Friday, August 16, 2019

Are You Ready to RV Full-time?

blog copyright janet groene. To donate$5 a year as a voluntary subscription, send via PayPal to janetgroene@yahoo.com

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Live in an RV, travel,work as you go









Things You Didn’t Know
About Working on the RV Road


    Do you itch to get Out There in a rolling home, living free and traveling in your RV? Thousands of RV travelers are still in the work force but they aren’t standing still. Today it’s possible to live and travel in an RV and work along the way. Here’s just a quick look at some ways to make a living on the go:
* Follow the fairs and festival circuit to sell your arts or crafts. 


* Work at seasonal campgrounds, marinas, tourist attractions


* Work for a national temp agency such as Kelly Services



* Work for a temporary staffing agency that specializes in your field, such as nursing




* Work as a camp host or other campground employee for wages and/or a free campsite.


* Be a traveling sales rep, troubleshooter, consultant


* Work online in any number of e-business fields from tutoring or consulting to sales


* Use your talent as a performer to get gigs at music festivals, trade shows, conferences


* Make use of your knowledge of history to work as a tour guide or a docent in a museum


* Stay abreast of job openings that come with a campsite or hook-ups such as Amazon fulfillment centers

    Then be aware of the wrinkles, hassles, requirements and costs that might go with the deal.


 
    * You may need a local or state business permit or license even for something as simple as a lemonade stand. 



    * Campgrounds usually do not permit campers to operate a business from a campsite. 

    * Your earnings in a state that has an income tax will be taxed even if your “home” state has no income tax.  Depending on the state ahd the number of days you stayed here, you might qualify for a refund. Non-cash earnings, such as a free campsite, might also be taxed as income.


    * Writing off your RV or mileage as a business expense depends on many factors. Get professional help. 


    * If you are self-employed you can deduct the cost of health insurances. You’re also subject to Self-Employment Tax (i.e Social Security tax) even if you already collect Social Security.  Again, get professional advice. 


    *Whether or not to form a corporation or LLC is your decision. Explore the merits and drawbacks.  


Read e-books on the go, starting with this new cozy mystery series by Farley Halladay, a grieving widow who takes you from a  Florida retirement community to the seven seas and back. Book One is January Justice.  Just released is February Felony. If you don't have a Kindle, get the free Kindle app and read e-books on your laptop, phone or I-pad. Who is Farley Halladay? That's Janet Groene's new pen name.


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February Felony  https://amzn.to/31J5d3D

Kindle app free for PC, phone, laptop  https://amzn.to/31lQT0u

 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Why Rent a Motorhome? Why Not?

Blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. For permissions, or to ask about ad rates contact HosterPoster@live.com

British Rental Campervan


Rental cmpervan, Australia


How many of these posts have you missed over the years? Never miss another when you subscribe to Solo Woman RV For Kindle. Amazon sends new posts to your device. No Kindle? Download the free Kindle app, then see it on your PC or Android device. Free trial.


Why Take a Rental RV Vacation?

    Let’s face it. Renting an RV is expensive but it’s even more expensive to buy the wrong RV and regret it later. Whether you have an RV now, are shopping for your first one or are looking for one that is larger or smaller, here are real reasons to consider a rental RV.


The most common rental is a class C




If you already own an RV:

    * Fly across country, move into a rental RV and have a totally carefree vacation without having to send the time and fuel of taking your RV across country when your vacation time is short. A fly-drive rental is an ideal way to visit Alaska if you live in, say, Florida, or to visit Florida if you live in California. 


RV rentals overseas are a wonderful way to travel and meet locals.  Overseas rentals are an excellent way to see the British Isles, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

    * Too many house guests? Rent an RV to serve as your guest house for a week or two in your own yard (zoning permitting).

    * Before putting down hard cash on a new rig, try rentals in different sizes and layouts. Costly, yes, but cheaper than buying the wrong rig.

If you are thinking of buying an RV:

    * If the RV lifestyle is new to you, a rental gives you a chance to experience all of it, good and bad. Try as many different sizes and layouts as you can afford. Renting isn’t like owning and customizing your own rig but it’s a start.




    * Compare plus and minus of a private rental versus renting from a large company, round trip versus one-way and fly-drive versus taking your own rig across the country or shipping it overseas.

