Mortons on the Move

I’m always finding new RV blogs — new to me at any rate. Mortons on the Move has been around for a while, since April 2015, as that appears to be their very first post.

At a relatively young age, they decided to abandon traditional career paths and housing to adopt the RV lifestyle fulltime.

It took a LOT of really hard work and over a year of preparation for us. While it sounds simplistic and easy to “pack all your bags and hit the road,” there are many complexities and difficulties in this endeavor. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Friends and Family – the hardest part of doing this is leaving the friends and family that are a normal part of our everyday, stationary lives. However, we plan to stay close no matter how far away we are!
  2. Animals – We had 2 horses, a cat, and 2 dogs when we first started planning this adventure. While the dogs are coming with us, we had to make arrangements for the rest of the crew.
  3. Possessions – While none of us want to be thought of as materialistic, you have to let go of a lot of “stuff” that you’ve collected over the years. You can’t take it with you.
  4. House – all the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put into your house to make it just right…
  5. Saving up $$ and budgeting – While going on the road lowers our overhead costs overall, it’s a good idea to have a good reserve to fall back on. Also, this isn’t a long vacation, so we’ll be budgeting and watching costs just like we normally would.
  6. Jobs – giving notice and giving up the security of good-paying corporate jobs for the entrepreneurial life
  7. Starting a (mobile) business(es)
  8. New Home on Wheels – truck and fifth wheel acquisition and updates
  9. The essentials – health insurance, mail, residency, etc
  10. Logistics – where to stay, how long, where to go, resources available, etc.

…and the list goes on. While it’s no fun to leave the people and things you care about, this experience has done a lot to “de-clutter” our lives and help us focus on the things that matter most to us!

Now that we are two years into this, we survive by working a number of remote jobs, take opportunities as they arise, and continue traveling supported by our network of fans – thank you!

I can relate to the amount of work it takes to get ready for a (mostly) fulltime RV lifestyle. The only difference is that Lorraine and I waited until our sixties to begin this adventure. I’m not sure I would have gone this path so early in life.

They appear to be a very talented couple and I came across their site when doing some research on solar panels. Here are a couple of their videos highlighting a very unique approach to going solar:

The Worst Tire Made In History

In a Jan. 8 court filing, David Kurtz, an attorney who’s embroiled in an ongoing legal battle with Goodyear over the tire, estimated its reported rate “means that 1 out of 10 motorhomes using the G159 experienced a failure resulting in a claim for property damage, injury or death.”

“You cannot debate the defective nature of the G159,” Kurtz told Jalopnik. “There’s nothing to discuss.” His opinion’s clear: “I believe it to be the worst tire made in history.”

Via Jalopnik.

Goodyear allegedly kept tire problems secret by settling cases and getting judges to seal records. The Center for Auto Safety and Public Justice petitioned the courts to have the records released to the public. Goodyear opposed. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah ruled in favour and most of the information was unsealed.

He wrote the following in his ruling:

That information — primarily concerning the tire’s design, its testing, the decision to market it for use on motor homes, and the adjustment data generated by consumer experience with it — should be made public because it relates to and reveals a substantial potential risk to public health or safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated a probe after the release of the data.

This article by Ryan Felton describes in detail how Goodyear sold the G159 tire to RV manufacturers that, based on Goodyear’s own internal research, wasn’t suitable for motorcoaches. Compelling reading and the article certainly made me think twice about what tires I run on my motorcoach.

Zombie RVs

Lately, I have been binge watching the Walking Dead on Netflix. Well, not really binge watching. I take in an episode a day. I have yet to come across a more uplifting, positive and encouraging series on Netflix.

Just kidding!

It seems like Zombies are not isolated to the Walking Dead.

Now we have Zombie RVs.

‘Zombie RV’ causes concern for NE Vancouver residents

An abandoned motor home in northeast Vancouver is causing concern for nearby residents, who say the vehicle is inviting crime into the neighborhood.

Bradley Lebow, a resident that lives across the street from the dated recreational vehicle, says it first appeared in the neighborhood in January.

“It’s just something that’s an eyesore,” Lebow says. “It’s hurting our property values.”

He says he sees what he believes to be suspicious transactions, possibly involving drugs, occur at the RV daily. He also says there are frequent disruptive noises that come from the RV.

To make matters worse, the RV lost its wheels a few weeks ago, and now sits atop wooden blocks.

Lebow and other resident say they have been calling code enforcement for months and have reported the vehicle several times. Code enforcement, however, has not removed the RV.

