Thursday, March 28, 2013

RVing To Mexico. Wind. LEDs. RV's Height. Berries. Toads. Water. Toilet Seal. FT IRS. Heater. TT Brakes. Nearby RV Park. 1938 Curtiss Aerocar. Missing The Grandkids? Eisenhower. Three Mile Island. Lovely Gate-guarding Visit.


For “tRaVersing Thursday”, or RV Day:

Mexican border crossing basics.  by Rene Agredano 

Agua Prieta border crossing. Photo by“Visit any of the popular RVing discussion forums like Mexico Forums and you'll find that Mexico is still a popular destination for adventurous RVers. If you're thinking about traveling through Mexico with your RV here are some preliminary steps to ensure a smooth border crossing.

Tourist Entry Requirements
Are you planning to visit Mexico for cheap prescriptions or dental work? Tourists who enter the country by foot or by car and stay within 20 miles of the Mexican border for less than 72 hours do not need a visa or vehicle permit. However every temporary tourist over the age of 16 needs a U.S. Passport or less expensive (but more restrictive) Passport Card, while children need an official copy of their birth certificate or naturalization paperwork. If you're staying longer than three days you will need these documents along with a tourist permit that allows stays up to 180 days. Tourist permits are available through Mexican consulates in the U.S. or at an immigration office on the border.

Vehicle Entry Requirements
RVers who drive into Mexico must obtain a temporary vehicle import permit and pay a refundable deposit based on the age and type of your vehicle. If your vehicle is leased you must provide a notarized permission slip (preferably in Spanish) that allows you to bring the vehicle into Mexico. Permits can be purchased online here, at a Mexican consulate office or after crossing the border. Purchasing Mexican auto insurance is strongly advised. Vehicle permits must be surrendered upon exiting the country.

Whether you obtain your permits ahead of time or at the border, always have two copies of every official document. Do your trip pre-planning by visiting reputable travel sites such as Mexico Mike and you're sure to have a safe, fun adventure.”


From me:  When I went to Monterrey, Mexico, I had to get a permit at the Mexican Consulate for my dog, too, and had to show paperwork that she was healthy, and that she was up to date on her shots.  My hamster went too, but he didn’t need a permit!


When RVing, make the wind your friend, not your enemy editor Chuck Woodbury has tips about how to deal with the wind while RVing, both on the highway and in the campground.


HOW TO: Convert Fluorescent RV Lights to LEDs

“Being frequent boondockers, the RV Geeks are always looking for ways to conserve resources. Even though their RV came equipped with some fairly energy efficient fluorescent lighting, LED lights are the reigning champs of miserly power consumption, using about a third the power of a fluorescent. In this video and article they show you how to convert a 12-volt fluorescent fixture into low-power LED lighting.”  Read the article and watch the video.


Know your RV's height

Post a note on your dashboard showing the height of your rig in both feet and inches. When out of the country, post it in meters. Be careful at older service stations: clearance signs may not have kept up with repaving jobs that raise the height of the drive. In the USA, most bridges in the West are high enough for an RV to pass under. But be careful east of the Mississippi where many old bridges will rip your RV's roof right off if you try to pass beneath them.


Look up before leaving a campsite if parked under a tree

“ editor Chuck Woodbury has a tip about something you should do when leaving a campsite where you stayed underneath a tree.”  “Berry watch!”


Advice about towing a vehicle behind a motorhome

“Walter Cannon, Executive Director of the RV Safety and Education Foundation, offers advice about safely towing a vehicle behind a motorhome.”


"Your RVs internal water system is rated for about 50 pounds of water pressure. Unless you are certain that you have a pressure regulator built-in, always add one to your hose before connecting it to your pressure fitting. Install it on the water source end of your hose." From Motorhomes Made Easy


When calculating your RV's load, don't forget water weight

“Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon. A filled 40-gallon fresh water holding tank adds 332 pounds to your RV. Depending on the type and size your RV, the added weight and the movement of the water can be a concern when traveling. You should only take the amount of water that will be required to get to your destination and then refill as required. Don't forget your gray and black tanks too. Try not to travel with full holding tanks if at all possible.” Mark Polk


Drinking water from tank?

