Thursday, October 10, 2013

Scooter For Dinghy. Laptop Safety. Awning Tears. RV Hot-Skin. Custer's Funeral. Spiro Agnew.


For "tRaVersing Thursday, or RV Day":


"One of the quandaries faced by many RVers is about whether to tow a vehicle behind a motorhome to use for sightseeing and errands. Towable RV owners already have such a vehicle — the car or truck they use to pull their trailer or fifth wheel. But motorhome owners (me included) have a different set of circumstances. Our basic dilemma is whether or not to tow a car. Through the years I have never done so. I usually travel alone and worry that I could end up in a precarious traffic situation without a co-pilot to help me back up or otherwise escape.

What I have always done is either bring along a bicycle or rent a car if I planned to be in one place for a week or so. Enterprise will deliver a rental car to your campsite and then bring you back after you've returned the vehicle. It's very handy, and economical when you consider the cost of renting a car on occasion compared to the cost and upkeep of a "toad." But it only works when you are near a city where car rentals are available.

A bicycle is good only for very short trips. It's faster than walking, for sure, but it's challenging to go very far. I have a small, electric bicycle that I sometimes bring along, but its range is limited and its top speed 15 miles an hour — not fast enough to get on the highway.

Another option, of course, is to unhook your motorhome from its campsite and use it for errands and sightseeing. But this is too big a hassle for most RVers. Buying a Class B motorhome (which is the size of a van) is another option because it can do double-duty as a passenger vehicle. But that's not an option for me: I'm very happy with my current Class C motorhome.

I am considering another cross-country RV trip later this year. But this time I want more freedom to explore local sights along the way. A bicycle is not good enough, and I won't tow a car. And so, after much thought, I have arrived at what I believe may be a solution: a motor scooter. Honda has a model called an Elite that goes 45 miles an hour (maybe even 50). It weighs only 250 pounds and can be easily transported on a rack. Purchased new, it costs about $3,000. And there are plenty of other makes and models as well.  Is a scooter a good choice for a solo RVer?"  By Chuck Woodbury


From me:  I had a Vespa scooter that we carried on a rack on the back.  The suspension on our bus conversion could hold up that much weight, but a regular motorhome would have to have more support to stop the rear end from going down.  It was very difficult for me to get it up on the rack by myself, and I really needed a lift type arrangement. image 

If you want to go to that extra expense, it was a great little runaround, and we took it sightseeing to many places, two up.  This was before the days of cell phones, so it became an emergency vehicle if we needed to get to a phone to call a tire changing wrecker or the like. 

Later, we had the Vespa on a platform installed on the back of a small travel trailer, but due to rear end sway, we had to use a heavy duty weight-distributing hitch.  It traveled across the USA like that, and again came in very handy at times.  We had brand new tires on the trailer, but one failed after 1000 miles,  so Vespa to the rescue again.  Then we went back to a bus conversion, and the Vespa was on the back of that too, but as I said, I couldn't get it up or down by myself. So it would have been useless if I had to get help for my husband, unless I had a lift. I tried it once, and still have the scars on my legs!


Keep your traveling laptop safe

"Laptop computers are some of the best friends an RVer can have. We have more or less instant communication with friends via email, access to our bank accounts and bill-paying services, and a host of information about whatever we might need in our lives as travelers.

But laptops, and other computers, are certainly an attraction to thieves. Here are some tips to help keep your computing experience happy and safe.

Keep your data safe: If you keep sensitive information on your laptop, make sure if your computer falls into the wrong hands that at least the information is secure. If you have Windows XP Professional, you already have a way of encrypting your data to make it impossible to read without the encryption code. Or get data encryption software and use it — you can "search” (e.g., Google or Bing) for more information on this kind of software. When using public Wi-Fi networks, many experts recommend you don’t transmit any sensitive data (including credit card numbers or bank account information) — but if you must, BE SURE the little “padlock” symbol shows on your web browser, and that the URL (address) of the website begins with https (for “secured”).

