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RV Life and Travel Newsletter #472 ~ February 16, 2012
February 16, 2012

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RV Life and Travel E-zine 472 ~ February 16, 2011

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Where In the World Are Coleen and Bob?
(And Just What Are They Doing?)

Fuel costs are up and the expenses of running a business are up. For RVers, that's a double whammy. We get hit extra hard at the pump. And, when we go to check into a campground, we find the prices are higher than they were in years past.

But, that doesn't mean we should hang up the keys. Instead, we can look for ways to cut our RVing expenses. One of the new articles I posted on the website has tips for cutting your campground costs -- and, nope, they don't include staying at rest areas or Wal-Mart.

Bob's been writing again, too. In this week's article, he shares what he'd look for if shopping for a toy hauler.

Wherever you are in your travels, we wish you joy and prosperity,


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Watkins Summit Group Bus. Info

We need to earn a living, even while we are RVing. Part of our income comes from my being an Independent Watkins Associate (ID #362289) within the Summit Group. You could be one, too. Special incentives (free things!) for those who start now.

~ Click here to learn more about our Watkins Summit

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New Article On

Campground Costs Can Be Low with These Money Saving Tips

Campground costs don't have to drain your RVing budget. These cost cutting tips show you how to save money on camping fees while staying at nice campgrounds and RV parks, even luxury resorts.

If your rig is self-contained and you don't need or use campground utilities, you can save by staying at parks with tiered rates. Choose a site with only what you need. A dry camping site can cost less than half of the price of a FHU site.

If you are conservative with your electrical use, you can save considerable amounts by staying at campgrounds that meter your electrical use and charge you only for the kilowatts you use.

~~ Read the rest of this article on the RV Life and Travel website.

~ Campground Cost Saving Tips

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RV Life and Travel Tip

If you are short on wall space for hanging your favorite photographs, use your overhead cabinet doors. If you have the kind with glass inserts, mount your photos on the inside of the cabinet doors. This keeps them clean, in view, and you don't need to worry that the picture frame is going to fall off the wall and break while you are traveling.

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Want to Know More About Working While RVing?

Subscribe to our Workers On Wheels E-zine. There's no cost.

~ Workers On Wheels

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Bob's Article

Choosing a Toy Hauler - Things Bob Looks For When Shopping for an RV

Choosing a toy hauler is somewhat different than buying an RV in general, because of all the storage room and how they are used. If I were buying a toy hauler, these are things I would shop for.

I would want adequate carrying capacity. I can put an awful lot of weight in an 8x10 foot empty space. Figure how much all the toys and equipment will weigh, add a whole bunch more for good measure, then figure some more in case of an upgrade to heavier toys in the future.

Another thing I would look for in choosing a toy hauler would be good tie downs -- lots of them. I would make sure they are bolted to a frame member or something solid. Tie downs screwed to a plywood floor rip out under the extra stress of bumps and corners.

~~ Go to the RV Life and Travel website to read the rest of Bob's article.

~ Choosing a Toy Hauler

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Stay in Touch with a Travel Blog or Website

You don't need to be a computer whiz to have your own travel blog or website. You can keep your family and friends up to date on your travels, share pictures, interact with friends. And, if you are so inclined, you can make some money with it. An easy way to make your website or blog is with a website building program that takes care of all the background and techie stuff for you. I use and recommend SBI, which, by the way, is about to release an update that is going to make it even smoother and easier.

~ Have a look at SBI.

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RV Travel Tidbit

The Alabama Tourism Department kicks off its 2012 campaign, "The Year of Alabama Food." There are nearly 400 food festivals across the state. As part of the celebration, they are creating a new BBQ Trail, in addition to an updated "100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die" brochure.

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Your RV Life and Travel Questions Answered

Making Friends while RVing

A discussion we had a while ago on whether or not RVers' attitudes have changed, and whether or not RVers are now less friendly, sparked another RVer's question.

~~ An RVer writes: We just went to Q, Arizona, for a few days and people in our campground wouldn't even look at us, let alone speak. We found people not real friendly, even walking around the shopping areas, either. Maybe it is a new day.

We also stayed at Thousand Trails before that and went into a club house about to have a card game of some sort. They all looked at us like, "What are you doing here?" and didn't smile, speak, or ask us to stay.

What is going on? We are friendly, healthy people and can't figure out what is wrong. I guess we need to join a club or just stay to ourselves until we find the right group.

~~ I answered in part: Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit. It may help to stay at parks where other people are about your same age.

You may also find it helpful to make the first move. Instead of waiting for the others to speak, go beyond your smile and say, "Hello!" Asking questions is a good way to break the ice. If you can't think of anything witty to ask, the proven stand-by is, "Where are you folks from?" Even scowly people tend to smile back and loosen up when given a sincere compliment.

~~ Read the rest of my answer -- share your opinion and offer additional advice -- on the RV Life and Travel website. The discussion starts at the top of the page. Scroll down that page to find the this question and answer.

~ RVers' Attitudes

~~ More RVing questions with my replies -- and add your comments.

~ Questions and answers about RVing.

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RVing and the Great Outdoors Tip

Free Fishing and Free State Park Admission in South Dakota

May 18-20 is Open House Weekend in South Dakota state parks. During Open House Weekend, no entrance fees are charged, but camping fees still apply. Fishing is also free at SD state parks that weekend -- no fishing license is required.

