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Solo18

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  1. This is an old posting, but updated. Just want to add that I did not want full body paint when I bought my rig almost 10 years ago because I thought the cost was silly. However, I still get people who think my rig is 2 or 3 years old instead of 10! Well worth the price because I think it will be easier to sell someday.
  2. Just an important point--some of us live full time in our RVs without husbands or significant others to do maintenance stuff. It is not always easy, but it is doable and at least for many of us, worth the trouble. I also have age, being only 5 feet tall, and not being able to kneel against me. So, I use a stool to reach inside the utility compartment to hook up my sewage hose, and I use a wrench to tighten the water hose onto my motorhome because I do not have good hand strength. I also drive with a booster seat so I can see out better! Anyway, don't give up. It may well be that your husband and you will be able to work together once you get on the road. Also, if you sell your house, won't you be able to afford hiring people to do some RV maintenance?? Also, know that many of your neighbors will be more than willing to answer questions or make suggestions if you cannot figure things out. They probably will not want to do the work, but they can be very helpful with suggestions because of their experience.
  3. I read the book and did not see the movie. It was certainly sad, but what I did like was the portrayal of the sense of community these "nomads" had. They were not loaners completely escaping from society, but created one of their own making and to the best of their ability took care of one another. However, it says something about our society that older people do not have more resources to live their lives. Working at Amazon or sugar beet harvests can be good job for some older people, but a lot of people are working in those hard, physical jobs who should not be. And I do love the desert and its long vistas. It is not empty, as many people see it--you just have to look closely at it to see the beauty.
  4. I have not had water coming in my slides, but I do notice wind blowing in through the slides in colder weather and suspect that my one-moth-per-night has been coming in that way. Ditto for a few flies. My two slides have a wide piece of trim on the inside that has a thin piece of rubber or sealing on it. I bought some rubber sealing tape intended for home windows or doors, and my son helped me add it to what was already there. (Next to, not on top of old material.) It is very soft stuff and compresses easily, but has made a difference in terms of wind blowing in when slides are open. I also have fewer moths visiting me at night. My son is taller and a lot younger than me, so he also checked the outside seals on the slides. He replaced some, but could not reach the stuff on top because of the slide topper. I am waiting for new slide toppers to arrive, so will get the service people to do that part when the remove the old material.
  5. Be aware that most of the "clubs" like Passport America can only be used in commercial campgrounds, and most limit the specific days you can stay. Personally, I am a full-timer who almost entirely stays in national, state, and county campgrounds because I like to have a larger space and be out in nature instead of packed into a campground where I can hear their TV and conversations, even inside their rigs. At least wait until you know what your camping style is before you invest money in one of these plans. The only card I use on those rare times where i stay at a commercial campground is AARP and I have that because of my Medicare supplement insurance. When I first started out 9 years ago, I did join the KOA discount, but then got tired of the noise and crowded conditions in most of them.
  6. Part of the problem is knowing how you plan to use your rig while you are full-timing. The bigger the RV, the more of a pain it is to move it and find a camping spot big enough to hold it. Also more of a pain to drive it. Need to ask yourself the following: Are you planning to stay several months at a time in a commercial campground? Or are you planning to keep on the move and stay only a few days at a time in each place you visit? If your answer is positive to the first item, then a super-big RV makes sense. I could see you leaving such a rig in an RV resort for several months. However, if you plan to do a lot of moving around, you probably ought to consider a lot smaller rig. Just getting into and out of gas stations is going to be very difficult. And a lot of campgrounds or even "RV resorts" are not going to have spaces big enough for you with such a large rig. Pulling it through a large, or even a small city, is going to be really difficult. One thing you do not mention is how many people will be traveling with you. Do you need all that sleeping space for a large family? A lot of us make the mistake of assuming we will be taking along grandkids and company a lot of the time, and then find out that does not really happen that often. (That is how my aunt and uncle, who had no children, ended up with a house with five bedrooms and three full and two partial bathrooms!) I also agree about the steps up to the kitchen. You are going to be going up and down every time you want something from the refrigerator. That could get old quickly.
