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Roadtreking: The RV Podcast by Mike Wendland

Roadtreking: The RV Podcast

by Mike Wendland

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Award-winning journalist Mike Wendland travels North America in a small motorhome, reporting about the interesting people and places he meets, offering RV and camping tips, tapping into his network of Roadtreking reporters, reviewing the latest in traveling technology and discovering destinations you'll want to put on your bucket list.


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  • RV Podcast 179: What solo women RVers need to know about the RV Lifestyle
    Tue, Feb 13, 2018

    RV Podcast 179: What solo women RVers need to know about the RV Lifestyle

    Are women more adventurous than men when it comes to the RV lifestyle? Some estimates put the number of female RVers traveling alone as much as 30 percent. That may be a bit high, but not by much, because it’s been our experience that solo women travelers do indeed make up a huge segment of the RVing community.

    In this episode of the podcast, Jennifer will introduce you to three such solo travelers who will share their traveling expertise on everything from staying safe to the RV adventures they have on the road. Plus your questions, RV news and Tips and much more.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #179  Feb. 14 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    This episode is coming to you from Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, Florida, near the famed Suwanee River. The Suwannee River is a federally designated wild river.

    We were at the Jacksonville RV show over the weekend. A shoutout to Ron and Sharri Chafin who were the first to meet us. They brought a very nice birthday gift for Jennifer! 

    We are camping on the Suwanee River, which is the only major waterway in the southeastern United States that is still unspoiled. The Suwanee flows from the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. It winds for almost 266 miles through swamps, high limestone banks, hammocks of hardwood, and salt marshes. It also has fifty-five springs along the way. 

    But besides that, it’s particularly famous because of Stephen Foster. He became America’s first professional songwriter in the 1800s. He wrote more than 200 songs with tunes and lyrics that captured the heart and spirit of the nation.

    While writing “Old Folks at Home,” Foster had difficulty finding the right words to complete a verse joining his image of a beautiful river and longings for family and home. According to legend, his brother suggested the Suwannee River after consulting a world atlas. The words fit, and “Way down upon the Suwannee River” was on its way to making the Suwannee River famous around the world.

    Foster never visited Florida and he never saw the Suwannee River. Nevertheless, since 1935, it has also been Florida’s state song.

    In the 1950s, land was acquired on the Suwannee River at White Springs. The land was developed into the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Shortly thereafter, the Florida Folk Festival was established to highlight the state’s cultural history and traditions.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing 

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    It can be hard to pack enough clothes for RV trips sometimes, especially if you are on the road for protracted periods of time.

    Doing laundry can be a challenge, too, as often the washers and dryers at campgrounds are all being used.

    At one of our recent Roadtreking gatherings, one of our fellow campers shared how they handle dirty laundry while traveling.

    Steve uses “Wash and Go” services at local laundrymat.,

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping   

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    A very basic question from a newbie on your site.  I understand that you are a long-time owner of and very devoted to the automotive technology offered by Roadtrek RV vehicles.  However, I have been watching various  RV B+ machines for quite a long time now, and I have found quite by accident that I really admire only the Roadtrek and Airstream B+ models for their looks, conveniences, reputation, reliability, and overall technology.  As these critters are major purchases, much like a home, have you any advice or cautionary tales about buying either of them. or might there be something else out there even more desirable?    Thanks.   >>>   John  

    Mike will you help the rv people? Do a piece on unfriendly towns that pass ordinances against anyone stopping to rest in there town.  Case in point Crescent city Ca. I got woke up at 3 am and made to leave the city.   I am not a vagrant and I drive a Roadtrek64 200 that looks good.  ( not a rust bucket) I think we all need to change this anti freedom cancer in America.  Not all of us can afford a camp at 50 dollars a night! – Mike T

     I have a question that maybe Jennifer can answer for me. What brand of toilet paper do you use? The brands at Camping World is over priced and poor quality. I read that any kind that is safe in septic systems work, but I would appreciate your input. Thank you, Linda 

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Are women more adventurous than men when it comes to the RV lifestyle? Some estimates put the number of female RVers traveling alone as much as 30 percent. That may be a bit high, but not by much, because it’s been our experience that solo women travelers do indeed make up a huge segment of the RVing community. In this episode of the podcast, Jennifer will introduce you to three such solo travelers who will share their traveling expertise on everything from staying safe to the RV adventures they have on the road

    Here’s a link to a video version of this interview: 

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    With the Olympics in full swing in South Korea, I thought it would be fitting today to talk about how technology is changing the way we enjoy and follow the big event.

    First up - how to take it all in. If you have a cable subscription, you can watch any event you’d like streamed live at NBCOlympics.com. You’ll just log in with your cable provider’s credentials and choose the event.

    If you’re a cord cutter or find yourself watching in your RV, there are some other ways to tune in. Those near a metro area and who have an antenna can watch the over the air broadcast. But if streaming is more your style, sign up for YouTubeTV. It has a free 14 day trial that’ll let you stream all the action and last you until the closing ceremonies.

    And while you’re streaming from your phone or tablet, you can pump up the volume with the UE Wonderboom, a portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker.  

    After watching figure skating, maybe you’re inspired to hit the ice but worried about injuries. The Google Daydream is all the equipment you’ll need. Just pop in your phone and enjoy 50 hours of live virtual reality coverage by NBC Olympics.

    Perhaps you’re feeling a bit more adventurous. You can create your own Olympic-inspired videos when you hit the slopes with a GoPro and Head Strap that can be worn over a helmet or directly on your head.

    Speaking of the sporty types, you certainly wouldn’t want to lose your phone or other valuables when you’re out on the hill. That’s where the new Tile Sport Bluetooth waterproof tracker comes in. Just clip these on to the things you don’t want to lose...and their 200-ft. radius will help you find your lost belongings whether on the slopes, in the stands or in your hotel room. And you can even reverse roles and use the Tile to find your smartphone.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide. 

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT  

    Campskunk joins us to talk about the land around Manatee Springs and this geologically unique part of Florida – a place abounding in natural springs and lots of interesting things for the RVer to see,

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service. 

    RV Shows this weekend: 

    Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel & RV Show

    February 14-18

    Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

    Duluth, MN

     

    49th Annual RV Super Show

    February 15-18

    State Fair Park 

    Oklahoma City, OK

     

    50th Annual Chicago RV & Camping Show

    February 15-18

    Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

    Rosemont, IL

     

    Austin RV Expo

    February 15-18

    Austin Convention Center

    Austin, TX

     

    Earlybird RV Show & Sale

    February 15-18

    Tradex Building

    Abbotsford, BC (Canada)

     

    Utah Sportsmen, Vacation & RV Show

    February 15-18

    South Towne Expo Center

    Sandy, UT

     

    West Palm Beach RV Show

    February 15-18

    South Florida Fairgrounds

    West Palm Beach, FL

     

    Alabama RV Super Show

    February 16-18

    Von Braun Civic Center

    Huntsville, AL

     

    44th Annual Northeast RV Show

    February 16-19

    Rockland Community College Field House

    Suffern, NY

     

    Atlantic City RV & Camping Show

    February 16-18

    Atlantic City Convention Center

    Atlantic City, NJ

     

    Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show

    February 16-18

    Lake Charles Civic Center

    Lake Charles, LA

     

    Chattanooga RV Show

    February 16-18

    Chattanooga Convention Center

    Chattanooga, TN

     

    Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show

    February 16-25

    Indiana State Fairgrounds

    Indianapolis, IN

     

    Gulf Coast RV Show - Mobile

    February 16-18

    Mobile Convention Center

    Mobile, AL

     

    London RV Show

    February 16-19

    Metroland Media Agriplex

    London, Ontario (Canada)

     

    Maryland RV Show

    February 16-18 and 23-25

    Maryland State Fairgrounds

    Lutherville/Timonium, MD

     

    Red Deer RV Show

    February 16-25

    Westerner Park

    Red Deer, AB (Canada)

     

    Springfield RV Camping & Outdoor Show

    February 16-19

    Eastern States Exposition Grounds

    West Springfield, MA

     

     

     

  • Episode 178: The Unwritten Rules of the RV Lifestyle
    Tue, Feb 06, 2018

    Episode 178: The Unwritten Rules of the RV Lifestyle

    There is a certain etiquette and behavior standard that RV owners are expected to adhere to. The problem is, many of the key tenants of that etiquette are learned through experience. Many are unwritten and usually learned through trial and error. We're going to help you avoid the errors by sharing 10 of those unwritten rules of the road and how to camp. EDIT

    Plus we have lots of listener questions, some great tips, a traveling tech report and an off the beaten path restaurant destination that believes if a little food is good, a lot of food is even better,

    Show Notes for Episode #178 Feb. 7, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We come to you this week from sunny Okaloosa Island, on Florida’s Emerald Coast, where we’ll be spending the next couple of months, except for the long list of side trips we plan up and down the Florida peninsula and across the Gulf Coast.

    We both celebrate our birthdays in the week ahead. Mike’s is Thursday Feb 8, Jennifer’s Monday Feb. 12.

    One of those sidetrips will be this coming weekend. Sunday, Feb. 11, we will be at the Jacksonville RV Show in Jacksonville, FL. The show is being held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center at 13611 Normandy Boulevard in Jacksonville. We’ll be hanging out with the folks at Sunshine State RVs and we’re planning to do a Facebook Live report from the show Sunday afternoon.

    Another sidetrip starts February, 12. We’ll be at Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, FL for a Roadtreking gathering with lots of other RVers. We’ll be kayaking and snorkeling with the manatees, as well as taking boat tours of the area. We’ll have live reports from there next week but this gathering sold out within two ours after we announced it last summer. 

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     We love sitting around a campfire. But, like a lot of people, we are not big fans of the smoke and mess that comes with a traditional campfire. That smoky smell permeates or clothes and even our hair and it can be quite unpleasant.

    On a recent campout in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we spent some time around Mark Fawcett’s campfire. Mark is from the Minneapolis area and he was using a portable firepit that uses propane and did an excellent job in keeping us warm while providing all the ambiance of a traditional campfire.

    The name of the firepit Mark has is the Outland Firebowl Model 870 Premium Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit. It comes with a Cover & Carry Kit and measures 19-Inches in Diameter , making it easy to store in the back of an RV. And we can attest to how warm and pleasant it is to sit around.

    To see it yourself, here is the direct Amazon link - amzn.to/2BZqWa8

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping   

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Alexios just bought a used Class C motorhome and wants to replace the flooring. He asks what’s best – a floating floor or a glue down?

    Jim wants to visit our gathering in Manatee Springs next week

    Beverly asks about bringing a printer along in an RV

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    There is a certain etiquette and behavior standard that RV owners are expected to adhere to. The problem is, many of the key tenants of that etiquette are learned through experience. Many are unwritten and usually learned through trial and error. We're going to help you avoid the errors by sharing 10 of those unwritten rules of the road and how to camp.

