Just Hanging Out

 Posted by at 1:37 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 042011

Right now, we’re just hanging out here in Traverse City, waiting for Miss Terry’s doctor appointment on Friday, visiting with my cousin Terry and his family, and their neighbors Ed and Mary Jo, who have become close friends of ours over the years. It’s a good time to sleep in late, catch up on our reading and internet surfing, and I’ve even managed to get some real work done. 🙂

Of course, when we’re sitting still, I usually don’t have as much to write about. While I think every aspect of my life is absolutely fascinating, you probably don’t really care what I had for breakfast (blueberry pancakes), how many e-mails I had waiting in my Inbox yesterday morning (36), or how many of them were forwards that I automatically deleted without opening (21). You probably don’t even care how many people sent those 21 junk e-mails (4).

So what shall we talk about today? How about our Select Comfort Sleep Number Bed? I know that a lot of people really like them, but Terry and I hate ours. From the very first week, one chamber lost about 10-15 pounds of air in a 24 hour period. We complained to Select Comfort several times, jumped through all of the hoops they wanted us to try to remedy the situation, and finally just gave up and resigned ourselves to adding more air every night when we go to bed.

We also spent months arguing with the company, before they finally sent a replacement for the foam that divides the two chambers down the center of the bed. The original one collapsed within the first year. And even though we’ve had the bed for about three years now, and have experimented with every “comfort setting” from very soft to extra firm, we both wake up every morning with stiff, sore backs. I never need an alarm clock, I know that back pain will wake me up right on schedule. Replacing this uncomfortable thing is very high on our priority list. Do you have a Sleep Number Bed, and if so do you like yours?  

A word of caution. Last evening I received a telephone call from (646) 467-6665. We were in kind of a a noisy setting, so by the time I realized my phone was ringing and fumbled it out of my pocket, the call had ended. Since it was not a number I recognized, and the call came in after 9:30, I looked the number up on Google. It belongs to an outfit called Universal Survey Company, and some folks report getting a dozen or more repeated calls every day. So if you see this number calling you, ignore it.

Whitt and Judy McKinney, husband and wife musicians who make up The McKinney Washtub Two, performed for us at our rally at Elkhart Campground last year, and were a big hit. Whitt and Judy have agreed to come to Celina, Ohio for our Eastern Gypsy Journal Rally in September, and we’re looking forward to listening to them again. When they’re not entertaining RVers, they also play at other venues, and they are here in Traverse City for a few days. So yesterday evening we met for dessert at an ice cream place called Moomers, which came very highly recommended. It was nice to have some time to visit, away from the hustle and bustle of a rally, and we had a very good time.

In fact, long after our ice cream was gone, we just sat outside at a picnic table, chatting away. Finally, over three hours later, we decided to call it an evening. But not before Whitt and Judy agreed to do not one, but two different shows at our Ohio rally! I guarantee that they’ll have you tapping your toes, clapping your hands, and laughing out loud!    

Back home, I posted a new self-publishing blog titled How I Sell E-Books Q&A, got this blog ready to go, and by then it was time to think about bedtime. Tune in tomorrow, and I’ll try to think of something else to share with you that will change the course of life as we know it. Or at least get your day off to a pleasant start. 🙂

Thought For The Day – More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them.

Click Here To Register For Our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally!

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Nick Russell

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

  35 Responses to “Just Hanging Out”

  1. Back in the “sticks and bricks” days, we had a Sleep Number Mattress (top of the line) and George hated it. We both have bad backs. We have a regular mattress in the coach, but we topped it with a “Serta Ultimate 4-inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper” ($179 on Overstock.com) and enclosed it in a “Down Alternative Cover for Memory Foam Topper” now $59 on Overstock.com. You will sleep like a baby. We both rave about how comfortable it is!

  2. Nick, we had wanted a Sleep Number bed, but it was way out of our price range. So, we found an alternative – Americana Bear Beds. The same principle, but not the same price. We have been very happy with the comfort and the customer service. Here’s the link to their site, http://www.bearbeds.com/.

