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Old 11-28-2009, 04:22 PM   #21
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 218
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Ron & Alice
Norm, you are SO right about the lifestyle. Ron & I lived aboard our boat off-and-on for about 10 years, so we know a little about living simply and making do. It took us years to get our laptop, and now wouldn't want to live without it - it pays the bills, talks to grandkids, reads the news, etc, etc.

We can hardly wait - and YOU are the first couple we would like to meet. You must be a very special couple to constantly take the time to help us and give us your 2 cents worth. We really appreciate all that you have done for us (and will probably continue to...)


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Old 11-30-2009, 06:01 PM   #22
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Location: Ontario
Posts: 663
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Hi Ron and Alice,
We've been gone a couple of days and this thread seemed to still be active...
I realize that in my rant on cell phone providers I didn't give you any helpful strategy for coping on the other side of the border. Here's what we've refined after about 10 years of retirement and Rv'ing on both sides.

1. I plan a fairly "tight" trip--300 to 400 mi. per day at the most for long distance travel. If we're touring/sightseeing with the trailer in tow it's 200 mi. max. At 100 mi. we set up a base camp for a couple of days and tour solo. After lots of online research I use the calendar generating feature of a word processor to put a full month on screen and then fill in each day with name of town, campground and phone number and whether there is wifi. At the bottom of each day I record the projected mileage so I can stay within my guidelines. This gets emailed to our children before we leave so they always know roughly where we are. If it's necessary to deviate from the schedule, we do, but try to get back on or call home with the changes.

2. A long distance card, purchased in either country should work in both countries (check the fine print) and is the most economical way to call home. Such a card can be used at any phone including pay phones--usually without charge--because you dial an 800 number to access the card providers phone system. For backup, I also carry a phone company calling card that bills my home number and is also far less expensive than just calling from a pay phone, or cell phone for that matter.

3. If your cell phone does pick up a roaming signal, texting is less costly--and even free on some phones--than voice. I prefer email though.

4. Since the summer we've been carrying an Apple iPod Touch. This is an iPhone without the phone, but all the wifi capabilities. It's a very reasonable $200 in Canada and I like it even better in an RV than a laptop because it's so small and is easily carried to a coffee shop or library with wifi. The screen is small, but more than adequate for websites that I typically visit:,, PCBank etc. It's also great for reading email and ok for composing short emails on its somewhat small electronic keyboard.

So, this all works well for us and keeps us in touch. The only downside, which you've no doubt noticed, is that it's still not possible for anyone to call us, but we do feel we can be reached reasonably quickly in an emergency.


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