    Here’s a video version of this report:

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country 

    TRAVELING TECH TIP

    By Steve Van Dinter

    Verizon Wireless

    February is a month devoted to the heart in every sense. We don red throughout in support of National Heart Month and warm the hearts of those we cherish with special gifts for Valentine’s Day. And like other parts of our lives, tech now plays a role in both helping keep us healthy and also making a special night more memorable.

    Looking to set the mood for a romantic night in? The Google Home Max is the perfect companion. With its built in Google Assistant, you can use it to walk you step by step through recipes of your date’s favorite meal. It’ll play your favorite love song simply by asking for it by name. And after dinner, it’ll help you watch your favorite romantic comedy. All you need to do is say, “Hey Google, play Sleepless in Seattle on the living room TV” (provided you have a Google Chromecast Ultra plugged in to your TV).

    It's said that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but only if you can actually find that picture! In today's digital world, keeping track of the 1,000's of photos taken every year can be a challenge in itself. So when you snap a photo this Valentine's Day and want to cherish it, use the Lifeprint Photo and Video Printer.

    In today's world it can be tough to stay connected and look good while doing it. But when you've got the Fossil Q Accomplice Hybrid, you don't have to worry. This smartwatch features Fossil's thinnest design. And because it's a smartwatch hybrid you get all of the notifications without the battery drain - in fact the watch lasts for 6 months without needing a charge!

    Did you know that nearly 9 in 10 New Year's resolutions don't stick?! This year, let's change that and use motivation from the Apple Watch LTE to help! Have it walk you through a workout in the gym, or keep track of your heart rate and distance traveled while on a run. And with LTE built in, you can stream Apple Music to your bluetooth headphones and leave your phone at home!

    And finally if you are getting out and about more, you'll want to keep that phone protected. And with the Case-Mate Waterfall Case you'll glitter and shimmer every time you pull it out.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT – Tony’s Restaurant, Birch Run, MI

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    One of the pleasures, and occasional challenges, of traveling away from the main routes is finding a good local restaurant.  Forty years ago, around the time we got married, Patti gave me a copy of the first edition of Jane & Michael Stern’s book Roadfood.  It’s a listing, with a few details, of great, mostly inexpensive food joints within a few miles of our country’s most traveled interstates.  The book went through numerous editions, each one thicker than the last, until it finally became a website.  We’ve had the pleasure of adding to the collection several times over the years, and one of our favorite contributions is a diner in Birch Run, Michigan, just off interstate 75.

    Whenever we travel to the upper peninsula, as we did recently for the Roadtrek winter freezeout, we pull off for a meal.  It’s always best if it’s breakfast, and on this trip we spent the night in the parking lot of the nearby Meijer store.  The Meijer parking lot is quiet, the staff is friendly, and the doors are open 24 hours.  And Tony’s is just a few hundred yards down the road.  The menu looks like a tabloid newspaper, and you’re encouraged to take it with you.  Tony’s has a lot of tasty offerings, but they’re best known for bacon.  Ridiculous amounts of bacon.  Their BLT has a pound of fried meat, and I don’t know anyone who can get their mouth around it.

    We asked for a cheese omelet and an order of bacon to share.  The omelet is made with at least a dozen eggs and a half pound of cheese, and comes with two thick slabs of toasted Italian bread, made in-house every day.  Loaves of it are offered for sale at the counter, and it goes out the door by the sackful.  Looking forward to a weekend of visiting, we also brought in a half gallon thermos.  They filled it with coffee without batting an eye, and at no charge.  We took most of the bacon away in a carry out box, ate two more meals off it, and served it with biscuits to the early risers in the campground on Sunday morning.  There’s still a little of it in the fridge.

    Tony’s has been in business for nearly seventy years here.  They serve eleven thousand pound of bacon a week.  That’s right, five and a half tons.  That same amount of hash browns will hit the plates in a weekend.  Their desserts are as legendary as their bacon, with slices of pie that weigh in at a pound and a half, and a banana split that can serve a table of eight.  And just in case, they give you a handful of candy on your way out the door—wouldn’t want you to leave hungry.  

    Roadfood finds are great fun.  They give you something to look forward to when traveling in a particular part of the country.  Like the throwed rolls at Lambert’s in Sikeston, Missouri or the foot high pie at the Crystal Cafe in South Sioux City, Nebraska, Tony’s lives up to its legend at every visit.  And just like that granddad catfish lurking in the bottom of every farm pond, you know there’s another one out there waiting to be discovered.  We’ll happily keep looking, and we’ll look for you, too, asking for just one more cup of coffee, at a booth in the corner, somewhere off the beaten path.

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

    RV Shows this weekend: 

    Detroit Camper & RV Show

    February 7-11

    Suburban Showcase Collection

    Novi, MI

    Houston RV Show

    February 7-11

    Reliant Center

    Houston, TX 

    Colorado Springs RV & Outdoor Show

    February 8-10

    Altered Reality Event Center

    Colorado Springs, CO

    Edmonton RV Expo & Sale

    February 8-11

    Edmonton Expo Centre

    Edmonton, Alberta

    Erie RV Show Powersports &  Camping

    February 8-11

    Bayfront Convention Center

    Erie, PA

    Jacksonville RV Show

    February 8-11

    Jacksonville Equestrian Center

    Jacksonville, FL

    La Crosse Boat, Sports, Travel, RV & Hunting Show

    February 8-11

    La Crosse Center

    La Crosse, WI

    Oregon State Salem Spring RV Show

    February 8-11

    Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

    Salem, OR 

    Seattle RV Show

    February 8-11

    Quest Field & Event Center

    Seattle, WA 

    Arkansas RV Show

    February 9-11

    Statehouse Convention Center

    Little Rock, AR 

    Cedar Rapids Sportshow

    February 9-11

    Hawkeye Downs Expo Center

    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Lawton RV, Boat & Outdoor Leisure Show

    February 9-11

    Commanche County Fairgrounds

    Lawton, OK

    Midessa Boat, RV, Sport & Gun Show

    February 9-11

    Ector County Coliseum

    Odessa, TX

    Minneapolis/St. Paul RV Vacation & Camping Show

    February 9-11

    Minneapolis Convention Center

    Minneapolis, MN

    Montana RV & Boat Show

    February 9-11

    Four Seasons Arena

    Great Falls, MT

    Ottawa RV Expo & Sale

    February 9-11

    EY Centre

    Ottawa, ON

    Richmond Camping RV Expo

    February 9-11

    Richmond International Raceway

    Richmond, VA

    St. Cloud Sportsmen's Boat, Camping & Vacation Show

    Feb. 9-11

    St. Cloud Civic Center

    St. Cloud, MN 

     

  • Episode 177: How to find the best off-the-beaten path places
    Tue, Jan 30, 2018

     Episode 177: How to find the best off-the-beaten path places 

    There’s a great saying about the RV Lifestyle: The journey IS the destination. What it means is that the things we discover AS we travel are just as much a part of the adventure as the place we’re heading.

    In other, words, off the beaten path discoveries. In this episode, you’ll meet a couple who have perfected the adventure of uncovering the fascinating things you can encounter on the way to somewhere else. Stay tuned as our Interview Segment this week features our own Tom and Patti Burkett, the best off the beaten path explorers we’ve ever met. They’ll share their secrets and tips that you can put in practice on your next RV trip.

    Plus, we have listener questions, feedback, RV tips, Traveling with Technology advise and much more.

    Show Notes for Episode #177 January 31, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO AND INTERESTED IN THIS WEEK

    We’re packing again, about to head off for a very long trip that will have us on the road pretty much through April.

    We signed up for the Dakota Post mail forwarding service to handle our mail while we’re away. DakotaPost, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has been in the mail forwarding business since 1989 and provides a safe and secure service. Options for receiving your mail include monthly, twice a month, weekly, or on demand.  The company’s new secure Client Portal gives you direct access to request your mail, change your mailing address, or update your account information online. It starts at $12 a month, $15 a month for short term of 3-9 months. I opted for Virtual Mailbox. It’s $19 a month but it lets you immediately see your physical mail. Virtual Mailbox will display an exterior image of each piece of mail received in your mailbox in an online space called your Client Portal. We can have it opened or scanned or mailed to us wherever we happen to be. We’ll let you know how it goes.

    We discuss an interesting story in the Miami Herald, headlined “Dont be distracted by the beauty: Florida’s National Parks are falling apart.” It talks about the massive repair backlog, to Everglades National Park in particular. A backlog of repairs at the park now tops $88 million, with about $254 million in repairs needed at national parks across the state.

    If you think those campgrounds and the roads you travel are more congested with RVs these days, you’re right. For the first time in more than four decades – and the first time since the RV Industry Association has been keeping statistics – wholesale shipments topped half-a-million, with a total of 504,599 units moving from manufacturers to RV dealers in 2017. That figure is a 17.2% increase compared to the 430,691 units shipped in 2016. Towable units, by far the largest-selling segment of the RV market, led again in 2017, with 441,691 such units shipped, a 17.6% increase year over year. This included 31,541 towable units shipped in December, a 9.5% bump from the previous December. Motorhome shipments were also strong in 2017, finishing the year at 62,638 units on 14.4% growth over the 54,741 units shipped during 2016. December motorhome shipments were up 12.2% year over year

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing 

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Last week Mike and I were winter camping in the Michigan's Upper Peninsula with our annual winter campout. We had so much fun we decided to stay an extra two nights at Lower Falls campground in the Tahquamenon Falls State Park to experience camping in an Upper Peninsula blizzard. We really enjoyed the peace and beauty, and we had a ball. We also spent plenty of time outdoors on walks with our dog, Bo.

    Whenever we go winter camping I buy a box or two of Hot Hands, a chemical activator that comes in a packet to keep my hands warm. The packets work well, but buying them by the box adds up. And one thing that has always bothered me is the heaters can only be used once, which means a lot of packages sent to the local landfill. 

    Well, recently I discovered another type of hand warmer that may solve this problem - and save us money as well. The item is an electric hand warmer. Designed to fit in your palm, the hand warmer slips into your gloves and heats up in 3 seconds, keeping your hands warm for hours. The best part is the warmers can be charged, so unlike the throwaway warmers, you can use them again and again. Their size is roughly 4 by 2.2 inches, and many I found online that double as a phone charger. Some even come in three heat settings.

    There are several types of electric hand warmers out there. One I found on Amazon by Letouch costs $21.97. You will need two of them - one for each hand - but it will mean no more tossing the heat packs into the garbage, and no more need to continually buy new disposable hand heaters.

    I'm curious to know, has anyone tried the electric hand warmers? How did it work out? Since we are heading to warmer weather I may not get a chance to try until the next winter season. I will put a link on the show notes to the one on Amazon that caught my eye if you would like to learn more. 

