“Show me the money!” and “How much $ for solar?”

Friday, May 31

Aspens and firs, Bluebell Camp on Badger Mountain, Utah

Aspens and firs, Bluebell Camp on Badger Mountain, Utah

Today I decide to be a grown-up for a change.

I’ve been acting like a little kid for several months (some would say years), and it’s high time I quit skipping around with my camera taking pictures and wading in creeks and Oh, my, a cattle drive! and Oh, look at the turkeys! and, well, following the whim of the moment.

Like a big kid.

If you’re new to my blog and haven’t opened all its doors yet, take a look at the header (the black line of topics below the photo at the top).  There are three Money topics for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Click on these topics and you will see monthly reports on my income and expenses.  As I type this I’m way behind, not having posted any reports for 2014.

This morning I set to work to change that!

The first task is to calculate my recurring expenses, those costs that happen every month and are necessary for me to live on the road with my crew, to travel in the style to which we’re accustomed (don’t laugh), and to maintain this blog.

In order to verify what I am paying, I go to my accounts.

I do believe someone or some entity has placed a hex on my passwords.  I can’t seem to open anything!  All morning long little boxes with red letters pop up in my face, “PASSWORD NOT RECOGNIZED” or something to that effect.

On some accounts I’m dealt a double-whammy (and an insult, I might add, although I choose to be mature and overlook it) when I also get the window, “ID NOT RECOGNIZED.”

You probably know the drill.

To establish that I do indeed exist (Hey, I’m the dadburn woman whose bank account sends you money every month!), and to establish a password THAT WILL ACTUALLY WORK, I diligently fill in a column of boxes with my info.

I try to answer questions like “What was your first pet’s middle name?” and “On what street did you live as a child?” (Um, we moved a couple of times.  I’m confused.).  I do the best I can and hope for the best.

I carefully review each box and answer to make sure I’ve made no errors. 

Good.  I’m asked if I’m ready to proceed.  Yes, I’m ready to proceed.  I hit what I think is the correct button  WRONG!   All of the little boxes reappear empty and all the weird questions reappear unanswered, mocking me for my careless mistake and waiting for me to proceed.

Finally I’m told a temporary password will be sent to my email account.  I find the password in my inbox.  I pray to MY DEAR FATHER AND GOD IN HEAVEN that it will work.

Multiply the above by most of my accounts.

Verizon, Straight Talk,  Hostgator, Akismet, Social Security/Medicare, GEICO, Good Sam, America’s Mailbox, McAfee Security, blah, blah, blah . . .  By the time I’ve make my way through all that and obtain the annual cost of each and divide by twelve months, I’m able to work on the Recurring Expenses page.  Whew!

It’s all for you, my dear blogorino!

I proudly announce that you can click on Money 2014 and what to your wondering eyes will appear?  A completed Recurring Expenses page!

I also proudly announce a new page with the catchy title . . .

“How much will it cost to install a 250-watt solar system?”

Click on Solar Power among the header topics to access that page.  My friend, follower of this blog, and advisor on all things technical and otherwise…. Mick ‘n TN …  compiled the figures and found the components on Amazon for me to make this page.  We hope it will be a helpful guide as you consider going solar.

There you have it!

Next I will work on January, February, March, April, and May monthly reports in an effort to bring Money 2014 up-to-date.

I’d like to finish it all and go back to being a Big Kid again.

rvsue

NOTE:  In addition to the above activity, I unhitch the BLT.  The crew and I hop into the PTV and roll off Badger Mountain.  We cruise through the town of Ephraim, otherwise known as “Little Denmark,” on the way to our destination — surprise, surprise — Wal-Mart.

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL RVSUE SHOPPERS!

Click the links to see some recent purchases from Amazon:

Gerbera Daisy Garden Flag
KEEN Men’s Newport Sandal
Birds of Iowa Field Guide (Field Guides)
Camp Chef Expedition 2 Stove with BONUS Cast Iron Griddle
CargoLoc 12-Foot-by-1-1/4-Inch Extreme Super Duty Ratchet Tie Downs
SmartSign Adhesive Vinyl Label, Legend “Notice: All Activities Monitored by Video Camera”

REAR VIEW MIRROR

   What a difference a few weeks make!

June 19, 2013 our camp on Badger Mountain was awash in sunshine and flowers.

“A new day starts facing into the sun”

FLASHBACK

1-P1050536

Spike in dandelions — June 2013

This entry was posted in Simple living, Utah and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

145 Responses to “Show me the money!” and “How much $ for solar?”

  1. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    Hooray! Better late than never I always say.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah! It will be a great feeling to have all this financial stuff up-to-date.

  2. Elizabeth in S.E. New Mexico says:

    Wow Sue….. keeping up with your self assigned chores really takes the fun
    out of life, right? Oh well….. The sooner it is all done, the sooner you can
    go out to play again!

    Have fun….even doing chores…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth . . . After a while these pending “adult” chores start to interfere with fun. Everyone should keep an eye on their income and outgo, as well as bank statements, insurance policies, etc. I put those things on hold too long!

  3. Teresa from NC says:

    That doesn’t seem very productive! Walking through creeks, taking photos, making out the designs the clouds make, wiping off Spike’s paws…that’s production! Don’t let a bunch of mundane “adult people” driven activities get you off course:-)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      AAACCKK! “That doesn’t seem very productive!” What? After all that work?

      I know you mean I shouldn’t let this stuff get me off the course of enjoying life, but it is important not to FALL off the course due to neglect of money management.

      • Teresa from NC says:

        Just joshing with you. I actually read over all you hard work, and I am very grateful for it! You always seem to present your life with such great detail, and it’s what helps us feel like we really are riding along. Well, that and the fact that you’re such an excellent writer and storyteller.

  4. Patricia from Florida says:

    Thank you RV Sue and Mick for the solar figures. They are right in line with what I have been quoted. Makes me feel that I am on the right path for solar installation.
    Now back to the turkeys, deer, horses, clouds, Spike’s soaks…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Patricia. I appreciate the positive feedback and I’d guess Mick does, too!

  5. Kay says:

    Wal-Mart…. ah careful in that place, they tend to place items of interest at eye/hand levels!!!!

    Hurry back, to BIG KIDVILLE soon! You might be missing some horsing around activities in special places.

    Enjoy – Thanks for the Solar Info, too!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Kay. I’ll work on the financial reports until I run out of motivation, ambition or both. It’s time to “pay the piper” for being lazy these past few months.