  7. The other interesting place in the Detroit area is Belle Isle. It is on the opposite side of the city from Dearborn, but it is basically an island in the middle of the Detroit River. It is now a state park and has an entrance fee, but once you are on it, you can visit the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Scripps Conservatory, an aquarium, and the Nature Center. You can also picnic there and just park along the river and watch the big lake freighters go by. Best to go on a weekday, by the way, to avoid crowds. Turn right as soon as you go over the bridge and drive all the way around the island on the outside circle drive. Also, the island was in horrible shape until the state leased it for a state park in 2014. Thousands of Detroiters got involved, and volunteers did most of the cleanup to make this place shine again!! https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?type=SPRK&id=736 The island was settled by French colonists and has a great, long history, which is described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Isle_Park_(Michigan) And, yes, I admit to being born in Detroit and lived in the area almost all of my life. Other great places to visit are the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Motown Museum, Eastern Market near downtown, and the downtown riverfront parks, especially if there is an ethnic festival going on. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g42139-Activities-Detroit_Michigan.html
  8. If you visit Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford museum, you might also want to take the assembly plant tour offered at the Henry Ford Museum. These are three separate places and three separate charges, but all are worth the money. One of my favorite things in the museum is the "camper" that Henry Ford used when he and his friends, Thomas Edison, John Burroughs, and Harvey Firestone took when they went camping. They called themselves the Vagabonds, but what is often left out is the detail that the group also took along several heavy vehicles containing camping equipment, a full kitchen, and several servants to cook and manage the trip! They also took a team of photographers, of course!! https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-resources/popular-topics/the-vagabonds The best tour is the Rouge tour where you can see F-150s being made. https://www.thehenryford.org/visit/ford-rouge-factory-tour/ (Check ahead to make sure the factory is working on the day you want to tour.)
  9. Just spent March - early May in NM. First, the northern part is indeed VERY cold in winter--think skiing on snow! So you will have to spent the coldest part of the winter in the very southern part of NM. Daytimes had highs of 60-70 and nights were downright cold--close to freezing many nights. One advantage is that there is a non-resident annual camping pass that costs about $225. With that, you only have to pay $4 per night for electric sites. However, a warning that most NM state parks have dirt roads and can be dusty. There are some wonderful exceptions, however, among them is Oliver Lee and some of the camping areas around Elephant Butte. One of my favorite places is Cochiti Lake, but it is COE and a little too far north for most of the winter.
  10. I drive anywhere from 10,000 to 18,000 miles per year, but that does not count a quick flight to visit grandkids the week after Christmas. They live in a snowy climate, so I would not want to drive my motorhome there anyway. Total miles over last 9 years is 158,000.
  11. You are writing about "campgrounds" to be used as full-time, permanent locations near big cities. That is a very narrow use of that term and limits the places that are open to you to commercial RV parks that squeeze in as many units as possible because real estate is expensive. And you are right that that kind of living tends to be expensive and not very pleasant. However, most of us who are retired or who work online jobs do not stay for months and years in a single place, nor do we stay in "campgrounds" close to big cities. I hope that if you choose to live full time in an RV that you can find a job where you can truly work remotely and thus can travel and choose places that are far away from cities and offer you more privacy and better scenery. You are lucky to work in IT, so if you possibly can, maybe you can be looking for that job that allows you to choose where you live that isn't nearby where you work.
  12. There is a big difference between people who are staying in a commercial campground and using their internet or have cable at their sites, and people like me who travel and use mobile hotspots for internet connections. It would cost me a fortune to buy enough gigs of data to stream TV as much as I wanted to. So for me, satellite TV is much more cost-effective and reliable, especially since i stay almost entirely in state and national parks.
