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 > Your search for posts made by 'tatest' found 1144 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Bar Codes on Rental Cars

They've been tagging rental fleets with bar code stickers for at least the 35 years I've been renting them. Most other fleet operators also use bar codes, so a sticker in a window does not always mean the vehicle is a rental. I've bought a few ex-rentals, haven't really noticed which ones still had bar code stickers. In many places, the rental companies also have their own license tags, (if they are tagged at all), the number ranges being pretty well known. Many rentals are on a pre-sale lease from the manufacturer, not titled or registered, and will also carry manufacturer identification.
tatest 09/03/15 03:57pm Around the Campfire
RE: Buying old RV

At that age, it is really difficult to say how much a motorhome is worth, and when it has been sitting, what it takes to get one road ready. That also depends on how you plan to use it, occasional short trips or extended travel, and how reliable you expect it to be. I know two people who bought motorhomes past the 30 year mark recently, both Winnebago, one an old 24 foot Brave, the other a 36 foot Chieftain. The Brave was $300, it runs well enough for 50-200 mile weekend trips, the house is structurally sound and doesn't leak, but the systems in the house are pretty much a rebuild or replace project. The Chieftain was $800 from an estate sale, it is in Good+ condition, everything works, it runs well enough for local trips, but for extended trips it should have new tires, suspension and brake work, and probably a cooling system flush, replacement of belts and hoses, and maybe a transmission service (fluid changes and adjustments). My own MH is 11 years old, I've been using it locally, I replaced tires before my last extended trip ($1200 five years ago), repaired brakes two years ago ($800), but I would expect to spend another $1200-$2000 to get it ready for a long trip, because it has spent too much time sitting. Depending on your budget for service or repairs, and how you want to use it, a price of FREE might be too high, because it could need $5000 or more worth of work. If the RV is in top shape for its age, and already in condition for extended travel, it just might be worth $2500, because that is about the floor price for motorhomes in really good usable and road ready condition.
tatest 09/03/15 03:36pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: how do towing services work?

You need to shop around, as different plans have different services covered, and different limits, restrictions and exclusions. I find Good Sams ESP a good fit to my RV (motorhome) needs, more so than the road service plan included as a perk with my casualty insurance, or what I can get with the auto club in Oklahoma, although that's what I've been using for years with my other vehicles. I haven't tested Good Sams ESP, haven't had a need on the road, and when the battery runs down while in storage, I consider that something to deal with myself, rather than something for emergency road service.
tatest 09/03/15 03:09pm General RVing Issues
RE: How do you know when...

My wife lived 107 days past her 65th birthday. Actually, with the adjustments Social Security has been making, her nominal retirement age would have been 66, she didn't make it. Her terminal health issues were not discovered until age 62. But I "retired" (more like laid off) at 58 1/2, and we worked at living on our nest egg, traveling to the places she wanted to see. I made some good investment choices and that nest egg doubled before we started on social security. She continued working (for the social contacts, she seldom made more than $1500 a year) when not traveling, until we got into "treat the terminal illness to extend life a year or two" mode. I'm now alone, and have more income than I need, because I don't enjoy traveling alone and it doesn't take a whole lot of money for an old single guy to live in a small town on the Great Plains. I think spending what I could, on the things she wanted to do, while she was still alive, was worth it. I recently went to my high school 50th reunion. Met a lot of old friends who pushed to 65 before retirement, were not doing what they imagined they would be doing in retirement, because their spouses didn't make it, or they got too sick themselves. There was a lot more optimism at the 40th, which marked the year of my retirement, lots of discussion about "must be nice to retire this early, but I need to work a few more years and make more money" or "I can't imagine retiring, not having anything to do." Those ten years made a lot of difference, so many didn't make it through to their retirement expectations. So I say, go for it. Alone, I know I can live on $2500 a month. Families in this part of the country live on a lot less than that. $4000 a month is huge money here. If you are worried about living too long, there are less expensive ways to live, and less expensive places in the U.S. than where you are living now.
tatest 09/02/15 12:17am General RVing Issues
RE: UPGRADE from LT225/75R16 D Rating