  6. Alan Rabe says:

    Hi, it’s me again. Check your email. I sent a few pics of the Paria area. Hope you enjoy them.
    Have fun and get your bearings greased. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well done, Alan! I did enjoy your photos. Do you prefer B & W photography or did you choose it for these to create a mood and show off all those interesting shapes and lines and gradations of light? Thank you for sharing them with me. I may not get to see Paria, especially if it involves a hike.

      Yes, I’ll get the bearings greased.

      • Alan Rabe says:

        There are many reasons why I like B&W film. One I can develop it myself. It is also more sensitive to light and can pick up detail in low light and highlights. Color can never pick up the fine crystalline nature of snow and ice. It also shows texture and contrasts that color can’t do. All evidenced in the images I sent you.
        Paria is a little of a challenge but it is worth it. The parking lot for the Wire Bend Pass is about a half mile from the pass. It is a very narrow crack into the start of the canyon. There are some petroglyphs along it. It is all flat and an easy hike. The parking lot is 1 mile north of Stateline campground that we discussed earlier so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
        Buckskin along with the Paria river itself where the main highway for the early native americans to pass between Utah and AZ. It all leads to Lees Ferry which is the only place on the Colorado river that is at ground level on both sides, no canyon, but only for a couple hundred yards. The Navajo used it to migrate into AZ and eventually, in the mid 1200’s, drive out the Anasazi. The Anasazi were the first residents of the area and built all the cliff side villages that the Navajo now call their monument, where you camped. I hope some day you can check it out.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The whole area stretching from Paria south to Lee’s Ferry and across the Navajo rez intrigues me. I hope to see more of it. Interesting!

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Developer fixer and stopbath!

          Ya sell da house yet?

        • Ed says:

          “The Navajo used it to migrate into AZ and eventually, in the mid 1200′s, drive out the Anasazi. ”

          I agree that the Navajo probably used the Lees Ferry pass as a migration route but do not believe that the Navajo drove the Anasazi out. The Anasazi were gone before the Navajo arrived. It is my understanding that the Navajo gave the name “Anasazi” or Ancient Ones to a people they never knew.
          Kira Jaines says in Native Cultures of Four Corners, Arizona:
          The Navajo are believed to have migrated south from western Canada, but Navajo sheepherders did not arrive in the Four Corners region until about 600 years after the Anasazi collapse, according to Jared Diamond. Not knowing who had built all the magnificent ruins they found, the Navajo christened the builders Anasazi.

          • Alan Rabe says:

            It all depends on when and who tells the story, When I lived in PHX in the 80’s what I said was the accepted history, and the accepted translation for Anasazi was ancient enemy, In the late 90’s all of a sudden the Navajo started saying that that was an incorrect translation and the true translation was ancient ones as you said. They have been trying to rewrite history ever since. But it was a long time ago and no one really knows. What is accepted is that the Anasazi disappeared in the mid 1200’s but also Old Orabi on the third mesa, the first known Hopi village appeared around 1250 and is the oldest continuously inhabited village in the US.
            I am not trying to slur the Navajo, they are a wonderful people and I have been on just about every part of their and the Hopi reservations. There are some very beautiful areas in both.

  7. Marsha in MI says:

    I did notice the missing 2014 financials earlier, but you were having so much fun I just didn’t want to nag 😉

  8. Don’t you just hate when you get so far behind it takes days…..maybe a week….to catch up. I know I do. And I always promise, cross my heart, that I will NEVER get that far behind again and then……………………..

    That’s probably the kid in me too.

    BUT I must say, your financial pages are the enticement to lots of dreaming folks to make them think they too could afford to make this wish come true. Blessings upon you for it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherry,

      I do hope these financials help wannabes (especially) with their planning. I couldn’t find this info when I was preparing to hit the road.

      You can find more info on the cost of RVing these days, a lot of it in a higher money bracket. I want to help the many folks like me who need (and want) to economize.

  9. Geeky Nomads says:

    A password manager – namely KeePassX which is free – will make your life much easier 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh really? Never heard of it. I’ll take a look. What if it gets hacked?

      • Mick'nTN says:

        A “free” password manager is the scariest thing I have heard of. Nothing is “free”. Free is the trickiest, nastiest word in the English language. How can KeePassX stay in business … well they could sell your passwords to the russians, the same people who write the Kaspersky anti-virus software.

        IMHO, LOL, Mick

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I hoped you would share your opinion, Mick. After I wrote “I’ll take a look at it.” I thought… gee, do I really want to put all my passwords online and in one place. If someone discovers my Verizon password, for example, that’s all they get. If they get into my “free password storage site”, they get EVERYTHING! My life would be ruined!

          • John K - Mobile, AL says:

            They make money by selling upgrades to the free programs. I use one, I think it is called KeepPass. You setup a master password that is something hard to guess but easy to remember. I like using one. A friend of mine uses one and he is paranoid about internet security. He even encodes his phone! If he uses a password keeper and is ok with it, then it works for me.

          • AZ Jim says:

            There is NO WAY I would put any password online anywhere, not in this day and age. I don’t allow my computer to save passwords either. Best bet, write them down on one page of a book among many books or some other place away from the computer. Password protection is paramount to personal security.

            • G says:

              I agree with you Jim…I have no passwords in the cloud nor on my PC (work and personal).
              I like the medieval way, have it on a piece of paper. It’s encoded too so if anyone got a hold of it, they still wouldn’t figure it out.
              It’s worked my entire life and no sense getting fancy when you can Keep It Simple!

        • Geeky Nomads says:

          It’s a local application. It just puts your passwords into a file on your computer. It’s an open source application. Like Linux, Firefox, Thunderbird or wordpress that powers this very blog. Or the web server apache that hosts it. It’s quite safe and trustworthy as long as your computer itself doesn’t get hacked and even then your password manager has a master password that encrypts the file.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I appreciate you explaining it, GN.

            I think it’s a good idea, if one has a password manager, to also have a pencil-and-paper list available to be found by not-tech-savvy relatives in the event of one’s sudden demise. A summary of account passwords would be very helpful, I should think, for someone trying to wrap up a loved one’s financial matters.

            • MK in NE GA for now says:

              LOL I’m really old school I put all my passwords on index cards and have a little file box they go in.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              That IS old school. 🙂 And very organized!

  10. Larry M from the PacNW says:

    Hi Sue,

    I mentioned this once before, but you need to order Kaspersky, as I advised before.
    While you’re at it get “Malwarebytes”. They work together. They will save your bacon (money) someday, if you haven’t already lost it to a virus, or a key logger.

