RV Sales Consultant: Barbara Andrews General RV Center 1577 Wells Road Orange Park, Fl 32073 Toll Free 888 904-0104 or 904 458-3000 Cell# 904 610-1018

Oh Say Can You See

Here is an original patriotic song and video “Oh Say Can You See”. Please like and share and comment on YouTube to help get this message out to the American people.  Some people have to visualize it before they get the message. We all need to Wake up the American people. This video is moving and makes you think. Thank you, for your support. 

Those who dream of living year-round in an RV might find it’s easier than they’d imagined. Here’s how to hit the road in a permanent home on wheels.

Have you ever thought about chucking it all and taking to the road full time? Well you can, you could join some 1.3 million Americans who are full-time RV’ers.

To find out what it takes to afford becoming a full-timer,  “living the RV dream”  (Podcasts are available here.) . “Talk Credit Radio.” Here are the Huggins’ financial tips for a life on the road.

Get organized

While you’re traveling, you’ll need to have someone receive and forward your mail to you. That could be a friend, relative or a mail service. The Huggins use a mail service located in South Dakota (more on that choice later) that forwards their mail twice a month.

They also rely on online banking and bill pay. Their phone, credit card and satellite dish bills are all paid online. If there is a bill that can’t be handled that way (“a hospital bill, for example,” says Kathy), “I leave them a note that I only get my mail twice a month, that I may be late and please do not charge me (a late fee),” she explains. She’s never had a problem, she adds.

What to look for when buying an RV

For banking, they use direct deposit and a debit card. To avoid ATM fees, they chose a bank that refunds ATM fees and often get cash back at the cash register when they make a purchase on their debit cards.

Have a (flexible) budget

Does living in an RV cost less, or more, than living in a traditional home? For the Huggins, it’s less. Kathy rattled off her monthly expenses: rig payment, phone bill and satellite television, for starters. Campsite fees can range from free to $60 to $70 per night, though she says they try to keep theirs at $20 per night.

To keep your electric bill down, avoid staying in one place for months, because long-term campers usually have to pay for their own electricity.

“Stay for less than a month, and they pay the electric bill,” she says. Even when the Huggins do pay for electricity, it’s pretty inexpensive: about $40 per month, or $80 a month if it’s cold and the electric heaters go on.

“Remember, we’re living in 400 square feet,” she adds with a laugh.

And while many campsites have free Wi-Fi available, the Huggins spring for their own wireless Internet connection because they need Internet access for their website and blog.

Cooking their own food and limiting meals in restaurants also saves them a bundle.

As with any budget, there are always surprises. For the Huggins, it’s been rising gas prices, which went from $2.99 a gallon to almost $4 a gallon at the time we spoke. “That’s been a big change in our lifestyle,” Kathy says, “but we just spend more time in a campsite. We’ll travel maybe 250 miles a day at the most, and we might stay (in one place) three or four weeks. We use our car, which we tow, to go see all the things that are around here.”

Save up for your rig, shop for the loan

Kathy was asked what it costs to buy an RV that would be comfortable to live in year-round. She says a used motor home will run “right around $100,000 if it’s a diesel pusher and about $80,000 for a gas rig. And they’re pretty comfortable.” The other option is to buy a “fifth wheel” that is pulled by a truck. “You’re talking about $40,000 to $60,000,” she says, but “then you have to buy a truck to pull it, which can be up to $40,000 for the truck.”

Before hitting the road, the Huggins sold their Florida home at the height of the market, which allowed them to get rid of all their debt and put a healthy down payment on their rig. Still, they took out a 20-year loan at 4.35% for the balance. That was a few years ago, though, and since then, full-time RV’ers have found it more difficult to get loans.

“Try a credit union,” suggests Kathy. Or buy your rig before you quit your job. “If you’re going to be a part-timer, they don’t seem to have a problem giving you a loan,” she notes.

Get a tax break

One of the advantages of living on the road is that you can call any state home.

The Huggins, like many other full-timers, chose South Dakota as their home base because of the tax benefits. There is no state income tax and, as Huggins points out, no property tax since they don’t own a home. “South Dakota probably has half a million people that don’t live there but are full-time RV’ers because of taxes,” she says, laughing. Tax rates and other details are available in the book “Choosing Your RV Home Base.”

