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Category: RVing & the Legal System

Motorhome Purchased on Craigslist Explodes

February 25, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

Motorhome Purchased on Craigslist Explodes

In recent posts I reported that four small dogs died and an RV was destroyed in a fire caused by a propane space heater, space heaters destroyed pets and RVs in two separate fires, and six other RV fires resulted in two deaths. Air Force veteran Thomas Graley was driving a newly purchased motorhome through Phoenix when flames started shooting through the floor. “I was coming down the road and the engine just caught on fire,” Graley told azfamily.com. “All of the sudden flames just started coming out of the pedals,” added Graley’s wife, Candy. The Graleys have been down on their luck. Air Force veteran Thomas Graley lost his job when the cellphone company he worked for merged with another company. They bought the motorhome so they would have a place to live as well as a vehicle. “They foreclosed on my house and repoed my car so we bought this so I would have someplace to live,” he said with tears in his eyes. Today, the Air Force veteran was able... [Read more...]

Voting: Easy as Pie?

November 3, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Voting: Easy as Pie?

Voting While on the Move Full-time RVers face unique challenges when it comes to voting, whether on the city, state, or national level.  While not being “homeless” in the “hopelessly broke” sense of the word, many are consistently on the move and indeed lack a permanent home address.  This causes unforeseen headaches for them that the typical homeowners and other residents with a permanent home address, do not face.  With the numerous issues, such as not being able to vote for certain officers, such as mayor in a given city; there are also perks, like not having to pay certain city taxes.  While the perks may or may not outweigh the detriments, some full-time RVers have found it worthwhile to use a mail forwarding company that provides them with a legal street address.  Since the laws vary from state to state, there are still others who have been told that using the address of a mail forwarding company will not work and is indeed not a legal address for their voter registration. Caught... [Read more...]

How Taxes May Hurt RV Ownership and Family Camping Opportunities

October 28, 2012 by · 8 Comments 

How Taxes May Hurt RV Ownership and Family Camping Opportunities

Rob and Sue have two children, a 10 year old girl, and a 12 year old boy.  Sue is an elementary school teacher.  Rob is a real estate agent.  They built their home on a 1 acre lot in 2004 in a rural suburban area of Central Virginia. Rob and Sue bought a 28’ camper and a Chevy 2500 extended cab pick-up truck to pull the trailer shortly after building their home.  They wanted to give their children the same opportunities that they had with their camping parents when they were growing up.  Over the past six years, they have enjoyed dozens of camping trips with their two children – many more than they would ever have been able to make without the camper.  They have traveled north to Maine and even spent two weeks in Orlando at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. Rob’s parents owned a Chevrolet class C motor home.  He and his brother spent many memorable days camping at the seashore, down by the lake and in the mountains.  Camping gave them the opportunity to be together and build a family... [Read more...]

ARE YOU READY FOR TOLLS ON I-95? (Virginia thinks so…….)

June 30, 2012 by · 5 Comments 

ARE YOU READY FOR TOLLS ON I-95? (Virginia thinks so…….)

I-95 runs all the way from Maine to  Florida.  It represents the major north-south corridor along the right-hand coast of the United States.   It is also a major route for RV travel as anxious vacationers head to either cooler or warmer destinations, depending upon the season. If you are one of the millions of travelers that use this major highway, you just might want to put a few extra dollars in your cup holder because the Commonwealth of Virginia wants to put toll plazas on I-95 in Sussex County – for both north and eastbound traffic coming from and entering North Carolina. The proposal calls for a $4 toll for cars and a $12 toll for large trucks.  While it has not been stated, this typically translates to $2.50 for each additional axle beyond two.  Thus, a travel trailer with twin axles being towed by a pick-up truck would pay something like $9 at the toll plaza.  If crossing all 178 miles of I-95 in Virginia, this would come out to about 5-cents additional per mile of travel. If... [Read more...]

HOW TO ATTRACT BLACK BEARS (…and get a picture, too.)

June 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

HOW TO ATTRACT BLACK BEARS (…and get a picture, too.)

Even with the population of black bear increasing in Virginia, the possibility of seeing one is still an uncommon and exciting experience.  These creatures can range from 90 to 500 pounds in weight and stand as tall as 7 feet when erect.  Male black bears are naturally larger than females. Black bears are somewhat nocturnal, or crepuscular (active at dusk and dawn).  Seeing one during the daylight hours is less likely as they are naturally afraid of humans and somewhat solitary animals. Black bears in Virginia are mostly vegetarian eating a variety of roots, nuts, seeds, berries, grasses, insects, and fruits.  But, when given a chance to eat meats they will not hesitate. On our recent outing to Big Meadows campground in the Shenandoah National Park, the Rangers (now called Park Police) warned us to be careful, as there had been numerous sightings of black bears in the campground. This was exciting news to me – in over twenty years of visiting the park and campground, I had only seen... [Read more...]

