9/12/12 Won't have time to do any purging for the rest of the week but I did go down to basic cable. I was thinking, I use Slingbox to watch my home TV when I am on the road working using my IPad or on my laptop, my son has lots of channels, why not hook my Slingbox up to his TV cable box in his family room. They hardly ever use the TV in that room, so I won't have any fears of someone changing the channel. I watch so little TV but I like the idea that if I want to watch PBS, BBC, Smithsonian Channel, etc., I can. I mentioned it to him and he thought it was a good idea. He suggested that I change my mailing address to his address and he will contact me if there is anything important and forward it on. Right now, because I get so little mail (all my bills come on line or I have them automatically paid) he comes up from VA every other week to clean out the mailbox.
9/13/12 Went to the MD RV show with my son, I was a little disappointed because it was mostly travel trailers and 5th wheels. There was a 29ft Class A by NewMar the BayStar however, I do not have the nerve to drive a Class A. I love the big windows and the space however. ... Would you believe that the dealer is located down the road from me. I never stop in because all they seem to carry is Class A and fifth wheels. Well Saturday is the big show, I will let you know what interested me when we get back.
9/14/12 I went to the PA RV show and took two seminars. The first seminar was Tips for Choosing An RV. Some of the information was to ask the dealer if rig is warranted for fulltime use, dual pane windows are quiet, warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Consider awnings for windows and AC in bedroom. Can you move the driver seat with slides closed so you are comfortable when driving. He had a section in his talk called Try it for Size
1. lie down in the bed, 2 stand in the shower, 3. sit on the toilet, 4 measure the closets, 5 where the outlets are, 6 exterior storage, 7 pretend you are making a meal.
He also said that if possible buy a used RV a year or 2 older for the same amount you would have spent on the new RV because you would be getting upgrades.
The next seminar I went to was on Full time and Extended RVing. The first part of the seminar was really what I do now when he talked about your mail, medical, banking, etc. Since I work on the road, for the last 16 years, I have had to get this worked out. For instance, banking- I have my paychecks automatically deposited, I use State Farm Bank for depositing other checks by taking a picture of front and back with my phone and when I withdraw money from any bank that charges me, they reimburse me the fee at the end of the month plus they have no fees when I use a ATM that is not theirs. I have not set foot in a bank for years, I use a national chain for my medicine since the insurance coverage I have is for one month at a time.
He said that your one year rule should be to check the cabinets, bins, storage areas of your RV and get rid of anything you do not need. Travel with empty grey/black tanks. Don't take heavy items like tools and sewing machine. When he said sewing machine, most of the women yelled out. He said that his wife carries a sewing machine but get a light weight one and make sure you use it. Well, I guess my sewing/embroidery machine is out. Emergency Road Service is a must for new and older RVs. Get a Motor Carrier road atlas if you like paper or an RV GPS. Don't drive more than 3 to 4 hours and get off road before 4pm. Stay away from membership campgrounds until after you have been on the road for at least a year. However, Passport America is a discount campground service and is cheap. Use Mi-Fi for internet especially if you do on line banking.
I also obtained information for a recreational vehicle driver education program at Northampton Community College in PA that runs from April 19 to September 23, 2013. I plan to take the class in either April or May before I actually retire and hit the road June 1. The cost is $240 a person. Classroom is 2 1/2 hours and the main topics are: pre-trip vehicle inspection, maintaining space, intersections and turns, blind spots. The driving portion is backing skills 1 1/2 hours and the main course is straight line backing, 45 degree backing and parallel parking. The driving skills portion is 1 1/2 hours and the main things you will be doing is setting up for turns, looking ahead, road signs and maintaining space.
I picked up info on long term sites in the area because if everything goes right, I will need a place from April to June here in MD.
9/16/2012 Back from the PA RV show, I walked for miles looking at all RV's that fit the bill, after doing so I have decided on the Nexus Viper 29V, which is 30'6 ft.
The company will customize it and I think that what I need will not affect the price much. I did put out a call to the ladies on the Women RV forum as to what they need and what they wish they had. I think that I want to switch out the sofa for two recliners with a small flip table in between for drinks, etc. I never sit on the sofa at home but in my favorite chair and the only reason I would have a sofa is for a bed for guest. Because this is a B+ design, there is no overhead cab bunk. I need the dinette because I do not want to have to put up a table everytime I want to sew, set up the loom, work on my polymer projects, etc. Also there is storage under the seat for my sewing machine and other craft items. Wish I had the money for the custom paint job but alas..... I have plenty of storage for everything but my spinning wheel and weaving loom, I asked one of the owners if they could build my bed higher so that the loom would fit (it folds flat), he told me to send him the dimensions, frankly I am to send a wish list and they will let me know what they can and can not as well as the price. Some of the suggestions that I have received so far from the forum are:
central vac, taller toilet with 2" riser, heat strip in the A C, ice maker, outside shower, solar and extra batteries, Onan generator, inverter, electric driver seat, microwave/convection oven, electric awning, regular oven plus the microwave/convection, awnings over all windows, 120v plugs in all rooms plus 12v receptacles for charging electronics.
I also saw on the Nexus website that a lady from RVW, a group I belong to, had just brought a Viper. I looked her up in the RVW directory and just sent her an email. Hope she answers, I asked a lot of questions so I hope that I did not scare her off. Another lady from RVW saw that I was going to the PA show to look for my first RV and she was going to search for her first one, she wanted to meet but I did not check my email until this evening, I did send her a note back to contact me and we could get together to talk about what we saw at the show.
Tomorrow I will make another Rescue Mission drop, it still does not look like I have made much progress. I basically am trying to think of what I take with me in my van when I travel for my job. I never know how long I will be gone, the last time was 4 months, so I have to take all I enjoy doing for the precious time I am off. When I am in my RV, it will be the same only I won't be going to work.....what of all my possessions that I do not want to live with out?