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Where the PPOs are

Full time RVers under age 65 (pre-Medicare) who have to purchase their own health insurance, really need a PPO health plan with a nationwide network of doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc.

Because if you’re traveling around the country in an RV, it’s not practical to return to your home state every time you need to see a doctor. (If you’re over 65 and on Medicare, your health care plan works in every state.)

Also, just because a health plan is called a PPO doesn’t mean the plan has a national provider network. Make sure your PPO plan has a national provider network. Typically this means a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) health plan.

In fact a national provider network is probably more important that the plan type (PPO). For example, currently BCBS offers EPO plans in Florida that provide a national provider network. Always look at the plan details!

So if you’re under 65 and need to buy your own health insurance, you basically have 3 options:

    1. Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) — these are called “on-exchange” health plans, and you are eligible for a subsidy in you purchase on plan here (www.healthcare.gov). You can also check out ACA plans here (www.healthsherpa.com).
    2. Off Exchange — these private health plans are typically offered by health insurance companies, but you will not qualify for a subsidy if you buy an off-exchange health plan. See finder.healthcare.gov.
    3. Healthshare Ministries — health “sharing” plans offered by religious organizations. These plans are not health insurance, and usually have limitations on pre-existing conditions.

For Option 1 (Obamacare), here are the states with PPO plans for 2015-2016:

These plans will be changed on January 1, 2017. Remember, not all PPO plans offer nationwide networks.

rv_aca_ppo_plans_09_28_2016

 

CalFire & KPOP

calfire_kpop_00

What do CalFire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) and KPOP (Korean Pop music) have in common?

Nothing.

It’s just that both are on my radar now.

CalFire

These are the folks who put out all those CA fires. We’ve only been in CA two summers, but there are a lot of fires — big ones — out here.

In the Midwest where we grew up, it was tornadoes. Out West, it’s fires.

The latest is the Owens River Fire just north of us in Mammoth Lakes. A few days ago it was a 500-acre fire, now it’s 5400 acres. We typically don’t learn about local fires from the news, but from our nose — we smell smoke. Last summer the smoke was as thick as fog from one fire. So far this year, not so bad.

This photo is of several CalFire vehicles in the parking lot of a Bishop hotel and restaurant.

calfire_kpop_01

KPOP

Black Pink is the name of a KPOP group I’ve been following since 2012. They just debuted and they’re killing it.

calfire_kpop_02

They released two music videos — Boombayah and Whistle — both of which have multi-million YouTube views.

We Sold Our Jeep

1993 Jeep Wrangler

Boo hoo!

However, the thought of driving it back to Arizona from Bishop definitely played a part in our decision. 1993 Jeeps aren’t known for their comfortable drives. Plus, we really hadn’t been using it for a year. C’est la vie.

It was great fun! A moment of silence.

Since we sold the Jeep to a Californian, we had to go through the state-mandated SMOG testing. Argggh! Ask a Left Coaster about this. The test took most of a day, but luckily we didn’t need to have any “upgrades”.

When we ditch our Honda CRV in a few years, then we’ll look at another Jeep (something newer than a 1993).

Ariston Washer and Dryer Install

We’ve been spending about $80 to $100 per month doing our laundry.

That expense combined with the inconvenience of lugging baskets of clothes into funky laundromats made us investigate re-installing a washer/dryer in our RV.

Remember that we removed our non-functional Splenide washer/dryer a short while back (See Splendid(e) Deconstruction).

We found that there are not many washer/dryer options for RVs. Since most RVs only have 110 VAC, that rules out using household 220 VAC dryers. Also, we didn’t bother looking at propane dryers (or converting a natural gas dryer to propane). In addition, RVs don’t have a lot of space and that means many household units cannot be used.

Anyway, we finally settled on an Ariston washer and dryer which are designed specifically for RVs. Ariston is a Splendide brand. Our old Splendide was a combo washer and dryer — it washed and dried clothes. However, after checking around it seemed like a better idea to get a separate washer and dryer . . . and we had the space:

WD_00_WasherDryerDrawing

INSTALLATION

The new Ariston washer could fit in the same space as our old Splendide. Plus, the space was already plumbed for a washer.

The new Ariston dryer could fit in the space above our old washer. This space used to have shelves and we used it as a linen closet. However, the floor under the new dryer was not strong enough. It was just 1/4” Corian.

So we reinforced the floor under the new dryer with a sheet of 3/4” plywood:

Reinforced Dryer Floor

Also, we installed accessible hot and cold shutoff valves to the washer. Otherwise, we would have to shut off all water in the RV in order to service the new washer. We used SharkBite to connect to our RV’s PEX plumbing. Though SharkBite fittings are expensive, they are far easier to use than PEX ring fittings.

Next, we had to relocate the previous dryer vent hole. So we plugged the old vent hole and drilled a new one:

New & Old Dryer Vent Holes

New and Old Dryer Vent Holes

In addition, we secured both the washer and dryer to the RV using special “anchors” available from Ariston:

Finally, both dryer and washer were connected to power and water:

 

RESULTS

We’ve only had the new Ariston washer and dryer up and running for a few days, but it looks like we made the right decision.

We’ll have an update later on how it’s working out.

New Water Pump Install

Recently replaced a failed ShurFlo 4008 water pump with a Remco Aquajet RV pump — Check It Out