Henry and Judy Lahore have been Full Timing in a Teton Homes 36' recreational vehicle since May 2002.
    
Teton Homes, the manufacturer of our RV, went out of business in 2008, along with 12 other RV manufacturers

Added a resistor to protect ourselves from open-neutral situations which burn out electronics

Switched to prepaid cell phone from Verizon. Saving $700 a year and have better service
details at our Coho Wiki  Nov 2009

Have been paying only $5 a month to speed up our Internet surfing by 5X - wonderful
details are here.

Here is a map and a few photos of our Fall 2009 trip to Eastern Oregon and Washington

This RV website is one of my websites:
 The main location, includes links to
 Health,  and supplements
Low Level Laser Therapy,
Whole Body Vibration,  which increases bone density and reduces hip fractures
Low cost aids for low vision,
Low cost aids for poor hearing,
Message phone for communicating anywhere on earth at extremely low cost

RVers should be aware of IRS limitation on 5 year limitation capital gains exclusions for their homes.
  my short web page on the subject  Sept 2009

Started a Wiki for our RV park August 2009. It includes what to see and do in NW Washington State.
   Will be inviting all Coho RV park leaseholders to become editors of this web page.
    Expect that we will end up have 5 or so "web masters" 
The Wiki includes my 8/09 investigation into Brain Fitness - we are now using the DriveSharp program

A screenshot of CohoSKP  Aug 16, 2009

We will soon be using a service to scan 1,000 of our photos onto DVD for $50

During our May 2009 25 day, 1300 mile  trip around Washington State traveled on about half of the scenic roads in Washington.
Click on map for details: red = nights of stay, green = bike trips

Our Teton RV towed by our Isuzu truck - I re-painted it Glacier White Nov 2009

Moved onto our RV lot Jan 2009 This is in an Escapees RV park NW of Seattle.

You can probably extend the life of your day/night blinds at no cost     added Dec 2008

14 ways you can reduce cell phone radiation

Updated RV links  updated 05/08   

Click here to download a 353KByte PDF subset of this website, not just this webpage as of Sept 2007

Added Health Tips web page Sept 2008 which included:
Low Level Laser Therapy, Supplements, Low Cost Aids for Hearing, Low Cost Aids for Vision, Whole Body Vibration (soon)

Photos (PDF slideshow 17 MBytes) of first half of 2008. 
Highlights of our travels thru Yellowstone, Custer, Great Falls, and Glacier National Park

 I continue to really like the tire service at Les Schwab all over the Western US - for rites for of both our RV and our Isuzu truck

FIRE:  One company, FirstAlert, now makes a talking smoke/CO2 alarm which is approved for use in RVs and uses much lower frequencies, so it can be heard by people with poor high frequency hearing. More details are at SmokeAlarm.html

http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/links.htm Great set of RV links by Mark Nemeth who has an article in Escapees each month
http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/tech.htm extensive articles on tech tips for RVing - with far more details than he can put in the 1-2 page published articles
     also has links to RV surplus, articles on 12 volt, plumbing, tow vehicle maintenance, ....

Google 411 is great for getting free business phone connections anywhere in the US when you do not have internet access.
  just dial 1-800-466-4411 from any (cell) phone.
   Goog411 will ask for City and State. You can alternately key in the Zip Code
   Goog411 will then ask your for Business Category (e.g. Bookstore) or Business Name (e.g. Borders)
   Goog411 will then list the businesses which match, along with addresses
   When you choose an entry, Goog411 will directly connect you to it, or you can ask to hear the phone number
 

All RVs can improve fuel economy by driving more slowly (55MPH takes about 15% less fuel per mile than 65MPH)

If you have an RV with sharp (not curved) edges, then look at www.airtabs.com The air tabs will save between 2% to 4% of your 65MPH fuel bill.  The tabs glue on the side of an RV or truck and cost $7.50 per foot. They come in white and black and can be painted. If your edges (say from the side to the back) are smooth (greater than about a 3" radius) then the vortices which the airtabs generate will not improve your fuel economy.

