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JimK

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  1. One of the things Escapes specializes in is training for RVers. I have never been but understand this can be extremely helpful. It would probably cost less to fly and attend a 3 day boot camp and I am sure your would learn much more.
  2. My wife and I bought an Rv and parked it in the driveway for a few months while we finished our jobs, finished downsizing, and got the house on the market and sold it. There was no time for some sort of test run. We did check out the appliances and systems, modified the storage and replaced the mattress. Other than that the only use was for a temporary home for the cats when the house was being checked out by prospective buyers. When the house sold, I retired and we took off in the RV. Learning to operate an RV is not rocket science. A great many things are similar to staying in a small house or apartment and the differences are easily mastered. Anyway I don't see much point in spending a few days getting used to a rental RV. If you are trying to decide if the RV lifestyle is for you, a few days are not likely to help. I think it took us about 3 months to get used to living in an RV full time. We traveled almost daily so it was disorienting to wake up in new locations, often new States.
  3. Watching TV is a step better than what I frequently see. There seem to be plenty of RVers who are content to "camp" a few feet from other big rigs, who love to play their music on outdoor speakers while sitting under an awning covered with Christmas tree lights. That is the nature of RV living for lots of people.
  4. Yup, we are all different. In two years of full time travel and several months per year a half dozen more years, I have never even checked to see if the TV works.
  5. For me going smaller and lighter and not needing hook ups opens up opportunities. I spend a lot of time in the boondocks boondocking. There are still a lot of beautiful areas that are not yet over run and covered with acres of campgrounds. Going small can even be more enjoyable and more comfortable. In the past I have used Yellowstone as an example. It can be difficult to get a big rig into Yellowstone without reservations many months in advance. If you need hook ups the choices are even more restricted. The big campgrounds at Mammoth, Madison and Canyon do not have them. Once visitors do find a place, either within the park or miles and miles away, there are still downsides to a big rig. Everyone comes to see Lamar and Haydn Valleys and the major thermals. That means a day trip, typically all day. With my truck camper, I have my rig with me. I can visit the Lamar, pull over for a hot lunch and a nap while watching the roadside scenery and wildlife. I have my own rest room facilities. The big riggers are in their toads with a sack lunch and at best a folding chair. Even worse they are stuck with the outhouses you can smell for a mile downwind. Late afternoon, I typically take it easy while all the toads head for the campgrounds at Fishing Bridge or maybe up the river towards Livingston. I am napped, fed and rested. I watch the sunset and the early evening wildlife crossing the roads. Not exactly dumpster diving.
  6. Personally I travel light and inexpensively with the emphasis on travel. I rarely stay in campgrounds or RV parks with hook ups and average well less than $10/night for camping. I spend about $10/month on propane and about the same for generator gas. By contrast lots of RVers want big rigs with all the comforts of home including a washer/dryer and even an onboard central vac. A big rig can easily cost $100-500 K and can depreciate by $25-50 K/year or more. Operating costs are often in the range of $1/mile or more for fuel, maintenance, tires, etc. I typically travel about 30K miles/year so if II had a big rig that could easily add up to another $30K. Then there are the campground fees. Those have gotten to be considerable for any place that is really attractive for example near a national park. In many places it is hard to find a campground with hook ups for under about $35/night. $50/night is probably closer to the norm for popular locations. Anyway fees could easily exceed $10-15 K/year. So total costs for big rig RV living can easily exceed $50-75 K/year or $200/day. That would be for a full timer. For part time use, daily costs would be much higher.
  7. The most comfortable way to see the country would be primarily staying in good hotels, resorts, and even motels. Lots cheaper than a big rig and paying for RV parks with hook ups.
  8. You need to decide on your preferences. A great many people want to get an RV as big as a house with all the conveniences of a house. Of course, that can be expensive. On top of the original cost, you then need to be concerned about campground fees. Depending on the area, a decent campground with hook ups can easily be in the $30-60 range. Personally, I am a believer in going as light and small as possible while still having basic comforts. My wife and I spent a couple of years as full timers in a medium sized truck camper. We still go out for months at a time and never miss having a big rig.
  9. People do this frequently and usually for no purpose. My manual even has a clear warning about doing other troubleshooting before replacing the circuit board. Replacement of the board is rarely needed. Most of the time the remedy was actually just a matter of unplugging and replugging the ribbon connector due to board replacement. Do that first before replacing the board. Also replace the inexpensive sensor before replacing the board.
  10. I have no idea what you mean by changing "the wire that is a cut off...". First step is to disconnect and clean the electrical harness style connectors. Mine seem to loosen up and I use an office binder clamp to keep the connection tight. Next step would be to clean the flame sensor and set the gap. If that doesn't work replace the sensor.
  11. No one can make this decision for you. It is all about what you want to do and the lifestyle that interests you. For some, a big comfortable RV is important. They want lots of space, slides, an oven and a microwave, a/c set on automatic, a laundry center, a big screen TV and reclining chairs. They are willing to make reservations and pay a lot for resort level camping. They are likely to stay at one place for a while. They cannot comprehend and would not tolerate a navy style shower with a gallon or two of water. I am on the other end of the spectrum. I want a comfy bed, a wet bath and a small kitchen and dinette. I rarely make reservations. Typically don't pay much for camping and often boondock or stay in forest service or other camping areas that would not even accommodate a large RV. I travel a lot and typically only stay in one location for a few days. My wife and I along with 2 cats managed quite well in a small truck camper with no slides. No RV will meet every need. You will have to decide for yourself what is most important for you.
  12. $3? $5? That would not seem to be worth the issues of carrying large amounts of cash especially when you can avoid going in the station to have the pump activated and then returning to pay. Also don't forget about the credit card points or cash back. Those could be worth more than the extra charge.
  13. It has been quite a few years since I paid with cash. I seem to remember having the pump activated and then leaving my drivers license while I fueled. I am sure there are a few small towns with lax procedures where you could fuel up and then pay without leaving money or an ID. I guess some people routinely pay with cash to avoid an extra charge for using a CC. Typically that is only a few cents extra. A few years ago I stopped at a Mobil station where the markup for using a CC was over 50 cents a gallon. I noticed before I fueled and went to another station. I did send an email to Mobil customer relations. They responded that the station was independently owned. I told them their name was on the station. The problem was soon corrected.
  14. I cannot begin to imagine the thousands of times I have fueled the RV or my cars. I have never kept a receipt and don't ask for them. It must have been decades since the time when you could fuel up and then pay. Every pump runs the credit card before starting to pump. The biggest issue I have had is scumbucket dealers who ask if you want a car wash. If you make a mistake and push the wrong button, you will be charged.
  15. Swipe twice or if that does not work use another card. I always have at least 3 different cards. On one trip I still had an issue. One stopped working because the magnetic tape would not work. One expired and the CC company decided to replace the 3rd due to a fraud alert.
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