Friday, September 26, 2014

RV Women Talk Travel, Triuimphs. Success, Secrets

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If you missed last week's post about how to be invisible online or how to disappear completely, scroll down.

From My Mailbox

    Problems, solutions. RV women get together and make this wonderful lifestyle work for us. Let’s trade ideas for being healthier, handsomer,  with travel plans galore and lotsa, lotsa love.
    From two full-timers ages 56 and 60 who work to supplement their $28,000 retirement income. “We usually volunteer in exchange for free campsites, spending  three months at a time. That allows time to explore the area thoroughly before moving on.  We get free electricity in these sites; when we dry camp we rely on the generator and propane. We meet few, honest-to-goodness full-timers like ourselves. Most others have a place to store their stuff.”

    From a disgruntled 68-year-old full-timer who has a 31-foot,  2001 RV: “I  wish RV park
owners had more bare-bones sites for overnighting at bargain rates. I would go there instead of to (free sites).”

    From full-timers ages 65 and 70 who have been on the road 1999 in a 41-foot RV that
was new that year. Their income of $32,000 allows the occasional splurge. They move often, usually experiencing 70 or more different campsites each year
. “We are true full-timers with no home or other retreat to escape to. Do we have an exit  strategy? Well, “kinda”,  they report. 

     "We’ll buy a house somewhere, keep our small car, and downsize. We aren’t through yet, however. We plan to  replace our present RV eventually, when needed. Our suggestions to other women who are RV-ers? Drivers of all rigs with a combined
length of 40 feet should be required to attend special driving school; drivers of motorhomes 26,000 pounds or more should be required to have a CDL endorsement. Many RVers are poor drivers and mechanical dummies.”
    They continue, “We recommend South Dakota as a home base. It has no income or
personal property tax. Insurance costs and annual tag fees  are low, there are no vehicle
inspections, and sales tax on a new RV is only 3%.” (Janet comments: check ahead. Tax and license fees are rising everywhere.)

    From a 75-year-old single full-timer whose 31-foot RV is 20 years old and who has been full-timing  since she was in her early 50's. “I recommend every full-timer buy a solar system. Mine runs the microwave and satellite TV.  My biggest problems are laundry and finding dump sites. I expect to replace my present RV soon but, when the time comes to quit, I have a small house in Arizona.”

    From a disabled full-timer in her late 50s, when asked now many slides her next RV
will have:
“None!!! (Slides are) one more thing to maintain $$$ or fix $$$!!!”  The language and punctuation are hers.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Be Secure Online, and Even Become Invisible

Janet Groene's RV recipe blog is available from Amazon by subscription for your Kindle or other device. Free Trial

Think of the fun you'll have visiting all your favorite spots in this Sportsmen TT2303 RV.

Go all the way to the bottom of this blog for information on how to order posts you may have missed.

The information below is aimed at personal security online, but for women who want to become even more invisible, these books guide the way. 

How to Disappear, Erase Your Digital Footprint and Vanish Without a Trace. 

How to be Invisible; Protect Your Home Your Children, Your Assets and Your Life. 

How to Disappear Completely  and Never Be Found


Visible Online? Or Not!
If you want an email reminder each week when a new post goes up here, email and put RV Woman in the subject line

Most of us want as many “likes” and followers as possible but are there times when you want to be invisible online? In Grandmother’s time, the biggest fear was that a nosy neighbor would listen in on the party line or extension phone.

Today the entire world is mining private information about your personal, social, financial and professional life. When you're on the go in your RV, using free wi-fi, you're more vulnerable than ever. 

 First, get acquainted with your computer. Learn to clear cookies, encrypt files and mail, make use of private browsing and change passwords often.

Second, harness the new tools that are constantly coming on the market to add safety, security and even anonymity to your computer and smart phone. One solution is Snapchat, a mobile app that lets you share photos and short videos via texting that disappears after 30 seconds.

You might also add a personalized antenna known as GoTenna. It lets you text other people who have the same device and are within a few miles such as within the same campground or within a family or group that’s hiking together. The company claims messages are encrypted and are not stored anywhere. They can also be set to disappear after they are received and read.

Know how each system works. For example, an alias in doesn’t really hide who you are. It simply allows you to create temporary fake names to give out to companies you don’t want to deal with now but  you don’t want them to become permanent pen pals.

To hide your location, look into the Tor Browsers, available from Firefox. Fee-based services include Hushmail and Hide My Ass (about $10 a month). For added protection, use Tor plus one of the fee-based accounts together. A company called NtrepidCorp offers a service called Passages to protect identity and reject malware. For information call 800.921.2414.

