RV Days, Issue #22– Neewollah

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RV Days, Issue #22– Neewollah
October 16, 2009

Here is our latest issue of RV Days, an update on what we have been up to in our RV lifestyle.

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Issue #22
October 16, 2009

Issue 22 of RV Days is Now Available
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Never heard of it? Well how about if you spell “Neewollah” backwards? Halloween of course!
As the fates would have it, we are right down the road from Independence Kansas, home of the Neewollah celebration.

Okay, not so much fate — instead, a workamper job for Amazon.com in Coffeyville, Kansas. We are just getting started with this new assignment. As things progress, we’ll update our site about this latest RVer job.

But back to Neewollah. It first began as an alternative to trick-or-treat vandalism. According to newspapers from 1918, vandalism was especially bad that year, and Neewollah was created to give kids a safer option for their Halloween activities.

Neewollah in Independence, Kansas, has grown from a Halloween night celebration to a festival that lasts nine days! And we happen to be in the right place at the right time to experience this unique Kansas tradition, as part of our RV Halloween.


Sometimes when we get on the road again, we wonder if a gremlin or two has jumped aboard. Our trip from Cody Wyoming to Coffeyville Kansas was no exception.

Starting out, we were just happy that we got out of Wyoming. Following a couple days of nasty weather and a few inches of snow, we quickly beat feet on a sunny day between storms. And we even managed a brief stop to visit Rocky Mountain National Park on a sunny day.

Then conditions worsened as we drove through eastern Colorado and across Kansas. We traveled in cold rain, sleet and snow flurries for the rest of our drive.

Somewhere on the interstate in the middle of nowhere, a loud thump made us jump out of our seats. Always a frightening sound when rolling down the highway. First order of business – find a place to pull over. A climb to the roof soon revealed that our air conditioning shroud had gone with the wind.

Thankfully there was no damage to anyone or anything as a result. And we managed to tweak our plans to make a stop at Camping World.

Luckily they had a replacement in stock. In fact we replaced both shrouds since they were about 6 years old, and well, why ask for more trouble? Jose installed the new covers in the parking lot. One problem resolved. Then, we decided to move the rig into position to leave early in the morning and get the tow car hooked up again.

Well, the best laid plans and all that. Unfortunately, a steep slope in the lot got the better of our back-end towing equipment. The cables connecting the motorhome-to-dinghy brake controller and signal lights were in shreds.

By now it was after dark and Camping World was closed. Yet, the RVer is a resilient sort. After a few choice words, some deep thought and several hours work, handyman Jose managed to repair both cables at the kitchen table. We were back on schedule for an early morning departure.

After all this repair work he sat down to relax and catch a little TV. Or so he thought. As he went to adjust the bat-wing antenna, the winding mechanism literally fell off into his hands. Of course the antenna was up by this time, and we could hear the wind picking up. Back to the tool box. Another repair made.

We toyed with the idea of putting up the satellite and reactivating our DIRECTTV (we had it suspended while we had cable TV in Cody), but with our recent track record, we decided not to push our luck. And after all, there’s nothing like a good book, right?

For more of our adventures (and misadventures), see our articles on fulltiming.

Selecting an RV Home Base:

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at our site is “how to select an RV home base state?”. It is certainly an important decision and involves a number of considerations.
Individual circumstances vary, so the selection of a home base state should be based on your specific needs and situation.

As a general rule, it is not a good idea to use one state for mail forwarding, another for a driver’s license, another as a legal address for tax filing, etc. States are apt to perceive such arrangements as an attempt to avoid their taxes or fees.

It is best to evaluate the complete picture when selecting an RV home base state. Here are some of the things to think about.

The newest RV Comparison Guide:

JR Consumer resources has recently released the updated 170-page RV Comparison Guide covering the years 2008-2010 with ratings of RV manufacturers broken down into “premium,” “above average” and “economy RV” manufacturers.

“My staff and I try to be as non-biased as possible,” said J R Consumer President Randall Eaton. “Nobody pays us to promote their company over another. Our ratings are fair and balanced and written with the consumer in mind.”

The new 2008-2010, “RV Comparison Guide” doesn’t rate brands specifically, but rather rates over 95% of the RV manufacturers in North America. The company talked to representatives from more than 50 manufactures to determine construction techniques, MSRPs and other information. In addition to speaking with RV companies the company also gathers data from other RV related organizations, NADA Guides and survey type websites. “What we do is take all this information and boil it down into a straight forward consumer guide that lists which RV manufacturers rate best in their categories”, Eaton says.

The first guide was published in 2006 and updated through 2008. The next version will duplicate 2008’s reviews and add those from 2009 and new reviews for the 2010 model year. RV buyers interested in an older RV can still purchase their 2006-2008 RV Rating Guide.

Additionally, the company has published on its website a variety of articles that explain the different types of RVs, their intended uses and other information the RV consumer might be interested in.

If you are in the market, or even thinking about it, be sure to check out this valuable consumer resource.

If you are pondering the RV lifestyle, enjoy the planning and research phase. It is all part of the fun.
Our top three tips:

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And if you are on the road, Put a Smile in Every Mile!

Jose and Jill

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