  13. I was at Trailer Village last fall--October 22-26, and about froze to death! First couple of days were chilly, but got snow on last day. The shuttles around Trailer Village were shut down, so I rode my electric bike to the visitor center and main area, and then ended up riding my bike on the road in both directions to the ends. Temps were as follows: Oct 22 73-27 Oct 23 70-30 Oct 24 69-31 Oct 25 64-35 Oct 26 35-21 !!!! If I had to do it again, I would go in late September or early October, although you just can't trust the weather completely to be pleasant, as evidenced by the last day of my visit, per Weather.com. Even though the first few days were sunny and mild, I had to run my electric heater and furnace all night every single night to try to stay warm. By the way, because of the drought, the elk were and are extremely thirsty. One nosed up within 4" of my hose as I was filling my water tank. I could have petted her, I am sure, as long as I gave her water. I had no bucket, but since i had not hooked up my sewer and the cap was on it, I walked around to the other side of my rig, rinsed it off thoroughly and filled the depression several times so she could drink. If I had had a large dog bowl, I would have left it out and kept it filled. These elk were introduced in the 1920's and really do not belong there because there are no streams or water sources for them. They have learned how to turn on campground faucets and water fill station faucets, but of course, do not turn them off!! Frankly, all the wild (or not so wild) animals are having problems with the drought--getting food and water.
  14. Do you have electric or water bills that you pay by check? Those can count as credit, but the credit agencies may not know about them. Does anyone know how he could use these bills as credit information??
  15. I drive a 32' motorhome, and the plate fell out because I had stopped at a rest area to heat food up for lunch. My error was not making sure the microwave door was thoroughly latched when I was done. (I always check cabinet doors and such before I head out in the morning.) However, even when it is latched, the plate has often bounced around inside to the point where it is no longer sitting on the middle pin correctly. My recliner does not move, but anything on my kitchen counter does move, especially if I am on a highway with lots of small chuckholes.
  16. Also, you will need to be careful how the microwave vents. Many home microwaves vent on the sides, but at least the one I have in my motorhome vents in the back, so it is hard to find a replacement. And you do have to make sure it is securely fastened down so it does not go flying during a hard stop!! Big tip: Before you drive, always make sure your microwave door is shut securely. If not, glass plate will fly out and break into a million pieces. And I know from experience they are VERY hard to replace just the glass plate. Luckily, I found an RV dealer who always kept the plates and the turntable plastic things when he had to trash a microwave!! He had a whole box of them.
  17. On two-lane mostly back roads in Oregon, there are weigh scales that are in a pullover, and never manned. To my knowledge, they are open every day, 24 hours a day. In fact, there is no booth for someone to sit or stand in. If you see such a weigh station, just pull in slowly and put your front tires on the metal plate and look at the number that will display on the pole in front of you. Then pull forward and do the same thing with your rear tires. Obviously, there is no charge for this as there is no one to take money! These are NOT the big ones on the freeways that truckers are required to stop at!! I think they are intended for logging trucks, but i am not sure. Here is a listing and a map. https://www.allstays.com/c/weigh-scales-oregon-locations-map.htm
  18. That's weird. They closed Abiquiu Lake, but opened Cochiti Lake, which was closed for the last several months!! Maybe they are short of staff? The camp host I met driving through Abiquiu Lake said he could not understand why they were requiring three days advance reservations. Also, COE parks are divided into regions. Both Abiquiu Lake and Cochiti Lake are part of the Albuquerque District. It covers New Mexico, and parts of Texas and Colorado. https://www.spa.usace.army.mil/About/District-Map/ The national site has a map of districts, and rules do vary: https://www.usace.army.mil/Locations.aspx
  19. The suggestion was made to take a photo of the trail map at the start of the trail. In the case of the trail I was on, there was no trail map at the entrance to the trail or anywhere. That was part of my complaint to the head ranger. I don't expect a paved trail, but I do expect simple things like accurate descriptions of trails and a map at the entrance, possibly with information about elevation changes.
  20. Sorry - I should have said COE campgrounds in New Mexico required three days advance reservations. Abiquiu Lake was where I tried to stop by and get in. The place was almost empty but camp host told me no drop-ins and needed to make reservations three days in advance.
