Hi everyone. Time flies when you’re having fun – and even more so when you have a lot to do. I can’t believe that we’ll be back on the road in just over a month, and at the same time I can’t wait!
We had a bike stolen 🙁
We had a bike stolen 🙁
Yep, that’s right. Shortly after setting up our new YardStash (read my YardStash Review), someone hopped the fence and stole one of our old bikes.
To clarify – we had 2 sets of bikes. New bikes that we bought recently, and old bikes that were 15 years old or so. The old bikes were cable locked to the front of the RV and the new bikes were in the YardStash. The thief cut the cable lock on the RV, grabbed the outside bike and vanished, and in the process left the other bike and a pretty nice second cable that was liberated when he cut the other cable.
The good news is they took the bike that was worth the least. I doubt I could have gotten more than $50 for it on craigslist. The other bike that the thief could have taken I sold that same day for $225. I guess you don’t need to be smart to be a bike thief – or even know much of anything about bikes!
This also further cements the point I made in my YardStash Review. Thieves are much more likely to target things they can see. The truth is the bikes in the YardStash weren’t protected much better than the bikes locked to the RV. The thief didn’t bother to look. He hopped the fence, cut the cable, grabbed a bike and ran.
We’re over it now, but it really does stink to have something stolen from you. I immediately invested in much better protection for our newer bikes.
I added a youtube video showing our 2 birdfeeders. One of the great things about living the ‘RV Lifestyle’ is that it makes you slow down and appreciate things that most people are too busy to see – like birds.
Drinking coffee and watching the birds has become a morning ritual in our life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Watch:
For those interested in the window feeder, here it is on Amazon (affiliate link): Duncraft Classic Windowpane Bird Feeder. There’s a larger one also – and other designs too of course.
Getting the Car Ready for Towing
I’m working to get the car setup to be towed, and boy is there a lot to do! We have a Honda Fit Automatic that we purchased specifically because you can tow it with 4 wheels on the ground even with an automatic transmission. The challenge is there’s a ton you still have to do to make a car towable – and it costs a lot too!
Here’s the list:
- Purchase an RV Tow Bar – This I bought. I found a good quality (Blue Ox) Tow Bar on Craigslist. It does have a few bolts that I’m going to replace just to be careful, but fortunately Blue Ox has every piece of the tow bar available for sale.
- Buy and install Tow Plate for the car. This is a piece that replaces the steel structure underneath the bumper that has mounts that attach to the Tow Bar.
- Buy and install wiring for car taillights. The taillights on your car need to work while being towed. When you brake, the brake lights need to light up – signal lights, etc… You can either use separate lights, or wire directly into the car lights.
- Buy an auxiliary Braking System. In a list of expensive things, this is the most expensive. Most cost over $1000 new, and they’re required by law in most states. In short, this system presses the brake pedal in the car when you press the brakes in the RV.
Add it all up and it costs somewhere between $2500 and $4000 to setup a car for towing! This is one of those hidden costs that no-one tells you about before buying an RV. I mean you have an idea that you’ll need to buy some stuff to tow your car, but I was shocked that it was so expensive!
All that said, we’ll be ok. I’m doing as much of the installation myself as I can, and that will save us a bunch. You can easily spend as much on installation as you spend on the products themselves.
In the future I’ll do a complete writeup on setting up a car for towing, so check back in the next month for that. I’m also going to do a writeup on RV water filtration as well as a few other things as I have time. The funny thing is, I’ll have more time when we get on the road than I have now because everything will be setup and working by then . . or at least that’s the plan. 🙂
That’s it for today – until next time, happy trekking!
My husband and I are looking at hitting the road with our 2 large dogs. We have camped for years and truly enjoy it. We are trying to decided between the Winnebago Aspect and a class A. Just wondering if you have kept up with your MPG during your travels. Enjoyed watching your videos and reading your blog.
Hi Nancy, One of the reasons we chose the Aspect is because it’s a little bit shorter and slightly more aerodynamic than a class A. I tracked my mileage coming across country (3200 miles) while towing a 3000 pound car (a Honda Fit full of stuff). My worst tank was 8.47mpg, my best tank was 9.95mpg. Overall I averaged 9.1mpg and I was happy with that number. I drove around 60mph most of the way – but did hit 65+ in a few places and used the cab AC a fair bit as it was July when we were driving. I hope that’s helpful and good luck!
Could you share the reasons you chose to tow your car on 4 wheels, rather than on 2 wheels or a flatbed trailer?
Hi Susan – sure! While there are benefits to both, I have two reasons I prefer to tow 4 down. #1 – It’s much easier to get a car that’s being towed 4-down ready to drive than when it’s on a trailer – either flatbed or 2wheel. I can have the car unhooked and ready to drive in a minute or two. #2 – I don’t need to find a place to store the trailer itself. Some RV Parks don’t have space for an extra trailer, and others charge you extra to have a trailer, but mostly I just don’t want to deal with a trailer in the first place.
Rich & Kathy,
We absolutely appreciate all of your posted info…we are hoping to purchase a Winnebago Aspect soon and hit the road ourselves by end of year. Keep posting! God bless.
Thanks guys. Good luck with your plans – hopefully we see you on the road!
My husband and I are preparing for selling everything and hitting the road when he retires in four years (I like to get an early start so it is all done when were ready). He is 8 years older than I so I will have to work for about 10 more years to get social security. I need to work on the road. I am a graphic artist, web developer (more web maintainer if you know what I mean, I don’t build web sites from scratch) and a project specialist (print production projects mainly). I want to work on the road in my field but am not sure how to make that happen. Do you have any advice you might be willing to share?
Hi Dona – I need to write a post on this big time! In my case I’ve developed several regular customers that also refer business to me. I’ve never advertised my services and have been fortunate enough to be busy consistently for the past 5 years. The keys for working from the road for me are:
#1: A Mobile Phone Signal Booster. I use Verizon as they have the best service in the most places, but there are still lots of places where it’s tough to get a signal. The Wilson Electronics Sleek 4G-V booster with the Wilson Trucker Antenna makes all the difference, allowing me to get a strong phone signal and 4G internet where normally I’d have neither. Here they are on Amazon: Wilson Electronics – Sleek 4G-V | Wilson Electronics Dual Band Trucker Mirror Mount Antenna | and you need this adapter: WILSON ELECTRONICS 971119 Fme Male to Sma Male Connector.
#2: WiFi Signal Booster. I also use wifi at RV parks, however the signal is usually not that great from your RV. I have an antenna connected to a WiFi repeater that boosts the park signal inside my RV so I can work. I’ll have to do a post on this setup. So many things to do!
Connectivity (phone and internet) are the biggest challenges to overcome from the road. Once you have internet and phone you can do exactly what you do right now. Oh – it helps to have a powerful laptop as desktops are less than ideal in an RV. I use a 17″ MacBookPro, and unfortunately Apple has discontinued the 17″ size. There are other laptop makers that still make 17″ laptops, and as you do design work then you know the bigger the screen the easier it is to work.
I hope that’s helpful and good luck!