By Sam Suva
What helped us in our RV lifestyle? What did we key into to receive help from technology? I hope you enjoy this two-part series on what we used and have found helpful on our journey. Hopefully it will make yours less “interesting,” shall we say?
Technology allowed us to browse for the right camper for our plans and family. We found floor plans of all types of RVs along with drive trains, furniture, appliances and amenities that helped us decide on the right vehicle for us. We found blogs detailing experiences that others have had with RVs, trailers, tow bars, tow dollies and other equipment. Would we need 30-amp or 50-amp service? Under-the-counter coffee pot or one we could stow? Carpet or laminate flooring? Slideout awnings?
All of these topics were discussed on email groups (yep, just dated myself) and were available on something called a forum, whenever we were researching our upcoming adventure. Most of our information was available on sites throughout the Internet.
We planned our route south to find work with GPS. Originally we were using a standalone GPS, but the map did not have the most current information and it led to some dead ends, literally. Cell phones have come a long way since then. Up-to-the-second GPS and traffic data weren’t quite there yet, but they are today and they really are time-savers. No more sitting in traffic watching the engine temperature gauge rise as the fuel gauge plummets.
What we didn’t realize is that we needed to find help when we broke down. We were in a strange, new area and we didn’t know anyone. Our transmission failed. Where I had lived most of my life I knew who I could trust to fix the motorhome. I also knew where my wife and I could stay on short notice, where we could keep our valuables and sleep comfortably. Where could I find this information now?
Fortunately, we had the Internet. Specifically, we searched for transmission shops that could handle our motorhome. Little shops do not want to work outside on a project that would take several days. Large shops that could handle it would be few and far between, thus an expensive tow. We also wanted a nation-wide warranty. We finally found an original equipment manufacture repair center that was a reasonable distance. We searched online for our vehicle manufacturer and were able to call the specific department concerning our issue. They responded by finding the service center closest to us and getting us in contact with the right person. That shop in turn found us safe, comfortable lodgings, where we would be safe and comfortable. This gave us a great deal of relief.
While there, we searched again for area attractions, and found bowling, mini golf, city parks and hole-in-the-wall diners with incredible food! Today, these areas will have ratings and reviews, but back then it was a bit more rudimentary. Even so, we were guided by technology and found very good places to bide our time.
Our motorhome repaired, we were back on the road and the GPS cheerfully guided us to our next destination. Along the way, interesting roadside attractions, state parks and gas stations were found online. Local events and attractions that were advertised were available in local newspapers that also wrote online articles. We enjoyed stopping at these on our journey.
Next week, we’ll carry on with this topic. Thanks for reading my articles. Please feel free to leave a comment on what you have found useful in your planning or execution of the plan to full time and/or work camp.
See you down the road,
Sam Suva and his wife are work campers. They began work camping more than 10 years ago and have spent a lot of time working as they traveled. In this new weekly feature, they will share their experiences with you, with an emphasis on how to incorporate work camping into a full time RV lifestyle.