For a virtual private network (VPN) to use anywhere with wi-fi hotspots, Skype, Facebook and Twitter, look into for $55 a year. Silo is another program. It’s cloud-based, so only their IP address is exposed, not yours. Other possibilities with various features and shades of protection include,, and Cyber Ghost VPN. 

Stay on the go but also stay on your toes.

See this week's Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week at

Looking for great places to go in your RV? See Janet Groene's Travel Tidbits.

Homemade trail mix recipes save money while letting you eat healthier. 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

RV Woman, Writer, Author Cheryl Norman

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sponsoring a post email

Late Flash. Cheryl Norman will do a book signing, greet and meet at the October Fest to be held October 4 at Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park, Florida. It's near Live Oak, 1 1/2 hours east of Tallahassee and 2 hours west of Jacksonville.

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Meet Author Cheryl Norman, RV Woman

If you love romantic mysteries you already know award-winning author Cheryl Norman, but did you know she is also an avid RV woman?

Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Cheryl was only 13 when she wrote her first mystery in pencil. She never stopped writing. Her contemporary romance, Last Resort, won an EPPIE. Publishers Weekly called her “one of ten new romance authors to watch.”

Cheryl and her husband, Norman, started RV-ing in 1984. When they travel Cheryl researches locations by day and brings out her laptop computer in the evening to write. 

Her suspense novel, Running Scared, is an example of how travel and writing go
hand in hand. The book is set in Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida. She
spent time in both places, acquainting herself with streets and landmarks.

Cheryl finds it tough to name her favorite RV trip because she has loved them all,
but she does single out a four-month trip to Alaska. “Getting there was half the
fun,” she recalls. She has now been to all 50 states including Hawaii, a fly-in
destination that didn’t include the RV.

Author Sue Henry used Alaska in some of her mystery novels, starting with Dead
North.  Cheryl met her at a book signing in Skagway, Alaska, in 1997, and
followed her career,” Cheryl reports. “I wasn't published yet, and she offered me
encouragement and advice.” 

A cancer survivor and loyal supporter of the American Cancer Society, Cheryl  loves walking, sewing, cooking, reading and classic cars. All these hobbies mesh well with the RV lifestyle. Her home base is in northern Florida in a small town that looks much like the fictional Drake Springs where her newest mysteries take place. Most of her books are available in Kindle as well as print editions. Reclaim My Life  is just one of her many best sellers. 

See Janet Groene's RV recipes at  Her weekly Pantry Recipe, requiring no fresh foods, is seen at

Snack on a more healthful handful when you make your own trail mix. Find easy recipes at

Friday, September 5, 2014

Smart RV Women Love Great Road Food

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sponsoring a post, email

Amazon offers a free trial for two weeks when you subscribe to Janet Groene's Camp And RV Cook weekly blog for Kindle and other e-readers.

RV Food, Road Food, Right Food
    If you’re a woman on the road, you eat on the road. I love having my own little RV
kitchen but part of the RV experience is visiting local restaurants and exploring regional dishes created by native cooks. How can you enjoy roadside restaurant meals without sacrificing your health?

    For answers we went to cardiologist Dr. Mike Fenster, author of The Fallacy of the Calorie, Why the Modern Western Diet is Destroying Us and How to Stop it.

    Here are Dr. Fenster’s tips on eating better and healthier on the go.

    * Say no to commercial salad dressings, even diet dressings. Stick with olive oil and vinegar, fresh lemon juice or no dressing at all. Shun diet drinks too. Studies show, says Dr. Fenster, that women who drink more diet beverages are heavier and have increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. 

    * Burgers beat deli meat. If you can get a great burger that is organic, grass fed and
pasture fed it’s better than highly processed meat and meat products like those typically used in deli sandwiches.

    * Under-salted food may be a diet disservice. “A properly seasoned meal leaves us more
satisfied and less likely to binge,” the doctor observes. “Over 75% of an average person’s daily sodium intake comes from eating highly processed and prepared foods. Seek out those restaurants that utilize fresh ingredients, from produce to proteins.”

    *  Low cholesterol advertising is a fat trap. (It) has little or nothing to do with your blood cholesterol levels. Foods and menu items promoted as  “healthy” because they are “low in cholesterol” are often loaded with fat, sugar or other additives that cause more harm than a three egg omelet ever could, he says. 

    * Energy bars are bogus, warns Dr. Fenster. “Many of these bars are highly processed and contain high levels of low-nutrient fillers and sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. Diets high in added sugars, fructose in particular, has been associated with increased risk of developing hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening medical conditions. Bars are also often loaded with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that’s linked to a myriad of health ailments. The short term energy boost that bars provide is often followed by a “crash” that can cause you to eat yet more unhealthy bars or other food to get revved back up.”

