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Retirement Tips and RV Stuff Newsletter
Issue 2007.09         Sep 2007
Publisher, Bob Hoffman -
Back Issues at -
PRIVACY STATEMENT: This newsletter's email addresses are never sold or otherwise made public.
If this is too long to read in the email, go read it at -
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NOTE: I've had complaints about the text in my Travel Log being too small, so I raised the font from 10 to 12. I've done the same thing here, in hopes that it will be easier for you older folks to read.


That RV trip I've been talking about since April ... we finally made it! We were out for about 3 weeks and would have stayed out longer, had it not been for A/C and prescription problems. We did as planned, not worrying about schedules or where we got to by when, stopping when we felt like it, and staying as long as we wanted to. It should have brought back that old feeling of enjoying RVing, scenery, laying back, and just generally doing what we wanted to .. but it really didn't! I don't know if it was the heat, our age, or the fact that we've been RVing for over 20 years, but it seems that we just don't view RVing the way we used to. I think we really look at the RV as a mode of transportation, rather than a source of excitement, as some apparently still do. I was reading Chuck Woodbury's recent newsletter, where he goes on about how exciting it was to work out of his little Class C back in his younger days and how he still gets that kind of thrill out of getting out in his RV. I've talked to others who are full-timing and love it. Believe it or not, I'm not completely sure that I'd enjoy full-timing now, even if Joyce was in favor of it. She's not, so that's really a moot question, but it does make me wonder.

Don't get me wrong! I still think it's great to be in the RV and have easy access to all the conveniences of home (almost all), such as TV, kitchen, bath, bedroom, etc. Also, recent developments have brought almost continuous access to telephone service and the internet, so there are few things that the home has to offer that the RV doesn't. One of the major ones is enough space for Joyce to do her artwork while we travel. She tried a few times, but has given up because there's just not enough space. For me, doing all of my activities on the internet, things work out fine. I can do most everything on the road that I do at home, including keeping up with work activities during the evening as well as playing poker during the late-night hours.

What I don't have any more is the pure excitement of being out camping ... I was watching our neighbors at a park up in North Carolina. There were two couples and, as soon as they pulled in, they set up their outside carpet, table, awning, etc. The two guys then got out some kind of ring-throwing game and played that while the ladies watched. Then, when it was time to cook, the men got out the big outdoor cooker and the women went and played the game. After they ate (outside), they all went out for a walk around the campground. It was like they had a script that they were following on "how to really enjoy the heck out of camping out in an RV."

I've got a small carpet that I lay in front of the steps to keep sand and dirt outside as much as possible, but I no longer carry that 9x12 that covered the entire area under the awning. I seldom put the awning out, unless the sun is really beating down on us. I can't remember the last time we pulled out that cutesy picnic table cover and those smiley lights that hang on the awning. Does that mean the RV honeymoon is over? Maybe so ... but is it unusual or is this something that just happens after you've been RVing for as long as we have? Or is it just that we're older, maybe a little more laid back than before, maybe a little bit lazier, or maybe a little jaded?

I was going to put this in my blog, because I figured it might get a little long and rambley ... and so it is. But, I guess I'll continue, since I've got nothing more enlightening to put in the newsletter. You may notice that I've been only doing newsletters in 2007 every other month, instead of every month, as was more or less the habit through 2003-2006. Maybe I'm getting older/more laid back/lazier/jaded about more than just RVing?

Chuck quoted a guy from his forum and it sounded a lot like how I feel ... "For me, cost was not the deciding factor in choosing an RV lifestyle over driving or flying/motels/restaurants. I want my own bed, my own kitchen, my own bathroom, and the freedom to use any and all of these while going and doing pretty much where and what I want to. I don't have to stay in dirty motels with who-knows-what kinds of substances on every surface (and I don't care how expensive or "fancy" the motel is, it's not my dirt!). I don't have to eat unhealthy, poorly-prepared, expensive food in restaurants. I don't have to use public restrooms. I don't have to suffer the ridiculous hassles that flying anywhere these days imposes on air travelers. I can take my dog and cat along on any and all trips. I wouldn't ever trade my RV lifestyle for "moteling" even if somebody else was paying the bills!"  Like this guy, I find the RV a much preferable way to travel ... actually, it's about the only way we travel these days. So, our RV is no longer a source of entertainment, but just the only practical way we have of going anywhere away from home. I guess that's not bad or depressing, just a fact.

