Are Square Trade and Apple Care for your iPhone Ripoffs

Paddle Boarding on Guadalupe River

I was recently paddle boarding in the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels with a group of friends. I had my iPhone Pro 11 in my swim trunks, which, according to Apple, has a water-resistance rating of IP68. That means the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max can be submerged in 13 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

I fell into the river several times over a few hours of paddling, giving the phone a periodic dunking in 1 to 3 feet of water, and it kept working fine. We were on moving water and light rapids, so everyone fell multiple times. About an hour or two afterward, my iPhone 11 Pro died.

So much for its water resistance, but not to worry as I had purchased Square Trade Allstate insurance at Costco in Feb 2020 when the phone was purchased. I had also immediately registered the purchase with Square Trade Allstate and uploaded my scanned copy of the purchase receipt into my newly established Square Trade Allstate account. I was told that by doing so in advance, a replacement phone would simply require a phone call should anything ever happen.

Instead, it required some of the worst bureaucratic runaround and nightmare suffering I’ve experienced in a while, and several weeks until I finally received a refund.

I had moved on from the indignation and gross incompetence of the experience, but Square Trade emailed me a “How’d we do?” survey request today, which received 1-stars across the board. And it triggered the reminder of just how bad this insurance company is.

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Recap of 35 days travel in a Roadtrek

Roadtrek 190 Van

Having just completed a 35 day journey to New England and back in my Roadtrek 190 camper van, here are some highlights and thoughts from the maiden journey in the Roadtrek.

  • Total miles: 7,435
  • Average 212 miles per day
  • Shortest daily miles, 53
  • Longest daily miles 804 (final push back to home)
  • Average MPG 15
  • No Chevy mechanical issues, 1 oil change along the way,
  • No major Roadtrek mechanical issues (water pump burps, fridge flies open)
  • Overnights Breakdown:
    • State/County Parks: 14 nights
    • RV/Campgrounds: 13 Nights
    • Parking Lots/Rest stops: 7 nights
    • Mom’s Driveway: 1 night
    • 3 night stays: 1
    • 2 night stays: 5
    • 1 night stays: 22
  • States Traversed (in order): TX, AR, TN, KY, OH, PA, NY, VT, NH, ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, CT, MA, NH, ME, NH, MA, CT, NY, PA, WV, VA, TN, GA, AL, MS, LA, TX

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Maine Coast and Back to Texas

Camping at Lake Lurleen in Alabama.

I last checked in 11 days ago from Salem Massachusetts. I’m now back in Wimberley TX after 35 days of “van life” travel and exploration in my 2012 Chevy Roadtrek Popular 190 travel van.

From Salem I ventured back up to Gloucester MA and took in a Whale Watching trip. Only two humpback whales were spotted, and we trailed them for quite a while. But it was a fun adventure despite not seeing more whales. 

I then headed up the coasts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine again, and up into Acadia National Forest to take in the incredible beauty there. I had bypassed Acadia my first trip up, so I’m glad I came back up to see it.

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Hudson Valley NY to Salem MA

Lighthouse in Salem

I last checked in from Croton-On-Hudson NY, in the Hudson Valley north of New York City. I’m checking in this morning from Salem Massachusetts alongside a beautiful bay.

After my two nights at the Croton Point campground and the day trip by train visit to New York City to see Caroline, I continued up the Hudson Valley with stops in Newburgh NY, and a longer stop and New Paltz NY for lunch.

The Hudson Valley area of New York state is picturesque and beautiful. This is home to the Catskill Mountains, with many resorts and campgrounds. The Hudson river itself is a mammoth river, which stretches far north of New York City and is very wide in places.

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Kennebunk to Hudson Valley and NYC

Central Park

I last checked in from Kennebunk Maine, currently in the Hudson Valley north of NYC. From Maine I traveled down the Maine coast, briefly crossing through New Hampshire then into Massachusetts. This is beautiful, often “rugged” looking rocky coastline, but with many nice beach towns.

I eventually ended up in Gloucester MA, where I spent several hours walking around exploring, and sitting at the waterfront park relaxing watching people, the boats and taking in the sights and sounds. I liked this place so much I almost stayed, but decide to return later.

From Gloucester I wanted to go into and explore Boston. This didn’t work out as I was vexed by the street patterns, narrow streets, and limited parking. I don’t think it’s a good idea to head blind into these tight, congested older big cities in a campervan without knowing exactly where I want to go. It’s not a place to “wing it”.

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Up to the Top of Maine

Branch Lake Campground

I’m checking in this morning from a campground outside Kennebunk Maine. I last posted from Camden State Park.

From Camden, after 2 nights, I moved about 100 miles further NE to to another State Park Campground at Cobscook Bay. This area of Maine has incredible tidal variance, with some of the back bays seeing a 30ft rise and fall of tide depth each day. I was camped right on the edge of the water with a beautiful view of the bay.

Upon arriving at Cobscook I started off on a hike but was soon caught in a heavy rain storm. I took shelter in toilet house to wait it out. But checking the weather app, it was not going to let up soon. So after pondering my 2 choices (stay or run), I made a run for it back to the van. I didn’t get too drenched, but it turned out to be a “rainout” stay spent mostly in the van.

The next morning I headed to my ultimate “for no particular reason” point of this trip, Madawaska Maine, at the Canadian border, which is purported to be the furthest Northeast town of the United States.

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Vermont through New Hampshire into Maine

Sunset in Burlington Vermont

I’m checking in this morning from Camden Hills State Park in Maine. I last posted from a Burlington Vermont coffee shop the morning I arrived there on Day 8.

I spent most of that morning and early afternoon at Nomad Coffee in Burlington doing some laptop work and chilling, before visiting an REI to purchase some camping soap.

That night In Burlington I camped free at the waterfront harbor downtown in a gravel boat trailer parking area. From there I hiked all around the waterfront and into downtown.

Burlington has a downtown retail and entertainment section where the entire street has been converted to pedestrian-only, and this stretches for blocks. I thought it was a good idea as it allowed lots of space for outdoor dining and walking. It wasn’t very crowded.

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Into NY State to Burlington VT

Into New York State

I’m checking in this morning from Nomad Coffee in Burlington VT. I last posted from a Kentucky Truck stop where I had overnighted just south of Cincinnati. From Kentucky, I next traversed Ohio in a NE diagonal route toward Erie PA, cutting across the sliver of Eastern Pennsylvania that abuts Lake Erie, then up into …

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