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Second Chance

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About Second Chance

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    Travel, photography, sailing, world cuisines, music.

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  1. Second Chance

    Verizon Unlimited Data Plan for Jetpacks

    This is correct information. We moved both smart phones and the 6620L MiFi from a post-paid account to the new prepaid account using the same phone numbers and SIM cards. A CSR that knows what they are doing is essential. Rob
  2. Second Chance

    Verizon Unlimited Data Plan for Jetpacks

    OK... after about two hours on the phone with Verizon last evening (and discussions with my wife in between phone conversations, etc.), here's what we did: Not being on a "grandfathered" unlimited plan (we were on a New Verizon 24GB plan), my wife REALLY wanted me to move the MiFi (6620L) over to the prepaid unlimited plan. It took two calls to get it done, but the second prepaid support person I got hold of had just been trained on the new plans and it took him less than 5 minutes to do it - $65/month unlimited/unthrottled for the MiFi. During the conversation with him, I was talking about lowering the data on our post-paid plan for the phones. The tech asked why we didn't just move the phones to a prepaid plan quoted a number that was significantly lower than it was going to be on the post-paid plan and with three times the data for each phone. It seemed like a no-brainer. We now have everything on a prepaid plan for about $90 less than or total post-paid plan was and with unlimited data on the MiFi. During the process I expressed to my wife the concerns I share with some of you above - namely, what if Verizon decides to change the prepaid plan since there is no contract? She instructed me to say this on the forum: "I would not have agreed to sell the house and hit the road full-time if I had dwelled on what-ifs and worried about what might have happened. Just switch the plan and let me enjoy the unlimited data!" Now you know who's really in charge in our family... Rob PS - the knowledgeable person who finally got this done quickly and flawlessly gave me his business cell number: If anyone is interested, PM me.
  3. Second Chance

    Verizon Unlimited Data Plan for Jetpacks

    We have a (discontinued) 24GB post-paid plan with two phones and the JetPack 6620L that runs $184/month with my military discount. I have a question for those more knowledgeable than I am in these things: If we were to move the JetPack from our post-paid plan to an unlimited pre-paid plan and reduce the data on the post-paid plan for the two phones, what are the chances that Verizon would change the pre-paid plan for the JetPack on me down the road (since I can't go back to our current plan once it's changed)? Is this a gamble? Rob
  4. Second Chance

    Fulltiming? What Regrets do/did you have?

    No regrets, here (about the lifestyle, anyway). We don't "stay put," though - even in the winter - unless it has to do with a new grandbaby or a serious illness with one of our mothers. A rolling stone gathers no moss, as the Kingston Trio said. I could tell my wife was serious when she looked at me yesterday and said, "I've been thinking." Yesterday was a travel day and she had watched me remove the ground tackle (chocks, levelers, etc.) and hitch up in the morning and ("Strike that, reverse it. Thank you.") unhitch, level and set up in the afternoon. She was regretting not waiting the few months until auto-leveling was standard equipment on our fifth wheel. She's also concerned about me climbing up a ladder or on top of the rig to sweep off the slides when we've stayed under trees. So, her "thinking" was about me doing these things when I'm 70 or 75 (I'm only 65 at the moment). We prefer the floorplans, living arrangements and storage in a fifth wheel as opposed to a motor coach, so I guess we'll be thinking about a few upgrades to the rig (auto-leveling and slide toppers). In three years and two months, we've put 26,000 miles on the rig and logged 170 stays (some were in the same place as we have favorites near family, etc.). We have enjoyed every day of it... well, except for when we both caught pneumonia and she spent five nights in the hospital. That would have happened whether we were in the RV or the house, however, since it followed a visit with some of the grandkids. The only times we've been bored were our own fault(s) - we failed to get motivated, get off our duffs, and get out to do something. We even enjoy the rainy days or cold nights curled up with a good book on our Kindles (that would be the same in a stix 'n brix, too). Finally, Dale Carnegie said, "If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." I find that it I'm worried about something, my best therapy is to find something to look forward to and do. Rob
  5. Second Chance

