As a Michigan native, I make no connection between Grand Rapids and the Lake Michigan shore. Half a day drive to Traverse City. Maybe Lonely Planet is looking at it as the location of the nearest airport with commercial jets?
Pick your carrier, go into the phone store, buy the phone you like. What's there changes all the time, more so smart phones, which are almost "phone of the week" if you must have the latest thing.
For travel, if I could I would choose Verizon, for having the broadest coverage with the fastest data services, though high speed data services are not so important if you don't use them. 3G, 4G data technologies have nothing to do with voice or text, while pictures, video, Internet access, navigation services do use data.
Nobody has service everywhere, not even voice, not even with roaming across networks. The law enabling mobile service made sure of that, intended to prevent creation of another communications monopoly.
Some people who have Verizon claim they've never been anywhere they didn't have service. I live where Verizon doesn't have service, voice roams to another carrier and Verizon is not licensed to sell service. My brother lives in a place where neither ATT nor Verizon has service, Nextel was the "national tier" provider and there were two "regional" providers providing most service. Mergers and buyouts helped close some of that, but if you want a national carrier, you have to buy the service for a home address where they are licensed.
Then there are the blank areas. I live in a place where I can get out or range of all towers for ATT, Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, and T-Mobile with a 20 minute drive. Coverage is bragged as percentage of the population. You can cover 90% of the population of the US while covering less than 50% of the area. You can cover 80% of the population by covering about 1/4 of the area. Itis a big mostly empty country, and mobile providers don't like building towers to cover places where there are not enough customers to cover cost.
You are in Florida. You won't have many dead areas there, not where you can take a RV. The empty areas are desert and mountain wilderness, and the mpty expanses of the Great Plains and northern forests.
I carry a Tracfone for basic service almost everywhere. Tracfone is not a provider, it is a reseller. My GSM has worked in places where my ATT phone has not had service, although ATT is the primary carrier for the Tracfone. Tracfone contracts with other carriers in places where the carriers do not have roaming services.
On the other hand, my Tracfone does not work outside the US, my ATT has roamed internationally in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Voice, text, data. Same technologies, my phone has the bands, ATT has the roaming agreements. So it depends also on what you mean by travel.
Consider also something larger than a RV "casita" lot, you may find greater value. You may find owning a southern property less expensive than RV snowbirding.
Don't know about other southern places, but recent check of real estate in former ranch areas of N Central Florida shows prices still depressed, a lot of smaller homes on roomy property where RV parking is OK, $70K to $90K for 1200-1600 sq ft. These are homes built in 50s through 70s in small towns not yet caught in the big snowbird boom that started in creeping north in the 70s.
These areas are not frost free, or on water going to the ocean or Gulf, nor in retirement colonies, all of which push prices up to where renting or owning a tiny parking spot makes snowbirding becomes. more of a RV thing rather than a winter home ownership thing.
I know other areas of the south, e.g. East Texas, SE Arkansas, southern Mississippi where small homes in rural small towns are even cheaper.
Very little of the South is where it never freezes, and those places tend to have very expensive real estate, Key West, San Diego e.g. But almost anywhere in the southeast or south central U.S. will be warmer than Indiana most of the winter.
Tax friendly is just one part of it. Climate, physical setting, culture, jobs, and cost of living factor in, and each person weights these differently. Taxes are also just one part of a total cost, so it can be self defeating to go somewhere with low tax rates only to spend several times as much as your tax savings in higher rents, insurance costs, and health care costs.
Some of the most expensive places to live are expensive because they are densely populated, and it is things other than taxes and living costs that draw people to major cities, warm regions of the country, and the coastal counties (about 80% of U.S. population now) where they must pay a lot more to live, compared to living in empty areas like the northern Great Plains.
Yes. It is a small market, diesel pusher price points tend toward a market of retirees spending value of a home on a home on the road, but manufacturers have a few offerings for families with more to spend.
At the right price, $500,000 to $2,000,000 (and up) you can have a coach built to meet just about any need. I've been in touring coaches with as many as eight bunks, seating for that many people, small kitchen, toilet and shower, fit into 45 foot with no slideouts. But they weren't really RVs, paid for themselves by allowing the roadies to sleep while the show was on the move to next town.
During WW2 there were command post and shop trailers with full length slideouts on both sides, roughly doubling the contained volume of the transportable unit. Not the same push button tech of today's RVs but the same principle. I would not be surprised if someone found something yet earlier.
