There is a love hate relationship with roadside assistance providers and which one others are using is a common question and discussion among RVers. Let me explain how Roadside assistance works.
Auto insurance companies offer roadside assistance as either a cost to you add on or perk to its policy holders as it is a very profitable income stream. Most of us who have it will probably never use it. Millions of drivers are paying for it and a fraction of those who do will never actually use or need it during their policy period. It’s a win for you if you ever need it and it’s a really big WIN for the insurance companies if you don’t.
In part one I discussed the towability of the Jeep making it one of the most preferred vehicles to drag along behind a motorhome.
Now on to the other reasons a Jeep is such a gem of a vehicle for the RVer who drives a motorhome. While it isn’t the most fuel efficient, it typically is far better than what a motorhome delivers in mileage. I always point out to those asking about which is better a trailer/5er or a motorhome that with the motorhome they can tow a high mileage comfortable riding vehicle to use. Whereas they would be driving for pleasure trips the same stiff riding, fuel guzzling and hard to maneuver pickup truck when they aren’t towing their home on wheels.
While you will see a variety of vehicles being towed behind motorhomes, probably one of the most popular are Jeeps. Why?
While they aren’t necessarily the most comfortable, cheapest to buy, most reliable or economical to drive they are probably the easiest to “setup” to be flat towed. It is also due to the fact that, more and more of the newer vehicles on the road today can’t be flat towed. And if they can they often require extensive and/or expense modifications to do so. Here in lies the strength for Jeeps being so popular a choice.
If you follow us on Facebook, you already know that we made some changes to our RVing lifestyle in 2020. For years now we have wanted to replace our towed with something that we could tow four down and the vehicle had to be multipurpose including off road exploring.
So, after much looking as something to occupy some of the long days during this worldwide health situation, the one we all have all been keenly aware of, we searched for a used Jeep. Given we have spent the last several winters in Arizona where Jeeps are immensely popular it goes without saying its popularity there drives up the prices.
It was not until we returned to our home area in Wisconsin did, we come across a gem while out doing some other shopping and errands. On one of the local dealerships lots was a used 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK) with the Sahara trim package for what we considered a more reasonable price. After having our Honda Accord appraised and a comfortable trade in offer accepted, we made the deal and drove our new to us Jeep home.
Going from dolly, towing a sedan to flat towing a Jeep requires some adaptation. First, we considered using the dolly to tow the Jeep around until we could get the appropriate towing system but upon reading the Jeep Owner’s manual that idea was eliminated. You cannot tow a Jeep Wrangler other than flat on all fours or up on a flatbed trailer.
Shedding ourselves of an unnecessary tow dolly was rather quick and easy. I gave it a thorough washing and snapped a couple of pictures of it and listed it on Facebook Marketplace. I had a clear idea of what a new one cost and set my pricing accordingly to make it affordable and appealing to someone who needed one. Within hours of posting the listing I had an inquiry.
Never jump at the first offer, especially when the person wants it for as close to free as possible. I left myself some negotiating room, but literally giving it away was not an option. The income generated was going to offset the costs of the tow system for the Jeep.
I let the ad run through the Memorial Day weekend and did not get any other nibbles although it was being watched by several people. I updated the price, dropping it by one dollar, which was enough to spark someone’s interest. The negotiations began and when it was done, I made a one-day cash only deal which the person accepted and the next day arrived cash in had and took possession of the dolly.
We purchase our Tow Master Dolly new in 2013 just prior to going full-time. In that time we install three sets of tires, only paying for one set out of pocket. Two years ago I replaced the wheel bearings out of precaution more than necessity. We replaced the tie down straps about three years ago. Overall, it saw more than 50,000 miles over the last seven years without any complaints from us. Yes, it was cumbersome to use in the beginning but soon we got the hang of it and it was weaved into our traveling routine. At the time we had a vehicle that couldn’t be flat towed, even replacing it with yet another. While there are benefits to flat towing, don’t kick the idea of using a dolly aside. It can be an affordable option if you already have a vehicle you like and can’t afford to replace. We recovered about 80% of the cost to purchase and maintain it, which shows a dolly is a viable option financially.
If I had to do it over again, the dolly still wouldn’t be my first preference, but given the situation at the time it turned out to be a very good choice.
The COVID19 Crisis is constantly evolving not just day by day, but now hour by hour as we have found out firsthand.
Living the RVing Lifestyle requires the ability to adapt. There are influences outside of your control that will impact your decisions and many of us are finding out that even this pandemic known as Covid19 is just such an influencer in our day to day decisions.
We were supposed to move to a different RV resort in a different city not too far from where we are currently staying. We have a reservation, but we have been weighing the pros and cons of relocating. With the social distancing and self-isolation, going from a rural venue to one inside a major city, the risk of exposure increases. Not that folks in the RV resort won’t be respectful of each other’s space, it’s a matter of density of the population.
More people in stores while shopping for necessities, increases one’s chance of accidental contact with someone who is a carrier who doesn’t display symptoms. Our decision involves looking at our budget, staying put will cost us more out of pocket but we feel that it is cheaper than getting infected and the physical costs associated with the virus.
Reports of parks, including the one we are currently at have now said “NOT ACCEPTING NEW ARRIVALS.” For those heading here, it will be an unexpected surprise upon their arrival. Hopefully, you if you are traveling today or are planning to travel in the coming days you wisely call ahead to make sure that your destination is open and accepting arrivals.
For us, we’ve enjoyed our time where we are and had wished we could have stayed longer…which as it turns out we will be. Hunkering down for us is easy as we work from our RV and have plenty to keep us busy. To break up the day, there are plenty of regular RV maintenance and projects to attend to. Given that we are in the desert southwest…walks in the desert offer plenty of sunshine and exercise which helps keep the body and mind sound while still practicing social distancing.
The drawback with our decision is we were forced to choose to either extend only for one more night or a month as those are the only two options given. We chose the month and will have to adjust our planned stays going forward. They are doing what they can to ensure folks stay put and self-isolate until this crisis is adverted. This is now becoming a common practice with parks we are learning…so call ahead and expect the unexpected. Don’t stress over what you can’t control and enjoy the journey even if it is temporarily interupted. Stay healthy and safe!
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