Thursday, July 23, 2015


Situations where not having a tow car created an issue I had to "creatively" deal with.


ALTOONA, IA During my 2015 stay at Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa, my cat (17 years old and elderly) had an emergency at 1:00 AM.  Yellow Cab to the rescue!  I called Yellow Cab, and a driver was able to come right away!  As long as my cat was crated, I could take it in a cab.  I took my cat to Iowa Veterinary Specialties, a 24 hour vet service.  The driver that took me there was also able to take me back to my campground three hours later.

A couple weeks later, I sadly had to send my beloved cat to Rainbow Bridge.  Capitol Cab was also very good in this. I was able to get my cat to the vet for a beloved sendoff to Rainbow Bridge, and was able to use them to tranport my cat's things to Animal Rescue League of Iowa who happily accepted all of it.  

SEQUIM, WA One time, my pet cat, age 10, suffered urinary blockage when I was in Sequim, WA (June 2008) at an RV Park. (This was the second blockage since his first one in 2002). Fortunately, I was at a park that was in town , had WiFi, and it was a weekday. I located vets in Sequim and started calling around. I contacted a vet that was only ONE MILE from the RV park, and they happened to have an open appointment time. I travel with a scooter bike. I put the cat in his carrier, placed the carrier across the foot area of the scooter bike, hugged the carrier with my legs, and got kitty to the vet on the carrier. Kitty did not appreciate the ride and howled all the way, poor kitty! I could not have parked my RV at this clinic, they didn't have room in the parking lot.

The blockage in June 2008 created scar tissue, and kitty didn't fully recover. In August 2008, I was at an RV park in Twisp . Kitty suffered a blockage again. This was a SATURDAY! Hard to find vets open on a Saturday! Dr. Dan DeWeert of Valley Veterinary in Twisp took care of my precious kitty! On a Saturday! And his prices were reasonable, even with an "emergency after hours" fee tacked on to the bill! "Dr. Dan" is mostly a horse and large animal vet. His wife is the small animal vet. However, his wife was out of town and unavailable. "Dr. Dan" managed to get my cat unblocked, and stabilized enough so I could tranport him back home (250 miles) to my regular vet for surgery. Now, in this case, I was staying at a park along Highway 20, two miles from Twisp. Highway 20 is a VERY BUSY highway through the North Cascades in Washington State. No way was I riding the scooter to the vet. So how did I get my cat there? Well, the wonderful managers at Riverbend RV Park let me have "in and out" priviledges with my RV! (Parks don't normally do that.....) And, Dr. DeWeert's vet clinic had LOTS of room to park my RV (because they usually get horses in horse trailers!). I really appreciate the efforts of Dr. Dan DeWeert, and the folks at Riverbend RV Park in Twisp.


During the summer of 2012, I was camp hosting in North Dakota (and I had a WONDERFUL time!).  While there, I stepped out of my RV and fell, injuring my ankle.  The injury required medical attention.  I was fortunate.  A wonderful friend was visiting at the time, and the wonderful friend took me to the doctor.  Doctor diagnosed "minor torn ligaments" in my ankle, gave me a velcro boot and said I should be walking in two weeks.  DIDN'T HAPPEN!  My ankle still hurt, and I was experiencing issues with my arch and my heel. Fortunatly a North Dakota "Standby Sam" of the Good Sam Club got me some crutches.  In late September, I drove back home 1500 miles, still on crutches.  Having to set up and take down an RV on crutches was miserable!  Sometimes I got lucky and people helped.  I appreciated the help of all who pitched in.  Four more doctors later, and we still don't know why I'm having issues with my foot, but I was able to get physical therapy and this helped!

What was interesting was the sequence of events that followed the injury.  While enroute back home from North Dakota, I saw a job vacancy for an Office Assistant for an RV Park. I applied, and got the job.  I worked at the RV park, while on crutches, from October 2012 - early April 2013.  The RV Park was 150 miles away from where I store my car.  So, I rented a small small U-Haul Truck (because it's easier to rent those one way than to rent a car one way), drove the small U-Haul Truck down to where I store my car, dropped it off, got my car and drove back.  So, I had my car while I was working at the RV Park.  When my employment ended early April 2013, I did the reverse.  Took my car back, drove a U-Haul back. 

Since I had my car, I was able to drive to a doctor and physical therapist.  I also joined a gym to supplement the physcial therapy.  My thanks to the manager of Klahanie Fitness Center for letting me have a temporary membership.  It helped!  I had great hours at the RV Park where I worked; the hours scheduled allowed me time for the physical therapy and to go to the gym.  I am so grateful.

