April 16, 2019
Welcome to another fabulous edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related, and small-space living, tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate your readership.
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Breathe, breathe in the air….
With electricity expert and veteran RVer Mike Sokol
This morning I was reminded about providing adequate ventilation to electronic gear when my Internet access went down. My computer could still get to the router, but the cable modem was offline since there was no connection to the Internet. Hmmm… I quickly discovered that my wife had surrounded the cable modem with a tissue box, DVD storage box and a few other boxes to block a very annoying blue light on the front panel. But in the process of “going dark,” she had cut off all air flow to the modem which was REALLY hot.
Heat is the enemy of electronics and can, at first, cause what appears to be random problems, followed by a shutdown. Do this often enough and it can destroy the gear. Ouch! The lesson? Make sure you leave sufficient air flow around anything that plugs in and don’t bury it in a cabinet that has no ventilation at all. That includes shore power cordsets that shouldn’t be left coiled up in a small storage compartment when they’re supplying power to your RV. If it feels hot to the touch, then there isn’t enough air flow.
You’ve probably visited a small park before, but what about the world’s smallest park in Portland, Oregon? Read all about Mill Ends Park here. Oh, we should also mention that it’s the only other “leprechaun colony” outside of Ireland.
MORE QUICK TIPS
Busting boondocking myths: You can’t boondock without solar
Opting Out of Normal says: I’m here to tell you first hand, we did it [boondocked without solar] for eight months very successfully. We did, however, equip our fifth wheel with six lead-acid batteries and two generators to help with the important things like blow drying my hair, and running the vacuum. Ha! Small, lead-acid batteries are not too expensive, and to this day, they are still the ones we are using even though we have installed our own solar. We do hope to upgrade to Lithium, but we are having no problem with the ones we have now.
One big pro to fulltime RV living
• Freedom. You can live where you want to and move with the seasons. You are not tied down. You can change your mind tonight and live somewhere else tomorrow night. You can go wherever whim and chance might take you. • One of the things I like even more than going to different places is the freedom to know that I can go if I want to. • If you change your mind about the RV lifestyle, you can sell an RV in a matter of days or weeks instead of the months or years it can take to sell a house. • If you don’t like your neighbors, you can move to another location in a matter of minutes. —From Secrets of RVing on Social Security: How to Enjoy the Motorhome and RV Lifestyle While Living on Your Social Security Income
Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The Ultimate Guide to RVing
From Outsideonline.com, here’s a guide to RVing with some great information. Even if this seems a little basic, spend some time exploring some of the other excellent articles on this site.
Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.
LEAVE HERE WITH A LAUGH
An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard, and a German are all standing watching an American street performer do some juggling. The juggler notices the four gentlemen have a very poor view, so he stands up on a wooden crate and calls out, “Can you all see me now?”
(*Say it out loud!)
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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Emily Woodbury. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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Fortunately I get dental through the VA so I don’t have to pay anything.
I had a serious shock when I went on my jobs free dental and vision. When I dropped off my husbands plan because it was so expensive I discovered why mine was free. You pay half for everything. And I mean everything. This includes half of the dental cleanings. Can’t wait to see what I pay out of pocket for a vision check which is long over due. Just gotta love health insurance.
To me, it doesn’t make sense to pay for dental insurance. They may provide 2 free cleanings a year, but then you have out of pocket expenses for most everything else. We keep our money in our own account and allocate an amount every month towards dental. That way, we have money on hand whenever we need it. Plus, many of the places we went to had cash discounts or first time patient discounts. Since we are always first time patients, we always find good deals and don’t have to wait for appts since we can use anyone we want. We’ve heard great things about going to Mexico and we want to try that.
There are literally hundreds of excellent dentists in Algodones. We have used Erikk Escobedo for about 10 years, implants, crowns, root canals. Far better AND less painful than any other dentist we have been to.
Pretty much everyone we know goes to Algodones for dental, they ALL go to different dentists and none would change.
Has anyone looked at, tried or have Metlife’s “Take Along” dental coverage?
We have Delta Dental which we have had for several years. Works well for us. Last December, as retired military we had options for several supplemental policies. Comparing them all – we stayed with Delta mostly due to past experience.
Again, the poll did not show up when I first opened this page. This is the second time I’ve been reading comments and knew something was missing from my page. I refreshed my screen and then it showed up. Interesting.
Lots of people are happy with the work and cost of dental work they get in Los Algodones, Mexico.
Los Algodones Mexico is a long way from Canada where we are located where dental work is outrageously expensive, the reason most Canadians have bad teeth. Don’t be fooled by talk of Canada’s universal medicine, hell you have to buy insurance to be fully protected traveling in this country. Nothing Universal about that. Fear not the “American style health care” – fear the lengthy line-ups in the Canadian system – horrible!
The Southwest is chock full of Canadian Snowbirds who spend their winters down there and 1000’s get dental work/prescriptions done in Algodones
I’m from Alberta and if necessary I would fly to Yuma to go to my dentist, Erikk Escobedo, in Algodones. Years ago I flew my daughter down for 12 crowns. Done in 2 appointments, $2400 US.
