Category Archives: Communications

Articles dealing with staying connected while on the road. We will post articles on Internet connections, WIFI, MIFI, Cell Phones, Data plans, Snail Mail, TV, Satellite and Campground cable systems.

My draft is done of “He Is Not Alone”

After 13 months of road blocks, writer block and lack of motivation, I have finally finished the draft and initial proofing of my first fictional book, “He is not alone”.  This is a science fiction book about a man who gains the power to control people and his struggle to determine what he is suppose to do with it while staying alive as there are people in the government that don’t trust him.

The follow on book will be “They are not alone”.  We might actually have peace on earth, at least for a little while.

I will be posting the completed book here when it is done.  This is be the best place to buy it at the cheapest price.  Bookstores and online shops will be higher price to cover the costs.  Sign up for the newsletter to get notified when it is ready.

Lake Gaston and Who Ordered This Hurricane?

We have been on the road now for over a year.  During that time we have managed not to have any liquid sunshine (rain for those that don’t camp).  I was sure today was going to ruin a perfect record, but the Lord was watching out for us.  I got started with my tear down chores around 8:45 AM and no rain, oops liquid sunshine!  By 9:30 we were pulling out of Skyline Ranch and heading to Lake Gaston.

I drove for part of the way and it tried a few times to start raining, but then stopped.  Daisy took over driving for the last part of the trip.  This was a long day, with over 240 miles to travel.  Wouldn’t have been too bad except the route took us on all kinds of back roads.  Speed limit said 55, if you were suicidal!  We got here around 2 PM and got set up, again no liquid sunshine.  But I am beat.  Not sure what the issue is, but I feel like I was run over by a herd of buffalo.  Really beginning to think my medication needs to be thrown out the window.  I am on blood pressure meds yet, don’t have a problem with my blood pressure and never have.  When I talked to the doctor about them, he said you are on it for high blood pressure.  When I told him I don’t have high blood pressure, he was kind of stumped.  He did drop the one med down to half a dose.  But I’m still having problems.  Guess I should talk to him again.  Maybe see him when he takes a vacation in FL this Winter hehe.

Anyway we are at Lake Gaston, Littleton, NC for a couple of weeks before heading to Myrtle Beach.  We have my mother-in-law with us and we will be dropping her off when we get to Myrtle Beach.  Then we head South to FL.

Lake Gaston is a nice campground that is getting ready to close for the Winter.  Most of the activities are done and the pool is closed.  They are on a 30+ mile long lake so I am sure we can find something to do.  We managed to get a 50 AMP 3 point site near the lake.  WIFI is good for Verizon.  Will be putting up the new antenna next week after all the rain is done.  Did I mention that we are scheduled for rain everyday until next Monday!  Something about a cold front and then a hurricane coming ashore somewhere around VA/NC border.  A couple of our Facebook friends that live in the area said they are calling for 10 inches of rain.  Will have to wait and see.

Well tonight is going to be an early night for me.  Being retired I can go to bed any time I want and I am going to hit the sack early.

I will be posting a how to article soon about our antenna set up.  I need to get one more cable adapter ordered so that I can hook up the WIFI antenna to the new WIFI router.  The cell phone set up is all done.  I also moved the antenna to the front of the slide to make hook up easier and reduce the length of the cables I was using.  Hopefully that will increase the gain and improve the signals.  Article, pictures and results will be posted soon.

I am a PUBLISHED author!

Well my books about Finding, Buying and Using the Perfect RV have been published!  They are available in PDF, Mobi, ePub, Kindle and printed formats.  I even have them listed on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Who would have thought, in high school I could not stand English, college wasn’t much better.  Then the Air Force forced be to do some technical writing.  Now I love to write.  These books are the forth attempt at writing.  Years ago I wrote a small eBook for a game called Everquest.  Then I wrote a book on Starting an Embroidery Business.  More recently I wrote a how to book on Starting A Mobile RV Detailing Business.  My latest work is based on my training around inspecting RV as a certified RV inspector.

You can find the books at http://rv-inspection-service.com/book-store.

I have  a goal of 10,000 copies sold.  Why, that should help me buy a new motor home.  A guy has to have  a goal every now and then.

To celebrate I am offering a special deal.  For $30, I will send you  a signed and numbered printed copy of the book.  This will help me raise some money to buy a few printed books for book signing and marketing of the book to places like Encore, Camping World, FMCA and other camping related businesses.  Ask me how to get your copy.

Websites We Use

There are several websites we use while on the road besides Facebook.  I think the two most important ones are RV Trip Wizard and RV Village.

RV Trip Wizard  is a trip planning website. It cost about $30 a year but it has saved me many times more than that.  You start with entering your location and how many miles a day you want to travel.  It then provides you with a graphic display of where you can go and what campgrounds are in that area.  You can click on a campground to read about it, visit the websites, call them etc.  Once you find the place to go, add it to your destinations and the radius moves for your next leg of the journey.  The map also shows you warnings and danger areas due to restrictions that might be along your route.  Once you finish with the plan, you can print it, export it to Excel or your GPS.

The second website I use is RV Village.  RV Village is a community website.  Members post to a forum like page about current activities etc.  But the more important part is the who is here.  When you log into RV Village you enter where you are currently. The website then shows you who is also there.  You can view their about me section and send them messages.  It is a great way to meet new people.  There are also groups for people with like interests.  I have met several really good people.  It is free and still a fairly new site.  As of today about 12,000 RVers are signed up.