This again proved my RV mantra:  If you need it, it will be there for you.


BIKE PROBLEM: I accidentally scraped the sidewall of the front tire of my EGO bike. It was a small scrape, but some interior threads within the rubber were showing. I feared that if I rode the bike, I would have a "blowout." I was in Olympia, WA at the time. I contacted BikeTech in Olympia to fix my bike. I asked them if there was room to park my RV. I was told, "right in front of the shop." Yeah, right! There was room for me to park in front of the shop, but it was near a fire hydrant. I think you aren't supposed to park a certain number of feet...... I forgot what the distance was...... away from one of those things. Well, I parked my RV in front of their shop and crossed my fingers that I wouldn't get a ticket for being too close to a fire hydrant. BikeTech got a new tire on my bike in 15 minutes. I got out of there and didn't get a ticket, WHEW! Thank you to the people at BikeTech!

COMPUTER PROBLEM: - June 2009. My laptop is making noises. Thanks to a suggestion from someone on Twitter, I found a computer place in Somerset, PA, Somerset Computer Center. I took laptop there, had to park my RV at a neighboring business, TC Fuel Injection. Somerset Computer Center only charged me $20, said hard disk ok, but think what made the noise might have been the fan.

ELECTRICAL PROBLEM IN MY RV - June 2009. While in West Virginia, one of my breakers blew. Stopped at an RV place in Lexington, they could not find a problem. After I got to Jamestown, I kept having electrical problems, my coach battery would drain quickly, and just as quickly could be charged by running the chasis engine. Finally diagnosed by Dave LeMay's Mobile RV in Bowling Green, KY, as a bad converter. Got converter replaced. 

GETTING MY CAR WHEN I'M CLOSE ENOUGH TO DO SO - Had a couple situations where U-Haul Trucks were my best option.
A.  RELOCATION (How do I get both my car and my new RV to the site I'm moving TO?) - April 2011 - I moved from Point A to Point B, 200 miles away.  Problem:  Since I'm too chicken to tow my car behind my RV, how do I get my car and my RV to the new location?  The place  I moved to (Point B) did not have a rental car company.  There was public transportation at Point B that would have taken me to a nearby town that did have a rental car company, but this option proved too cumbersome.  U-HAUL to the rescue!  There was a U-Haul facility in both Point B and Point A.  On the day I took my last load of belongings down from Point A to Point B, I went to a U-Haul facility and asked for the SMALLEST truck they had, as I wasn't hauling anything.  I just needed the one way rental.  They had a 10 foot small truck.  I had to pay $150 to drive it back to Point A to get my RV.  When I got to Point A to turn it in, the very nice folks at the drop off site gave me a ride to my RV!    

B.  I'M CLOSE ENOUGH TO GET MY CAR AND I WANT IT! I worked at an RV park that was 150 miles from my home base.  My only option was U-HAUL again!  The closest U-Haul place was six miles from the RV Park.  I couldn't get a taxi to take me there, so the RV Park Manager was nice enough to give me a ride.  I rented the U-Haul, and drove it to the nearest drop off point, which just happened to be a couple blocks from where I store my car in a rented garage.  At the end of my employment, just did the reverse.   I had my car for my employment.

Friday, April 3, 2015


 I am changing the name of this section to "RENTAL CARS."  Most of my experience has been with
Enterprise, as they pick you up.  However, I want to add a section on renting from Hertz.


I'm at the point where having a car that I store in a garage while I travel in my RV is starting to become inconvenient.  I have come home to dead batteries a couple times. .One time, I was able to start the car with a device such as this one, and another time, I was unable to start it, and had to have it towed to a dealer.  So, I am researching the idea of not owning a separate car (which would save me on storage rental charges, as I could downsize) and just using rentals when I need one, even when I'm at my "home" area and not technically traveling.  I ran the numbers, and NOT owning a car may not necessarily save money. The reason is that if you do not own a car and you rent a car, you really should buy the "optional" insurance which is pretty pricey.  Or you could take your chances and not buy the optional insurance.  When you own a car and carry insurance, the insurance usually transfers to a rental car.

I contacted one major insurance carrier to inquire about getting an insurance policy to drive rental cars, and was told that there is "no such policy."  I did some googling, I found this:  Non-Owner Car Insurance .  According to this article, "Non Owner Car Insurance" only covers liability if you are at fault.  It doesn't cover the actual vehicle, because you don't own the car.  Therefore, if you have the "non-owner" insurance, you can decline the "optional" liability insurance on a rental, but you should still take the "optional" collision and comprehensive.

On the other hand, major credit cards may or may not have adequate coverage.  This article explains some of the benefits.

Bottom line, between the Non-Owner car insurance and what your major credit card may or may not offer, there may still be "gaps" in the coverage which suggest you should consider paying the rental car insurance, even if the rates are totally ridiculous.  

I am continuing to research this.


To my knowledge, Hertz doesn't pick you up.  But, if you can take alternate transportation to get a car from HERTZ, AAA Motor Club has great discounts.  Pretty easy to reserve from the AAA web site:


Make your reservation and pick out a promo code.  There were a lot of codes to choose from for a variety of discounts. What I liked was that you didn't have to give out a whole lot of personal information.   I once took a county bus from where I was staying to a HERTZ location, this worked out fine for me.


ENTERPRISE Rent A Car will either pick you up and get you to their office. Click here and enter the city and state you are currently located to get office hours for your location.

The only issue I have with Enterprise is that their current practice is to pass your phone number to a third party that will contact you after your rental for "market research." When I rented a car in Spokane, I screamed and stamped my feet and said, "I don't want the call" and I never got it. When I rented in Grants Pass, I tried to scream and stamp my feet and I was told, "we don't have any control over this." My understanding, under the DO NOT CALL rules, is that if you insist that you are on the DO NOT CALL list, and you insist that you don't want to be called, they are obligated to honor that request. I sent a formal complaint to the Regional Office, and I was told I was put on their internal "Do Not Call" list. However, the manager who did this for me didn't know whether the internal list covered nationwide, or whether it covered just that Region.

While working at  Adventureland in Iowa     I made frequent use of  Enterprise on Euclid Avenue.  I walked to the RV park office and had them pick me up there.

In May 2011, I stayed at  Fountain Creek RV Park in Colorado Springs.  The branch office is on the same street as this campground.  Car got delivered to me, no problem.  The office was a couple miles from the campground.

In December 2011, I stayed at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds on Blue Ridge Road.  There is a branch office right around the corner on Hillsborough Street.  It's 2/3 of a mile to walk to this office if you are in the mood to walk.                  



There is a good selection of RV Parks in Grants Pass ( ) where cars can be delivered to you. The two closest RV parks are Jack's Landing and Rogue Valley Overnighters.


There is an Enterprise site in Newport. Here are some RV parks available. I haven't personally stayed at any of these sites, just noting that it's there.


You can stay at either:
Fidalgo Bay RV Resort
Pioneer Trails RV Resort
and have Enterprise pick you up to get a car for the duration of your stay.


The college town of Ellensburg, WA now has an Enterprise Rental Car  company.  If you stay in Ellensburg area, you can get a car from this place.  The only RV parks I am aware of are E & J RV Park which is an RV park located with a motel; and Yakima River RV Park.  I have stayed at both.   However, if you stay in Vantage (30 miles away), this is not in their jurisdiction so they won't pick you up there.  During March 2015, I camp hosted at the state park in Vantage, WA and got a rental car from Enterprise.  A nice person gave me a ride from Vantage to Ellensburg to pick the car up; and again from Ellensburg back to Vantage when I returned the car.  However there is a taxi service that can come get you in Vantage if you need.  It's Rodeo Town Taxi at (509) 929-4222.   I spoke to them by phone and was told they charge (as of this date) about $2.50 per mile. 


If you stay at Riverside State Park, there is an Enterprise office at 1426 East Francis Avenue. This office indicated to me that they were the closest to the State Park and can pick you up. I tried this option. I called in advance and THOUGHT I had made a reservation, and was even quoted a final price, but somehow I didn't get a confirmation number. I called on the day of pickup and found out I didn't have a reservation, but no problem, plenty of cars, they will redo the reservation. I showed up and called for them to pick me up. They picked me up, no problem. I got to the office, and STILL no reservation, but no problem, plenty of cars, they will give me a car for the price quoted. Despite the reservation snafu, I got a car, a PT Cruiser. THEN! I show up at the State Park. Park Ranger tells me that the rental car is ok, as it is within the "one RV and one car" allowance. However, the Camp Host told me that since I did not TOW the car in, it was considered an "extra vehicle" and I would have to pay the "extra vehicle" fee. NO WAY! The Park Ranger over-ruled that one! Other than the snafus, everything went fine. I returned the car the night before I left, and left the next morning.