Friday, November 21, 2014

Cleaning Tips for the RV, Motorhome, Camper

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No Fear RV Housecleaning
by Janet Groene
    When your RV was new it came with cleaning instructions supplied by the manufacturers of  everything from the microwave to the faux suede sofa. Save these instructions and refer to them regularly because using the wrong chemical could ruin an expensive item. Worse still, you could void the warranty. For example, I have carpeting that is guaranteed UNLESS I use a carpet cleaner that has a rotating brush. 

    Specific products are needed for each type of upholstery, carpeting, the granite counter, wood cabinets,  fiberglass shower enclosure, chrome-plated bath fixtures,a plastic toilet seat,   composite sink, and so on.  

    It’s important to know if your wood cabinets are finished in spar varnish or shellac,
whether the shower door is acrylic or glass, whether the blinds are vinyl or aluminum. What kind of stain-proofer (if any) was originally applied to the carpeting and upholstery? What cleaners are safe for solid brass kitchen faucets, a brushed stainless steel refrigerator door, a ceramic cook top?
    Job One is to get out the dirt without damaging the finish. Job Two is to leave no residue behind.  Using a spray-on cleaner for blinds, for example, is a bad idea unless you can remove the blinds and take them outside for a thorough rinse with a hose. Most cleaners leave a residue that collects new soil quicikly.
    Job Three is, in some instances, to add a protective finish on the clean surface, such as
wax or a mildewcide.  

Here are additional cleaning tips:
    * Green scouring pads should not be used on chrome.  They’ll soon eat through the
plating. Nylon net, available inexpensively by the yard in fabric shops, is a safer scrubber indoors and out.
.    * Know how to clean your windows.  If they are plastic or coated they could be damaged by some glass cleaners. If glass they could be dulled by abrasive cleaners.
    * Have the right brushes and rags on hand. Wadded newspaper puts a lint-free shine on
    * Vacuum dry surfaces, even the stove top and shower pan,  to remove loose crumbs, hair and lint before wetting them.
    * Tide to Go is a lifesaver when you need a quick treatment for upholstery or curtains. 
    * Use only plumbing products formulated for marine or RV systems. Delicate RV
plumbing could be damaged by harsh cleaners.
    * Turn the mattress often to distribute wear. Sprinkle generously with carpet deodorant, let stand  30 minutes, then vacuum well.
    * Wash or vacuum window screens regularly to get more light, fresher air.
    * Know where to find all the filters in your RV and clean or change them often. They’re in the air conditioner, clothes dryer,  heating system, air purifier and also may be  in the microwave, refrigerator, ice maker, stove hood, engine room ventilation system and bathroom exhaust vent. 

See Janet Groene’s newest RV and camping recipes at

Friday, November 14, 2014

Women Love the Freedom of RV Life

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Yearn to Earn as You Travel?
copyright janet groene

    If you think you can’t live and travel in an RV until you are retired and collecting a
pension, we have good news for you. Workamping has been around since 1987, when a win-win-win partnership was established among RV travelers who need work, employers who need seasonal workers and the Workamper organization that brings them together. 

    With Workamping you work only when and where you wish, for as long as you need to
“feed the kitty”. Then you move on.
    “ Many people don't quite get it,” admits company president Steve Anderson, who  holds seminars to educate employers about the Workamper model. “Our Workamper members aren’t looking for jobs as jobs. They are looking for a job as part of the total RV full-timer experience. ”
    The average Workamper gig lasts three to four months. Then the RV-er moves on with no ill feelings on either side. Of course, some relationships do develop and some Workampers return to the same employers season after season, but primarily the jobs are just right for full-timers who want to keep looking over the next hill.
    Anderson finds that employers are astonished at his members’ work ethic.  Most
Workampers are reliable, able and hard working. The organization now has about 20,000
members, many of them planning ahead for a life of RV travel in five and even ten years from now. 
    Little Heber Springs, Arkansas has always been the home of the Workamper family. Now the community has built a meeting center where Anderson gives seminars for Workamper employers and Workamper employee wanna-be's. He also holds festive “jubilees” for dedicated Workampers.
    Since its founding, big changes have come to Workamper  due to technology and also due to the migration of jobs to business-friendly states. Amazon, for example, has huge new shipping centers in Kentucky, Nevada and Tennessee. 