In the past, city and local law enforcement have acknowledged the vehicles in numerous neighborhoods as problems, referring to them as “zombie RVs”.

The Zombie RV pictured above is in Vancouver, Washington and not in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Zombie RVs are more like this one pictured below. In Vancouver, British Columbia, an RV that costs a million or two is called a starter home:

For another million or two, you could step up from your Zombie RV into this incredible home in Vancouver, British Columbia. It listed for $3.68 million way back in 2016.

Once you teardown your three million dollar house in Vancouver, British Columbia, there is more value added to your property. Like this recent rebuild of a teardown a few blocks away. This 2,500 sf monster home, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder alongside other teardowns, is on sale right now for a mere $6.1 million. Act fast though. Next year it could be worth $9 million. Or, perhaps after the real estate madness in Canada ends, it becomes an abandoned Zombie house complete with suspicious transactions occurring daily.

Insurance

Let’s talk about insurance for a moment.

In Canada, insuring a motorcoach is a sucker’s game. The only question is just how outrageous some of the insurers will be in attempting to take as much money from you as possible.

Unfortunately we do not have the same competitive environment as exists in the United States and, because the market in Canada is much smaller, we wind up paying the price. Sometimes. It depends on an unusual set of circumstances.

I had posted about the tale of two coaches here. And the remarkable difference in the cost of a policy between the two insurance quotes from the same insurer for two motorcoaches of equivalent value.

Notice any difference?

Yes, we were paying $4,617.26 to insure a Newmar Dutch Star and our friends were paying $1,174.00 to insure their Newmar King Aire. Why? Well, we were given a number of nonsensical reasons: their coach was used and we had purchased new even though the market value of both coaches were equivalent and our coach had been in service for a couple of years.  And our friends had a special group rate (sadly, Lorraine and I do not constitute a special group so no, we would not be given the special group rate).

We renew our policy from this insurer next month. The coach is now a year older.

And guess how much they want to charge us to renew our policy?

SIX THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!

No accidents. Perfect, clean driving record with no infractions. Just a massive bump in price because, well, just because. Thank you very much Aviva Canada.

Totally insane. We have a quote from another insurer for $3,300. While not a great deal, it is certainly better than the $4,617 we have been paying and clearly much better than the attempt to rob us of $6,400 on renewal.

Lorraine is checking with a few others and we’ll see if we can get any better pricing.

What a business.

Spring Cleaning

That was the roof of my coach after I had spent 8 or 9 hours washing, drying, detailing and buffing last spring. I think it turned out really well however I should have protected the roof right from when we first took delivery of the coach. I had used Rejex on the body of the coach back then but left the roof unattended. And even though the coach was still relatively new, it was a much bigger job than I expected to get the surface of the roof clean and well protected a year or so after having taken delivery.

The first challenge was how to get up to the roof itself. In the video below, you will see that I used a general purpose ladder to get access topside. With the ladder fully extended, I had to use a couple of interesting moves to swing my body up and over as the ladder was not tall enough. We had checked with Newmar and they told us that there was no issue with putting the ladder against the sidewall of the coach. More than strong enough to support the weight. We used towels at the end of the ladder to protect the finish.

Lorraine helped to bring the supplies up to the roof. I began with a hose, wash and rinse bucket and a lot of towels. Because it was still relatively early in the year, there was a lot of dew. There were quite a few black streaks around the air conditioning units as well. The black streaks were really tough to remove from the roof.

Once the roof was clean, I worked in sections of about 8 feet by 4 feet. I used some spare towels to mark the area. Once applied, I waited for the Rejex to haze, which doesn’t take very long at all, and then buffed out the area. That translated into ten sections to wax and buff. I do own a dual action orbiter however I elected to do the roof the old fashioned way: by hand. I removed my shoes so perhaps I should say by hand and by foot.

Quite the effort. Here is a short video that gives you a bit of sense of the task.

Although I do not have a particular fear of going up on the roof, I have been told that at my age I should just let someone else do the work topside.

When we were at Hearthside Grove in September of last year, we hired a detailer to come out to wash and wax the coach. I had them do the roof as well.

They were able to do in about 45 minutes what it took me over 8 hours to accomplish. They used a premium coating product and told me that it should last the coach until we go south to Florida later this year. The same detailing team from Hearthside heads south for the winter and I will use them again when we are at RiverBend in December.

Spring cleaning is going to come much later this year. Almost mid-April and our temperatures are still hovering around the freezing mark with snow in the forecast.