    I always LOVE reading about your adventures! I’m planning on getting out there myself in about a week! I’m heading out to the Cascades near Cle Elum, WA, and Mt. Rainer NP on the east side.
    Amazon links:

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 (3User)

    Malwarebytes 2013 Anti-Malware Pro Lifetime

    Larry from the Pacific NW

    Larry: I replaced the links you provided with my Amazon links. Sue

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Larry. I was all ready to purchase it and then I heard a negative about it. I really should look into it. Thanks for pointing me in that direction and reminding me.

      Ooh, you’re teasing me with your Cascades/Mt. Ranier plans. I know you’ll enjoy yourself.

      • Larry M from the PacNW says:

        You heard something negative about Kaspersky? LOL I think I’ve used them all (AVG, Nortons, McAfee), and now Kaspersky for about 5 years. IMO Kaspersky is the best. Especially, when combined with Malwarebytes which specializes in blocking rootkits, key loggers, and other malware. I’ve been working with computers since the first IBM PC came out. But, what the hey…just my opinion.

        You really should make your way up to the east side of Mt Rainier! I especially love the little known Sunrise Pt. Visitors Center. It’s less commercial & less crowded than the main Visitors Center near Longmire, WA. Best wishes!!

        Larry from the Pacific NW

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The crew and I made it close enough to see Ranier (through the fog and clouds). I was going to go up the east side, at least as far as the crew and I could manage, but then I found out No Dogs. If they don’t go, I don’t go. That’s okay. It’s beautiful from a distance, too.

          Thanks for sharing your experience with all those products.

  11. weather says:

    Whew,quite the feat, after what you went through just to act responsibly,you’ll understand my going by the name of”weather”.
    You see one day I was trying to map the least dangerous way back from a trip taken to do my grown up errands in “the city”.On an ordinary winter’s day it’s about an hour away.A slight turn in the path of an icy blizzard,I heard on the radio,meant it was about to descend on us full force.Responsibly,I pulled of the road,hit the app. button on my phone to display local radar,hoping to discern a route without white out conditions.

    The site was down.I pulled out another device,same routine.Third device handy(because I’m always prepared!)has a different app. in it,so I’ll be able to get radar map on a site that is open,despite snow smothering every tower and dish in 5 counties by now.The tablet reads no charge and that’s the only charger I don’t have in the Jeep.
    I remember how I initially got that app.,so I try to download it onto my phone,they want a new password that must include at least 7 characters,everything I come up with using my initials,name,etc. is unavailable.After calming myself by clearing yet another sheet of ice from my windshield,I mutter all I want is access to the *#**
    weather!!I pound those keys and OMG it works!.The highway is a white blur on the radar screen,the backroads path is driven in second gear and four wheel drive,the fins and fur only get fed an hour late as I throw some wood in the stove,laughing at my new name on the web.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cute story, weather… What a situation to find yourself in. Reality punching you with snow and ice and Non-Reality refusing to help! Those white-out conditions are scary, especially if your heater doesn’t work (that’s my story).

      I really do hate passwords. I covered the inside of my cupboard doors that ring around the inside of the BLT at head height with pieces of paper. There I write all my IDs and Passwords and Account Numbers and so forth. I tried putting that in a little spiral and then kept losing the spiral. You can’t rely on storage in a smartphone or something like that… What if you spill hot coffee on it and kill it?

      Maybe someday voice recognition will do the trick. All you have to do is shout, “Open up, damn you!” (or something) and you’re into your account!

      So that’s why you’re weather. Now we know the rest of the story.

      • weather says:

        HaHa!Next time I need to create a password I’ll try something close to “open up,damn you!”Your right about not relying on storage in anything for a lot of reasons.After that incident,I closed four online accounts and services,set up everything new using random words that I keep in a designated HANDWRITTEN file stashed away.It forced me to look at the inefficiency of what I’d considered being prepared,improve a lot,and gave me a “name” that suits me for a lot of reasons.Adventures should all work out so well!

      • DesertGinger says:

        In my last job I worked for the state of New York department of Labor, in the Unemployment division. The big project I spent almost all my time on was the new identity management system. If we have New Yorkers on here that get unemployment, they will probably know what I am talking about. It was a new system to ‘add security’. It included all the nonsense you were describing. In the past, people signed in with their SSN…a simple, unique number everyone knows. But no, we needed to be more secure. So now you must fill out a form, answer test questions, create a username and password that meets a bunch of criteria, and so on. I spent the better part of a year helping frustrated users. Between their mistakes and the bugs in our system, people were constantly locked out. This meant they had no way to claim their benefits. Our call center phones were jammed. People were on hold for hours. For some of these people their unemployment benefits were their whole income; they were desperate. After superstorm sandy it got worse…now people were homeless and unable to get their benefits. It was a huge mess and I felt very embarrassed for the State that we made such a muck of things.

        I tell you this story to say it is not always the user who messes up….sometimes the systems have bugs. And also to commend you for hanging in their and fighting your way thru. And last to tell you that it doesn’t matter what answers you give those security questions. ‘What is the name of your third grade teacher?’ answer: spike. Doesn’t matter as long as you remember whatever answer you give. All you have to concern yourself with is matching the answer the next time you are asked. You probably know this, but just in case…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Interesting story, Ginger. All that suffering over passwords! Here I am frustrated over not being able to check a payment history on an account. I can’t imagine the frustration when one’s groceries are dependent upon the correct password.

          Good advice on the questions. I admit, I do exaggerate at times for the sake of the story. . . . 🙂

          Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        I have one of those tiny little address books sold in most office supply places. In it are all my passwords for various websites… written in a code so that anyone finding it wouldn’t really be helped all that much.

  12. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    First and foremost….what an amazing picture of the aspens and firs.

    WOW….you were busy! Glad you are almost caught up! You made me laugh with your passwords and secret questions. I sometimes forget my password and NOW they want me to remember which damn question I chose….instead of getting up..opening the safe to find the correct password…I end up inputting it wrong three times and I get locked out! In the time and frustration it takes to do all that…do you think I would just go to the safe next time??? Nope!

    I’ve never heard of keepassx either. But then again I still have a flip phone and don’t have the slightest idea about texting. Prehistoric is what my niece refers to me as!

    Boy…… St Mick is something isn’t he? Thanks St Mick!

    Spike romping amongst the dandelions is precious.

