Part 1: NEVER Buy New - and Other RV Choices

Part 2: Converting the Back Bedroom into Our Workroom

Part 3: Hydraulic Jacks - Sleeping and Working on the Level

Part 4: Electricity on the Go - Charging our Batteries

Part 5: Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk Mail

Part 6: Making our RV a Home

Part 7: Water and Sewage and Germs - Oh My!

Part 8: Solar Power - Expanded

Google Places and Platypie

Building Our Ark

Part 5:
Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk Mail

The work technology we travel with lets us keep building content and promoting our businesses, communicating and delivering work product to clients, entertaining ourselves and staying up with friends, family, current media and technology almost as much as ever… but there have been MANY issues along the way.


Working for ourselves, we have never skimped on our computing capabilities. Most of our creative play has turned out to be our work too. That makes most of our big screen displays, iPhones, big iMac computers, cameras and lighting, internet connections, art materials and video gear, stock market TV, and many of our art projects and travel destinations all work related and thereby tax deductible along with a large portion of our RV operating expenses.

Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk Mail

Staying Connected
For Business AND Entertainment

Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk Mail

Internet choices on the road for full timers are just bad. Most campgrounds provide wireless, but have limiters to prevent their whole system being slowed to a crawl by huge downloads like streaming video or system updates. You can’t maintain even simple updates for your digital devices without downloads that exceed any cellular data limit by 10,000%! We were resorting to taking all our devices into Apple stores and updating them one by one on their wireless. Not having a good data connection feels primitive like not having running water or refrigeration - and trying to find it constantly is too time-consuming for words.

Cellular data pricing today is set up like long distance phone calls used to be - insanely expensive and charged 50 different ways. It’s painfully inadequate. If you tried to update your apps and software on just one device, you would instantly exceed your cellular data plan for the month - if not for the year!  Only recently have we acquired a new setup (See the last part of Entertainment on the Road) that will let us survive until charging insane fees for cellular data evolves too.

Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk MailEntertainment on the Road - 5 Choices Chronologically As We Added Them:

We learned from experience that the placement of our TVs makes or breaks their effectiveness. Trying to watch over your head or behind the head of the person across the table from you is nuts. Our main TV is right on our dinette table and moves easily, with all wires in a single sleeve, up to the foot of the bed when that is desirable. Our second TV is smaller and fits where we can both see in a high cabinet in the work room or even moves outdoors easily for special occasions. In each case, TV placement adjusts to what we are doing, not the other way around.

Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk Mail1) Local Digital TV: Most stock RVs have one or more built-in basic TVs (pictured) connected to a wind-up roof antenna. Early on, we upgraded to flat screens and a digital TV signal antenna to fit the new national broadcast TV standards.

Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk Mail2) DVDs:  It’s amazing what a collection of DVD movies we’ve accumulated over the years. That whole collection is with us now - everything from Disney classics we have watched 20 times with our granddaughter, Calli, to gift DVDs of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies. They fill an entire plastic sleeve box. It’s like money in the bank, i.e. no matter what system doesn’t work, when our brains are drained, we can play these entertainment wonders on something.

Computing, Staying Connected, Entertainment, and Junk Mail3) RED BOX DVDs: These movie vending machines are everywhere, easy to find on the Internet and inexpensive as long as you return your rentals promptly!

For many years, we have felt that planning your life around TV is too great a cost - that TV SCHEDULING MUST NOT INTERFERE WITH OUR LIFE.  So, we have used VCR’s and later TiVo almost since they were invented.

So naturally, early on, we added:

4) Satellite DVR Recorder with new Rooftop Motion Tracking Dish.  To get a wide range of constant satellite TV programming, it was our first and only option. Because of our constant AC electricity, our Sat-TV box and dish are receiving and recording all our shows, all the time - even when we are driving or just boondocking in a parking lot. Our $50 basic package from DIRECTV costs about $92 a month. (Yeah, same boat as everybody.)

And now, at last, we have:

5) Streaming Digital Movies and SmartTV: After buying an unlimited 4G high speed cellular data account on Ebay from another user (yes, you can do that and it is a total game changer), a cellular router, antenna and booster (all pictured), then tying them into our wired and wireless network in the RV, we now have fast enough upload speeds for our work wherever we are. Our software and Apps are downloaded and up to date automatically, I can play Xbox online, we get Netflix, Amazon Prime and AppleTV (AppleTV puts any content from our iPad Apps onto the TV screen including video apps from TV networks). The cost of all this digital is about $60 a month including the new unlimited cellular account.

So, we regularly use all of the entertainment, information and internet options listed above.. But now, it is enough of a selection for most of the situations we are in!

Last, but not Least, Junk Mail

Look Ma, no junk mail anymore!

People ask, ’But, how do you get your mail?’  Well, surprisingly, when it came time to move out of our apartment in NYC, we just left no forwarding address with the post office

Obviously, when you have a constant avalanche of junk mail, you don’t want it forwarded around the country… and especially not to our new official address at my brother’s condo in Florida!  The answer was to switch all of our accounts, one by one, to Electronic Statements Only.  They have the new mailing address, but only to send new credit cards, for example - not mailings. Government tax and DMV agencies did need our new official mailing address for actual mailing but that doesn’t happen very often.  So, a couple of times a year, my brother in Florida just emails me that something important has arrived and I email back a FEDEX label addressed to wherever we are and he drops it off at FEDEX.  That works to everyone satisfaction.

We want you in the event we are marooned on a deserted island!!!

Bob & Jimmy

Questions? Feeedback?