Starting this weekend (Feb. 18), you may make reservations for the campsites and cabins. Reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance. Make reservations by calling 800-710-2267.

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Share Your RV and Camping Cost Cutting Tips

What tips do you have for cutting the cost of RVing? How do you use your RV to save money on vacation? What frugal tips can you share to help your fellow RVers be able to afford to get out there on the open roads?

Here's one Linda shared: We get free wifi at rest areas. All the rest areas in Texas have it. It's available in other states, too. It doesn't cost anything to pull in and check to see if they do or not.

Another reader posted this one: We always stop at every visitor's center that we can. They have the best freebies! Maps, coupon booklets, and campground brochures to name a few. Some even have free juice or coffee and cookies!

~ Post your tip and read the tips others are sharing.

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Wintering in the Texas Rio Grande Valley

Last year at this time, we were RVing in the Rio Grande Valley. If you are there now, some of these resources may be helpful for you. If you didn't make it south this winter, these articles can give you a taste of what you are missing, from inexpensive Mexican foods to beautiful sunsets. You'll find these and more articles about southern Texas on our RV Life and Travel website. Just click the links below.

Sierra Mobile RV, Port Isabel, TX, for RV Parts, RV Repairs, and RV Services Sierra Mobile RV is the place to go in Port Isabel, Texas, if you need RV repair, RV service, or RV parts. They wash and wax RVs, too. They also sell used trailers, fifth-wheels, and motorhomes.

The Toot Family Band with Ooty, Pooty, and Sister Cutie Had the Crowd in Tears The Toot Family band members Ooty Toot, Pooty Toot, and Sister Cutie Toot took turns telling jokes and singing. The crowd was in tears, laughing at this week's entertainment at the RV park.

Park Center RV Park, Port Isabel, Texas' Home to Winter Texans Park Center RV park is a busy Winter Texan campground in Port Isabel, TX, with daily, weekly, and monthly rates. It sits across the causeway from the coveted South Padre Island beaches.

A Texas RV Show: The "All Valley" Rio Grande Valley RV Show in Mercedes A Texas RV show announcement caught our attention. The newest recreational vehicles, information on campgrounds and resorts, vendor booths of RVing supplies. We headed to Mercedes for the RGV show.

The Port Isabel Sunset Paints the Canal with a Golden Blush The Port Isabel sunset casts a glow on the shrimp boats in the canal, as well as on the water, fishing piers, and buildings behind them. This was our evening view from the campsite at Park Center.

Farm Equipment, Antique Engines, and Old Tools at the RGV Club Show Farm equipment wasn't what we expected to see at the RGV Livestock Show Grounds. But the hit and miss engines, old tractors and other antique machinery, and tool displays were a fun find.

The Port Isabel Flea Market, a Sunday Market Offering Antiques to Baked Goods The Port Isabel Flea Market is a fun place to stop after Sunday morning church or breakfast. The first booth we saw was a colorful display of metal lawn art. Then rocks. We ambled in to see more.

Pancho's Mexican Restaurant for Authentic Mexican Food Lunch Pancho's Mexican Restaurant is the most authentic Mexican cafe we've been to since we've been in Port Isabel, TX. Excellent steak rancheros, homemade chips, good service, and reasonable prices.

Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant: A Port Isabel Favorite for Mexican Breakfast Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant just took the number one spot on our list of Port Isabel places to eat. Tasty food, friendly and efficient service, can't-be-beat prices, generous servings, and clean. = = = =

RV Life and Travel Blog

Be sure to check our blog frequently for website updates and between newsletter announcements. Bookmark it, or add it to your list of favorites.

~ RV Life and Travel Blog

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Reader Feedback of the Week

Thank You and Good Luck!

by: Ken Baker

Your story touched me! There is a life lesson here that I intend to use. Live for today! Don't put off your dreams and plans. Do what is going to make YOU happy, not what other people seem to think is best for YOU!

My wife and I have a beautiful Bighorn 5th wheel and bills up the wazoo. But the only thing keeping us here is our jobs and our stuff! Well, it's time to get rid of our stuff and have the freedom to live where we want to. We realize that we will have to work for many years to come, but we are OK with that. We can sell things that are collectables that we thought would make us happy to have.

But you know what? There is only one go around here on this earth and it's time to live and take on a different kind of stuff -- memories!

Good luck, sir, with your new adventures, and start living the dreams that you and your wife had planned! Maybe, just maybe we will meet somewhere down the road! It would be my honor!

Thank You, Ken Baker, Traverse City, MI.

~~ My comments: Folks, Ken was responding to a letter another reader wrote. The original letter and the responses that followed have been heartwarming. Elsewhere in this issue of the e-zine, we talked about the attitudes and friendliness of RVers. While there are some less-than-friendly people in most every large group, these responses show that we are part of a kind and caring community.

~ Full-timing -- Would Have, Could Have, Should Have

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Positive RVing Attitudes

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you can't get more time. ~ Jim Rohn

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that. ~ Norman Vincent-Peale

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes. While you won't always be asked to do whatever it takes, you still must be willing. ~ Larry Wingit

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