We’ve been doing a lot of research lately. Harold has been looking up all the specifics of what we need to take care of the truck and RV, and my job is planning where to go, and how we’ll get there. The great thing about RVing these days is the amount of information that is available online. I’ve compiled a list of web sites that I am finding of immense help. I expect I’ll be adding to this as we learn more.
http://rvtravel.com – This is a great site with everything you could want to know about RVing. I especially enjoy the newsletters fulls of tips and tricks, advice, and how-to videos.
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/ – a site to help you find all the oddball attractions as you drive along.
http://www.harvesthosts.com – For $40 per year, you get access to farms and wineries that will allow you to stay overnight for no charge. I just signed up for this a few days ago and have filled up our itinerary for our upcoming California trip.
http://www.overnightrvparking.com – This site is great for finding places you can park overnight for no charge. Users are given credit for updating or adding data, so the database is well stocked with places.
http://www.freecampgrounds.com – Listings of free campgrounds. I don’t like the organization as well as Overnightparking but it’s a good backup.
> http://www.rvparking.com – Listings of RV Parks. They have an iPhone app but unfortunately, no Android app. It really aggravates me when people cater to iOS when the Android audience is so much larger. They should be making the Android app first, then making the iOS one as an afterthought, as if to say “Oh yeah, we’ll make one for those silly iPhones too, just to be nice.”
Dumping and refilling:
http://www.sanidumps.com – When you’re not hooking up every night, it becomes more necessary to know where you can dump.
http://www.rvdumps.com/dumpstations/ – it’s always good to have a backup … well, except when it’s in your lines!
http://www.pilotflyingj.com – Pilot travel centers are a full service truck stop that also caters to RVers. I’ve always wanted to use their showers. It will probably be a big let down, but I’ve always been curious when I’ve seen the wait numbers on the wall. Make sure to sign-up for their loyalty card. They have both iPhone and Android apps that allow you to find locations, check fuel prices, see your points, shower credits, and rewards.
The Next Exit – This book was referred to me as the book my parents can’t live without while on the road. It’s a guide to all the services at the exits of all the US Interstate highways. It becomes more important to know what’s ahead on the highway when you are driving a big fuel hog that has little dexterity. This book helps you plan where and when to stop.
Mobile Internet and Phone:
My parents have used a Verizon mobile stick for years and it has done them well, but things have changed and the systems available are much faster and allow more devices to connect.
I had been looking at Verizon, because they seem to have the best US nationwide coverage. The Verizon Jetpack Mifi Hotspot runs $189-269 for the device, then $50-355 per month for 6-50GB accounts.
http://www.net10.com – We’ll have our Canadian cell phones along, but only be using them through Wifi access. It’s just too expensive to rely on the roaming rates. My Bell contract expires in February 2014 and I may then look into a Verizon account. For the meantime, we plan to use a Net10 phone. It’s what we’ve always used in the past. All we get is a bare bones phone but the cost is so good, at $20 per month, with 200 carryover minutes, and it’s refillable anytime.
There are a ton of checklists out there for RVing, and sites that compile them all, making lists of lists. Rather them copy them all over to here, I prefer the idea of linking to all the sites that have already compiled them, mostly because I love the idea of making a list of lists of lists!