I just checked today at my bank. The rate here at the bank is 11.24 but the today's rate on the money market is 12.66
The reason for this 'spread" is that you are a retail buyer/exchanger of currency. As a retail buyer/exchanger of foreign currency, you have no choice but to buy/exchange through what is called "a broker". Banks buy and sell currencies between themselves, and account for the World's largest traders of currency. So, when a bank wants to buy/sell currency, they will never go through a "broker", but will do something called "interbank" dealing, or direct transactioning. Unfortunately, for the ~~ 5+ billion individuals of the world who are not owners of banks, we all have to grovel with the myriad "currency brokers" of the world, who will skin you alive (ie. take seemingly large commissions on your transaction). There is NOTHING you can do about it.....unless(!) you are dealing with tens of $millions, hundreds of $millions, $billions, or $trillions in currency (ie. between banks or as a national treasury of any particular country).
The reference exchange rates published by all the financial institutions, is called the "daily reference exchange rate". This is done at fixed times during the day by what are called "Central Banks", using a complex formula (usually based on extremely high volumes of currency buying)...
So, we lowely peons who exchange pennies (metaphorically speaking) are relagated to dealing with currency excange brokers. Currency exchange brokers come in hundreds of flavors; among them: street exchangers, retail banks, ATM machine owners, street-corner exchange kiosks, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc...
I could name and highlight on a map at least 21 regions from Canada's north, down to Argentina, that are seriously RECENTLY unexplored by motorized vehicle (since the mid 20th Century). Many have been surveyed by aircraft and satellite reconnaissance, but VERY sparingly by foot and nearly not at all by motorized vehicle since the 1950s.
Seven of the 21 are located in: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Getting "near" any of these "unexplored" regions could be considered "extreme adventure travel", and certainly getting "through" any of these 21 regions would be considered a fairly insane endeavor; some requiring the hiring of off-duty military personnel as protection!
...I had always wanted to write a book (with my illustrated maps included) of America's most recently unexplored regions (by "Americas", I mean: North, Central and South Americas)...
As Robert wrote, there are many unexplored regions of Australia (remember the ancient rain-forest discovered in Australia in the mid '90s housing an enormous expanse of ~~40 million-year-old tree species almost unchanged genetically ??!! ). Africa also has many large expanses of little-explored territory. Large tracts of Namibia; there are large tracts of rainforest in Zaire that even local indigenous Africans have never explored (local superstitions preclude)
We toyed with the idea of a small Class C (or B+) for the ease of transporting with us our 2 animals.
Because of numerous reasons (winter storage; non dedicated motorized vehicle; very high insurance; fewer places accessible; etc; etc; etc; etc, we decided on keeping our existing rig, and leave the animals at home.
However(!), having a fully paid for truck camper rig with all the bugs worked out shouldn't preclude us from buying 1 or 2 inexpensive "used" tow trailers, to be installed in areas of interest for us, in the "deep south", to be used as pied-à-terres. So, we could have a locally stored $5 grand trailer (or, trailers) bought IN our deep south locales of interest, to be stored and used in situ, where we could relax in comfort, and launch truck camper expeditions therefrom....
....if they should ever get destroyed by flood, pestilence, civil unrest, asteroid strike, lightning, forest fire, torn into pieces by tornado, swallowed by earthquake, vaporized by an exploding volcano, washed out to sea from rapid sea level rise from disintegrating AntArctic ice shelves, sea surge from hurricane, swamped by tsunami, squatted in by Mexican drug smugglers, eaten by termites or turned into a battered hulk by basketball-sized hail, who cares ??!!
Glad your actions kept you out of harms way!!
These events require situational response; so every collision any particular driver can see "unfolding" in front of them will require very specific response. I think that Mr Phelps judged this one correctly.
I know someone personally (a truck camper that once frequented this Forum) who had a VERY similar situation; however, they had stopped completely, and were sandwiched by slow traffic in front. The "car" that merged into their lane crashed head on into their F250; remarkably, everyone survived. This one could have turned out for the worse if it weren't for their (limited by situation) evasive action (situational).