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Listener Jerrod in Alabama asks for our tips on how to find a mobile RV technician when he needs service and is in different parts of the country. 

    Mark from Minnesota has a comment on temperature sensors for the freezer and the need to use lithium batteries for them

    We answer an email sent to us by a soon to be new RVer, who writes:

    I have enjoyed your videos and adventures in your website/youtube.  I am a 57 year old woman who has always dreamed of camping and who loves the outdoors. This coming summer, I am hoping to be on the road for one month in a rented Class B camper.  I am still exploring which area to visit but Montana, Wyoming and California are my top contenders.  Not sure which one I will select.  I have found available vehicles for rent in Arizona, so maybe I could go there.It will be my first time doing this and I am understandably a little apprehensive. I am writing to you in the hopes that you can point me in the right direction with perhaps a book recommendation so I can educate myself as a newbie to the RV world. Also, if you have a recommendation of what would be a good first trip to take. While I would love to go to remote places just me and my dog, I am afraid for my safety all alone.  So I will start by staying on campgrounds around other adventurous people. I live in Miami, FL but would really rather explore the areas mentioned above.  My plan is to fly out to the place where I rent the camper and set off from there. I hope you can help me with some direction, advice and recommendations of resources (books, etc) so I can educate and prepare myself. Thank you so much, Marisa  

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Our guests this week for our interview of the week segment are Tom and Patti Burkett. If you are a regular listener of this podcast, you know them from their off the beaten path reports that take us to obscure but always fascinating new places.

    I urge you to listen to the interview for lots of tips on discovering the stories in the towns you pass during your RV travels. It was recorded a couple of weeks ago in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, during our annual Roadtreking winter campout at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. 

    But this week, I’m trying something new: A full transcript of the interview. This is something many people have asked for over the years, Now I know I can’t do this every week, with every interview. But if this is helpful, please let me know and maybe we can do this again sometime.

    Also, we have made a video version of the interview. You can find it on our RV Lifestyle You Tube Channel at http://rvlifestylechannel.com

    Mike: If you're a regular follower of our RV podcast or RV travel blog Roadtreking.com, you're familiar with Tom and Patty Burkett. They are experts in finding places off the beaten path. Well you guys have been doing these wonderful off the beaten path reports now for a couple three years and the question I get asked more often than not everyplace I go about you is how do they find those incredible places? So Tom and Patty Burkett, how do you find those off the beaten path reports?

    Tom: Well you tell a little bit about this book that sort of. Changed the way we look at things when we travel.

    Patti: Right. So a few years ago we read this book called Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places. And it's a it's a great read and what it does is sort of makes you look at places where you are and look for clues of what was there before. So you're sort of paying attention to road signs and types of signs and the way the architecture is changed. And from that you start getting hints about what was there before. And so I think that kind of has piqued our curiosity and our interest in knowing, you know, sort of the local story. What's there, what’s here now and what's been there in the past.

    Tom: You see the way the roads are laid out and the way the streets are laid out in the town and what kinds of buildings are grouped together. And over time you begin to to see patterns emerge and all of a sudden you understand the history of the place a lot better and it helps you know what kind of questions to ask and sort of what are some of the the likelihoods about a place when you start to talk to people who live there and it just helps. It helps you know a little bit more about where you are.

    Mike: So how do you plan for a trip.

    Tom: Well we start out by planning a trip that avoids interstates and one of the things that we've come to realize is that the the old US highways the major highways are frequently treasure troves of things of things to discover and talk to people about. And so often we'll plan a trip that that proceeds along one of those roads. And once we've picked a road, or a route for someplace we go and we sort of lay out the shape of the trip and then look for the look for the roads that go there. And we avoid roads that go through cities unless we're specifically looking for a city for specific things in a city to visit. But what we look at the small towns and then I have a long list of newsletters and Websites that I look at on a regular basis and things that come to me in the e-mail. And I keep a running Google map of places that we're going to see and it has hundreds of hundreds of spots on it.

    Patti: I mean you put on the Google map before we're even planning a trip. 

    Tom: Right.

    Patti: So he has a map that has you know if he finds something interesting and someplace in Oregon he puts a marker on that map. 

    Tom: And then once we have a route laid out then we'll start to research some of the Web sites like Roadside America and Atlas Obscura and I discover and they have of course interesting places and there's a whole series of websites that talk about unusual places that every state and series that talks about ghost towns and I'll go through all of those and I'll pick out things that are close to where we're going at all. I'll put those on the map for the particular trip we're going and then as we travel when we feel like taking a break we look around and say OK what is there around here to look at. And then as often as not we get to a place like that. And we have a little conversation with the people who either live there or visiting there and they say oh you know if you like this have you seen thus a such a thing which is six miles up the road. And of course, we didn't have any idea about such a place. But we get in the car we drive out there and look at it and then you go along the road to and you see signs for things that you never thought that you know that you never that you didn't recognize or didn't find ahead of time. We have a daughter who lives in Baltimore and we drive back and forth on Interstate 68 and for three or four years we drove past the little brown side along the side that said Arthurdale - This E xit. it's one of those brown signs like they have for the national parks. 

    Patti: I think it's a new deal museum. 

    Tom: And we thought we had one of these days we ought to stop and see that. And sure enough about three four months ago we had enough time that we pulled off and drove down and we were just completely taken with it.

    Patti: And we just and we did a recent report on it. But you know it was a place that's not very well known yet because it's just developing. It's a group of people local people who you know are working their hearts out to preserve this you know New Deal town that was an important part of the history after the Depression. And, you know it's not very fancy at it's not very slick. They you can see their intentions you can see their hopes.

    Tom: No the woman we talked to said you know if you know some other RVers who are willing to help us out we'll be glad to give you a campsite and a place to plug your vehicle in if you'll come in and do some research or some cataloguing for us we can use all the help we can get.

    Mike: And there are so many places like that all across the country.

    Patti: Everywhere! I mean that's the thing you start realizing is that every town has a story. I mean it makes me sometimes now when we're driving around near our own house I think, wow I wonder how I would see this if I was visiting it as a visitor. You know I think there's things in my own town that I've never noticed.

    Mike: Now you said a couple of things. One, I like what you just said Patti that every town has a story. And then talking to the locals. So many people just kind of rush and go and maybe they have a couple stuff and now they'll stop at an attraction and then they'll be on the road again. I got a feeling that you kind of never get where you are intending to get to and you get waylaid by these awesome places and find that the destination is the journey and not the place you end up.

    Tom: Well that's absolutely true. A couple of years ago I decided I was going to drive the Ohio River from Cincinnati to Wheeling West Virginia just the southern border of the state of Ohio. We live in Ohio and I started in Cincinnati and some little towns along the way I Pulled up in the parking lot of a building that had a sign that said cardboard boat museum. And it was closed but I looked in the big plate glass windows and sure enough there are six or seven large cardboard boats in there. You know one of the things that's great about the current age for doing this kind of exploration is that you can you can look on Google and I pulled out the phone and I looked at sure enough, up here along the Ohio River they have a cardboard boat race every year and a big festival. So we put that on our calendar for the next year to go down there see the cardboard dome races and got to the next little town. And I have a distant relative who used to work making buttons out of mussel shells during the during the mid nineteen hundreds and this particular little town Mansfield, Ohio along the river had a button factory at one time and they said all these button factories, the shells pile up outside to the size of mountains and they've just got all of these holes punched in them where they cut out the buttons. And I thought it would be kind of nice to have one of those just as a memento. The family history so I said I will stop and see if I can find one. I pulled in. Spent the night there. I just park right along the river as the local police said you know I'm just traveling through and I want to stay here and have breakfast is there a place I can park and they said Yeah just park down here. They drove by two or three times during the night to make sure everything was OK. And the next morning I went to the local cafe and I sat down at the diner counter and ordered my breakfast and there's a as there always is the little towns that table full of old guys sitting up by the window.

    Patti: They're there every day every day.

    Tom: I said to the waitress who is also the grill cook. So like a one person shop, I said do you suppose those guys would mind if I came and sat with him she said, Hey Arnold OK this guy comes and says and he said sure. So, we went over and I sat down I talked to him about the town and told him I was interested in this history of button making it all. We have a great display of that in our local museum, but it closed a couple of years ago. Another gut said, doesn’t your granddaughter used to work at that museum. He said why dont you call her and see if she'll take this fellow down there and show him the museum. And he did. Ad she invited me down to the museum and she opened it up and went in and looked around and she said Now you go talk to Harold he'll be having lunch down at the cafe. So I went back down there and she said he used to work in the Button Factory and he's, I don't know 90 years old. He said Yeah come on. So, he took me out we got in his pickup truck we drove down to where the factory used to be and he told me all about it was gone. Most have been washed away by the river.

    Mike: So, give us some advice for all those other RVers out there and how to enjoy their travel more.

    Patti: So, I was just thinking while he was talking so I think a couple of things play into this. Sometimes it actually drives me a little crazy.

    Mike: Sometimes I have to go by myself.

    Like the great doughnut trail.

    Tom: I'm the doughnut lover of the family.

    Patti: But I think first of all it takes a keen sense of curiosity. So there are many times when Tom pulls out the phone to look something up like really, really you're going to look at this thought look this up and we're going to end up having to stop at this thing which I don't necessarily care about. So partly I think that's one of Tom's gifts is that he's just incredibly curious about things and always wants to know. So that's one thing is when you see something that just piques your interest even a little bit. At least look it up because there may be something way more

    Tom: That's how we found beer and bacon in Medora, North Dakota

    Patti: Right. Yeah right. Yeah. And then the second thing is I think you have to have. Well I think the other thing when he was just talking people love to tell their stories. So you're not for the most part. I mean you'll get the feeling if you are but for the most part people love to tell their stories. So, you're not imposing on them to ask. You know to say, hey do you know anything about button factories here?

    Tom: They like to show off their I like to show off their towns.

    Patti: You know it's a lot of these towns don't look that great. You know their towns that have been hit by the economy. But they have a proud history. And so to have somebody ask some questions about that means the world to them. You know they love to have the chance to talk to about it.

    Tom: They do. Every town. Just like you said every town has stuff they like to show off. You don't find it unless you ask.

    Patti: And then I think the thing you have to do is have a pretty good spirit. Because some of the stuff we found find is duds. I mean there's stuff we've driven two or three hours out of our way to go see. Usually because he's had an on that map, on his list. We got to go see those. And we drive there and I'm like. Really? Really? we just drove two hours to come see that. But, you know nothing nothing lost, nothing gained. I mean if we were afraid of hitting a dud every now and then, think of all the other things we would have missed along the way.

    Mike: Well we will take a list of all of those resources you shared. We'll put them in the description below the video and in the podcast notes and we hope that the Burkett's continue out there, off that beaten path. And thank you for sitting down and sharing these tips and some of those stories with us today.

    Tom and Patti: You're welcome. Thanks. Always a pleasure.

