Friday, November 15, 2019

RV travel gets you there with your own bed and breakfast

blog copyright janet groene. This blog posts every Friday. Only a few previous posts are archived below.   To pay $5 as a voluntary one-year subscription use your Paypal account to



Money /Time/Space
Saving RV Trips


    Get your FREE KINDLE APP now. Kindle books are usually cheaper than hardbacks and many paperbacks. Many new books are available only in e-book.. Many e-books can be downloaded free at read Kindle books on your laptop,, tablet or phone, all you need is an Amazon Kindle account to get yours free.

    Libraries offer many free audio books via download. Tag sales are a goldmine of inexpensive books on CD. If your older  RV still has a CD player, load up!

Catch up with Janet Groene's Yacht Yenta e-book mystery series under her pen name, Farley Halladay. Farley is a widow who has an online business booking charterboats. Meet her wacky friends, her recipes, the crimes she solves, the seven seas she visits vicariously every day. 

January Justice

February Felony

March Malice

Free National Park Days

    Save this list! The National Park Service has released the dates of free entry next year to national parks. They are

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 20
National Junior Ranger Day, April 18
National Park Service Birthday, August 25
National Public Lands day, September 26
Veterans Day, November 11

Avoid Cancellation Fees
    Campgrounds are trying to keep up with the growing demand for campsites, but it’s more important than ever to have reservations. That almost always means providing a credit card number. The two costliest hidden snags in the system are (1) transaction fees, which are charged by some campground reservations systems in addition to camping fees, and (2) cancellation fees.

     If you cancel after the deadline or don’t show up at all your credit card is charged. Transaction fees are usually not refunded even if you cancel on time. 

Easiest Gift Giving

Get the latest best sellers

Give this gift from anywhere to anywhere, any size, any age or gender, all price ranges and no postage. It's the ultimate gift for yourself or an RV-er, commuter, trucker. Amazon Audio Books membership is available for $15 a month or for 6,9, or 12 months ($90).  Amazon will send the notification to the gift recipient and they can choose the starting date.


    Camping discounts at state parks vary state by state but usually apply to active, retired or disabled military, seniors over a certain age such as 62 or 65 and state residents.
   Senior discounts may be found at commercial campgrounds (it pays to ask) but it’s more likely that you can get a weekly, monthly or seasonal discount (that may require payment in advance.) National park discounts are available nationwide.  

Stocking Stuffer Gift

    Make gift giving easier when you’re on the go on camping trips at the busiest time of the year. Amazon offers this adorable “piggy” bank for under $20 showing a tent camping scene. The banks are durable, attractive ceramic with custom designs for camping and  almost any other theme on your gift list, and who doesn’t love a piggy bank for loose change? Amazon will wrap and send for you. 

Fits all sizes, all genders, all ages.

Get a Free Test Run

    Campsite sales, time shares and memberships are usually offered by high-pressure sales people, often with enticements such as a few free nights or some cheesy gift. (I was offered a 9-piece set of cheap canvas “luggage”) Give RV camping six months to a year before committing to long-term contracts.take the freebie but leave without signing so you can read the contract with your eyes wide open.

Bring in Professionals Where Needed

    DIY talents can save a lot of money but so can a professional intervention, especially jobs that come with a guarantee (such as a roof resurfacing)  or access to the best materials and applications (such as window film). I bring in a professional cleaner once a year or so for the carpet and upholstery. 

My friends' big RV has  granite counter tops, real leather upholstery and hardwood flooring. They have them professionally maintained every few years.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Insider Tips on RV Parking

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To ask about rates for placing your ad for one year, one low rate, on all six groene sites, email janetgroene at

Have you discovered Janet Groene's new cozy  mystery series under her pen name, Farley Halladay?  A widow who has an onlne business booking yacht charters, Farley has a window on the travel world while coping with caregiving, cooking and crimes at home. Third in the new series is March Malice,

Park and Make Out

    Winter RV travel means wonderful  trips to the sunbelt or ski slopes, Thanksgiving or Christmas with friends, sometimes just shopping trips to the mall. This time of year,  parking is tight for cars and sometimes impossible for a camper. Here are insider tips from 
the International Parking Institute,  group of parking professionals.
    * Allow extra time for parking. When we feel rushed, stress levels rise and we become more accident prone. 