    Enjoy your evening…..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ha! I have you beat! Not only do I have a flip phone… get this… It’s so old the back cover is gone! You can see the battery… How cool is that! Haha! And because it’s black and disappears inside the black interior of my black purse, I very cleverly slapped a big, wide strip of neon green tape on it. Pretty smart, eh? Now, when in public, I can grab attention as I slap that green tape against my head and hold on to the bare battery.

      Yes, Mick is The Greatest.

      Thanks re the aspens and firs…

      Have a good night!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        I just blurted out laughing and woke AO up.

        You kill me! Stegosaurus woman!

        T-Rex. 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Between the backless, taped phone and my dusty hat, I should be on the cover of Style magazine.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Or Certainly ….people of Walmart or whatever they call it!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              That’s it! That’s my new goal! RVSue on The People of WalMart!

              Hmm . .. I wonder if they accept dogs . . .

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Me too!! I like flip phones and I’ve never texted in my life… though now and again someone will send me one on this one (as it is a rather new replacement because the sound on the previous one SUCKED!!)

      • MK in NE GA for now says:

        LOL, I had a flip until recently and it finally died, I now have a samsung “smart phone” thru the walmart straight talk and it’s way smarter than I am.

  13. Crystal says:

    I know you don’t use your phone much, but do you notice if you have service in most places with Straight Talk? We have Verizon and could really save by switching. We don’t have data on our phones, just talk and text. Our daughter switched, but she doesn’t travel a great deal. I would have to keep Verizon on my iPad, but I only keep the data active in the summer when traveling. I assume I could keep data for it but drop the phones. I’ve heard Straight Talk has basically zero support, but we could always return to Verizon if we run into problems. What is your experience?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Crystal,

      Gee, I wish I could give you the information you’re looking for. Whenever I attempt to use my phone, one of two things happens. 1) I get the message: No Charge, 2) I get the message: No Service.

      Since I only try to use my phone maybe once in 3 months, that’s really not enough data to evaluate Straight Talk. My guess… and that’s all it is… is that Straight Talk isn’t as good as Verizon, but it’s not terrible. Which is pretty much what you knew already.

      The only reason I have a phone at all is so I can dial 911 in an emergency and receive one of the two messages stated above.

      • Ed says:

        I’m certainly on the same page as you with regard to cell phones. I however have a TracFone that provides the same messages you get with Straight Talk.

        But that is OK. I’m so old I can remember when there were no cell phones at all and we survived. Can even remember the huge technological leap from rotary dial to push button – now that was progress!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          For our family, it felt like we were “moving on up” when we no longer had a party line. Imagine, a line all of our own!

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            I remember party lines!

            Anyone else have a weird number? Ours was

            Tuxedo5 0699. The number was 885

            • CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

              My brothers and I used to get in trouble with our party line “neighbors”listening in. Our number started Mal3991 can’t remember the rest. Imagine kids today in an area with party lines?!?

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              You’d bleed out waiting for a chance to dial 911.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      My two cents

      I live in the boonies…a lot of the “other” plans won’t work up here. Dropped calls or no service at all. Verizon is the only service that works. The cheapest plan is $39 nationwide. No contract and you can change to unlimited if you need to.

      We keep the service cuz our landline won’t work during a power outage.

      My mom had a tracphone which according to their map would work up here….nope!

      I would love to not pay $40 a month for a phone that I may or may not ever use during a power outage. But I know Verizon works….and having that peace of mind is priceless.

      Good luck

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        When Tracfone was analog, it did work everywhere. But when they switched to cellular, they lost so many of their towers that they are quite limited now. Basically you have to practically be on an interstate or in a city now. I have an old one that still has minutes left from the 90’s… I just keep renewing it.

        I use a Verizon prepaid… it costs me $100 a year and I’ve never run out of minutes, but I do all of my calling from home on Skype since that is about $2.75 a month for unlimited call to the US and Canada.

    • DesertGinger says:

      I have straight talk, I switched from Verizon. I lived In Upstate NY for two years with straight talk. Drove cross country with straight talk. Now live in Tucson AZ with straight talk. my service has always been as good as Verizon, everywhere I have been

  14. Mick'nTN says:

    For those who don’t use their cell phone much check this link to H2O wireless, a ATT partner. Notice 90 days, about $40 / year.

    https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=planMin10

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That looks good, Mick. I’d rather pay only $40 a year to get No Charge and No Service.

      Um.. question… What the heck is that device-SIM stuff?

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Most of the newer cell phones have a slot for the SIM card. This card holds your “minutes” and it can have minutes added over the air. The card cost $.01 on Amazon. It cost $9.99 to regester the card and get a phone number. The minimum plan on H2O is $10, so the first time you pay $20, then $10 every 90 days. Hw sweet is that.
        I had to put up a Wilson antenna to get service at my house but nobody get service here. I’m in a pocket; just 1/4 mile up the street and you can get several carriers.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks. I get it now. See how far behind I am?

          Maybe it’s time for me to buy a new phone and change carriers at the same time. Only thing is.. will H2O have the coverage territory I need?

          (BTW, if you want to go to bed or your show is on, my incessant questioning can wait.)

          • Mick'nTN says:

            I bought a Samsung Galaxy Pocket through RvSue’s link of course. It is a 3 or 4 year old model but has Android 4.0. It will use the internet if you can afford the minutes. I needed it to access my new security device which is the topic of a future post.
            Look at the ATT map for H2O coverage. Not as good as Verizon but I think all the companies are expanding. Competition is good!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Well, for heaven’s sake, I’m becoming so dependent on you, Mick. Shame on me… I know about coverage maps. I can look it up.

              See what a great role model Mick is? He even buys his electronics through my blog! You rock, Mick!

              Hmm.. “new security device”… what could he be talking about? My newest security device is an air horn and shoes with good tread for running!

            • Marsha (MI) says:

              One caveat is please make sure the phone is refundable if the service area is spotty or turns out to be non-existent. I had Consumer Cellular, which uses the AT&T network, for one day earlier this year. We don’t have a land line so I had to wait for my husband to get home so I could use his phone to call them to cancel. I don’t live in the boonies, but I couldn’t even make a phone call on the AT&T network. Fortunately, Consumer Cellular took the phone back, refunded me entirely and did not charge me for the one day service I had (not). I’m back on Verizon getting gouged, but I can make phone calls AND the 4G is screaming fast compared to our Hughes satellite internet.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Thanks, Marsha, for the advice.

