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Al F

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About Al F

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    Photography, Scenic traveling & camping.

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  1. Don't know what fixed the problem, but my "No Internet" problem went away sometime in early March. I guess Verizon fixed the problem.
  2. Al F


    We travel the back roads, dirt and sometimes mild 4x4 roads. I like and buy Benchmark atlases. However nothing beats looking at the satellite view of the roads with Google Earth, or the satellite views on Google Maps and/or Bing Maps. I usually start with Benchmark and/or NF maps and then go to the online views. Sometimes I am amazed to find ground level 360 degree photos of the dirt/gravel roads. I know of no way to know if there is a 360* view unless I click on the icon to see if there is a photo. We also, at times, take our RV back to boondock spots on the dirt roads, but not before we drive the toad to check out the access.
  3. Eternabond tape has a variety of tapes which MAY adhere to your plastic however I don't know for sure if any of them will work with your plastic. Go to Amazon.com and search for "eternabond tape" to see a selection of their tapes. The problem is, lots and lots of adhesives adheres to aluminum. However "plastic" is a different animal. There is a lot of plastic which needs a very specific adhesive for the specific plastic. This makes it very difficult to give a quick answer as to which adhesive you need. It just depends on the plastic. What makes this even more difficult is unless one of us has experience with the specific plastic you are using it may be difficult to provide an informed answer.
  4. Al F

    Alaska 2019

    Here are some pictures of an oncoming RV caravan we met on a narrow section about 5-10 miles east of Chicken. The vast majority of the road is not this narrow. Since we drive slow on this type of road, about 20-25mph as soon as I saw the oncoming traffic, I pulled to the right and stopped. Large 5th wheel approching Large MH approching Large MH rolling past us at about 15mph. Much too fast IMO.
  5. Al F

