Saturday, August 6, 2011

More Waiting

And waiting and waiting and waiting and ….  

continuing to window shop for a tow vehicle.  Last weekend DH and I looked at the offerings from Nissan and I was impressed with several they had on the used side of the lot – the Xterra, Frontier, and Pathfinder.  They also had several other makes & models that look promising.  I don’t think it will be difficult to find a good used one for the right price when I am ready – October, November-ish.

I’m also stocking up on necessities – slow but sure.  Last weekend I bought 2 wine glasses I found at Third World Market.  Acrylic!  Hey, you wine snobs - never say never!  These seem to be really good quality and when you set them side by side with the nice Riedels, they are indistinguishable.  Problem solved.  Other things on my list - wheel chocks, leveling blocks, and a water filter. 

Soon I will be buying a propane grill in time to learn how to use it.  We use charcoal at home but a gas grill makes more sense on the road and eliminates 1) the mess of used charcoal 2) the need to carry a heavy bag and starter fluid.  And it’s instant fire and a quick(er) stow-away after use. 
The critically-acclaimed Weber Baby Q 100

I’ve also decided a GPS is in order.  So that will be my next research project.  The Trailer Life Directory that I blogged about recently has campground coordinates and that beats the heck out of street addresses doesn’t it?  One of the most frustrating things about solo travel is pulling off on the side of the road, re-orienting the road map, and trying to figure out how you missed that turn.  If you have a favorite GPS unit, I'd love to hear about it!      

We have a brief semester break which I am enjoying every fleeting moment of.  My dissertation is somewhere in Alaska! It’s being reviewed by my committee chair who is vacationing up there.  It hurts when your research goes on a great trip while you remain home waiting on it to return! 

I’m sure all this planning-stage stuff makes for humdrum reading.  Bear with me!  I’m told December will be here soon!   


  1. Keep us posted on what you learn about GPS. Some of the coaches we have looked at have one built in so I won't be buying one until I know what we are buying, but your research results will be very helpful!

    No one should have to reinvent the wheel.

  2. A gas grill is a better option since charcoal if prohibited in most areas anymore due to the fact that some people do not put the fire out all the way and we wind up with huge forest fires.
    I have a tom tom gps its ok. Streets and trips can be bought with a gps and you can down load your map to it.
    Good luck in your choices and have fun doing it.

  3. Merikay: I will!

    JoJo: Thanks. I use Streets and Trips on my laptop - that's a great suggestion. I didn't consider the charcoal ban - good choice.

  4. Kim,

    I can relate to the decision-making you are having to do. I bought a Garmin GPS and then the next week I heard about Rand McNally and others coming out with GPS for rvers. I hate when that happens.

    Picking out the right tow vehicle for your needs is very important and a great feeling once it's done! Good luck!

  5. Same as some previous posters, we are happy with using MS Streets and Trips software and a GPS dongle on a netbook. The screen is much larger than that of a portable GPS. I only use my small portable Garmin when hiking. Also, a netbook keyboard allows a more convenient interface to enter a route, and to make it easier to search for campgrounds, rest areas, Walmart, Costco, etc..., when one is on the road.

    I was able to download a free POI file (points of interest) off the Web from an RV group to add to the internal list of the software.

    There might be other software with the same capability, so this MS software may not be the only option.


  6. Newbie follower here!
    Just recently started following you, rvsue, and a few other solo ladies getting ready for their lift off!! Enjoy your blog soooo much! Wanted to ask you and any others...why buy new instead of used casita? Best of luck with your HIGHER education goals and your soon to come camping!!! :) patti

  7. Hi New Follower Patticake2,

    I saw your post on rvsue's blog yesterday and noticed that you are in Birmingham. I am in Auburn right down the 280 road.

    Good question re: new vs. used. Sounds like a great topic for a blog post. I'll see what I can do!

  8. Recent GPSs have many great new features - depends on the model and how much you want to pay.

    The iphone4 has a tom-tom app that works great. You can play your music from the iphone and run the gps concurrently. The gps will give voice commands when needed and lower and raise the volume on each side of the gps commands. It is $39 for the us, mexico and canada and it works on the ipad also (better if you have the 3g plan as it has the gps chip installed and works even though wifi is not accessable.

    Many of the gps's now have 'lane assist" which is great for rving. It shows a graphical representation of the lanes to be in as you get close to the turn. This is especially helpful in congested and wide-lane highways. Some of them have voice control as well - you can say a place or an address and it will provide directions without having to pull off the road. Many gps's have a point of interest (poi) category for campgrounds. I just bought a tomtom via 1530 from cotsco and it has all these features. it also has lifetime map and traffic updates. it was $159. Many stores put these products on sale often. Keep an eye out for sales. Staples had a great sale on black Friday last year. The new ones also have much wider screens and greater resolution.

    I believe most of the smart phones have apps now for GPS and it keeps the clutter down while traveling if you don't want too much in your cab.

    I am sure that Garmin has comparable to above (as tomtom is owned by Garmin).

    ALso think about getting a gps with bluetooth installed so that you can answer phone calls hand free via the gps if desired (of course this is built in if you use the tomtom app on the iphone4 and maybe? the 3GS iphone). This is great for solo traveler especially.

    Even though i already had a gps in the moho that was only 3 years old, i bought a new one for the lane assist and bigger screen. The bluetooth and voice command were a surprise but now i am sold on them as their functionality is seamlessly integrated. Still using the old gps in my everyday driver as i needed one there as well - but of course THE CAMPER COMES FIRST!!!

    Good luck in your new adventure. I enjoy your blog!

    Katy in NH


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