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. Last year I bought your USB drive with all the back issues of the Gypsy Journal and have now read through all of them and all of those places you visited in your travels as fulltime RVers. I didn’t see anything about traveling into Canada. As a proud Canadian I wonder why that is? Do you have something against Canada?
A. Not at all. I know there are many beautiful places to see in Canada, and the people have a reputation of being very friendly. But there were just too many things to see and do right here in the United States that we never found the time to travel north of the border. And because we traveled with firearms in our motorhome, finding someplace to safely store them while we did so would have been an issue. But again, the main reason was just that there was so much to see and do in our own country.
Q. While I enjoy the stories you’ve written about the time you spent selling cars, I really miss the Newspaper Days columns. Will you be sharing any more of those, Nick?
A. I’m sure I’ll get around to telling you some more about my experiences as a small town newspaper publisher on the Pacific Northwest coast and in Arizona before too long.
Q. Before my first husband died we traveled as snowbirds during the wintertime. Back then we saw a lot of those big satellite dishes on the roofs of RVs to get on the Internet. I have remarried and my new husband and I are in Arizona as I introduce him to the RV lifestyle, hoping we can go fulltime someday. But I seldom see those big dishes any more. Are they obsolete? And if so what are people using these days?
A. We have been away from RVing for over five years and I’m not sure how many of the old Motosat dishes are still around. I think with advancements in cell phone and WiFi technology, they may be obsolete, or are becoming so.
Q. We have a 2020 Ram Laramie with Hemi V-8 similar to the one you just bought, only a couple of years older, and we love it. Right now we tow a 20-foot travel trailer with it, but we want to go fulltime soon and have been looking at fifth-wheel trailers. We found a 38-foot Jayco Eagle that we really like but it weighs right at 10,000 pounds. The salesman says we can pull it with our truck if we add air shocks and hubby wants to believe him but I am skeptical. We both trust your judgment, so what are your thoughts?
A. Just a quick Google search told me that your truck’s towing capacity is 6,900 to 6614 pounds, depending on how it is equipped. Yes, you could probably tow that Jayco for a short distance, what harm would you be doing to your transmission? And keep in mind that towing something is one thing and stopping it is another. I wouldn’t consider it, no matter what the salesman tells you. He is more concerned with earning a commission than he is with your safety.
Q. I know I will never come anywhere close to your success as an author, but I have always wanted to write a book and I finally did. It’s historical fiction based on my great grandparents’ lives as homesteaders in Nebraska. I think I get it from my grandmother who was a prolific diarist. When she passed on I received all of her diaries covering her life from the time when she was a little girl just learning to write, up until her death at age 95. My book is based on that and I don’t have any illusions of grandeur, but I would like something I could share with friends and family members. I found a place online that says they can publish the book for me and guarantee me all kinds of things that sound too good to be true. Of course, there is a fee for this and a fee for that, and by the time I get done with everything it probably would have cost me somewhere around $11,000 for editing, creating a printed book and an ebook, and cover designs. I have told their representative a dozen times I don’t want all of that, I just want something simple in a paperback to share with loved ones. But he keeps insisting this is bestseller material. I’m not a starry-eyed kid and I know he’s just trying to make as much money off of me as he can. Any advice from you based on your experiences would be very much appreciated.
A. My first bit of advice would be to run as fast as you can away from that outfit. Companies like this feed on people’s egos and hopes and dreams, and deliver very little in return. There is nothing they can do for you that you couldn’t do yourself or farm out to independent contractors for a couple of hundred dollars. I self-publish all of my books, and you can do the same with just a little bit of effort.
Q. We need some advice in a hurry! Assuming COVID restrictions allow it, we are planning to take an RV trip to Alaska this summer. But between rising fuel prices and truckers shutting down border crossings and all that nonsense, we are having second and third thoughts about it. Family members are advising us to wait another year, and maybe that is best, but who knows what more could happen in a year to make things even worse?
A. Fuel prices go up and go down all the time, and when they do drop they never seem to go as low as they were before. That’s just a fact of life whether you are RVing in this country or traveling through Canada. There’s no doubt in my mind that the longer you wait, the higher prices might go. As for the truckers shutting down border crossings, Canadian authorities seem to be cracking down and resolving all of that nonsense now. I’ve always believed in doing the things you want to do when you can because tomorrow is never guaranteed for any of us. I would say go for it.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Thought For The Day – I’m afraid that if I start working out, I’ll be too sexy. Who needs that kind of pressure?