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About lewisedge

  • Birthday September 19

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Box Elder, SD
  • Interests
    Travel, Photography, Biking, Technology and Computers, Woodworking, Classical Music
  • I travel
    With pets

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  1. Since we now live fulltime in our motorhome, we depend on data via campground Wi-Fi when available and via our Verizon Wireless service. Streaming HD videos from sources such as Netflix and Amazon can burn through 25GB of data quickly. After that, most so-called "unlimited" wireless data plans will throttle our speed until the next billing cycle. Often campgrounds will quickly slow down their Wi-Fi speed for campers who try to stream videos over it. For our TV stations and movies we have DISH-TV with a local TV channel package and most of their commercial-free movie channels. As we move from location to location, I call DISH-TV with my new Zip Code and they update my local TV channels for me. A one TB hard-drive attached to my DISH receiver and activated with DISH for a one-time fee allows me to record TV programs and movies for later viewing. That's especially handy when we're away during evening newscasts or wish to view a movie that is being aired at an inconvenient time. We originally had a dome antenna but changes in the satellite service rendered it obsolete. I had it replaced with a Winegard TRAV'LER DISH 1000 Multi-Satellite TV Antenna which gives us dramatically better performance than the smaller, much less-expensive dome antenna. As with all satellite TV services, shade trees or other obstacles blocking our antenna dish's view of the southwestern sky will prevent reception. When that happens, we can play recorded movies from our satellite receiver's hard drive and crank up our rooftop TV antenna for any local TV channels. We have found that waiting for and taking advantage of special premium program packages can reduce our monthly satellite TV bill by $30 to $40 per month. Here is a question for existing DISH users who've traveled into Canada. After contacting Canada's Bell TV satellite service several times I was finally able to determine that they do not offer satellite TV for RV travelers unless they plan to remain in a fixed location for two or more years. Otherwise there is a high cancellation penalty for every change of location. Has anyone reading this post tried to receive their DISH satellite TV service while in Canada? If so, I would appreciate knowing what, if any, success you've had with it and how far north of the border you've been able to get it to work.
  2. This past June, we drove our Type A motorhome with a car in tow from Banff, Alberta to Vancouver, BC on the Trans Canada highway. It was a spectacularly beautiful trip but we encountered some issues. Road construction sites along the highway were common and some of those activities forced us to stop for up to an hour before we were allowed to proceed. Driving through the mountains, on some parts of the road that had just three-foot wide shoulders, no guard rails and sheer drops of a mile or more was somewhat frightening. It was especially scary when blasted by the powerful crosswinds, which were common. Plan for your trip to take longer than it would on US Interstate highways and for fuel prices to be dramatically higher and you should be okay.
  3. Until our US Congress passes a reciprocity law, there are states where having a handgun accessible to a vehicle's driver and/or passengers can get you into as much trouble as trying to take firearms into Canada. New York, New Jersey and California are among the states that come to mind. Considering that RV owners who avoid confrontations and avoid camping in sketchy areas are rarely targeted for robberies and/or violence, it's probably prudent to have one's firearms securely locked in a storage unit as I have done. That way, I don't need to worry about firearms issues while traveling into any state or Canada. Having had my family and me threatened with automatic weapons by what appeared to be uniformed security forces in Mexico, I no longer travel there. While traveling extensively in Canada on-and-off for nearly fifty years I've never been robbed or threatened with violence in that beautiful country.
  4. Our healthcare insurance covers my wife and me ONLY in the USA, so prior to our travels from the USA into Canada this past June, we contacted several insurance companies. Seven Corners, the company that provides FMCAssist, quoted us the best rate for the coverage we needed. I obtained the coverage by phone and was able to go on-line and print our ID cards.