Bring in some bacon

You don’t have to stop working when you start traveling. Many RV parks hire full-time RV’ers to handle reservations or park maintenance. Kathy was working as a reservationist while her husband was doing pool maintenance, which earned them a free site and an allowance of $100 a month toward their electric bill, plus enough spending money to cover their food budget.

Around Yellowstone, she notes, you can work at a hotel and have a parking spot for your RV while employed there. “Even Alaska has jobs for you,” she says. “You (can) guard the schools during the summer. Park your RV in the schoolyard with two or three other RV’ers, and you just keep an eye for the schoolyard, and that’s it,” she says. She recommends the website Workamper.com for employment opportunities.

Entrepreneurial opportunities abound as well and are limited only by your imagination. A couple that Kathy suggested: Watch other full-timers’ pets while they fly home for holidays or take day trips. Or make jewelry to sell.

Don’t wait too long

Do you have to be out of debt to take to the road? It helps, says Kathy. But even if you aren’t, you may still want to find a way to make it happen.

“I think almost anybody can do it,” she says. “The cost can range from $200 a month to $12,000 a month, depending on what you want to do and how you want to spend your money. That’s the best part about this — it’s your choice about . . . how big of a rig you actually buy, how much money you want to spend.”

The Huggins’ only regret? That they didn’t do it earlier. ‘”Most full-time RV’ers,  said the same thing: ‘I wish I’d done it 10 years sooner.'”

Barbara Andrews.

How Long Will You Be In The Dark When The Lights Go Out?

When the power goes off leaving you with no TV, Internet, or email you have a lot of time on your hands. Thankfully there are batteries, so my trusty computer will still work for a few hours Looking out my window I can’t see any lights in the neighborhood so at least I know it isn’t just my house that’s in the dark. In addition, there are cars running up and down the street, so I know at least it wasn’t the dreaded electromagnetic pulse blast.Is it another terrorist attack or the end of the world. All these kinds of thoughts run through your mind when the lights go off. A feeling of loneliness and fear that grips you to the core.

Our government assures us there is no inflation. Anyone who goes to the supermarket or the gas station can gauge the validity of those claims for themselves. When the power goes off in the middle of the night it’s impossible to know why, but when America runs out of energy we should all know why. This lack of power also brings to mind the recent spike in oil prices and the resulting sticker shock at the pump.

America has some of the greatest proven reserves of oil in the world

America has some of the greatest proven reserves of oil in the world, but due to unproven and sometimes dis-proven environmental concerns we aren’t allowed to explore, drill, or pump at anywhere near full capacity. We have one of the world’s largest supply of coal, but for the same tenuous reasons its use is maligned and restricted. We are the preeminent designer and builder of nuclear power plants, but due to unsupported safety concerns we haven’t licensed or built a new plant for decades. We have the technology and the space to build refineries that don’t pollute; however, the all powerful environmental lobby has blocked the construction of a new one for over thirty years. So when the price hits $5 a gallon and the lights go out don’t sit in the dark and wonder why.

Instead of oil and coal and nuclear we are told that America’s future energy needs will be met by ethanol, solar, and wind

Instead of oil and coal and nuclear we are told that America’s future energy needs will be met by ethanol, solar, and wind. Our massive use of ethanol, which is a very inefficient energy source, has driven up the price of corn worldwide causing food prices to escalate. This in turn has contributed to the current unrest which is driving up oil prices. The same environmentalists who campaign against oil, coal, and nuclear also work to block the construction of solar power plants in the vast deserts of the Southwest. The same politicians who work for the demise of our traditional forms of energy fight the construction of wind farms if they happen to be anywhere near them. All three of these boondoggles have received billions in federal dollars, tax breaks and incentives for decades and the answer to our energy needs are still blowing in the wind.

