How We Roll – Bills, mail and shared driving

How We Roll – Bills, mail and shared driving

Here’s another edition of “How We Roll,” answering RV questions from readers about our travels in our Class B motorhome.

In this episode, we talk about how to do online bill paying and mail forwarding.

I mention in particular the mail forwarding service of the Family Motor Coach Association. You can get details here.

We also answer a question about sharing the driving responsibilities, something we strongly suggest so one person doesn’t have to do all the mileage alone.

Here;s the video:

If you have a question for us, just email us.


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There are

18 comments

  1. Roy & Rita Justis

    That background sure looks inviting. Think we’ll reserve February 2014.
    I’ve tried several emails regarding Branson, no replies yet…even for waiting list using your name as reference. Stay Safe

  2. Dave Gray

    One of the things I did before I ever started RVing 4 years ago was to set up automatic bill paying. Some of my bills are paid automatically from my checking account. Most of my bills are paid automatically by my Capitol One credit card. (I like to build up those awards miles.) My credit card is automatically paid in full each month from my checking account therefore I never pay interest. Direct deposit is a must. And to keep track of my budget and spending plan, I use Mvelopes found at http://www.mvelopes.com/.

  3. Lawrence

    I have been following your articles on this website for some time as I will retire this year and am contemplating the purchase of a motorhome. You indeed look like you are having fun and I have investigated Roadtrek Motorhomes. But what I don’t understand is why they cost so much. You can purchase a full sized Class A with lots of room for about the same price. The Roadtrek seems very cramped to me. I understand your appreciation that it moves around easier and parks easier but help me understand why I should get a Class B instead of a much larger Class A.

    • Depends on why you want RV and how you intend to use it. For my family, the Class B is perfect for us. I value the flexibility to be a free spirit. Being able to travel with what I need and to go where I want is a powerful thing. My husband loves being to park in handicapped spots at McDonalds right at the door. It’s easy for me drive. I won’t drive the bigger ones. My class B, a Roadtrek, has maintained it’s value. Looks like most class A’s don’t. Love how my RT has helped me to learn to live with less even when not on the road. But I admit it’s not for everybody but a highly personal choice

    • Ginny

      Lawrence, can I help answer that? I bought my first RT in March last year. A 190P In Sept I traded for a 210P because I wanted an enclosed bath. In my lifetime, I’ve had a tent, camper shell with all the gear, a 22ft Holiday rambler pull behind and lastly (before RT) a 38ft diesel pusher! Let me tell you it was sweet! Lots of room, seperate bedroom/bath. Huge sucker! Now some years later and it is just me and occasionally one other person, I don’t need or want that much room. I have a couch, electric, an oven/microwave, and enclosed bath, a 19in tv…I can go down any little road I want. That class A I parked to last night….can’t! It’s not about the money. Can you park your class A in your drive….I can! Can you pull into a restaurant parking lot or do you have to park on the street! Are there just two of you? I guess the question is not why an RT my question would be WHY a bus!? I’ll match you dollar for dollar on gas and up keep! And most importantly to me…name one President of ANY Class A dealer that will talk on line on any given day to the people that own their product AND give advice and sometimes the stuff to fix any issue….just one!

    • Laura Robinson

      I love mine. I didn’t want to have to tow something, or learn how to drive a big rig. My RT is easy to clean, store and drive. It is expensive because I get 21 miles to the gallon and everything is first class. I even have granite counter tops. I love that I can just unhook and go to town for an ice cream cone if I want. The beds and seats are very comfy, I have a full bath with plenty of room, I can cook anything and have a huge awning that makes for a lovely patio. I put a bike rack on the back. Everyone wants to look inside, I just had a Hollywood film crew check it out and take photos of it!
      I am just one person, but I have traveled with 2 in here and the king size bed is huge- even my dog got up (briefly!).
      It handles very well on the road, I just drove 3 hours in wind and it wasn’t hard. I can even take it on rougher roads. I lived in mine for a month last year when I went all over Utah and could have stayed a lot longer if I hadn’t injured my knee on a hike. I wouldn’t have the hassle of something bigger. I am outside most of the time, anyway!
      I get the attraction of more room, just not the work that goes with it.

    • Darlene

      Ditto on all the reasons we all prefer our B’s over an A. But I’ll add reasons on how we USE ours. We take ours when we go biking, hiking, snowshoeing, shopping, doctors appointments, visiting family/friends, weddings, RV shows…etc, etc. Why? Because we always have a place to go back to if we need to use a bathroom, shower, eat, take a break, need a nap (who doesn’t like to take one of those :)), or if one of us gets tired or not feeling good, we have someplace to go to. And sitting in the doctors office is not as comfortable as our B. We USE our B for many reasons other then just traveling, because it is easy to USE. Ask an A or C owner how often they USE theirs. That extra room would/is nice, but it would be a real pain to take out for just a “day” trip. And not everyone can afford to own two RV’s. Our B is our 2nd vehicle, so when we figured the price of a B, we subtracted that cost. The advantages of having our B out weighed the cost of owning an A or C that would sit in the driveway or storage until the next trip. It would have been money sitting/parked rather then being USED.

  4. Mike Wendland
    Author

    It depends, Lawrence, on how you want to use your RV. Jennifer and I like to move around, spend time deep in the woods, park by a secluded spot on the beach, drive up into the backcountry. All these are hard and often impossible for those in Class A motorhomes to do. If your idea of RVing is to sit in one spot for extended periods of time, than by all means, an A is for you, though you will then need to tow a vehicle behind it to get out and around. But that’s not camping. That’s parking :-) For us, our Class B is the perfect choice because of our active lifestyle that has us exploring and moving around.

