I’m back with more questions from blog readers about RVing, what’s happening in our lives since we hung up the keys, and all kinds of other things. While I try to answer all questions individually, I also share some here occasionally.
Q. My husband has it in his mind to spend this winter parked on a beach somewhere down in Mexico. He paints a pretty picture but I’ve heard so many horror stories about Americans who get in trouble or get sick in Mexico and are stuck. Can you reassure me it’s going to be okay, Nick?
A. While I am not a fan of RVing in Mexico, we know many RVers who have been doing it for years and love it. A lot depends on where you go in the country. People tell me that once you get away from the border area it is a lot better in terms of crime and corruption. But you still have to get through that area! I would suggest you check out the Escapee RV Club’s Chapter 8, the Mexican Connection. You can learn a lot from them about how to make a trip south of the border safe and enjoyable.
Q. Our older diesel pusher has the Aqua-Hot heating system, and it has been nothing but a problem since we bought the motorhome. We have had it repaired three times, and each time it worked for a while and then stopped. We are fulltimers and very seldom go anyplace cold and have given up on it. We have been using a pair of small ceramic heaters when we do find ourselves getting chilly. But this year we want to do some boondocking in Arizona and know it can get cold in the desert at night. We are thinking about some kind of little propane heater. Any suggestions on what to get?
A. When we built our MCI bus conversion we used an Olympian catalytic heater and found it was an excellent alternative to an RV furnace. It used less propane, didn’t require battery power, and kept us toasty warm even on cold winter nights in northern Michigan. On very cold nights we supplemented it with a 12 volt Endless Breeze Fan-Tastic fan to move the warm air around. The catalytic heater was in the front of the bus and we would set the fan at the entrance to the hallway leading back to our bedroom. Even on nights when it got down into the low 20s and even the teens, we were toasty warm. Just don’t forget to leave a window or two cracked open a bit for safety and ventilation.
Q. Okay Nick, stop keeping us in suspense. Did you buy the Mustang that you had a picture standing next to in your blog a few days ago?
A. I would love to have a new Mustang or a classic Mustang, as far as that goes, but I just can’t justify it in my mind. At this point we are still a two driver/three-car family.
Q. Do you still sell your CD with all of the guides to free campgrounds, dump stations, and things like that, and is it still updated, if you do?
A. Yes, we still sell our 8-in-1 book that lists over 1,000 free campgrounds nationwide, RV dump stations, fairgrounds with RV parking, RV good guys reliable service companies, casinos with RV parking, campground reviews, favorite restaurants, and more. Even though we are no longer RVing, we update it based upon information shared by our readers. Cost is $24.95 for delivery by email. You can find a link to it on the left column of this blog.
Q. I have entered your drawings every week, and my entry never shows up at all. Why is that? I have instant messaged you about it but I didn’t understand your reply.
A. As I told you more than once in our instant message exchanges, the reason your name never gets entered in the weekly drawings is because we only allow one entry per person per week. You routinely entered 15 and 20 times per week, even after I asked you repeatedly not to do that. So now your entries go directly to the spam folder.
Q. Is Miss Terry ever going to sell some of her weavings? I love the shawls that she does that you have shared pictures of in the blog.
A. Terry weaves for the pleasure she gets from it and really doesn’t want to turn it into a business where she has to produce a certain item at a certain time to fulfill an order. She enjoys giving her creations away as gifts to friends and family members, but the times somebody has wanted to order something they have not been able to understand that the cost for yarn and the amount of time involved prohibits her from making and selling something for $15 or $20. She uses only top-quality materials, which can cost anywhere from $15 up to well over $100, and on average it takes her 20 to 25 hours to design, layout, weave, and finish a shawl.
Q. As crazy as politics are in this country right now, don’t you think it’s time for Bad Nick to express his views on things?
A. As crazy as politics are in this country right now, Bad Nick wants nothing to do with any of it. He would prefer to live out his life peacefully rather than get involved with all of the venom being spread around by both sides these days.
Q. We are from Arizona and they don’t require any special license to drive a motorhome. But we’ve been told that certain states, including California and Texas do require a different license than the regular one and that we will be breaking the law if we drive in those states. Is this true?
A. No. The states all have reciprocity agreements with each other wherein they accept the issued driver’s license from another state for visitors. So if your state doesn’t require any special license to drive an RV, you are legal with it in any state you travel through.
Q. We just returned from Alaska a few weeks ago, and while we were coming south through Canada we found a stray dog that we fell in love with and wanted to bring home with us. But when we got to the US border they told us we had to have paperwork and shot records and things like that to bring the dog into the country. Obviously, we didn’t have any because I planned to deal with all that when we got back home. But they wouldn’t accept our word for it and we were heartbroken to have to take it back to the Canadian authorities. They didn’t really know what to do with it either but said they would try to find a home for it. My question is, can the US port of entry people do that?
A. Obviously they can, because they did. Regulations require that dogs must be healthy to enter the United States. And with limited exceptions, dogs must be immunized against rabies and have a valid rabies vaccination certificate. These requirements apply equally to all dogs, including puppies and service animals.
Q. I keep hearing about a 10 year rule and that many campgrounds only allow RVs that are less than 10 years old even if they are in excellent condition. We’ve only been on the road a couple of months and have not encountered this yet, but we wonder if it’s going to be a problem. What do you think?
A. Most of the places that have a 10 year rule are “resorts” that are quite often rather expensive. For years we traveled in a 1976 MCI bus conversion and never had an issue, because we don’t go to those kinds of places. Don’t worry about it, there are many more campgrounds that want your business than there are those who will turn you away based upon the age of your rig.
Today is your last chance to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Hands of Onyx, book 2 in the Sav’ine series by Stacy Bender. It’s a story about cybernetic soldiers escorting a long haul space freighter to the outer rim planets, dealing with saboteurs who are trying to stop them and a crew that includes a half-blind medic, an explosives expert who is a sociopath, and an interrogator suffering from dementia. What could possibly go wrong? To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – I really don’t mind getting older, but my body is taking it badly.
We love parking on the beaches in Baja, Mexico and have always felt safe. Baja is much different than mainland Mexico. Nick’s suggestion to contact Escapees Chapter 8 is a good one. They have a Facebook page as well as a web page. That’s how we got started traveling in Mexico – going on one of their trips.
Or try Puerto Penasco, 20 miles from the Arizona border. I hear it is all retired Americans anyway!
As to resorts banning older rigs, in 20 years of RVing, we have encountered 2 resorts of this type. And they both made exceptions when they saw the rig in question. Although one of them parked the offending rig in the back of the park!
Bad Nick is a wise man!