Saturday, August 23, 2014

Questions and ... Answers

During my travels so far, people have asked me quite a few questions, often times the same ones.  I just visited my great friend, who helped me, unknowingly, with the meaning, and was asked a few questions...  But have included others too..

Why do you have a blog?
It's a process of self discovery.  I've led a sheltered life, a self imposed sheltered life.  Unsure why this is, but I have had a few clues along the way which need to look into.  This blog is a way of breaking free of my self imposed chains, being able to express myself in more than one way.  Have made great progress but still get choked up with certain things, my apologies to those that I get choked up with (am sure you know regardless), and am working on those too.  Plus, someone suggested I do it and sounded neat at the time, little did I know how important it was to do this.

Why are you living in an RV?
There are many reasons actually.  First one that comes to mind is it makes economical sense, at least for me, right now.  It is more cost effective than renting, even taking into account an occasional repair.  I was spending roughly $1,000 per month, plus utilities, at my last apartment and dealing with a rental agent I couldn't stand (I generally get along with most everyone, except that person).  My mortgage is about that same amount (I own a house too).  Now, some campgrounds are free, or fairly low cost, and don't have to pay utilities (water, sewer, power) at a majority of them.  What I estimate to spend on property taxes (for a house) I spend on fuel instead, so it all washes out for the most part.

Do you ever get bored?
Who doesn't get bored at times?  If I get bored I just move!

Can you cook (in the RV)?
Why yes I can, though I find it a pain to cook for one person.  I generally get something from someplace, whether or not it's healthy (or quicker) is a subject for another day.  I have a three burner propane stove, an oven (stores pots/pans now), and a refrigerator with smallish freezer, enough room to store quite a few things.  Even have portable induction desktop "burner", similar to this one, which uses magnets to excite metal (not aluminum) to heat it up for cooking.  Along with two cast iron pans, one of them being a FINEX!

Any favorite experience(s) to share?
Every experience is worthy of sharing.  I must say though that so far the best part is all the great people I've met!  From my past life play friends (and others) to just random people here and there, it all adds up to an overall great experience!  With many aspects of learning.

Where did you get this idea?
This idea was simmering in my mind ever since I went to a Permaculture Design course in Dayton, MT.  Some other people mentioned it after that and I kept thinking that sounds so cool!  When lease was up on Vashon Island apartment, extended it for several months as wasn't sure what to do.  Then had a dream about a specific RV, randomly browsed Craigslist to find it, and rest is history.

Any favorite places visited in RV?
I'll always have a soft spot for my childhood home in Connecticut.  While I don't envision myself living in CT again anytime soon, there are quite a few wonderful places there.

In no particular order

1 - Vashon Island, WA is a great!  Gotten a little pricey lately to live there, but it's a wonderful place, a small town full of quirkiness, so close, yet so far, from a big city.  Lots of wonderful, organic'ish (or better) small family farms, lots of great people, and even a good pizza place, for Friday night pizza of course.
2 - Yuma, AZ.  Not much here except orange trees and other "farms" in the desert, but the people in the Escapees RV park are wonderful!
3 - Oregon coast - magical moments happened there!
4 - Almost forgot, Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, MI.  Seriously, best place have been too since traveling!  Thanks to you who know who you are!

Why did you choose your specific RV?
I had a dream....  Really, a dream.  In the dream I pictured the front of an RV and thought it was weird, but somehow remembered it, which I generally don't do.  Was browsing Craigslist looking for ideas and inspiration when suddenly picture of RV appeared, the one in the dream, was right on my screen.  Was weird seeing it, but knew there was a reason I remembered, and found it.  Most things I generally don't remember, but this is one of the few that I did.

What type of mileage do you get?
Since my odometer started working have been tracking each fillup.  And taking mental note of speed.  I was averaging about 61-62 mph, with indicated engine RPM's around 1700-1800.  At this speed/RPM am getting about 10 mpg.  Decided to try going about 64-65, which is about 1900 RPM, and now it is about 11.4-11.8 mpg.  Several people have mentioned that with a Cummins diesel, the "sweet spot" is between 1700 and 1800 rpm for the best fuel efficiency (hope phrased that right).  However, so far it's a little different than that for me.  Will play around some more.

What's storage like on RV?
Have to get creative in this department.  It's more spacious than it looks, yet more limited in what you can store.  There are quite a few nook and crannies to place things in, but if expect to bring a large teddy bear selection with you you're sadly mistaken.  Like in a normal place of residence, it's important to remember exactly what you have where.  Might be a little more important in an RV as while there's a fair amount of space, getting to some things are little more time consuming.

Where do you spend the nights when traveling?
Up until recently I stayed most exclusively at truck stops, with the occasional Walmart thrown in.  After getting advice from someone who traveled like this (as a single person also), am switching to more Walmart's due to better security, which is both beneficial but concerning at same time.

How do you figure out where to stay?

This is a tough one.  I belong to a national campground chain and choose to stay in their campgrounds when it makes sense.  They have, for the most part, above average (in my view) places, even idyllic in some cases.  One big disadvantage is that some times they're fairly remote with very little cell phone access, which I need.  But it all depends on where I am and if I need to be in a certain area.  I like to stay at Escapees branded parks when I can as they have a real sense of community, though out of my age range, but very welcoming and accepting of all Escapees members!

That's all I can remember right now.  Am sure there are quite a few others, and will jot them down when remember them.

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