Rental Rules

    *. Know the rental company’s  rules about pets, cleaning, managing tankage (fuel, fresh water, grey water, sewage), seat belts. (Seat belt rules for RV’s vary by state). Know turn-in rules and penalties for, say, empty fuel tank, full sewage tank, missing or broken equipment, damage,  cleaning fees. 




    * Understand what happens in case of breakdown. Will roadside service be available where you're planning to travel? Will you be given credit for lost vacation days?  Cost of a motel and rental car if you are stranded?

    * Know limits on where you can and can’t go. In Europe, for example, many countries are within easy reach but the company may not allow visits to all of them. 

    * Pre-planning saves hassle and money. Check with your own insurer to see what coverage you already have.  You may not need all or part of  the rental’s own insurance policy. Investigate optional extras such as using their linens versus bringing your own sheets and towels. Study routes and sightseeing ahead of time to avoid floundering around in a big rig on unfamiliar highways. 



Save money, eat healthier when you cook homemade meals in your RV. Cooking Aboard Your RV has more than 200 recipes plus tips on how to save space, time, mess, water, fuel and hassle when you're on the go.

Friday, August 2, 2019

RV Repair or RipOff?

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LADY, MEET YOUR MECHANIC 
by Janet Groene
  
 Do you feel like you’ve been taken to the cleaners when visiting an RV or auto repair shop? Many women do, but there are ways you can be sure you’re not being snookered.  First, know your owner’s manuals inside out. You don’t have to be a mechanic to know, for example, when  routine  maintenance should be done. 


    Sometimes it’s due every so-many miles. Sometimes it’s after so-many months. When you think there is trouble, such as warning light or strange noise, check your manual first to see if it gives any clues.

    Second, go to garages that have ASE certified technicians. Describe the problem to your best ability including how it feels, smells, looks or drips. Under what circumstances does this happen? Make notes so you can tell your mechanic all details. Just as talking to your doctor, it’s sometimes the tiny and unexpected clues that are the tip-off.


    Third, get a second opinion, especially if you’re looking at a budget-busting repair.  Don’t be ashamed to ask questions. You don’t have to tell the second mechanic you’ve had another diagnosis. Just outline the problem as you did the first time, then consider both sets of advice.
    At campgrounds, hang out with people who have a rig like yours. I learn a lot just by listening to them talk about their problems, complaints and successes with, say, a certain product or service or  brand of tires.  

     Lastly, stay abreast of recalls. If you live at one address they will probably come by mail or via an email from your local dealer. It’s harder to keep up if you’re a snowbird or full-timer. Go regularly to safecar.gov to check for recalls. Join social networks related to your dealer, your RV brand, to vehicles in general and to RV’s in general. Cars are cars and that’s complicated enough, but an RV can also have recalls connected with anything from the refrigerator to the hinge on the sofa-bed.  The more networking you do, the better.

 

 
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DON’T LOSE YOUR SATELLITE RV SERVICE
    Copyright laws protect the programming on satellite TV services such as DIRECTTV and DISH Network, which provide regional access to programming. So Congress passed a special law to exempt mobile TVs used by RV-ers and truckers, who need to access their TV from wherever they happen to be. Now this law is about to expire unless Congress acts.

    If you’re constantly on the go with satellite TV, ask your representative to reauthorize Section 119 of this copyright law. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Crime and the RV Woman

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To donate $5 a year as a voluntary subscription go to PayPal and pay to janetgroene at yahoo.com





This weekly blog is available for your Kindle by subscription from Amazon. See it free for two weeks here.












Don’t be a Crime R-V-ictim
   
    It’s no longer unusual, or even exceptionally risky, for women to travel alone in an RV. Still, there are new and unique dangers out there. Here are some ideas for your consideration. 




Personal Travel Plan: Think Before You Go

     A nationally known hiking expert recently fell while hiking alone and was stranded for days before her friends realized she was missing. Then they didn’t know where to start looking. 


   * Simply file a travel “flight plan” informally with friends or family.   Privately let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, when you plan to arrive and how to contact you. Let them know when you arrive or if you deviate from the plan. This information should be private between you and a trusted homie, never shared on social media.