    Items we discussed in the interview:

    Outside Lies Magic

    Smithsonian Guides to Historic America

    Roadside America

    Roadfood

    Atlas Obscura

    Only In Your State

    Scenic Byways (NFS)

    Scenic Byways (NFS)

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    As you’re crisscrossing the country taking in all the sights, I’ll bet you and your wife take a lot of pictures.

    But what do you do with them afterwards? Do they live on your phone forever?

    It’s nice to have some physical prints once in a while, and that’s why my first cool gadget I wanted to tell you about is the Lifeprint photo printer. This is a wireless photo printer that easily fits into a purse. You connect to it via wifi or bluetooth, select the photos you want printed out and the printer will print you a 2x3” photo that also has a sticky adhesive on the back so you can stick it anywhere. We all know ink on printers runs out at the worst times but you’ll never have to worry about that with this printer. It uses heat and a special paper to give you perfect pictures every time.

    Next we talked a lot last year about Motorola’s unique smartphones that have the moto mods. Well there’s a new one that’s just been released you should know about. It’s called the smart speaker. This is a speaker that attaches to the back of phones like the Moto Z2 Force and lets you play beautifully rich sounding music. And it’s smart because it has Amazon’s Alexa built in. Combined with the 4 sensitive microphones you can talk to this smart speaker attachment like you would with any of Amazon’s Alexa smart speakers. Pretty cool, huh?

    And lastly, when it comes to roadtrips, I know music choice can sometimes divide everyone in the vehicle. Why compromise on songs that not everyone really enjoys when you can use the Bose QuietComfort 35 bluetooth headphones? Now your front or backseat customers can enjoy their own quality music experience, catch some soothing shuteye or just have a little me time. And with 20 hours of battery life, it’s the ultimate travel companion.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     RV Show Schedule for Next Weekend

    Tulsa Boat, Sports & Travel Show

    January 29- February 4

    Muscogee Creek Nation Center & Expo Square

    Tulsa, OK

     

    Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show

    February 1-4

    Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

    Fort Wayne, IN

     

    Iowa's Original RV Camping Show

    February 1-4

    Iowa State Fairgrounds

    Des Moines, IA

     

    St. Louis RV, Vacation & Travel Show

    February 1-4

    America's Center

    St. Louis, MO

    Hamilton RV Show and Sale

    February 2-4

    Players Paradise Sports Complex

    Stoney Creek, ON

     

    Madison Camper & RV Show & Sale

    February 2-4

    Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall

    Madison, WI

     

    Mid-Michigan Camper & RV Show

    February 2-4

    SVSU Ryder Center

    Saginaw, MI

     

    Nebraska Boat, Sport & Travel Show

    February 2-4

    Lancaster Event Center

    Lincoln, NE

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    A special message from Mike and Jennifer:

     

    I want to thank so many of you for being a part of our RV Podcast community. We are constantly working to make this podcast more relevant to you. Please contact us directly if you have any suggestions!

    Now... Many I ask a favor of YOU?

    For months now, we have been working really, really hard on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. We now have it organized and set up the way we wanted and have hundreds of videos now online about every aspect of the RV lifestyle.

    If you haven't done so, would you please subscribe to the channel?

    Just go to http://rvlifestylechannel.com and click the subscribe button.

    We put new videos up every week and subscribers get first notice when new content is online.

    Also, subscribers can use the Community tab on the Channel to post comments, questions or get special tips.

    Thank you in advance...

     

     

  • Episode 176: How Workamping can help pay for your RV Lifestyle
    Tue, Jan 23, 2018

    There are lots of workkamping jobs waiting for you! We'll learn how to find the best ones!

     

    Episode 176: How Workamping can help pay for your RV Lifestyle

    Would you like to do more RV traveling this year but can’t afford it? Then consider workamping, or working for relatively short periods of time in exchange for a place to park your RV and often even for pay.

    We’ll talk about that I this episode and get great advice from an experienced workamping couple. We’ll also have lots of workaming resouces for you to check out. Plus your questions, comments, RV news and much more.

    But first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride…Jennifer.

    Show Notes for Episode #176 1/24/18 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    Mike and Jen are quite literally snowbound as they recorded this episode of the RV podcast, coming to you from the snowy woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where a Lake Superior winter storm has them hunkered down in their Roadtrek until the roads get plowed. You may be surprised to know they’re delighted with the situation! So is Bo, who was made for the snow.

    They share their love of winter camping, but admittedly are looking forward to thawing out as they head to Florida in a couple of weeks for some personal appearances a RV shows and a Roadtreking gathering at the Manatee Springs State Park.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     We, like many RVers, love to travel with our dog. And our dogs sure love exploring new   

    That’s why the tip we received from a listener named Sue is so appreciated. Sue has a way to have peace of mind that if your pet does takes off, you will be able to easily located hime.

    Sue suggests a product called Link AKC. It sells for $99 and comes in two sizes, one for small dogs, one for large. It’s a GPS system for your pet.

    We’ll put a link to them on Amazon on the show notes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-cm-slash-176.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear 

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Monica asks: Please talk about how you keep the flooring clean in your Roadtrek. Thanks.

    Jennifer uses Clorox wipes to keep ours clean

    Howard e-mails: In your video about using the Refectix on the window for insulation, can it be used for the windshield, driver and passenger window as well? Mike thinks it iwould be hard to attach there. We instead use sunshields, which is about the same thing and has Velcro to attach to the outside edges. You can get at any camping store. 

    Barry writes: We have one of the three-way refrigerators that we use almost exclusively on propane. As you probably know they are not always reliable. We would like to be alerted when the temperature in the refrigerator or the freeze strays outside a given range. One we tried recently didn't work and we returned it. Any recommendations from you would be greatly appreciated. Take care and see you out on the road!

    Mike shares how he has tried three of them and nine work reliably. Batteries die. He has none and is not inclined to try another. 

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado.. 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    As everyone is dreaming about their summer plans, where to go and what to explore, one topic we’d like to dig into today is spending that time volunteering. Right now there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers being sought to serve in federal and state lands throughout the country this summer. And the ideal candidate? An RVer.

    These jobs could be serving as campground hosts at a state or national campground, welcoming campers and keeping track of basic maintenance in return for a free spot to camp. But these volunteer jobs could also range from dressing as a cowboy on a historic cattle ranch out west, to selling merchandise in a gift shop, to living in a lighthouse along the coast of beautiful Lake Superior to helping astronomers interpret the sky for Montana visitors.

    Right now many federal and state government offices are taking applications for volunteers to work on state or federal land for summer of 2018. Many are specifically seeking RVers – both couples and individuals. While work requirements vary from spot to spot, often the jobs require 32 hours a week volunteer hours for a single person or 24 hours per week for a couple, leaving plenty of time to explore.

    Some jobs require a month commitment, some require a season, At least one we found requires a year of service. While these jobs are considered volunteer work, most provide a free campsite, and many of those campsites provide free water, electricity and dumping, for as long as you serve.

    But when you talk to people who do this, they will also be quick to say they provide so much more. Yes, free housing does help the budget, but many who take the jobs also say they provide a great deal of satisfaction that comes from giving back and - in a very real and tangible way -helping to strengthen some of this nation’s most unique parks and historic areas.

    It could be the adventure of a lifetime. And there are hundreds of volunteer jobs available for RVers. But there are also paid jobs for workampers. A lot of them.

    Too many to mention, in fact. But if you want to get a list of them, go to https://www.workamper.com

    Right now, to give you an idea of what those paid and unpaid jobs are like, we want to introduce you to some good friends of ours – Jim and Rhonda Phipps. The Phipps have done just about every kind of workamper job you can imagine. And recently, Mike sat them down and asked them to share their experiences.

    If you’d like to see a video of the interview, and some photos of their workamping jobs, go to our Video channel at http://rvlifestylechannel.com

    And… if you want to see a full list of volunteer jobs at national and state parks, go to the shownotes for this episode…Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-176. We will have lots and lots of resources and links for workamper jobs.

     For federal volunteer jobs, go to: https://www.volunteer.gov

    This site lists volunteer jobs for: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Parks Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Resource Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

    Once there you can search and see what volunteer jobs are out there by clicking the state you most want to visit. applications are being taken now for summer jobs. Application deadlines, webpages and phone numbers are also given for each job.

    When you find the one that interests you, apply for it online. The page will walk you through the five step application process. When more than one couple applies, the agency will look at who is most qualified.

    Here is a link to what you should expect if you want to apply: https://www.volunteer.gov/faq.cfm

    Many states also have their own websites to seek campground host volunteers in particular. Here are some links (this list is not comprehensive, just a sampling):

    California:

    http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=886

    Colorado:

    http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Volunteers

    Florida:

    https://www.floridastateparks.org/get-involved/volunteer

    Michigan:

    http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365-27524--,00.html

    Nebraska:

    http://outdoornebraska.gov/campgroundhost/

    Tennessee:

    http://tnstateparks.com/get-involved/campground-hosts

     Texas:

    https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/help-parks

     Wyoming:

    http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/index.php/learn/volunteer-opportunities - appPlacement

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless 

    It’s here...the culmination of months of gridiron action...the Super Bowl.

    If your RV is pointed towards Minneapolis, you may want to get into town earlier than Feb 4th.

    That’s because starting on Friday, Jan 26 and running through gameday you’ll find Super Bowl Live presented by Verizon.

    This is a celebration of all things Minnesota! From great photo opportunities (including one from inside a snow globe), to larger than life ice sculptures, sleigh rides and even cross country skiing and tubing, you’ll find it all in this mile long adventure located near U.S. Bank Stadium.

    In addition, if you’re a food lover, come taste some great local fare from food trucks like Butcher Salt, Gastro Truck, MN Nice Cream and more. In fact there’s so much food - more than 100 offerings - you’ll fill up well before you’ve run out of choices!

    And once you’ve properly pampered your palette, it’s time to give your other senses a treat by checking out the free live concerts playing on the Verizon Up Stage. There you’ll find Minnesota music legends Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis along with Idina Menzel, Dessa, The Steeles and the Jets and much more.

    It’s a fun-filled, action-packed 10 days you won’t want to miss.

