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Everything posted by docj

  1. docj


    With all due respect, this approach to traveling may have worked for RV but I would hate for a new full-timer to think that this is the only approach or that it is used by the majority of RVers. The first thing any new full-timer should understand is that there is absolutely no proper definition of full-time RVing. Everyone should do what feels comfortable for them. For example, with respect to RV's comment "Never make plans to be anywhere at a certain date", that's very difficult to abide by if you want to stay in popular tourist destination areas. For example, we have reservations to stay at a Canadian national park this June and by now the park is totally sold out for that weekend. Furthermore, we have reservations for a canoe excursion in order to ensure that we could get one before it, also, was sold out. Sure, we run the risk of losing our money if we aren't able to get there, but, for us, that's less of a problem than not having the reservations we want. We would also take issue with how long a typical driving day should be; what was acceptable to RV wouldn't work at all for us. But that's the whole point; don't listen to anyone who tells you that they have the prescription for being a full-timer RVer because it simply isn't true. Your prescription needs to be your own, at least if you intend to enjoy the experience to the fullest. Joel (AKA docj)
  2. I dare say that the devil's in the detail (as usual). Is someone living "long term" in a trailer park or RV park a "real resident"? How many days must they have been there before they would be considered "real"? I honestly don't see much of a difference in this issue between full-timers and a rich person who might have multiple homes, only one of which can be his legal domicile. He can vote at his domicile address regardless of how much time he spends there. What makes his understanding of local issues any better than a full-timer's? In the Corpus Christi area, where we hang out, there are quite a few waterfront "mansions" which stand vacant most of the year. No doubt some are legal domiciles for their owners. Should the owners of these properties vote if they aren't around and don't know the issues?
  3. docj