On edit: while driving to Florida this past winter, "we" were shocked by the quantity of drivers who talk on hand-held cell phones on I95. Additionally, how many hold theur cell phones near the steering wheel, and text. Virtually every State we drove through had many, many offenders. Are there no laws against this in the US? Locally here in Quebec, I have only seen appx 3 drivers doing this over the past perhaps 5 or 6 years. In the US, we counted in the 6 or 7 dozen over a period of 2.4 days on the I95 through appx 9 States.
For alert and experienced drivers (like me/us), it is very easy to spot drivers who fiddle with their cell phones while underway.
One big difference, the west expo is pretty flat, Taylor Ranch, not so much.
...that's true! The site is very, very hilly, so we have to be really crative to attempt leveling. We really didn't even bother to level our camper :B But, was a hellacious mud slick when it rained.
I think that the main issue with huge rains in the West is that the ground could be highly compacted, or is made up of sandstone, or even clay, so percolation of the rains into the ground could take a day or so (if the sun isn't beating down accelerating evaporation)...the only alternative is to camp on fairly deep sand that can absorb rain quickly. But imagine setting up the OE West on deep sand?
OBX: I just checked your link out. Excellent find. A really nice photo montage (not technically a montage, but a super overview of the whole event) of the OE West!
I do think there is a lot of confusion about going out in the woods 4 wheeling and actual expo travel.
....true. The Vermont Overland's expe's are often multi day overland cultural events (but what is an expe? What is an overland?) :B
I'd wager 10% of the Folks on that forum actually get outsided...the rest are posers...
...depends...I think a lot of expeditioners operating 'domestically" in the Southwest only go out when its sunny and dry (a few here excluded) :B
Vermont overlanding: Link-->
....on the otherhand, Easterners have no good weather to speak of any time of the year. Site the Overland Expo East last October: a total mud fest on set-up day due to torrential rains (probably more rain in one day than the entire Southwest had all year LOL!). Then, we had a deep-freeze (see my photos in the thread on OE East) where my 3/4 empty cup of tea dregs froze inside the camper overnight (we easterners don't need no stinkin' heaters...LOL!) :E
OBXcamper, Billtex wha' da' ya' think?
When I was a seasonal for 17 yrs. I made individual plywood boxes that covered all the vents and skylights during our winter season. Their own weight kept them all in place the entire 17 yrs.
All the other 44 seasonal RV's did the same thing. They remained in place all winter long.
Same thing here. When I stored our camper outside for the 1st (and last) time two winters ago, I made some extremely light-weight XPS foam and 1/4 inch roof deck plywood (with 4 coats of marine spar varnish). I made the cover inside dimension just small enough that they squeeze-fitted perfectly (ie. no winter/summer wind could blow those covers away). I have them always on stand-by for any predicted hail. Now, with our new vent over-covers on the rear power vent, I need only the front protector:
I can stand on these, and they don't know I am on them...cost: $00.00 (I had all the materials on hand)
Somehow, you and bigfootford should get on the phone together; you could probably work out what components may or may not be working. I def. don,t like the sound of that ground fault not being able to reset! This is not a safe situation.
Its actually even better for GM than Travelnutz (humbly) reports:
The highly reputable "Made in America Auto Index" (American University, Kogod School of Business) reported in 2014 that, "...Vehicles produced by General Motors ranked as eight of the Top 10 most-American models, and cars produced..."
"DuBois' method (American University) gives weight to the locations where the engine and transmission are built, final assembly points and benefits to the US economy, such as where profits are returned..."
18 GM vehicles, and 3 Fords occupy the first 21 places at the Made in America Index, at American University.
Interesting too is that those used/imported cars can only purchase liability insurance in Mexico.
Woah; screech, both feet on the brake pedal. Scenario: a legally imported then Mehiko plated vehicle with a value of, say, $25,000 (ATOE: at time of import) can only get liability (ie. no comprehensive; no collision) ?