    You can learn more www.mnsuperbowl.com

    And you can stay on top of the action, by following me on Twitter. Just look for @SVANDINTER

    I’ll be working to bring you all the sights and sounds from on site and help showcase what’s going on each and every day.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

     

    RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND


    Western New York RV Show

    January 19-28

    Hamburg Fairgrounds Events Center

    Hamburg, NY

     

    Quartzside Sports, Vacation & RV Show

    January 20-28

    Show Grounds Location

    Quartzside, AZ

     

    Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow

    January 24-28

    Kentucky Exposition Center

    Louisville, KY

     

    Cincinnati-Dayton RV Show

    January 25-28

    Dayton Convention Center

    Dayton, OH

     

    Fort Myers RV Show

    January 25-28

    Lee Civic Center

    Fort Myers, FL

     

    Greater Kansas RV Show

    January 25-28

    Century II Expo Hall

    Wichita, KS

     

    WBay RV & Camping Expo

    January 25-28

    Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena & Shopko Hall

    Green Bay, WI

     

    East Texas Boat & RV Show

    January 26-28

    Maude Cobb Activity Center

    Longview, TX

     

    Greater Phoenix RV Show

    January 26-28

    Phoenix Convention Center

    Phoenix, AZ

     

    Huntington RV & Boat Show

    January 26-27

    Big Sandy Superstore Arena

    Huntington, WV

     

    Atlanta Camping & RV Show

    January 26-28

    Atlanta Exposition Center South

    Atlanta, GA

     

    Tulsa Boat, Sports & Travel Show

    January 29- February 4

    Muscogee Creek Nation Center & Expo Square

    Tulsa, OK

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Episode 175: Straight Talk for RV Wives Only
    Wed, Jan 17, 2018

    Among a host of topics, today’s episode features a “For Women Only” advice section for RV wives. Now I think husbands will also benefit to this but what she’s done is address a bunch of concerns that RV women have raised with her as she has met them in our travels across North America.

    She alleviates most of these concerns with some very practical advice. That’s coming up in our interview of the week time.

    But also this week. Your RV questions and comments, RV tips, a great off the beaten path destination to put on your bucket list, and more RV shows this coming weekend than you can shake a stick at. This is the heart of the RV show season and do we have a long list for you to consider!

    Show Notes for Episode #175 Jan. 17, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We’re getting ready to head to the Great White North of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and, specifically Tahquamenon State Park where there is nearly three feet of snow on the ground. We’ll be joined by dozens of their RVers, who’ve made their way to our annual Winter Campout. We’ll have a Facebook Live report sometime mid-Friday afternoon on our Facebook Page at http://facebook.com/roadtreking.  If you hit like on the page you should get a notice when the report will go live but I’m shooting for about 3PM eastern January 19.

    After that, we’ll be heading south, to much warmer climates.  We’ll be at the Jacksonville Florida RV Show the afternoon of Fed. 11… and then Feb 12-16 we’ll be at another Roadtreking Gathering, this one at the Manatee Springs State Park in Florida.

    For a full list of all the gatherings we have on tap for this year, go to http://roadtreking.com/2018-calendar/

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    One topic RVers love to talk and learn about is cooking and eating. Finding good and easy to prepare meals on the road can be quite challenging.     Episode 175: Straight Talk for RV Wives Only

    One method that has been getting a lot of attention on our Roadtreking Facebook Group lately is called Sous-Vide … for “under vacuum.”

    Essentially it means cooking food in sealed plastic bags immersed in hot water for long periods of time. Depending on the cut, type, and thickness of the meat or the type of food in question, cooking Sous-Vide for several hours is not out of the ordinary.

    The key is managing the temperature of the water so it stays hot enough to cook the food thoroughly and evenly, and long enough to kill any food-borne pathogens that may be in the bag along with the food.

    Cooking in sealed bags (usually vacuum sealed) at lower temperatures also results in juicier food, since there's no significant transfer of moisture from the food in the way there is with others cooking method like grilling or broiling, and the cooking temperatures don't get so high that the food starts to dry out.

    Now there are devices and kits you can get to make this process easy. We’ll do a tip on that sometime soon. But in today’s tip, a husband and wife team of listeners to this podcast sent us this tip on how the Sous-Vide cooking method made a winter camping trip very tasty… and easy.

    Like I said, we’ll talk more about Sous-Vide cooking in a future episode.

    Meantime, be sure to send me YOUR tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it

    I love hearing from you! 

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK 

    QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    • A caller asks about what app to use to clear up and manage memory on her smartphone.

    Everyone knows that the more we use our smartphones, the higher the chance that we’ll run out of storage space on them at the worst possible moment. I recently did one of my NBC-TV PC Mike reports on just that, showing three apps proven useful in managing smartphone space.

    Files Go is the new Google-made app that checks storage and frees up more space by identifying and deleting old files, Best of all it it takes up a relatively small amount of space on your device with no extras that can affect a phone’s performance. The app is free for Android.

    AMC Cleaner is another free and easy-to-use Android tool that does deep scans that reveal the big files that occupy the most phone space, such as old undeleted messages in social apps, unknown files, photos, music, videos and more.

    IPhone users have the Magic Phone Cleaner app. It features a simple interface to free up space. It evaluates available storage and identifies large photos and video files before giving users the option to decide if they want to keep or delete them. The app is free for iOS.

    To see the apps in operation and for more info go to: http://pcmike.com/smartphone-memory-management-apps/

    • Greg remembers Mike talking about a great new handheld vacuum he got for his RV and wants more info.

    The one we have we bought from a local store. They make it themselves. But the one its patterned after and the closest one we can find to it is the BISSELL Lightweight Cordless Hand Vacuum and Car Vacuum, model 1985. Equipped with high-performance, cordless technology, it's engineered for versatile cleaning in even the hardest-to-reach spots. Powered by a removable, professional-grade, 22V lithium-ion battery, this lightweight, ergonomically designed hand vacuum delivers total cleaning comfort with up to 15 minutes of fade-free suction. And once you've tackled that mess, its removable dirt bin with Easy Empty lid makes for a quick, mess-free empty. For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado.. 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Let’s face it, sometimes it’s men who – at least initially – are the most excited about embarking on the RV Lifestyle.

    This is not always the case to be sure,  but as Jennifer and I travel around North America and meet people, very often the women will gravitate to her and take her aside to express some private concerns about RVing.

    So in this special report, Jennifer talks to RV Wives, addressing a bunch of concerns that RV women have raised with her. She alleviates most of these concerns with some very practical advice.

    And although she’s talking to the women…. Men, I think you’ll benefit, too, by listening in.
    I’ll follow this with my own advice for RV husbands in a future episode. But if you’d like to see a video version of what you just heard Jennifer say, head over to our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel at http://rvlifestylechannel.com

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country 

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    It’s NFL playoff season and no matter if your team is still in the running or preparing for next year, everyone’s a winner when it comes to tech.

    If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to a playoff game, you can take your tailgate to the next level with bluetooth speakers like the UE Wonderboom 2. They’re portable, loud and waterproof - making them the perfect choice for any outdoor conditions. 

    When it comes to taking pictures you’ll want to cherish, I can’t think of a better pocket partner than the Google Pixel 2. It’s best in class camera and portrait mode will produce touchdown worthy celebrations and it’s fast charge and Google Assistant will keep you going for hours and hours.

    Sometimes game day turns into game night and when it does, make sure you’re packing the Mophie Powerstation mini 3000. It quickly charges most smartphones or USB devices and fits in your pocket so you don’t run out of juice when posting your selfie. 

    When you’re on the go and still want to watch the games, you’ve got many options. Starting this month you can catch all NFL playoff games live-streamed for free on Yahoo and Yahoo Sports in addition to go90 and the NFL Mobile app.

    Lastly when it comes to making your home or RV more festive, you can easily show your spirit with Phillips Hue lights. Each bulb lets you choose from up to 16 million colors...and you can set team color presets so you’re always game day ready.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

      

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Northern Wisconsin

     Say “Wisconsin” to almost anyone, and they’re likely to think of cheese.  There is cheese in this story, but you’ll have to wait for it.  This is a trip along US 8, which runs through pinewoods, across rivers, and along lakes in the north woods.  As we approached the highway strange creatures appeared out of the fog.  Along one side of the Saint Croix Trail was the Franconia Sculpture Park. 

    As we strolled the grounds, creations of all sorts emerged from the mist, some quite realistic, others taking a good bit of scrutiny before we could puzzle out what they were.  At one end of the park is a large sturdy farmhouse that’s home to the several artists in residence. 

    Toward the back of the property are workshops, a welding shop, a foundry, and piles and piles of materials.  The park has a gift and information shop near the parking lot and offers community maker days at which you can learn how to work metal or wood with guidance from the rotating staff of artists.
         Below the Saint Croix River bridge, the wild rice waved as the river passed around it.  A canoe worked through the stand, collecting ripe grain.  This is an annual harvest, conducted mostly by the native Anishinabe people who’ve lived here for millennia.  Once the canoe is full of dark grains, the processing begins.  First, the rice is dried in the sun. 

    Then it’s parched, which is a bit like roasting, done in a cast iron kettle over a fire.  The parched rice is placed in a pit, and moccasin-shod rice dancers separate the grain from the chaff.  Finally, it’s passed in front of a fan or the wind to blow the chaff away.  There are more mechanized methods for all these things, but if you’re lucky, you can be here at harvest time and see it done this way.
         Northern Wisconsin is sprinkled with interesting things to see, and if you’re willing to wander a bit, you can see many of them from route 8.  We consulted a list of creameries and found the Comstock Creamery a few miles north on US 63.  This is an old school cheese house, with milk being delivered from local farms in the back, while the cheese is going out the front. 

    Many samples were available, and we left with several items intended for friends and family back home.  Most of them did not survive the rest of the trip, but we enjoyed them all.  This was a great place for conversation, with locals coming i and out to stock up for the holidays.  Several suggested we make time for the local cranberry festival, and nearly everyone told us not to miss Louie’s Finer Meats a few miles farther north.
         We’ve learned not to ignore recommendations like these, and even though it was a detour from a detour, off to Louie’s we went.  A big smoker and an industrial size barbecue grill were set up and smoking in the parking lot when we arrived.  Inside, the meat counter ran the forty foot length of the store, and the wall behind it was covered with certificates and award ribbons from international sausage competitions—there were more than a hundred dating back decades. 

    On a counter was one of those rotating three-tier pizza display warmers, each level loaded with hot sausage samples.  First cheese, now sausage, and we thought we might not need to eat for a day or two.  More goodies for the fridge, and we got into the Roadtrek a bit more slowly than before.
         For better or worse, our next stop was at the Norske Nook a few miles distant in Rice Lake.  This Norwegian eatery is as celebrated for its pies as Louie’s is for its sausage.  We parked in the lot right next to a Roadtrek of the same vintage as ours, and visited with its owners as we waited for our order. 

    The menu includes specialties like lefse and meatballs, but we settled for pie.  Sometimes a day seems to be all about eating, and this one was way up there on the list.  One of the nice things about driving a road like US 8 is that it runs straight and long and travels through many interesting small towns, but has relatively little traffic.  In this case, it was also a very nice surface, free of potholes and construction.
         We followed it to Ladysmith and the Toad House.  A big porch wrapped around two sides of the house, with a comfortable bench looking out toward the town.  Piled on one end were several large zucchinis and two but Hubbard squashes almost as big as beach balls. 