  * Have a big, bright,  distinctive number or symbol painted on the roof of your RV. If you call for help you can be spotted from the air. 



     * Make your RV look lived-in no matter where you park. Close curtains so crooks don’t know if you’re inside or not. Lock all doors and windows. Run a light, TV or radio if you can do so without depleting the battery when you’re at the mall or on the hiking trail.


  
     * Don’t give thieves a place to hide out.  In shopping centers,  park in well lighted areas away from  shrubs and other hiding places. Try to park among cars, not other tall vehicles that form dark canyons where crooks could lurk.    


     * Invest in  alarms. Keep them armed and powered. Even in a secure campground, don’t open the door to strangers. 



         *Park overnight only in areas where it is allowed. Many cities are now towing RV's that overnight free on public right-of-ways.


Driving: On the Road Again

    * Always lock all doors in the RV, tow car or dinghy including trunks and basement (except the propane compartment, which should not be locked.)  You may also want to add a locking gas cap to prevent fuel theft.  Keep valuables out of sight. It may take a few extra minutes to close cockpit curtains, but there are a lot of tempting goodies there for a smash-and-grab thief.  


    * Never pick up hitchhikers or stop for what appears to be a woman and baby in distress. Use your cell phone to call 911 on their behalf. 


       * Park in well-lighted areas and close to the building.


      * Do not stop alongside the road if possible. If you are bumped from behind or if someone indicates there is something wrong with your vehicle, continue to a service station or a well-lighted, populated area. 


    * Fill the fuel tank before dark. Lock all doors and close windows if you step away from the RV for any reason.

Travel Destination: Checking In

    

* When checking into a campground, ask what security features are in place. You may need a code to get into the gate at night. Know where to find the campground host’s site and how to get help if you’re in a zone without cell phone reception. 

   * Invest in a safe that can be bolted to the RV frame where it can’t be easily removed. 


   * When away from the campground, be wary about telling strangers the name of your campground and number of your campsite.

Personal Safety: On the Town

    *  Take only the cash you need in your purse or wallet. Bring only the necessary credit card(s) with you and carry money separately from credit cards. Women should keep purses closed and snuggled tightly against the body.


   * Know your route and stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets. Select ATM machines in visible, well-lighted locations.



Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, is a guide to the full-time life on wheels based on my ten years on the go, earning a living along the way. In paperback or Kindle.  http://amzn.to/29XFEkq

Friday, July 19, 2019

Rewards Programs for RV Travelers

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. Thanks for sending $5 a year as a voluntary subscription to this blog to janetgroene at yahoo.com via PayPal

Which Program is Right for YOU?
Amazon offers these weekly posts for Kindle by subscription. Free trial. 



 
“Frequent Flyer” Rewards for RV Camping
    Is a campground rewards program worth your dollar, your time or one more app on your phone? It depends. Here’s just a sampling of ways to sort things out.

    FREE VERSUS FEE
    Memberships can be anywhere from free (Jellystone's Club Yogi) to $3,000 plus monthly dues (Thousand Trails). It takes a lot of homework to find the programs that are right for you. One membership  may be enough. Many RV-ers, especially  full-timers,  have two or more for different goals and benefits.
    Most of the free and inexpensive programs require you to build up thousands of points before getting a free night. Some give points for every paid night; others also give points for all  dollars spent at the camping resort including restaurant meals, the gift shop and greens fees.

    WHERE THE PROGRAM APPLIES
    I once spent $50 for year’s membership in what appeared to be a very large network where I’d get 50% off at each member campground. Then I found it wasn’t worth it to build my trips around the locations of these remote and far-flung campgrounds.

    PREPARE TO GAIN A PEN PAL
      The program may show a long list of discounts that look good, but are they gimmicks or discounts on things you really need or use? Once you’re enrolled, the program has your email address, so you may be spammed with special offers, double points deals,  updates and promotions. I belong to one that emails almost every day

    THE FINE PRINT
    The devil is in the details such as a limit on how long you can stay in one site. Or the  member campground leaves that franchise and no longer accepts your points. In high season, reservations can be hard to get, even for members. You might spent thousands of dollars for a membership that you may or may not be able to sell or leave to your heirs.  Such membership contracts run to many pages of fine print.

