Friday, March 23, 2018

High Wages, RV Travel, Motorhome Life for Women

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Support Your RV Travel 
as a Medical Technician

Are you looking for a way out of your present lifestyle into a life of RV travel freedom?  With pay? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall jobs for radiologic and MRI technologists will grow 13 percent between now and 2026. The median annual wage for MRI technologists was reported as $68.420 by the BLS  two years ago. Radiologic techs in general earn $57,450. 

I thought health care jobs were out of reach for free-roaming RV women because each state has its own licenses. Now Annie Evans, a certified radiologist, sets the record straight. If you want to practice your medical profession while traveling in an RV she says,  “ It’s possible to do both.”  

First, if you aren't already in the medical field, invest at least two years into getting the basic training and an Associate degree. The more experience you have, the better the jobs. At least a year of clinical experience is almost a must. If you invest in a bachelor’s degree,  prospects get even better and, of course, more benefits accrue with further studies.

Once you have your resume, contact a staffing company or recruitment agency that specializes in travel healthcare jobs . They include names such as or An agency will find assignments for you based on your qualifications and your travel preferences. Temporary assignments can last anywhere from 8 to 26 weeks. Working as a  contractor for the agency, your expenses for state licensing, housing, and travel are usually covered. The agency usually also provides health benefits.

What Medical Occupations? 

Healthcare occupations available as travel jobs include nursing, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medical imaging, and others. You may work in hospitals, clinics, or other types of medical facilities that have  a temporary need for someone with your qualifications. I once heard from an RN who lived on cruise ships with his wife and two children, traveling the world while earning a living. 


In addition to the education and clinical experience In general, healthcare professionals who want to work travel jobs should be highly adaptable, because you’ll change work environments and job duties often.  You’ll also need to be a quick learner. when starting a new assignment you'll usually get only a day or two of orientation in the new environment. Request jobs in places you want to go. 


Traveling healthcare workers usually receive higher pay because positions are temporary. Pay varies depending on  your qualifications, the area and how desperate is the need for your skill set. Janet advises:   there may also be dry spells or long distances to travel between gigs, so keep a good reserve fund. 

Another benefit is that travel job agencies usually cover a number of costs such as travel, housing, and state licensing, along with health benefits and retirement plans. Finally is the fact that you can continue to work while traveling all over the U.S. You’ll have lots of adventures, meeting wonderful people and living in a variety of places along the way.

Careers range from hands-on patient care to desk jobs, from underling to CEO. The best book for finding your own path to a medical career is Hot Healthcare Careers. 

Janet Groene lived full-time on the go for ten years ashore and afloat. She describes the homeless life and how to hack it in Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition. Be sure to get the latest edition, which covers the new Internet economy and earning on you go. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Restock Your RV for Summer

Restock Your RV for Summer
The first whispers of warmth arrived here in the Southeast. Soon they’ll they’ll work their way northward until it’s summer. Before you know it, your RV life calls for a change of wardrobe, pantry, toiletries and much more.  

If you need an excuse for a new hat and shoes, and what woman doesn’t, here are things to keep in mind for summer RV camping and travel.

Call it a Transitional Wardrobe, outfits that work in quirky weather: a windbreaker with zip-out lining, a rain-resistant jacket with hood, a puffy vest for cold snaps.


* Know your meds. Many medications taken by women make you more sensitive to sun damage or less able to sweat. Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Read labels. Be especially aware if you use acne treatment, antibiotics, an anti-depressant and certain vitamins, herbs or pain relievers (either topical, such as patches and rub-ons,  or internal).

* If you’re closer to “that certain age” summer heat may bother you more this year than last. These cool wipes are specially formulated to cool women down for up to 30 minutes. 

* Many garments and accessories are now treated to filter UV rays and/or resist bug bites. Treatments last through several washings, but read labels. Ordinary fabrics help but don’t offer  complete protection.

* RIT, the dye people, make a UV block you can add to the wash. Spray-on UV treatments are also available.

