Friday, March 27, 2015

When an RV Traveler Needs to Grow Wings

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Since this blog began it's been seen by 79,883 people.

 If you've always dreamed of seeing the Grand Canyon, camp in Williams, Arizona and take the Rails to the Rim. It's a fun train ride that takes you right into the park, with no idling for hours in line at the vehicle entrance gate.

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Fair is Fare
     It’s every woman’s fear that something awful will happen to loved ones far away when we can’t be there to help. If you get that dreaded phone call when you're many miles away, do two things first. Find a flight, then and find ways to leave the RV in a safe place.

    If possible, leave the RV with trusted campground managers who can keep the batteries charged, refrigerator cold and so on. Most big airports also have park-and-ride lots with spaces for RV but it’s best to empty the refrigerator and turn off anything that could drain the batteries. That includes the always-on TV, lights, clocks and any transformers. You don’t want to come back to a rig that won’t start and/or a load of spoiled food. 

    Last minute air fares are sky high but there’s a chance you won’t have to pay scalper prices.  Check prices at travel websites and the airline’s own site. Call the airline to ask about the “bereavement fare”, which is rarely listed on websites. At some airlines this is called a “compassion” fare and at some it’s arranged through Customer Service rather than regular reservations clerks. It's usually not available online.

    A rush-rush choice is to go right to the airport and hope to find a compassionate clerk who will get you on the first available flight without charging a fortune. Individual ticket agents have some discretionary power. Better still, ask for a supervisor.  

    In such emergencies, most air lines knock off only about ten percent of what you would pay for a last-minute ticket. On the plus side, bereavement fares usually allow an open-ended return date. In cases of illness or other emergencies that could go on for an unspecified period, it’s a plus not to have to name a return date because regular fares involve a fee for such changes. 

    When requesting a bereavement fare, be prepared to prove your claim. Ticket agents will probably ask for the name of a hospital, funeral parlor, or doctor. Each airline also has different rules  about what constitutes “immediate” family. The airline may even check with the hospital or undertaker, then decide your case on an individual basis. Keep your cool, and try hard to enlist to help and sympathy of the ticket agent. 

    Keep asking if a cheaper rate can apply. If you have frequent flyer points, they might pay part or all of the ticket too, so have your frequent flyer account number handy if possible. 

    She is the incomparable helpmeet and advisor  Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Did you know that you can now get Dr. Laura on the Go? Click here

Thanks and I'll see you down the road. Janet 

See Janet Groene’s RV-ready recipes at
If you snack at the wheel or around the campfire, find healthful recipes at Create A Gorp

Friday, March 20, 2015

Businesswomen Can Have It all in an RV

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Live, travel, achieve, dream, earn, learn. Is this the year you'll take your RV to Alaska

Did you hear what Janet Groene said about solo women RV-ers? Tune it to Episode 7 at

 RV Woman, Inc.

    Could self-employment can be your ticket to RV freedom as a full-time traveler?  Crafts? Writing? Art? Consulting? Show business? E-commerce? As a businessperson now, should you protect your assets by incorporating?
    Author Judith H. McQuown has  the answers in her book Inc. Yourself.  Be sure to get the latest  edition because tax laws keep changing. McQuown also recommends that you work with professionals including an attorney and a tax advisor to get the utmost benefit from incorporating.
    Depending on the state that is your home base, you may be required to incorporate. Connecticut , Alabama and Alaska, for example, require people in  licensed professions  to be incorporated. In other states, only certain professionals must incorporate. However, McQuown points out that anyone is allowed to incorporate and she explains why it's a good idea. 

   The author says you can be a sole proprietor, a partnership or a corporation, which is  “A ‘legal person’, completely separate from individuals who own and control it.”  A corporation can do anything an individual can:  carry on business, own property, lend and borrow money, sue and be sued. Most important, it offers protection. Stockholders in the corporation (and that may be just you) can lose no more than their original investment; they are not liable for the debts of the corporation.

    The book is filled with case histories and examples of single and married people with and without incorporation. The more you earn, the more you can save on taxes, McQuown explains. In a business that brings in $75,000 a year, a married couple can save 23 percent over a non-incorporated couple by taking $25,000 in salary and $50,000 in corporate earnings.

    Incorporating seems best for people who earn $30,000 to $150,000 a year and who are no older than their fifties. It probably won’t pay if you’re older than 60 or earn less than $30,000.  You must also be an adult, usually age 21. Interesting point: She says young entrepreneurs often find it easier to work as a corporation because people consider them more financially responsible.

    Inc. Yourself leads you step-by-step through deciding whether to incorporate, filling out the forms, picking a name for your corporation, and setting it up. McQuown points out pitfalls and how to avoid them, especially in regard to the IRS.

    Once you’ve set up the corporation, go through the book’s checklist to see if you did  everything right. Then go on to the why and how of the ongoing paper work involved. The author also explains other business entities, such as a limited liability company (LLC) or an S corporation and how one could work for you. 

