Friday, October 24, 2014

RV Women's Fast Lane to Success

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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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

One Woman's Year as an RV Fulltimer

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Britt Reints inspires others with her infectious smile and sunny outlook.

A Year as Full-timers
copyright janet groene 

    Britt Reints makes a career out of a sunny outlook and encouraging others. Her personal beliefs were tested by a year on the road when the family decided to get an RV and go “walkabout” for a year.

      “We didn’t realize we were going to have to take a bath on the house,” Britt remembers. What they’d thought was a good deal went south when the real estate bubble burst. “It probably made the most sense financially to cut our losses on the house sooner rather than later, whether we took the trip or not,” she says.

    Why an RV for Britt, her husband and two middle schoolers? “The idea was to travel
long-term and have more control over our day-to-day activities,” she reveals. “We went with the RV because it was going to be the least expensive choice long-term and it also let us hang on to some of our personal belongings (compared to suitcase travel). 

    “We weren’t trying to get back to nature or avoid mainstream America,” she reports. “We weren’t retired nor trying to protect our kids from anything. The RV was a means to an end.”

    On the plus side, the Reints family saw a lot of the country together. They hiked the
Grand Canyon, built a lifetime of memories, solidified their family relationship. “We improved our communications skills with each other,” Britt says, “Something I’m super grateful for now that we’re back in the real world. We also got a unique opportunity to step back and rethink exactly how we wanted to live in the real world.”

    Now RV-less and settled down in Pittsburgh, where Britt is a writer and counselor at, she says, “The biggest difference is that our family is at the center of our lives now . We put each other first.

Would a year on the road help you get your priorities straight? Janet Groene’s book Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, covers RV life from making the decision and choosing a rig to settling down again when it’s all over. Kids on board?  Need an income? The book also covers home schooling and how to make a living on the go.

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

Snacks for the road, the trail, backpack, lunchbox. When you make you own trail mixes you save a bundle. Package them in small batches for portion control. You can also adjust ingredients to eliminated allergens or other dietary no-no’s. See Create A Gorp.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rent an RV, a Magic Carpet on Wheels

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Janet Groene's
10 Reasons to Rent an RV
    Why rent an RV if you already own one? Why rent if you never tried the lifestyle?  Why rent one now,  even though you know you'll never take an RV trip again? Here’s why. Click on the El Monte icon above right to check locales, prices, RV sizes. Then lock in your dates.

1. With a rental RV you’ll have a temporary guest suite in your driveway or back yard (where allowed by the homeowner association). If your own RV isn’t large enough for a girlfriend getaway or the extended family, rent one to do the trip.  

2.  No garage? Stage a yard sale out of the RV at a flea market or other likely spot, then use the profits to have a whale of a camping trip.

3. Take the trip of a lifetime. Leave your own RV at home and fly to Alaska or Los Angeles or New York and rent there. Miami rentals jump start your vacation in the Florida Keys. A Las Vegas rental puts you next door to Death Valley National Park. An Anchorage or Seattle rental opens the door to the wonders of Alaska or British Columbia.  

4. Stage a family reunion at a campground that has a variety of campsites to accommodate your rig, other family members’ rigs and cottages for family members who have no RV.

5. Have magnetic signs made for the sides of the RV to advertise your business, website or
twitter handle.

6. The best tailgate parties begin with an RV with its own kitchen and bathroom.

7. Introduce the children to camping in a hard-sided camper that keeps them warm, dry and bear proof. 

8.  Have an extensive test drive in the kind of RV you’re thinking of buying. By the end of the rental you may realize you may want something smaller, larger or with a different layout. 

9. Have housing with you while you follow NASCAR, your NFL team, political candidate or your child’s swim meets or gymnastic competitions. 

10. Remodeling the house? Move into an RV rental to get away from the sawdust, noise and  mess. 

See Janet Groene's weekly blog featuring easy recipes for camping and RV travel.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Yes, You CAN Afford that New RV, Motorhome, Camper

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High Finance
copyright janet groene

Is this the year you’ll break free, buy an RV and become a full-time highway traveler? Write that novel, start that online business, research the family tree, visit your sorority sisters around the county, create an art portfolio. 

Possibilities are endless when you have an empty road ahead and a complete, compact household behind. Start by knowing your personal financial status. Then prowl as many showrooms and RV shows as possible to become a smart buyer using a smart loan. Here’s how.

* As long as it has complete living facilities (bed, bath and kitchen) an RV qualifies for a mortgage deduction just as a house does. It must be your primary domicile or second home.
* Know your credit score, then get pre-approved for credit. It gives you a head start when you start serious negotiations with the seller.
* Know the different types of loans available such as fixed rate, fixed term, adjustable rate and so on.
* If you already have an RV that is not paid for, you may get pre-approval on a loan for a new one but the bank may not accept application for a new loan until the existing loan is cleared.
* Shop around for credit. Dealer financing is usually the easiest but they may make up for a low interest rate with higher fees, closing cost, detailing, a warranty, dealer prep and accessories.
* If you’re counting on a home equity loan to help with the financing, do your homework. You may find that your house has less equity than you thought and may even be upside down.
* All loans affect your credit score,  so don’t get in over your head. Monthly RV payments are just the beginning.  You may also want to finance a campsite, lot or a campground membership.
* Don't think you have to buy new. Financing is also available for a used RV.
* After getting your financial ducks in a row you’re now ready to start shopping for the rig,  layout and color scheme of your dreams. 

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Stock your camper's pantry or grub box with foods for a rainy day. See this week’s recipe made entirely from supermarket shelf foods at