    * Research ahead of time. The destination’s website may offer parking tips,. There may even be a smart phone app that tips you off to available spaces at a mall or event

    * Cruising around for a parking spot wastes fuel. Head for a spot further from the entrance. Added bonus: extra exercise helps keep you fit. 

    *  Show goodwill toward fellow drivers. Don't block others looking for parking spaces. Make sure you take up only one spot and that your neighbors can open their vehicle doors. When you’re driving an RV you’re also an ambassador for all RV drivers. Do your best to stay out of the way of faster, more agile vehicles.

            * When at the wheel or walking to your car, don’t text, talk on the phone, check shopping lists, touch up your lip gloss or do anything that prevents you from being aware of what is happening around you, advises the experts. 

    * ,Watch for children, using all the driving aids at your command including mirrors and rear-view camera.  Kids dart out quickly, run behind cars or stand below your line of vision.

    *. These experts say, don't park illegally or in spots marked for disabled parkers. If your vehicle has a handicap placard and the handicapped person is not on board with you, be a good citizen and don’t take a spot from someone who truly needs it.

    * Be safe. Park in well-lit areas, close your windows (and RV curtains), and lock your doors including basement doors (except the propane storage door.) . Hide valuables and packages so they can’t be seen from outside. When returning to your car or RV, have your keys out and ready.

    *  Jot down your parking location (or enter it in your GPS)  so you won't forget where you parked. 

    * Know the exact height of your vehicle in feet and inches. If you’ve added anything on the rooftop, don’t forget that.  Think twice before entering an indoor parking garage. The controlling height for the entry plus all ramps and floors should be clearly posted.

    Janet adds: Many campground reservations are now site-specific, allowing you to tailor the parking to your own RV.  If the website doesn’t provide this information, call the campground ahead so you know what you’ll face approaching the site and parking. Is it back-in or pull-thru? Size limit in length and width? Where on the site are hook-ups and the paved pad?  Is there room for your slides? One side or both? 

Also be aware that communities have become stricter about RV parking at night and even by day. Observe signs or your rig could be towed. 


Friday, November 1, 2019

RV Woman Rocks Traill Running

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To donate $5 a year in support of this blog use your PayPal account to janetgroene at

Vanessa and friend in her RV

 Trail Running--Is It  for You?
A Running Start

    Trail running is more than running. It’s discovery, challenge, an ultra-workout, the ultimate connection with nature. We are talking trails, some of them newly created and some known to the ancients. You'll see hills and dales, trees and rocks, vistas beyond belief. You'll hear birdsong, breathe fresh air, feel real earth under your shoes. 

 If you’re not a runner yet, Vanessa Runs can turn you into an energetic, slim, avid outdoor woman and RV-er with a purpose.

    Vanessa had sit-down jobs with  magazines and other media companies as an assistant editor, and then as an online editor. However, the mountains and their beguiling trails beckoned. Vanessa lived for weekends when she could get Out There with her dog. A mother of two teenagers, she put on her first running shoes the year before she turned 40.

    She  quit her job, bought a  Rialta RV, gave away most of her possessions and hit the highway to run on scenic trails and write books full-time. Her first book, The Summit Seeker, is a  guide and inspiration for any woman who wants to discover running as therapy, healing and spiritual awakening.

   One of her award-winning books is  Daughters of Distance, a book filled with profiles of woman in endurance sports.

 A brand new edition of her popular The Summit Seeker has just come out.
    Vanessa supports her mobile life with her writing and blogging Her goal is to be as independent as possible, camping at remote trailheads and relying on solar energy and free wi-fi.

    She is a four-time 100-mile finisher, always training to run longer and faster. Her blog has evolved over the years and so has she. The focus now is on trail and mountain running, living simply, traveling, and racing in “ultras”. 

Her ultra distance runs have included a  rim-to-rim crossing of the Grand Canyon. In 2012, she covered 2,053 miles and snagged five 100-mile finisher buckles. In 2013 she traveled California to Alaska, across Canada, and down the East coast.
How to Get Started

    Join the locals, especially at first. Check with local outfitters and outdoors stores. They know where the action is. Start with trails that are less technical, flatter, wider. Get plenty of water, of course,  and condition the whole woman by cross training. Lastly, set a goal, perhaps by selecting a future race to train for.

