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. I know that at one time you had a bus conversion, and I read something about the Motorhome from Hell at some point. Was that the same rig? If not, how many RVs did you and Terry go through during your fulltiming years?
A. In 1999 we started out in a 1998 Pace Arrow Vision, a 36-foot gas powered Class A. It was a total lemon and we called it the Motorhome from Hell because it had so many issues. After 18 months, it was literally falling apart around us. When we got rid of that, we purchased a 40-foot 1976 MCI bus that had been used in charter service for Gray Line Tours. We gutted the interior and made it into a motorhome while we lived and traveled in it. After over eight years, the old Detroit diesel motor was getting very tired and we knew we had to either put a lot of money into rebuilding it and the transmission, or else find another rig. That’s when we bought our 40-foot 2002 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage diesel pusher, which served us well until we hung up the keys.
Q. I recently came across your blog when a longtime friend who has been a reader since forever recommended it. I have spent 3 days binge reading it and you and Miss Terry now feel like family. I have seen a couple of references to a collection of back issues to the Gypsy Journal RV newspaper you used to publish. Are those still available, and if so, how can I purchase a set?
A. We have 15 years of back issues, 90 editions total, in PDF form available on a USB drive. Each issue is 36 pages, so that’s over 3,000 pages of RV information, travel stories, tips and more. Regular cost is $75, but between now and Christmas I am cutting the price in half, to just $37.50, postage included. To order, log onto www.paypal.com and make payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. I have been trying to log onto your blog for the last two days and no luck. Did something change?
A. Several readers, including Terry, are having this issue and I really don’t know what is causing it. Nothing has changed on our end that I know of, and as always, when I contact Go Daddy’s customer service it’s a lesson in frustration. All I ever hear is that they will look into it. I would much rather they fix it instead of looking into it, which never seems to have any results. Once the holidays are over, I am seriously looking at changing web hosts.
Q. Do you think the Bad Nick blog will ever come back? I really miss it and your unabashed way of looking at life.
A. I had a lot of fun with Bad Nick, and I miss it, too. But the reality is that the few ads I have in the blogs don’t make nearly as much money as if I spent that same time working on a book. And let’s face it, writing is how we earn our living. It only makes sense to apply our efforts where we get the most return for the time and effort invested. Besides, as fractured as this country is right now, I might get shot for some of the things I would say, since there is no middle ground anymore, and anybody who disagrees with you is the enemy. Oops, did Bad Nick slip in there for a moment?
Q. I remember that you had a beautiful cruiser style motorcycle for a while, but you haven’t mentioned it in a long time. What was it, and do you still have the bike?
A. It was a 2002 Yamaha V-Star 1100cc, and of all the motorcycles I have owned in my life, which is a lot, it was my favorite. However, in the past I always had motorcycles in the 650cc to 750cc range, and I had not ridden a motorcycle in 10 years when I got the V-Star. My riding skills had deteriorated a lot in that time, and between that and the fact that it seemed like every person coming down the highway was busy texting and not paying attention to where they were going, it just wasn’t fun anymore. So I sold it. And while I still look longingly at motorcycles now and then, my days on two wheels are over.
Q. You have talked a lot about Miss Terry’s medical issues lately, but we haven’t heard anything about how your back is doing, Nick. Is that because it has improved, or because you have been focusing on Terry and not mentioning it?
A. I wish I could say my back has improved, but that’s not going to happen without some serious intervention, and we haven’t figured out what that will be yet. Every neurosurgeon I have seen has told me I’m not a candidate for surgery. I have an appointment on Tuesday with my pain doctor to get another set of injections in my back, and then we will talk about what other options may be available.
Q. At one time you said that when you and Terry got to the point where you had to hang up the keys you would probably buy a lot in an RV park someplace and live in your motorhome. Instead, you bought a big house. We are grappling with that issue ourselves since my deteriorating eyesight makes it impossible for us to continue fulltiming. Do you regret that decision, or do you enjoy having more room to live in these days?
A. No question about it, Terry and I both much prefer the house over an RV to live out the rest of our days. When we bought this place, it seemed huge and we said we would never fill it up. Guess what? Nature abhors a vacuum and quickly fills it.
Q. In all of the thousands of miles that you and Miss Terry covered fulltiming, what is the one RV trip you would recommend everyone to take? I think I know the answer, but since we will finally get on the road this spring, we are looking at a destination for our inaugural trip.
A. No question about it, US Highway 101 along the Oregon and Washington coasts. I have been in every state in the union, and several foreign countries, and to me nothing compares or even comes close to the scenic beauty of that highway.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Driving Lesson by my friend Ben Rehder. While Ben writes some excellent mysteries, including the wildly popular Blanco County series, this tale of a boy and his grandfather on an unplanned road trip across the country is a coming of age story that will tug at your heart strings. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) 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 – I’m only two people away from being in a love triangle.