I do this in Microsoft Streets and Trips, because it is faster to work locally and easy to keep modifying the trip, but ant trip planner will work.
Put in your starting point and destination, and other places you would like to see. Look at the route you get. Get travel guides, tourist information for the places you can go through, add them to the trip. When the trip starts using more time than you have, start prioritzing and weeding.
Keys to planning are getting ideas about what you might want to see (I use library resources, Internet tourist guides, my three-four foot stack of travel and road trip books), and having a tool that can put together routes, travel time, stopping places, and stop times, to fit the road trip into time available.
Years ago I did this with AAA tour guides and maps, these would still work, but S&T is faster.
I think Ohio to California in three weeks is reasonable, because that is 8-10 days driving for the round trip. The problem will be prioritizing and selecting what you want to do along the way, this trip, to fit the time. There is always more to see than time to see it. I've been making the same trip NE Oklahoma to SE Michigan on the average yearly for the past 30+ years, and if I can fit in an extra day to see something, there are enough places to stop, enough routing alternatives, to make it a different trip every time.
Not about Damon vs other builders, most mass production C's were built pretty much the same in early 90's and no, the price is not too good to be true.
At 20 years, you are falling to "floor" prices on depreciation schedules, and the value depends pretty much on utility, i.e. condition of the house first, and mileage and condition of the chassis second.
Question would not be "is it prone to leak?" because at 20 years any RV could have leaked. The question needs to be "has this one leaked and been damaged." If it has, expensive repairs. If it hasn't, then you do the maintenance that prevents leaks, and use it.
When I was looking 10 years ago, most early to mid 1980's C's were in the $3500 to $8000 price range. And most were in pretty shabby condition, something really cherry could draw $5000 more, way above Bluebook based on model year depreciation.
You need to inspect it, as an expert, to know if it is too good to be true. My experience shopping, when were priced low, they were in rough condition. Ended up boosting my budget to buy "almost new" condition.
I don't know who you have in New York, but most places in the country I would start with Ryder or Penske to negotiate a lease. May not be a 3/4 ton pickup, might be a one-ton van or a larger truck that they allow to tow.
I know many of the major rental companies have capable trucks, mostly one-ton passenger vans, but they are not usually equipped for towing and are not rented on those terms.
If you've not yet bought it, everything is negotiable. Price is negotiable, fixes are negotiable, upgrades are negotiable.
You might get things fixed at the asking price, or the dealer might want more. Dealer might fix everything on an offer even lower than the asking price. But there is no dealer obligation to fix things at his asking price.
Won't be easy unless you are willing to buy new and pay $8000-12000 extra for custom paint, or buy premium where paint is included in the price.
Graphics are the manufacturer's attempt to break up the visual boxiness of a big box, and we seem to have moved over the past 10 years from two-tones and linears to swoops and swirls.
Darker colors come with full body paint, that extra money again. There are hardly any made with dark colors in the plastics, manufacturers want as much solar reflectivity as they can get at lowest cost. Heat loads in sunlight are already pretty bad (mine will go over 90F inside, closed up in full sunlight on a 60F day, and is almost all white). Darker colors aggravate the solar heat load problem. While you may not have enough sunlight at home to worry about solar heat loads, youcould be travelling to places where this is a problem.
I've thought Dynamax had some fairly tasteful paint schemes, but I haven't seen them lately. I see BornFree and Phoenix Cruiser have moved toward swoopy and swirly lately.
I'm curious to see how the Transit five-banger coming out this summer in the US compares to the model you rented (or as Europeans say, "hired") in France.
What I want to see in the US is the extra-tall "B" van, similar to the pre-Sprinter Airstream "B"s. This would allow the RV maker to either make a loft bed, or for the people too lazy to climb up, have a bed that drops down, similar to the Winnebago Trend, but when the bed is up, still have a reasonable standing height.
The bulk of Transit sales to RV manufacturers in Europe has been the front-drive version that competes with Ducato, Master and the VW T-van, which most often carries the 2.2 or 2.4 Duratorq, although the 2.0 is available and shows up in ads (for sales and rentals) in entry-level C's and a lot of van conversions. Similarly, VW T-vans in the RV conversion market do not often have the largest available engine.
The 3.2 Duratorq that will be modified to become a Powerstroke was used in "heavy goods" size Transits (i.e. over 3500 KG) that do not play much of a role in the RV industry, due to tax and licensing issues.