    A sign above them offered: “if you can carry it, you can have it.”  Inside, a cozy cafe served up homemade bread and soups.  Side rooms were full of work by local artists.  A whole set of meticulously crafted felted animals prowled the shelves and tables, some life size, others miniature. 

    There were watercolors of flowers and wildlife and landscapes, and jewelry made from polished stones and worked silver.  Upstairs a weaver welcomed us into her studio and told us about the jacquard method she used to create tablecloths and tapestries.  Local authors were also on display, with a rack of children’s book, memoirs, and novels.
         Fred Smith, we discovered was an artist of quite a different sort.  A retired lumberjack, who never learned to read or write, he chose to spend his retirement years sculpting people, animals, and objects out of concrete.  Studded with smooth stones and bits of glass, his life-size works capture the events and personalities of his time. 

    Want to see a twelve-foot surgeon?  A twenty mule team?  A politician with his hand in someone’s pocket?  Look no farther than the Fred Smith Concrete Park, now run by a non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving the sculptures and encouraging other for artists in their work.
         We ended the day with some relatives of mine who live on the Wisconsin River.  It is tradition, they told us, in the northwoods, to eat fish fry on Friday night.  So much so that when they moved to the area a year ago, a friend gave them a book of more than twenty two-for-one fish fry coupons to different bars and restaurants so they could select their favorites for regular attendance. 

    So after a day of cheese, sausage, pie, and soup, we sat around a high-top table at the North Wind Bar, sipping a beer and eating fried walleye.  Come on along to northern Wisconsin.  There’s plenty here to see and do, all of it off the beaten path.

    RESOURCES:

    http://www.franconia.org/
    https://www.ellsworthcheese.com/visit/comstock/
    https://louiesfinermeats.com/
    https://norskenook.com/
    https://sites.google.com/site/zieslertoadhouse/
    https://wisconsinconcretepark.org/

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

    RV Show Schedule for Next Weekend

    Boston RV & Camping Expo

    January 15

    Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

    Boston, MA

     

    Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show

    January 17-21

    Duke Energy Convention Center

    Cincinnati, OH

     

    Florida RV SuperShow

    January 17-21

    Florida State Fairgrounds

    Tampa, FL

     

    30th Annual Inland Northwest RV Show and Sale

    January 18-21

    Spokane Fair and Expo Center

    Spokane, WA

     

    36th Annual Idaho RV Supershow

    January 18-21

    Expo Idaho

    Bloise, ID

     

    Austin Boat & Travel Trailer Show

    January 18-21

    Austin Convention Center

    Austin, TX

     

    Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show

    January 18-21

    DeVos Place

    Grand Rapids, MI

     

    Mid-Michigan RV Show

    January 18-21

    MSU Pavilion

    East Lansing, MI

     

    Minnesota Sportsmen's Boat, Camping & Vacation Show

    January 18-21

    St. Paul River Centre

    St. Paul, MN

     

    Tacoma RV Show

    January 18-21

    Tacoma Dome

    Tacoma, WA

     

    Toronto RV Show and Sale

    January 18-21

    Toronto Congress Centre

    Toronto, ON

     

    30th Annual Iowa Boat, RV & Vacation Show

    January 19-21

    UNI-Dome

    Cedar Falls, IA

     

    Charlotte RV Show

    January 19-21

    Park Expo & Conference Center

    Charlotte, NC

     

    Georgia RV & Camper Show

    January 19-21

    Cobb Galleria Centre

    Atlanta, GA

     

    Greater Chicago RV Show

    January 19-21

    Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center

    Schaumburg, IL

     

    Great Rockies Sports Show

    January 19-21

    MetraPark Expo Center

    Billings, MT

     

    Lexington RV Show

    January 19-21

    Kentucky Horse Park

    Lexington, KY

     

    Nashville RV Super Show

    January 19-21

    Music City Center

    Nashville, TN

     

    New Jersey RV & Camping Show - Edison

    January 19-21

    NJ Convention & Expo Center

    Edison, NJ

     

    Northeast RV & Camping Show

    January 19-21

    CT Convention Center

    Hartford, CT

     

    37th Annual Tidewater RV Show

    January 19-21

    Virginia Beach Convention Center

    Virginia Beach, VA

     

    Western New York RV Show

    January 19-28

    Hamburg Fairgrounds Events Center

    Hamburg, NY

     

    Quartzside Sports, Vacation & RV Show

    January 20-28

    Show Grounds Location

    Quartzside, AZ

     

     

     

  • Episode174: Do You Need a Tire Pressure Monitoring System for your RV?
    Tue, Jan 09, 2018

    This is a jam packed episode where we talk about:

    • TPMS – Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems for RVers. Do you need one? Stay tuned and we’ll explain why you may.
    • How to Shop an RV Show – We’re in the heart of the RV Show season right now. Before you attend a show, though, you need to make a plan. In this episode we talk to the marketing director for what many think is the biggest RV show in the country: The Florida RV Supershow, which opens next week. Dave Kelly will join us with some great tips appropriate for whatever show you attend anywhere in the country.
    • And we’ve all heard of the Bourbon Trail, right. Well there’s another trail in Ohio that is equally rewarding. We’ll have an awesome Off the Beaten Path Report about the Great Donut Trail of Butler County, OH.

    All that, plus your RV questions, RV News, Traveling Tech Tips and much more.

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We’re back home from Rochester, MN and a visit to the Mayo Clinic for an annual physical. We share our very positive experience with the place voted the Best Hospital in America.

    The bitter cold has finally broken but for more than 10 days, nighttime temperatures were well below zero F in many parts of North America. Even parts of Florida saw snow! We talk about problems that can arise if you leave your sticks and bricks house unattended while on an RV trip and the temperatures drop so low.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Here’s a question for you: How do you place your hands on the steering wheel when you drive?  For decades, driver's ed teachers recommended that students place their hands at the ten o'clock and two o'clock positions, which were assumed to be the gold standard for leverage, comfort and control. 

    But as a listener named Tom pointed out in an email he sent to us recently, that's not true anymore, due to new research in ergonomics, and new technology in steering wheels.

    Placing the hands at nine and three—"parallel position," it's called—is now recommended by AAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and other authorities. This is especially important for unsure drivers, who often get into accidents by oversteering. Parallel position lowers the body's center of gravity, and tends to allow smaller and more accurate steering corrections.

    But airbags are an even bigger issue.

    Many of us learned how to handle a steering wheel in an age when there wasn't a super-heated gas ready to explode right into our head and hands in case of impact.

    The old ten-and-two position puts the hands closer together, and has led to many cases of fractures and serious injuries when airbags deploy.

    Parallel position keeps your hands farther from the point of airbag impact.

    Also, to better protect your thumbs in case of a collision, rest them on the wheel itself rather than hooking them around its interior edge.

    And more driving myth buster: Thanks to airbags, that crossover "hand-over-hand" way that old-timers were taught to make sharp turns is now out of date as well, say many insurers and driving instructors. Crossing your arms can knock your other hand off the wheel, or seriously injure you when airbags pop.

    Here’s a link to a detailed article in this - https://www.woot.com/blog/post/the-debunker-should-your-hands-be-at-ten-and-two-on-the-steering-wheel

    Meanwhile… be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you! 

    For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Listener Jacqueline asks for an update on the highly advanced Kymeta Satellite Internet system we are evaluating on our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4. We first talked about this system in Episode 158 (to listen to it go to http://roadtreking.com/158 )  While the system is not yet commercially available in production vehicles, there may be a way, albeit expensive, for early adapters to order one. We explain.

    Listener Patrick asks for our recommendations for a TPMS for his 2018 Coachmen Freelander Class C RV. We do a deep dive, first explaining that a TPMS means Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Then we go into how it works and why you may want one of these for your RV, depending on what kinds of an RV you have.  We suggest a review of the top file systems for RVers that can be found at https://weekendrvadventures.com/best-rv-tpms/

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK - How to Shop an RV Show

    We’re in the heart of the RV Show season right now. Before you attend a show, though, you need to make a plan. In this episode we talk to the marketing director for what many think is the biggest RV show in the country: The Florida RV Supershow, which opens next week.

    Dave Kelly join’s us with some great tips appropriate for whatever show you attend anywhere in the country.

    Meanwhile The 33nd Annual 2018 Florida RV SuperShow opens Wednesday, January 17 and runs through Sunday, January 21 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida.

    For info, go to http://www.frvta.org/show/florida-rv-supershow/

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    From Miami to Maine, winter has made its presence known recently. And while it’s a nuisance for some, it’s downright dangerous for others. Did you know the cold can also take its toll on your devices?

    With roughly 80% of consumers using their wireless phones to get help in emergencies, it’s important to protect your phone from the effects of the cold. Here are some things to keep in mind:

    • If you’re going outdoors, keep your phone close to your body - like in your pocket or inside of your coat. That way your body heat will keep the phone from getting too cold. Extreme cold can greatly shorten your phone’s battery life. And especially if the temperature is expected to fall below freezing, it’s a good idea not to leave it outside in a parked car.
    • Try not to pull it out much in the cold to use it. Instead consider answering your incoming calls with a paired Bluetooth headset.  
    • Many of today’s newest phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google Pixel 2 and iPhone X are water resistant so snow or a cold rain won’t hurt them. But if you have an older device, consider investing in a waterproof protective case. This will help prevent any liquid damage to your phone, should you accidentally drop it in the snow.
    • Should your car break down or you get stuck on the side of the road, it’s a good idea to have an extra battery pack, like a mophie powerstation, or keep a mobile charger in your car.
    • Cold temperatures can make your smartphone’s screen more fragile as well—leading to potential screen cracks. Verizon’s Total Mobile Protection can ease the pain with cracked screen repair as soon as the same day and next-day shipping for replacements.  

    And, if your device does get cold, Asurion recommends warming it up to room temperature before using it to avoid condensation forming inside and damaging your phone.

    Stay warm out there!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  The Great Donut Trail

    By Anna and Tom Burkett

    Here’s a transcript of the story recorded by Anna Burkett and her dad – Tom.

    Mom and wife Patti slept in that morning and missed the grand adventure.