Made it easier when visitors want to leave our RV
- bright dot on handle (cost =1 cent?) highlights which handle to pull to open the door

Bought clip-on glasses (used by pilots and hunters) to increase contrast when driving at dusk and at night
Also might be useful to reduce computer glare.
Click here to find many suppliers via Google shopping   Many priced from $3 to $13

There apparently is a $10 thumbdrive with 1GByte of storage which can run programs such as Thunderbird (e-mail), FireFox & bookmarks, etc

Verizon EVDO may be the best way to surf at high speed while traveling around the US 
See also information on internet accelerator Nov 2009

Some updates added to this page and low vision page

Have added a web page on our 2008 success with hearing aids

As of April 2008 we are leaseholders of SKP RV lot in Western Washington - after waiting on a list for 5.5 years.

The shed on our lot is also a: 1) music studio, 2) library, 3) electronics workbench for LLLT.

We have put our remaining campground memberships (AOR, RPI) on hold. 
We might cancel them within a year or so, but for now there is no on-going cost.

Going to Wyoming summer 2008 for the SKP RV Rally

2007

Henry’s TOP10 fulltime RV tips: Aug 2007

After 5 years of full time RVing and writing 50 of so pages of notes on this website I realized that I should highlight the important things – so here they are.

1) Join the Escapees RV Club and plan years ahead and put your name on an Escapees Co-op lot to be used 1-10 years in your future.
Escapees allow you to lease a lot to live in your RV for a cost which is about 1/10 that of commercial facilities in some areas of WA, OR, CA, AZ, TX and FL. To put your name on an Escapees park list you just have to put down a $1,000 deposit which will be returned to you if you change your mind. When your number finally comes up, 2 to120 months later, you put down an additional $5,000 to $20,000 (depends on the specific park) to lease the lot for as long as you want.  You get your money back when you give up your lease. 
www.escapees.com

2) Life on Wheels provides an excellent 1 week introduction to the RV lifestyle. If you have not been RVing much before this I would say that you MUST go to Life On Wheels.  It is also a good idea to attend LOW if you are just thinking seriously about full time RVing, before taking the plunge.   notes on what you might learn are here  www.rvlifeonwheels.com    It and its leader died late 2008

3) If you are not used to driving big rigs it is essential that you take one or two RV driving classes
A short course in RV driving is offered at Life on Wheels and at most RV rallies.

4) As soon as one of you is at least 60.5 years old you can get the best bargain of your life – a lifetime pass to all of the National Parks and many other NPS facilities as well as half-price overnight camping in NPS, for just $10  = golden age passport.

5) Passport America is one of the best deals for short-term, low-cost RV camping.
For $50 a year or less you can get 1-3 nights of ˝ price camping at thousands of locations in the US and Canada. 
Generally Passport America locations are not available on holidays or weekends   
details on memberships here

6) Buy the US Atlas from any Wal-Mart at about $5 (˝ price). It has Wal-Mart and SamClub locations in addition to the excellent road maps – updated yearly.

7) Buy a Trailer Life directory of RV parks – available at most RV stores.
You can get is at a discount if your join Good Sam RV club, which also gets you a 10% discount at many RV parks 

9) If you have a computer, buy an electronic mapping program, such as Microsoft Streets and Trips then import batches of RV important locations (Passport America, AOR, RPI, Coast to Coast, Western Horizons, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart which prohibit RV parking, Costco, Casinos, Low clearance,  RV parking for Moose Lodge or Elks Club members, etc.) from the internet. Probably takes less than 1 minute to import each category of locations.   Map examples  icon details here

10) Buy a cell phone and an external antenna and have a contract which provides free roaming for all areas that you want to travel.    details here

Replaced our 5 year old mattress with a memory foam mattress (custom shape, $1200).  Great sleep.
Costco and Wal-Mart have
memory foam toppers in different thicknesses and sizes: Wal-Mart 4” twin memory foam topper is just $90

Fluorescent light ballast burn-out.  Cost over $30 to replace the fixture.  Was told that this happens when batteries float above 13 volts (in virtually all RVs).  I have now added a resistor for each fixture which drops the voltage by 3/4 of a volt - I anticipate that it will add 5+ years to the life of the remaining ballasts.