Our market is different, because we don't run into those vehicle size roadblocks until we get to 8600 to 26,000 pounds (depending on state) and most states make exemptions for RVs (but not necessarily RV tow vehicles). Thus European vans brought over here can have higher GVWRs without killing marketability, and our driving styles and penchant for towing things behind our vans and RVs means we get bigger engines than used in Europe or East Asia. Australia also gets the bigger vans and bigger engines, the market and licensing rules are more like ours.
I was going to say, where did that 98% figure for MB RV's in Europe come from. The vast majority of them are Ducatos.
Not to mention that the Ducato sells way more units as a whole than the Sprinter
I don't think anyone has 98% of the market for RV platforms in Europe.
Who leads is going to depend on what year you are looking at, because since the 1980's Renault, FIAT and Ford have been leap-frogging each other in platform updates and market share. It also depends on what country; e.g. Transit often leads as the building platform in the U.K. even when Renault or FIAT dominate on the continent. Also, VW has a bigger (but still small) share in Germany than they do in France, Italy, Spain, or the UK, and French buyers will take their Ducato with a Citroen badge, and that just doesn't play in Italy.
Last year for which I have EU sales statistics, 2009, motorhome platform distribution was 63.5% FIAT, 18.7% Ford, 7.3% Citroen (a badge engineered FIAT), 4.5% Mercedes, 3.5% Renault, 1.8% VW. That included van conversions, and motorhomes equivalent to our C's and A's.
This was from an article in "L'essential du Camping-Car" (April-May-June 2010) about the new Renault Master, speculating that it might be able to recover market share from FIAT. The point being that before introduction the current version of the Ducato, Renault led the market with the Master, though not as dominantly as FIAT is doing currently.
Black streak remover, then a chemical based cleaner/wax rather than an abrasive. The paint on that aluminum siding is much thinner than automotive finishes, must be careful machine polishing not to rub through. Been there, done that.
RV manufacturer adds the shield when experience tells them some heat sensitive part of the house is too close to the tailpipe. That is a non-basement model, built 8-12 inches lower on the chassis than basement C's, thus that much closer to exhaust system.
I thought you might have been talking about the OSU in Stillwater, not The OSU. They've been good, and a spoiler in the Big 12 this year, but not playing a schedule worth a #2 ranking. Still looking toward a bowl game somewhere.
Maybe 3-5 films a year at local theaterplex to see things that really need to be seen on the big screen. But the theaters here get only the "blockbuster" stuff where digital SFX has replaced writing, everything on the screen is physically impossible, and we get stars instead of actors, but we don't need actors because we no longer develop characters. Most of the time it is too much like watching a couple kids play a computer video game, everything a simulation, story line moving in random directions toward a vaguely defined goal.
What goes into the theaters is created for the audience that now goes to the theater, adolescent to early twenties in age, and they are going to see what Ads have been telling them they must be the first to see, so they can tell their peers "I saw it first." Next biggest audience is pre-adolescent, at least sometimes their parents come along.
We used to have a secondary tier of theaters, "art" houses, that showed films targeted to educated young adults, mostly imports because in Europe that demographic has remained a bigger part of the movie-going audience. Art houses would be found in larger cities and university towns. Today, I don't know.
No art houses here in small cities with multiscreen movieplexes controlled by the media conglomerates that produce most of our movies, TV, and pop music, and own the distribution channels. I guess I need to be in a big city or attend more film festivals.
I'm finding that the best films, for acting, writing, cinematography are going direct to video, for streaming and DVD realease but the DVDs are hard to find, mostly from minor distributors. And I do have to wade through a lot of trash to find the few films as good as what Hollywood was turning out in the era before TV.
Except for college football and the evening news, my TV does not get used much as a TV since my wife died. She used to have it on all the time, and I would watch to be with her. So I guess I am watching a lot less.
Almost no programming from the five broadcast networks, and very little on the "educational" cable channels, since their programming has changed to fake reality shows about buying stuff.
TV gets turned on for news in evening, then it becomes a monitor for what I do watch, which is mostly movies, chief source being TCM collected on DVR for time shifting, and streamed. I also stream a few TV series from 30 to 50 years ago, documentaries from NG and PBS science and history series from the era before these became politicized and sensational. I suppose I should also be looking for the rare good documentary on NG or the Discovery group, but there is just too much junk to wade through in the program directory and TCM fills up the DVR about as fast as I can clear it watching 2-4 movies a day.