  3. Nick, Glad you discovered Moomers. A place that can make even us old farts feel like a kid again! We have a Tempurpedic bed (in our fixed home, no RV yet) and we absolutely love it. Check it out, I’m sure there is a dealer in TC. Bob

  4. I have back problems and for 35 years we slept on water. Loved it. Even tried to go back to a conventional mattress one time and gave up and went back to the water. Bought a sleep number bed and after 10 days I couldn’t get out of bed and walk without great difficulty. I, too, found the customer service far lacking with this company. I called because I wanted to return it. They insisted I try different settings, which I had already done, etc. They finally agreed to take it back, but it was not the deal they advertise. I lost my $35 shipping to send the damn thing back. Then before they would issue a refund, I had to talk with someone from the company who asked dozens of questions about my back problem and they started getting personal and I finally told them I wouldn’t answer any more of their questions. I told them if they didn’t refund my money I would make a formal complaint to the FTC about their advertising practices, etc. I finally got my money back minus the shipping. We buy cheap camping air mattresses at Target and use them for about a year when we have to replace them. They work well for us. We put a foam topper on them. I just cannot sleep on a conventional mattress, but I certainly did not like sleeping in the “trough” with that Sleep Number piece of garbage.

  5. Nick,old age creeps up on all of us,so does the aches and pain. Hope you have a great day.


  6. Nothing compares to a waterbed. We put a 2″ foam topper on our sleep number bed in the 5th wheel ( 2 ” doesn’t interfere with slide ) but not til after 12 years and have had excellent results. The first ten years were great. The air pump has broken once but it was still under 10 year warranty then and they sent us one prorated to wherever we were at the time. The mattress topper is from amazon whatever had the most stars and free shipping at the time. Good Luck. A good night’s sleep is wonderful.

  7. I have had back problems for many years and have tried several different mattress types. The temperpedic memory foam has turned out to be the one that gives the best nights sleep. Pricey, but it also came with a ten year warranty. The waterbed was the next best, but because of the weight and electric heater was not practical for the RV. My wife and I both disliked the air mattress.

  8. We have a bear bed(air) also and have been very happy with it, We do get the occasional leaks but we are able to repair it. We use kids bubble solution to find the hole then John puts some stuff on it to seal it. We replaced a baffle once. We’ve had the bed about 8 years- it has nice pillow top. We are very happy with it. Just have to remember to deflate it when we travel over the mountains!

  9. Interesting comments about the sleep number beds. We have had one for several years, and it has been better than any of the conventional mattresses we ever had. All of the innerspring mattresses developed depressions in the first year or two, and we had problems with back pain in the morning. The sleep number bed, with a 2 inch memory foam topper, has been a great improvement. I have never noticed any air leakage. Don’t have one in the RV . . . yet.

    Wish I could sit out at a picnic table and enjoy ice cream. It’s been so d%^&* hot in Houston that outside is unbearable. Won’t be too long before we can hitch up and drive away from the heat.

  10. We have a sleep number bed and it is great. My back is broken in 6 places and can never heal, my pelvis is held together with 3 plates, 8 screws and an artificial hip. There is not much I am comfortable on. I could not even lay down on a water bed; I got about half way down and had to get off the water bed. We bought the cheapest sleep number bed and it is about 2 years old now and have not had any problems. Depending on my pain level, I raise or lower the air until I find a comfortable setting which for me ranges between 55 to 70. We have a free standing queen size air mattress from Cabela’s that is 23 inches high. It is what I sleep the best on and it was about 50 bucks.

    Be careful on the road.

  11. Sorry your experience has been unsatisfactory Nick. We have had a Select Comfort bed for some fifteen years, (three in the stick and 12 on the road) and
    love it. We sprung for the high end “pillow top” item.

    Sure enjoy following your adventures…..
    Happy travels, John n’ Mad

  12. We had a Select Comfort and we hated it. Not only was it uncomfortable but it was also cold. We love waterbeds but, of course, they are not for RV’s. We also found that the foam that divides the 2 chambers was hard and snuggling was out of the question. We still have not found a mattress that we are totally happy with. Good Luck.

  13. We have the same memory foam bed that we had in our Sticks & Bricks prior to selling the place. Myformer work (oh bad word) partner, of 15 years, has had 2 and is not satisfied. First one was returned in 30 days. leaks etc. Before we bought the tempor foam mattress we had a water bed for 30 years or so. then I assembled a matress in the waterbed frame using 6″ dense foam and a memory faom topper worked good but nothing like latest.