    Alaska 2019

    40' motorhomes and 35' to 40' 5th wheels take the route every year. "not bad" to "awful" is all a matter of perspective. What one person considers "not bad" is what another person considers awful. Certainly road conditions play a large part. If it has been a long time, several weeks since the gravel parts have not been maintained and there has been lots of rain, there will be pretty good potholes. We drove the TOTWH in Aug 2016 and found road conditions to be good. Some fog and light rain but nothing bad. Link to our blog entry for that part of our AK trip. We planed for boondocking along the road so we would have a relaxed drive and enjoy the sights. Details are in our blog entry for that part of our AK trip. Link at the bottom of this reply. The Yukon part of the road was easier to drive than the Alaska part. Much wider in YT. The dirt part in AK was pretty narrow in a few spots. Whenever we met oncoming traffic in any narrow parts of the road, we always pulled as far to the right as possible, and either stopped or slowed to 5mph or less. We almost never drove over 30-35mph. We were in no rush. At least one large MH drove past us at a much greater speed than I would have. We were stopped so as long as they didn't hit us, we were fine. Some pictures in our blog. To make the drive from Dawson City to Tok in one day, makes for a long days drive, unless you hurry. If you hurry you expose yourself to more risk and possible damage from a random pothole or greater risk when you meet oncoming traffic. DO plan on staying in TOK or Chicken, AK or Dawson City, YT for a day or several days if needed for nice weather. The drive will be much more enjoyable. Link to our blog entry: http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2017/01/tok-to-dawson-yt-via-top-of-world-totw.html
  6. I have to go back to the old adage: "It is not how much money you have, it is what you do with the money you have that leads to success!" Taking $250K in 1973 and just spending it, not continuing earn some sort of income is a good example of what not to do. On the other hand, the couple who have the RV-Dreams website and blog quit the corporate world in 2005 with around $200K and started fulltimeing. Through hard work and dedication they have made a successful business out of the RV world. That includes their nest egg taking a nose dive in the great recession of 2008/2009. While they didn't provide their annual income from the corporate world, I would guess their combined income was well above $100K/year before going fulltime in an RV. Blog: https://rv-dreams.typepad.com/ Website: https://www.rv-dreams.com/
  7. OK. So just what are the details to provide information to the people following this forum? Vague statements provide NO useful information. Prime example: how much money does one need to have to have a 90% assurance that you will not run out of money in 30 years of retirement, by taking out $40,000 (and adjusting for inflation) each year? Most financial planners give numbers like 3% to 5% withdrawal rates. These withdrawal rates many times means you will die with zero money in the account at exactly the year you planned for.
  8. NOTE: The label shown above only shows the MAX output of the adapter. It does NOT show the power the CPAP actually uses. The amount of power the CPAP actually uses is determined by the air setting and the setting for the humidifier. The actual power used, could very well be 50% of what the above label shows. I assume most CPAP humidifiers work like my wife's ResMed. There is a heater plate in the water reservoir to warm the water. The warmer the water the more water vapor is released into the air stream. Anyone more than just occasionally parking w/o elect hookups overnight, really must have a good battery monitor. That is a monitor which continuously displays the amps going in or out of your battery AND keeps a running total of the number of amp hours(AH) used. The battery monitor I use is a Trimetric like this one: http://www.bogartengineering.com/trimetric.htm There are other brands around. These monitors cost around $150. While it is possible to try to use the battery voltage to guesstimate the SOC (50% full, 75% full etc) the only way to insure long life of your batteries is with a good battery monitor. A lot of the replies to this topic recommend buying expensive brand name batteries. Keep in mind you can ruin an expensive battery just as quickly as you can golf cart batteries you buy at Costco or Sam's Club for around $90 each. Once you have the monitor you can instantly see the number of amps the CPAP is using. This way you will know just how much battery you will need.
  9. It could be my wife doesn't have the problem you have because she uses the nose only mask.
  10. If you turn off the humidifier and any heater for the hose, you will find the CPAP only draws 1-2 amps of 12V DC power. My wife uses a CPAP every night and just leaves the humidifier off. Her CPAP draws about 1amp, or about 8 amp hours each night. I know some folks say they cannot tolerate the CPAP w/o the humidifier sooooo those will need lots more battery capacity.
  11. About a poll of fulltimers budget. A poll gives numbers but leaves out specifics. Where you stay, how far a distance you travel each year, how often and where you go to eat out, the cost of your RV, etc, etc all make a huge difference in your budget. One of the best sources of information is a multi part series of articles (actually blog entries, but written as articles) from Wheelingit.us. NOTE: I just wrote "information"! Not, this is how much "I" spend, or John & Jane Doe spends, or this is what you should do, etc. The articles give information to assist people in making decisions. Well, yes there is some details on what Wheelingit.us spends and some about what others spend. However most of the info is there to help people make good estimates and decisions. Here is the link to the first entry. At the bottom of the entry is a link to the next article. https://wheelingit.us/2017/02/09/the-costs-of-fulltime-rving-part-i-budgeting-planning-your-spend/
  12. I pretty much agree with the principals provided in the quote above, but I do want to add some perspective. -- Retiring today with $2M and useing a withdrawal rate of only 3% (4% is usually the accepted rate, but with the young age I use a 3% rate) would give you $60,000/year. Pretty decent income. -- The vast majority of people in the 55-60 year old range are physically capable of supplementing their income with various types of work, including volunteer work which provides free parking with utilities. Others go to Amazon for a 6-8 weeks stint, usually with free camping at an RV Park. -- Delaying your full retirement a few years until at least 62 and start early Social Security would greatly reduce your savings requirements. SS income is nothing to sneered at. We have a friend who recently retired at 66 with 31 years of relatively low income, think of $10 to $11/hour in today's pay. Her SS is about $1550/month ($18,600/yr). -- If you consider many folks in this life long low income situation are couples with dual working history they could be looking at drawing SS at age 62 with a combined SS income of about $28,000/yr. (That $28K is the full retirement amount of $18,600 our friend has, reduced by 25% for starting SS at age 62) That puts a pretty good dent in the need for a $2M nest egg. -- Now about needing $5M nest egg for retirement 35 or 40 years from now. #1 Make sure you participate in any 401K type plan available to you to at least any level matched by the company. #2 With 35-40 years to go, there is only one place to put your money: The stock market!! Historically you are guaranteed excellent returns over that time period. Including if you invested in 1928, the year before the '29 stock market crash. It could be prudent to put some part of your money in an international stock fund. Does anyone really believe that over the next 20-40 years that the total value of all the companies in the USA & and the world is going to be less than today's value????? Really? #3 Note that Vanguard offers a Total Stock Market fund at an extremely low management fee of .04%. That is you pay only $40 per $10,000 per year. Other companies offer similar low cost funds. #4 Back to 401K plans (also 403(b) plans for teachers, etc). Many companies only offer high fee investment funds. Some charging 1-4% per year. That means you are paying 2.5 to 7.5 times as much ($100-$300/year) for someone to manage your money with a much lower return over 35-40 years that the very low cost fund. #5 With any of these high cost 401K plans you can and SHOULD do an annual, no cost, direct roll over into a IRA with a low cost fund. You just have to call Vanguard, Fidelity, etc and give them the details of your 401K and they will transfer the funds.
  13. Not MPG (miles per gallon) but DPTM (Deaths per Thousands of Miles)
  14. I do take the risks. Every day I get on the highway! 40,000 deaths each year for the last 2 years. 30,000 plus every year for the last umpteen years. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of injuries every year on the highway. Then there are the home invasions which happen even in "good" neighborhoods. Just putting things in perspective. We are in more danger just living in the USA than flying to Cabo for a weeks stay.
  15. Thank you for doing the math. So $5,000,000 more than what one would need for retirement 40 years from now. Maybe folks will ONLY need 3 million in investments to retire. 🙂
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