The only growth industry left by the government is the government. It is powered by its own inactivity. America’s energy policy seems to manufacture an energy crisis. Typing away on my battery operated computer by the flickering light of an oil lamp, the vision of America’s energy future seems almost as dark as the scene outside my window in a blackout. We’ve allowed demagogues preaching a false gospel of man-made global warming chanting songs of pollution hysteria while serving sacraments of social guilt to give our enemies a choke-hold on our energy artery. The next time you pull into a gas station as you pump your fuel look at the price. Remind yourself we have a Secretary of Energy who thinks the price should be at European levels and a President who has said energy prices will skyrocket under his programs. Now ask yourself, if that’s their plan, what’s yours?  The President said we would have “Change We Can Believe In.”

This is some of the reasons why the RV industry is booming. Most are Riding out the Recession by living in a RV. For some that don’t want to give up their home and want an alternate or get away plan, the RV provides both. I have more customers ask me about solar power for their RV and I tell them samlexsolar. Everything you need to know and buy is there at reasonable prices. I do not know who would be the best for your home because I do not sell them. That would be something you would have to Google and shop around. Most of our customers use samlexsolar at General RV, I have been told eBay has some deals. Click on samlexsolar to download a brochure.

It is time we all start thinking about our own power source whether it be a gas or solar generator for the home, fifth wheel and travel trailer. All motorhomes and most toy haulers come with a generator. Solar power generators are not as expensive as they use to be and a much better investment. Here is a link to Portable Solar Power Systems, and Photovoltaic Power Generators, and Portable Solar Generator Systems  When the power goes out, it won’t be at my house.

Barbara Andrews.

Hooking Up For The First Time

RVers are some of the friendliest, most helpful people you will ever meet. Don’t be surprised if you pull into your site and your neighbor, whom you never met, is right there to assist you with hooking up, leveling and offering advice. Never be afraid to ask for help – everyone was a first-timer at one time. RVers often ask to tour your RV if it’s a model they are unfamiliar with and likewise will invite you in to see theirs.

A Basic Campground Setup Checklist: 

RVs vary, so this checklist is not meant to be all-inclusive. It is just a list of the high points to be sure you have it covered when you first take to a campground in your RV.

  • If you’re new to RV camping, at check-in, ask if the campground provides an escort service for first-timers. A seasoned staffer will guide you to your site and assist you in getting parked and leveled.
  • Determine if you need to back in or if it is a pull-through site. Know where your water, electrical and sewer hookups are on your RV. Position the RV so you have easy access to the hookups on the site.
  • Survey your assigned site. Be sure there are no low-hanging branches or other obstacles that will interfere with the RV. If you have a slideout or awning, be sure there is room on either side for those to fully extend.
  • Once you are positioned properly on your site, apply the parking brake if you have a motorhome (as a safety precaution, slideouts will not operate if the parking brake is not engaged).
  • The ground is not always flat, so level your RV as necessary, using blocks or stabilizing jacks if your RV is equipped with them.
  • Chock the wheels securely to keep the RV stable on the site.
  • If you are in a towable RV, disconnect the unit from the tow vehicle and stabilize the trailer hitch.
  • Manually pull the entry steps out or if yours are electronic, turn the switch off so the steps stay out when the door is closed. (Don’t forget to turn the switch back on before leaving or to pull up your steps before driving away.)
  • If you have slideouts, remove the travel locks or brace bars. Whenever you are operating slideouts, keep all windows closed for safety and have someone on the outside watch for people, clearance and obstacles in its path.
  • Make a connection. Plug the electrical shore power cord into the campsite receptacle that matches the amperage requirements of your RV. Electrical adapters may be needed, but keep extension cord use to a minimum.
  • Switch your refrigerator to the AC setting to draw on the electricity rather than your propane.
  • Always use a white potable RV drinking water hose. Attach it to the tank on the side of your unit and run the other end to the campground water supply. Turn on the water and check for any leaks.
  • When you are hooked up to a water supply, you don’t need the 12-volt water pump, only the pump to draw water from the fresh water tank when an external source is not available.
  • If you have sewer service at your site, wear latex gloves to remove the cap from the sewer hose valve and attach the sewer hose to the sewer drain outlet. Be sure to turn it so the locking tabs securely lock in place. Place the sewer hose seal in the campground sewer connection. Attach the other end of the sewer hose in the seal and securely connect.
  • Prop a rock or sewer hose support under the hose to create a slight slope from the RV down to the sewer connection so everything drains smoothly.
  • If you are hooked to a sewer connection, you can open the gray water tank valve to allow sink and shower water to drain directly into the sewer. It is the smaller of the two valves. Never leave the black water tank valve open.
  • Turn the main LP gas supply valve on at the tank or bottles.
  • Now it’s time to set up the exterior of your home away from home. Put an outdoor carpet mat down if you have one.
  • Set up the lawn chairs.
  • Put the awning out per the manufacturer’s instructions – be sure to close and secure your awning if storms or winds are expected.
  • Now relax and enjoy your getaway.