    * Bagels are the “other” white bread, and that isn’t good says Dr. Fenster. Commercial
breads are the number one source of sodium in the average American diet. They also often contain significant amounts of refined sugar and fat in the form of detrimental omega-six polyunsaturated fatty acids.  A seemingly benign plain bagel is equivalent to several slices of white bread…even before the addition of toppings or fillings.

    * Counting calories is a fallacy. For example, a 100 calorie soft drink is not the nutritional equivalent of a 100 calorie apple. Healthful eating is about the quality of the consumable.

Check out Janet Groene’s easy recipes for the RV galley at

 Where go next in your RV? See Janet Groene’s Travel Tidbits at

See our Pantry Recipe of the Week at Boat Cook. It calls for no fresh foods at all. Use what you have, of course, but keep these recipes in reserve for boondocking and emergencies.


Friday, August 29, 2014

RV Travel and Choosing a Home Base

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

 photo courtesy Winnebago

When you travel by RV you have a fully self-contained home on wheels

Where’s Home?
    Choosing an official “home” base is the most important decision to be made when you live and travel full-time in an RV. It’s also the toughest, most exasperating and most impossible decision to guess at, let alone to second-guess. It has nothing to do with where you actually spend your time.

You may rarely even see the state that is your “home” although it’s getting more difficult to avoid going back from time to time to renew a driver’s license or to serve on a jury. 

    When I first became a routeless, rootless wanderer it was easy to use my parents’ address as my own. Mother forwarded important mail, asked me what to forward, burned the rest. Then things got more complicated when Dad retired and my folks moved back to New York State, where taxes and fees are among the highest in the nation. Now that I had a New York address, I became subject to state income taxes, insurance rates, licenses, laws and all the rest. I wanted Out.

    I can’t speak for Canadian provinces but in the USA it’s mind-boggling to realize how
much one’s personal rights, costs and obligations are affected by state laws. As security concerns become ever more strict, it’s harder than ever to decide where to call home. For years, all a full-timer needed was a post office box. Now you need a physical address to get a bank account, a broker, a credit card, even some prescriptions.

    Here’s just one example. A woman I’ll call Wanda was RV-ing solo when she met a man
who was also traveling alone in his RV. She sold her motorhome, moved in with the guy we’ll call Steve,  and they drove off into the sunset on a cloud of promises and pillow talk. They did not get married.  She told me it had something to do with keeping her late husband’s pension and, “Besides,” she said smugly, “A wedding license is just a piece of paper. We trust each other completely.” Then Steve died.

    Wanda had no legal status with Steve and the RV was registered in his name in a state
Wanda had never seen.  He had no will. According to the laws of his “home state” his heirs were his children, parents and siblings.  Immediately they wanted to sell the RV and divide the proceeds. Wanda and Steve had considered the  RV to be her home too, but that was then. Now she had no legal status. Thanks to her savings and a loan from her folks, she was able to buy the RV from the estate. Otherwise she would have been out on her ear.

    Wanda’s situation could have been even worse. If she and Steve had joint bank accounts or a safety deposit box in some states, the accounts would have been sealed when one of them died. Only after it all went through probate, and Steve’s heirs got their share, would Wanda have had access to her own money.  In any case, her status and the status of her RV home would have depended on state law.

    Get the picture? State laws determine your privileges and burdens as an heir, as a
biological or adoptive parent, as a legal, common law or ex-spouse, and as a partner who is not legally related by blood, marriage, adoption or business contract.

    Here are just a few things that are determined by state law:  workman’s compensation,
traffic laws and tickets, Medicaid or other public assistance, death, inheritance and your rights if you are a crime victim.  State law determines the cost of licenses for your RV and other vehicles Insurance  rates are based on your “home” city or county. 

The profession you practice may also be governed by myriad state laws and license requirements.  Health insurance including Medicare supplement policies are priced according to your “home” city. The program is federal but identical Medi-gap coverage can vary by thousands of dollars a year from place to place. 

As a “resident” of a city or county you could be called for jury duty, and some places won’t take no for an answer.  Gun laws too vary state to state and according to the type of weapon. To carry a weapon in a vehicle is a felony in some states even if the vehicle is also your sole domicile and you have a permit to carry it in your home state! 

These books can be lifesavers.

Choosing your RV  "Home" State.

Living Aboard Your RV, a Guide to the Full-time Life on Wheels.

A Guide to Gun Laws in all 50 States