For LT225/75R16 the highest load rating you will find is E. Higher ratings put a tire outside the LT classification. My preference for quality tires in that size and class is for Bridgestone Duravis R250 or Michelin XPS. I bought XPS Rib tires for my C in that size because they are easier to get. Where I live,rather than stocking the top grade Bridgestones, the Bridgestone/Firestone dealers more often carry the Firestone Transforce line for their commercial customers, HT tread for highway users, AT for ranchers. Transforce HT is equivalent to Goodyear's Wrangler HT or Michelin's BF Goodrich Commercial T/A. Don't know about alternative sizes for the Chevy. For E-350/E-450 dually, the alternative that fits on the rear is LT215/85R16, available in LR E, but that has the same carrying capacity as the 225/75. You can find Load Range G tires with nearly the same diameter in 17.5 inch sizes, 215/75R17.5 specifically. These are not LT, they are commercial grade high mileage tires, usually designed for retreading. Rickson wheels has 17.5 inch steel wheel for this conversion on the E-series vans; I'm not sure who might have them for Chevrolet, this wheel size was used on the Kodiak/TopKick, but not on the vans. Note that upgrading from LT to Commercial tires has a heavy price. In the above size, expect to pay around $400 per tire for Yokohama (RY-103) or Michelin (XZE2), around $500 for Goodyear (G-114) or $600 for Bridgestone (R250). In high quality LT tires, the XPS Rib is about $250, Duravis R250 about $220, and in OEM grade LT tires, the Michelin LTX M/S2 is under $200, Wrangler HT or Transforce HT about $140-150 per tire.
tatest 08/31/15 06:55pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Where To Camp In Winter Down South?Campgrounds/Affordibility

check out Garner State Park in Texas (google it). I stayed up there last winter and really enjoyed it. Is there a way to stay more then 14 days? If you get a work-camping position in one of these parks for the season, you can stay for the season. But you have to work.
tatest 08/30/15 02:56pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Where To Camp In Winter Down South?Campgrounds/Affordibility

Explain what you mean by "affordable" and "warm" and we can probably be more specific. You might also clear up what you mean by "campground" because costs depend on your expectations. You will find places you can park, where winter weather is mild to warm, for no fee or a modest (few hundred dollars) seasonal fee, on public lands in the Southwest, particularly in desert areas of southeast California and southwest Arizona. These will not have utilities, you will be providing for yourself, generating what power you use, hauling water in and hauling waste out, or paying someone to do that for you. Unless your needs can be met by solar power, you will also be buying and hauling in fuel to generate power. Next up on the price scale will be public campgrounds with hookups for utilities, and modest RV parks, which you will find open all winter from Oklahoma-Arkansas-Tennessee and south; I'm familiar mostly with places in East Texas, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Delta country in SE Arkansas and western Mississippi. Prices depend on demand and facilities, demand depends on location, facilities and temperatures. At the northern end of this range you might find full service RV parks available for $300-400 a month, but you might be paying for electricity, cable, Internet connections on top of that. The further south you go, the more consistently warm it will be, and the higher the monthly rents. But even going all the way to the Gulf Coast, you will have nice days mixed with days (particularly nights) that go below freezing. Not consistently very cold like Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas and most of the western Plains (even into West Texas and New Mexico), rather sometimes moderately warm, sometimes moderately cold. For consistently warm, almost always above freezing, most of the time spring-like to MidWesterners, you have to go to South Florida, the southern tip of Texas, southwest Arizona and Southern California. South Florida and Southern California have RV parks (not campgrounds) that cater to people who want to winter in a warm place, but most are resort-like (because it is expensive generally to live there) and may be $600 to thousands a month. The RV park bargains are in a few Arizona locations and in South Texas; no specific recommendations because I go the other way in the winter, toward the Gulf Coast and the parts of Florida where it can still get cold. If you want "never below 70F" you will not find that in the Continental United States. I've been in Key West when the temperature dropped below 50 F, it can get below freezing at night in the southwestern deserts, it has snowed in Corpus Christi and El Paso, and within the past two years it has dropped below 50 F in Southern California, even right on the coast.
tatest 08/30/15 02:51pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Small TTs with basements

If you mean storage space below the floor of the trailer, there are few models of TT that have been built with basements, and I know of none currently built that are small. Carriage, for example, once built TTs with basements, but they were usuall pretty large, and the company was making only fifth wheel trailers for about the last ten years before the brand was bought by Forest River. TT manufacturers will do "pass through" as storage that can be reached inside and from an outside door, usualy under seating or a bed. The same term in a basement RV means storage under the foor that goes all the way across the RV, you can push somthing in one side and out the other. TTs might be said to have basements when the manufacturer encloses the utility space under the floor, where plumbing runs and some tanks maybe located. This is seldom deeper than the height of the frame rails at the frame (maybe 4-6 inches) and often tapers to 2 inches or less where the covering material reaches the base of the trailer walls.
tatest 08/29/15 07:25pm Travel Trailers
RE: Is my F150 powerful enough?