Water Regulator – Very Important
Don’t leave home without it ….. very important to add to your RV Camping Checklist! Most campgrounds and RV parks don’t tell you, but their water pressure can go up to very high pressures at different times of the day and night. This high pressure can severely damage the plumbing and even burst the water lines in your RV causing a flooded RV. You can pick up a water regulator at most RV stores and at some RV park stores. They attach to the water faucet on the outside of your RV screws on to your water hose. Make sure to get the high volume one so your water pressure will still be good for taking showers. They are rated at 40 lbs.

RV Holding Tanks
Understand your RV holding tank and how to dump it properly before going on your trip. The RV park or campground is usually not a good place to practice the first time you hook up your hose. Try to find a dump station in your area to practice. You can often use a clean-out hole on your home’s sewer connection if you know where it’s located. When we arrive at an RV park we usually leave the black tank closed and only let the grey water pass straight through to the outside sewer. If you let the black tank fill up you will avoid toilet paper from building up a pyramid in the tank and you will be able to flush it out well with a full tank. If you don’t do this your tank could possibly build up with toilet paper and eventually plug it up. It’s not a fun job getting it unplugged. We always close off the grey water the night before we leave the park so we’ll have some shower water to flush the hose out when emptying the RV holding tanks the next morning.

When you’re ready to dump you might want to first practice with the grey water holding tank. Let just a little water out at first to make sure there are no leaks. Do not empty the grey tank yet. Go now to the black tank and dump it next. Open the valve all the way when the tank is empty and then switch back to the grey tank and finish flushing the hose with the grey water. That way your hose will be a lot cleaner. Make sure your dump hose is in good shape. They don’t last very long and develop holes and cracks quite often. Handling this hose a minimal amount of times is a good thing. I use the Flex Products. I like them the best because the hose collapses into its own holder to carry around with caps on each end. No fumbling around trying to dig it out of a bag somewhere or trying to cram it back into a storage bin.

Have a great Adventure!  And don’t forget the bug repellant.

Barbara Andrews


Everybody needs a Break | Bike Week Get Away!

Daytona Beach is gearing up for bike week where thousands of bikers sporting their Harley Davidson, Choppers and Crotch Rockets either race or rumble to East Central Florida sporting millions of dollars in cycling hardware and thousands of beautiful biker chicks. Bike Week has been a tradition since 1937 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Spring Break and Bike Week are big events for the March time of year.

Daytona Bike Week, also known as Daytona Beach Bike Week, is a motorcycle event and rally held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. Approximately 500,000 people make their way to the rally area for the 10-day event. The festivities include motorcycle racing, concerts, parties, and street festivals. The event is usually held on the first full week of March 9-18, 2012 and contends with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as the most popular motorcycle rally in the United States. Daytona Bike Week 2012 Schedule

People who go to Daytona Beach, by car this weekend will probably wish they hadn’t — they’ll definitely stand out in a crowd. The city is taken over by half a million motorcycle enthusiasts enjoying Bike Week. The economy may not be at its best, but bikers aren’t passing up the chance to soak up some sun and rev up their engines for the biggest motorcycle event in the country.

It’s more fun when you actually have a motorcycle to be part of the roar, the noise, to get out there and ride alongside people. Not only is Bike Week becoming more family-friendly, but it’s more diverse as well, with more women participants. There’s even a “sisterhood bikeride” in which 35 to 50 women ride together. Right On Sister’s!  Everybody should go whether you have a bike or not, at least once, just to take it in and see what it’s all about. I have been several times and it is AWESOME!

Heartland Road Warrior Toy Hauler | A luxury Fifth Wheel with a Garage

Load up the bikes and head to Daytona. You don’t have to worry about hotel accommodation’s. There is a whole lot going on at the RV Parks and Campgrounds. You can always dry camp because the toy hauler has a generator and a gas station for your toys. Heartland toy haulers has a reputation of RV designs that inspire, construction that endures and value that is always affordable. Heartland protects your investment with one of the highest RV resell values in its class. This is why Heartland has been featured in so many major RV magazines over the years like Trailer Life, RV Lifestyles and Gypsy Journal.

We are living in a time where it has become increasingly important to take care of what we have been given. Heartland is doing our part to reduce waste, increase efficiency and minimize any negative impact to our environment from our building processes.

Heartland’s Patented 88 Degree Turning Radius Design is perfect for short-bed, extended-cab trucks Eliminating the need for expensive slider hitches! You never need to pass up the perfect camp site again for fear of not being able to back in safely.

A place for everything and everything in its place. Heartland’s Diamond plated tool box is the perfect solution for holding loose tools to keep them from rolling around or it is even large enough to accommodate some commercial tool cases/trays or tool rolls.

One touch operation of our power awing makes set-up a snap. Enjoy spending time on your patio area, not spending time fighting with a manual awning.

Heartland engineers RVs to maximize headroom everywhere possible. We feature a full six foot plus ceiling height in the bedroom area. Taller ceilings equate to taller showers, wardrobes and overhead storage possibilities.

There is truly no comparison between traditional electric jacks and Heartland’s Hydraulic Landing Gear. Faster, Stronger and more convenient than traditional electric jacks. Be sure to watch the video of a head to head race between our Hydraulic VS their electric.

Nothing looks worse than an ugly bare fifthwheel hitch sticking out from under a well designed front cap. Our hitch cover looks great and helps protect the hitch from the elements while also improving aerodynamics.

Never drag your garden hose inside again to rinse down the black tank from inside. Keep your hose outside where it belongs and enjoy the built-in Black Tank Flush to assist in flushing all the solids out of your black tank without all the mess and hassles.

The right tire for the job. You wouldn’t put the wrong tires on your car or truck, so why wouldn’t you put properly rated Radial Tires on your trailer. Enjoy safer towing, longer wear and a better ride for your belongings.

Enjoy the sleek, modern looks and functionality of Heartland’s slam baggage doors. Oversized pull latches open easily. The tight automotive rubber seal protects your belongings from moisture and Heartland’s compartments are keyed for security using unique keys and locks.

One of Heartland’s most famous innovations, this docking center holds all of the coach’s system hook-ups including the satellite; phone; cable; city water fill; black tank flush; exterior hot and cold shower; winterization valves, and all-tanks pull handles (no more crawling under slide-outs to reach the handles!).

The wall structure is made of Welded Lightweight Heavy Gauge Aluminum and all the empty space between structural members is filled with block foam insulation then sandwiched between layers of luaun plywood and fiberglass in a lamination procedure that ensures a strong, lightweight, durable sidewall protecting your investment for years to come.

Enjoy the beauty of your Heartland Hardwood cabinets without unsightly exposed hinges. Our Hidden Hinges are Spring Loaded to assist in opening and to spring/snap closed. Our hinges are also easily adjusted for perfect operation.

Heartland’s steel ball-bearing drawer guides not only provide the smoothest possible operation, but are able to hold more than 30 lbs. as witnessed by this cinder block!  You will not find any of the cheap, import drawer guides like the competition offers in our coaches!  These deeper drawers are designed to fully extend past the cabinet faces, so no more scraped knuckles trying to get to the back of them.  It’s simply the best drawer system in the industry!

How can you get a good nights sleep on the thin, springy or saggy mattress found in most RVs. Sleep like a King or Queen on our Country Rest Pillow Top Memory foam mattress. Did we mention it measures 12 inches tall and fits standard sheet sets.

Protect your family with Food Preparation Certified Non-porous solid surface countertops. Other countertops can stain easily and more importantly absorb germs that can then be transferred to your family and guest making them sick. Heartlands solid surface countertops virtually eliminate this risk.

There are many more features on the Road Warrior to list but, I will end it here and say hope to see you at Daytona Bike Week.

Barbara Andrews.

A Special Thank You For Your Comments!

Thanks for the kind words everyone! I appreciate all your comments, you’re sharing, and you’re support. I have so many comments that I can’t possibly reply to everyone with my work schedule so I will try to answer all questions in this post. I use a free WordPress blog with a simple theme called Spectrum. I do not and will not have ads on my site but, I do not mind WordPress or Adwords using a text line for their ads. This is a free information site that I started for my customers at work to help them, I am very happy that everyone else enjoys the information. I work for General RV Center in the Jacksonville Florida area; I’m a Sales Consultant with 12 years’ experience. I’m also a computer technician with many years’ experience rebuilding, repairing and upgrading computers.  I am knowledgeable in Microsoft software and Operating systems, htlm and xml with that being said it does not make me an expert just knowledgeable and happy to help anyone that need it.

I have had several comments from people having issues opening my site with the text, images and format. I can assure you it is not on this end. It has to do with your browser settings, multiple browser usage on your computer. You could have a Worm or Trojan or both. If you have a hacking problem, it will be with your computer and not WordPress.  You may have a Keylogger Worm that your virus program will not notice because it has been corrupted. The only way to get rid of a worm is to reformat your operating system, you cannot restore it because it will also restore the Worm or Virus. I use only one browser, Firefox as my default and Google as my search engine to have fewer problems. You also have to limit the cache, which is your Offline Storage. I limit it to 250MB that’s it and I clean it at least 10 times a day. I do not have a theme on my browser or do I change color or text.

Blogging Tips

Keywords, Tag Clouding, and Pinging are important to your traffic. Here are some free SEO tools and Ping-o-Matic that have really helped me. WordPress has just about every plugin you can think of, Google it. I like WordPress blog themes the best. The WordPress dashboard is fairly easy to use and has many tools that you will need to learn, it’s not that hard. For those that do not know htlm, WordPress would be best for you, it is free take advantage of that until you get to know your way around. I always have my keywords in every articles in bold letters especially the first and last sentence, and at least 3 keywords linked to my home page.  I link related sites to the article. I think the most important tip is to follow other blogs and leave a comment. That will link you with the crawlers. Good Luck to you all and thank you very much! All my contact information is listed on my “About” tab on the Home page. Please keep the comments coming; they are appreciated. 

Barbara Andrews.

Camping as a Family Bonding Activity

Reserve a week end to connect to the people who mean the most to you–Your family. When outdoors, sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, family’s become close in a way that you can’t possibly at home with the distractions of TV, phone and computer. Whether your are in a RV or tent the results are the same. Every kid loves sleeping in a tent under the stars – and every adult likes the break from their BlackBerry.  The importance of family bonding, whether it be with family, friends, or any acquaintance. Bonding is so important for success and happiness at all levels.

The world is in hyper-speed, and we all need to slow down and work on our bonding. From the simplest of things, like an all out weekend adventure, and anything in between, like playing kids games, or any other kids activities. The future of our children and everyone’s happiness depends strongly on this one simple task, and yes, family bonding is that simple and very do-able. Have fun and let the kid in you out! Who knows what might come of it.

Do you sometimes feel like you hardly know your family members anymore? With each one of you leading busy lives: dad spends 10 hours slaving away in the office, mom spends 8 to 10 hours at her  job, and the kids are each busy with schoolwork and after-school activities. It’s about time you found the time to do something enjoyable together as one tightly-knit family unit.
National parks are always a good place for camping as they offer plenty of amenities and are always dramatic. No matter where you live, you should be able to find a camping place that suits you. Keep track of the weather if you don’t want to spoil the fun. Schedule out your activities beforehand as it will also help to avoid your family from getting fed up. Ensure to arrange your activities so that all ages can partake. You can do all sorts of activities together such as hiking, animal or tree spotting, fishing, crafting with nature, treasure hunts, in addition to playing games.
Ensure to have a backup indoor activities plan, in case of  poor weather. There is nothing more annoying than having your camping adventure destroyed by the rain. Starting a custom of camping with your family will  inspire them, a lifetime love of the outdoors and a strong respect for Mother Nature. Moreover, you will be building plenty of memories that they can treasure for life, and a strong craving to pass this type of family togetherness and union, to their own children.  Don’t forget the marshmallows.  Barbara Andrews.

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