* Window films can be applied professionally (recommended) or as a DIY project. However, state laws differ in just how much you can darken the view into and out of the cockpit.  

Here’s how:

* Start with a new sun hat, one with built-in UV protection. Many types are now available. I like this one for style, generous coverage and its 50 SPF rating.

* Toiletries. Do you up the SPF number in your moisturizer for hotter weather and higher sun? Need a stronger deodorant for sweaty summer days?  More streak-proof foundation and eye makeup for dewy days? 

* Hair care. Do you use a special shampoo and/or conditioner after a swim in a chlorinated pool or in salt water? 

* Laundry. Even if you use scented detergent normally, it may be smart to bring unscented soaps and detergents. Perfumes attract insects. Chemicals may irritate your skin more in hot weather when you perspire more. Create your own sun protection with this wash-in UV block from RIT, the people who make fabric dyes we’ve all used for years. It claims an SPF rating of 30.

* This featherweight, flattering, comfortable swim shirt comes in many colors and has SPF 50 sun protection Get several.

* Summer drinks. Have plenty of powders and concentrates on hand for cold summer quaffs.

   * This cloud-light, brush-on face powder is 30 SPF

Cool wipes

* A UV protectant spray for vinyl and plastics, fiberglass and leather will prolong the life of your favorite handbag, backpack, outdoor chairs and sports equipment. Use it on the RV seats and dashboard too. Simply refresh the spray as needed.  

* Books. It’s time to add new chic lit and beach reads to your RV library. 

* Shoes. This summer’s new shoes are stretchier and airier while providing better protection for your feet in the outdoors. Don’t forget shower shoes and “reef runners” for the beach. 

* Shop an auto supply store for a safe, non-flammable remover for beach tar, road tar and sap.  Some are safe for the hair and skin. Others are for use only on shoes or other objects. You can also  rub in Goop waterless hand cleaner or something oily such as shortening, then wash in hot, soapy water. 

What’s your favorite summer saver for the RV lifestyle? Comments welcome. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Emergency Plan B for RV Women

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Alphabet Soup
The A.B.C.s of a 
Plan B for an R.V. 

Do you have an R.V. back-up plan?  No, this isn’t about driving in reverse.  It’s about all the little lifesavers that go with the unique form of travel in a complete home on wheels.           RV travel is unique because you provide your own vehicle, electricity, plumbing and pantry.  Here are just some of the ways to save the day by having an ace up your sleeve.

* Carry a small solar or hand-operated charger for the cell phone. You may be out of range but never out of juice. If you travel with a partner it’s a plus if you have cell phones from different companies. One may be in range when the other is not. 

* Bring cans and packages to make at least one or two complete meals for emergencies. Stuff happens. Good emergency rations include canned Boston brown bread, canned ham, corned beef, tuna in cans or pouches, crackers, canned or powdered milk, peanut butter and crackers.

*Flashlights galore. I love the little LED flashlights that are so bright, so compact and yet burn so long on a set of batteries. 

* Spare fan belts. You may not be able to install them but you’ll have the right sizes in case of a breakdown.  Small town garages can’t carry every size. 

         * A stash of cash or Traveler's Checks. (Yes they are still available). Also a supply of change for tolls, coin-up machines and the few pay phones that still exist (and may be there when you need one most). 

* CB radio is still handy on the highway. In areas where there is no cell phone signal, it can be a lifesaver.

  * An electric hot plate. I love my RV gas stove plus a campfire, An electric hot plate is added insurance. It takes up little space and it is a quick, easy cooker to use anywhere there’s an electric plug. Use it with any pan, skillet, coffee maker, corn popper, pressure cooker. 

* One or two books you always wanted to read. When you’re stranded somewhere with time to kill, a good book can carry you away. Crossword puzzles are also  boredom busters.

* A small mending kit, duct tape and WD-40 spray lube. If one of these three things won’t fix it, it probably can’t be fixed. 