  15. Larry M from the PacNW says:

    You can buy a Straight Talk phone that uses the Verizon backbone. But, you just have to be careful to by the correct phone. Nina from the ‘Wheeling It’ blog talks about it here:http://www.wheelingit.us/2013/05/12/cheap-cellphone-service-with-straight-talk-saving-severing-verizon-ties/

    Luck! Larry from the Pacific NW

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay everybody… Run on over to Wheeling It, and then come BACK, galldarnit!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Never ever leave your wing man!

      • Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

        I LOVE both yours and Nina’s blog Sue!! I’d NEVER leave you for long!! LOL 🙂 And, I’m sure everyone else feels the same!!

        Larry

    • MK in NE GA for now says:

      That’s what I bought

    • Crystal says:

      They make it sound like the route to go for us. We are non data users, except I buy data for my iPad, which I assume I can keep with Verizon.

  16. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    I’ve run into the same issue with remembering passwords as well, but my problem is they’re for work! I think between the various systems for work, and the personal ones for me, I have about 25-30 accounts. I know the IT people say ‘don’t use the same password for everything’, but it sure does make it easy to remember! But, I can’t use the same password because some require letters and numbers, some require letters and numbers and characters, some require at least one capital, some I have to change anywhere from every 30-90 days depending on the particular system.

    I finally gave up and made a spreadsheet with them all listed, and stored it on the work server (not on my laptop). And I gave it a weird name so no one would know just looking at the name that’s what it is for. So now all I have to remember is the login for my laptop and the access code for the VPN to get into the server if I have to when I’m away from work. I know it’s not ideal, but when you’re dealing with upwards of 10 systems a day for work, ya gotta do something!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is crazy, Ladybug! And the number of passwords you need for work and for personal keeps growing. Not to mention IDs. I remember the many times I was trying to get something done in my classroom so I could finally go home and I’d mess up the password and on and on…

      There has to be a better way, a way WITHOUT passwords. I hope someday people will say, “Gosh, can you imagine what it was like having to remember a different password for everything? Absurd!”

  17. Libby Nester says:

    Shew! I have those problems with my passwords sometimes, too. I am always scurrying around trying to remember all those secret answers. Not fun. And, everyone has different requirements for password format. That makes it difficult for me to remember them all. Thanks for the Malabytes link.

    I’ve really enjoyed all of the adventures you and the crew have had over time. I guess the financial reporting is part of the blog, but I hadn’t noticed. I was too busy looking at cattle drives, turkeys, etc. Keep up enjoying life with your furbabies.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Libby,

      Well, the financial stuff isn’t of interest to everyone. It is important for some of my readers though.

      I’ll keep on enjoying life with my crew and writing stories about this and that.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Here’s a tip. Always answer the first three questions, and use the same three answer on all your websites. So, for example, make your answers Answer1, Answer2 and Answer3. Then no matter the question, use those answers. The systems don’t care what your answer is as long as you can match it the next time you are asked.

        • John K - Mobile, AL says:

          Funny story. When I worked at the credit union, we had online banking and bill pay. In order to get signed up you had to answer three security questions. One of the choices you could choose was “Who was your date for the senior prom?” One of our more astute members called in wanting to know how our computers knew who he took to the senior prom when HE couldn’t even remember!

  18. Marg in Ouachita's says:

    Of course monetary is important. I love your taking your camera and taking pictures everywhere and the commentary that comes with it. I realize paying bills is grownup, I have to do that in the next couple of days and unfortunately have medical to take care of too. Glad I can still do it though. Don’t ever grow up. I don’t plan on that anytime soon, if ever.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marg,

      One of the reasons money stuff isn’t much fun to write or to read is the lack of photos! I’m happy to hear you like my blog format.

      You remind me how fortunate I am not to have medical expenses other than insurance. Yes, let’s be immature and silly and fun and goofy and adventurous and full of dreams and all those childlike things. . . forever!

  19. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    HA! Had to laugh at this one…da– passwords… Might try a little pocket notebook and write them all down. Don’t forget where you put the notebook, HA! If you don’t use some sites as often as they would like (period of inactivity) they make you change your password. We have all been there I bet.
    Knowing you have that inner child and enjoying the feeling will keep you young and creative. Be that way forever… Now back to it Kiddo.
    Great opening shot of the firs and new spring leaves! Love the contrast and this time of the year is the only time you see those colors, so season is a little late. You get to watch it come in, how wonderful is that. Take Care you guys.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I did the pocket notebook thing. It wasn’t a spiral, now that I think about it. It was one of those tiny little books with glued pages. The pages separated and the scraps of paper were all over. I put it back together again and then lost the dang thing. This is how I live. Shocking story of survival.

      Thank you re the tree photo.

  20. DesertGinger says:

    I forgot…
    Love the aspen and fir pic. And just so you know, I read all your financial stuff. Found it very interesting and helpful. I too am impressed with your ability to track the data; you are very thorough. Do you get receipts for everything and keep them, or do you use a card and track everything on your statement? I haven’t figured out the best way yet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ginger, for the feedback on the photo and money page.

      I keep receipts and I use a card whenever I can (I get Amazon points). I tally the receipts and review my card statements. I also make myself receipts on small pieces of paper, recording stuff like laundromat and dump station (if no receipt is given).

      By the end of the month my purse is jammed with receipts! It’s old-fashioned but it works for me. …

  21. MT Gary says:

    Hi Sue, I understand your frustration on passwords. It seems to get more complicated everyday, not to mention dangerous hackers trying to get your information. Several years ago I did some research and choose a password manager to store and encrypt complicated passwords. I am not sorry I did that and feel much safer on the internet. I chose Lastpass. It’s rated as one of the best.
    Safe travels, Gary

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary,

      John K. – Mobile AL uses Lastpass, too. Maybe I’m plain skittish about password managers the way I was about online banking at one time. It’s funny for me to remember how nervous I was about that. Now, on the road, online banking/bill pay is the only way to go!

      • Ed says:

        I was a banker in one of my prior lives and have a lot of banking stories. The one I want to tell now plays on your skittishness in using online banking.
        One of our branch banks was located in a community with a large population of retirees. At the first of the month, at that time everyone received their SS checks at the first, there would be a long line of people cashing their SS checks. A vast majority of them could then be seen counting their money as they stood in line for another teller so they could deposit the proceeds from the SS check into their account. When it was explained that they could have the SS payment deposited to their account through Direct Deposit most of them said no they did not trust that to work.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Interesting, Ed. I vaguely remember when people and businesses didn’t trust these new-fangled things called checks, even from longtime residents. It was “cash ‘n carry” only.

