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Everything posted by MeanderMan

  1. I suspect that how a SD resident feels about Rvers voting is all about their personal politics. To illustrate, a few years ago we were volunteering at the Patagoinia-Sonoita Nature Conservancy preserve in Southern Arizona. An older lady who I was taking on a birding tour saw our motorhome and our license plates and wanted to know if we were SD residents. I explained that we were full time RVers which triggered a lengthy diatribe about how RVers shouldn't be allowed to vote in SD because they were all Republicans and unfairly tilted the elections. I explained that after years of traveling the country and teaching children and adults about nature that i had become a Democratic-leaning Independent. She thought for a moment and then said "well, in that case I guess you should be allowed to vote".
  2. Another way to look at this; I spent 30 years on active duty, living in 14 different states and three countries. I never lived in my home of record where I was registered to vote, so should I have been denied the right? As a 14-year full timer, I've voted in SD since we started, but only in the general election. I don't know anything about the local candidates and don't feel that reading their election brochure is a good way to make a determination. I'd be fine with a requirement to deny my vote in local elections, but there's no reason I should be denied a general election vote.
  3. Thanks, all, for the good info. I "flew" the route on google earth (and forgot I had a copy of the Mountain Directory West), but thought firsthand experience would be helpful. We've been full timing throughout the west for ten years in this motor home, so we'll give it a try. Sure cuts down the mileage from Lone Pine to Las Vegas.
  4. We're visiting Lone Pine next month and I'd like to drive across Death Valley on highway 190 to Death Valley Junction. It's not identified on my trucker's atlas as a suitable route, and I'm wondering if it's OK for my 40' DP. Anyone made this trip? Thanks!
  5. I've enjoyed reading all the posts on this subject. Except for the paranoia about rollovers, they were all useful and worth considering. As someone who has owned four 5th wheels and two motorhomes, and have been full timing for 14 years, I'd add one more thing to consider; weight. When we lived in our fivers I always had to consider the weight - the tires and suspension were limited in what they would carry. In our 40' DP, we started with a carrying capacity of nearly 5000 pounds. In addition, the structure is stronger and the interior furnishing better because there's no restriction on what the tires/suspension can carry. True, there are fivers that have a large weight capacity, but you'll need a MDT to pull it. In addition, we volunteer for 3-4 month periods in places we want to explore, and our AWD CRV gets 28MPG - a big advantage over a large pickup. Not to say the MH is better than a fiver - we' enjoyed our fiver days, but at this point in our lives we prefer the motor home. The bottom line is to get out and enjoy the RV lifestyle, no matter what type of RV you choose.
  6. I agree that 1500 each is generally sufficient. We've been full timing for almost 14 years; we started with everything we "thought" we'd need, and each year tossed another one of those essentials away. It's a learning process, you'll find you evolve as time goes on, especially in the kitchen. Be careful when reading the literature, and be sure and have it weighed (four corners) before buying, if possible.
  7. Since our motor home is our base to explore, and it provides a peaceful home, we came up with this:
  8. Once you're comfortable with understanding what you need each year, consider using Speedco, the Jiffy Lube for truckers. No appointment, fast service (you can stay in the motor home), and reasonable prices. I just had my annual fluids & filters (oil change, lube, filter, primary fuel filter and coolant check) at the Spokane Speedco. I was in and out in one hour and the cost was $245. Just remember that you'll be entering the bay from the opposite direction than the trucks due to the rear engine, so park away from the entry and check in. These guys work on diesel trucks all day and are knowledgeable and I've found them to be professional.
  9. Best: Yokota AB, Japan McChord AFB, WA Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ Holloman AFB, NM Indifferent: England AFB, LA Galena AFS, AK Scott AFB, IL Nellis AFB, NV Bad: DaNang AB, RVN Altus AFB, OK Andrews AFB, MD Castle AFB, CA Keesler AFB, MS
  10. My wife uses the convection portion of the microwave/convection oven all the time. A while back we spent time in a vacation rental where she used a conventional oven. Afterward, she said she was glad to be back in the RV where she could use hers. It took a bit of time for her to understand how to best use hers, but she wouldn't have a regular oven now.
  11. My technique is simple; I don't answer any calls that aren't in my contact list. Period. If it's important, they'll leave a voice mail. I checked every call that didn't leave a voice mail for a year using google, and every one was a spoof/spam/robot call. So if they want to talk to me, they have to leave a voice mail.
  12. We've always said we'd love to have a Class B fully-contained van to pull behind our DP so that we could go "camping". We explore a lot of backroads in our CRV, and see places that we'd love to spend a night at, but at 40' and 32K lbs, we wouldn't get 1/4 mile off the pavement.