Joshua Tree National Park in SE California.  The Jumbo Rocks campground is GREAT and only $2.50/day with Golden Age Card
 

DryzAir - white crystals which adsorb lots of water - from truck, from books (eliminating mildew), etc.
(Bought 4 month model from DampRid with hi-capacity for our storage shed) - Update: has worked well for years: Nov 2009

Created laptop pockets on the sides of our recliner chairs. 
Excellent way to keep the laptops off of the floor and tables

Attended Escapees Boomers Rally in Quartzite - last week of Jan 2007.  About 170 rigs signed in.
Presented a discussion on Boomeritis - which was a take-off on a Dec 2006 NY Times article

Bought a used Breadman Bread Machine via Crag's list for $20.
Great bread. Fits nicely under the kitchen sink.
Takes about 400 watts for 1 hour of baking during a 3 hour breadmaking cycle
[ bought a new replacement Breadman from Wal-Mart mid 2007 for about $45]

 

 

Kipor gas generator  2200 watt - works great. 
Cost $400 used.  Lesson Learned: if generator is already warm it will not re-start in the start position
You can run a single air conditioner (click for details) on 20A or perhaps even a 15A circuit. 
A
SPP8E 200uF capacitor from SUPCO allowed us to start and run air conditioner with this generator
I run it at least every 2 months - usually need starter fluid to get it going.
 

Window cleaner.  Suggested on an RV discussion site. 
Much better than Windex.

 

Added shelving to hold tote boxes in Isuzu truck. 
Works great. Very easy to get to any tote box now
Used similar free-standing shelving for totes in our storage shed April 2008

 

Have now heard of problems from 3+ owners of Tetons made after 2003. {update: Teton out of business along with many other RV manuf. in 2008}
Apparently there was a big change in ownership, management, and employees and subsequent decrease in quality

2006

Fall

Enjoying towels which hold 15 times their weight in water. 
We able to dry our shower stall then wring most of the water out of the towel.
Many suppliers offer this.  We got 3 big towels for $11.50, including shipping, from www.ferret.com

Google does much more than search.  Here are the functions that I use regularly.
This previous list is a subset of the Google functions listed on wikipedia.
Be sure to checkout the Google free Accelerator - it speeds up surfing by about 2.5X - via modem, DSL, WiFi, etc.

Download accelerators are also free and substantially shorten the time to download large files - videos, PDF, Powerpoint, etc - by 5X to 10X
We use the very popular "Download Accelerator Plus"

Judy wrote and directed a play for the Coho Escapee RV Park in Washington State.
It had about 15 speaking characters. 
Everyone could read their scripts - no memorization needed.  It was a lot of fun for everyone.
We video taped the presentation to a packed house on Aug 2, 2006.
We made a bunch of DVDs after purchasing Photoshop Premier and a DVD burner
You can see the 1 hour play for free on Google Video  - just search for "Coho Murders"
You will need a high speed connection to download it

Photo update: We love our new Panasonic TZ1 digital camera click here for details
We are trying out High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos. 
   - which allow capturing scenes which have both light and dark sections of interest
     such as a cliff in shadows along with the details in the clouds
     we are using free demo software from Photomatrix - will probably buy it later this year.
    You can see some nice HDR photos at www.flkr.com just search for tags of HDR or Photomatrix
    HDR photos virtually require not moving the camera while taking automatic 3 image bracket: 0EV, +2EV and -2EV

Spring 2006

SKYPE provides us with very low cost, very clear and easy to use long distance phone calls over most WiFi connections.
Less than 2 cents per minute in US and Canada, and only a few cents a minute to a telephone anywhere in the world
Some WiFi connections are too slow to use Skype and I doubt that it could be used with any modem connection.

We have a telephone type handset which just plugs into our laptop microphone & headphone connections.
You can also find "Skype handset" on the internet which connect to the USB port, for less than $15.
The handset is much easier to use than the headset which we had first tried.

We have not yet tried their video option, which is also almost free - to any computer in the world.
Video needs 385 kbits/second connection - which I believe is faster than most satellite and WiFi connection speeds

Map of our travels 2002-early 2006

Purchased a small folding white table. 
It's ability to tilt provides great ergonomics when using a laptop computer in our recliners.
Wal-Mart sells a somewhat similar table for $15.

Added an under-counter light near the sink. We use it every day.  Why did it take us 4 years to think of adding it?