  14. We have a Sleep Number. My side of the bed has had a problem from day 1. I called and they decided that we needed to replace the pump. So we did, of course at a pro-rated rate. Still has the same problem, so I just add air almost nightly. We had a water mattress for years in our stick home and loved it. I sure miss it in the motor home. When we get rid of this mattress, I think we will go for the other brand. I would not buy Sleep Number again. We purchased it from Camping World, on sale, so it was actually less expensive than most regular mattresses. Will think about adding a ‘topper’.

  15. Wow! I thought I was wanted a Select Comfort mattress but now I think I will keep our original mattress that came with the Journey in 2002.
    Enjoy TC. My sister used to live in Ludington so we visited the area every so often.
    Nick, you described my day almost perfectly except for the pancakes. I think it is a typical day for an RVer relaxing. Hope everything goes well on Friday.

  16. Well, I see I made a serious typo. Guess I’d better have coffee now.

  17. we bought a sleep number bed a year ago at GNR, it is a different brand but we found out they are both built by the same company. We had problems the first month we had it, the air compressor went out. They were great about sending a replacement, all though we had to use our credit card for it. they sent the new compressor and when they received the old one they immediately refunded the money they with held. We both also have bad backs and on certain days we both have trouble with them. We also learned that we have to redo the settings about once a week. I wish that there was some way of putting a water bed in the unit. We had one for years and loved it and did not have any back pain.

  18. Nick,

    We have had the RV version of the select comfort mattress for five years and love it. The controller displays have failed twice over the years and both times they have replaced them free no questions asked; which included the pump. The latest being wireless.

    Hope you find something that works for you and Miss Terry!

  19. My wife and I have been looking at RV’s for full timing and the best bed we have seen was a 6″, or so, Tempur-pedic in a used RV we looked at. We had both heard of them but that was the first time we had seen one in person. We had a hard time getting back up once we laid down and realized how comfortable it was. We probably stayed there 15 minutes amazed at how much better it was than our nice pillow top at home. Having said all that I have to point out I have not lived on one of those beds. It will definitely be our next.
    Thank you for the site! It is helping us get ready for our full time RV life.

  20. “I never need an alarm clock, I know that back pain will wake me up right on schedule.” That was me, exactly, before we got our Select Comfort bed about four years ago. It’s worked beautifully for us. I have no back pain today. I’ll never go back to a traditional mattress as long as this one keeps doing the job for us.

    What is not widely advertised at Select Comfort is that you can buy its cheapest, most basic mattress with dual chambers and no extra padded layers on top. The price skyrockets with each additional layer of padding, so we figured we could do our own padding, and it worked.

    The dual controls in the lowest model are wired, not digital; they are more like toggle switches (air in, air out). By doing this, we saved a lot of money. We bought only the mattress and then just recycled an older foundation we already had and saved a lot there, too.

    Then, we added our own layers of padding to soften the new mattress by using a 2” foam topper we already had and a thickly padded mattress protector. I added a ½” dense foam pad underneath the topper, down in the channel on my side, to give me better, firmer, support. And now I sleep comfortably with no back pain. I look forward to putting one out in our RV whenever we begin to travel a lot.

    Best wishes to you, Nick, and Miss Terry in resolving your misery with your bed. I wish it could be as easy as finding a good combination of toppers and foam pads that work for you two, but it sounds like you have much bigger issues to deal with if the thing is losing air all the time.

  21. We tried a sleep number bed in our house and didn’t like it. Fortunately, we lived close enough to the factory to be able to return it in person. Our current RV came with a sleep number bed so we made the dealer remove it and provide a regular mattress. I put a foam topper on my side but Dave just sleeps on the mattress. I don’t sleep well in any type of bed so I spend part of each night sleeping in my Eurochair.

  22. Our basic level 8″ Tempurpedic mattress went with us from the house to the Motor home. After 10 years it showed NO signs of wear. We bought a newer SOB type of “memory foam” for the house because of a new bed that required a deeper (12″) mattress. Not nearly as comfortable. When we sold our old motor home, the Tempurpedic went with … and those folks are still happy with it after simply replacing the cover. In our present motor home we have a SOB “memory foam” mattress that is just OK. My plans are for another simple, 8″ Tempurpedic brand when it comes time for replacement. They cost more, but the brand truly is better than the knock offs.

