By Karen Ballentine #68014
It took six months, but I finally made the decision in December 2011 to purchase an iPad 2 with WiFi, 64 GB and 3G. All those letters and numbers are not really so confusing when broken down. I wanted the 64 GB of storage space so there would be plenty of room for photo albums, and I wanted the 3G because we do not have a smart phone. We already have a Verizon air card, so only 1 GB of data transfer for the iPad works well for us.
Getting 3G set up is extremely easy. You can go online via WiFi, and the iPad will guide you through the simple process of choosing how much data transfer you need and whether you want it every month or for only a month or two here and there. The cost for 1 GB of data transfer is $20 a month, and no contract
The next step was finding applications (apps) that would further simplify our full-time RV lifestyle. These are my favorites:
Enter the odometer reading, amount of fuel and total cost, and Mileage Keeper automatically figures the miles per gallon and keeps a record of all the numbers.
Road Trip HD—$4.99
I recently switched to this app. It, too, will keep stats on fuel costs and mileage for one or more vehicles, but what is really helpful is that it will also keep track of services, such as oil changes and repairs, and expenses such as new tires and ferry tolls. One depressing but interesting thing the app does is add up the cost of fuel, service and expenses and show an average of how much is spent per day. So far this year, we have spent $1,280 for service and expenses (new tires accounted for much of that) and $1,810.22 for fuel for a daily average of $14.05 per day, or $0.385 per mile, to operate our Dodge Ram 3500.
Concerned about the weather where you are or where you are headed? eWeather lets you add as many cities as you like and get hour-by-hour weather conditions, weather alerts and animated weather maps.
I can quickly and easily whip up a photo journal of our travels in Clefit and spiffy the text and photos up with special effects, music and video. I have also set up a Clefit album for photos of receipts.
I have tried several journals for the iPad, but this is by far my favorite. It is easy to use, and the text is easy for aging eyes to read.
Notability—99 cents (on sale)
For a quick note, it is hard to beat this app. You can type, handwrite, draw or record messages and sort them using your own custom categories so you can find them again.
I prefer reading books on my Kindle, but the iPad is great for cookbooks and kids books to read to the grandchildren.
This app makes it easier to download and organize podcasts. There are fun, fascinating and informative podcasts galore on the Internet that we enjoy listening to as we travel with none of the aggravation of driving in and out of the range of radio stations.
We never go to the doctor without the iPad. This app keeps track of all allergies, medications, doctor visits, medical tests, surgical procedures and doctors for one or more family members. It will even work with your calendar to remind you of upcoming doctor appointments.
This is a great, five-star-rated photography app that works like a little light room or photoshop. Take a photo with the built-in iPad camera, open it in Laminar and make adjustments using layers, blending modes, special effects, etc., all in an amazing 31 MB app!
The Glo Bible has won awards for its creative interactivity because it is such an outstanding example of all an eBook can be. The $40 version of the Glo Bible includes study notes, videos and virtual tours.
A must-have app for checking eBooks out of the library to download to your iPad or your Kindle.
My Recipe Book—$1.99
This app is not a cookbook but a place to keep your favorite recipes instead of in a bulky recipe box. If you find a new favorite recipe on the Internet, My Recipe can import it directly into the app. Recipes are sorted alphabetically and by category so they are easy to find.
There are apps for specific conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. My blood pressure is fine except in the doctor’s office, so I regularly take my blood pressure at home, record the numbers in Heartwise and show the statistics to the doctor. Since changing the foods I eat to more raw, healthy foods and keeping track of my blood pressure on Heartwise, I was able to drop two of my three blood pressure medications and cut the third in half.
Some very nice apps, even the $7.99 Clefit app, go free for very short periods of time, and a good place to find them is at appsaga.com. Most of my collection of photography apps have been found at this site.
To say I am happy with my iPad is an understatement. It goes just about everywhere I go, and, if I charge it up overnight, it is good to go all day long. Much of my life is organized on a machine that is fun and easy to use and fits in my purse! No need for a stack of cookbooks or three thick notebooks of dulcimer sheet music. No heavy photo albums taking up space in the RV. Much less paper in the files and no worries about losing anything because it is all backed up in the cloud. I wonder now why I waited so long to become an iPad owner.
Karen and her husband, Galen, have been full-time RVers since moving into their first RV in the spring of 2002. Today, they continue to travel across the U.S. and Canada in that same RV. Photos of their travel adventures can be seen on their blog at www.gbkbrv.blogspot.com.