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MeanderMan

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Everything posted by MeanderMan

  1. MeanderMan

    Have You Named Your RV?

    Since our motor home is our base to explore, and it provides a peaceful home, we came up with this:
  2. MeanderMan

    Class A Diesel Annual Service

    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.
  3. MeanderMan

    Dream Duty stations or Highway to Hell?

    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
  4. 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.
  5. MeanderMan

    Call Blocking Apps?

    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.
  6. MeanderMan

    Are you dreaming of a new RV?

    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.
  7. MeanderMan

    Motor home slides

    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.
  8. MeanderMan

    Gas or Diesel for full-time?

    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.
  9. MeanderMan

    Nogales Dental ?

    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.
  10. MeanderMan

    New KOA CEO

    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.
  11. MeanderMan

    Telescoping Ladder

    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.
  12. MeanderMan

    Best Mobile Carrier for Full Timers

    Another vote for Verizon; ten years of full timing and well satisfied with both coverage and customer service.
  13. MeanderMan

    How many of you all have blogs?

    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....
  14. MeanderMan

    Safety While Full timing

    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.
  15. MeanderMan

    Water Tank Rinser?

    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.
  16. MeanderMan

    Who uses R Village?

    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.
  17. MeanderMan

    How much weight do you carry?

    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.
  18. MeanderMan

    SD Wheel Tax

    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.
  19. MeanderMan

    Question for Escapees Members

    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.
  20. MeanderMan

    Chipped windshield repair

    Check your insurance policy; while Progressive covers auto windshields, Motor homes are under the standard deductible.
  21. MeanderMan

    EternaBond instead of caulk

    There are a number of threads on this if you do a search, but I don't think anyone has had any problems. I did mine three years ago. Used 2" gray EB tape. The key is preparation - I used mineral spirits to thoroughly clean the gutters and surrounding area. Then slowly, carefully apply the tape. I used wooden popsicle sticks to smooth the tape into the gutters. After three years, it looks like the day I put it on. Much better than fighting the caulking.
  22. MeanderMan

    Medford unfriendly to RVers?

    Jeez, Desert Rat, you've spent so much time debating your position here I'm surprised you have any time to enjoy the RV lifestyle. I picture you hunched over your computer, coffee cup in hand, eagerly awaiting the next counterpoint. You won't get it from me, but here's a suggestion: - Be aware of the weather ahead. There's radio, internet, & TV to warn you so you won't have to line up on the side of the road with all those nasty truckers. - Spend the 10 bucks on a copy of "Days End". It lists lots of free/cheap places to park., even in the Medford/Ashland area. Take a deep breath, relax. The folks in Medford aren't going to march on your RV while parked in Wal-mart with torches and German Sheppards. Be happy, be tolerant...be an Escapee. Good night.
  23. MeanderMan

    Medford unfriendly to RVers?

    I agree completely with Big5er. Somehow, many in the RV community became self-deluded into a sense of entitlement when it comes to Wal-Mart parking. Calling an entire community "RV Unfriendly" because they don't allow parking in Wal-Mart is nonsense. And comparing truckers being allowed to overnight in a truck stop to RVers parking in Wal-Mart is apples and oranges. Truckers are required by federal law to take breaks, they're working, and truck stops prepare areas for them - how does this compare to an RVer? I've lost all respect for Nick Russel's writing after his latest petulant tantrum. So he can skip Medford and I'll skip his "Journal" and blog.
  24. We used Sweets Mobile RV Service while staying at Sparks Marina RV Park last year. He ordered and replaced our water heater within one day, did a great job. His number is (775) 786-4545. Hope this helps.
  25. MeanderMan

    Tricare for Life Question

    I'm confused as to why someone on TFL would want to use the VA. With TFL, you can choose any doctor that accepts Medicare (almost all), change if you don't like them, and travel freely throughout the US (like we do) without worrying about finding a VA clinic. We've never paid more than the annual $147 Medicare copay since TFL kicked in. Like others, we use Express Scripts for maintenance meds, and Wal-Mart or Safeway for one-time scripts. My BIL is a vet, not retired, low income, no insurance, and uses the VA which provides him great service, and which without, would leave him without any medical care. The problem is the extraordinary wait times. I wonder if more TFL-eligible retirees stopped using the VA if those without any other choice would be better served.
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