  23. We are fulltimers 17 yrs now and I have had the same Select Comfort mattress (cheapest model short queen with a pillow top) since Jul 96. Sleep Number is the current name for the mattress. I have never had a problem with any of it. I also have back problems and this is by far the best mattress I ever owned. Whenever I trade Motor Homes I move the mattress with me. I can’t say anything about the customer service as I never had any reason to deal with them. I wonder if all the people who are uncomfortable with the mattress may have some other problem unrelated to the mattress. I highly recommend this mattress.

  24. So glad I read this, because we were planning to buy a Select Comfort sleep number bed in the next month. From reading the reviews, I think we’ll look long and hard at the Tempurpedic instead.

  25. Not to be rude, but do you think if you lost 50 or 75 pounds that might not help your back?

  26. Gee, Tom, why would I think that was rude? 🙂

    If I lost that much weight, my clothes wouldn’t fit any more, and I’d have to stay in bed or walk around nekkidd.

  27. We have had the rv queen sleep number for about 5 years now and have had no problems. Both Linda and I both like it. When we moved from the flat lands to 8500 ft up in Colorado this past month, had to let some air out, but that’s normal.
    Love the bed.


  28. We bought our Select Comfort in 1999, a reg. queen without the pillow top. We added a memory foam topper and really love it. We have had no problems with leaks or escaping air, in fact we seldom if ever have to adjust the air pressure. We have moved this mattress into 5 different RV’s over the years including our current full-timing unit. This is the closest we could come to the water we had in the sticks and bricks for 30 years.

  29. We bought a Comfort Aire mattress and put a memory foam topper on it in our motorhome six years ago. It has work without problems during that time. It is also very comfortable. It became even more comfortable when I lost 60 pounds. I’m still no lightweight but I definitely noticed the difference.

    We have had a memory foam mattresses in our previous motorhome and at our house. In both cases I found them to be hot and they developed a trough over time where I lay which reduces the comfort for me. I’ll stick with the Comfort Aire.

    By the way, I found myself making the air mattress too soft and started getting more back pain. I had to firm it up some to get it right.

  30. We have a Select Comfort mattress that came in our Journey that we bought new off the dealer’s lot.

    Without question, it is the biggest piece of junk I’ve ever slept on. When one person gets up in the night for a visit to the powder room, the remaining person drops further down in the bed. When the first person returns, no matter how softly they lie down, the other person gets bounced around.

    If one side has a lower pressure, the person on the other side feels like they’re rolling downhill all night.

    The only way we could make it workable was to put a 4 inch foam topper on it and keep both sides adjusted to the same pressure. And it loses pressure constantly.

    We’re shopping for a good mattress and can’t wait to get rid of this overblown, over rated poor excuse of a mattress. I’d chuck it in a dumpster, but that would be insulting…to the dumpster!

  31. Costco carries a combination memory foam/gel mattress topper that we put over the mattress/spring combination bed that came with our Northern Lite. It’s so comfortable!

  32. Wow, hard to believe we’re all talking about the same bed. We’ve had Select Comforts for six-plus years now. First in the stick house and the past three years in our Itasca Ellipse. We’re not talking top-of-the-line models either, pretty much the bottom of the line. We bought our Ellipse largely because it had the Select Comfort bed as other models didn’t.

    We’ve had problems, first a leaky air chamber, and then one of our two controllers had problems displaying the numbers. In both cases a phone call resulted in replacement parts being shipped at no cost to us (they even prepaid our return of the defective items.

    To each his own, but for us the Select Comfort bed is one of those few things that actually performs as well, or better than, advertised (unlike “Hope and Change”).

  33. Nick-
    Sorry to hear about your issues with the sleep-by-number bed. That experience helps us as we decide what to replace our rather expensive 2+ year old Tempurpedic bed with. The memory foam that is supposed to be so great… well, it isn’t so. We have a mattress that’s like an well worn interstate highway: crowned in the middle with ruts on either side. Can’t blame it on it being our weight at we’re not “outsized” (nor are you, as insinuated by a previous poster)!

    Maybe it’s time for an RV sized waterbed to be invented…

  34. Nick,
    We have the sleep number bed in both our house and the fifth wheel. My only complaint is with the pump as I have had to replace in both the house and rv. House pump lasted 5 years, the rv pump last 2 years. Other than the expense of replacing these pumps, we love the bed.

  35. Sorry to hear about your problems with your sleep number bed. We too have one, but love it. Never had a problem and find our aches and pains are much better when sleeping on it.

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