Friday, December 19, 2014

Yes you CAN Support Your RV Lifestyle Right Now

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Opening Act:
Performing on the Road

   This book isn’t written by a woman and it isn’t about RV-ing,so why am I wildly
enthusiastic about Scott Ibex’s book, Low Budget Rockstar? Here’s why. It’s all about achieving a dream on a shoestring. If your dream is to travel and  make a living with your talents, you’re already on your way, especially if you have an RV.

    As you may know, my portable profession is travel writing. Many other RV full-timers make a living with their talents as quilters, performers, sales reps, dealers, jewelry designers, consultants, speakers,  ad inf.
    Ibex is an established music artist. His credits  include national U.S. tours with groups such as Chicago, the Rastafarians and Pato Banton. He also has hard-headed business savvy. A graduate of Whittier Law School, he presents music business seminars at universities and libraries.
    Early in his career, Ibex was offered a major recording contract that is every musician’s
dream come true. Then he read the fine print,  had second thoughts and decided to go it alone.He went on the road and learned every aspect of the business while also honing his skills as a performing artist. 
    His advice applies to many talents and skills, not just music. He tells how to assemble a road-ready digital office, get bookings, advertise and promote and  how to draft and negotiate contracts, build a solid Internet presence and survive on the road.
    Best of all he explains how to develop multiple revenue streams. For a musician, that
means marketing merchandise and CD’s. For a quilter it might mean selling patterns or giving workshops.  For a cookbook author it could mean judging chili cook-offs and doing book signings. Think outside the box.
    Ibex covers how to accept rejection (at age 16 he was cold-calling on Wall Street). He tells how to compose a professional resume and negotiate for venues.
    When Scott Ibex travels he is economical but not cheap. He makes it clear to promoters
that he has certain requirements for his group on-stage and off.   He’s a poster boy for the tax advantages of travel and he explains how to keep precise records for the IRS. 
    RV travelers visit many events that feature performers, vendors and crafters. They include festivals, county fairs, large church bazaars, art shows and fund raisers of all kinds. Where crowds gather there is opportunity to sell your performance, service or product. Ibex explains how to learn about these events well in advance so you can assemble a booking schedule that’s compatible with your travel goals.
    With his help you can truly “get your act together and take it on the road.”

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Want healthier snacks? Make your own. Many of my recipes require no cooking. They’re all easy and well balanced. Fine-tune to your own diet needs if you wish (no salt, less sugar, no peanuts, etc.) Package for the pocket and also for portion control. Http://

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sleep with a Friend: A Good RV Mattress

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 Even if you're not mechanically inclined, checking RV tire pressures is just one of the many simple tasks you can do yourself

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The Princess and the Pea

    Remember the old fairy tale about the princess who was so tender she could feel a pea under the mattress? If your RV mattress isn’t fit for the princess that is YOU,  act!  

    The first thing I learned is that most RV beds are a non-standard size. Just a few inches can make a big different when you’re trying to put a new mattress into an existing bed platform. Measure so you know exactly what space you have.

     Second, I learned that local stores can rarely help. Here’s where the Internet is again a lifesaver in finding a just-right solution to a sticky RV problem. Here’s one source of RV bedding.  
    In an RV every pound costs fuel dollars, so you don’t want to haul around heavy batting and metal springs. Too, you’ll want to flip and air this mattress often, so it should be light enough to handle. Comfort comes first and that is easily achieved by building up layers of memory or “egg crate”  foam.  

    If you assemble your own mattress in layers, keep it together by with a good, zippered  muslin mattress cover. If this is works, you can periodically take the layers apart and re-assemble them to distribute wear. If not, glue layers permanently with an adhesive sold for foam.  If the sleeping is still not comfortable, simply add another layer of foam. 

    Another advantage is piecing together your own RV mattress is that one side can be firmer than the other to suit both you and your partner. 

See Janet Groene's easy recipes for camping and RV. Click here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

RV WomenLive the Good Life on the Go

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Gypsy Dog loves to be safe in her "house".  A folding crate in the RV can come in handy inside and out.  

 My Canadian friends are now in Mexico for the winter, living the good life in their 1995 motorhome. Learn about their exciting lifestyle at

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       Go Full-timing But Don’t Burn Your Bridges
                        by Janet Groene
          copyright Janet Groene, all rights reserved
    Living and traveling full-time in an RV is one of life’s most exciting transitions. Like life
itself, however, the rule is to keep one cheek on the chair in case the music stops. 

    Remnants of the old life  could be solid currency to you in the future. No matter how
bitter your divorce, how grief stricken you are over the death of a loved one, how fearful you are that someone or something from the old life will follow you,  or how much you hate the boss, don’t burn your bridges just yet.

    Life changes are smoother if you stay on good terms with your old coworkers, manager, AA mentor,  landlady, neighbors, ex-spouse, former roommate and anyone else whose help or  references you could need someday. Memories fade. Tempers cool. Forgiveness happens. Always leave a door ajar.    

