Friday, August 28, 2015

Better Water for your RV, Motorhome, Camper

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5 Reasons Why You Need an RV Water Filter
copyright janet groene

    Traveling in an RV with a 20-gallon water tank, I fill up almost every day with water different from the day before. Today's campground may use well water; next week's site may be on city water. Today's fill-up may be saltier, harder, softer or more highly chlorinated. In some areas, water is also rust colored or smelling of sulphur. 

    Campground water is labeled safe to drink, but coffee tastes different each time and there are bad hair days because the same shampoo and conditioner work differently with each tank of water. 

    For a small investment in time, money and handy-girl skills you can have tap water that behaves the same way every day, no matter where you fill the tank.  First, understand that we are talking water filters, not water sanitizers that make bad water potable, nor desalinators that turn sea water fresh.

    Disclaimer: The filters below don't make un-potable water safe. If you travel where tap water is not safe to drink, more serious water treatment steps are needed.  Also be aware that some irrigation water is not fit to drink even though a hose may be provided to wash the RV or flush the blackwater tank. This water is not just impure,  it leaves stubborn spots on the RV unless you quickly wipe it dry and/or use a filter on the hose. A  hose filter can reduce water spots; it does not make the water safe to drink. 

    Here is the how and why of water filters for RV travelers: 

    1. A filter saves money. Bottled water is expensive, bulky,  heavy and it clogs the landfill with plastic. Filters last for years before they have to be changed, so you have better water with no trash.

    2. This filtering shower head is a snap to install without tools and it takes out most of the chlorine, sulphur and scale. It's a must for travelers with sensitive skin and it means more consistent results when you shampoo. It also means less scale build-up in your RV shower stall, making cleaning easier. In addition to the filter, this shower head has five shower spray options.  Go to

    3. Favored by organic gardeners, this filter fits on the hose. It screws easily onto a standard hose to remove chlorine  and other irritants before you water the plants, wash the RV,  or take an outdoor shower. See 

    4.  This portable water softener can be used only when and where needed. It’s easily recharged with table salt. It's ideal for, say,  water that goes to the hot water tank or the washer. (Washer? Yes, some people DO carry washer-dryer units on board an RV. Here is a compact combo unit that is very popular for larger RV's )  See the portable water softener at

    5. Screw-on water filters at the kitchen sink are always in the way. Filtering pitchers are even more awkward. An under-sink water filter with its own faucet is always there for you. It requires installation but is a lifetime investment. Filters last for months, even years and replacing the filter is a DIY job. Use the special faucet for drinking water, making ice, cooking and  making coffee and other beverages. See it at

See Janet Groene's easy recipes for camping and RV travel at

Looking for kicky places to go in your RV?  See this week's Travel Teases at

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Provision for your camping trip with tips and recipes from Janet Groene’s newest book, available at a generous pre-pub discount from


Friday, August 21, 2015

Money and the RV Lifestyle

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Never miss another post. This weekly blog is available from Amazon by subscription for Kindle readers. Get the first two weeks free at

Provision for your camping trip with tips and recipes from Janet Groene’s newest book, available at a generous pre-pub discount from


RV Life Ahead? First, Get a Money Makeover

    Could a financial overhaul get you out on the RV road earlier? If you’re already full-timing, could you earn more, or live better for less?  

     1. Know where your money is going now. Be honest about those $5 lattes and the shoes you can’t resist but never wear. Know how much you’re spending each month. Don’t forget to include expenses such as cosmetics, lunches and dry cleaning. Put a star after  expenses that will stop or change after you go full-timing.  For example, you may decide to eat “in” all the time to save money or have lunch “out”  every day as part of the travel experience.

     2. Set financial goals. Do you want to stay on the road until your savings are gone and then go back to work? Spend only X dollars a month? Save Y dollars a month? Fund a retirement account or tithe to your church? . Decide what expenses you can realistically cut (gifts to relatives who never write thank-you letters, mani-pedi's,  takeout dinners, etc)

    3.. Pay yourself first because there WILL be potholes in the road. A reserve fund is essential in every life. When you’re on the road it’s even more important to have a financial ace up your sleeve. 

