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The Frugal RV Traveler Newsletter, Issue #014 - Help Wanted
December 10, 2016

Help Wanted

Would you Like to be Paid to Follow my Boondocking Guides?

We retrace our routes for all six of my Frugal Shunpiker's Guides roughly every five years. In fact, in 2017 we'll spend six months driving through California for that purpose. We get to revisit all our favorite spots so these reviews are always a delightful experience.

But time flies. I can't believe my guides for Texas, Arizona, and Utah will be due for another update within the next two years. I feel like we just did those!

I promise free updates to all who buy my guides and I don't renege on a promise but I think it's time to admit something:

The time has come when we'd rather be exploring new places than retracing old routes.

Who knows? That might even lead to me adding a few new guides to the series!

So the time has come to ask for help. This is a serious offer. I've decided I'd like to pay someone to drive the routes in my guides and report any changes.

If you're interested, please read on. If you qualify, I'd love to hear from you. Tell me which states you might be interested in reviewing and approximately when you could do it.

To apply, you must:

  • Have already followed at least one of my Frugal Shunpiker's Guides fairly extensively in the past so you know the type of information I typically include. If you have not, please do not apply at this time. I'll send out a second request for applicants if I don't find a qualified candidate with this initial offer.
  • Be willing to drive the entire route of one or more of these three guides (Texas, Utah, Arizona) and personally verify the details of every location I mention, report any changes and, if you like, add new items of interest you discover.
  • Send me accurate notes of all changes, deletions, and additions in a fairly organized fashion so I can easily update the information when I rewrite the guide.
  • Take digital photos, especially pertaining to changes or new information.

Proposed Remuneration:

  • I will pay you! US$2,000.00 for reviewing the Arizona guide, US$2,000.00 for the Texas guide (bonus section in Texas guide does not need to be reviewed), and US$1,500.00 for the Utah guide. These amounts are based on a comparison of approximate miles, time, and expenses to cover each route.

If you do not already own the latest copy of the guide for the state you're interested in reviewing, I will forward it to you. You do not need to follow the routes in any specific order - you can just do your own thing and check on the spots in the guide where ever you can fit them in.

You don't need to camp in all or any of the boondocking locations I suggest, as long as you check the details. You may not be able to get your RV to some of my suggestions; that's fine. As long as you have a tow vehicle, you can confirm them that way.

You won't actually be earning money as much as saving it but, if you want to explore or revisit one or more of these states anyway, here is your chance to have me cover most of your travel costs. A win-win situation for both of us!

The exact timing can be negotiated. We generally spend about 4 weeks reviewing each of these states but you may want to take more or less time. Or even do it over two separate trips.

Please email me with the subject line "Pay me to RV" to apply. Send it to At the moment, I'm only considering those who have already used my guide(s) in their travels. I'm not sure how much mail this will generate so, please, please do not email me with questions if you don't qualify.

For Canadian Snowbirds: An Update on the Border Tracking Program

Earlier this year, the Canadian and USA governments approved the Border Tracking Program but, as yet, it has not been officially implemented. Assuming the recent change in government in the USA does not affect it, we expect it to go ahead as planned. Canadian Snowbirds are advised to complete a form 8840 regardless of how long you expect to be south of the border this year. You should do this every year and file it with the USA Internal Revenue Service and also carry a copy of each year's form with you as you cross the border.

Updates for Frugal Shunpiker's Guides

For any of my readers who have been waiting for the updated French version of my My New Mexico Boondocking Guide, I'm happy to announce that the translation has been completed and is now available. I already sent the update to those who had purchased it but, if your email changed or you somehow did not receive your free update, please let me know.

As mentioned above, we expect to retrace our entire California route in 2017 so anyone who has purchased those guides can expect to receive the latest editions for free around this time next year.

What's New at Boondockers Welcome?

My lovely partner/daughter, Anna, is constantly working to make the web site more intuitive. For example, she recently made it easier for both members and non-members to customize the map of all host locations. A drop down bar above the map now lets you filter results so that only the ones that suit your requirements show up.

Real guests and hosts are connecting through the site all the time. The 10 most recent recommendations, as posted by members after a stay, are now featured and updated daily on the web site's landing page.