To find dates and places where trail running races can be found,  check websites such as and Also subscribe to Trail Runner Magazine

The newest in Janet Groene's cozy mystery series has just been released.  It's March Malice, taking readers from the dark secrets of a Florida retirement community to the seven seas.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Live in an RV, but WHERE?

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. to donate $5 a year as a voluntary subscription to this weekly blog use your PayPal account to janetgroene at

copyright janet groene

    Do you plan to cut ties to brick-and-mortar living and take off in your RV for the adventure of a lifetime? 

Roam free? Move on when you please, to the place you please? Follow the sun or a career in art or writing or consulting? Spend time with friends and family all over the country?  

    RV full-timing is about freedom EXCEPT, as they say, from death and taxes.

You’ll need an anchor address before you can get a credit card, bank account, voter registration, driver’s license, passport and so much more. Choosing that permanent address is one of the stickiest steps in planning your breakaway. 

    Thanks to mobile phones, the internet and mail forwarding services, you can be in sunny Arizona while writing a book for a publisher in freezing Philadelphia or designing a website for a client in crime-ridden Chicago,  but that is only part of the story. Your “home” address determines your insurance rates, legal rights in a long list of categories and whether you’re subject to jury duty.

          Most full-timers start with a look at state income taxes. (Note that in most cases you will pay taxes anyway in the state where you earn the money, regardless of your home base.) States that take the most and least out of a $100K income according to are:

Deduct the most in taxes:

1. Oregon
2. Maryland
3. New York
4. Hawaii
5. California
6. Kentucky
7. Idaho
8. South Carolina
9. Minnesota
10. Maine

Deduct the least in taxes:
1. Alaska
2. Florida
3. Nevada
4. New Hampshire
5. South Dakota
6. Tennessee
7. Texas
8. Washington
9. Wyoming
10. North Dakota

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, there is more to the story. 


Some states with no income tax have the highest real estate and sales taxes, insurance rates and/or fees for this and that. You might, for example, save on sales tax by buying the RV in a state with little or no sales tax, but you’ll be allowed a stay of only, say 90 days or so, in the next state before you get nicked for their sales tax and a big license fee.

 High income taxes are also softened in some states that don’t tax pensions or Social Security. At the same time, some states tax income from different sources at different levels. It's a briar patch that takes time and study. Then, because politicians are always looking for new revenue, things change. So you have to change too.

Among seasoned full-timers,  favorite “home” states include Florida, Texas and South Dakota. 

A book on this complicated topic is Choosing your RV Home Base


My book Living aboard Your RV, 4th edition, covers all topics in full-timing from getting in and staying in to getting out when and if that time comes.


Farley Halladay is a widow who relishes her virtual life at sea as the Yacht Yenta. Join her, her one-eyed dog Scuppers and her best friend, Haitian-born sheriff Danielle Dassault, in solving cozy mysteries

.First in this series are January Justice and February Felony. 


Kindle app free for PC

If you don't have a Kindle, download the free Kindle app from and read e-books on your laptop, pad or phone. 

 January Justice

February Felony

Friday, October 18, 2019

Winter And Motorhome Travel

Blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. To ask about one low rate to post one ad, one link, for one year on all six Groene sites, email janetgroene at 

Winterizing for
Winter Rising

copyright janet groene

    If you’ll be camping in a winter zone or storing your RV in a place where freezing is a possibility, it’s time to winterize. Let’s make it easy.

THE FUN PART: Order the second edition of Skijoring With Your Dog for the most fun you've had since skis were invented.


    Your garage mechanic can take care of the engine. It was built for cold weather but may need new antifreeze or oil. 
    It's the living areas of an RV that need special attention. 

    * Batteries should be checked often and kept charged. When you travel in winter weather your start batteries are  called upon for more cranking power and your "house" batteries must deliver during longer hours of darkness and with less help from your solar panels.  

Yes, it's possible to shrink wrap a large motorhome

    * Covers. To store the RV outdoors, considered getting a cover or even shrink wrap for the entire rig. Special covers are also available for just the air conditioner or windshield. 

Build a simple frame and make your own shelter


* * * *Plumbing. To store the RV in any area where it may freeze, make sure every drop drains from every low point in the plumbing system. (they may not be where you think they are. See your owner manual.)

