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Old 12-06-2018, 06:48 AM   #15
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
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I would think the main thing is making reservations. No one seems to go off first come first serve. You have to make reservations months in advance and then if your schedule slips you are screwed.


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Old 12-06-2018, 09:33 AM   #16
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2017 27' International
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Box Elder , South Dakota
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 78
There is so much information on the internet helpful to the RV lifestyle. I have a smart phone as a backup to my truck GPS which failed one time. Within one day I got rid of my flip phone and replaced with the smart phone. I seldom use the smart phone except for phone calls and taking pictures. (No more pocket camera needed.) Mostly I use a small laptop for all my internet use and I also use the smartphone for a connection to the internet, and for Netflix movies. I am 69 years old and travel alone. Social media is important to me to keep in touch with my friends and family, so I use the laptop for that. Also I am addicted to chess and play with opponents on

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Old 12-06-2018, 10:16 AM   #17
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1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 479
Full Disclosure: I'm a weekend camper that loves to take breaks during the week and plan my upcoming adventure on the computer. I navigate using Google Maps extensively, and make custom ones with all of the sights that we want to see, all the good clubs, bars and restos ready to access at a moment's notice. I use my smartphone to hook up with the Meetup groups that I lead. I use thedata to download maps to my Garmin Montana GPS to paddle the nicest places in Florida.


Most of the whole smartphone thing is avoidance of irritation, minor discomfort and inconvenience. It also opened up the best places to lots more people, not just those in the know. You have a computer, you just need to have a way to hook into the campground's wifi. Consider a smartphone a fancy tool, nice to have, but probably not necessary until you really need it, then you get it.

If you have no schedule, you have very little urgency to rush here and there. Will you get the best site in the greatest of parks? Probably not. Sitting out front of your Airstream playing a guitar will probably find you more cool stuff than any app ever would! Just be prepared to boondock and Wal-Mart it a lot- it doesn't sound to me that it would be much of a problem for somebody like you. Besides, having to put up with other people's dietary restrictions, pyramid schemes, extensive family descriptions, and whatever baroque activities they ascribe to that they feel compelled to tell you about- well, you can be the guy that's says "I don't have a smartphone, you wanna beer?"

Everybody journeys in their Airstream in a different way, and you'll find an unusually large number of helpful folks here, just itching to give you assistance!
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:24 AM   #18
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Petoskey , Michigan
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Thanks to all of you!

I get it! Life would be easier w a smartphone if only I can get over my frustration w the damn thing.
I'm thinking that once I'm on the road I'll meet some nice folks who might be willing to help me navigate thru the intricacies of 21st century living :-)
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:40 AM   #19
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2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
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Originally Posted by capt george View Post
I get it! Life would be easier w a smartphone if only I can get over my frustration w the damn thing.
I'm thinking that once I'm on the road I'll meet some nice folks who might be willing to help me navigate thru the intricacies of 21st century living :-)

I went from flip-phone to smart phone a couple of years ago. I still only use it mainly for calls and occasional texts (zero apps). But as others have mentioned, it helps with having a camera, "flashlight", and a poor (but still useful) internet device.

I have a tracfone pay-by-minute phone. So long as I'm browsing the internet on it and not downloading movies (which I never do), it it very economical on data use. Just don't get a newer phone and leave on a trip right away. Use it at home a month or two before hand and you'll get used to it.

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Old 12-06-2018, 10:55 AM   #20
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
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My husband would have only had a rotary dial at home, and a flip phone for cellular, to the end of his life, if heíd had his druthers.

The smart phones are a real boon, making travel much easier, and you can likely learn to use and appreciate one if you just submit yourself to the learning curve.

Anywhere you are, should you get stuck, ask anyone and they can probably help you.

Good luck,

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:59 AM   #21
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Elgin , Texas
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 26
Capt. George,