      Incorporating may be one more level of protection you need Out There. I'll see you down the road.
    See Janet Groene’s galley-tested recipes at CampAndRVcook.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tips and Trips for Women in Campers and RV's

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. For permissions or to ask about rates for sponsoring a post or placing an ad email

 image courtesy Coachmen

A Trio of Trips Tips
For Women in RVs

 (OK, you men can read this too)

    * If you’re on the road and seeking work as you go, have a look at opportunities at sites such as The site specializes in flex-time and tele-commute positions, many of them suitable for travelers.  The site claims thousands of employers who are carefully screened to make sure you don’t get a bum steer. However, some fields are more fruitful  than others and some employers require you to be on site at least some of the time.
    Consider carefully whether this service is for you. Although it isn’t free, we like the fact that you can pay for leads by the month, quarter or year. Because full-time RV travelers may seek multiple jobs a year depending on their travels, the yearly dues may be the best deal.
    To grab the best opportunities you have to be quick and nimble. If you are on the go full-time, note whether you must EVER show up at the employer’s place of business because that could be a deal breaker when you’re on the go elsewhere. 

     * 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live is a fun-to-read book that lists sports from the famous to the exotic and  why they’re a must-see in person. The book provides the background you need for planning your trip and understanding the game. When you’re in the stands, surrounded by fans who are passionate about the event, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the energy.
    The book offers immense variety, from horse racing at Saratoga to a killer hockey game between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens in Toronto. A few events,  such as the Tour de France bicycle classic,  are overseas but most are within North America for RV travel. Although some are high-ticket blockbusters that require months of advance planning to score tickets and campground reservations, others are quite affordable. This is about pageantry, tradition and experiences you’ll tell your grandchildren about someday. 

To shop for this book, the book below,  and other books and e-readers including the latest best sellers click here.
    * If you’re planning for Alaska this summer, I can’t over-emphasize my praise for The Milepost.  It’s truly a lifesaver in an RV. Why? Because driving a motorhome or towing a trailer requires  total heads-up attention. The Milepost gives you ample and accurate advance notice, to the 10th of a mile, of places to pull over for a scenic view, find fuel, or pull into a sightseeing attractions.
    Visitor Centers throughout Alaska offer generous parking, rest rooms, campground guidance,  loads of brochures and often a mini-museum or exhibit. With guidance from The Milepost you can stop at every one. The book’s information on campgrounds, dining, repairs, truck washes and dozens of other tidbits will make your Alaska RV trip safer and more rewarding. There is no other guide quite like it. 

See Janet Groene's recipes for camping and RV at

Friday, March 6, 2015

Campers Tow Easier, Safer

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 There are many ways to tow and be towed to add to the fun of camping and RV travel

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Control That Tow

    Do you tow a travel trailer with your car or truck? Tow a car behind your camper?  Pull a utility trailer or toy-hauler behind your motorhome?  Hitch a bass boat to your pickup camper?
    BoatUS is for boat owners,  but the advice they give for towing a boat trailer is also invaluable for anyone who tows anything with anything.

Here are some of their tips:

    1. Check your hitch setup. Make certain the ball is secure to the mount and pins that hold the mount to the receiver have locking pins.
    2. Chains should cross so that, if the trailer comes loose, it will fall into the X made by the chains.
    3. Boat US says it’s a good idea to replace S-hooks, which can break under load,  with screw-type pin shackles, which are stronger and more reliable.
Additional tips on towing:
    * When you tow a car behind a motorhome you have to decide whether to tow it four wheels down, two wheels down, or on a trailer. All three systems have advantages and disadvantages in  terms of wear and tear on the vehicle, ease of hooking and unhooking, cost of the tow apparatus, easy of driving and fuel and toll costs. 
    * Don’t drive into situations you can’t get out of. Learn to back up.  Find a big, empty parking lot and enlist the help of a buddy if possible. Stick with it until you can interpret  what you see in the mirrors and/or rear-viewing  television, then put the vehicles where you want them. Work out hand signals with your buddy.  Shouting in the campground makes you look like a rube.
 * Know the exact height of both vehicles in feet and inches. One might fit through the underpass or drive-through but the other may not.
    * Learn to estimate distances between your vehicles and others, especially when you are passing or being passed. 
    * Have a long overhang? Know how steep an angle you can drive over without scraping the bottom of the trailer or motorhome. Expensive damage could occur.
    * Traffic cones don’t weigh much and they stack, so carry a couple of these small ones in your RV. Set them up anywhere you find room to practice maneuvering your RV and tow.  They’ll also come in handy if you want to, say, mark an area in a campsite or to indicate that the site is occupied when you’re away. 
    * Whether you travel alone or with a buddy, get out of the rig when you get to a campsite and look over the situation before pulling in. Check the clearance on both sides and overhead. Note the location of hook-ups. Agree on where the rig should be positioned. Then proceed. 

See Janet Groene's recipes for camping and RV trips at