Caulking: lap seal caulking is only 2X more expensive than silicone, but far-far better.

We keep our portable air cleaner on in the rig while driving - it eliminates diesel smell when we get back into the RV.
  It uses a HEPA filter.  We have also added HEPA filters to air conditioner and furnace system.
  HEPA cleaners remove particles down to 0.3 microns and only costs about $25 at Wal-Mart
     and in addtion include a charcoal filter, baking soda filter, and ionizer
   Ultra-HEPA filters capture particles down to 0.12 microns, but seem to cost more than $200

 Ignite stovetop with a small amount of propane. After 4 years of RVing we have just learned that the propane stove top burners (Atwood) ignite best with just a small amount of propane. (Too much propane flow does now allow for enough Oxygen needed for ignition) We had often had to click the piezo igniter 10 times to start the burners before, now it ignites with just 1 or two clicks. Jan 06

Low Vision - separate web page-  we purchased a large LCD monitor for my 93 year old father-in-law so that he can see the computer, TV and small print with his macular degeneration.   Created 2005 - updated Sept 2006 - it is working very well

2005 
Satellite Radio:
Purchased XM radio kit from Costco for about $75 and pay a $13/month subscription for the service.
Costco Kit includes two antennas:
     one antenna for vehicle (truck, auto) which has metal roof (ground plane) and
     one antenna for use in on top of the RV - goes thru a few trees OK - much better than satellite TV signal
Also available at Camping World - unsure which antenna they sell.
    update April 2006 - its has been great.  (We do not watch TV, and so have no satellite TV antenna).
     XM Signal goes thru dry RV roof.  When roof is wet we put the XM antenna in a plastic bag and throw it on top of the roof or on the ground

( 2007 update: when we told XM that we were going to drop their service after several years they offered to continue us for another year at about 1/2 price)

Hawking Hi-Gain but tiny WiFi dish antenna: HWU8DD: picks up WiFi signals much further away than the WiFi in the Dell laptop.  Has an 8db gain
We often are able to surf the internet from our RV while 300 feet from the nearest WiFi transmitter.
   (see image on folding table, above)  many suppliers cost less than $60
http://www.hawkingtech.com/products/productlist.php?CatID=32&FamID=60&ProdID=280

Have added yellow tape to RV outside stairs (top and sides), stabilizer jacks, and the jack handle to increase visibility.
No longer forget jacks or handles when getting ready to leave.

RV Leaks can be detected by inflating the RV via the bathroom vent and putting  bubble liquid on the suspected leak locations. 
The equipment was created by www.rvleaks.com and they list the service providers all around the US.
2008 update: RV service person strongly recommended 3M 5200 calking used by the marine industry.
   It cost about $12 a tube but actually stopped the leak after I removed the previous calking

 

CANADA May-Sept  2005
Seattle to Eastern Maritimes (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, etc.), generally thru the US
Canada1 Photos May 17 to June 16
Canada2  Photos PEI and Nova Scotia June 17 to July 9 - Burst photo mode was great for action photos - like the eagle
Canada3 Photos July 10 to Aug 5  Bay of Fundy, Birds, Niagara Falls, Circus Museum, exploding cars in an art museum, Worlds Largest Bookstore, etc.

Passport America worked out very well in Canada - paid for the membership in less than a month.
We were unable to have our packages and magazines forwarded to Canada from the US - some new customs restriction

Apparently can extend life of fluorescent lamps by about 30% by reversing them a couple times each year. Seems to work well

1page time-line of the life of Henry Lahore

We like using portable electric heaters to augment our propane RV heater
We have one electric heater over the bed and another in the in the living room 
 

Hard Water - Low cost way to prevent hard water from "rotting the RV"



The following are additional tips for RVing based on lessons learned
 updated 05/05

Tips for any RV owner from Life On Wheels   8 tips

Other RV tips  44 tips 

Any 5th wheel 5 tips  updated Oct 2004

Communications while RVing  5 tips updated Oct 2004

Ideas for a late model Teton owner  20 tips

What they should tell a new Teton owner  13 tips

Highlights of our 2002 Teton order and why we selected Teton  8 features and 9 "whys"
          and what options we also should have bought