Monthly Archives: May 2013

Five Reasons To Not Move Into an RV

If you move into an RV, you might:

1 spend less money;
2 spend more time out of doors;
3 spend more time enjoying yourself;
4 meet new neighbors all over the country;
5 live in 75 degrees year-round.

Sound crazy? Here’s the breakdown:

1. Spend less as full-timers? It depends. We spend less than if we maintained a house AND traveled. If you maintained a house and did NOT travel, and your house was modest and not requiring a lot of capital improvements, you might live as inexpensively as we do. We’ll cover this in more detail soon.

2. Many full-timers spend a lot of time outdoors. Two key factors — the weather’s always 75 degrees (well, we try), and our house is really really small. People working out-of-doors might spend as much outdoor time as we do. So do some pro athletes and retired people who are committed golfers, tennis players, bicyclists, walkers or hikers. But we wonder if people with larger houses spend more time in their houses than those with houses less than, say, 400 square feet. There’s not much inside requiring our attention. We’re outside a lot, year ’round, and love it.

3. Not saying yard work is a toilsome chore, necessarily. We don’t much miss doing yard work, although it was a great stress reliever after work to putz around outside. As much as we love maintaining our little house, the 3,000sf house was a bit much. It seemed we were mostly trying to catch up with the home’s needs. This was owing largely to our career’s long work hours and our penchant, in the last several years, to disappear in our airstream for most weekends. Now there’s very little work we need attend to. No snow to shovel, almost no painting, very few honey-do’s to postpone. We like living outside, sleeping inside.

4. One rarely meets a stranger in a campground or RV resort. Openness to meeting people just seems to go with roving the countries. It’s probably because we can so easily identify with certain commonalities and strike up a comfortable conversation. Usually we end up sharing contact information and mutually promising to look each up one another down the road sometime. And sometimes we meet folks who we’d want to be neighbors with forever.

5. see #2, above.

6. Okay, our math might be off — this is number six of five. We offer this additional item: We know North American geography far better than we did ten years ago. How about American and Canadian history? In fits and spurts, we are gaining on these too.

If you don’t move into an RV, you might be someone who can match all five benefits in your own neighborhood. A lot of people enjoy themselves perfectly well without having ever owned an RV. Some of us are escapees, we’ve slipped away from the commitment to sticks and bricks abodes. Many who move into RVs subsequently return to life in sticks and bricks homes, so they might have not loved one or more of the above or something else may have happened.

Full-time living in an RV isn’t for everyone. Unless you also maintain a house or barn, you might not be able to withstand the loss of your prized collection of this or that. An RV may be too confining a space for you to live in day after day. You might not love moving your house, ever. (whoops, we’re almost verging on a semantics discussion here — “what is full timing and what is not”?)

We meet folks almost weekly who tell us, “Yes, we full-timed for n years (choose any number from 2 to 18 for n) and really liked it”. They aren’t doing it now. We’ve never met one who will say they didn’t like full-time rving. Most seem wistful they aren’t doing it now. Or we may be projecting . . .

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie

locate us here
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©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

Two Two Two Paradigm

The dreamstreamrs had a little spare time this past week while awaiting some annual service on our RV. We spent some of that time reviewing our records, checking our numbers from daily towing log. Debbie faithfully records the numbers every driving day, so we have an excellent record of miles, camping fees, nights spent, and what utilities are available at each campground.

9 days dry-camping in Ketchum ID

9 days dry-camping in Ketchum ID

We’re in our sixth year traveling full time. The period we are reviewing is only for 2011-2013, comprising 2 1/2 years. Sometime we might look back at the first three years. These recent 30 months were more easily available and shared.

We are pleased by the numbers, if a little surprised how they work out. All numbers are actuals from Debbie’s daily log. The report shows what we thought the most interesting parts.

Towing and camping statistics for the past 2 1/2 years (or 883 days) (2011, 2012, & ytd 2013)

site rent    nites     avg    times moved    miles       miles/move
$13,632    883      $15           141            28,133       199.5

Site rental is one of our most expensive budget lines. Our budget is $20/night for the year, and we haven’t gone over budget annually, although some months we are over-budget and some months under. We are well set up for dry-camping or boondocking and enjoy doing these. We’ve paid as much as $35/night for dry-camping in Doheny State Beach at Dana Point California and as little as nothing in Quartzite AZ BLM land in the desert. Guess which one we’ll end up staying more nights? We like to stay within budget, so dry camping or boondocking helps out.. Sometimes we’ll stay a couple of days with friends or family (even longer with family, right?) and it helps our budget a little.

google map of day's drive

google map of day’s drive

We’ve posited several times a maxim we like, “drive less than two hundred miles, off the road by 2pm, and stay at least two nights. On average, we hit all three points. Our average driving day mileage is less than 200. We stayed an average of 6 days, although admittedly this is a lying statistic — we stayed months in some favorite venues and one night in some Cracker BBL parking lots. Off the road by 2pm? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Hey, we’re not stopping in the middle of the road, right?

As for off the road by 2pm, well, it depends upon how early we left camp. But on average, we likely weren’t too far off. Avoidance of afternoon school bus traffic and rush hour traffic influences us to get off the road not later than 4pm whenever we can. We often like hitting the road by 9 or 10, unless we have an exceptionally long or sweetly short drive ahead of us.

We’re traveling because we enjoy it. We aim for two-two-two, but we aren’t going to knock ourselves out to achieve it every time. Sometimes we’ll choose to do a long driving day to have more days to spend at the other end. Sometimes we just don’t want to stay somewhere for even two nights. Flexibility helps us enjoy what we’re doing.

We hope you are enjoying what you are doing — we sure are!

