That’s Your Excuse?

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 182012

I was talking to my friend Michele Henry from Phoenix Commercial Paint yesterday and she was telling me that she’s had a couple of cancellations with the reason given that it is an election year, so people don’t want to spend any money right now.

Huh? You planned to get your rig painted, but suddenly you realized it’s an election year, so you can’t? I’d be surprised, except I had a couple of people tell me they couldn’t come to our rally in Yuma, and somebody else tell me he’d like to make it to the Ohio rally in September, but again they were sticking close to home because it was an election year. What the heck does that have to do with anything?

Do we suddenly think that after the election all RVs are going to be confiscated? Or that our roads are all going to be closed? That we will be restricted from traveling more than 15 miles from our home? Give me a break!

A while back my son-in-law was telling me that we needed to buy any guns we wanted now, because it’s election-year. Before the last election, gun and ammunition prices went sky high because it was an election year and if Obama got elected we wouldn’t be able to have them anymore. Guess what? He did, and you can still walk into a gun shop anywhere in the country and purchase a firearm if you meet the legal requirements. I think my buddy Lyle Worman, who owns a gun shop in Pinetop, Arizona, starts these rumors every four years just to boost sales.

It reminds me of snowbirds I have met who complain because they have to leave someplace warm like Arizona or Florida to go back to cold places like Minnesota and Michigan to file their taxes. They just don’t seem to understand that you can mail your taxes from anyplace in the country. You’re not required to be at any certain place to file your taxes. Who knew?

And of course, right now we can add fuel prices to the list of reasons why the sky is falling. I’m surprised at the number of RVers who have told me they are sitting still this year, or greatly curtailing their travels because fuel prices have gone up. I’ve written about this in the blog before. It’s really not an issue. So it costs you an extra $100 or $200 to drive across the country. It’s not like you are going to turn right around the next day and drive back in the other direction, and then repeat the process again all summer long. If you are going to let a few dollars change your lifestyle, maybe you need to re-think whether you really want to be an RVer after all.

I think a lot of people are just looking for an excuse not to do something because they don’t have the self-confidence or whatever it takes to just say “I don’t want to do it so I’m not going to.” Instead, they come up with some lame excuse about elections, or filing taxes, or fuel prices.

A while back I created quite a controversy when I said that Terry and I had decided we don’t want to drive to Alaska in our motorhome. Not because of the cost of the trip, or because it’s an election year and they may close the border and not let me back into the country (who could blame them 🙂 ), or for any other reason than that we just don’t want to do it. There are a lot of places here in the lower 48 that we still haven’t gotten to that are much higher on our bucket list.

If you don’t want to do something, whether it be getting your motorhome painted, or traveling, or staying in your snowbird roost any longer, or going to an RV rally, that’s fine. But why try to convince yourself and those around you that it’s because of something beyond your control? Just say I don’t want to do it. It’s a free country, you’re allowed to do that!

And by the way, if you’re not afraid of election years, or higher fuel prices, or the bogeyman, give Michelle a shout at 574–238–5668. She’s got some downtime and you can get a heckuva deal on an RV paint job. And when you’re done, what the heck, come on down to Celina, Ohio, for our rally too, you wild and crazy animal you! 🙂

Thought For The Day – The difference between a liberal and a conservative is one mugging.

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Nick Russell

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  36 Responses to “That’s Your Excuse?”

  1. Well I guess you can put us in the “frady cat”side Nick. Until this election is behind us and we hopefully get the country back on track we are not going anywhere or doing anything. There is just too much turmoil and uncertainty right now. If they take away our retirement and social security like they are talking about, we will need every penny of our savings just to survive.

  2. My husband uses the excuse of getting back to do taxes every year. I keep telling him we could take whatever paperwork we need with us, there is an HR Block office in everyy town. But he insists. Part because he’s a stubborn old Swede, and more so because he misses his drinking buddies and the bowling alley. We have driven through snowstorms, ice storms, tornado watches and everything else you can imagine just to get home to Saginaw, MI by March 15 so he has 30 days to take his box full of papers down to the shopping center and hand them to the tax guy. Frustrating? You betcha! But at 67 years old I know I can’t change him so I grin and bear it.