I am 71 years old, have a 6 pound cat & a 160 pound wife. We started camping with our Airstream about a year ago. We use a smart phone, laptop & the navigation system in our Tundra. Smart phone for calling ahead, laptop to plot & print out a paper route ahead of time and the Nav system to drive real time. I really like the Tundra Nav because the on board voice advises you where & when to take exits/ramps. We purchased our Flying Cloud Airstream because it has cool things like electronic ignition for stove, water heater & furnace, but fewer gadgets & motors than the Airstream high end coaches. I like manually operated things. Also, using my Garmin chart plotter on my sailboat really helped me acclimate to travel over land. Go for it Capt. George.
Capt. Bill Caz.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:05 AM   #22
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2005 25' International CCD
Newport , Arkansas
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The great thing about an Iphone ( canít speak about others, but thereís always someone online or at an apple store ( with an appt) to help , is that you really donít have to learn all the things you can do with it all at once. Use it as a phone. Then learn texting. Then maps. Then searching the internet. Then the camera. Then how to hook up to internet at wifi spots st campgrounds. Before you know it, you will be staring at that glowing rectangle more than you can imagine, just like the digital natives.
Seriously, though, a smartphone is an invaluable tool for your safety. Wouldnít leave home without one.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:05 AM   #23
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1976 31' Excella 500
Chappell Hill , Texas
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My dad got his first smart phone at 91 years of age. He just turned 92. One of my sisters set it up for him and linked his emails to it and showed him the basics he needs to know. Since then he's gotten himself a Facebook page, reads the paper online, text messages us 4 kids all the time too.
The Google app or Map apps are easy to use. Just type in what you want to find and it gives you options to choose from. Just like your computer. You can do it too. Just go for it.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:00 PM   #24
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St Paul , MN
Join Date: Mar 2015
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70 is not OLD. Buy a smart phone and hire someone to give you some lessons. Also Keep a Walmart prepaid phone that you are familiar with during your smart phone learning curve. After you get used to a smart phone you will see how much harder the flip phone actually was to navigate. Most of all have patience.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:08 PM   #25
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2003 28' Safari S/O
Atlanta Burbs , Georgia
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Capt. George - no worries. I have a leg in both worlds. Though I made my professional career in IT, I follow the old world mindset and behaviors as a retiree. I dropped the electronic leashes when I left work, the need to be constantly available to whomever, and began the search for a slower pace: no smart phone, no watch, etc.

The answer to your question is simply, "there are alternatives." You can buy "exit books" which have all the businesses along the interstates, as well as other books for campgrounds (etc.) which were used by RVers in days long gone. They are not near as handy or quick to reference as smart phones, but are doable if too much tech is off-putting. Your simple flip phone will do nicely.

I do employ an old Garmin GPS (bought in the nineties and not updated since) for major routing. At the local level, I pre-plan using Google maps on my Mac before departure to gain insight/awareness of road changes and local attractions and make reservations mostly on ReserveAmerica. You can also do this at any number of businesses along the way using their public WiFi. I rarely look for a stopping point after mid-morning for that evening's layover and call ahead to confirm availability shortly thereafter when I do.

Of course, all the folks who promote acquiring a more expanded comfort with IT are right about the added freedom of movement and accessibility on short notice provided by a smart phone and mobile data plan, plus the willingness of tutors. The added benefit is more screen time once they stop for news, entertainment, e-mail, etc., as campground WiFi is sketchy at best. Personally, I am happier doing activities other than screen time and certainly don't miss the emotional disturbances/irritations brought on by instantly knowing every tweet, disaster, et al, blasting world-wide within seconds. There is comfort in being ignorant of some subjects.

Each to their own is still an admiral mindset.
"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

Sirs Gawain & Tristan
Air #48582, S/SO #003, WBCCI #4584
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:33 PM   #26
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Capt. George

Welcome to AirForums.

Once you get a bit used to your smart phone, you will wonder what you did without it. Get an IPhone, an IPad and the Allstays App like others have said. It will be the best $10 you ever spent. Donít be afraid to ask for help.

Also, learn to camp without hookups. It will open up lots of camping options. We rarely camp with reservations.

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Old 12-06-2018, 12:33 PM   #27
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2018 27' Flying Cloud
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 13
Old tricks are good too!

Hey Capt, Have no guilt about your reluctance to embrace technology. You have a valuable skill in map reading! Also, GPS will take you on terrible roads, wrong roads, narrow roads, weight restricted roads, roads with low bridge clearance, and just when you need it the most.... will lose the signal. I have a Rand McNally Motor Carriers Atlas that has been a lifesaver. It has clearly marked the roads that a semi can travel. Itís fine to have the GPS but review your route in the Atlas before you pull out and save yourself from disasters. I bought my atlas right after my map app took me to the wrong the San Isabel Mountains instead of the San Juan Mountains 140 miles away (I took a screen shot to prove to my kids that I followed the route it plotted, and didnít take a wrong turn) The maps app also took me in the wrong entrance to Garden of the Gods, on a one lane road in West Virginia and a gravel road in Tennessee.
IMHO you need both the old and the new! Just keep working on your tech skills while you enjoy your paper maps and reach your destination safely.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:33 PM   #28
2016 19' International
encinitas , California
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 20
I get it having a husband at your age and I am 19 years younger. It actually works-this dynamic. I agree that the internet is crucial so if you are savvy with a Mac you can navigate an iPhone. It is the Best way to plan ahead and navigate. So many great apps that are worth getting from Parky to Waze. But in the end, traveling should be enjoyable and some-what relaxing. Just go for it. Learn as you can. Grandkids (teanagers) are a good resource! Have fun

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