  5. BillAdams: Unless a document, scanned or not, is encrypted before it's attached to or included in an email, its contents can be intercepted along the way and/or stored on someone else's server. That is not the same as FAX. I suspect that is why medical professionals will not email sensitive records but will do so via FAX. I've also found that many otherwise competent office workers have no clue how nor do they have the software that is capable of encrypting sensitive documents. FAX is an old communications technology but it is simple for even an untrained worker to use and it does not get intercepted, hacked or transmit viruses and malware. Once again, the purpose of my post was not to persuade anyone to use FAX technology but rather to provide a solution for motorhome owners who can benefit from it. kaypsmith: Your experience with Verizon must be nightmarish. My wife and I have traveled more than 11,000 miles since March through the USA and Canada, use our smartphones as hotspots and have not run into the problems that you've experienced with data caps and slowdowns. Perhaps you need to elevate your complaint to a higher level. We did find, while we were camping at Yellowstone NP's Fishing Bridge campground, that data speeds there were excruciatingly slow. But it was slow for everyone even with four bars of 4G signal. It appears that Verizon's data pipeline into that area is inadequate. Once we were out of the park we got normal speeds again.
  6. Thank you Bill Adams for your perspective after reading my post. Since I already owned the OBi200 VoIP device, my scanner and my laptop computer, my only investment in this capability was buying the wireless adapter for about $25 and my setup time. We each have our own lives and needs. Although you apparently can manage just fine without in-coach FAX convenience, I've found it quite useful without incurring any ongoing expense or receiving FAX spam. My objective in posting what I wrote was to let FMCA members know how to achieve what I did, not to sell or convert anybody to old FAX technology. I've never found a physician or medical facility, for example, that will send or receive medical documents via email. I've also encountered some business enterprises that require either signed FAX documents or hand-delivery of the documents. My stock broker uses email but recently requested a signed FAX document. I could have sent the document by snail mail which would have taken several days. I've had my Verizon unlimited plan since this past March and have never had my 4G speed throttled except when I encountered daily limits while traveling in Canada. Each morning the full speed was restored. My understanding of Verizon's throttling policy is that as long as I'm in area where there is plenty of available bandwidth, my data speed will not be reduced no matter how much data I may have used during the month. Thus far my experience appears to bear that out.
  7. For many years prior to retiring, selling my house and traveling/living full-time in my motorhome beginning in March 2017, I had a FAX machine in my home. Although FAX is an old technology and my machine did not get heavy use, it was an especially convenient way to quickly and securely communicate with those who were unwilling or unable to use email. On vacating my house I lost that convenience and particularly missed it when, during my travels, I had to use an office supply store or mailing/shipping facility to send/receive FAX messages. Even wireless printers and FAX machines need a conventional phone line to send and receive FAX transmissions which, until recently, was unavailable to me as a full-time RV traveler. There are, of course, Web-based services that will convert email messages into FAX messages and vice versa, but their monthly charges usually range from about $8 to $17. Free FAX services severely restrict the number of pages and quantity of FAX messages that can be sent or received. Here is the way I was able to recently obtain a conventional phone line that operates wirelessly. An OBi200 1-Port VoIP Phone Adapter with Google Voice and Fax Support for Home and SOHO Phone Service can be connected to an Internet router with a standard CAT-5 cable. After it has been configured with Google Voice, unlimited phone and FAX calls can be made via the OBi200 using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) anywhere in North America without any monthly or calling fees. Recently I was introduced to the Obihai Technology OBIWIFI5G 2.4/5GHz Wireless 802.11AC Adapter for the OBi200 which allows me to use my cellular hotspot for the VoIP Internet connection. Like most RV owners, I don’t have an Internet router in my coach. Those who do will not need the wireless adapter. Amazon, Newegg and other on-line sellers sell the OBi200 for about $50 and the OBIWIFI5G adapter for about $25, making the total investment for having a conventional phone line in my coach with unlimited calling and FAXing for less than a year’s cost of the cheapest Internet FAX service. Here is a word of caution; VoIP does of course consume data. My data plan with Verizon is unlimited but if yours has limits you’ll need to take VoIP data consumption into account when considering costs. My campground’s office kindly allowed me to use one of their hard-wired Internet connections to configure my OBi200 and wireless adapter, but once that was done their connection was no longer needed. For my needs I used the FAX tool already available in my Windows computer and a modem connection to the phone line. If I’m sending a document from paper, I use my portable scanner, which I already owned. Otherwise I can FAX documents that already on my computer as easily as I can print them. Received FAX messages pop up on my screen which I can view, save and/or print as needed. Conventional FAX machines can now be bought for as little as $25 on-line. Since my installation, I’ve been able to FAX documents thousands of miles across North America and locally as reliably as I could with the land-line that I had in my home. Frequent boondockers can run the OBi200 directly on 12-volts DC or with its included 120/240 volt AC adapter.