"Is it safe to drink the water from your tank if its water level has been volatile over a period of years?" Reply or read what others say.


How to inspect an RV for water damage
“Water leaks on an RV can cause extensive damage and can be extremely costly to repair. To protect your investment and your wallet you need to take the time to REALLY inspect for water leaks. Read more.”  Tech Tips from Mark Polk


Stop that SeaLand toilet seal leak

Many RVers have the popular SeaLand RV toilet. Sad to say, like other RV toilets, occasionally the SeaLand gets a bit cranky and begins to show signs of age. A typically reported problem is the water in the bowl vanishing mysteriously, sometimes accompanied by an unwelcome blast of odor from the holding tank. Here's what some creative RVers have done to clear up a seal problem. Read more.”


RV Income Tax Help. “If you're a full-time RVer, here is where to head to learn about income tax issues. Excellent!  While traveling on the road, oftentimes it is difficult to find competent income tax advice. This site has been designed for you.”


How long will a heater run on battery power?

“Rich Miller, the Wanderman, ponders "How Long Can I Run My Heater On Battery Power Alone?" Read what he learned from his research.”


Bill's Hints    Trailer brakes
“Applying trailer brakes manually will usually dampen a sway, and cause the trailer to follow the tow vehicle rather than to jack-knife.” From Trailers and Fifth Wheels Made Easy


Gas prices keep going up. But don't let that keep you at home.

“Is there a campground or RV park close by? Consider heading there for an outing — whether for a day, week or longer. The cost of fuel to get there will be minimal even with the higher prices. And, yippee! You will be away from home and in your RV. So life will be good!” 


Unique vintage fifth wheel now up for sale

“Looking for an unusual fifth wheel? Here's the 1938 Curtiss Aerocar, and it comes complete with its own tow vehicle. It's not cheap, but, heck, you could spend a lot more for an RV these days. But one thing is for sure. Not many other RVs will attract as much attention in the campground. Read more and see photos.”


Full-time RVer anxiety. Leaving Parents, Children, and Grandchildren Behind

“Being removed from loved ones for long periods is difficult to imagine. But with email, social media, and reasonable long-distance rates, being far away doesn’t mean you have to be out-of-touch. With a computer on board, you have an even better option: voice and video calls over the Internet. Now that we have a grandchild, we bought a good web-cam and earphones for our laptop (both inexpensive). Using Skype (one of several free downloadable programs) we have unlimited free video calling to anywhere in the world. All we need is a wi-fi Internet connection. I just love seeing my one-year-old grandson’s face light up when he recognizes his “Oma” on the computer screen.

Another good fix for the “Missing Your Loved Ones Blues” is inviting them to join you for a week in a sunny, fun location. Many full-timers report that, although they don’t see family as often, their visits are now longer and more memorable. Living in your RV, it’s usually not a big deal to visit family, parking either at their homes or a nearby RV park, and stay for days or weeks at a time because you maintain your own separate space, are self-sufficient, and not under-foot the same way.”  From:


On This Day:

Eisenhower dies, Mar 28, 1969:

“Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States and one of the most highly regarded American generals of World War II, dies in Washington, D.C., at the age of 78.

As supreme commander of a mixed force of Allied nationalities, services, and equipment, Eisenhower designed a system of unified command and rapidly won the respect of his British and Canadian subordinates. From North Africa, he successfully directed the invasions of Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy, and in January 1944 was appointed supreme Allied commander of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northwestern Europe. Although Eisenhower left much of the specific planning for the actual Allied landing in the hands of his capable staff, such as British Field Marshall Montgomery, he served as a brilliant organizer and administrator both before and after the successful invasion.

After the war, he briefly served as president of Columbia University before returning to military service in 1951 as supreme commander of the combined land and air forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Pressure on Eisenhower to run for U.S. president was great, however, and in the spring of 1952 he relinquished his NATO command to run for president on the Republican ticket.