 Don’t forget the air conditioner drain, sumps, all the sinks and the toilet.  Even a little water left behind could freeze, swell and crack a pipe. 

It's essential to use a non-toxic antifreeze made for RV plumbing and tanks.  Automotive antifreeze is a deadly poison.

       If you use compressed air to evacuate your RV's plumbing, this fitting for less than $10 will do the job.

    If you’ll be living in the RV in winter areas, things get more complicated but help is available.
            It costs little to carry along a few of these faucet”socks” to use on the campground faucets if a sudden freeze is expected.


   This holding tank heater blanket is a must in winter camping. It's thermostat controlled.


    You’ll need a heated drinking water hose for camping in ski country  


Do you long to be Out There 365 days of the year, following your favorite seasons or NASCAR driver or baseball team, then moving on when the spirit moves you? For ten years I lived full-time on the go, earning along the way. Every day there are more ways to earn money anywhere by using the Internet, telecommuting, workamping or temping. My book Living Aboard your RV, 4th edition, covers full-timing from getting into it,  living the life, then easing out when the time comes  

If you're not of retirement age be sure you're getting the 4th edition, in Kindle or paperback. It has the most timely information on making a living on the go and homeschooling.

A Water Filter for all Seasons

               We hooked up to the water in a Florida campground and soon the entire interior of the RV smelled like rotten eggs.  The water was supposedly safe. In fact, some natives say sulfur water is actually good for you. I say P.U.

     I have a sink-mounted filter system for water used for drinking and cooking, but did I really want to shower in stinky sulfur water?

    Campground waters vary widely. They may  meet tests for safety but they could be very hard or very smelly with iron, sulfur or chlorine.  With a good filter you’re always assured of consistent water.  

    The new Clear 2O hose filter simply screws onto your RV’s drinking water hose. It filters to one micron and has a natural coconut carbon filter that removes bad tastes and odors, sediment, pesticides, organic chemicals, fungus and many other contaminants for up to six months. Just don’t use it for water deemed unsafe to drink in the first place. 

CLEAR 20 on Water hookup at campsite  


Friday, October 11, 2019

RV Women Travel, Earn, Travel, Repeat

Blog copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved. To inquire about advertising on one or more Groene blogs email

Can You Afford to

Crafty Solutions

    Do you yearn to take your RV on the road for a life of travel while supporting yourself with your skills as artist, artisan or crafter? Women ARE  traveling in RV’s and they make money at art shows, local festivals, craft fairs, ordinary flea markets and online. Here’s what you need to know about making money with arts and crafts.

    First, decide what you can create that is both profitable and satisfying to your artistic soul. Your craft also has to fit with the RV travel life, and that means keeping things compact and simple. You don’t need much space to carry a crochet hook but you’ll need a toy hauler to carry a complete woodshop. Choose the right RV rig, then furnish it with the right workspace for you.
Here are some ideas:  

* Sell demonstrations or classes as well as products.  If you’re a quilter, offer workshops.   Or, say you crochet old-fashioned  rag rugs. A modern version of this is to use strips cut from plastic shopping bags to make sleeping mats for the homeless. (They also make great ground cloths for camping.)  

Crocheted plastic makes ground cloths

    * Specialize.  Zero in on one or two specialties.  One woman follows nautical shows and swap meets to offer her service as a canvas expert. With her heavy duty sewing machine she creates and repairs dock box and winch covers, cockpit enclosures, cushion covers and other custom items.
    Sell Celtic jewelry at Highland games, rosemailing crafts at Scandinavian festivals,  or framed artworks showing, say, antique airplanes at fly-ins. Sell marine art or jewelry  at boat shows. The more unusual your specialty, the more your vendor booth will stand out. It also usually costs less to buy a booth at smaller festivals. 

Living Aboard Your RV 4th Edition is a guide to the full-time life on wheels.  It covers the lifestyle from choosing and equipping the rig to easing out when and if that time comes.

     * To follow the crafts fair circuit in your RV, do a  Google search for “fairs+festivals” or go to (www.) Selling at these fairs in person can supplement profits from online sale but beware high costs for booth space and also the cost of cross-country travels.