  8. My wife has a Samsung and I have a Motorola Turbo2 that run on the Verizon network, We both have unlimited data/calling plans and have used our phones as hotspots in both the USA and Canada for hours at a time with no apparent harm to either of our phones. Hotspot usage does cause a heavier drain on the phone's battery, so we usually have our phones plugged into a charging cable.
  9. I just renewed for another year at the pre-increase rate. FMCA'a medical assist program saves me from buying that service from another supplier which costs as much as FMCA's dues. Considering the benefits, I feel that FMCA offers good value for motorhome owners which is why I continue my membership.
  10. The $600 that you invested in your solar rig would have run your generator for about 600 hours at current gasoline prices. Dry camping in Andover, MA this past June Friday through Monday, I had to run my generator for only about an hour total to keep my coach batteries charged in my 35-foot Itasca Sunova 33C. Do you believe that you'll ever recoup your investment in solar or is the silence of solar to keep your batteries charged worth it in peace-of-mind?
  11. That poison is highly toxic to pets. See: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/05/24/bromethalin.aspx
  12. The active ingredient in Just1Bite is bromethalin which poisons the central nervous system by uncoupling mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, which causes a decrease in adenosine triphosphate synthesis. (Wikipedia). The same poison is sold under the trade name Tomcat Rat and Mouse Killer and is available in pet and child resistant refillable bait stations at Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon among other places. Like previous rodent poisons, it's toxic to pets if they eat the poison or the rodents poisoned by it. The poison bars or their pieces should always be handled with gloves both for personal protection and because rodents won't eat it if it has a human scent. This same disposable nitrile gloves that I use when emptying my waste tanks are ideal for handling bromethalin. Answers to frequently asked questions about Just1Bite can be found at: http://www.justonebitebrand.com/faqs.html
  13. To: jleamont Moisten cotton balls with the peppermint oil and put them where there have been infestations. When the fragrance is gone replace the cotton balls with freshly moistened ones. The peppermint oil from Amazon is food grade, also repels certain insects but is not toxic to humans, so it can be applied almost anywhere. That seems to work for most folks.
  14. The word "humane" is not what came to my mind for rodent control. Aside from their disgusting droppings, mice can transmit the deadly hantavirus and other diseases (See http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/diseases/direct.html) and will inevitably be destructive to a motorhome's infrastructure. I was able to remove an unwelcome infestation of mice that had invaded our motorhome with several old fashioned but highly-effective Victor mouse traps and chedder cheese. To keep the mice away I'm using Essentially KateS 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil 4 oz. with Glass Dropper and Detailed User's Guide available from Amazon. It costs only $11.95 for a 4 oz bottle as of this date and has far more five-star user ratings than Fresh Cab. If you're displeased with their peppermint oil in any way the supplier will replace it or refund your purchase on its return.
  15. Italo, those are some useful apps...especially GasBuddy. We also like "RV Parky," which shows us all of the nearby places where we can legally park our motorhome to spend the night. "Field Trip" is an app that will show us nearby and often unusual points of interest.
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