Follow Our Journey

Friday, 20 October 2017

MasterCard and Disillusionment

We had a relatively long day of driving yesterday, about an hour of which was spent dealing with MasterCard. We stopped for gas mostly to dump our tanks but while we were at it thought we'd fill up so wherever we ended up we would know we were good.

The damn credit card would not work. The American banking system is totally different from the Canadian, everywhere we go the chip reader is not working on the pin pad. It must be swiped but ours does not like to be swiped so it must then be entered manually at the till which naturally sets off all kinds of red flags within the MasterCard system and our card keeps locking. We did call them prior to leaving home to advise that we were going on a very long trip and that is not the problem, they are aware we are travelling.

So after 4 attempts and taking the 'tech' guy in the Flying J with me he tells me that there is nothing they can do...........      REALLY?!?

The machine kept asking for my zip code, which of course, I don't have so he told me how to get around that, fair enough but it still wouldn't work.

Cut a long story short, nothing worked so no gas and the tanks were still full. I waited about half an hour until I had calmed down some and called the Customer Service again. They put me on with the fraud division who apparently got it sorted. We did stop for gas and it worked but I'm not sure if that was because they had a tapper on their machine, so likely we will find out today. Dumped the tanks with cash at the next Flying J, so at least that headache is gone.

Staying in another Walmart last night we found ourselves feeling quite disillusioned, I know there is plenty of boondocking around here but when I check the apps I'm having trouble finding something that is Class A friendly. Now, remember that we are new at this and naturally doubting ourselves (mostly me), so when the app says tents or that the road has issues I'm inclined not to drive the rig there. Yes, its a stubby rig at 28' and not a 43' with a toad but still...

So we decided last night to head straight for Quartzsite, AZ and get our bearings before venturing deep into the unknown. I know I'll get a lot of comments about this insecurity and I know I'm just being blonde but this is how my brain works so accept it and move on, I did.

We're going to try for Lake Havasu today, there is boondocking in the area and if for some reason that doesn't pan out there are also plenty of campgrounds and at least one of them has space open. No idea how long it will take us to get through Las Vegas (God help us) so here's hoping. The GPS says 4 hours which is likely to be 6 hours. We'll see.

A huge Thanks to Vickie as our text conversation last night really helped our mood. Although Brad is sure he's been hexed by her. HA HA!

25 comments:

  1. We have never had a problem with our MasterCard with the Flying J we use our Good Sam Car for the discount and Identifies us. And if needed a zip code we use the 3 numbers of our postal code and 00 (zero, zero). Not much going on right now in Quartzsite yet pretty quiet. Have fun.

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    1. Morning George, I think I've found a great spot in Lake Havasu, perhaps we'll hang out there for awhile yet. I'll let you know tomorrow morning ;)

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    2. There is 2 one by the airport, we are not crazy about and inter a bit further north we like much better, good luck

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    3. Oh no -- not good guys :( Hopefully it was just a glitch (a big one, I realize) that is all worked out now.

      Remember life in the "homeland" (as Brad called it ;) lol) and that you're founding members of the NSC and that should help with any disillusionment lol

      Enjoy the warmer weather!

      lw

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    4. The scenery down here is phenomenal!! and the heat... might be too hot as their calling for 35C ish where we’re going and I faint in the heat so may have to move further north but we’ll see how it goes.

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  2. Yes a little early we aim for the end of November to get that far south. Just need some higher elevation.

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  3. I tried to comment yesterday, and it would not post! There is boondocking just north of Havasu, on the ridge. Friendly guy “checks” you in. Camp at lake mead national park boulder beach, cheap, wonderful . Avoid Vegas by driving through Overton, along the lake. Kim

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    1. Yup that’s where we’re going. We literally just passed Vegas when your comment came in. LOL

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  4. Hi Katie and Brad... sorry you have had trouble with your mastercard. With the Zip Code thing, Ray always goes inside, slides his card and charges an amount and then goes and fills up. To get cash, we usually go to walmart and use our debit card and get $100 cash. I go through with groceries to get my $100 and Ray goes through the line separately with a few items and gets his $100 cash. This saves bank fees. But.... the last two years our Bank of Montreal Debit cards would not work at Walmart. The USA Walmarts had not updated their security with debit cards to match Canada. This year, our debit cards, so far work at Walmarts. Just another thing to be aware of.

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    1. If you want to save bank fees, get the US Mastercard from BMO. No exchange fees with the card, but you have to pay with US dollars, which you can transfer directly from your US $ account. I use very little cash through out the winter, use the MC for every purchase including Walmart. When I need cash use the debit card at BMO Harris.

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  5. You are probably getting tired. You are covering a lot of ground. Wal-Mart's are not restful. Get to that spot you talked about and sit for two weeks. You can do this!

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    1. Awww thanks Flowergirl! I know I know I'm just doing a whiny sniffly girl thing. This HAS to work... His Lordship said so... after all the grief I put him through to do it this better be good. LOL

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    2. Check out Al's post at the Bayfield Bunch.

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    3. Read him every morning with my coffee!

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  6. You may want to add freecampsites(dot)net to your arsenal.

    Sounds like you're on your way to becoming seasoned RVers. We travel away from home for three months at the most and learn something new each time we're out. Our first year we made a few mistakes, the biggest of which was not to stop for the night in the dark. That experience was costly as we had damage to both our trailer and truck.

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    1. Woah, thats terrible. I try as much as possible to learn from others mistakes but there are so many mistakes to be made that you just can't possibly remember them all. Perhaps we'll see you on your 3 month this year?!

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  7. Check \nina's blog...wheelingit.us.
    Tons o boondocking info there. Hot tip time...get a Flying J RV plus card(not rewards card). nuff said...

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    1. Haven't heard of the Flying J RV plus card. Will look into that this morning. Thanks for the tip!

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  8. As mentioned by George, simply put the three numbers of your Postal Code then add 00 to the end. You now have a Zip Code that will work every time.
    We might be crossing paths soon.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Yes Mastercard gave me that tidbit but thanks for the comment, I don't think I wrote that tidbit for other readers so its great that its on here now. See you soon :)

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  9. Flying J is owned by PILOT so you can use your RV discount card at either travel center. Good for 3 cent discounts. Get the card from inside counter at the travel centers. Gene in Ohio

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  10. At mile marker 173 South of Havasu, there is boondocking. North of Quartzite, along the Plomosa Road(on the south side) east of 95 probably the best boondocking you can get. Good hard surface and lots of isolation. Good washes to walk the dog through. It is a 14 day free area, and no check in required until possibly Dec or Jan, until BLM get themselves a host. Buy wood for a campfire at the ACE store in Parker. Best deal you can get, nice end cuts of wood.

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    1. Thanks Peter but we're in La Posa West already. Perhaps we'll try that in 14 days ;)

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