  3. For us right now it IS all about the money. We have about 6 years before retirement and any trip we make that takes two tankfuls of gas, equals one motorhome payment! We don’t want to retire with debt hanging over our head so we’re not doing much traveling for now. We will be living in our rig this summer so our kids can live in our house while their’s is being built, so it will give us the feel of what it’s like to full time, even if it is in our front yard!

  4. In Canada between the federal elections and provincial elections and municipal elections almost every year is an election year. We would never go anywhere if we decided not to travel because an election was coming along. Life is way to short to sit out an entire year because of politics.

  5. I’ve been wondering lately if folks just get more apprehensive about life in general as they get older. Everything seems scarier when the years ahead of you are shorter, and your friends start to pass away. Then, you have the ones who are just nervous about *any* change, the ones who (like your first commenter above) exaggerate the possible outcome of change, and the ones with valid concerns (“I might not have enough money to last me until the end of my life”) who let those concerns occasionally start running their lives. Then there are the alarmists who see a revolution around every corner and the agitators who like to stir the pot and start to believe it all themselves. Seems to me most of these folks would be very unhappy on most days to be full-time RVers unless they just stay parked in one place most of the time. In which case, what’s the point of being an RVer in the first place?

  6. Over the years I’ve heard a number of entertaining reasons for people to do or not do things. Usually I start chuckling when I hear their reasoning which sometimes leads to hurt feelings. Oh well.

    Reference fuel price concerns the additional cost may be a little higher than $100-200. In our case our cross country adventure this year , as of today, will cost $1290 additional over the cost we paid last year. That is the same route and distance. This has a much larger impact than a couple of hundred bucks.

  7. Nick ,

    As a media pimp that earns a living from the work and sweat of fellow RV’ers , I would think you would be more broad minded about what effects tens of thousands of RV’ers and traveling campers . Many things , including elections can cast both long and short term shadows on future plans .

    A more positive approach might be to explain how to stretch out the extra expenses over time and enjoy the event .

    I realize that your writing style is based on sales and emotion , but your fellow RV’ers deserve better !

    Most RV’ers have specific resources and have others managing their long term finances – this creates a sense of question or doubt on some large issues .

  8. We’ve never had much money,but we sure have a bunch of memories.
    Some people let money dictate their lifes. Others dictate their lives and forget about the money part. Its kind of funny(maybe sad) how people save for old age and after getting old still save.

  9. One of our alarmist friends told me last year, “there won’t be an election in 2012.” Well someone better tell Obama and Rommey that pretty soon?????

  10. We’re with you Nick! We love traveling too much to let the price of fuel, threats of taking my SS away or any other lame excuse to stop us from doing what WE want to do. We’ll be damned if we will let others dictate how we live our lives.
    What in the heck does the election have to do with YOU doing what YOU want to do anyway?

  11. Anyone who is waiting for this election to change anything is delusional. As the county song says, ” God is great, beer is good and people are craxy”. Kind of says it all…..

  12. Besides work, the only thing slowing us down is – the new lawn in the back yard, the replacement of the doors in the laundry room, fixing this, fixing that – gosh, I want to go – We still have a Memorial Day trip planned, an October trip to Big Bend planned, and a couple others along the way. Yes, cost of fuel is a concern, but I just budget $5 a gallon and go from there. Next year I’ll budget $6 a gallon.

  13. Sadly, by and large, these comments reflect fears that are non-existent and typically seem to revolved around the possibility of certain democratic candidates.

    I remember people who thought the world would collapse if Bill Clinton got elected. You have to multiply that insanity many times over before Obama was elected.

    We are certainly as polarized as I have ever witnessed. What surprises me the most is how unwilling people are to look beyond the talking heads to really get a grasp of the issues. It requires some work and reading but I guess it is easier to have someone else tell you what the facts are and then refuse to consider anything else. Oh yeah, don’t forget you should hate anyone who disagrees with you.

    Nick, keep up the good work.

  14. Years ago we were in an RV club and several of the members talked about summer travels, winter travels etc. We were still working, with two college bound daughters and a ton of debt on some land we just had to have. One of the old timers must have sensed my reluctance to enter the conversation and said to me, “It doesn’t make much difference how much money you have when you retire; you just have to recognize the limits and live accordingly.” He was so right. Today the daughters are out of school, doing well in their chosen fields, the land mortgage is paid off and we are seeing America. Life has been good to us!

