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Printing Freedom

Time goes on and things change, even in the wonderful world of RVing. Having lived in an RV for 11 years now, some items that worked fine for me when I first started my journey don’t work so well for me anymore. Technology continues to advance and design new items to make life easier. Prices on older technology continue to drop. After over 11 years of paying high prices for inkjet printer ink and constantly running out of ink, I was getting antsy for something better. I just needed the cosmic winds to shift to lower prices and give me a good excuse to replace a good working printer. Things finally came together when my job changed from employee status to contractor (bah humbug!) and I started looking around at possible online businesses I could run at the same time. For business reasons, I need to change to laser printing. A look at the current costs of laser printers showed significant drops and even low-cost color laser printers if I wanted that option. I rarely print color but it is always nice to have options.

Being in an RV, I had to consider things land lubbers don’t. I needed to balance weight, space, and power needs for a new printer. Color printers seem to weigh twice as much as black and white printers. I hated to have to give up color but carrying that extra weight to print a handful of pages in color each year just wasn’t worth it to me. I can print through an office store or possibly a library if needed. Space wise, I knew the new printer would likely have a bigger footprint and not be suitable to sit on my table like the old printer. I reorganized my space to create a place on the floor for the new printer which I plan to keep covered at all times when not in use. I was a little concerned about the power draw of a laser printer compared to an inkjet but was assured a trailer could handle it.

After deciding what I wanted as options for my new printer with scanning, printing, and copying being a must, I learned the codes used in printer model numbers such as D=Duplex(two sided automatic copy), C=Color, MFC=Multifunction (Scan, copy, fax, print), W=Wireless, etc. and started searching reviews on Amazon and computer websites. Brother laser printers score high for customer service and support so I narrowed it down to a few of their models. Here is where it gets weird… Since I live in an RV without a landline phone, I have no need for faxing capability in a printer. I use Internet faxing instead. Looking at the models that interested me, the best price on Wal-Mart’s website and Amazon was for a Brother printer that had a lot more bells and whistles than what I must have. The models with less options cost more! I ended up getting a Brother MFC-L2700DW with fax, copy, flatbed scanning as well as automatic document feeder, and duplexing. The ink is easy to find, prints 1300-2600 pages depending on the cartridge type you choose, and is not much more expensive than low page producing inkjet ink or very cheap if you buy generic. At around 24-25 pounds, getting rid of my inkjet printer and another large item offset the weight.  It fits easily under my table and is still within reach. The printing is crisp, it prints great postage labels with barcodes, and as an added bonus the paper is now sealed in a drawer away from all the dust unlike with the inkjet printer.

Brother 2700 Printer

Power is the only downside with it so far. My slide out where my table is gets its power through a cord you plug into the wall when the slide out is pushed out. Until now, I have been plugging it into a large backup UPS to protect my computer and printer. The new printer draws too much power for that scheme. It has to be directly connected to the wall. There goes both my outlets in the area. Dang it! That’s the price of freedom.

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