Nov 162010

Hey, give me a break! You try coming up with clever blog post headlines every day! It’s hard work! 🙂

After reading yesterday’s blog, some readers wanted to know if the new high back seat from Sea Eagle was any improvement for my bad back. Yes, after paddling 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon, I had no back pain at all, and felt great!

Somebody else wrote to ask why we keep deflating the kayak after paddling it, and then re-inflating it the next time we go out, and was it because the Sea Eagle PaddleSki was too heavy to carry inflated in our van. No, the boat only weighs about 40 pounds, and as this photo shows, I can easily drag it out of the water and stand it upright.

Nick holding boat upright

The problem is that our van is too tall for Terry and I to get it up there without using a ladder, and the inflated boat is over 14 feet long, so it won’t fit inside our van. Not counting the fact that our two hard kayaks are inside the van, as well as all of the newspapers we carry, and two Trek bicycles. It’s not all that much hassle to inflate and deflate the Sea Eagle, and it will be even less when I order the electric pump from Inflatable Boats 4 Less.

Yesterday morning, Dave Damon, who sells 303 products at RV rallies, came by to visit for a while, and we had a good time swapping lies. Then Terry and I had some running around to do, and drove down to Winter Haven, about 30 miles south of the Thousand Trails campground. 

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I have to be honest, I have never been enamored with Florida, but lately I have been thinking that with all of the water around here, and how much we love paddling and fishing, maybe we should switch our legal domicile to Florida. I could save some money on the cost of a resident fishing license over the much higher fees for a non-resident license. And getting back to Florida to renew our licenses would be easier than South Dakota, given our usual travel routes. 

There are three RV friendly states that seem to be home to most fulltime RVers – Texas, South Dakota, and Florida. There is an excellent mail forwarding service in Green Cove Springs, and the Good Sam Club has a mail forwarding service in Pensacola.

However, while talking to my car insurance company yesterday about another matter, I happened to mention changing domiciles, and was told that the higher cost of car and motorhome insurance in Florida would more than offset any savings on fishing licenses. We saved about a $1,000 a year on insurance when we switched from Texas to South Dakota, and I guess maybe we’ll stay right where we are.

Back at the motorhome, I had a long list of e-mails to answer, and an even longer list of forwarded junk, myths, and garbage that I just deleted without opening. I don’t mind a good joke now and then, and I’m guilty of forwarding one from time to time to a select group of twisted, sick people on my e-mail list.

But I really get tired of all of the stupid dire warnings of doom, the warm fuzzy stuff that is supposed to bring tears to my eyes, and the nonsense that anybody with half a brain cell could glance at and know is pure BS. I’m about to ban four or five folks from my inbox because they send me the same old junk over and over. I don’t need it, I don’t want it, and I don’t have time for it.

I also had an e-mail from a couple who have a fifteen year old gas powered Class C motorhome that they want to try fulltiming in this winter, before they spend big bucks on their dream rig. But they had heard from a couple of “experts” that “most” RV parks won’t let you in if your RV is more than 10 years old. These same experts had warned them that if they showed up anywhere in a rig that old, nobody would want to associate with them. They were worried that it was going to be a long, lonely winter.

I would be willing to bet that these “experts” are either RV salespeople trying to hustle them into a purchase, or else elitist jerks whom we could all do well without. For years we traveled in a 1976 homebuilt bus conversion, and we were never turned away anywhere we went, and we have never had a shortage of friendly neighbors in any campground from border to border and coast to coast.

Yes, there are a few RV “resorts” that have, and exercise, the ten year rule, but those are usually not the kind of places where I’d want to hang out anyway.  And as for being shunned due to the age of their RV, it just doesn’t happen most places. Sure, there is the occasional snob, just like anywhere in life. But overall, fulltime and extended travel RVers are some of the friendliest, most open and accepting people you’ll find anywhere. They don’t care what you drive, or what you do or did for a living. All they care about is if you’re friendly, if you have a couple of good campfire stories to tell, and if you want to ride along with them to the nearest buffet, or do you want them to ride with you!

