Laptop computers are a major part of the modern RVer community. We have instant communication with friends via things such as e-mail and chat, access to our bank accounts and bill paying services, and a host of information about whatever we might need in our lives as full-time RV travelers. Unfortunately, laptops (and other computers or tablets) are certainly an attraction to thieves. Here are some tips to help keep your experience with your computer as safe as possible.
Keeping Your Data Safe: If you store sensitive information on your laptop, make sure if your computer falls into the wrong hands, at least the information is secure. If you have Windows, you may already have a way of encrypting your data to make it impossible to read without the code. Or purchase some data encryption software and use it–you can “Google” for more information on this kind of software. When using public WIFI networks, many experts recommend you don’t transmit sensitive data (including credit numbers or bank account information) but if you must, BE SURE the little “lock” symbol shows on your web browser, and that the URL (address) of the web site begins with https (for “secured”).
– Digital RVer
Make your Password STRONG: Don’t use your name, your child’s name, dog’s name, etc., as a password. Repeated numbers or letters are a sure-enough “breakable” password. Some folks use a phrase they can remember, like “My dog is lazy,” and string it together without spaces: Mydogislazy is the resulting password. Using symbols (%@&!) in your password also makes it tougher to break. And of course, the longer the better. IF you think you will forget your password, I recommend writing it down on a piece of paper that you keep on you in a safe place.
Backup Your System: Lost or stolen, your data is no good if you don’t have access to it. Use a data backup system–the Windows XP operating system has one. Back up frequently, and back up to something OTHER than your computer such as a small “thumb drive,” or an external hard drive. And keep that backup drive safe too. A lost thumb drive with unencrypted information could be an identity thief’s paradise.
Guard Your Laptop: Don’t leave your laptop in plain sight, no matter how tinted your windows are. Hide it in the trunk, stick it in a closet, put it in a secure cabinet with a lock and key. If you travel on a plane with your laptop, don’t put it in the overhead storage compartment, keep it with you at your seat–right in front of you. Find a location in your used or new RV to place it whenever it is not in use.Regardless of what you are doing, make sure that you make it a priority to know where your computer is at all times – this will save you mounds of headache later on down the line.
Do you have any tips in regards to safety for RVers who carry a long a laptop, tablet, or other valuable electronic device?
We came across something that full-time RV Drivers in Nichols, NY will find very interesting at the very least. Who doesn’t look for every opportunity these days to put some money back in their pockets or to keep some in there. We were beginning to think that the Driver Loyalty programs at some of the big Nationwide fuel stops was a thing of the past. They seem to be dwindling year by year. Then there was Flying J. They’ve rolled out with a new program specific to professional drivers and RVers and this is great news considering that the biggest cost of traveling is in direct relation to fuel consumption. Here are some details, and we are hoping that some other large national chains follow suit.
Pilot Flying J is launching Frequent Fueler Advantage, an enhanced loyalty program on Jan. 3 for professional drivers and RV customers.
Frequent Fueler Advantage will allow professional drivers to instantly accrue and redeem loyalty points in all participating Pilot and Flying J travel centers, travel plazas and restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. Added benefits of the new program for professional drivers include extended shower expiration for loyal customers, shower credits for expeditors and in-store rewards. RV cardholders in the program will receive instant discounts on fuel, propane purchases and dumping fees. Coming soon, RV cardholders will receive discounts at the truck diesel islands in addition to the specified RV fueling lanes.
Pilot Flying J will also offer Pump Start to all Frequent Fueler Advantage cardholders. Pump Start will allow drivers paying with cash, a check or a third-party credit card to use their Frequent Fueler Advantage card to start the fuel pumps. Members must register their card at the cashier counter and must have 500 gallons of purchase history in order to activate the Pump Start feature.
Pilot Flying J will continue to honor points accumulated on the Frequent Fueler, RV Real Value Card and Driver Payback cards. Pilot Flying J is asking that drivers register these cards under the new program in order to take full advantage of all benefits.
“By registering for the Frequent Fueler Advantage, our customers will be able to instantly access enhanced benefits,” said Pilot Flying J President and CEO Jimmy Haslam. “In addition, Pilot Flying J will be able to better serve our customers by designing benefits that more closely match their needs and wants.”