In November 1952, "Ike" won a resounding victory in the presidential elections and in 1956 was reelected in a landslide. A popular president, he oversaw a period of great economic growth in the United States and deftly navigated the country through increasing Cold War tension on the world stage. In 1961, he retired with his wife, Mamie Doud Eisenhower, to his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He died in 1969 and was buried on a family plot in Abilene, Kansas.”


Reactor overheats at Three Mile Island, Mar 28, 1979:

“The most serious nuclear accident in United States history takes place at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1979, when one of the reactors overheats. Fortunately, a catastrophic meltdown was averted and there were no deaths or direct injuries from the accident.

The plant operators, with no experience in emergencies, made key errors. Another valve was opened to allow water from the nuclear system into a waste tank. But this water ruptured the tank and radioactive water flooded into the reactor. Even worse, an operator shut off the automatic core-cooling system. The result of all these events and mistakes was that radioactive steam poured out of the plant. Additionally, radioactive water had to be released into the Susquehanna River. However, area authorities were not notified of these events until nearly three hours later.

Even when news of the accident was released, it was downplayed. But within days, radiation levels were elevated over a four-county area. Furthermore, the plant's operators were still trying to get the situation under control. Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh directed that pregnant women and small children be evacuated from the area. Finally, on March 31, plant workers were able to address the problems and ended the threat of a meltdown. The area was deemed safe on April 9.

The Three Mile Island accident also exposed the lack of an appropriate evacuation plan for the area.  In the years following this accident, there has been an ongoing controversy over whether the increased radiation released at Three Mile Island led to an increase of cancer and infant mortality in the surrounding areas.

Cleanup continued until 1990, but it was too damaged to be rendered usable again. In the more than two decades since the accident at Three Mile Island, not a single new nuclear power plant has been ordered in the United States.”



Arlene (Leno) and Kyra (Trix) from RV-Dreams Chat Room came here to pick me up so we could visit Lynette and Greg (Nette and Mac) at their gate guarding position out in the boonies, way north and east of Huntsville, TX. 


Me, Arlene, Greg, Kyra.

We had an enjoyable lunch, and chatted all afternoon in full-time RVers, Lynette and Greg’s lovely fifth-wheel.   I played with their lovely silver tabby cat, Jinx, who didn’t make me cough.   He was very well trained and didn’t even try to go out when they logged in the trucks. He would sit at their open doorway, like he was inspecting each load. Kyra, Me, Lynette and Arlene, March. 27, 2013 near Huntsville, TX

Kyra, Me, Lynette and Arlene

You can almost see how much pollen was there, but it didn’t affect me.

Their fifth-wheel trailer is set up like a guard shack, and there are bells which sound if a vehicle is approaching from either way. The trailer is powered, 24/7, by an enormous diesel generator on a trailer, and their non-potable water is on another trailer, and then there is some sort of retaining tank for their gray and black water.

All this is just like having hook-ups, and it is all owned by the gate guard company, and portable.  You can hardly hear that big generator even though it was close to the trailer.  Lynette and Greg have to be there 24/7 also, so they split the 24 hour shift, but one has to be there all the time, so they can’t go anywhere together. That would get old.  The closest store is quite a long way away.  Not many trucks came in, but each one has to be logged in and out, but the rest of the time Lynette and Greg can do whatever they want inside their trailer.  Lynette has been doing a lot of crocheting!

At home, as soon as I was near Terry, the cat here, I started coughing again. 

It was interesting to see how it was all set up, and even more so to be with old friends again for another day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

It is always great to meet blogging friends and RV friends in person. Your friends seem to have tied themselves to a 24 hour a day work schedule. BTW, maybe it isn't the cat you are allergic to but your house or something in it? Check for mold.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

No, DD, I can be in any of the rooms for hours, but when he comes near me my sinuses clog up and I start coughing until I can hardly breathe. He is a very, loving, sweet cat, but I can't go on like this.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny, TX