Even the best dental insurance is limited (low annual coverage, maximum is usually $2,000) and still requires out of pocket costs. Sometimes the out of pocket costs can really add up. You always have to play the game of trying to maximize the annual coverage regarding any major work to be done, i.e., try to straddle end of year with new year so as to get as much covered as possible. Crowns, inlays, root canals, implants are not far and few between for many seniors. I’ve never had a good answer as to why the mouth and teeth are not considered part of the body and covered by medical insurance.
You are spot on. My dental is through Blue Cross and although it is a blessing to have, it does not cover any implant costs, which are most likely needed by many seniors. Out of pocket is about $5000 per tooth. With the $2000 annual limit on all covered procedures, it can be maxed out quickly with today’s rates.
I went to the UT Dental College in San Antonio for my extensive dental work. You are assigned to one student for all the work you need under the supervision of the Drs. It was a good experience for a fraction of the cost of a local Dentist.
I have Kaiser senior advantage coverage for the basics. I also have a great dentist that greatly discounts price on procedures for cash payment. It is amazing how much of a discount you can get when they don’t have to deal with insurance companies
I am permanently and totally disabled by VA guidelines. This entitles me to dental care. The only problem is trying to get an appointment. Any work I need has to be scheduled well in advance. A minor inconvenience compared to the cost of dental care.
I’m classified as 100% disabled by the VA and am told by the VA that I have no dental coverage. I can go to a VA dentist but am required to pay for dental services. What did I miss in my conversation with the VA?
Re dental – retired on MediCare. United Health Care supplementary plan has pretty good dental care, does’t cover big buck stuff – but worth a look at.
I have Met-Life Dental which is a left-over plan from working at Kodak which used to be employee sponsored. But when Kodak went bankrupt all retirement benefits disappeared. Met-Life gave us the choice to continue on our own dollar or quit. I chose to continue. The only Kodak benefit I have left is a survivor income which will go to my wife after I pass but it is a fixed amount over a very specified amount of time. That is called SIB.
For the people that have dental insurance. What companies do you use and are they worth it. The ones that I have looked at have looser dentist and dental groups. They don’t seem to cover very much for the premium. I use to have employer coverage and can’t seem to find anything like it since I retired. Please be nice and if you don’t have anything constructive to add, don’t.
They all pretty much stink unless your a member of Congress.
What I do is supplement it with a HSA credit card which is pre tax in many cases.
I plan in building the amount up high so there is enough during retirement.
We’re in the same boat as you. We had great dental coverage while employed, now that we’re retired it’s on us and it’s expensive. ACA should have included this coverage when it came into existence. Bad dental health can contribute to bad health and can be a death sentence if not taken care of. Just the other day a crown came off and it cost $100 just to have it re-cemented.
Count your blessings Ortep, $100.00 won’t get you on the parking lot of a dentist anywhere in Alberta I’m familiar with
I have Delta dental provided by the UAW Retirees so all unions are not bad, I also get vision coverage Davis vision and medical with BCBS of MI.
We have Delta Dental. I qualify beacause of my husbands military retirement. We’ve been with them for years. I’ve had root canals and surgical extractions done under the standard coverage. Had to pay some out of pocket and had no problems with claims. When we had to renew last December, I compared all the plans. All were very similar. It came down to customer reviews and personal experience with company.
I had Met Life dental when I worked. It covered teeth cleanings at 100%, fillings at 80%, and any major work at 50%. The problem was it had a yearly maximum of $1200. Getting 1 crown done would put me over the limit each year.
When I retired, I went with Met Life through the VA. The first time I tried to use it to cover a tooth replacement it was denied. I was told it was a pre-existing condition. I dropped that insurance. I would have paid more in premiums than it would cost me out of pocket for 2 teeth cleanings a year.
To me the biggest problem with dental insurance is the yearly maximum. Wish it was more like medical insurance with no early maximum.
Dentist offers his own “insurance” with free cleaning twice a year and 20% discount on all other services. Almost break even with cleanings. Good to get discount if anything needs to be done. Many plans require one year wait before covering major work, such as crowns, etc.
I have been going to a dentist in Algodones, MX each winter for about 10 years. I get good dental care for much less than what a dental plan in the US would cost, and I would still have out of pocket expenses on top of that.. Many Canadians that I talk with when I am there say that the money they save in dental costs pays for their entire vacation during the winter months. No doubt they are referring to root canals, dentures, implants, etc.
I’ve heard stories that they use inferior materials. Any word on that?
I personally have had 3 porcelain crowns put on over the course of 10 years and each one looks and feels as good as the day they were put on. I would suggest seeking out a dentist that has been recommended by several others. Asking around in the large rv parks would be a good place to ask.
What is the name of the dentist you see Algodones?
I/we use Erikk Escobedo. Edouardo Aldana is also very good.
My dentist offers at least 2 choices for crowns and I know that the implants are American. Some of mine are 10 years old and no problems.