Are you thinking of buying an RV?

If you have been following any of my posts, you probably are aware that I have another website dealing with the RV Inspection business.  I try each day to write an article about things to inspect when buying a RV whether it be new or used.  Inspecting a RV is time consuming but worth the effort.  If you can’t do it your self it would be best to have someone do it for you.

The website is called RV Inspection Service (http://rv-inspection-service.com) and I also have a Facebook page on which I post the daily articles (https://www.facebook.com/groups/814797521893318/)

So if you are looking to purchase a new or used RV, please take a few minutes to read up on some things to look at before spending your money on that rig.

 

RV Inspector Training and Certification

When we were at PA Dutch Country, I stumbled across an advertisement for training that was being offered at the campground to become a Certified RV Inspector.  Think of this as a Home Inspection but for RV.

Daisy and I looked over the information and talked to Terry Cooper, the instructor as well as Steve Anderson, he runs the Workamper News organization.  After some thought I decided to sign up for the training.  It was 5 days of RV systems, testing and general knowledge.  After passing the exam on that Friday, I became a Certified RV Inspector.

The training requirements didn’t stop there.  But before I continue, I want to explain why we spent the money for this training and the upcoming opportunity.

Although we have both lived in RV for over 12 years and I have a background as an automotive mechanic, I wasn’t comfortable with the RV systems and being full time traveling around the country, this seemed like a great way to gain the understanding required to maintain the RV.  In addition, the inspection business sounded interesting and maybe a way for us to supplement our income from time to time.

The second part of the training required to perform inspections was to pass the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Exams.  I got those done this week.  Now I could have stopped there and been Certified to do inspections.  But that would mean finding my own business.  Anyone that knows me, knows I am not a sales person.  One of the things we found out during our training was that Terry and Steve not only are teaching people how to be inspectors, but they are hiring them as sub contractors to perform inspection through a company called Inspection Connections.  To be a subcontractor however, you needed to complete a third course, which I am happy to say will be this next week for me.  Once that is done, I will be able to perform inspections around the country for Inspection Connections.

I am already putting the information I have learned to good use.  On Facebook at on RV Inspection Service I am writing Tips of the Day providing tips of what to inspect before buying a RV.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Millenicom, no longer supporting Verizon

We have had Millenicom for awhile now as our means to get onto the Internet when traveling.  Millenicom was a reseller of Verizon data and we were able to get a good amount (20 GB per month) for about $90 with no access fees.  We did have to purchase the Jetpack up front, but that bets the monthly rental fees and access fees that Verizon would have charge.  Since this was Verizon it worked anywhere our phones worked and was a pretty good option.

Well the middle of October, we received two emails from Millenicom stating that they are no longer handling our accounts and that Verizon would be in touch with us.  The actual emails are:

We are announcing the acquisition by Verizon of the Millenicom customers who use their service. There should be no interruption with your Internet connection, they will be in contact with you regarding plan options.

Please accept our most sincere appreciation for the opportunity to be your Internet provider.

Dennis Castle
Owner
Millenicom Inc.

And

This is to correct an earlier email that was sent to you regarding your service.  Verizon Wireless, the carrier providing your wireless service, may be contacting you about options for your ongoing service.  Going forward your relationship will be directly with Verizon Wireless.  Millenicom will no longer have any role concerning your account and Millenicom does not now or will have any relationship with Verizon Wireless.  Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience this notice may cause.

Since Internet is so important to us, I started to research what our options where.  First by visiting the web, nothing of any value was found.  Second by visiting a couple Verizon Wireless stores, again nothing of value, except a firm belief that no one knew anything about this.  Finally, I called customer service (twice).  I finally got Amy and she tried to track things down.  Unfortunately, no one at Verizon seems to know anything either.  As it stands know, Amy is going to call me on Wednesday to see if I have any more news and at worse case, transfer my jetpack over to my Verizon account before the end of the month when the 2 for one data sale ends.

I am not sure what happened between these two companies, but no one I have been able to talk to knows anything about the issues and what will happen to the customers.

For us, the double the data promotion works out in our favor.  We will be able to get 30 GB of data, transfer our current jetpack (no additional purchase required) for about the same amount that we paid combined between Verizon (cell phones) and Millenicom (data).  I will have to pay an access charge for the jetpack ($20 a month), but the increase in cost is off set with my military discount.  When all is said and done, my total bill will increase by about 50 cents and my data will increase to 30 GB instead of 20 GB I was getting.

When and if I hear anything else, I will update this site.

Wilson Electronics Issue

As part of our communications package, I added a Wilson Electronics 4G Cellular Amplifier and antenna to our rig.   We also have the Millenicom WIFI Hotspot for data.  Anyway, while in NJ, I noticed that the Millenicom was not getting much of a signal, so I placed it near the antenna for the cell phone amplifier.  No increase in signal strength.  Since this is a modified installation, I worked with a couple of my friends to determine where the issue might be.  The Wilson antenna is mounted on a steel plate on a PVC pole.  It has a magnetic base, so we figured that maybe it needs to be grounded to the RV.  Quick trip to the store and we have the metal base grounded to the RV.  Another test and still no difference.  Tech Support is suppose to call us today.

Going to rearrange the setup as well today.  Moving all the stuff to the other side of the RV.  Will post pictures once it is all up and running.