    Where Workamper jobs were once heavily dependent on  jobs during vacation seasons  (theme parks, campgrounds) workers are most in demand at Amazon centers during the Christmas holidays, back to school and other brisk buying seasons. The company installed hookups at its sites and it loves Workampers.
    The other big change is in communications.  Workamper jobs were once advertised in the organization’s snail-mailed newsletters. Now an employer can post a job opening online on a Workamper Hot Line in early morning and have half a dozen applicants by noon. Several levels of Workamper membership range in price from $33 to $54 a year. The Basic level is a good choice for future Workampers; active travelers will want the higher level membership with access to the Hot Line. 

    If you are an RV-er who needs to work at least part of the time, Workamper may be the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.

See Janet Groene’s RV-ready recipes at Camp And RV Cook.

Craving a great snack but  trying to avoid junk food? Make your own snacks and use only the best ingredients. Recipes at Create A Gorp.   Each week we develop an emergency recipe made entirely from pantry ingredients at Boat Cook.  Stock the ingredients for emergencies at home, on the road or afloat.    

Friday, November 7, 2014

Women Love the RV Travel Life

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Become a Health Care Professional 
To Support Your RV Life
copyright Janet Groene
    Need a portable profession so you can live and travel in an RV? Annie Evans, a licensed radiologist, suggests (www.)

No endorsement of any product or service is implied by the author.

How it Works

First, of course, you need to get your training, certification and resume. You’ll also need to be mobile. One way is to make an RV your home. It's complete and comfortable and it’s also on wheels that can take you anywhere the jobs are.

 Then check with an agency that specializes in travel healthcare jobs such as There are many companies that find assignments for health care specialists based on qualifications and travel preferences.  If you want a particular area, request work within a specific region.

 Assignments can last anywhere from 8 to 26 weeks. You’ll work as a contractor for the travel job agency,  so your expenses for state licensing, housing, and travel are usually covered. You will also receive payroll and health benefits through the agency.


Many healthcare occupations are available to travelers. They include nursing, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medical imaging, and other specializations. You may work in hospitals, clinics, or other types of medical facilities that have  a temporary need for someone with your qualifications.


In general, healthcare professionals who want travel jobs should have at least one year of clinical experience. You should also be highly adaptable, because you’ll change work environments and job duties often.  You’ll also need to be a quick sturdy because you’ll probably only get one or two days of training when starting a new assignment.


Benefits are many. Traveling healthcare workers usually receive higher pay because they are working temporary positions. There is no obligation to stay nor for the employer to keep you beyond the contractual period.  Pay varies depending on  your qualifications and the area where you work.

Another benefit is that travel job agencies usually cover a number of costs such as health benefits and retirement plans. Finally, you can continue to work while traveling all over the U.S. You’ll have lots of adventures, meeting wonderful people and living in a variety of places along the way.

Will I see YOU down the road? I hope so. Janet Groene
See Janet Groene’s easy recipes for camping and RV cooking at CampAndRVCook.

Friday, October 31, 2014

RV Life is the Good Life

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Your RV’s Reserve Fund
    From the moment your RV rolls out of the dealership it’s smart to start a reserve account for the replacements that are sure to come due. The active RV life plus highway motion and sunlight all take an inevitable toll. 
    The reserve fund doesn’t have to be huge but it can cushion big, expensive surprises like having to replace carpeting or the awning. Here are just a few items that you will be replacing sooner or later.  