  21. I mostly stay in federal, state, and regional campgrounds, and that requires reservations long in advance. However, one thing I do is plan on not driving too far between campgrounds and staying an extra day or two in each. This gives me some flexibility if I want to see something I had not planned on seeing. It is also a lot more relaxing. If I end up with too much time someplace, that just means an extra day of relaxing. It helps that I am retired and full-time, so I often do not have to be in a hurry. I do not boondock because I am an older woman traveling alone and like to have electric hookups and the security of a campground. I don't care about water or sewer because I can go 3-4 days without refilling and dumping tanks. Except for a few days in September, I currently have reservations in Florida from October through March in state parks. (Usually for two weeks each.) The premium state parks fill up within seconds of the 11-month window, by the way. And some of these parks took me several days of getting up at 5 am and trying for a spot. FYI, New Mexico state parks require reservations made at least 3 days in advance--no last minute dropping in. (See correction below. I meant New Mexico COE campgrounds.)
  22. I took my brand-new motorhome to a nearby full-hookup state park for a four-day weekend. (Had never really operated or even driven one until I bought this.) I had tons of boxes of kitchen and bedroom stuff to unpack. I pulled into my spot and went out to hook up. Apparently because everything was new and in boxes, it took the lady in the next rig about three minutes to identify me as a new owner, so she yelled across that her husband would help if I needed anything. I got everything hooked up and flushed the winterizing out, then just before dark, I turned on the valve to fill the hot water tank. It took about two minutes to have three guys knocking on my door about the water running down the side of my rig. I could not find my flashlights, so they went out, took the cover off, and put a plug in that had been left out!! The Escapees campgrounds would be most helpful, but I have found that almost anyone in a campground would be glad to help you out if you ask.
  23. I did not actually see a bear, but I did a really dumb thing when I was camped in the Fishing Bridge campground where they do not allow soft-sided campers because of bears. I had a motorhome, so not soft-sided, but I decided I wanted a BLT sandwich for dinner, and I had a whole pound of bacon, so decided to cook it up all at once and refrigerate what I did not need for my sandwich. After, I had the bacon all cooked and in the refrigerator, I took my trash out to the dumpster. Coming back, i discovered that my entire rig smelled wonderfully of bacon! It suddenly occurred to me that this was a terrific bear invitation, so I had to scrub not only pans and dishes, but my stove top, backsplash, trash can, cupboards, underneath vent fan, floor, and walls before i got rid of the smell. I did have a raccoon move into my rear storage compartment in Florida. The door was locked shut, but I had a habit of leaving the next door compartment door open for my electric cord. I did not realize that an animal could enter through that door, and then climb into the rear compartment which was a pass-through and a cozy place for an animal to set up housekeeping. She tore up half of a roll of paper towel into small pieces before I discovered her. Once I opened the door, she flew out fast. Now, when I am in a wooded area where raccoons are a problem, I put my electrical plug through the small opening made for it and keep all compartment doors locked.
  24. There are some campgrounds along the ocean in the Pacific Northwest that require you to back in your motorhome. No pulling in straight or parking sideways. The reason is that in case of a tsunami, they want you to be able to get out fast without blocking any other campers by backing out. Same issue for forest fires. Some campgrounds also have rules about truck campers leaving the camper and going away for the day with just the truck part.
  25. I also had a car dealer overcharge me for a car, in spite of my having paperwork for a special price through a project I was working on with General Motors Headquarters. It was only about $300, but I sent a letter to my corporate client at GM explaining what had happened and asking for her advice on how to resolve the matter. (This was after trying to get the salesman to refund the overcharge.) I cc'd the owner of the dealership. It took about three days to get a phone call with an apology and a check in the mail for the amount I had been overcharged! Amazing. And when I have bought a vehicle, I warn the salesman that I will not take delivery if the vehicle has an advertising sticker on it. Ditto for those license plates with the dealer's name. If it already has a sticker, I will want to inspect that removing it has not caused any damage to the paint. No signature until I inspect. I am not popular.
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