Drivers may register their cards at www.FrequentFuelerAdvantage.com or at cashier desks and kiosks in Pilot and Flying J locations.
We searched deep and wide online for more such offers and had no such luck in locating one. If anyone else is aware of any other fuel discount or savings programs, please do share in the comments section. It would be great if we could point our fellow full-time RVers to the best and most economical fuel distributors which can really pad your pockets with a little extra spending money during your RV road trips. I’m sure this would help make your trips a little more memorable.
If you’ve taken a look at the latest RV models, you know that many of them have kitchens that compare to any posh home kitchen in America. Double ovens, granite counters, dishwashers, and full-size refrigerators are just some of the items you can find popping up in today’s RV kitchen. If you are RV-ing on a budget and don’t require the lavish lifestyle that comes with the large RV kitchen fad, you’ll want to plan ahead when you stock your regular-sized RV kitchen.
If you’re not in denial and can admit to being an appliance junkie, by all means, bring at least a few you rely on when you RV. With a small bread machine and slow cooker, for example, you can prepare some very hearty meals while you venture out to enjoy your day. You’ll need at least a few frying pans, a large soup pot, and utensils such as spatulas, spoons and at least one or two sharp knives. A good cutting board should be on your must have list as well. Unless you’re planning on whipping up gourmet meals on the road, you don’t need all the accessories and appliances you have in your home kitchen, but pay attention to how you like to cook and what you find necessary in your day-to-day cooking routine. Add these indispensable items to your RV kitchen and your tummy will thank you.
Here’s a short check list that can prepare you for any RV road trip in New York.
- Plan Ahead. This is one of the most important elements of RV cooking. You can make sauces, stews, soups, and other side dishes ahead and freeze them, then you just need to warm them up for dinner.
- Make mixes ahead of time. If you’re going to make bread, measure out all the dry ingredients into a plastic bag, and then simply add the wet ingredients when you’re ready to bake. The same goes for pancakes, waffles, breading mixes, and other types of flours and mixes. Measure them out ahead of time, then you only have to mix and cook in the kitchen, and you don’t have to carry around all the different ingredients, taking up space in your small RV pantry.
- Marinate meats and vegetables ahead of time. You can transport meats and vegetables in their marinades in plastic bags. When you’re ready to cook, they’re already marinated, which saves you another step along the way.
- Plan to grill several meals, or at least grill some of the items on the menu, to help free up space in the kitchen.
- Cook pastas and other starches at least part way at home, and then put them in a plastic bag. That way, all you have to do is warm them up, rather than wait for water to boil and cook.
As you travel more often in your Jim’s RV, you’ll devise your own RV cooking tips to help you save time and energy in your RV kitchen!
Nichols NY RVers, don’t you agree, we’ve come pretty far from the olden days. From interior and exterior design, amenities, materials used, and more – the RV has certainly evolved. Many RV’s today are more luxurious than stationary homes. Let’s take a blast back to the past and check out some old RV designs.
So exactly how have RV’s Changed?
Ultra-Low V.O.C. & Recyclable Materials
High levels of V.O.C.’s exist in the standard materials used to manufacture RV’s, automobiles, and homes, so many manufacturers have not been willing or able to incur the cost and time in research associated with the development of low V.O.C. or lightweight, recyclable materials until recently.
Better Quality From The Start
Most U.S. consumers are plagued by low final assembly quality and poor material content from RV manufacturer’s old school of design and basic construction methods. This had a negative impact on the Customer Satisfaction Index in the industry overall. Due to state of the art equipment, space-age materials and companies like Jim’s RV who provide experienced management teams and state of the art service departments, a new standard of quality is now the norm.
Innovative, Lightweight, More Fuel-Efficient Designs
The industry has evolved into innovative floor plans in lighter, more durable, more fuel efficient designs. With sleek, futuristic designs, travel trailers and RV’s weigh much less than conventional designs thereby having a long term effect on the wallet.
Perhaps this is where we will land in the future.
Nichols, NY RVers, what is your most favorite feature of your new or used RV?
This year you’ve decided to take a road trip with the entire family in your new 2011 Fleetwood Discovery. While it comes with some of the latest and greatest in amenities, undoubtedly the kids will at some point decide that they are bored and they will definitely let you know. They will grow tired of watching a movie or playing their video game, and you’ve decided that you want to limit those type of activities so that your family can enjoy interacting with one another while on this road trip. So how in the world will you fill the time?