July/August Travel: Finally took our RVing trip .. read Travel Log Chapter 81.

September Travel: Just about to make a trip to Huntsville to help out on a proposal.

Read on for notes on my latest site updates, some words about how I'd make some money if you guys would buy something off the website, IOTR News, Art News, and wrapping up with my Ramblings on whatever occurs to me between now and then.

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- As mentioned above, I just completed my Travel Log Chapter 81. "Summer of '07 : Part I" and Chapter 82. "368 Miles to Ron-Jon Surf Shop".
- Back in July, I wrote "One of the Hazards of Growing Older" in my Blog, which included some words about the illness of my friend and co-author, Al Wulff. Al passed away in August. See detailed in and in my blog.
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- This is one of many links that I get each month, but I really enjoyed this one and don't have a better site to cite. If you are a car nut and lived in the 50s or 60s, you'll love this: .

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Here's a list of some interesting products, some of which will make me a few bucks if you need them and buy them here:

- Camp at Half of What Everyone Else is Paying!  No home park, no monthly maintenance fees, no long-term obligation, just pay the small annual fee and camp for half-price. Check it out here.

- 50+ ways to get to the internet when you're on the road! Read'm at Internet On The Road.

- Amazon Books : Buy from Amazon through this link and I get a couple of bucks  -- Click here to check them out.

- Earn Money While You Camp! Join WiFiRV as an affiliate, either a lead generator (tell us about campgrounds that need WiFi) or a sales representative (assist in the selling of WiFi systems). Go to my Internet On The Road (IOTR) / WiFiRV page to learn how you can earn up to $500 for a few hours work.

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You can still view (and/or purchase) Joyce's paintings at Sunshine Art and Frame, corner of Viera Boulevard and Murrell Road in Viera, Wuestoff Medical Center on Merritt Island's Courtenay Boulevard, and at the Driver's License office, also on Courtenay.

We try to update whenever we can. If you see anything on the site that you'd be interested in buying, email Joyce for info on size, price, etc. Some have that info included and some don't. Also, if you have a topic, pet, or whatever that you'd like an original painting of, just let her know.

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I promised to be more positive in this section this month and so I shall.

As anyone involved with wireless internet is aware, there's an ongoing discussion on whether WiFi should be free or fee. And, if you've been paying attention to my ramblings, you know that I'm in the camp that predicts that free WiFi won't last long, except maybe in small installations like restaurants and coffee houses.

While on this trip, I naturally kept my eyes open for any WiFi at the RV resorts where I stayed. Where I was able to find WiFi, I found a mixture of free and fee. Some worked well enough to be used from my RV, but many were either too slow or low signal, so I often reverted to using my Verizon wireless card. I did find one predominant theme through all except the WiFiRV installations. Whether free or fee, the people at the desk didn't seem to know much about the WiFi. They often said it worked all over the park, which I then found to be an exaggeration, but usually just said they didn't know much about the WiFi. Most didn't know who was providing the service, where it worked, or how much it cost. If it was free, they couldn't tell me much about how to access it or who to call if I couldn't make it work.

So here's the positive part ... in every case where the service was provided by WiFiRV, the people in the office knew it, knew where the rack cards were to hand out to guests, and could tell you if there were any spots in the park with weak reception. It was reassuring to me to see that our training of park personnel and our persistence in making sure that they had proper marketing materials was paying off.

The other positive aspect of my travels was the way that my Verizon card came through for me whenever needed. Since I work for a WiFi provider, I'd naturally hope to see that day that I can go from resort to resort, and find WiFi available at every stop. Until that time, however, the wireless card provides a fantastic backup. It even worked for me up in Hot Springs Resort and Spa, up in Hot Springs, NC, where we had no AT&T cell reception and only one snowy TV channel. The wireless card turned out to be our only means for communicating with the "outside world"! So, if you're going to travel much and like to stay in touch on the internet (or really need to for business, as I do), keep your eyes open for WiFi, but keep your wireless card in your back pocket for "internet access emergencies."

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Well, now, this whole newsletter has been pretty much ramblings, eh? I was going to ask for feedback on the new large font size, but no need because what's not to like? I've never heard of anyone saying the print is too large ... LOL. I can't think of anything else that needs to be discussed, so I'll close here. Have a great Autumn!

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Permanent Mailing Address: R. Hoffman, 1033 Jacaranda Circle, Rockledge, Florida 32955.

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