  5. Ted and Mary

    Nonsense, Mike. I have a Class A. True, we tow a CRV behind it but we can explore just as much as you do by taking the CRV. Then we have a real home to return to with lots of room for us and our two boxers. I honestly don’t see why someone would choose a Class B, either. As Lawrence says, they cost almost as much as an A! But, I guess, to each his (or her) own. We DO enjoy your blog and the excellent stories you give us which apply to all of us, no matter what motorhome size we travel in. Hope my comments are not offensive because we do enjoy roadtreking.com

  6. Dave Gray

    Each person has there on choices when selecting an RV and I respect that. I have a fifth wheel toy hauler and our toy in the garage is a smart Fortwo. In another 17 months, the savings on fuel cost of our tow truck that gets about 9.5 MPG towing and 15 MPG non-towing will pay for the purchase of the smart that gets 38+ MPG. Amy and I are able to see and travel to places on day trips more often because we now have more funds back in the budget. Driving the smart around some of the hard to drive places is so much easier and a lot more fun. We’ve been places that I wouldn’t attempt to drive the truck through because of its size. I do under stand where Mike is coming from. There are times it would be nice to pull into a national or state park for a stay. So far we’ve only discovered one state park that was accessible to our rig.

  7. My Roadtrek 190 gets 19 mpg on highways. The Sprinter models get even better mileage. I don’t know of any Class A RVs that can do that. A Class B is not for everyone and I am sure most will agree with that. For a family, it is too small. Children need room and teens need privacy. For a couple a Class B is ideal. I can park and store it on my driveway. I can take routes that are restricted to larger RVs and trailers. When I get to where I am going I know I will be able to park. I don’t have to tow a car behind my RV – but I could if I wanted to with my Roadtrek. And my Roadtrek is self-contained – no need for water hookups or electric hookups, as that is all onboard. And with Mike’s ETrek that capability gets extended even more with its solar ability to run just about everything in the coach including the A/C. The other great benefit to a Class B – and in particular a Roadtrek that gives you the option to remove all decals that say RV or motorhome – is stealth. Park a Class A or Class C in a lot and everyone passing by knows exactly what it is. My Roadtrek looks like every conversion passenger van (high roof van) out there. All of this and the ease of driving – it is a van not a bus.

  8. Cheryl

    I agree with all that has been said, especially that it is not for families with teenagers, etc. For me it was a decision of simplicity. I had a class C before my RoadTrek Sprinter Adventurous. My neighborhood does not allow class A or C motorhomes to be parked on the property. I had the expense of parking it off site. I had the inconvenience of having to drive to the parking location 24 hours before departure in order to cool down the refrigerator. I would have to pack everything into the car and then transfer to the motorhome. After the trip, I would have to pack to the car and then move everything again once at my house. Monthly I would have to drive to the parked location to run the generator and check the batteries. Now with it at home (Class Bs are allowed) parked I can have it plugged in keeping the batteries charged, run the engine occasionally, pack a few things at a time leaving only the refrigerated items to pack the day of departure. I can do modifications any time using the electric power at home and the tools used. I can dump my tanks in a clean out at home as much as needed to sanitize and give them a good cleaning without holding up the line at the dump station. I can winterize and un-winterize at home when it is convenient. I can use the RoadTrek as a second car and can park almost anywhere. At campgrounds I unhook the water and power and off I go to a restaurant where it is easy to park or a place I would like to tour. I get 21 miles to the gallon. It is much easier and actually fun to drive. I do have a carrier on the back that holds extra things that I want but after a while you get very selective as to what you can do without. It is nice to have a place for everything in order to keep it orderly and neat. You learn to purchase easily packed items from chairs to pots and pans. It is amazing how many products are out there for this purpose. It is a perfect vehicle for two people and a pet. I agree to get something you usually have to give up something. There are goods and bads to everything. It just depends on your list of must haves. If you have a chance take one for a drive.

  9. Lawrence

    Thanks to all for your kind and gracious comments. I can see I have much to consider besides just room. My wife and I are quite active. We will travel with two dogs but we do want to move around a lot and experience many of the things you all have described. Perhaps we will see if we can rent a Roadtrek Class B motorhome and “try before we buy.” At any rate, I appreciate the many responses to my initial comments and I look forward to meeting you when we eventually do take to the road in whatever motorhome we end up buying. I retired the first of the year and we hope to make a decision and be on the road by summer.

  10. Kristi

    One of my favorite ways to use my RT, is for stealth camping. I’ve taken in a number of art/music festivals downtown Chicago, Memphis, Austin, where I’m camping front and center to all the activity … and nobody knows it cuz my RT is parked at a regular parking site. At a large festival, it serves as a great place to retreat for a little nap, a pitstop, some refreshments … then more music! Sometimes I take my RT to work; it’s a great place to recoup for lunch or some rest. I wouldn’t own anything bigger because for me, the inconvenience of alternative parking and storage would curtail my spontaneous get-up-and-go nature.

  11. Chuck

    For us it was personal preference. It is just the wife and me. We like to take short trips at a moments notice. We can park it anywhere you park a car. We take long trips, 3 to 5 weeks out. Never felt we were lacking something. Usually took to much with us. Gas mileage is nice, 15 to 17 mpg, unleaded. Easy to drive for the wife. Good luck on your choice. All the best.

  12. Is it legal to register our class A in South Dakota? We live currently in MI but have our house up for sale and plan to full time. We have been told that to register in South Dakota would be considered tax evasion. Is this true?

  13. Grace Grogan

    I love listening to all the tips provided. My husband and I are newbies, and for our first we purchased a 35-foot Class A and tow a vehicle. I think a lot of the basics apply to any type of motor home being used.

    Grace Grogan