Use a strong password: Don’t use your name, your kid’s name, dog’s name, etc., as a password. Repeated numbers or letters are a sure-enough “breakable” password. Some folks use a phrase they can remember, like “My dog has fleas,” and string it together without spaces: "Mydoghasfleas" is the resulting password. Using symbols (%@&!) in your password makes it much tougher to break. And of course, the longer the better. Afraid you’ll forget it? Then write it down on paper — just keep the paper safe.

Backup your system: Lost or stolen, your data’s no good if you don’t have it. Use a data backup system — the Windows XP operating system has one. Back up frequently, and back up to something OTHER than your computer. Data files might be backed up to a small “thumb drive,” or the whole hard drive to a backup system — find them at Costco or Sam’s Club inexpensively. And keep that backup drive safe, too. A lost thumb drive with unencrypted information could be an identity thief’s dream.

Guard it: Don’t leave your laptop in the toad car or the RV in plain sight. Hide it in the trunk or stick it in a closet. If you travel on a plane with your laptop, don’t put it in the overhead storage compartment — keep it with you at your seat, right in front of you."  by Russ and Tiña De Maris



Repairing "In a previous Daily Tip we suggested repairing awning tears with RV Goop. Reader Phil Kuhn adds this great thought: "I use the method you detailed.  However, I have found that spraying a little silicone over the 'Goop' after it cures completely will keep it from ever migrating or getting sticky when it gets really hot. The silicone will not hurt anything, and it ensures that there will be no secondary adhesion." Thanks, Phil!"


How to prevent getting shocked when touching an RV

"Here is what can happen to you if you touch the body of an RV that's not grounded properly. Most often, you'll get a shock. But every year, someone is killed by simply touching an RV when its electrical hookup is not wired properly. Visit for more RV electrical safety articles."


On This Day:

Custer's funeral is held at West Point, Oct 10, 1877:

"On this day in 1877, the U.S. Army holds a West Point funeral with full military honors for Lieutenant-Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Killed the previous year in Montana by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Custer's body had been returned to the East for burial on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point,New York, where Custer had graduated in 1861-at the bottom of his class.

Custer's status as a national hero and martyr only began to be seriously questioned in the 1960s, and since then he has often been portrayed as a vain and glory-seeking man whose own ineptitude was all the explanation needed for the massacre at Little Big Horn. The truth about George Custer is probably somewhere in between these two extremes."


Vice President Agnew resigns, Oct 10, 1973:

"Less than a year before Richard M. Nixon's resignation as president of the United States, Spiro Agnew becomes the first U.S. vice president to resign in disgrace. The same day, he pleaded no contest to a charge of federal income tax evasion in exchange for the dropping of charges of political corruption. He was subsequently fined $10,000, sentenced to three years probation, and disbarred by the Maryland court of appeals.

Agnew, a Republican, was elected chief executive of Baltimore County in 1961. In 1967, he became governor of Maryland, an office he held until his nomination as the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1968. During Nixon's successful campaign, Agnew ran on a tough law-and-order platform, and as vice president he frequently attacked opponents of the Vietnam War and liberals as being disloyal and un-American. Reelected with Nixon in 1972, Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973, after the U.S. Justice Department uncovered widespread evidence of his political corruption, including allegations that his practice of accepting bribes had continued into his tenure as U.S. vice president. He died at the age of 77 on September 17, 1996.

Under the process decreed by the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, President Nixon was instructed to the fill vacant office of vice president by nominating a candidate who then had to be approved by both houses of Congress. Nixon's appointment of Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan was approved by Congress and, on December 6, Ford was sworn in. He became the 38th president of the United States on August 9, 1974, after the escalating Watergate affair caused Nixon to resign."



Ray and I installed some of the new screen wire on the screen porch.  I cut some strips of cedar on the chopsaw to go between the posts on the windowsills, and we stapled it to that.  The rest was stapled to the framework.  The sun was glaringly bright, so we had to do the end near the front door porch first.  When the pine trees shaded the other end we able to do that. 

Then, as we were disinfecting the trap that had held the two cats, we cleaned some other cages, too. 

I know Nala, my foster cat will really like going out there on the screen porch or 'catio', (patio for cats) when it is finished, but not yet, as the rest of the screen wire will have to wait until another day.


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