    Best place to register new Airstream

    Verify that. Both times we've done this, we were charged the sales tax for the state of Texas - not where we purchased the vehicle. Rob
  6. Second Chance

    Best place to register new Airstream

    If you are a Texas resident (i.e. have a Texas driver's license and your other vehicle(s) are registered in Texas), you do NOT have to register the Airstream in Washington. Many full-time RVers use Texas to establish and maintain their legal domicile, anyway. We are "Texans" and have purchased vehicles out of state and registered them in Texas by mail on two occasions. Just have the dealership do it for you through your Texas county tax office. Rob Edit/PS: I'm a veteran (retired) but not disabled, so I can't answer your question about lifetime tags. Sorry.
  7. Second Chance

    Keystone/Alpine 3701 vs Grand Designs 380fl

    Dealer selection for purchase doesn't make quite as big a difference with Grand Design as it does with some other brands. GD will authorize the use of another dealer, RV service business, or mobile tech for warranty repairs. We've worked directly with GD Customer Service on parts where I could do the work myself and they've authorized a mobile tech for warranty repairs on two separate occasions - once when we were in an RV park across the street from the local GD dealer! (That particular local dealer has a terrible reputation and I refused to use them.) Rob
  8. Second Chance

    going full time

    Please take Kirk's advice and read the material in the links he provided. As for timing, I will add what worked for us. We "launched" from South Carolina. Several months before hitting the road (even before the house officially went on the market), we established our Escapees Mail services and address. We then started moving things like cell phone service, our bank accounts, etc., over to our Escapees Texas address. In the weeks leading up to leaving, we changed our address with all of our other business relationships (friends and family already knew what was happening and that we preferred email, anyway.) We then sold the house and hit the road on 1 August 2015. We went north from SC to visit family and didn't arrive in Livingston, TX, until that October (driving on valid SC licenses, of course). The tax and DPS offices in Livingston are quite used to dealing with Escapees and it took us one morning to get our drivers' licenses and register the vehicles. Voter registration is accomplished when you get your driver's license, if I recall. We followed USAA's advice on when to change the address on our insurance and I don't remember exactly, but I think we changed the address with USAA Insurance when the vehicle registrations were changed. I hope this helps. Rob
  9. Second Chance

    Cabela's - Lexington KY

    You could give them a call and ask: (859) 286-5300. Rob
  10. Second Chance

    Water tanks full or empty

    We keep our fresh water tank at least 2/3 full for use while traveling (flushing the toilet, washing hands, etc.) and for instances like two weeks ago. We're currently staying on Aberdeen Proving Ground (an Army facility). One morning the city water went off (it's actually provided by the City of Aberdeen). I went outside to investigate and a city water crew had turned off a main valve next to the adjacent family housing area to remove an unused fire hydrant. Turns out the old schematics were not related to reality and it also shut off the water to the RV park. No problem! We had plenty of water to do anything we wanted until the city water came back on. It's one of the advantages of living in an RV. Next week when we pull out for Richmond, we'll have a full fresh water tank since we'll be dry camping for three nights behind my MIL's retirement community (and the retirement community is even putting in three full-hookup RV sites for family members with their new construction!). So, always be prepared. Rob
  11. Second Chance