          The transition from the tangible to the abstract is a big leap for many. One has to get over the feeling of security given by the feel of cash in hand. Thank heavens for direct deposit, online bill pay, transfers, statements, etc. I never want go back to the days when banks were only open from 9 to 4 and you had to go there in person to deposit or retrieve your money.

  22. wa_desert_rat says:

    Re: Solar Panels. For those who might be in (or planning to be in) larger RVs (we have a 36′ diesel pusher) or who might be considering a “residential” refrigerator running off an inverter and batteries while boondocking, I wrote a fairly long piece for another forum about the newer ideas in connecting panels and in MPPT charge converters. Some might be technical but I tried to make it as simple as possible. This is the post:

    Over about the last 3 or 4 years the ideas (at least *my* ideas) about solar panels have changed considerably. The old method was to wire a bunch of 12vdc (nominal) panels in parallel, and connect them through a charge controller (PWM type) to the battery bank. The charge controller used Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) so that the current supplied to the batteries was not constant and could be carefully controlled so as not to “boil out” the water/acid solution.

    The advent of MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) charge controllers has changed a lot of the thinking but most of us are still used to 12vdc (nominal) solar panels. I say “nominal” because 12vdc solar panels typically measure at about 17vdc no-load (open circuit). This is mostly because you cannot charge a 12volt battery with just 12 volts. You have to have more than 12volts. Just how much more depends on a few things and an MPPT charger can figure out those things and deliver the “right” charging voltage at the “right” current level to charge the battery bank optimally.

    The main problem with 12vdc solar panels is that they develop their maximum current when the photons are impacting the solar cells at a 90-degree angle; this is maximum solar intensity. But the real world angle varies according to the time of day and the season. In the winter a 90-degree impact angle is harder to get than in the summer. So we often tilt the panels to take advantage of the best solar intensity and maximize their output.

    Tilting panels on an RV is fraught with issues. You generally have to climb onto the roof (up what is often a rickety ladder), remove fasteners, lift panels, install props with fasteners, repeat the process with panels that remain and then climb back down (for me, the scariest part… I’d rather rappel!). But panels laying flat are not likely to operate at maximum efficiency. On the other hand, the sun rising (or setting) behind raised panels aimed south (in many places the sun rises in the NE and sets in the NW) aren’t all that efficient either.

    So let’s take an example of my panels laying flat on my roof because I am too lazy (or old or decrepit – choose one) to go up there and tilt them… and my wife flatly refuses. So the panels stay flat.

    As the sun rises the panels begin to generate a small amount of charging current according to the light intensity. The voltage of the cells increases logarythmically with light intensity. Typically, a doubling of solar intensity will raise cell voltage about 18mv (0.18 volts), The cells have to reach at least the same voltage as the load (the batteries) before they can deliver charging current. In fact, before they reach the same voltage as the batteries current will flow the other direction and they will actually discharge the batteries. A diode is placed in the circuit to stop this.

    The important thing to remember is that until the sun reaches a position in the sky where your panel loop voltage can reach at least the voltage of your batteries, no charging will take place.

    So it makes sense that the sooner that panel loop can reach at least 12 volts the earlier your system will begin to charge. The same goes for the sun setting; the longer your panel loop can remain at a voltage higher than the battery bank voltage the longer you will see charging current.

    12vdc panels wired in parallel will never rise much above 12vdc regardless of solar intensity (or sun angle) because the internal resistance of the load (the batteries) will be the limiting factor. (The maximum voltage in the loaded circuit would be about 15vdc; anything above that would be seen as increased heat.) But solar panels wired in series will get there more quickly; depending upon just how much nominal voltage your series connected panel loop is.

    So, all things remaining equal, a panel loop with a 150-volt dc total voltage (all the nominal voltages of the panels added together) will reach 12vdc earlier than a 12vdc panel loop will; and it will remain above 12vdc nominal longer throughout the day. So, essentially, the higher the panel loop voltage the sooner you get effective charging current.

    Enter the MPPT battery charge controller. This device will actually lower charging voltage at the battery loop in order to deliver higher current. If your battery bank is depleted to 12.2vdc a “normal” PWM battery charger will deliver current at its maximum voltage (about 14 volts, usually) and reduce current flow as the battery voltage increases with charge. An MPPT charger, on the other hand, will deliver its charge at a lower voltage – about 12.5 vdc. This results in a greater charge current delivered to the battery bank.

    The MPPT charge controller tracks the battery voltage and delivers the optimum power. Since power is the result of voltage times current, the lower the voltage the higher the current for the same power.

    Wiring solar panels in series results in high panel loop voltage with the abilities of an appropriate MPPT controller to maximize charging current delivered to the battery bank. If your solar panel system is not quite adequate for the job then you might consider adding an appropriate MPPT controller and re-wiring your system to increase the panel loop voltage.

    It’s possible that a 600-watt system could be as effective as an older 1,000-watt system under the combination of series wiring of the panel loop and an MPPT charge controller converting that higher voltage down to the 12vdc battery loop level.

    Craig

  23. Willow says:

    I laughed my butt off ( it needs it) at your password story, been there, done that. I came up with the brilliant idea also of putting them in a note book, hid the book when I went away on vacation and haven’t seen it since.
    One other thing Sue don’t ever grow up it’s to scary there. LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Darn right it’s scary. That’s one of the many appeals of boondocking. I can act like a kid and no one’s around to watch or to care. 🙂

      • G says:

        Watch out for those drones Sue! It’s just a matter of time before the Feds start using it for 24 hour surveillance of BLM territory! G

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You mean I won’t be able to frolic naked around the campsite any more? That’s not right.

  24. wa_desert_rat says:

    There are other advantages to wiring solar panels in series (or series/parallel) rather than in parallel. A higher panel loop voltage means that the current in the wiring is lower for the same power. So you can use smaller wires down to the charge controller. But, because the MPPT charge controller is more concerned about charging CURRENT than charging voltage, you might have to re-size your cables from the controller to the batteries.

    Another advantage in series connection of solar panels is that the selection of panels is not as critical as it is in a parallel connection. With parallel connections you need to match the panels as nearly as possible in their electrical characteristics. This can often make it difficult (or expensive) to add to an existing installation. But in a series-wired panel system you can just add a panel to the loop; the voltage simply adds.