    BUY A USED MEMBERSHIP
    Buying a used campground membership can be so complicated, there is a service that can help you through the labyrinth. CampgroundMemshipOutlet.com offers used memberships in all major networks. They can also assist you in selling one. Contracts vary widely, so know what you're getting for the money.

    STATE PARK PROGRAMS

    Some states offer campground loyalty points programs to anyone or just to state residents. They can be an excellent deal for RV-ers who camp close to home.

    SINGLE PARK MEMBERSHIPS
    Your favorite independent campground may offer a loyalty program. Ask.

    MEMBERS, MEET MEMBERS   
    Two highly respected and useful sites are BoondocksWelcome.com and HarvestHosts.com. For a modest yearly  fee you become a member with access to other members who are hosts. The first is for boondockers who are self-contained and who need a free place to park overnight. The deal is usually for one night only and may not involve any hookups or interaction with the hosts. You can also to host other members at your place.  Harvest Hosts are owners of farms and vineyards who allow member campers to stay overnight, usually free.    

BOTTOM LINE
    If you’re new to RV camping, or just starting out full-timing, it’s best to wing it for a while. Talk to other campers, listen to sales spiels, shop around, be skeptical and take advantage of free programs. Have a better idea of what you need, then find the right programs for YOU. 




Living Aboard Your RV, A Guide to the Full-time Life on Wheels, covers the full-timing life from A to Z including ways to make a living on the go. It's available in paperback or Kindle. http://amzn.to/29XFEkq

Friday, July 12, 2019

Rescue 411 for RV Women

blog copyright Janet Groene. to donate $5 a year in support of this free publication send via PayPal to janetgroene at yahoo.com.  As of today, this blog has had more than 181,000 views.



Amazon publishes this blog each week for Kindle. Free trial



Travelers love this new cozy mystery for Kindle, It's January Justice, a Yacht Yenta Mystery 












 


Beacon of Hope, Call for Help
copyright Janet Groene







 

   

We’ve all heard horror stories of people who couldn’t call for help because they couldn’t get a phone signal, or the phone battery went dead, or they had no phone at all. 

    Do you know what a PLB is?  Do you know why it’s a better rescue tool than your phone or GPS? 


    Why do women continue to ignore the Personal Locator Beacon, a powerful security device? 



    As a traveler you need extra security measures. As a woman RV traveler, perhaps a woman who travels alone, you need the very best search and rescue aids available. You already know  that some phone apps can call for help or report your location. Your GPS receiver tells you your exact location when you need to summon help.  


    However, their signals are weaker than those of a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)  and they’re all subject to battery failure, communications failure or just plain inadequacy. The best PLB’s do just one thing. They do it strongest and clearest, bringing the most effective rescuers,  and they do it without a monthly subscription. It’s your personal version of the EPIRB or ELT used in boating and aviation. 



    Personal locators are now being used by skiers, archaeologists, hikers, climbers, parachute jumpers, rafters, paddlers and anyone else who might ever need rescue in a situation where other SOS calls fail.  


Which PLB is For You?


    First, determine basic needs. If you hike, backpack, or bicycle, size and weight are a factor. If you want to use it on the water, you need a PLB that is waterproof and buoyant.  (Some activate automatically when they hit water).  Some units have a strobe light. A PLB isn’t a two-way communication device. It is activated only when you’re in grave and imminent danger. It works when you're on a city street, in a concert crowd, deep in a canyon, high on a mountain.





    These unique devices operate on a special frequency used just for search and rescue. A typical unit can put out a signal for up to 30 hours or more at extreme temperatures as lot as minus 20 F


    Why pay almost $300 or more for a device that never be needed?  For one thing, it's a one-time investment. The initial cost of a Personal Locator Beacon  is the end of it except for replacing the special batteries, usually every five years. There are no monthly fees. 


    Here’s how it works. When you need rescue, press a button. Your unique signal code is sent to satellites that were launched just for this purpose.  In seconds the   signal is routed to a ground station (Local User Terminal or LUT) and transferred to the Mission Control Center (MCC). A Rescue Coordination Center passes the information to Search and Rescue (SAR) forces in your location. 