     It was middle of the night dark when four of us piled into the car two days after Christmas.  I’m Anna,  and I last traveled with my parents last summer to Fiddle Camp and the Schoodic Peninsula in Maine.  My cousin Kelsey was with us, who was with them for a visit to the nudist camp sundial in Indiana, and her brother TJ who lives in New York City and isn’t surprised by much of anything.  Today we were headed for southwestern Ohio and something new to all of us - the Butler County Donut Trail.  My dad has an insane fondness for donuts, and this was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
         If you’re not a regular donut consumer, you might wonder why were were up at such an early hour.  Donuts are made in the wee hours of the morning.  They’re at their best when steamy hot, and many shops sell out and close up early in the day.  Indeed, the brochure for the donut trail clearly warned about this possibility.  The first stop was more than two hours distant, and we thought five AM the latest we could wait and still hope to successfully complete the trail.
         The night before we’d downloaded a map and our passports from the visitors’ bureau website.  We’d also  noted with dismay that four of the twelve shops on the trail were closed for the holidays.  Running the trail was a gamble, then, because we had no guarantee that if we completed the stops we would still be able to collect our commemorative t-shirts.  To enhance our chances, TJ suggested we stop by the closed shops as well and take a selfie with the sign to show we’d been there.
         The first two bakeries were closed.  At each we piled out of the car and took a snap, looking longingly at the darkened kitchens behind the glass.  Third on the list was Martin’s.  It shone like a beacon in the dark, a converted gas station with a neon ‘OPEN’ sign.  The garage bay side was now floor to ceiling glass windows opening onto the kitchen.  Bags of flour and glaze lined the walls, with flour and mixers in the center.  The office area was four large no-nonsense cases resplendent with donuts and a couple of coffee urns.  
         We talked it over in the car on the way down.  We’d get three donuts at each shop, two to split between us and one to take back to those still asleep at home.  We walked out with one maple bacon bar, a banana creme filled, and an apple fritter.  “Oh, let’s get one of those, too,” said Kelsey, pointing to the large chocolate frosted ring.  It was a mistake that would later haunt us.  Cathy Mason, owner and donut purveyor, advised us to go big early when she heard we were on the donut trail.  “By the end you’ll be pretty full of donuts, “she promised.
         On we went, winding our way through Middletown and Trenton, Hamilton and Fairfield, stopping at the Donut King, the Donut Spot, the Donut House, and the Donut Man.  We ate crullers and fried croissants, red velvet and german chocolate concoctions, classic glazed and Lucky Charms frosted.  At the eighth stop, Kelsey picked out a large Buckeye donut, topped with chocolate and filled with peanut butter creme.  “Be careful,” warned her brother, “that’s pretty big and you’re going to have to eat it.”  Sure enough, after everyone had had a bite or two, she was left holding half the pastry.  “Ooonh, I don’t think I can eat this,” she complained.  “Told you so,” said TJ as he watched her furtively throw the evidence in a trash can outside the next stop on the circuit.
         Just before ten AM we pulled up to the Butler County Visitors Bureau, where the young woman on duty was delighted to award us each a t-shirt and take our picture in front of the donut trail signpost.  TJ, thinking we were true pioneers, asked how long the trail had been in operation and if many people finished it.  “Well,” she told us proudly, “it opened about two years ago, and so far more than eighty-six hundred people have completed it.”  Seeing his deflated look, she added, “but not very many do it in a day.”  Three of the people in the car slept for the two hour ride home, deep in a donut coma.
         We noticed as we passed through each inviting door that these shops opened at either three or four in the morning.  By the end of our run the cases were already mostly empty, so if you want to have the best selection get up early wherever you are and look for the local donut shop.  I do.  So far nothing in my taste experience has bettered Red’s in Paducah, Kentucky for the best donut in America, but I’ll continue to hunt.  If you’re a hunter, too, you may find us out there somewhere in the steam and the sugar glaze, wandering the wee hours, off the beaten path.

    by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

    RV Show Schedule for Next Weekend

    63rd Annual Houston Boat, Sport & Travel Show

    January 5-14

    NRG Center

    Houston, TX

     

    Indy RV Expo

    January 6-14

    Indiana State Fairgrounds

    Indianapolis, IN

     

    2018 Pittsburgh RV Show

    January 6-14

    David L. Lawrence Convention Center

    Pittsburgh, PA

     

    Ohio RV Supershow

    January 10-14

    I-X Center

    Cleveland, OH

     

    Mid America RV Show

    January 11-14

    Kansas City Convention Center-Bartle Hall

    Kansas City, MO

     

    57th Annual RV & Campgrounds Show

    January 12-14

    Allentown Fairgrounds

    Allentown, PA

     

    Boston RV & Camping Expo

    January 12-15

    Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

    Boston, MA

     

    The OKC Boat & RV Show

    January 12-14

    OK State Fair Park

    Oklahoma City, OK

     

    Valley RV & Camping Show

    January 12-14

    Century Center

    South Bend, IN

     

    Washington Camping RV Expo

    January 12-14

    Dulles Expo Center

    Chantilly, VA

     

     

  • Episode 173: What happens if you get sick?
    Tue, Jan 02, 2018

    Episode 173: What happens if you get sick?

     

    What happens if you get sick while out on the road? What happens if you need a doctor and you are far from home in another state? In this episode, we will tell you about a terrific plan that I think every RVer should consider. An organization that provides on-call doctors for RVers in every state, doctors who can talk to you on the phone or via video, prescribe most drugs you’ll need for any sudden illness, even help you find a local specialist.

    Plus… this episode is chock full of RV tips, questioned and answers about the RV lifestyle, RV news, the full RV show schedule for the coming weekend and some wonderful off the beaten path advice.

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

     

    We’re comng t you this week from the Wisconsin Dells…

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

     

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    Our dog Bo loves the winter. And he really loves snow. But sometimes, the snow and ice can build up on his paws and cause him some pain.

    So we use a product called Musher’s Secret.

    We learned about this product while covering dog sled races for the blog and it goes on his paws whenever we take him out for extended play in the snow. Musher's Secret is a dense, barrier wax that forms a breathable bond with your dog's paws. Developed in Canada for use with sledding dogs, it provides tenacious protection even in the most extreme conditions.

    Just spread a light coating of Musher's Secret on the pads and rub in. It protects the paws and still allows perspiration to escape through the toes.

    The neat thing about this product is that it is not just for ice and snow and salt protection in the wintertime. It also protects your dog in sand and from hot pavement during those summertime hikes. It can be used weekly or as needed to prevent abrasions, burning, drying and cracking. 

    Think of it as an invisible boot.

    It’s $19 on Amazon and at pet stores everywhere.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    Stephanie saw our report on the need for RV service technicians and wonders where to find help. We referred her to the educational programs offered by the RecreatIon Vehicle Industry Association - http://www.rvia.org/?ESID=educational and its many in person and elearning programs. Also the RV Maintenance Tech Course offered online and through hands on programs at https://rvtechcourse.com/

     

    Listener Pat asks about a recent development that makes the very po;ular and helpful AllStays app now unavailable for Android users. We explain and tell her those Android users who have the app will find it still works, there just wot be updates. The iOS app will continue to be updated, and of course the Allstays website also has up to date infor at https://www.allstays.com/apps/camprv.htm

     

    And a listener has a question about mixing different blends of diesel fuel in his sprinter-based RV. We try to clear up the confusion, which we covered in depth in episode 171 - http://roadtreking.com/episode-171-clearing-lingering-questions/

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    What happens if you get sick while out on the road? What happens if you need a doctor and you are far from home in another state? In this episode, we will tell you about a terrific plan that I think every RVer should consider. An organization that provides on-call doctors for RVers in every state, doctors who can talk to you on the phone or via video, prescribe most drugs you’ll need for any sudden illness, even help you find a local specialist.

     

    The service is called RV Health.

     

    You can use RV Health for many of your medical issues instead of expensive and timely urgent care visits. For example you wake up one morning with sudden cold-like symptoms: stuffy nose, cough, congestion. You have trouble getting an appointment with an area doctor while traveling and you don’t want to miss time at work or going through the hassle of sitting in an urgent care or hospital waiting room. What to do?

     

    Our guest is Scott Blair, the fulltime RVer who set up the service, which is called RV Health - https://rvhealth.com/RVPODCAST

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    Happy New Year to you and your listeners! As we look to get our lives off on the right foot, it’s time we take a look at our entertainment options at home as well.

     

    And if your Bluetooth speaker has become long in the tooth, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. 

     

    I can’t think of a better edition to your home, than the newly launched Google Home Max (https://www.verizonwireless.com/accessories/google-home-max/)  Think of this as Google Home’s ultra cool older brother.

     

    Not only does it do everything a Google Home or Google Home Mini does - like turn your smart lights on and off, answer your questions and help you out in the kitchen - but it also packs a seriously awesome array of speakers.

     

    In fact, the Google Home Max has two 4.5 inch woofers and two tweeters which will pump out some high fidelity sounds.

     

    And using its smart sound technology, it’ll automatically measure the acoustics in your room (or RV) and tweak the audio so your Pandora, Spotify and YouTube music will sound better than ever before.

     

    All you need to make it work is wifi in your home and you’re good to go.

     

    It’s an audiophile’s dream come true.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    Tom and Patti Burtkett recap their favorite trips from the past year as they7 look forward to new adventures in 2018.

     

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    RV SHOW CALENDAR FOR THIS WEEKEND

     

    Colorado RV Adventure & Travel Show

    January 4-6

    Colorado Convention Center

    Denver, CO

     

    63rd Annual Houston Boat, Sport & Travel Show

    January 5-14

    NRG Center

    Houston, TX

     

    Greater Atlanta RV Show

    January 5-7

    Georgia International Convention Center

    College Park, GA

     

    Knoxville RV Show

    January 5-7

    Sevierville Convention Center

    Sevierville, TN

     

    South Carolina RV & Camping Show - Greenville

    January 5-7

    TD Convention Center

    Greenville, SC

     

    Wisconsin RV Show

    January 5-7

    Wisconsin Center District

    Milwaukee, WI

     

    Indy RV Expo

    January 6-14

    Indiana State Fairgrounds

    Indianapolis, IN

     

    2018 Pittsburgh RV Show

    January 6-14

    David L. Lawrence Convention Center

    Pittsburgh, PA

     

  • Episode 172: RV Bucket List Travel Plans for 2018
    Tue, Dec 26, 2017

    In the last RV Podcast episode of the year, we hear from RVers across North America as they share their RV bucket list trade plans for 2018

  • Episode 171: Clearing up some lingering questions
    Tue, Dec 19, 2017

                                        

    Episode 171: Clearing up some lingering questions

    It’s the week before Christmas, a time when most RVers are staying put, hunkered down to be with family and friends for the holiday. We thought this would be the perfect week to settle some nagging RV questions that have been surfacing all year around.

    Chief among them has to do with biodiesel fuel, and in particular, the Sprinter RV. What happens when an RVer is in a state that only sells high percentage bio diesel fuel, like B20 or more??

    Is it OK to use occasionally? Or are you putting your Sprinter engine in jeopardy by using high percentage biodiesel fuel? We’ll try to sort that out in this week’s podcast and answer your questions. Plus we have lots of RV news and tips and a great off the beaten path report.  

    Show Notes for Episode #171 Dec. 20, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    Christmas Week… we’re at our Michigan home, celebrating with family

    We just released a really fun video on dog parks, offering tips and lots of photos from our dog park visits around the country. Our dog Bo travels with us in our RV and dog parks give him and us the exercise we so badly need after a long day’s drive. You can see it on our RV Lifestyle Channel on You Tube at http://rvlifestylechannel.com

    Just a warning. Out in Oregon, an RV caught fire after the family dog oknocked over a portable propane-fueled heater that was being used inside the RV. No one was hurt and the local fire department kept it from spreading to nearly vehicles. Fire experts say you should only use electric heaters inside confined spaces..