    You must be careful not to exceed your controller’s maximum voltage/current capacity. My controller (a Midnite Solar Classic 150) is rated to 150vdc. On a very cold but very sunny day you could possibly exceed this voltage if you sized your installation for a 70F day.

    You might think that shading would be an issue but as it turns out the higher voltage of a series system tends to mitigate the shading issues of solid panels. My system is a combination of Unisolar (68-watt flexible peel-and-stick) and solid panels. The Unisolar panels are more shade-tolerant than the solid panels so I can wire the two solid panels in parallel and the two Unisolar panels in parallel and then wire those two parallel circuits in series.

    The higher voltage capability of my charge controller allows me to have more flexibility in designing my system as well as some flexibility expanding it.

    Craig

    • Oh, God! I do good to reload the flashlight batteries or the stapler…I’d never make it on solar…too much to remember and learn. I’d wind up electrocuting silly myself. I’m always impressed with the folks that can do all this. Unfortunately, I have no mechanical/electrical leanings (sigh). Guess I’ll be hauling the electric cords around.

      In the words of Clint Eastwood, “A (wo)man’s gotta know (her)/his limitations.”

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Cat Lady. . .

        You don’t have to learn all that stuff. I tell people — Have a reputable company (like Starlight Solar of Yuma) install the solar for you. If you don’t have the money, save for it like I did.

        The $4,000 or so you spend will be recouped by boondocking for free and then, once it’s paid for itself, you save every day… no more gas cans to fill, no turning the dang thing on and off, no noise, no making other people miserable, sit back and listen to the creek and the birds.

        If one full-times and averages $11 a day in camping/RV park fees, the solar set-up will pay for itself in a year of free camping.

  25. rvsueandcrew says:

    PROBLEM WITH CLINGERS? Click on the last link in the list of recently purchased items from Amazon. Might work, eh?

    • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

      Hee Hee

    • MK in NE GA for now says:

      Snort, good thing I don’t drink and drive the computer otherwise the keyboard would be soaked!

      Great idea on the sign and well worth the cost!

  26. G says:

    Thanks for the cost breakdown of solar for your setup. I had heard that it was so expensive that it would take several years before you break even from camp ground fees.
    Heck, based on what you posted, saving just a weeks worth of campground fees a month, you would break even at month 10!
    That sounds much more attractive…. G

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, G. Your thanks are directed to Mick who gathered the figures and links for us.

      It’s not only the savings. Solar can transform the way you experience camping. . . for the better!

  27. Caroline near Seattle says:

    What, no mud treatments at the spa for Spike today ?

    Quick question for you. I looked in the header topics and didn’t see the answer …. what kind of laptop do you have? I’m assuming you must be happy with it, given all the use ( and abuse) it gets in maintaining this blog.

    I was also going to ask about your summer travel plans but I think I like the surprise of opening your blog and finding out that way !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Caroline,

      Don’t worry about Spike. He’s having a mud bath or soak (and often more than one) every day.

      I’ve never mentioned my laptop because I don’t know that there’s anything special about. It’s a Dell from Wal-Mart, medium-to-low price range if I remember correctly. I like the looks of IPads and all the new devices. However, if I have a standard size keyboard, my fingers can fly. There was a time I could type 80 wpm and accurately.

      Yes, it’s better to keep our summer travel plans a secret because I don’t know what they are yet.

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Many in our generation were forced to take typing… men and women in my High School. The idea was that if you go to college, you have to type papers and if you don’t, it might be useful at your job. 80 wpm was what was required to get an A. A friend of mine in college could do 200 wpm with no errors!! One of the most useful courses I ever took. I was shocked when I got overseas teaching and it was only us Americans who could touch type. The Europeans, Asians, Aussies etc… were all hunting and pecking.

      • Caroline near Seattle says:

        Thanks…. guess I assumed you would have some top of the line, super duper laptop. Not a surprise that it’s from walmart :>)

        Secret plans will keep us on our toes …. waiting and watching for your next adventure. Enjoy !

      • Crystal says:

        I’m a court reporter. (Before anyone asks…yes, I write on that “little machine”. ). Today’s kids say, “Wow, I could never do that!” My response is “I’ve watched ya’ll text. I KNOW you can do it.” Heck, they even have texting speed contests where you can win big scholarship awards. Those kids have flying fingers!

  28. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Password and computers…hubby puts all sorts of things on there…finally he began a book of how to go certain places and get into stuff…but it is back in NC…and his health is not so great at the moment…so on some things, he may have to teach me how to here…if he has to have surgery…I will need to know how he does the online banking, etc….argh!! I hate such stuff…far preferring to do things the old way…but we have a big problem today because we can be ruined if anyone figures out our passwords, or other information perhaps….crazy world!! There are days I long for the “good ole days” when some things were a lot simpler…and people more trustworthy in general!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Elizabeth,

      Go ahead and learn that stuff. I hope you will familiarize yourself with all aspects of your personal finances. Knowledge is power, they say, but it also is a great comfort. You can take over for your husband which surely must be a comfort to him when he’s not feeling well.

      I wish him a full and speedy rebound into good health!

  29. Cathie Laurent says:

    Have you ever used Quicken or QuickBooks or something like that? I put everything that I spend in it. Makes it so easy at the end of the year to just do a search on “golf”, “scrapbooking”, “car insurance”, etc. It may take one or two minutes a day or every other day to keep it up. I keep all my receipts in a little basket and just enter them all in every few days. Just a thought.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cathie,

      I haven’t used Quicken or QuickBooks or anything similar for my personal finances. We played around with a similar program in one of my math classes at the University. I don’t know why, it doesn’t appeal to me.

      I was a math teacher and math teachers usually go ga-ga over Excel and such. I didn’t then and I still don’t. Maybe if I tried it again…

  30. Donna in CT says:

    Wow! It’s amazing how many comments there are! I’ll have to read them later. I apologize if this has been mentioned already. I’ve been using lastpass.com for awhile now. (My brother and sons kept “nagging” me to use it.) It does make things easier and you only have to remember one password. You can use passwords you’ve made up or last pass can generate passwords that would be difficult to “break” into. You also can access lastpass on any computer by just logging into it with the “last pass” (word) you’ll ever need before going to other sites.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna,

      Yes, two other readers wrote that they use LastPass and they like it. We seem to be a mix here… Some think password managers are great and others wouldn’t use them ever. As for me, I don’t know!

      Thanks for elaborating how to use LastPass.