What you can tow is seldom an issue of "powerful enough," particularly if how you tow means carrying part of the weight of what you are towing. Many of the big over the road trucking rigs are pulling 10x the weight per horsepower compared to "tow rating" numbers of light trucks with 300+ peak horsepower ratings. What you can tow is rather about the chassis of the tow vehicle being able to carry the loads and maintain control, not about how quick it can accelerate while towing.
tatest 08/29/15 07:13pm Travel Trailers
RE: Options for a trailer with a Honda Pilot as TV.

I've met people pulling 13 foot Scamps and Casitas, and A-Liner hard-side folders, with Pilots and similar class SUVs (e.g. V-6 Highlanders).
tatest 08/29/15 07:04pm Travel Trailers
RE: Stopped in motor home for going too slow on I-80

It is hard to believe because you shouldn't believe it. Note that the driver was not cited forgoing too slow. That was just given as an excuse for a stop made for other purposes (suspicion) which were not convenient to put into the record.
tatest 08/29/15 06:56pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: So you are sitting by the fire, and you hear

I sit there and listen to the coyotes howl. No threat to me, sitting by a fire.
tatest 08/27/15 04:13pm General RVing Issues
RE: Taxes/Registration

Oklahoma is no sales tax, 3 1/4% excise on motor vehicles when they are titled, vehicle registration $192 the first year registered and progressively decreasing with length of registration, four year stages for most of the decreases. Motorhomes are passenger cars in Oklahoma, if used as private vehicles. I don't know if that is the lowest you will find, but I know that OK commercial registrations are low enough that for businesses with multi-state presence, it is a preferred state of registration, but that's commercial. As a former resident of Michigan, however, I would not advise you, if domiciled in Michigan, to register a vehicle in another state that you would be garaging in Michigan, particularly if you have no physical presence in the other state. Michigan is one of the states that likes to be tough about collecting taxes, enough so that when I was covered by the Soldier's and Sailor's Relief Act, I still registered in Michigan and made my arguments with the other states where military duty made me resident (Florida, Indiana, South Carolina). My late brother, resident of Florida (about 8-9 months) and Michigan, domiciled in Michigan, registered his Michigan cars in Michigan and his Florida cars in Florida. He was professionally a tax advisor, and had a pretty good idea of what he could and could not get away with, the risks and penalties. If you want to avoid Michigan taxes, talk first to a Michigan tax advisor (lawyer/CPA).
tatest 08/27/15 04:03pm Beginning RVing
RE: sound on TV'S

My hearing is like that too, especially since two fireworks accidents on the 4th of July. I've found sound output from my flat-panel TVs to be not as good (particularly voice clarity) as my old TVs that had 2-inch to 4-inch speakers. The TV I use most has stereo audio output, analog via RCA jacks, so I plug it into to stereo and play through that. Most flat panels are improved by a sound bar, but they really want to sell you a 5.1 or 6.1 or 8.1 surround sound system to plug into the TV's digital audio output. What the TV can do is, in my opinion, a sales tool for sound system upgrades. If you can hear it turned up to 100% the sound is coming out, just not loud enough, or for some reason outside the range of your hearing, which if anything like mine, is not difficult to do with the TV sound controls. Someone messed up the outputs on the radio in my van too, not making it inaudible, but throwing it into severe distortion; kids playing with knobs.
tatest 08/24/15 09:14pm Technology Corner
RE: Cell phone service for Canada -> U.S. if no sim card?

You should be able to get a phone card in Canada for international calls; they are sold everywhere else in the world. You can use this with a disposable mobile or at pay phones, which still do exist. Pay as you go services, whether cheap phones or SIMs, generally do not cover international calling. People coming here will get a TracFone to have a phone, and an International calling card to call home. It works the same way other places I've been. Someplaces have had "Internet" cards for international calling, less expense per minute than traditional cards for voice lines. These are VOIP (like Skype, but through the card issuer's servers rather than Skype's servers), the disadvantage being that the service may not always be available. Than can be an issue also with calling cards, but not between US and Canada.
tatest 08/24/15 09:04pm Technology Corner
RE: $130.00 For 4GM RAM?

In 2002, I bought a Dell Dimension 8200 (about $3600 then, at a computer market in Beijing) which was about the fastest, hottest running consumer PC then available from standard production. I was editing encoding digital video, a task then way out of reach of most single processor PCs. This model came in a really good full tower case, same box that was housing the $12,000 multiprocessor Windows workstations used by our reservoir engineers (my desk had a SPARCStation). To make the memory keep up with the processor, this model used RDRAM, at the time the standard RAM technology for RISC workstations and multiprocessor servers, way ahead of the fastest SDRAM then available. Home in the US three years later, I looked into upgrading it for flight simulation. To take it from 512MB to 1 GB cost $500 for two more RDRAM modules, and the best graphics card I could get for the AGP slot was about two steps above entry level PCIe cards, barely improving on what I had. I really wanted to take it to 2 GB, but that meant replacing the two 256M modules with four 512M modules at a cost of $2000. I'm not guessing what 2GB might cost today, but I suspect one would have trouble finding it at any price (like obsolete pioneer circuit breakers, but that's another story). Solution was a Dell XPS box with Core i7, 8 GB DDR memory, 1.5 TB drive, enthusiast level 3D HD graphics, for less than the price of upgrading the Dimension 8200 to 2GB and adding another 500 GB drive (max supported by the chipset). The XPS came in a really cheap mid-tower case, but it was a 16X improvement in throughput for video encoding. Upgrading the old one would have gained no more than 20% for the video work. However, the XPS has died, the Dimension 8200 is still slogging along ten years later on the smaller tasks I give it, and I was able to replace the XPS with an entry model iMac for $1200, and again improve throughput on my photo and video work. Sometimes just replacing the thing is the cheapest way of imprving its performance, although I must admit the improvements in Windows PC technology 2008 to now are nothing like the gains made 2004 to 2008, or 1992 to 2000. OK, this is crazy. The RDRAM modules for the early Dimension 8000 machines is still available, and now dirt cheap. 2GB for less than $50. The demand is apparently now very small, and the supply has probably been inflated by taking all of those early 21st century servers off line and scavenging the parts. Pentium 4 CPUs are probably real cheap too :)
tatest 08/24/15 08:40pm Technology Corner
RE: 32bit vs 64bit machines

If your PC is 2008 vintage, chances are that it is already has a 64-bit processor and could run a 64-bit OS. But if it was a low-end machine, the chipset and motherboard may not allow the installation of enough memory to take advantage of the additional address space, and you may lack some I/O and graphics features expected beyond Windows 7. By 2008, even the "Pentium" branded dual core CPUs and base level dual core AMD CPUs had 64-bit addressing.
tatest 08/24/15 08:00pm Technology Corner
RE: Question for you old guys.

I've come across two of my draft cards lately (student deferrals had to be renewed yearly), know my wife kept both sets of dog tags (maybe three, had that many different serial numbers over six years of service) somewhere but don't know where to look for them. I can find all of my orders, but DD214 disappeared when VA wanted to see it again to approve a refinancing in the late 1990s. It's pretty easy to get a new DD214 if you need it. Unless you are in the group whose records were lost in the 1975 fire at St Louis Record Center. Certain documentation of my service is what I have on hand, and what was held by the Air Force Reserve Personnel Center, since after discharge from active duty I retained my commision in the reserve beyond the date of the fire. Whether my records survived, I don't know, I'm in the group for which 75% of the records were lost.
tatest 08/24/15 07:43pm Around the Campfire
RE: Who makes campers without slides? Saw Jayco 26BH. 25'+?

Molded fiberglass trailers don't have slideouts. Most are quite small, but Bigfoot, Oliver and Escape have offerings 22 ft or longer. Is it quality? What is your definition of that. Most are not fitted with interior materials commonly associated with residential luxury, but the basic construction, molded shells, is structurally superior to any box assembled by joining panels along seams, no matter how high tech or modern the materials used in assembly of the panels themselves. Another option is the semi-monocoque aluminum construction borrowed after WW2 from the aircraft industry, where it started replacing fabric covered framing in the late 1920s. Used to be several manufacturers building this way, but since the late 20th century it has been just Airstream. Airstream does offer several grades of interior trim, starting with ultilitarian but still expensive, working up from there. Airstream has offered models with slideouts, but most don't have them, and there will be a selection of floor plans from less than 20 feet to more than 30 feet. In conventional box construction, it will be the least expensive model lines that have no slideouts, and those will not be the highest quality. The buying public in the U.S. has bought into the slideout idea, and will pay for slideouts long before paying for improvements in quality.
tatest 08/24/15 07:19pm Travel Trailers
RE: Upgrading to new computer

Sigh...maybe I want a Mac. No MS issues. cts Then it will be Intel because Apple doesn't build with AMD. Even if it has a graphics accelerator it will be NVidia rather than AMD. I haven't looked into the business relationship behind this.
tatest 08/23/15 07:24pm Technology Corner
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