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
chasing 75 degrees

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©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

Memorial Day

Here is a wonderful series of posts about our country’s armed forces in Pacific War era. Thanks, gpcox!

Pacific Paratrooper

never-forget

FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED…. FOR ALL YOUR SACRIFICES…. FOR YOUR COURAGE…. I CAN ONLY ATTEMPT TO EXPRESS MY UNENDING GRATITUDE….

aa-tomb-of-unknown-soldier

world-war-ii-memorial

korean%20war%20veterans%20memorial%208

………………………………………………….. THANK YOU……………………………

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Click on photos to enlarge.

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Farewell Salute – Frederick Vreuls, 87, passed away in Delray Beach, FL. Served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Bunker Hill where he earned a Purple Heart for injuries sustained from a kamikaze attack on May 11, 1945.

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Happy Memorial Day?

Photo from Reuters News Photos of the Week May 24 2013

Photo from Reuters News Photos of the Week May 24 2013


The photo showed up on Reuters News page here.

Did you know Memorial Day formerly was called Decoration Day and dates to the American Civil War? Memorial Day is first and foremost a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. It seems a day of remembrance is largely NOT included in many Americans’ Memorial Day weekend plan.

Memorial Day has been, since 1971, a three-day weekend for USA and might be perceived by many Americans more as the beginning of summer and time for big sales of lawn mowers and furniture, of cookouts, and visits to the lake. These are fine activities, but perhaps the meaning of Memorial Day is diluted a bit by these competing distractions?

These are some nice sites where you can find more information about Memorial Day:
Army Corps of Engineers: Memorial Day History Vignette
History Channel: a nicely rounded history of Memorial Day
Public Broadcasting System: Memorial Day Concert Series and Memorial Day information

Jim and Debbie

locate us here
visit our website

©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

Travel Minute — Should You Clean Up a Public Restroom?

We were inspired by Rudy Maxa to do something nice today while we were visiting Sidney Ohio walking downtown. The inspiration came from his blog last October. We and our friend Matt picked up a handful of discarded cups and sandwich wrappers from the historic jail lawn and discarded the trash into a receptacle all of fifty feet away.

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 3.46.50 PM

Rudy Maxa writes a really nice blog with interesting and, sometimes, pretty unusual topics. His Travel Minute blog a few months ago is one of our many favorites and we thought you would like it too. Check it out here.

Thank Rudy for being a good influence on us.

Saving a neat post for you for Memorial Day tomorrow —

See you then!

Jim and Debbie

locate us here
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©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

Homecoming for Our Rolling Home

picture of airstream service center

THE Airstream Service Ctr

We are in Jackson Center Ohio, home of all modern Airstreams and our favorite place for service work. Our Airstream trailer was born here almost nine years ago. Bringing it back is a fun event for us, if sometimes expensive at $109/hour for service work.

All that's left of the side window

We long ago planned for this service visit. The timing is great, just after Hamvention Jim is willing and able to do almost all our RV’s maintenance work. Some things, though, are either more daunting or just plain messy. We replaced our rooftop antenna recently and figured the factory guys would be better fishing the coax above the ceiling into the front roof locker. Jim has cleaned and repacked our wheel bearings and decided this is a job worth paying for.

Having broken one of the expensive tempered windows, Jim is reluctant to mess with hinge adjustments.

Our rolling home has been here previously. The Airstream Service Center has done some great work on our RV. Full-timers need a good place to have work performed. One could go anywhere on the continent for this, especially as full-timers. Although 500 miles distant from our former home in Charlotte NC, many of our local unit members preferred to bring their Airstreams to the factory for excellent repairs and ready access to all needed parts and materials. We brought ours here for warranty work and were similarly impressed. We’ve returned a couple of times.

We’re parked in Airstream Company’s terraport, a nice camping area 150 yards from the customer service center. You can hardly beat the price, $10/night or free the night before and after your service appointment. Where else can we find water/electric/sewer connections for $10?

The customer waiting area is very comfortable, if chilly from over-cooling. Great wifi (can you tell? Jim’s using it now), free cookies and coffee, and comfortable seating. Best benefit? The company store has all the parts and accessories we need and many we don’t need but enjoy browsing through. It helps keep our minds off the rising labor cost of our repairs and improvements in the service center.

Verizon seems nearly non-existent in Jackson Center OH. Verizon provides all our phone AND wireless stuff, which usually works just great. Not here. We’ve been fortunate to use courtesy wifi at Airstream’s customer service center, but it only serves 25 users.

Within a couple of days we expect another one or two hundred RVs to Jackson Center OH for Alumapalooza, a big fun RV rally held on the Airstream factory and service center grounds. There may not be enough wifi to go around a few days from now. We’ll post again when we find connectivity. Or maybe we can use the phone in the dishwashing kitchen while we’re working down our repair bill.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie

locate us here
visit our website

©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

Is Your House Secure?

We were talking yesterday with a bunch of fellow travelers.  The conversation went to travel blogging. One of them said,

“Our travel blog is private.  Only our family members can access it. We don’t want to advertise the times our home is vacant.”

picture of security door

Just don’t invite them if you are not home

Today I was enjoying reading Rudy Maxa’s Travel Minutes, looking for his take on airline ticket purchasing. Rudy posted this neat article a couple of months ago about exposing your house during your absences.

House thieves in a large city apparently obtained, on an ongoing basis, “stop orders” for the daily newspaper. We never considered stopping our newspaper a risk — quite the opposite, we figured we were methodically covering our absence from the sticks and bricks home.

Our rolling home now moves rather frequently. It might be difficult for an under-achiever to find our house. Just in case, though, we don’t want to disclose the best times to not find us home.

locate us here
visit our website

©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr