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 > Your search for posts made by 'docj' found 177 matches.

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RE: Cell phone service for Canada -> U.S. if no sim card?

I have a Telus mobile phone that can call USA. Virgin Mobile can call USA. I think they both run about 40 cents / min for calls to USA. There are others. Walmart.ca and BestBuy.ca have lots of phones. Cheap they're not. You don't actually have to have a Canadian phone (the physical phone itself) as long as you have a Verizon 4G/LTE phone and a Canadian SIM. Verizon 4G phones are not locked to the Verizon network. I currently have my Galaxy S4 Mini equipped with a prepaid Bell SIM. It is 100% functional for voice, text and data. My in-Canada calls are only 20 cents a minute because I subscribe to a texting package for $5/mo and calls to the US are 50 cents/min. We spent the entire summer in Canada and it's really great having a local number. People are much more willing to call you back, if necessary, when they aren't making an international call. Furthermore, this same phone was awful in roaming mode; it would repeatedly lose the network. It runs perfectly fine with the Canadian SIM. If I chose to keep the phone "alive" over the winter I think it will cost me ~$20/mo. That's in Canadian $$ which at the moment means that it really only costs me ~$15.
docj 08/28/15 09:24am Technology Corner
RE: Antenna and Amplifiers for Weak WiFi Signals

which gives me wifi thru Verizon. No, you're not getting wifi through Verizon. What you're getting is internet access via the cellular network. You may choose to set up a wifi network within your RV using a phone's hotspot or a Jetpack device but that's completely independent of what you get from Verizon. Words do matter.
docj 08/28/15 09:15am Technology Corner
RE: rvparkreviews.com - favor couples?

I don't understand the need for swingsets and other "amenities" that can be found on any school playground. Camping is camping. It's all part of the adventure. To me, kid friendly means trails to hike, fires to start (in the fire pit, of course) streams to fish, lakes to kayak, tide pools to explore, and wildlife to view. We don't need a pool, turf, or organized activities. I leave developed parks to seniors and others who want things nice and tidy (and quiet). You express a perfectly valid opinion, but, as one of the administrators of RVParkReviews, I will tell you without hesitation that yours is by, by no means, what all people are looking for in a campground or RV park. There is no single definition of what people want to have at places they RV and there is no right and wrong. Everyone is free to define RVing as they wish.
docj 08/27/15 06:27am Family Camping
RE: rvparkreviews.com - favor couples?

What's the definition of "kid friendly"? Does that include swimming pools and play sets? I consider state parks kid friendly, it's pretty much all we camped in when our daughter was little. But state parks often do not have the built in activities that a KOA or Yogi Bear does. I think many people associate "family friendly/kid friendly" with a park that has at least some activities for children and families. There's no defined list of activities, but things like pools, beaches, playgrounds, video games, mini-golf would be examples. I don't think there's any reason why a state park possibly with water access and, maybe, a playground wouldn't be considered family friendly.
docj 08/17/15 01:29pm Family Camping
RE: rvparkreviews.com - favor couples?

As one of the administrators of RVParkReviews.com I can assure the OP that we don't in any way skew results towards parks for couples or families. However, as others have noted, there are some (mostly older) RVers who dislike having children running around a park with the associated noise, etc, even if the children are well behaved. Some are quite vocal with respect to looking for parks at which there is peace and quiet. Some of these folks are also the ones who object to campfires, another typical part of family fun. Since the RV demographic is skewed towards older RVers, it's therefore not surprising that these factors result in some skewing of the ratings toward "quiet parks" over those that are more active. I have personally processed numerous reviews for KOA's and Jellystone parks (two that cater to families) that contained comments along the lines of "there's a lot of stuff here that we weren't interested in." There's no way we can prevent this from occurring, but I always encourage people to read our reviews and not to rely solely on a park's numerical score. Only by reading a review can you determine if the reviewer's perspective on the park is likely to be similar to yours. If someone downgrades a park because there are lots of kids running around and you are traveling with a family that includes children then this one may be for you even though it wasn't for the other reviewer. Joel Weiss RVPR Administrator
docj 08/16/15 04:55pm Family Camping
RE: First Time Traveling Through Canada.

The egg thing is also for going back into the US. Don't take eggs or chicken or it might be confiscated. I say might because we had frozen chicken in our freezer and after some cogitating and questions we were able to take it with us with a warning going into the States. I can find no evidence of why you would have encountered this. The whole issue relates to an avian flu outbreak in the US; there's little reason that poultry coming from an area without the disease would be an issue. Here's a link to the official rules as to what you can bring to the US from Canada: What food can I bring into the US? Note that you can be asked to prove the country of origin of anything you bring into the US in your refrigerator and freezer. Stuff from Canada is pretty much free of restriction but if you can't prove it came from there you could be in trouble.
docj 08/13/15 08:16am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: First Time Traveling Through Canada.

For the benefit of first-time travelers to Canada it is worth noting that your US debit cards won't work as debit cards at retail stores but they will work fine as VISA or MasterCard cards More and more businesses in Canada have switched to ''chipped card readers'' only and have abandoned the old mag stripe/signature system used in the United States. Some American tavelers may have trouble using their credit card in some commercial facilities that don't recognize cards that don't have a chip It is true that all Canadian cards appear to be chipped, but every reader I've encountered has had a swipe slot as well as a chip reader. I've never had a problem using an unchipped US card and this is experience based on many months of traveling in Canada over the past 4+ years.
docj 08/11/15 04:02pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: First Time Traveling Through Canada.

99% of the locations, other then automated will take US dollars. Your issue will be they will exchange at $1 for $1. Keep an eye out for gas stations, they tend to offer a better exchange rate to encourage you to buy from them. I can't see why anyone would be reluctant to get Canadian currency and use it while traveling. The current exchange rate is $1 USD = $1.31 CAD and IMO it is crazy not to take full advantage of it. Yesterday I used my Wells Fargo VISA/debit card at a Canadian ATM and received $600 CAD for $462 US. That's an exchange rate of 1.298. Wells charges me $5 for use of a non-US ATM. So on that transaction I paid less than 1% service charge. You're never going to get that kind of rate by paying a gas station in US dollars. For the benefit of first-time travelers to Canada it is worth noting that your US debit cards won't work as debit cards at retail stores but they will work fine as VISA or MasterCard cards. Since using a debit card as VISA or MC still results in the money being taken out of your account it doesn't have any downside for you. However, since you're not using it as a debit card you can't get cash back. That's why we go to bank ATMs to do "bulk exchanges". As full-timers who spend quite a few summers in Canada we actually maintain a Canadian bank account with debit card. It enables us to make totally "transaction fee free" purchases throughout Canada. The bank we're using (ScotiaBank) offers free checking to seniors so it doesn't cost us anything to maintain the account.
docj 08/11/15 05:55am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Directv Genie Question

We have a Genie with a wired mini-Genie client. I prefer wired solutions because they have fewer outage issues and not having to have a Video Bridge is just one less thing to find a place for. The system works quite well.
docj 08/08/15 06:49am Technology Corner
RE: Suggestions for camping near St Louis

I second I-370 park. It will be an easy drive to West Port. Another vote for I-370. We had stayed at Sundermeier several times and this is far nicer for less $$.
docj 08/05/15 02:34pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Lake Pleasant RV resort, Bothell Wa

And at $35-40, you're getting into Motel 6 territory. In fact, down in South Padre Island (South Texas) in December a few years ago, during the week some motel rooms were cheaper than our RV space, and it was just an unpleasant FHU spot in a parking lot. For the kind of motel you can get for that price, I'd much rather sleep in my own bed in my MH. I KNOW there are no bedbugs there!:B
docj 08/02/15 03:16pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Lake Pleasant RV resort, Bothell Wa

We have noticed that the price of all RV parks are steadily rising, maybe $44 is not unreasonable any longer. Yeah, $44 isn't really unreasonable any more, especially in a place like Seattle. I'm seeing a LOT of $35-$40 rates in places that have a lot less to offer than Seattle. As full-timers who travel extensively, I can say, unequivocally, that $35-40 plus tax has pretty much become the standard for pleasant, full-hookup parks around the country regardless of where they are located. Near larger cities we have become accustomed to paying ~$50/day if we are forced to pay on a daily rate and not all that much less if we pay weekly. The good news is that monthly rates in many destination places can be significantly less than that.
docj 08/02/15 07:27am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Lake Pleasant RV resort, Bothell Wa

Glad you posted to RVParkReviews. Let us know if your less-than-favorable review gets "declined". I have no idea what prompted this comment, but reviews on RVParkReviews don't get declined because they aren't positive. We have plenty of scathing reviews in our database. What do get sent back to the submitter are rants that devote the entire review to a single bad experience without offering any information useful to other users who might not encounter that same problem. For example, if you had particularly noisy neighbors that is unfortunate, but it is unlikely they will still be there when the next RVParkReviews reader checks in, so unless you provide some other information your review will be of no value to them.
docj 08/01/15 06:06am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Directv and the new King Quest satellite antenna

