think of the experience?
A. In all our years fulltiming, we never took part in a caravan, though we know many people who did and loved it. The biggest problem we had with caravans is they seem to be too structured for our taste. There’s a schedule to follow, you get on the road at a certain time in the morning, you travel a certain route, stop at a certain time for breaks, and arrive at a certain campground at a certain time at the end of the day. Our inner children are just too whimsical for that. There’s always a historical marker we need to pull over and read, an interesting small town we need to stop and explore, or a historical site that we can’t pass up.
Q. Now that you have stopped publishing the Gypsy Journal, what you plan to do with your time besides write books and go fishing?
A. Oh, don’t worry about me, I can find plenty of ways to keep myself occupied. There is metal detecting, fishing, boating, kayaking, kite flying, eating all the great seafood in this area, and just sitting at the beach and watching the pretty girls. And when I’m not doing something like that, I may just goof off!
I’m happy to say that this weekend we gave away over 400 copies of our e-book Overnight Parking With The VFW, which lists VFW posts nationwide that allow traveling VFW members to park overnight for free or a small donation. It’s always nice to help a fellow vet.
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.
Congratulations Denise Gray, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake, the first book in my Big Lake mystery series, and the one that launched my career as a fiction author. We had 96 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – I’m fairly competent at making piss poor decisions.