    If your parting with your employer is amicable, ask now for a letter of reference and carry it with you in case you want to (or need to) find work in your travels. Ditto the landlady, whose reference could look good if you unexpectedly need a place to live. If your RV got wrecked or you decide to move out of it while doing a major make-over to the interior, you could need an apartment.

    Keep memberships in your professional associations, at least for now.  Despite high dues  it’s usually easier and cheaper to stay a member than to  be admitted for the first time. The networking is invaluable in ways you don’t anticipate now.

     If your career requires a professional license, try to keep that current too. Some licenses (masseuse, nails, many health care professions, beauty operator) are issued by states, so  that makes them more difficult to use in your travels. However, many states have reciprocal agreements and in others you can get a new license just by passing a test.

    An instructor’s or commercial pilot’s license is portable because it’s federal, but to keep it current you need regular physical exams and periodic rides with check pilots. A number of women also have marine captain’s licenses, also federal. With a small-boat commercial license you might skipper a nature cruise for six people or less, or work as a fishing guide.

     Don’t be too quick to sell everything either. Some possessions are kept for sentimental
reasons. Others are kept for practical reasons. If your RV sojourn will be for a set period and you’ll want to reclaim your furniture after a year or two, it can be put in a storage facility. If you’re hanging onto, say, a coin or art collection because it’s growing in value, put it in a fireproof, insured safety deposit box or  vault. Be sure to get adequate insurance from your own insurer. The standard coverage offered by the rental facility is rarely enough.    

    You might decide to keep your apartment and sub-lease it or keep the house and rent it
out, at least for the first year while you decide if ful-ltiming is right for you. If you do, it’s best to hire professional management to collect the rent and take care of maintenance. You’ll also need different insurance coverage including liability.

    I don’t recommend hatching your retirement nest egg early. The younger you are now, the more important it is to keep feathering your nest.  Money continues to grow tax free in your IRA.  It’s insurance against the day you can no longer work or travel or both.

    Look before you leap. Sleep on it before hitting the Send button for that angry email, tweet or Facebook post. Then fuel up and hit the road.

Friday, November 28, 2014

RV Women Dress Easy, Dress Smart

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 You don't have to be a tailor to whip up a sarong or pareu to twist, drape, tie and wrap in a dozen different ways. Depending on the fabric it can be a sun dress, dressy dress,  long or short, beach cover-up, shawl or skirt.

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Out of the  Closet:
Garments That Do Double Duty
in Your RV Lifestyle

 copyright janet groene
    What are your fave double-duty and/or travel garments for RV travel?
    How do you get more wardrobe into less RV space?
    Beyond the little back dress and strand of pearls, how do you dress for a special night out?

    Here are some of my favorite wardrobe stretchers:

    * A  chiffon scarf that can be looped and swirled in many ways as a scarf, light stole or
sash. Best choices are white, ivory or black because they go with everything. A light silk scarf packs in little space and works all year. Pashmina scarves can be bulky and too hot for warm weather, so I’d have one only for chilly climates. Infinity scarves too are out when I’m pinched for space because they not as versatile. 

       * Slacks with length options. Some can be rolled up and snapped in place. Others
have zip-off bottoms so they can be worn as slacks or shorts. Wear them with flats or let them  down to wear with a bit of  heel.
    * The new trend in removable trim for boots and shoes is a boon to the space-short RV
lady who loves footwear. Some slip over the ankle. Some clip on. With shoes only in basic black and/or brown you can dress to the nines just by adding a little bling.
          * My travels are in moderate climates (RV life gives one that choice!) , so I don’t carry many cold weather garments. My all-weather coat is good in the rain and has a light, zip-out lining for cold snaps. With a sweater underneath and a muffler it’s warm enough for severe cold.
* My back-up garment for an unexpected cold snaps is a pair of dancer’s leg warmers. Find them at a dance supply store or knit your own. They come in many styles from cotton to silk and wool. They are simply stretchy sleeves that make extra insulation  under a jacket or slacks. Long-sleeve, long-leg silk underwea tops and bottoms is also a good insulator that fits like a silky, thin, second skin. It takes up little storage space.
    * I love reversables, usually solid color on one side and a print on the other.  Check both sides before you buy. It’s tricky to make them correctly with slits, buttons, zippers and labels all in the right place no matter which side of the garment is “out”. I love this two-way jacket for cool weather and a reversible vest for any time.
    * I’m a “medium” size but I keep a small supply of XL tee shirts. They are ideal for
sleepwear,  beach coverups, a painting smock and to loan to any guests who need an extra garment. Bonus points if the shirts are customized with the name of your RV, Twitter handle or website. Custom tees are a terrific deal and they make great gifts for new friends you meet along life’s way.

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

Make your own trail mix to save money, fine-tune ingredients to your own health needs, save trash. Measure by the cupful into re-usable snack bags.  Recipes here

Stuff happens. When you need an emergency meal in your RV travels, check out Janet's Pantry Recipe of the Week, requiring no fresh food, at Boat Cook.