    To date, more than 30,000 lives have been saved by these systems.    Once you own a PLB it’s essential to register it with NOAA. That applies even if you buy a used unit. Once you’re registered, SAR forces worldwide have your back forever and ever, amen.

Loyal follower and seasoned RV’er Melissa Borghorst, recommends the OverDrive app. It allows you to download audio books, which are sold online and are free at libraries. 




This space-saving powder sounds like a GO for travelers  who love iced coffee.  It’s high in protein and only 100 calories a serving. Scoop some into cold water, shake up and pour over ice. Enjoy .
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Friday, July 5, 2019

When RV Travel is Party Time

Copyright Janet Groene,.To donate $5 a year as a voluntary subscription go to Paypal and pay to janetgroene at yahoo.com

Each week we post news, backgrounders and how-to's for women who travel by RV, some part-time and some as a full-time lifestyle. See these posts on Kindle every week with a subscription from Amazon. Free trial.










When Every Day’s a Holiday

    The young couple in the campsite next door were driving an odd-looking van conversion with Swiss license plates. They spoke a foreign  language between themselves. Eager to welcome them and hear about their tour of the U.S., I asked them to dinner in my 21-foot Class C camper. 




    At such times I rummage through my compact “special occasion” supplies, searching for ways to turn a humble meal into a celebration.  If you live in an RV some or all of the time, you’re always on the go when it’s time to bake a birthday cake, contribute to a campground potluck party or wrap gifts for any occasion from baby showers to children’s birthdays.


    Here’s how to have celebration supplies on hand in a small space.

 
Fun with Color




    Forget individual holidays 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. Pastel yellow or aqua are for springtime, Easter,  babies and girlfriend get-togethers. White is always good because you can use any color with it. 



    Buy at post-holiday sales when party supplies sells for as much as 90% off.  The best buys are the big, paper 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 arty motifs for any occasion, worn to a toga party or turned  into a ghost for Hallowe’en. And big paper tablecloths store flat under a dinette cushion.


Here are more ideas: 


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     * Invest in an all-purpose  “you are special today” plate to honor any guest on  any occasion. You need only one and this one is lightweight melmac.

    * Carry a string of plain white fairy lights to festoon your awning. Use them all year, changing bulbs to seasonal colors. 



* A tiny vial of cake coloring goes a long way. Make a green cake for St. Patrick's Day, your favorite team, Christmas or Arbor Day.



    * Buy flags for all seasons and unfurl a new one for every occasion. Fabric flags store flat, last for years and take up  little space while adding a festive flutter.


    * Go for solid colors when buying party supplies, wrapping paper and ribbon. Then put two colors together to make a theme such as team colors.

 


* You don’t need special pans to bake special occasion cakes. Find patterns online for forming cakes from ordinary round and square layers.  Simple cakes can be decorated with simple things such as chocolate jimmies, marshmallows, butterscotch chips or colored sugar.

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


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    * Learn origami for a lifetime of  fun making custom gifts and decorations for any occasion. 


    * Buy a fireplace video to play on your TV screen during cool weather. When it's hot,  play an aquarium or waterfall. You'll need a  fireworks video for Labor Day, 4th of July, Veterans Day andr Memorial Day.



 

* Buy wrapping paper in flat folds, not rolls for easier storing under a seat cushion.

    * Campground security can be an added problem during festivals and some holidays (pranksters at Halloween, drunks at New Years, toilet paper vandalism when the local team wins). Mark your calendar to take added precautions such as more outdoor lights or organizing fellow RV-ers into a “neighborhood” watch on such nights.

Love the RV life? See Janet Groene’s galley-tested recipes at CampAndRVCook.blogspot.com


https://amzn.to/2XqCl1y

Join feisty widow Farley Halladay in finding January Justice. Janet Groene uses a pen name for her Yacht Yenta series of Kindle "cozy" mysteries filled with travel, wacky humor, kinship with her sheriff friend Danielle, and only the occasional murder. February Felony will come next. January is on Kindle at https://amzn.to/2XqCl1y
 

Are You Ready to RV Full-time?

blog copyright janet groene. To donate$5 a year as a voluntary subscription, send via PayPal to janetgroene@yahoo.com   Amazon no longe...