  15. Nick I know you don’t need me to defend you, but I just have to respond to Marvin’s comment that you earn your living off the work and sweat of fellow RVers. Last I looked, I’m sitting here enjoying reading the Gypsy Journal and I didn’t sweat a bit over writing any of it or addressing the envelopes or mailing it out – I just get to enjoy the stories! I’ve never had the privilege to attend one of your rallies (yet) but I can bet you’re doing a whole lot more work than the attendees. That comment just ticked me off!!

  16. Nick, there are some good points brought up in the comments above, but can’t quite understand what an election has to do with travel plans. I don’t think that we would stop from wanting to travel except for finances. The price of gas is a real problem, but budgeting for the cost and/or making the travel plans accommodate the budget helps out.

  17. Nick, Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your “blurbs” about various products. I appreciate the fact that you tell it like it is. I’ve seen you say, you didn’t like products too. Therefore, I trust your opinion. Because of one of those blurbs, several months ago, I saved a link to a product.

    I just last night ordered a Docuscan from TechnoRV. I can’t wait for it to get here! I’m scanning all my photos from the past 30 years of my family and then working on the ones I inherited from my Mom. I plan to put them into printed photo books. I know this scanner will speed up my process!

    Thanks again!!

  18. Exactly. Exactly! EXACTLY!! We don’t have a “home” to go back to, as we are full timers … What are we supposed to do?? We have roughly mapped our our travels for the next 8 months or so, and if diesel were to go up another $1 per gallon, we would have to spend an extra $1200 or so to cover that 9000+ miles. That works out to about $150 per month. But that is if diesel rises $1 per gallon!! In the grand scheme of things, this is NOT a deal breaker and will not keep us from roaming the roads. Now … if we had to really pinch our pennies … and many folks have to be careful … we would just cut down on our miles, eat out much less often, use Groupon, etc. We do track our spending, just to see where it all goes … but the fact that this is an election year has NO bearing on what we do. NONE. I am gonna die someday, and I am not putting off my agenda because some Dog & Pony Show is held every 4 years!

  19. Right on Nick!! And you said you were too busy for “Bad Nick”. Well get on with your bad self, ’cause you were right on about fears and the RV Lifestyle. Anyone out here who is a full-timer has overcome not only fears but the silly attitudes of family and friends. Come on people!! We are the ultimate “Preppers”

  20. Life is too uncertain to postpone anything—ever! Imagine you have a health issue and that “bucket list” remains incomplete. “Shoulda” & “coulda” are sad words.

    We’re off to Alaska as soon as the weather permits. With all those stay-at-homes we should have the place to ourselves…

  21. like many of the comment already made I have to agree with most. Putting off enjoying this country because of election is so funny. We are back on the road again and so happy to be. We just adjusted our gas budget for the higher prices and discovered the prices were not as bad as everyone told us they were here in California they are a few cents but not the $$ we were led to believe. As for Michelle anyone who is thinking about have their rig painted, she does a awesome job, she did our rig this summer. As Nick said give her a call,

  22. Nick’s a pimp??? I knew it when I saw that fancy new rig of yours, and then you bought that snappy fedora. I should have put it all together when Greg White had the badge that said he was your chief bitch! You sly old dog you!!!!

  23. Marvin maybe if you’d manage your own finances you’d not have to worry so much about them. Mine are all in my back pocket and a small bank account. You must mean those rich RVers who look down their noses at anybody not in a $250K motorhome. You sound like a lot of them. And I’d bet you anything Nick and Miss Terry work harder than any of us reading this today. They busted their butts to make it and work long hours every day to provide all of us with value info and entertainment.