I have come up with a list that provides a mixture of some old tried and true classic road trip games as well as some new ones that the entire family is sure to enjoy. A good game, makes the miles fly by!
COUNTING COWS: Play as individuals or teams. First, decide on a destination where you will stop counting. Then, count the cows on your side of the road. The goal is to have the highest number when the destination is reached. Pass a cemetery on your side and you have to start over again. If there aren’t any cows on your route, try counting red cars, mailboxes or phone booths.
TWENTY QUESTIONS: One player thinks of a famous person, place or thing. Everyone else gets to ask the player 20 questions, which must be answered “yes” or “no.” For example, “Does it know how to read?” is a valid question, but “What’s its favorite book?” is not. Whoever guesses correctly gets a turn to think up something.
GEOGRAPHY: Start with any place in the world–Kansas, for example. The next person has to think of a place that begins with the last letter of “Kansas,” such as “South Africa.” Whoever goes next needs a place that starts with an A. You may not use the same place twice in a game–and it has to be a real place.
A IS FOR ARMADILLO: Starting with A, each person tries to be the first to spot and name three items beginning with that letter. For example, the first to see and announce “armadillo, auto and apple” gets to choose the next letter.
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: Two players each put one hand behind their backs. Each person turns that hand into a scissors, using the index and middle fingers; or paper, by holding the hand flat with the fingers straight; or a rock, by making a fist. Both players say “One, two, three,” and show their hands. The scissors beats paper because it cuts paper. Paper wins over rock because it can wrap up the rock. And rock beats scissors because it makes them blunt.
LICENSE PLATE ID: See how many different states you can identify on license plates.
LICENSE PLATE LINGO: The goal of this game is to come up with a phrase using the letters on another car’s plate. So if you see the plate LMT 823, the first person to call out a somewhat logical phrase such as “Love me tender” or “Lost my tooth” earns a point.
ODDS, EVENS: Two players pick either “odds” or “evens.” Then they make a fist, shake it, say, “One, two, three…shoot,” and stick out one or two fingers. If the total is an odd number, the player who picked odds wins. Same goes for evens.
What are some of your favorite games to play on RV road trips?
Keeping up with healthy habits while traveling in your Jim’s RV can be difficult. Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to abandon your healthy eating habits and fitness routines. In fact, keeping fit during travels can be relatively simple with a little planning. A few compact and convenient pieces of equipment can do wonders. But you already have the most important equipment you need, your own bodyweight. Bodyweight exercises can be done at anytime and anywhere. They are not time consuming, and above all, are effective.
Make sure you stop every couple hours to give yourself some fresh air, stretch sore muscles, and get your blood pumping on those days dedicated strictly to traveling. Cardio exercises is one tried and true way of staying in shape. Jumping rope, jumping jacks, jogging or brisk walks, swimming, hiking, bike riding, Yoga or Tai Chi, perhaps even renting a pedal boat are just a few ways to raise the heart rate and keep the energy flowing. Be adventurous and creative in your fitness. Moving around is much better than not doing anything, and you’d be surprised at how many calories you can burn while enjoying yourself.
Making sure that your core is strong can have a very positive effect on the rest of your body. Abdominal exercises can be done almost anywhere without any equipment at all. Rather than doing traditional and reverse crunches which can strain your neck and back, instead, try doing bicycle crunches or vertical leg raises. These options have been proven to be more effective without risking injury.
There is no shortage of lower body exercises that require no equipment whatsoever. To keep your blood pumping and muscles toned try squats and lunges. This also increases leg strength and stamina. Tuck jumps, squat jumps, and side jumps can be done with or without props and use many muscles of the body to get your heart rate going. These are great ways to gain power and keep stubborn fat away.
Just be creative in your fitness endeavors. You don’t have to do the same workout day in and day out to be healthy. Find unique and fun ways to get your heart rate up. Of course, any fitness you do will be in vain if you do not pair it with healthy eating and sleeping habits. Don’t deprive yourself of the local fare, but do not overindulge yourself either. Keep your new or used RV in Nichols, NY stocked with quick, healthy snacks in single servings so that you are not tempted to buy fast food while on the road. And make sure you are getting adequate sleep.
What are you favorite exercises to do while on the road?