Planning and Communications

cache_2562357204While we enjoy traveling, we also enjoy keeping in touch with the news and our friends. We are also constantly refining our travel plans as we go along depending on the weather, the scenery and the like. This means finding marinas, campgrounds, laundry facilites, provisions and a little wine here and there. What a difference GPS, mapping and the internet have made.

Two ‘apps’ we particularly recommend. For the RV we recommend Allstays Camp & RV. This $10 iphone/pad add covers not only camp grounds but steep grades, low bridges, dump stations and 30 types of ammenities.

For the boat we recommend Garmin’s Bluechart, the app is free but the charts are expensive. This app is the same as very expensive chart plotters, plus it adds info on marinas, anchorages, etc. and with Acitve Captain provides reviews of everything. This is like have the cruising guide and chart plotter on a mobile device.

Each of our trips is roughed out in advance on Google Maps, my maps. Here we can look at the distances, marinas or campgrounds, points of interest and the like and layout a rough itinerary. Then as we proceed on the journey, each day we update the map as to our actual route and stopping points.

Additionally, we find that we can use the i-pad to ‘look over the hill’. Using sat images in google maps or terrain we can see the steep hills Marcia likes or the unknown on the other side of the trees.

Between us, we have probably tried every communications carrier in every part of the country using a variety of laptops, pads and smart phones. Today we are dedicated Macophiles. Airbook, i-pads and i-phones. They are loaded with books, music, apps and manuals for all the systems on our vehicles. Currently, we are both using Verizon in the US and Telus in Canada. We must say that the Telus coverage makes both At&T and Verizon look terrible. All the vehicles are equipped with built in cell signal boosters.

For example, we download the manuals for everthing as .pdf’s, unload them to i-tunes, then down load them as books to the i-pad and organized each vehicle as a sparate collection. No more tons of torn paper or scambling for instructions.

We do not have TV on either True South or True West and do not miss it. We do subscribe to serveral newspapers and magazine we can read on the i-pads.

We also have Sirrus radio on each of the vehicles.