    5th Wheel vs Travel Trailer

    I've already replied regarding the space concept, but I have experience with the (often) costly predicament of not having enough tow vehicle. When I got back into RVing after a 30 year break, I had a Chevy Tahoe. The Tahoe is built on Chevy's 1/2-ton truck chassis and has the same engine and transmission as their 1500 series trucks (5.3 liter gas and 4-speed automatic in the model year we had). We purchased a 26' travel trailer that had a GVWR around 7,400 pounds and was about 6,800 lbs. the way we loaded. With a decent WD hitch, the trailer handled OK (we still felt big trucks pass), but the 5.3 liter gas V8 struggled on grades and against headwinds. We found a new 2013 GMC 2500HD diesel still on a dealer's lot as the 2014s were coming out and got a really good deal. Talk about a tow monster! The move to the 3/4-ton suspension and the diesel motor was a night-and-day contrast with the Tahoe. We were happy campers... literally. Then, we made the decision to full-time and bought the fifth wheel. Per the CAT scales, the 2500HD had about 3,300 lbs rear axle capacity left with full fuel, me in the driver's seat, and an Andersen hitch in the bed (that's a lot for a 3/4-ton truck - but that's how it was configured). Loaded for full-timing, our 13,990 GVWR fifth wheel consistently put 3,000 - 3,100 lbs. on the pin and was within 200 - 300 lbs. of the rear axle weight rating on the truck. While still within specs, this wasn't as much of a safety margin as I like to have. There was also the constant nagging concern of "what would happen if I lost a rear tire on the truck?" We had been looking at upgrading to a 1-ton, preferably a DRW, but it was just too much money to eat the depreciation on a truck we bought new and pay the difference on a new truck. About 18 months into our full-time adventure, I had the 2500HD back at the dealer where we purchased it for service. Tony, who sold us the truck, had become a friend and liked to keep up with our travels so I went to find him to pass the time while the truck was back in the shop. Long story short, they had taken an F350 DRW diesel CC long bed in on trade and it was sitting on the lot. The Ford was one model year older than the GMC, but had 3,000 fewer miles on it (28K vs. 31K on the GMC - that's nothing for diesel trucks). Tony was concerned that it was going to take them a while to move the Ford on a GMC lot. I jokingly said, "Trade you even." He talked to the sales manager and everyone agreed! The next day we dropped a hitch in the factory puck system on the F350 and hit the road. My wife tells everyone that I'll let her buy more than four rolls of toilet paper now. You may have plans in your head now, but things change (as they did with us). There's a saying in "RV World" that goes, "Buy your last RV first." This means, avoid a string of money and depreciation-eating trades and buy what you'll be happy with in the long run first. The same goes for tow vehicles. We lucked out in trading for the F350. Had we not stumbled into that deal, we'd still be living on the edge with a truck that was barely capable of carrying the pin weight of our home on wheels. Had we started out with at least a 1-ton single rear wheel (with an extra 1,000 lbs. or so of payload), we'd probably still have the same truck and be OK with it. Rob
  12. Second Chance

    5th Wheel vs Travel Trailer

    As we sit here relaxing on a very rainy day (the remnants of Florence are passing over northern Maryland and our location at Aberdeen Proving Ground), a few thoughts come to mind. You have been given excellent advice on TTs vs. fivers, so I don't need to waste time and keystrokes on that. I'm thinking about space right now. On rainy days (or any kind of inclement weather, for that matter), comfortable seating and not feeling claustrophobic are important - at least to us. If I didn't have a place to put my Ekornes recliner, my wife didn't have a love seat she liked (I sit like a dog, she sits like a cat), and we didn't have enough space to breathe and move around, we'd go nuts. Slides help increase living space (we've not had any issues with our three slides) and enough window area goes a long way to relieving those feelings of claustrophobia. At 36', our floor plan is perfectly suited to us and our lifestyle - but may not be for everyone. In our travels we've run into people full-timing in everything from Class B vans, small Class Cs, and small travel trailers (think the fiberglass "eggs") to 42' toy-hauler fifth wheels and diesel pusher motorhomes. Everyone's tastes, needs and budget are different. The things that make the most difference are research, thought and planning. Rob
  13. Second Chance

    RV "Lawn" Chairs

    We, too, are fans of the Zero Gravity chairs. They are the most comfortable portable chairs we've ever sat in. We have two sizes: a larger one for me and a smaller one for my wife. We keep a couple of cheap camping chairs for when we need to carry them to someone else's site (the Zero Gravity chairs are heavier). Rob
  14. Second Chance

    Texas Inspection Question on Renewal

    We renew on-line rather than by mail. When renewing, we "digitally sign" a statement that the vehicle is currently out of state. Polk County mails out the sticker and registration and we stop at an inspection station the next time we enter Texas. Since there are no longer any physical inspection stickers, all this is tracked in a computer database that LEOs have access to if needed. I don't remember how the inspection fees were handled the last time we renewed. Rob