Thought For The Day –  A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when memory fails.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  10 Responses to “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Kayak”

  1. Never had any trouble full-timing in my 1985 Toyota Sun Land Express. Of course, I don’t frequent the “luxury resorts” either. Most people think my rig is “cute.”

  2. Some of the friendliest campgrounds we have been in are the ones with older, semi-permanent rigs and small campgrounds where families leave their rigs for the summer and weekend camp. None of them have ever asked how old our RV was.

    Like you, if the campground is restricted to newer (or class A only!) it is usually not a place we are interested in anyway.

  3. About car and motor home insurance in Florida, it depends a lot on where you live in Florida. If you are from the bigger cities especially Miami, it is high. But if you are from out in the sticks so to speak it’s not bad. I suggest you check with Miller insurance and get a quote on the insurance using the Green Cove Springs address. We home base in Florida and love it!!!

    We have an 18 year old class A motor home. We have only once gone to a place with the 10 year rule. The park were only concerned about the appearance of the coach. The town didn’t want a “Trailer” park. They wanted a traveling RV park. So they made the 10 year rule. The park itself didn’t care as long as you looked OK and you didn’t want to permanently put your rig there to live in.

    From what we’ve seen over the 13 years on the road is that neither parks nor other RVers care what rig you have. Sure, they don’t want you to be the Beverly Hillbillies or trailer trash, but beyond that they don’t care what your rig is. Mostly other RVers are interested as Nick says in who you are now, what good stories you can tell and what interesting places you have been. Oh yes, a good appetizer for happy hour is important too!!!!!

  4. Absolutely love your thought for the day. I’d love to use it is a motto on my own blog, whenver I get around to writing another post! That message calls to us, and resonates. That’s the kind of friend we all need.

  5. P.S. Amen to what you say about the majority of stuff people forward. We’ve been fortunate in asking some folks to stop sending us trash, but not so lucky with all of them.

  6. We agree with you about the freindly folks. Sure there are a few snobs out there. but for the most part everyone is friendly and helpful.

  7. I love the so called “experts”…they believe they are the repository for all there is to know about a given subject, and most often are dead wrong. I have only run into one park in all my years of RVing (Mesa, AZ) where I was trying to make a reservation to stay while we attended our daughter’s graduation from AZ State. Otherwise, we have never had a problem. We have never owned a “new” RV. Our prior Class C was a 1987, and our current is a 1982. We take care of our rigs, and they look good, even if they are old. Often people come up to talk about our vintage Newell….it is a great conversation starter. Nevertheless, we find that most fellow RVers are just interested in your story, and who you are as a person. It is a great community in which to be a member.

  8. We have had only one negative experience with a park and that was back when we started full timing. It was also the time that I insisted we stayed at a park. We did not see any signs restricting vehicles. It turned out to be a park only for the ultra expensive rigs. That is alright we did not want to stay there any way. We have been told when they ask about the rig they just want to make sure that they do not get wrecks in that want to take up residents. Now we do not use parks just for a night, thank heavens for Wal-Marts and flying J’s.

  9. This summer we switched our Domicile from FL to SD which saved us $800 in 5er and truck insurance for our model years. SD didn’t even ask us about insurance which made it easier to switch everything over at a natural pace compared to FL which wanted all of the policies in place up front and our DL’s switched before they’d register our vehicles. We didn’t mind having our Domicile in FL (other than the higher insurance costs), but don’t make your domicile in Monroe County in the Keys. Sales tax there is 7.5% so new cars and motorhomes will costs 4.5% more in upfront taxes compared to 3% in SD. We also kept getting called for Jury Duty and they got real tired real fast of us being full-timers. It appears many Monroe county residents call Monroe county their 2nd home which makes the potential jury pool smaller and less tolerant to full-time travelers claiming to domicile there. If you make FL your domicile, do it at Good Sams or Passport America where there are lots of other RVers to share the jury pool. Dave & Sheila

  10. We give out our email address to folks we would love to stay in touch with. . .and also do not appreciate being added to their forwarding list.

    Who has time to read all that stuff? I am so with you on banning the discourteous folks who abuse the privilege. . .and who have no clue of the proper way to forward an email, and include everyone’s email address in their heading. . .BCC was created for just this reason. . .

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