  24. Terry M,
    Not sure about your cross country trip but last year diesel averaged $3.66 a gallon according to our trip log. We drove from near Johnstown, Penn to Quartzsite and then Yuma, 2400 miles and used 345 gallons of diesel. My log says cost was $1262.70. We just got hoome to see our first grandbaby born and fuel averaged $4.15 for a total of $1431.75. So the difference was only $169.05 not the $1200 you talked about. Not sure what the difference is, but your rig must use a lot more than ours. We average about 7 mpg on our 40 foot DP

  25. Being a grown-up means you can do whatever you want as long as you are willing to take responsibility for it.

    People act like they are helpless children in the face of the elections, gas prices, etc. This is America, for heaven’s sakes! We have choices. We can support the candidates we favor, we can choose where and how we spend our money, and as full-timers, we can easily choose what state we live in to minimize our taxes and the attendant red tape.

    I suspect some of these folks have never realized their own power as adults in a free country.

  26. Rick,
    Oops. Wouldn’t you know it, when I was making the post above, I grabbed my travel records and looked at my 2009 fuel costs instead of 2010!!

    Therefore, here are my corrected figues. We burn about 1000-1100 gallons of diesel on our annual trip to the Rockies from S. Florida via Michigan. Using a current national average of $4.15 vs $3.65 from last year, the $.50 per gallon difference equates to $500 instead of the $1200 listed above. Definitely better but still not good.

    However, a $500 increase or a $1200 increase will not keep us from our appointed rounds. We have determined that a $2200 increase will change our plans ($5.85/gal). Thanks for pointing out my error.

  27. I agree with Jodie S. People need to grow up and think for themselves.

    Anyway the election happens every 4 years so when people make their plans they knew it was an election year, so their excuse means they are lousy planners. Fuel prices were up in 2008 and it is naive to think it would not happen again.

  28. I guess it’s just the difference of those who let “what if” dictate their life from those who say “why not?”. Being an election year is the silliest reason I’ve ever heard for doing or not doing something with your life. You can bet if it’s a person’s time to be born or to die it won’t be determined by whether it’s an election year. Life is to be lived right now and we’re sure not going to wait for anything to change.

  29. Screw Marvin!

  30. I agree with you Nick except we are going our one of our bucket list items (the New Zealand/Australia/Fiji trip because IT IS an election year!!!!!! Yep, this is coming to you from Taupo, NZ. Personally I want to spend our money on us rather than give it to the government to make everyone equal. So if the rules do change, we have this trip to remember. Sitting at home because something might happen is dangerous. Life will pass you by. Not gonna happen to this girl!!!!!!!!! Let the good times roll!!!!!!

  31. A good friend of mine had an accountant do his taxes and he was pretty “emotional” when he discovered what next year could bring. I just read that the average person will pay $4000 more in taxes when the tax cuts expire. That in addition to Healthcare kicking in and generating more “taxes.” Folks have reason to be concerned. I understand the need to support Phoenix Paint Inc however it could be a matter of prioritizing within a budget for the folks who may have visited their own accountant. Just saying…. And they just might be applying the savings to a great adventure without a shiny, spectacular paint job.

  32. Great blog, Nick.

  33. Well, just in case the nay-sayers are correct, I think I’d better hurry up & work in all the fun I can. That way, when the world ends, I will have had a great time! And, just in case it doesn’t end, I’m sure I’ll figure out how to continue to fund this life & life-style. Life is too short and/or uncertain to wait until all possible future conditions are perfect to do what one wants to do!

    To me, the key is not what “happens”, but my confidence in my own ability to deal with “whatever” happens. How many recipes do you have for lemonade? Can you make up your own variation if necessary? THAT is the key!

  34. We all need to hurry up and get our “list” taken care of – the world ends on December 21. : )

  35. Great post Nick but are you sure you didn’t let ‘Bad Nick’ type a couple of lines? LOL I love the election year excuse, can’t these people count? We have been having a Presidential Election every four years for some time.

    Your comments about not taking the rig to Alaska helped me a lot. We had been talking about making the trip but my wife wants to do the Alaska cruise thing as well so now we are thinking we’ll take the cruise and just spend a bit more on travel within the state. We avoid the wear & tear on the rig, the odd 700-800 gallons of diesel, and a certain amount of isolation. I imagine we’ll also miss out on amazing scenery, animals and grandeur but I guess I’m willing to see the ocean side first. Thanks again for your comments.

  36. Don, we took our MH to Alaska and then rode the car ferry back through the inside passage. Loved the trip both ways.

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