* A personal locator beacon is the ultimate lifesaver. It's small enough to carry in one hand or wear, tuck in a pocket or keep within reach in the RV cockpit. Like locator beacons used in boats and airplanes, it sends a strong signal from anywhere including out to sea. It sends the signal  farther, stronger, longer than any cell phone. It broadcasts from places where cell phones cannot AND there is no monthly cost. 

Do you dream of taking to the open road for a new life of carefree travel in a self-contained RV? Do it now, not at retirement age. Work as you go. I full-time for ten years, making a living as a travel writer. Book Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, tells how. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Turn Your RV into a Pop-Up Party

Copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. To donate $5 per year in support of this blog use your Paypal account to

Rustle Up an RV  Party 

I’ve always loved to entertain and make someone feel special. Despite the tiny space and limited resources, that goes for RV travel life too. A young couple in the campsite next door were driving a battered van conversion with foreign license plates. I asked them to dinner, eager to hear about their tour of the U.S. in an RV they brought from Europe. 

At such times I rummage through my compact “special occasion” supplies, searching for ways to hang a ruffle on a meal. It doesn’t take much space to keep them on hand. 

Here’s how to carry a lot of celebration supplies in a small space.
Fun with Color

Forget individual holiday themes. Instead go for solid colors that do double or triple duty.  Green goes with St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Christmas and the Green Bay Packers game.  Red is for Christmas, 4th of July, Valentine’s Day and the fund raiser for the American Heart Association. Pastels are for springtime, babies and girlfriend get-togethers. 

Orange is for Halloween and harvest festivals White party goods are always a plus because you can add any color. 

I shop at post-holiday sales when party supplies sell for as much as 90% off.  The best buys are big, disposable tablecloths that can be used for a campsite table covering or cut into wrapping paper, place mats  or trims. A big, white, paper tablecloth can be dressed  up with motifs for any occasion, worn to a toga party or turned  into a ghost for Halloween. 

Here are more guest-able  ideas:

* Invest in a “you are special today” plate to serve the honoree. I love the iconic red pottery 'You Are Special Today” dinner plate that many families keep on hand, but they sell for about $50 . For only $15 I found this Melamine 10-inch “You are Special” dinner plate that is lighter and more practical to carry in the RV.  Use it often, not just for birthdays but for silly little occasions like a good day's fishing or Junior's  new Boy Scout badge. 

* Carry a string of plain white fairy lights. Use them all year in a dozen ways, a dozen places. 

* Buy a set of seasonal garden flags and unfurl a new one for every occasion. Fabric flags take up  little space. You can keep them under a seat cushion. 

* You don’t need special pans to bake special occasion cakes.  Cakes are baked in everyday round or square pans, then cut and decorated into the most clever shapes imaginable. See patterns at

* Other easy, temporary but festive decor can be achieved with spray-on snow, sidewalk chalk, crepe paper streamers, and water-washable poster paint. 

* Get an origami kit for a lifetime of  fun. Make colorful decorations for any occasion. Entertain children. Give token gifts. 

* DVD’s take up no room at all. Turn your RV’s television screen into a flickering fireplace in winter. In summer, play an aquarium or waterfall. Show Disney World   fireworks DVD   for Labor Day, 4th of July and Memorial Day.

It takes only two to make a party, one to be honored and one to do the honoring. And you can do it on a shoestring. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Guests on Board Your RV ? Who Pays?

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RV Sharing Is (Not Always) RV Caring

My friend Cheryl* is on a tight budget,  so she was thrilled at the idea of sharing her upcoming Alaska RV trip with her niece, Jenna, Jenna’s six-year-old daughter and their Pomeranian. When the girls first started talking about the trip, it was thought to be a cost-sharing deal. Then things started to go awry. 
*To avoid embarrassment, real names are not used 

What are the roadblocks and potholes ahead if you decide to take a guest on board your RV?