New hosts are joining constantly. Some in amazing locations where you'll be hard pressed to find other free camping. Examples include some within easy driving distance of New York City, NY; Phoenix, AZ; Branson, MO, and Las Vegas NV. You may also be surprised to learn that a full 1/3 of our hosts say they can accommodate an RV 40 feet or longer. If you haven't joined or been on the web site lately, you will want to take a second look.

Holiday Gift Ideas for those Hard-to-buy-for People on your List

  • Family Members

    My sister, Lucy Ferguson, is a personal historian. She recently launched an ebook how-to guide to help anyone create the most amazing gift ever. Preserve your life story or that of your parents or other loved ones.

    Lucy offers all the pointers (and being my sis, you know she'll be there for you if you have questions). What a thoughtful and personal gift! Why not make it a project for those long evenings on your next RV trip? It will become a family heirloom that will never be tossed. How many $10.00 gifts can you truthfully say that about?

  • Fellow RVers

    Send them a gift certificate for a one-year Boondockers Welcome membership. They can choose whether they want to host or not (the certificate is good for either) and the gift code doesn't expire so they can wait until their next trip before activating it. They could even pass it on to someone else if they're not interested. These gift certificates are a holiday special and only available until the end of December.

  • Kids who Travel

    For families traveling with kids, it can be a challenge to find gifts that the kids will love but don't take up precious space. Here are some cool gift ideas. And this article describes how Pokemon Go is the perfect gift for RVing kids of all ages. Plus it's FREE. Can you beat that?

Our Personal Travels

We finally had our RV tour of Canada's Maritime Provinces this summer. We loved it and will definitely go back. Next time, for much longer because we hope to add Newfoundland.

Earlier in the year we were snowbirds of a different feather when we spent two months (Feb and Mar) in Costa Rica. This was a non-RV trip - in fact we managed without even having wheels at all. We rented a 2 bedroom house and lived like the locals. It was an amazing experience, we found it to be quite affordable, and you may see us doing more of this type of travel in the future. Ideally, we'd like to have two extended trips annually - one in the RV and the other, the immersive-travel variety. You can be sure that we'll be looking to do them all as frugally as possible!

What's next? We have a 6-month RV trip planned. If you're interested in seeing what we're up to, you can follow us on my blog.

Frugal Finds:

Get There Dry Route Planner This free online gadget lets you plan a trip and view weather along your route. Once you have planned your route, you can tweak your departure time to give you the best weather. Pretty cool, eh?

RV Travel News Have you noticed how seldom I send out the newsletter you'r currently reading? That's because Chuck Woodbury has already scooped on every news item I could possibly present. He's a dedicated newspaper man, bent on putting out a weekly edition. I'm a vagabond sometimes traveler who spends too many hours at a computer to make "regular editions" a big priority. Subscribe to Chuck's Newsletter if you don't already but please don't unsubscribe from mine. I send them so seldom that you can hardly claim I'm pestering you! Right?

RVing Women: This membership website by and for women RVers gives single women the confidence to follow their dreams. Join thousands of women across Canada and USA, attend social events, and find others to meet up with or caravan and travel together.

RVillage 50,000 RVers can't be wrong. This site is the facebook for RVers! They just released a phone app that will make connecting with others even simpler. Send us a friend request on the site (we go by Marianne and Randy.) If you're camped anywhere near us, you'll know it so we can connect to meet in person. (We enjoy wine, beer, and coffee and are too frugal to be snobs about any of it:-)

Inspiring People:

New favorites on my blogroll include:

A Manner of Traveling The mom of the family puts her heart and soul out there with every post. One gets the sense that she's writing for herself, her family, her personal memories, and that we have somehow been privileged enough to sneak in - to be included in her audience.

Drivin' & Vibin': Every new RVer should subscribe to this one. Olivia and Kyle bought a 1985 trailer, gutted and remodeled it on their own, and hit the road full time. They've been constantly putting out great, educational content covering everything they're learning - usually in video form.

Mortons on the Move: Technology these days enables connectivity from almost anywhere. Tom and Cait Morton decided to combine their desires to run their own business and travel. They took the chance of a lifetime, sold their Michigan house in September, 2015 and have been on the road full-time since then.

Wishing you safe travels and a happy holiday season!


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