  13. We're on our 8th RV now after 40 years of RVing. The addition of slides was a huge improvement in RVs, and in the beginning (90s to 2010 or so) they were simple and reliable. Manufacturers didn't seem to cut corners, and the hydraulic systems or electric motors were large and able to compensate if one side was a bit uneven. Our 2006 DP with HWH hydraulics has never failed in 8 years; it generates a massive amount of power to the slides. In recent years, however, the effort to cut cost and use smaller, cheaper components has caused problems. Visit the Winnebago site on IRV2, you see that over half of the owners of new MHs are having problems. The new slides are like an older Porsche sports car- if everything is perfectly tuned, they're great, but if one small component gets just slightly out of kilter, the whole system fails. My opinion, for what it's worth, is get a two-slide model that's ten years old. It will be reliable and the curb side, without slides, will give you a great patio area with your awning.
  14. We've full timed in a 37' 2-slide Workhorse W24 and a 40' 4-slide DP. We traveled all over the West over mountain passes without problem, although the engine noise required turning up the radio volume. Maintenance costs were low, and I could buy parts anywhere. We love our DP, but the maintenance costs are much more than the gasser. As a full timer, it's a rare location that will let you work on the rig, so you're limited to diesel maintenance facilities. The DP certainly drives better, but you'll spend a lot more time sitting. Keep looking, the right choice for you will become apparent after a while.
  15. Nogales is a pretty busy port of entry for trucks. We have SKP friends in Benson who have had good experiences in Naco, a small town with easy crossings. You can Google Naco MX dentists; there are some with reviews.
  16. When we first started RVing in the late 70s we almost always stayed at KOAs. Like a good hotel chain, you could expect a certain standard. Today, that consistency has disappeared; there are as many poor ratings on KOAs as any other park. The only consistency is the high price of a stay, geared for a family with children. As such, they have no appeal for us, and we only stay when no other option is available.
  17. I've had the folding step ladders, the four-piece folding ladder, and the telescoping. I much prefer the telescoping; it's sturdy, at 12' tall enough, and folds to a size that I can easily fit in a cargo bay. I glued a strip of carpet along the top rung and when cleaning the windshield extend the ladder just over the glass. It works great, and I don't have that ugly stepladder hanging from my rear roof ladder.
  18. Another vote for Verizon; ten years of full timing and well satisfied with both coverage and customer service.
  19. We started a travel blog ten years ago when we started full timing. No politics, very little personal stuff, mostly just travel and photos. While we originally started it for our friends and family, after all this time it's a great way for us to remember where and when we've been. So many places, so little memory....
  20. We've been full timing and traveling throughout the US for over ten years and have never felt threatened. As others have said, being conscious of your surroundings is probably the most important factor. For the first two years I carried a weapon, but frankly after 30 years of active duty I had no interest in maintaining proficiency, and a gun owner who isn't proficient is a danger to himself and those around him. So I chucked the gun, bought a can of bear spray, and live happier, if that's possible, than before. For me, enjoying the RV lifestyle means freedom from worry, including worrying about carrying permits, reciprocity, etc. And truthfully, I've never met another full timer who had an experience where a gun would have been useful. But to each their own.
  21. As a full timer, I flush twice a year since we have a water softener. I use the standard plastic flush attachment and it works well in increasing the pressure. Before I start, I use a sheet of aluminum foil folded double to make a funnel under the discharge fitting so that the water doesn't splash all over, and alternate buckets to catch the calcium-filled water. I also remove the pressure fitting, clean it with Lime Away, then flush from the top.
  22. We joined RVillage when it first started, but rapidly became disenchanted as it grew and became more and more labor intensive. Over the years, I've bookmarked a number of web sites that furnish the information I need, but I've found RVillage to be too time consuming to navigate in the time I'm willing to devote to it. And we learned the hard way to be careful of accepting RVillage invitations from folks we don't know when we had a very bad experience. The bottom line for us is that with all of the organizational forums, Facebook, and specialized forums, the all-in-one everything-at-one-location concept of RVillage requires more time than we're willing to spend.
  23. We've found that over the ten years we've been full timing that we get lighter each year. We started out with 3K lbs, and each year found something else we hadn't used for a year or so and gave it to Goodwill. Over time, you'll find that things you thought you'd need sit unused, and for us, we spend a lot of time exploring and so don't have many hobby items. But do have your MH weighed and use the tire manufactures inflation tables.
  24. When we began full timing ten years ago, two things about being a South Dakota resident stood out; the low excise tax (then 3%, now 4) and the lower vehicle insurance. In the years since, we've bought two motorhomes and five tow vehicles, saving over $10,000 in sales tax over what we'd have paid in Texas. This is why I don't consider the wheel tax a burden.
  25. We use the parks, like the magazine, but tell prospective members to join for no other reason for the SKP's support to the CARE facility, a one-of-a-kind, much needed place that means so much to those who stay there.
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