* What is the longstanding nature of your relationship with the guest? If you’re the parent, aunt or grandparent, or are substantially richer,  has it always assumed that you send gifts, host the baby  showers, make emergency loans, pick up the checks? 

* Unless things are hammered out ahead of time, hard feelings can start as early as the first fuel stop. Are you sharing all costs of the trip or just the gas?  This time you need a quart of oil and at the next fill-up you need to use the coin-op vacuum and tire pump. Is it just too cheap of you to put these costs on the list? 

* The true cost of operating an RV is far more than filling the fuel tank. You’ll need routine maintenance and fluids plus propane and generator fuel. Who pays if you need a new tire or two on those rough Alaska roads?

* As the driver, you hand over money at every toll booth. Should tolls go on the shared bill? 

* If grocery costs are to be split, what about treats, dog food and alcohol, especially if one of you doesn’t drink or eat junk food. 

* What if your campground bill shows extra costs such as your guest’s greens fees or spa treatments? 

* Road slop is real, especially in Alaska, and wash-downs at truck stops can add up. Should Jenna pay half? 

* You divide up the chores and that’s working OK. Then  Jenna volunteers to do the wash while you cook dinner,  and she asks you for the money for the coin-op laundry machines. Does that stick in your craw?   

* With guests on board you have to stop at dump stations much more often than when you are alone. Should your guest pay half the fee? More than half since she brought her daughter? 

* Jenna and her daughter spend hours every day on the campground wi-fi. Should you split the complete campground bill or itemize?  

        * You're almost home when you need a new tank of gas and a propane refill. Is it really fair to charge Jenna for half? After all, you'll be using these fuels long after she's gone. 

* You have a campground membership, which slashes nightly costs greatly, but Jenna has her heart set on seeing a famous theme park with a non-member campground. Who pays the $70 difference? 

Talk it out ahead of time. Hard feelings can ruin a friendship but misunderstandings can also ruin your travel budget. 

Janet Groene's book Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, is a complete guide to the full-time life on wheels. Start with making the decision, live the full-timer life at any age, work on the go if need be. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Pets and RV Travel

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1. Pets don’t get motion sickness. 
They do, according to WebMD and, as in traveling children, motion sickness is more common in puppies and young dogs. They pet may not vomit but could  drool, vomit or lick its jowls. Or it could show its discomfort by whining, yawning or being extra active or extra lethargic. 
Stress adds to chances of a pet getting car sick, so make the whole experience as comfortable as possible. My dog Gypsy loves being in the camper, so she joins me there when I’m working inside even if we are not going anywhere. This makes her feel right at home when we are underway. 
If possible the pet should see out the front or at least out of side windows. This helps orient its balance system to the world around it. A crate is a good idea, both to contain the pet and any vomit. Position it if possible to the pet can see the road ahead. I haven't tried them but these relief drops for motion sickness might work for you.

2. Pets don’t need restraints
Pets have incredibly fast reaction time but no pet is quick enough, or strong enough, to withstand  the G faces in a panic stop or crash. It isn’t just the pet’s safety at stake. Even a small cat or dog could be turned into a cannonball in a crash, slamming into humans. 

Here's just one of the many Pet Seat Belts available. 

I knew an elderly man who always drove with his beloved pet parrot on his shoulder. In a minor crash, it was thrown into the windshield and killed. Here's a special bird cage made for safe bird travel. Birds are pets too.

3. Traveling Pets don’t need special food, water or medication
Depending on the trip, your vet may recommend shots or pills for snake bite, “kennel cough”, fleas, ticks  or other problems. 
Some pet owners carry bottled water, or water from home, to avoid upsets from drinking different water in every campground. 
    It’s always wise, my vet says,  to keep a pet on the same food or to introduce a new one very gradually. Abrupt changes in diet give Gypsy stomach trouble and a skin rash. Because her  brand of food isn’t available everywhere, I get the same dog food by mail order no matter where we are.

