Even More Q&A

 Posted by at 1:06 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 222017

Except for putting the front page photo in place and then printing it out to be proofed, which I will do this morning, the new issue of the Gypsy Journal is pretty much done. And since that’s about all I’ve been doing lately and I don’t have anything else to write about today, I thought I would share even more of the questions I get from readers. Hopefully you will find some of them interesting.

Q. I thought you were not mailing out the Gypsy Journal any more. Your comment today (yesterday’s blog) sounds like you are. If so, we would like to receive it via mail.

A. No, we do not have a print issue any more, we are just doing the digital issue. We e-mail a link to it to our digital subscribers.

Q. A friend has a used Thousand Trails membership that he inherited from his parents. He offered to give it to us, but he has no idea what the membership includes or what is involved in transferring it to our name. Can you tell us what we need to do?

A. There are many different levels of membership in Thousand Trails, and sometimes it seems like no two memberships are the same. Call (800) 205-0606 and ask for Member Services. Give them the contract number for the membership and they can tell you what it includes, as well as what the transfer fee will be to get it into your name.

Q. We are RV shopping and found a used motorhome that we like, except for the fact that it has a propane generator. I have not heard many good things about them and wonder if you can tell me what your opinion is of them, and if it is possible to convert one to diesel.

A. I am not a fan of propane generators myself, and many of the people I know who have them aren’t either. As for converting it to another fuel type, I imagine anything can be done given enough time and money. As to whether or not it would be worth it, only you can decide that. One factor to consider is how much you will actually use the generator. If you seldom dry camp, a propane generator may not be a problem. On the other hand, if you like boondocking, it could be a deal breaker.

Q. A fellow RVer told us he has Centramatic wheel balancers on his diesel coach and they have greatly increased his tire life while reducing fuel consumption. I’ve never heard of them. Can you tell me anything about them?

A. I have never used them myself, but I do know a couple of RVers who swear by them. While they never mentioned anything about fuel consumption, they did say that they felt that the Centramatics helped improve their ride. You can find out more about them at http://www.centramatic.com/

Q. We are planning a trip to Alaska this summer and my husband is determined to bring his handgun with us. People have warned us that taking a handgun into Canada is not allowed, but he is convinced he can hide it someplace in the RV and we will be just fine. He respects your opinion, so what do you say?

A. How many times has your husband attempted to smuggle contraband into or out of a country? I’m guessing probably never. The folks at the border, on the other hand, deal with people trying to do just what you’re talking about every working day. They are professionals. Do you really think an amateur is going to get away with slipping something past them? Trust me, when you get caught, and you will get caught, you are going to be in a very expensive world of hurt. Don’t do it!

Q. I know you have a grandfathered Verizon unlimited data plan. I see that Verizon is now offering unlimited plans again. What are your thoughts about them?

A. While they are offering an unlimited data plan again, once you reach a certain threshold Verizon will slow you down to sludge speeds. The folks at Technomadia recently published an article on different unlimited data plans. You can access it at https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/the-resurgence-of-unlimited-data-a-crazy-week-in-review/.

Q. We are at the Elks in Palmdale, California and on the way here we were experiencing some intermittent power issues in our Cummins diesel motor. According to the fault code on my Silverleaf engine monitor, which I bought because you recommended, it is a fuel delivery issue. I talked to two shops here, and both of them insist I need a new fuel pump at the minimum, and possibly an engine overhaul, without even looking at the motorhome. I seem to remember you writing once that you had a similar issue and all it was was a bad fuel filter. Can you recommend anybody nearby we can trust to look at our rig and not rip us off? The coach runs okay, it just seems to lose power briefly on acceleration and then comes back to full power.

A. Contact Keith Shomaker or Mike Bronzini at Redlands Truck and RV Service. They are about 90 miles away and are very good people to work with. They won’t take advantage of you.

Q. Some of the local punk kids shot out the windows in our RV with a BB gun. Our insurance will pay for standard replacement windows, but people are telling us we should consider upgrading to dual pane windows since we’ll be going fulltime very soon Do you think they’re worth the additional out-of-pocket cost?

A. Yes, I do, and more importantly, so does Miss Terry. Before we became fulltime RVers she ran a commercial glass shop, and she knows what is good and what is bad. When we were shopping for our current motorhome, dual plane windows were one of the criteria she insisted upon. They go a long way towards keeping your rig comfortable in both hot and cold weather.

Thought For The Day – You know you’re old if they have discontinued your blood type. – Phyllis Diller

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “Even More Q&A”

  1. Some years ago, pre 9/11, my brother went north to Detroit MI and while there thought they would go into Canada. Of course the border guards ask about weapons and yes he had a handgun.
    They turned him around (lucky for him) and told him to never come back! Now what do you think the chances of lying to the Mounties and then they find it, impound your RV and then you have to get out of jail for violating Canadian laws? Dumb.
    You are right again Nick

  2. Not to mention the fact they will confiscate your weapon, never to be seen again. Thanks for the Q & A Nick … I always learn something new.

  3. We were held up at the border crossing for 4 1/2 hour while they x-rayed the coach all because Bob’s passport when presented showed he has a concealed carry permit. When interviewed we were taken into separate rooms. I told them he had left his gun with a friend who was the minister in our rv park while Bob told them he had left his gun with an ex-sherrif. It was the same man but too different stories. Finally they called Jim and he confirmed that the guns were in the Tri-cities. Then they discovered that Bob had a switch blade knife which is also illegal. He had to take the car and go back to a PO in the US and mail it back to himself in TX. and show a receipt that he had done so. It was an heirloom from his grandfather and didn’t want to part with it.

  4. If found (and it likely will be), at best, the weapon will be confiscated and you will be turned around (with a record) and sent back. At worst, you WILL be arrested and both the weapon and the RV will be confiscated. You may get the RV back after paying a not insubstantial fine. In either case your chances of ever being allowing into Canada will be remote at best.
    Don’t even think of trying!

  5. I can agree on the propane gen, we have been full timing since 2003 with a propane gen. Don’t boomdock much, when we do I have a Honda 2000 that we use.
    You are right on about Redlands!!!

  6. Have had both dual pain and single pane windows in different RV’s. It seems that dual panes, at least those manufactured in the 1990’s tended to break their seal and cloud up between the panes at about 10 years. In some cases they were bad looking in other cases they completely blocked the view. The cost to fix or replace was very substantial. I asked in 2005, if all dual pane windows are going to break their seal at ten years old, why do the manufacturers put them in the new coaches. Still waiting for the answer. If they worked they would definitely be worth it. Nick, any idea if the coaches manufactured in the mid to late 2,000’s have had a similar failure rate?

  7. IMHO
    Why not just buy a gun in Alaska and sell it before coming back?
    WAY cheaper than any of the other alternatives , might even make a profit !

  8. As a Canadian, I can tell you that handguns have NO place in Canada. If the border officers find an undeclared firearm, especially a handgun, you may get your RV back (but not right away). You undeclared firearm will be melted down or destroyed. And, you may serve jail time or if lucky asked never to return to Canada.
    If you MUST have a handgun in Alaska, then mail your gun to Alaska or buy a gun in Alaska.

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