    Mini-blinds take a beating from sun and motion, so they’ll need replacing every few
years. Standard sizes cost about $35 to $90 and up each. Installation can add $50 or more.
    Upgrade to heated, remote-control rear view mirrors for about $350.
    Patio awnings can be added for $900 to $2,000 or more depending on size, material and the complexity of the mechanism. Installation adds about $100 to the cost of a simple, hand-cranked  awning and $200 or more to the price of a pushbutton awning with wind sensor and automatic retraction. If you need replacement only for the fabric, get quotes from two or three awning specialists.
    Patio mats (outdoor carpeting)  rarely last more than a season, but they pay for
themselves in good looks while keeping grit out of your RV. Buy an all-weather, lightweight,folding mat to carry in the RV.  
    Propane cylinders are dangerous when they become rusty or battered. A new, 30-
pounder costs about $60.
    Satellite radio.  A receiver costs about $150 and installation is extra if you can’t do it
yourself. Subscriptions are about $18 a month.
    Satellite Digital TV service costs $2,000-$2,400 plus installation and a monthly
subscription. Cheapest units don’t track satellites when the RV is in motion. An automatic
satellite dish that searches for the correct satellite costs under $1,000 plus $200 installation; a crank-up satellite antenna costs under $300 and installation costs about the same as the automatic antenna. One RV manufacturer offers a fully-automatic, in-motion, digital satellite system for $5,300, factory-installed on a new RV.
    If your  shower door dies, a new one will cost $55-$75 and much more if it’s not
a standard size. Installation is usually an easy,  do-it-yourself job. 
    Sofabeds get shabby in time. A new one will cost $800 and up at RV suppliers. Easy
chairs for RV’s cost  $450 and up.

    Tire covers  and spare tire covers deteriorate as they save expensive tires from UV damage. New ones cost $22 to $38 a set.

     Windshield wraps take a beating from sun, rain and wear but they're well worth having to protect the windshield itself and to reduce the heat load inside the RV.

Friday, October 24, 2014

RV Women's Fast Lane to Success

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To inquire about advertising on one or more
Janet Groene sites email  Help support this blog by sending a donation
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See below for:
The RV Diet
One woman's year on the road
10 Reasons to REnt an RV, even if you already own one
How to afford the RV of your dreams

The RV Diet
    This isn’t about trimming your torso to wear that new outfit for the holidays. It’s about reducing the weight of your RV for better fuel economy, tire wear, handling, braking and overall RV highway  safety.

    We all carry water (just over eight pounds a gallon) plus fuel and and the needs of a
household from kitchen and bath to the golf clubs. Full-time RV travelers must carry even more including out-of-season clothes, hobby and business equipment,  specialty tools, perhaps even family keepsakes. 

    Which straw broke the camel’s back?  Let’s weigh your “straws” individually by pounds
and ounces as well as by their importance in your life. Here are some ways to lighten up:

     * Get a lighter or smaller one.   In newer electronics we we can get more sound, strength, gigabytes or power from a smaller, lighter unit of any device from phones and computers to RV inverters.  Get a new model; it’s likely to be better in all ways, and weigh less too. This powerful, 3000-watt inverter weights only 13.5 pounds.  What's an inverter? See below.

    * Replace
mis-matched separates with fewer,  but color-coordinated, outfits. Weed out the  galley drawers and cupboards,  medicine cabinet,  toolbox, tackle box, and
throw away all those extra hangers. Kitchenware may come in sets but get rid of sizes you never use.

    * Dehydrated, fresh, freeze-dry and frozen foods weigh less than canned. Condensed
soups and juice concentrates weigh less than ready-to-serve. Aluminum pots and pans weigh less than stainless steel and iron. Plastic microware cookers are  lightest of all.  Corel dishes are real glass but they're strong and light.

    * Adopt the “New One In , Old One Out Rule”when it comes to books, magazines, shoes
and other items that tend to pile up in your RV.

    * When  choosing equipment, keep weight in mind. Inch for inch, batteries are about the heaviest items in your RV. To add more batteries, a big inverter  and solar panels may add more weight than simply getting a larger generator.

    * Lastly, shed it. My Dad’s rule was to get rid of anything he hadn’t used in seven years
but modern life is faster. Clever new multi-purpose items  come on the market every day.

    Now you feel lighter physically and spiritually, but you’re not finished yet. You still have balance your RV side to side, fore and aft. You may  have to change the way you store things for optimum weight distribution.

    Think thin. It’s your life and the life of the RV that we are talking about. 

An inverter concerts battery juice to household power, allowing you to use some household appliances when you're not hooked up. See an RV electrician for installation.