The SD picture from the King Quest was better than I thought it would be on my 42" TV. Not HD but very good for SD. Good trade off for us. The SD picture on DirecTV doesn't depend at all on what you use as a dish. It will always be 480i. It is a pretty decent picture, even though it isn't HD.
docj 07/29/15 12:28pm Technology Corner
RE: Good customer service

I had an issue a few months back with a Galaxy S5 with Verizon. It was out of warranty, but Samsung authorized a return to their repair center in Texas for a warranty repair (this sounded good). This was a complete disaster and too long to discuss here and even when I got the phone back it didn't work. The USB port was completely dead and that wasn't even the reason it went back. Samsung's offer was to send it back again. I declined that and called Verizon. They shipped me a new phone that same day next day delivery. Thank you Verizon. A couple of weeks later a "supervisor" with Samsung called to ask about my repair experience. He didn't like what he heard. By way of comparison I had a pretty good experience returning my wife's S4 Mini to the same Samsung repair facility. The phone had an intermittant problem which wasn't found the first time it was returned, but when it happened again the CSR I spoke with said "let's just make sure everything gets replaced this time" and that's what they did. The phone has worked without any issues since then.
docj 07/09/15 10:44am Technology Corner
RE: RV route ap?

Go to Virginia and travel between Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown You will find-out what the Colonial Parkway is and it's restrictions on size, height and speed. But as has already been mentioned, the definition of parkway is not consistent throughout the states. For example, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD 295) is a high-speed interstate-quality road that at one time had a no-trucks restriction, but I don't believe that even exists anymore.
docj 07/08/15 06:36am Technology Corner
RE: Rating RV Parks Internet Connections

My guess is that many park owners are "Hobby-ist businesspeople" retired folks that may not be comfortable with technology and have opted for a cheap slow system just to be able to put "Free WiFi" in their promotional media. Another problem is that when you're running a small business the capital improvements "pot" is separate from the monthly cash flow pot. An owner might be agreeable to budgeting money to install a wifi system without fully understanding the monthly costs he is going to incur to maintain a high quality connection to the internet. IMO what is needed is a mix of business models that owners can avail themselves of. At the Canadian park where we are spending the summer, the young owners don't have the $$ to capitalize a wifi system so they're paying a Tengo-like service to lease the equipment and the pipe to the internet. And they've specified the size of the pipe to ensure adequate bandwidth. I know they are paying quite a few $$ per month for the service, but their customers love it. Obviously, they've decided it's good for business.
docj 07/05/15 03:04pm General RVing Issues
RE: Rating RV Parks Internet Connections

RV parks use Tengo because it is cheap:(:(:( What a total waste of money:(:( You would think that RV Resorts would figure out that in the long using Tengo will come back and bite them on their financial butt:):) Although I'm no defender of Tengonet I do know a bit about their business model. Part of their image problem comes from the fact that they have not be requiring that RV parks buy backhaul capability commensurate with their anticipated data needs. Tengo can design and install an absolutely first-rate network in the park, but if the owner connects it to an undersized pipe to the internet it will appear to users as if the Tengo system doesn't work properly. IMHO there are owners who back away from what they see as high monthly costs associated with purchasing adequate backhaul capacity and there are those whose parks are in places where adequate capacity can't be bought for any price. As a result there are quite a few parks with great internal wifi systems that provide customers horrible internet connections. As an administrator of RVParkReviews.com I can truthfully say that poor wifi is the #1 most frequent complaint by RVers. Maybe when park owners realize that they might be better off ditching mediocre cable channels in exchange for decent wifi, we might see some improvement in the situation. Some CG owners are beginning to get the message. We're at a small, family-owned park in Canada where the young owners pay quite a bit to get excellent wifi in a very rural area. They get lots of business referrals as a result of it.
docj 07/04/15 02:31pm General RVing Issues
RE: KOA Philadelphia/West Chester - PA, Opinions?

I suggest calling the campground for best routing since there one way (from W. Chester I think) there is a low clearance bridge. Check the park's website for detailed directions covering the last couple of miles. Our trucker Garmin went crazy because the park is actually on a truck-restricted route. Until we figured that out we had been following a very circuitous route! :B
docj 06/17/15 02:30pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: How To Identify Computer Speed

My Toshiba was really good for 8 yrs, except both hinges were broke in 3 yrs. For the next 5 years the screen was permanently held open w/ 2 aluminum flatbars screwed into the screen and the base. It won't help you now, but there actually was a class action suit against Toshiba which ended up awarding a couple of hundred dollars to owners of Toshiba Satellites with broken hinges.
docj 06/15/15 11:56am Technology Corner
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