IS YOUR HEAD IN THE CLOUDS?

March 24, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

IS YOUR HEAD IN THE CLOUDS?

I slept in this morning. The past two days had been rough on my aging body while fixing a  problem with an ABS brake sensor on the Volvo HDT  and replacing the blown A/C compressor on the GMC pickup.  I was successful with both projects but they left me with sore muscles, painful hands and stiff joints that needed time to recover. Anyway, as I was sitting in the kitchen eating my Pop Tarts and drinking my morning coffee, the fourth hour of NBC’s Today show was on the TV.  It really caught my attention when I noticed that Kellie Pickler was the cohost with Hoda. Now, if you don’t know who Kellie Pickler is you might as well quit reading.   But, just in case you are interested,  Kellie is a popular Country Music singer and former “American Idol” contestant.  She is an extremely talented young woman that is apparently pretty doggone smart as well. OK – I’m getting a little off track so let me get back to my rant. Hoda and Kellie were introducing a segment on what may... [Read more...]

DRIVE YOUR RV LIKE A TRUCKER!

January 13, 2012 by · 33 Comments 

DRIVE YOUR RV LIKE A TRUCKER!

I would like to ask you a question. It is a tough question – not only to answer honestly, but for me to ask because I KNOW it could be interpreted (wrongly) as an insult to your inner ego. Are you really qualified to safely drive your RV? And if you answered yes (or even no :)), the next question is: Do you always adhere to the rules and regulations that outline safe driving practices for RVs? If you are still with me and not totally insulted by my suggesting that you just might not be fully qualified (from a safety viewpoint) to drive your RV – take some time to consider the following discussion and then process the content with an open mind. Once a driver moves from a family type automobile to a motor home or even a 26-foot travel trailer pulled by a 1/2 ton pick-up, everything changes.  Your stopping distance, passing range, acceleration time, and visibility are only the beginning of what is different.  There is a reason statistics show that the percentage of rear-end collisions... [Read more...]

Is your RV insurance adequate???

October 31, 2011 by · 7 Comments 

Is your RV insurance adequate???

As we have been dealing with the frame failure of our Gulf Stream 5th wheel, we have found the learning curve to be quite steep!  It has been nearly 2 months since we realized that the ‘up-stairs’ part on our frame was cracked in all 4 corners, and that our rv was not structurally sound.   Fast forward those 2 months, and our RV is finally getting fixed (over the course of the next month).  No thanks to the shoddy workmanship and lack of customer service on the part of Gulf Stream.  Even tho the first welder who looked at it said that the frame was inadequate for the weight of the trailer built upon the frame, and the repair shop who is fixing it for us now attributes the failure to ‘shoddy workmanship’ and a lack of fasteners attaching the sidewalls to the frame, Gulf Stream has yet to communicate with us about the failure despite our numerous contacts with them.  (on a side note, the repair shop has said that they will be cutting out that entire front part... [Read more...]

Unforgettable RV Trips — A Series — Number 1

September 12, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Dateline 1974 We were a young family with two children. We loved camping and often went out six or more times a year but, as our family grew, things were becoming complicated. During a tent trip to the Smokies, our youngest had breakfast in his highchair while sitting outside—in his snowsuit. It was then that we decided it was time for a change. We began putting money aside for one special trip every year in a rented RV. We still went tent camping in between our RV trips whenever the weather was mild, and even purchased a VW camper in 1970. Well, not the official VW camper, that was beyond our budget. We bought a new VW van and then made some modifications, including a jalousie screened window, a roof vent, an exterior oil cooler, a front-end spare tire mount, a large rooftop rack and a storage box-bed-bench seat.  Between our van, our tent and a sometimes-yearly RV rental, we spent the next fifteen years roaming the east coast between Maine and Tennessee. We were happy, but we still... [Read more...]

Camping and RV’ing Support American Jobs (Opinion-Editorial Submission)

July 21, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Camping and RV’ing Support American Jobs (Opinion-Editorial Submission)

Jobs, jobs and more jobs. That is what this Country needs right now to get us out of the economic slump.  Any time unemployment rises, our economy suffers. While all of our politicians keep trumping ideas and probable solutions for putting Americans back to work, none has addressed the positive impact the ownership and use of recreational vehicles has on our economy. RV’ers contribute to the employment of hundreds of thousands of American workers.  It is estimated that for every RV built, sold and used by families in the USA, two full-time jobs are created or sustained. There are at least 8 million (8,000,000) American households that own at least one RV.  We also annually visit many of the 13,000 privately owned RV parks and 1,600 public facilities that cater to RV’s – many more can be counted if we include tent campers. It all begins with the manufacture of RV and camping components from raw materials.  We need steel, aluminum, fiberglass, lumber, plastics and rubber... [Read more...]

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