    In our casita I have it draining through the wall to the outside, but in the MH I just use the "bucket" that come with it. Even in the most humid weather, emptying it into the sink is only a once a day chore.
  4. With an iPhone I think the easiest approach is to use AirPlay to cast to an Apple TV (and, no, an Apple TV isn't another TV, it's a device like a Chromecast).
  5. With all due respect, it's my understanding that DirecTV already has enough satellites in orbit to last for the next decade or so. The concept outlined in the article requires that a customer have cable, FIOS, etc. It doesn't apply to rural homes that have neither and DirecTV has millions of those as customers. I'm not going to worry about the loss of satellite signal anytime soon.
  6. I think my prepaid Jetpack is usually half to two-thirds the speed of our phones. But if you're doing a speedtest on the phone itself rather than on the phone's hotspot that's not a fair comparison. I've always found that the phone hotspot speed is significantly less than the download speed the phone measures on its own. But, despite that, I think it's only been twice in the past several months that I've had to use the phone's hotspot because the Jetpack's download speed wasn't enough for streaming. Usually, it's in the 2-5 Mbps range which is enough to support a 720p video signal. It's my understanding that the dropped connection issue is mostly a problem with the 8800. We have a 7730L and rarely have any such problems.
  7. With all due respect, it's pennywise and pound foolish not to pay a cancellation fee if the levelized payments result in an overall savings. Sure, a cancellation fee is money spent without direct return, but in my case the overall savings were such that it made economic sense. To be very specific, I was paying AT&T ~$115/mo (with taxes) for 100 GB/mo. I was paying Verizon $20 (plus taxes) for my Jetpack on my Unlimited plan with the usual 15GB LTE hotspot cap. So, I was paying ~$135/mo for 120GB/mo. Currently I'm paying ~$70/mo (including taxes) for the prepaid unlimited plan so my rough savings is $65/mo and I get unlimited data service. The cancellation fees were roughly $200 which offset the savings for the first ~3.5 months. Now that I'm in my fifth month of the prepaid plan I'm now reaping the $65/mo savings. Alternatively, I could have continued to pay for the previous plans. If I did that I would be paying ~$65 more per month for about a year (until the end of both plans) which would have been a sum in excess of $700 which I would have been spending in order to have saved ~$200. In addition I would have had a 120GB/mo data budget instead of an unlimited one. To me that didn't make any sense. JMO
  8. Pretty much all these plans have "early termination" clauses. In our case it made more economic sense to pay the penalty on our Jetpack to take it from a postpaid plan with 15GB of hotspot per month to the "new" unlimited prepaid plan. I think it cost me ~$100 to do that. At the same time I canceled an AT&T plan that was providing 100GB/mo. That cancellation cost me another ~$100. But in ~3 months the monthly savings offset the cancellation fees. Now, I'm ahead each month by $70/mo and have unlimited data.
  9. With all due respect, there may be a breaker protecting the 12V converter as well as a switch on the device itself. If either of those is OFF the result would be a lack of 12V power. It's also possible that the converter has failed and didn't recharge the batteries after they were drawn down. A complete battery failure is one of the last things I would consider after checking out these possibilities.
  10. "Man in the middle" attacks primarily happen when someone sets up a fake WiFi at a campground, airport terminal, library, etc. If you log into the fake WiFi all your info can be at risk. The easiest way to avoid this is to be sure you are logging into the "real" WiFi. As long as you avoid this sort of situation your communications with Amazon, your email server, etc., are protected by the SSL encryption (HTTPS) used by such sites. I seriously doubt that the average campground hacker is sophisticated enough to deal with cracking SSL. I suspect that the hack that affected you was more mundane in nature. Did you, by chance, use the same passwords on all the accounts that were hacked? These days I have so many varied passwords that I'd never remember them all if I didn't use a password manager. What's even better IMO is that more and more phone apps are going to fingerprint recognition rather than passwords. I can now log into my Wells Fargo app with my Android phone using a fingerprint which IMHO is safer than using a password.
  11. So far the SD ballots we've been presented with have contained little more than the Congressional and presidential choices, a judge or two, and some referendums. In 2018 I spent the time to study the referendum issues and felt that my vote was just as well thought out as anyone else's. One nice thing about voting in SD is that there are only ~500k registered voters of whom between 300-400k typically vote in major elections. As a result one's vote is much more "powerful" than it is, for example, in a huge state like TX.
  12. There was an effort in the SD legislature a couple of years ago to prevent voting by full-time RVers. It didn't pass. IMHO the State likes the license and registration money that comes in from people who don't drive on the roads or use any other State services. I'm not going to worry about it until it becomes a lot more of a threat. FWIW the Minnehaha County (Sioux Falls) registrar used to required a night's stay in the county (not just the state) in order to permit a person to register to vote, but this requirement "magically" got eliminated when there was a large influx of new residents to the county after MyDakotaAddress went out of business. No sense putting MyBestAddress (and any other Minnehaha County mail services) at a disadvantage relative to mail forwarders located in other SD counties.
  13. I wasn't trying to justify the number. I simply did a mathematical calculation.
  14. FWIW 2% inflation for 40 years results in a inflation factor of 2.2. So $200K 40 years from now would be the equivalent of $90k today.
  15. There's nothing wrong with using your phone as a hotspot, it's all about the plan you have to do it under. Most smartphone plans limit the amount of 4G/LTE data per month for hotspot usage. When that is exceeded the speed of the connection drops significantly. As for Consumer Cellular, it's primarily a service marketed to people who don't expect to use much data. It's largest monthly plan is 20GB and if you exceed that your speed drops and you are charged $5/GB for the excess. Furthermore, if you use more than 30GB in a month you may be shut down until the next billing period. The attached screenshot is from the Consumer Cellular website. IMHO if you're planning to use a significant amount of data you should change carriers.
  16. Just as with Uber, this works in cities and some tourist areas. But if, for example, you wanted to tour the John Day Fossil Bed National Monument in eastern OR you'd be a long, long way from the nearest car rental agency.
  17. This is another one of those endless debates because each "side" is deeply entrenched. We've actually had the experience of doing both; we had a Class B Roadtrek followed by a 27' Class B+ for several years. I used to hate having to pack things up in the morning just so we could go sightseeing. Furthermore, if you made a snap decision to go out to dinner after you had come back to the site you had to disconnect things all over again Furthermore, when we left a few things on our site to illustrate that we were coming back, we even had the experience of having things taken. With the 40' MH we currently own I don't see how one could possibly exist without a car. It's all the small stores and other places where it simply won't fit and Uber/Lyft are simply not options out in the more rural parts of the country. Even taking the MH grocery shopping would be a challenge in many locations. IMHO Uber is a taxicab replacement service in a medium to large city. It's not like hiring a driver to take you sightseeing. I know I won't change anyone's mind, but we, at least, have done both and can speak from experience, not speculation.
  18. Aerodynamic drag is a function of the square of velocity. Therefore, relatively modest increases in speed can have larger than expected impact on mpg. All other things being equal (and they're not) the drag at 70 mph would be ~36% more than the drag at 60 mph.
  19. We own an RV site at an "ownership" park where we have a Casita and storage shed. We continue to live in the MH when we are there.
  20. I use the Microsoft OneCloud which integrates with Windows computers and preserves any file structure you may have your photos or documents in. My DLSR creates new dated folders every time I download its photos and my phone's photos are automatically uploaded to a Camera Roll folder in almost real time. I use the cloud for the primary storage for all documents I create; there are "shadow directories" on my "D" drive of all docs, but they are only downloaded when needed.
  21. With all due respect you don't understand the situation. The dish doesn't do anything other than receive the signal. It doesn't know if the signal is HD or SD. The reason you haven't been able to receive HD is a combination of having SD receivers, but primarily it is because your dish can't receive the frequencies that HD is being broadcast on. After the changeover, the 101 satellite will be broadcasting HD signals on frequencies your dish can receive. If you'd like to better understand the changes that are going to occur you might wish to read the beginning of this rather lengthy thread. Afterwards, I'd be quite willing to answer your questions. Here's the thread: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f53/official-announcement-of-directv-2019-changes-413736.html
  22. IMHO someone who thinks that 100,000 miles is an issue for a large-block diesel doesn't know enough to buy one. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but for engines like that 100,000 miles is barely broken in. Sure the mileage affects most of the other parts, but if this is your mindset you'd probably be better off buying something new. JMO
  23. Our 18" fluorescent fixtures had terribly bulb lifetimes. In one the "ballast" overheated and nearly caused a fire. Using self-stick LED strips, my costs for conversion of each fixture was <$25, not all that much more than replacing the tubes. Changed them to LEDs ~5 years ago and haven't replaced a tube since!
  24. Over eight years we've had two sets of Blue Ox locking pins. The first set used a "conventional" key and the ends snapped into place over the tip of the pin as you pushed them on. That was fine until one day one of the bases came off and left our toad dangling from one tow arm. The current set of pins uses rotary barrel keys and the ends lock very securely on the pins. Furthermore, the key can't be removed until the end is securely seated on the pin. A much better design IMO.
  25. No, I'll continue to look at plans until I find an "acceptable" plan from an "acceptable" (to me) manufacturer. FWIW, we have an exceptionally large kitchen (which is one of the reasons we liked the MH we have). IMHO most MH kitchens in current models are rather limited in counter and pantry space (partly because of the space needed for that "essential" half bath). To us, the small kitchens are such a turn-off that we've been dissuaded from even considering "moving up" even if we could afford or justify the cost. JMO
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