    * Most campgrounds don’t permit soliciting and selling. However, when word gets around that you can make this or that, orders come in. I once met full-timers whose teenager daughters took orders on Saturday to deliver hot donuts on Sunday morning. 

    * Selling homemade items is a crowded field, so you need a stand-out specialty. Online sites used by crafters include and etsy,com . You could also sell on Ebay or Become  computer savvy including new sales tools such as phone apps. Photography skills are a must to showcase your product online.

    * Give yourself a deadline, say six months to a year, to make a go of your traveling business. Network.  Learn what sells, what gives the best return per hour. Then focus.  I know a woman who crochets and sells only outfits for American Girl dolls.

    * Have a business plan that includes any special insurances to cover the business part of your RV life. 

    * Sign your work and become a brand. Improve not just your craft but your name recognition and profile. Years ago in Florida, itinerant painters sold their landscapes door to door. Today paintings by these Highwaymen sell for thousands of dollars.

Janet Groene lived full-time on the go for ten years as a freelance travelwriter.  Now meet Farley Halladay, Janet's new pen name. She’s a widow who takes readers from a Florida retirement community to the seven seas and back. First of the Yacht Yenta Mystery series is January Justice. The second, now released, is February Felony.

Did you know you can read Kindle books without a Kindle? download the free Kindle app and read e-books on your pad, phone or laptop. Free app

Friday, October 4, 2019

5 Things RV Women Need

5 Must-Haves for RV Women
copyright janet groene

    1.  A sleeping bag liner slips in and out of your sleeping bag  like silk, especially if it IS silk. Many travelers buy these sleep “sacks” when they are allergic to hotel sheets, or find them too rough or, frankly, are concerned about cleanliness. The “travel sheet” is also handy for couch surfing travel. 

    It washes like silk too, which is a lot easier than muscling the whole sleeping bag into the washer and dryer. This one is real silk, has its own stuff sack and comes in many colors.

    2. A big flashlight and mounting bracket.  Keep at least one hefty, powerful, truncheon-size, D-cell flashlight handy in the RV, perhaps one next to the door and one at your bedside. It’s a bright,  reliable, durable light with lasting power from three D-cells and it’s a defense weapon. I also keep small flashlights tucked all over the camper for power emergencie and for searching deep in drawers and cupboards. 

Mounting brackets are also available online for C-cell and AAA-size

    3. Extra footwear. No, this isn’t about a closet full of Jimmy Choo’s. It’s about mornings in the campground, damp with dew. It’s about mud, slippery slopes, thorns that can pierce flip-flops like butter. Mostly it’s about healthy feet and always having extra pairs of  dry, sturdy shoes and socks on standby.

    4. A pireu or sarong. It’s simply a length of cloth that you can make yourself by hemming up 2 yards  or so of cotton broadcloth. Or, you can splurge on a designer sarong in batik or Lily Pulitzer print. Wear it as a beach cover-up,a  cover for the campsite’s picnic table, a  skirt or garment. Sit on it on the beach. Use it as a light throw on the bed. 


    A true South Seas sarong, pireu or pareu is simply a rectangle  of cloth that can be wrapped, tucked and tied in many ways including creating a skirt, shawl or dress. Those sold to tourists for a beach cover-up may not be full-length or may have straps,   shaped hem or a fringe. so they aren't as versatile.

    5. A Personal Emergency Locator is expensive to buy but that’s the end of the expense. There are no monthly fees and the only maintenance is to replace the battery every five to seven years depending on manufacturer recommendations. Unlike a phone, which uses towers, the personal locator beacon broadcasts to satellites from anywhere.

    It sends a strong, long-lasting signal to rescue services. It’s used only when you’re in imminent danger such as ski accident, on the water or in the wilderness. It’s a technology like the “black box” in airplanes and EPIBS used on boats.

Read a cozy mystery in your RV bunk tonight. Meet my new pen name, Farley Halladay. She's a spunky widow who once sailed the Caribbean. Now she operates an online charterboat business. Love her dog, Scuppers, her best friend who is the sheriff, the elderly man she takes care of for her late husband's sake and her funny, mouthy fitness guru. The first book in the e-book series is January Justice. 

RV travel gets you there with your own bed and breakfast

blog copyright janet groene. This blog posts every Friday. Only a few previous posts are archived below.   To pay $5 as a voluntary one-yea...