4. It’s OK to Let the Dog Piddle
Most RV travelers are meticulous about cleaning up dog poop but many will just stand there when the same dog piddles on someone’s tires or tent ropes.  It’s very hard to keep the dog from marking its territory and impossible to keep a male cat from squirting, but please don’t let another “No Pets Allowed” sign go up in another campground due to your pet’s bad manners. 

5. Campground showers are a great place to wash the dog
Not! Some people go bonkers if find pet hairs in the campground bathrooms. They go straight to the manager, complain, and yet another "No Pets Allowed" sign goes up.  If you have to bathe Bowser on the road, buy a small, inflatable swimming pool. 

6. My Dog Doesn’t Bark 
I once parked next to a couple whose large dog began barking as soon as they left and didn’t stop until they returned. They, of course, didn’t know that the din could be heard even when all their windows, and mine, were closed. It might take a tranquilizer, or a bark collar, or just playing the radio or TV while you are away but please don’t make all of us dog owners look bad. 

7. It’s a Cool Day, So Rover is OK Inside the RV
Even with windows open on a 70-degree day, a pet can suffer heat exhaustion in as little as 30 minutes According to the Humane Society, signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes,  rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke, say the Society,  if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.

8. My Dog Obeys, so Leash Laws Don’t Apply to Me
Dogs can suddenly bolt or disobey out of hunting instinct, fear or need of romance. I once stopped to rescue a beautiful German shepherd that had wandered away when the owners stopped at a rest stop. Apparently on a schedule, they had to move on, leaving the dog. The heartbroken pet was desperately running up and down a busy highway, looking for its family. 
You could lose a pet, or be evicted from a campground for ignoring leash laws. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Living Large, Small Motorhome

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Take it outside. 

Living Large in Small Spaces
RV Decorator Hacks:

Loving the RV life and the travel freedoms it provides, we all sometimes need to renew, re-do or punch up the RV’s decor without spending a fortune. Here are some ideas.

* To make new curtains, buy a duvet cover. It’s a lot of fabric for the money and it’s already double to give you extra privacy and insulation. Most are white or a drab color but   This brand comes in many  decorative colors, most of them reversible.

* Replace a bothersome wood door with a shower curtain? They are a lot of fabric for the price, lightweight,  and they are available in many colors, textures and patterns to go with the RV color scheme

* A wood-like wall covering called Belbein is a thin film that is easy to apply and give a rich new look to walls, cupboards, furniture. Just be sure to prepare the substrate perfectly smooth or any defects will show through.

* Instead of a hodgepodge of colored spines glaring out of a book case, put books in backwards. Your eyes see only a pleasing expanse of neutral white and beige pages. 

* If the vinyl floor in the RV has lost its shine and it looks worn, paint it. Get advice at a good paint store about surface preparation, primer and what paints to use. If you’re creative, use tape to make graphics or stencils to create a pattern. 

*Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors are an inexpensive and attractive way to make small spaces lighter and looking larger. However, glass mirrors are heavy. These reflective stick-ons go up easy, reflect light and weigh almost nothing. Use one or a pattern in any area of the RV.  Acrylic mirrors come in many sizes and qualities, allowing endless possibilities for placements and arrangements. 

* In the bathroom use a clear shower curtain. It lets light through, doesn’t divide the small space and makes the room larger, brighter. Pay more to get a better quality, mildew-proof curtain.

* Although it has to be well secured, many RV’s have some freestanding furniture. If yours does, replace it with clear lucite pieces that are light, bright, and see-through to make the room seem larger.

Here’s a party idea: Buy a package of inexpensive ponytail rings in many colors. Put them around glasses, mugs, paper cups at a campground party to color code them and guests won’t lose track of their own drinks. 

Do you dream of living the full-time RV life someday? I did for ten years, making a living along the way as a travel writer. More and more temp and portable job opportunities are popping up every day, so why wait for retirement age when you can go on the road now? My book tells how.