Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Things…

We bought a couple of items over the last month that add to the RV lifestyle. Linda has been missing our flower beds from back P6140022home (I’ll bet  visiting the Botanic Garden in Denver fueled that) so we bought a couple plants. We had a plant stand that we had at our apartment in Winston Salem and Linda had a crock with us that a plant was in from her dad’s funeral so we made good use of both. In the crock we put a snapdragon, mint plant and purple Osteopermum (looks like a purple daisy). In the plastic box we put two basil plants. I love the smell of the mint plant as we had them growing wild along the creek back home, on the farm, and my grandmother would pick it to make tea with. I love pesto hence the basil…The touch of color at the back door makes for a cheery entrance.

About a month ago we purchased a GPS off of E-bay. Our old Garmin died quite a while ago and we’ve been using our tablet to make sales calls. We had Co-Pilot software on our old laptop but between the screen going bad and the power cord shorting out, we laid that laptop to rest and if you recall, bought a used laptop for Linda when we were in Denver. My goal has been to get a big rig specific GPS but have not wanted to pay big bucks for one (yep, call me frugal !). I’ve been researching several different models but organizing our daily sales calls narrowed the options drastically. I think, when I went on Garmin’s site, there were a total of 4 or 5 models that are able to do that. Another feature that was important was lifetime maps as our old one got so it did not recognize many of the new roads and when making sales calls, you have to find the streets where the businesses are located. With our wish list in mind, it came down to a Garmin dezl 560 LMT which is a commercial truck GPS with tons of features. If you’re interested in what it can do, go here. There is an excellent review of all the features on this model. I used this review site to help figure out which unit might be best and which units aren’t worth the powder to blow them up. This GPS has a 5” screen which is awesome (both the passenger and driver can see the screen clearly – at least in the car)and it comes with the friction mount pad that sits on the dash. Easy to put under the seat..out of site, when going in a store and not making it tempting for someone to break in and steal. You can pay full price for them ($339 and up) but I’ve been watching and waiting and found one come up on e-bay and got it for much less. It has the lane assist, which when traveling down a four or five lane highway, tells you which lane to get in so you don’t miss your exit. It organizes our sales calls and tells you how long it will take to get to each location and total time to complete the route. For the RV profile, you program in height, weight, length, width, # axles, and any restrictions and it keeps all of that in mind as it chooses your route. When we first got it, the volume seemed really low and I had read that with some trucker GPS units, the volume isn’t loud enough for all the road noise. When we’d program in an address, the beeping from punching in the info was loud but the voice of the lady calling out the navigation wasn’t. I played around with some of the settings and the next time the lady called out a command, it made both Linda and I just about jump out of our seats….it was so loud ! Talk about hilarious….we both burst out laughing so hard cause we’d only heard it soft for the two days we’d been messing around with it. It is certainly is loud enough now. Anxious to put it to the test with the rig when we head out next Sunday. We love it in the car so we’ll see how the big rig features work.

The other recent purchase is a humidifier. We spend May through August in states that have low humidity and while that sounds good overall, it takes a toll on our skin and sinuses. Take today, the humidity here is 8%. Indoor humidity levels below 30% create dry skin and sinus passages and increase the risk of respiratory illnesses. We bought a small humidifier to put some moisture back in the air in the rig. My sinuses and skin are already saying thank you after just 48 hours of it running in the living room. Will help make the summer more enjoyable until we get to areas of the country where the humidity levels are higher and won’t need it. Until then, it’s gonna get a work out.

Not big expenditures, by most standards, but things that will make our travels less worrisome and more enjoyable. Also makes us more productive so we can work smarter and not harder…that’s worth a lot !

1 comment:

Movable Book Lady said...

I'm jealous of your new Garmin. I'm still using the one I started out with back in 2008. It works fine and is only wrong about 20% of the time but it's outdated. Enjoy your plants and humidity.