  31. rvsueandcrew says:

    MESSAGE TO MARILU:

    I remember you mentioned you went to Wasatch Academy. Mick ‘n TN emailed me a link to a video of recent news re: the Academy that made the national news. Maybe you’ve seen it already. . .

    Wasatch Academy Yearbook Photos

  32. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to put your budget numbers in order. YES< YES< YES< this is a huge help for those of us that are in the dreaming/obsessively researching phase of taking a similar path.

    And of course it makes me wonder about a couple of things. Your insurance with Geico for the BLT is this for replacement cost insurance? IE they will pay a set amount that you determine? From what I have read on other blogs and fiberglassrv.com if you don’t have this type of insurance most companies will only pay the NADA list price in case of a loss. This can be a problem because eggs hold their value so well and are such a niche item that the insurance companies tend to under value them.

    Currently the NADA price for the BLT is only about $12,000 (although we all know she is priceless) this is about $3000-$4000 less than I see similar trailers sell for on fiberglass-rv-4sale.com. Also I read somewhere (I’m sorry I don’t remember where) that unless your policy specifically states that you are using your RV for full time living that insurance companies have denied claims completely. I don’t mean to give you another thing to worry about in fact knowing you I bet you are well aware of this. I ask more from my own budget projecting reasons.

    Also as others have said $40.00/mo for a cell phone that you only keep for emergencies seems a bit high. I also very rarely use my cell and I pay about $10.00/mo for around 100 minutes. The phone itself cost me $7.95 on sale at a local big box store. I won’t presume to know what will work best for the places you travel but it might be worth researching some rainy day.

    Thank you so much for sharing the “mundane” along with all of the beautiful places, people and nutcakes that fill your life. It is part of what makes your blog so special and why I feel so lucky to be able to follow along.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Actually after a little more research a 2011 Liberty deluxe sold just a month ago in Arkansas for just under $17.000. Wow these things hold their value. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick,

      Thank you for the complimentary words about my blog. I feel lucky to have loyal followers such as yourself.

      I reviewed the insurance on the PTV and BLT yesterday. No, I don’t have replacement coverage on the either of them. If I understand my policy correctly I would receive what the price of the BLT was at the time that I bought it. I weighed that against the likelihood of a total loss due to accident against the cost of the premiums and decided against it. I could sustain a loss of that size without being devastated. I am covered for housing, transportation, towing, rental car, and the rest. With my policy, once the BLT reaches age 8, replacement cost coverage will not be offered.

      I tend to be a risk-taker in things like this. My decision, which many would say is a poor one, is offset in a small way by the fact that I am a saver. In other words I don’t spend what the premium’s increase would be. It goes into savings for a rainy day. Or in the case of a total loss, a VERY rainy day.

      Yes, I need to do something about my phone. I may take care of that this week. This phone situation I have now is a drain, contributing nothing.

      Thank you for letting me know you find my budget numbers helpful. It’s motivating to know I’m not spinning my wheels . . . .

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Yes, they are very helpful, in fact I am now at the point where I am closing in on making some decisions that depended on my ultimate decision to take SS at age 62 or wait till full retirement which for me would be 66 and 8 months. I would have more income if I wait. But of course at the cost of delaying my dreams. So the more information I can get to help estimate the real costs of full timing the better.

        Interesting that they only offer the replacement cost insurance for the first 8 years. I have been thinking of a used Bigfoot trailer in the 8-9 year old range so this will be something else to research. It also explains why the folks at FGRV.com make such a big deal out of it since so many of them have trailers that are 10, 20, even 40+ years old.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, Rick, when to start collecting SS is a personal decision, of course. I’m 65 right now. I retired at 62.5. (I didn’t retire upon reaching 62 because I was a teacher and I signed a contract to complete the school year.) It would be tragic if I waited until 66+ and my health failed a few months before retirement. I would have missed all the incredibly wonderful experiences that have occurred since we hit the road in mid-August 2011.

          If one can possibly manage financially, I vote for taking SS early. Best of luck deciding what’s best for you, Rick.

  33. Randall Small says:

    Hey! I like you just the way you are! (Were?). Please be the ‘kid’ here and do your ‘grown n’ up stuff on your own time! :-). The enjoyment you share with an old geezer in Florida is immeasureable. (Is that a word?). Keep up the good work, Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Randall,

      I’m very happy to hear from you! Don’t worry… This bird isn’t changing after all these years. I searched too long and hard to “find” myself. I’m not about to lose ME. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to write me that sweet message.

  34. Robin says:

    WOW! I have already received my Keen sandals I ordered on Memorial Day. I love them. Thanks for the heads-up on the sale. Let us know when that happens again! Keep on rolling!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      YAY! I’m SOOOOO HAPPY that you love your Keens, Robin. When I take the crew for walks, sometimes over very uneven ground with lose rocks, I love how I don’t slip! The tread grips well. You can bet I’ll let everyone know when the next sale rolls around!

  35. Edie (OK) says:

    Just FYI, I had terrible luck with AT&T in remote locations. Verizon is 1000 times better in my experiences across the country.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve heard that, too, about AT&T.

      • DesertGinger says:

        At my house in Albany NY I had great reception with my Verizon phone. My two roommates, with AT&T iPhones had to go out inthe street to gt a signal.

        I also wanted to repeat something…
        I switched to Straight Talk after many years with Verizon. I had Straight Talk for two years in NY, traveled with it cross country and now have it in Arizona. My coverage with Straight Talk has been just as good as Verizon.

  36. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Here is one loyal follower catching up on a weeks worth of entries………….phew that took a while! Love the new camp and the previous one too………….such a pretty area. I find the financial side of things so very interesting as I still rest myself in suburbia and the weekly grind of work. Oh one day in the distant future we will benefit from your advice. In the meantime I look forward to the latest visit to Walmart…..LoL!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda,

      Gee, it occurs to me that you don’t have Wal-Marts. How very sad. 😉

      Thanks for the feedback on the money reports. Keep on keeping on…. Retirement day will come!

  37. Barry Campbell says:

    Hi Sue, Just want to let you know how much your money updates are appreciated. We wanna bee full time RV,ers need the data that proves we arent totally crazy for thinking we can retire on next to nothing and enjoy life more. Our doggy soleil partically likes the canine crews tales. Thanks heaps 🙂
    Barry and Jeannie… Ontario , Canada

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barry and Jeannie,
      r
      Great hearing from you! I’m pleased you find my money reports helpful. Best wishes to you as you plan for a life of adventure on the road!

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