More Info to Enhance Your RV Lifestyle
National Park Fee Increases, Wireless
Mobile Products, Emergency Radios
Factors to Consider with Wireless Mobile Products - The wireless service
providers, such as
Sprint PCS, Cingular/ATT, and Verizon, only provide a 30-day unconditional
warranty during which the a mobile wireless product (phone or broadband data device) can be
repaired, replaced, or returned.

Mobile product users wanting warranty coverage for these personal communications devices after 30
days, should be prepared to:

  • Contact the manufacturer to determine what limited warranty coverage is available for your
    mobile phone or data card product, or
  • Pay an additional monthly repair/replacement coverage fee to your wireless service provider for
    each phone.

Note: It’s interesting that a $500 computer and computer peripheral equipment costing $50 - $200
come with a one-year (and sometimes, unlimited) warranty for no-cost repair or replacement, but a
wireless mobile phone or broadband data product costing $250 - $600 comes with a 30-day warranty
from the mobile service provider for no-cost repair or replacement.

After 30 days, you are under a limited warranty (generally one year) from the manufacturer, which
usually may requires a $50 minimum charge for replacement during the coverage period.

Emergency Radios - Don’t leave home without one. The National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
monitors and reports weather and environmental conditions
on a 24-hour basis. NOAA maintains a network of 7
NOAA weather channels to provide warning of
weather-related events (hurricanes, high winds, tornadoes, blizzards, etc.) and environmental events
(flooding, fires, chemical spills, etc).

We recommend keeping a working emergency radio that has the 7 NOAA weather channels in your
home and RV at all times. Additional emergency radio options to look for include the capability to run
on multiple power sources, such as regular batteries, rechargeable batteries, a DC converter to plug
into 12-volt DC, an AC/DC converter to run on 120-volt AC, and a hand crank to generate power.

Note: Emergency radios come in two types. The first has AM/FM and short-wave bands for $30 and
up, and the second has AM/FM and the 7
NOAA weather channels for about $40 and up.

Note: We strongly recommend you select an emergency radio that has the 7 NOAA weather channels.
Many of the emergency radios come with AM/FM bands and short-wave bands.  

Fees Increase at National Parks (May '07) - The Associated Press and the New
York Times reported in early May 2007 that “entrance fees are scheduled to rise at national parks
over the next three summers, though a public outcry over some of the increases could cause the
government to reconsider.” A few increases have already taken effect.

The National Park Service plans to phase in higher rates for park passes and vehicle fees at 131 of
the 390 parks, monuments and other areas it manages. In addition, higher entrance fees are set for
11 parks this summer, including  Muir Woods in California; Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Mesa
Verde, in Colorado; Fort McHenry in Maryland; Martin Van Buren in New York; Big Bend and
Guadalupe Mountains, in Texas; Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks and Zion, in Utah; and Colonial in
Virginia. For 2008, fee increases are planned for 84 other parks. In 2009, fees would rise at 36
additional parks.

Under the new fee structure, annual park passes will generally range from $10 to $40. Fees per
person would range from about $5 to $12; per vehicle, they would be about $10 to $25.

A $50 fee for an annual pass has already taken effect at Grand Canyon and Zion and for a combined
pass into Grand Teton and Yellowstone.    

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