     4.. Explore your re-financing options If you’re mortgage poor (either in your present home or in an RV), re-financing could help ease your financial pain. Check out the government’s programs and any other re-fi programs that are available to people who have been  sucker-punched by ‘creative’ financing. Make sure you truly understand the terms of ANY loan you sign. 

     5. Learn to manage the money you have now regardless of the amount. If that means shredding your credit cards or selling your blood, put yourself in control.  

    A good place to start taking charge of your personal wealth, whatever the amount, is with money management expert Dave Ramsey. See his invaluable book on financial peace at

    Janet Groene’s RV-ready recipes are posted weekly at Camp And RV Cook and are also available for your Kindle by subscription at

Friday, August 14, 2015

What Is a Self-Contained RV, Motorhome, Camper?

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To ask about placing an ad or sponsoring a post email

5 Reasons to Invest in
a Self-Contained RV


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     All recreation vehicles have sleeping quarters but that alone doesn’t spell total
 I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E.  A self-contained RV is a complete home without reliance on campground hook-ups, public showers, restaurants or (shudder) public restrooms.
    What is “self-contained”?  In RV jargon, that means having the tankage, plumbing and electricity to operate your home without hooking up to campground utilities. You might have a generator or go completely solar. You may also want to install larger water and sewage tanks to extend your range.  Why go for it?

    1. It’s safer. You can lock the RV door, close the curtains and stay “home”. You have everything you need to get through the day (or night) no matter where you are. If campground bathrooms are grotty or you hate to go out after dark (bugs, animals, humans),  you don’t have to take the dreaded “path to the bath”. (However, if you do want added security, here’s a pretty pink flashlight with a built-in stun gun.   Order at

    2. You’re independent on the highway. When you stop for lunch or a nap, you don’t have to look for a public restroom or a fast food restaurant. We were once trapped in a traffic tie-up on an Interstate for three hours while authorities cleared a major accident. We could cook, eat, turn on reading lights, watch TV,  feed the dog,  use the bathroom and have all the comforts of home.  If I’d  known it would take that long, I could have baked a cake!

    3. You control your environment by having your own heating and air and the means of running them without a campground hookup.

    4.  Travelers in self-contained rigs have more options at campgrounds.If you arrive late  and no sites are available, you can ask for a “dry” campsite in an overflow area that has no hookups. You’ll still have campground security and facilities. You can also choose no campground at all. Where it is  permitted and safe, boondocking is an option.

    5. Resale value is higher. The trend in RV’s is to more conveniences, even in the smallest RV’s.

Questions?  Email me at

The Down Side
    The more complicated the RV, the more maintenance is needed and the more breakdowns occur. Don’t over-do with conveniences. It’s good to have a flush toilet and running water but do you really need an electric step, remote control curtains and a heated driver’s seat?  Go self-contained but keep it simple.

Discount! Pre-Pub Price on My New Book
    My mantra is that food is the best insurance at home and away. On a short trip I bring supplies for at least one added day. For full-timing, an ample pantry saves time and money and, in emergencies, it can be a real lifesaver. Stuff happens.
    My new cookbook, Survival Food Handbook, order at, will be published in November by McGraw-Hill.  Preppers will like these recipes but this isn’t a doomsday book nor about expensive survival foods. It’s about tasty meals made with ordinary supermarket foods. It’s for campers, homemakers, anglers, divers, cruising sailors and for that lodge in the wilderness where you keep a good supply of canned and packaged foods. At home, turn to it during a power outage or when unexpected guests pop in. 
    Recipes are given for every course from appetizers to dessert with background information to help you provision with the best supermarket food choices per dollar, per inch and per ounce.
    The link above gives you the pre-pub price of under $15. When the book ships in November it will have a $20 cover price.