Useful Stuff #3

Friday, April 18, 2008 -- Vancouver, WA

More of that stuff we find useful in our fulltiming lifestyle...

11) Folding Ladder: Many RV'ers have large step-ladders hanging on the back-end of their campers and, and in my humble opinion, it makes an otherwise nice looking unit look trashy. The problem is that RV's are high, as much as 12 or 13 feet, and it's necessary to have some way to access the higher portions of the camper for washing and maintenance. So some kind of ladder is essential. We have one of those folding/extension ladders that bends in the middle. It can be used like a step-ladder, or a straight extension ladder. Fully extended, it's about 12 feet. Folded, it's about 4 ft, and fits neatly in a storage bin in the basement. It'd be hard to be without it.

In the category of communication:

12) Our Sprint Aircard and Kyocera wireless router: Sure, we can spend $5000 for a satelite system and be able to find a connection almost anywhere. But since we don't have unlimited funds we thought we'd try the Aircard first, and haven't regretted it at all. There have only been two places in the past 10 months where we couldn't connect at all. Otherwise, it's been an ideal solution. And the wireless router means both Dar and I can be on the net at the same time. In those rare cases where we can't connect, we do have the ability to hook-up to any wi-fi hotspot. And, let's keep this all in perspective... it's not necessary for us to be on-line every day.

13) Cell Phones: Not much needs to be said about this. These small portable devices and their extensive national networks have revolutionized the ability to be connected while mobile. Our two phones make it possible for us to reach anyone, anywhere, whenever we want.

14) Portable Two-Way Radio: Also called walkie-talkies, these little short range radios come in handy, particularly when we're backing into a campsite or maneuvering in tight places. One of us is outside keeping an eye on things and communicating with the driver on the radio. We've observed people who try to use hand-signals or communicate by yelling. The radios are much more effective, quieter, and more campground-friendly.

15) NOAA Weather Radio: The ability to tune into local NOAA weather is not just convenient, but it could save a life too. During storms we're tuned in and very aware of our position relative to the dangers of the storm. It'd be hard to be without it.

One of these days I'll add more useful stuff to the list.

T
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