The Maganatek 6300 series PDF service manual, with the detailed step-by-step testing procedure (from page 6 onward) with photos: here-->
Whoops, on edit, Ticki2 already provided the link (but fast-track to page 6).
I agree with the above: test your GFI by resetting it (at the house end, and in the camper)...
Is this--> the model you have?
I had our American Industries 30A power converter (basically, the same as Magnatek) fail about 6 years ago. After testing the 'box", I called American (their parts rep.), and they, even before me mentioning that their PC board was shot, suggested I just buy the replacement PC board/controler. I orderd it, and had the replacement in my mail box in 48 hours. Installed the board myself (with soldering gun), and everything was fine 6 years later, and still 100%. Cost me $90 delivered.
If your Magnatek guts (the PC board) proved to have failed, you may be able to order just the board; and easy install.
If you want to spend the big bucks, you can rip out the Magnatek (or, get an internal conversion guts kit) and retrofit a much better multi-stage 40 or 50 amp charger/converter...
Thanks for posting a link Bill!
This one is def. on the "follow" short list for me.
I like what I'm reading in the TCM article: one-piece aluminum roof (presumably heavier-gauge non-corrugated alumiunum); recirculating dual appliance, with hydronic in-floor heating system; aluminum frame structure with Azdel and closed-cell foam and Lamilux exterior (All the right stuff! I'd love to see if the shell wall lamination is fully or partly automated and done in a clean room!); cognizant of production flow (ie. turning production tap on too much to deliver your campers 2 days or a week faster can jeapardize every camper's quality thereafter upping the flow). Nice to hear that Little Guy is talking about this and making it known to the buyer cohort!
....the front market lights - they are installed in a manner which results in them not meeting proper light distribution requirements because they are angled back at a severe angle.
...um? Hard to say. We'd (i'd) need to see a ruling from DOT after DOT inspects "a prod. sample". So for me, jury is out on that...
....say you want to buy 6000 Mexican pesos (with $478 CAD), and the ATM or conversion fee is $4...the "fee" would only represent a retail banking/ATM owner commission of 0.83% (virtually nothing). The problem arrises when you want to convert say $40 to pesos at $4 commission/fee !
...so, I agree with GTLA; use only ATMs (in safe locations) to do all your foreign banking. Opening an account in a bank with co-locations in Mexico just to use said bank as "a conversion vehicle only" could be fraught with all kinds of issues (minimum bank account balances, or fees; account establishment fees; statement fees; all kinds of hidden fees...). You can easily find a few pesos near the border with the US to get you by till you are a bit into Mexico. If you want to buy pesos in Montreal before you go, there is a bank-note exchange at: Calforex Currency Exchange, Montréal, in the Eaton Centre.
....while I'm thinking of it, also, make a "dummy wallet" (get a plastic wallet at dollar store), and stuff it with expired auto registration, expired medicare card, expired driver's license, expired passport, expired ATM card, a few random business cards, and a wad of small denomination Mexican pesos (small denom. bills with some big bills at top and bottom)...IF anything should happen (you'll probably never need to use it), you have a way out.
There isn't much anyone could do (like move the venue), with only 4~5 days warning (at best) that horrific weather was approaching.
I imagine that 60 acres of 12 inch deep crushed 3/4 inch would have helped _shrug_
Last October, the OE East set-up days had torrential rains, too.
Very nice to ride along with ya! That road looked quite tricky to navigate in many places (your speedometer never exceeded about ~~5 MPH).
We often clean up "messes" left by previous campers. I don't know if this is a product of the 21st Century up-and-coming camping cohort, or, if this was pervasive in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, too (I don't ever recall anecdotally, ever seeing this decades ago)...
Sand & Dunes
Holy, um, hell ! That bathroom looks like photos one would see of prisons say in Guatemala or El Salvador...Hey Zeus.
We stayed at Cape Hatteras KOA briefly. Bathrooms:
here--> ...and multi-million dollar club-house, here-->