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About dsimpson

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  • Birthday 03/10/1946

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  1. After several days of using Networx to monitor data usage, it is beginning to look like Facebook is the major data hog in our case. We turned off the videos but Facebook is still using a lot of data. My wife has agreed to deal with that by visiting her Facebook page only once or twice a day. We'll see what happens.
  2. Thanks, Jack. I didn't know that the user had any control over Windows 10 updates.
  3. I considered this unlimited plan but the Verizon store salesperson told me that this plan began throttling data at 10 GB. How has this worked out for you?
  4. As a full-time RVer traveling around the country, I rely on a Verizon Jetpack for Internet access. I use a 24 GB monthly plan because the unlimited plan starts to throttle data at 10 GB. But I am startled to discover that the 24 GB is not enough. Two years ago, I was using an old 3G air card with unlimited data getting about 1 Mbs speeds on average. At the time, that seemed to be fine since I didn’t stream videos. But as I made a trip across country from Tucson, AZ to Virginia Beach, VA., my speeds dropped to about 130 kbs. That is not a typo. It’s about twice the old dial-up speeds – way too slow for the web pages of the time. So, I bit the bullet and upgraded to 4G and the Jetpack. My data usage exploded. Where my wife and I were using 5 GB/month under the old 3G plan, we quickly went to 16 GB/month with the new 4G Jetpack. The faster 4G speeds were great with one exception - web pages that might have taken a minute or more to load were now loading in a few second – too fast to abort when I saw that the content was not something I wanted to see. I have also noted that more web pages are running videos. In the past, Adobe Flash Player ran a lot of the videos and I discovered how to tell the Flash Player not to run videos without my permission. That no longer works. Most videos now seem to use another program. Also, my wife bought a new computer a year ago with Windows 10. This version seems to download updates without any option to postpone the download to a more opportune time when I have access to free Wi-Fi. These things seem to account for some, if not all, of my increased data usage. I use a program called Networx that monitors, in real time, my wireless data traffic on my laptop. When I am connected to my Jetpack, this helps me keep track of my Verizon data usage. I recently installed Networx on my wife’s computer and was amazed at the data usage when she viewed her Facebook page. It seemed that half her “friends” had videos running and this was using data at a rapid rate. My wife found a way to stop these videos. This morning, after a few minutes of downloading and reading emails, she used 400 MB. I assumed that Windows 10 had downloaded an update. The first 5 months of this year, we were in campgrounds that had good wi-fi and we rarely used our Jetpack. Starting July 5, we began using our Jetpack exclusively and discovered that our 16 GB plan was not enough. We went to the local Verizon store and increased our limit to 24 GB and even that was not enough last month. Any suggestions on why we are using so much data and any solutions to this problem? We do not stream videos. We even stopped watching the occasional short You Tube video.
  5. Another useful, free product is Networx. It not only displays speed but it also displays data usage over a selected period of time.
  6. Look at the Forest River forum. I think one of the posts said they are made in Alabama. Another post said the 614 is made in China.
  7. I was at Discount Tire yesterday and another customer was telling me about a new tire that Goodyear introduced earlier this year. The guy at the register confirmed what he said. This post on the Forest River forum describes this tire in more detail. The 255/85R16 replaces my Goodyear 614 but is only about half the price ($192 vs $353). The only drawback is the Endurance has a higher profile than the 614 so these tires cannot be mixed - I would have to replace all tires, including my spare. The next time I have to replace two or more tires, I may switch to the Endurance. The Endurance 255/85R16 is a load range E at 80 psi but has a load rating of 4080 lbs. Here is the Goodyear specs.
  8. Traditional 401k. With a Roth IRA, the taxes are not deferred.
  9. I hear you, bigjim. Anyone with a pension or any type of additional income can end up in my situation. My mandatory minimum withdrawal caused the taxable amount of my social security to increase by almost an equal amount. So, not only am I paying 15% tax on my IRA withdrawal, I am also paying a 15% tax on the extra social security that is taxable.
  10. I turned 70 ½ this year and began making mandatory IRA withdrawals. I received a big surprise when I began to file my tax returns. I am retired military and, for 16 years after retirement, I worked for a civilian company and made contributions to a 401k plan. During my peak earning years, my marginal tax rate was 25%. The money that I was putting into my 401k would have been taxed at that rate. I retired from that company and when eligible, I made a couple of withdrawals from my 401k to supplement my military pension. The year before I began drawing Social Security, I made a 401k withdrawal which raised my federal income tax an amount that translated to a 14% tax on the 401k withdrawal. And that illustrates the advantage of the 401k tax deferred income – income that would have been taxed at 25% was actually taxed at 14%. As the above example illustrates and I was led to expect, when I began making 401k withdrawals, my marginal tax rate would be lower than when I made my contributions into my 401k plan. And that remains true today for me. My marginal tax rate this year is 15%. But when I start making mandatory withdrawals from my 401k this year, I will be paying 27% of that in increased taxes. How can that be? The amount of Social Security that is taxable depends on income. Since I receive a military pension, a portion of my Social Security is taxable. So, even though I remain at a marginal tax rate of 15%, my taxes increase much more than 15% of my 401k withdrawal because the taxable portion of my social security income will increase by a large amount. This year, my taxes will increase by 27% of my 401k withdrawal, higher than my marginal tax rate when I made the contribution to my 401k plan. Now, I’m not expecting any sympathy for a triple-dipper. I just wanted those in my situation to be aware. If I had it to do all over, I would have made much larger 401k withdrawals each year prior to starting Social Security and delayed drawing Social Security until a later age.
  11. There is a book in the libraries of many of the Escapees Rainbow and Co-Op parks that describes the history of Escapees. I can never remember the title but I believe it was written by Kay Peterson. One chapter is devoted to the creation of the co-op parks and describes the many challenges that the early Escapees had to overcome to build a park. The two major ones were the costs of land and the regulatory burden. I think these two items might be a major issue in New Jersey compared to the rural areas of the southwest where many of the existing Escapees parks are located.
  12. Rincon County West RV Resort. We have stayed here for the winter the past 3 years. http://www.rinconcountry.com/west-park/home/
  13. That is where I stay whenever I am in the vicinity of Yosemite. Beautiful park, price is right. 28 miles from Park Sierra to south entrance of Yosemite and then another 30 miles to Yosemite valley. But the park is soooo crowded that I don't think I would ever visit in the summer again.
  14. I've read through the documentation and am ready to begin troubleshooting the problem. So what happens? The problem goes away. Oh well, I am ready when it comes back, which will probably be the coldest morning of the season. I opened the exterior furnace cover and and everything is easy to see and access is available to most components (except the sail switch.) The circuit board has a diagnostic LED that flashes from 1 to 5 times if the furnace fails to ignite, giving some indication of the nature of the problem.
  15. Thanks for all the great info. We live full-time in this RV and use everything on a daily basis so no bird's nest. We are currently staying at an RV resort with good power - no boondocking on battery power. I have a Magnum 2000 inverter with a 3-stage charger which I feel would supply a cleaner 12v than a typical RV converter. My 12v supply now reads 13.3 although I have not yet taken a reading at the furnace. I haven't had any maintenance performed on this furnace during the 8 years I have owned the RV. Do any of you have periodic maintenance preformed on your furnace (or do it yourself?) How much does a RV tech typically charge for something like that?