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    We get lots of ideas and tips sent in by our audience. Some are too short for a full-length report, but still useful. We’ve saved all the tips you have sent us this year and by combining a bunch of them together, we’ve got a great report. So listen up… here are 8 RV tips that will make your life on the road and at camp a little easier.

    1) Wrap a wet paper towel around a bottle and out it into the freezer. In 15 minutes, it will be almost completely ice cold.

    2) Use Doritos as a fire starter. Really. They burn better than crumbled up newspaper. 

    3) Freeze green grapes to chill a class of white wine down without watering it down.

    4) Put a small glass of water in the microwave when you warm up pizza to keep it from getting chewy

    5) Save your empty Chapstick containers for an emergency cash stash.  Take our the little plunger push up thing and you can store some rolled up bills in it for an emergency  stash you leave in the RV.

    6) If your RV has a slide out, use cut a length-long slice of a swimming pool noodle and put that over the sharp edges so you won’t hurt yourself if you accidentally bump into it at camp.

    7) Get a small dry erase board and use it to write down the name of the campground, the phone number of the campground, the address and your campsite spot number. In case you need t call emergency help, this will save you lots of time in talking with police of emergency dispatchers.

    8) Rub an onion on your barbeque grill to keep things from sticking on it.

    So there you go. Hope those tips come in handy!

    Meanwhile, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile device to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox. I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping   

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Here are the email questions we answered in this episode…

    It's winter, it's cold, and we're getting ready to take our new (to us) on a trip. Do I need to Winterizing or simply Sanitize and then refill the inside fresh water tank? I can understand Winterizing if our Roadtrek were going to sit in the driveway, but not if its on the road. Perhaps Winterizing the holding tanks might be in order? What's the scoop? I'm confused. Thanks for your help. I just want to take good care or our new Class B as we plan on keeping it for a long time.  Terry, Fresno CA

    My wife and I purchased a Roadtrek Zion this year. Your videos were a big part of decision making process. Thank you! Now I am in the process of deciding which Weboost kit to install. I saw that at one point you had trucker antenna attached to your rear door hinge. I thought that was very ingenious. I am wondering: Are you continuing to use that option with your new van, or if you have gone to the newer Weboost RV kit? If you are still using a trucker antenna, are you using the 19" with the spring base or the 24" solid rod? Do/did you think the trucker antenna reach up high enough above the van roof? If you are using the newer RV kit antenna, how did you mount it on the roof? Do you know whether the trucker or the RV antenna get better reception? That's enough. Thank your in advance for your consideration of my inquires!  -Ron 

    Hey Mike I am getting into looking at buying a Class B I like the ERA 170x and really am thinking  of a 4x4 one for the snow. If I do settle for a 2 wheel drive how do they do in snow going to ski areas? off road is not as important as snow to me and I could just beef up the shocks and raise it for some off road if I had to- Mike

    Hello, I am curious, If I were to order a new fully loaded 4X4 CS EX with the super battery and solar package, along with all the options, diesel, all electric, screen, under mount ac, under hood generator, and so on, how long is the wait? Basically I want a bad to the bone, fully loaded 4X4 cs ex to go travel and find out of the way places to camp and be very comfortable whether desert heat or mountain cold. So is there a possibility of extra insulation or is that something I will have to address after delivery? I live in the Phoenix area. I also love the mountains so a variety of conditions will be encountered. I know it isn't a jeep but 4wd is a nice thing to have to help get unstuck. Thank you, Ron H.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    This week, we talk about the use of bio diesel fuel in RVs, especially the very popular Sprinter vans that major RV makers like Winnebago, Airstream, Roadtrek, Leisure Travel Van, Chinook, Coachmen, Pleasure-Way, Advanced RV and other RV manufacturers use for their Class B and B Plus Vans.

    Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is reducing U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum, creating jobs and improving the environment. Made from a diverse mix of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal fats, it is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel in commercial-scale production across the country and the first to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production. Meeting strict technical fuel quality and engine performance specifications, it can be used in existing diesel engines without modification and is covered by all major engine manufacturers’ warranties, most often in blends of up to 5 percent or 20 percent biodiesel. It is produced at plants in nearly every state in the country.

    The biodiesel market has increased from about 25 million gallons in the early 2000s to over 3 billion gallons of advanced biofuel in 2016. This represents a small but growing component of the annual U.S. on-road diesel market of about 35 billion to 40 billion gallons. Consistent with projected feedstock availability, the industry has established a goal of producing about 10 percent of the diesel transportation market by 2022

    States where biodiesel is showing up include Illinois, Alabama, Colorado , Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington. Most are 2 to 5% blends, though more and more states are starting to offer higher blends. Minnesota. starting May 1, will mandate B20 from May through October.

    But here’s the rub: Mercedes has discouraged use of any biodiesel fuel above the B5 rating in its Blue-Tec diesel (2010 and later) Sprinters.

    As to the B20 standard, Mercedes says: “B20 blends are generally not approved and should be only used on a very limited basis and only if unavoidable.”

    Just as we started recording this episode, I received an official statement from Christian Bokich, Dept. Manager, Product & Technology Communications, Mercedes-Benz USA.

    He said: “only in certain cases can we recommend B20 but only if it’s (Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel) under 15ppm.  B20 in general is not an approved fuel, especially for prolonged use.”

    Note that Mercedes “can” recommend B20 - meaning when that’s all the owner can choose from at the pump. It is prolonged use that  Mercedes discourages.

    References:

    This story, appearing in the Canadian publication Driving, claims that Mercedes is abandoning the diesel vehicle market in North America because of improper fuel mandated in some states. - http://driving.ca/mercedes-benz/auto-news/news/mercedes-says-goodbye-to-diesel-in-north-america

    Best as far we can tell, that premise is not true. Mercedes has big plans for the North American Sprinter market, For proof, just see this story -  https://www.postandcourier.com/business/mercedes-benz-vans-marks-construction-milestone-at-north-charleston-sprinter/article_ad68e0de-04d8-11e7-b53f-5fec2ae1f5d2.html

    Here is the official brochure from Mercedes about using biodiesel in its engines, including the Sprinter. https://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalAssets/pdfmb/serviceandparts/biodiesel_Brochure5.pdf

    Here is an interesting discussion thread on the issue from the Sprinter forum - https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38965

    Our interview is with Scott Fenwick, the Technical Director of the National Biodiesel Board, which is the national trade association representing the biodiesel industry in the United States – http://biodiesel.org

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country 

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    For many of us the holidays evoke strong nostalgic feelings. We search for updated versions of our favorite childhood toys, dust off Grandpa’s pumpkin pie recipe and work hard to recreate that traditional holiday feel for ourselves, our family and friends. For those of us who yearn for holidays past, today’s technology can help you turn back the clock and get in the holiday spirit.

    Nothing will get you in the festive mood for baking gingerbread or wrapping gifts than the holiday music classics. With a simple verbal command--“Hey Google, play some holiday music”--your Google Home Mini will get you rockin’ around the tree. If you have multiple google homes in your house you can link them all together so your favorite holiday tunes follow you from room to room.

    Feeling the urge to roast chestnuts on an open fire but don’t have a fireplace?  While you may have to imagine the chestnuts, you can still enjoy a high definition virtual fireplace with a flat screen TV and Chromecast Ultra. Or make it a holiday movie marathon by inviting friends and family over to help decorate the tree to classics like Miracle on 42nd Street or Christmas Vacation.

    Illuminate your holiday spirit by synchronizing your Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance lights to flash and fade in time to your holiday playlist and create a warm inviting and festive home.

    Missing the days when you went caroling with the old gang? Connect with Facetime, Google Hangout or any number of group chat options and virtually walk the old neighborhood together singing your favorite holiday songs.

    Here's to an old fashioned holiday!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    Here’s a Miami Herald story about the reopening of Shark Valley - http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article190182909.html

    Everglades National Park reopened Shark Valley on Saturday, much to the delight of cyclists who have made the park a popular attraction for decades.

    Shark Valley had been closed for three months since Hurricane Irma flooded the 15-mile loop road, which draws bicyclists, walkers and tram riders. The park also serves as home to alligators, otters, fish, turtles and birds. A wetter than normal season made water rise thigh-high in the parking lots, said Everglades National Park ranger Kimberly Oppen.

    You might not see sharks from the observation tower that gives visitors a 360-degree view of the Everglades, but the park is populated by alligators who sun themselves on the trail during chilly winter days. The tower’s viewing deck overlooks a water hole used by turtles, fish and birds. Shark Valley, in the heartland of the Everglades, is so named because its water flows southwest to Shark River.

    Not everything is back to normal, though. Everglades National Park is still working to restore potable water to Shark Valley, so bring your own for the time being. Some portions of the loop road and trails are also still under water, like Otter Cave Trail and Bobcat Boardwalk. The latter was due for renovation and will reopen when the work is completed.

    Some areas remain under a few inches of water — near the observation tower, for example — or are slick with algae from the wetness, so bicyclists and pedestrians are cautioned to take care.

    The park is open 24 hours but bike rentals and tram tours are from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and vehicles don’t have access to the Shark Valley area after 6 p.m.

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 170: Are Walmart Parking Lots Safe for RVers?
    Wed, Dec 13, 2017

     

    In this episode, we talk about Walmart parking lots, one of the favorite overnight camping spots used by RVers when they need a quick place to spend the night.  Over the past couple of years, Walmart parking lots have been linked to story after story about high crime rates.

    Many RVers, in fact, now stay away from them. Is the anxiety justified? We’ll answer a call from a worried listener and do our best to clarify the concerns and let you know our thoughts abut this.

    Plus more of your questions, a great off the beaten path report, tips on saving money this shopping season and an interview with Mary Jane Curry on the top gadgets uou need in your RV kitchen.

    Show Notes for Episode #170 December 13, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    Mike and Jennifer are both recovering from severe head colds. But the show must go on… 

    We discuss a major change in direction for the Family Motorcoach Association - FMCA votes to allow owners of all self-contained RVs in 

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing 

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    RVers love their pets!  In fact, surveys show that one of the main reasons people buy an RV is so they can travel with their pets.

    At a recent RV show in Louisville, we ran into our friends Mark and Dawn Polk, of RV Education 101. They travel with not one, not two but three dogs.

    How do they do it?

    We whipped out the recorder and asked Dawn for some tips…

    Good advice from the Polks!

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions about any aspect of the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Hal is a new Pleasureway owner. He shares his travel plans. He likes the blog post we had some time back from Campskunk on staying in 70 degree weather and moving with the season all year

    Peggy has a 2004 Chevy 190 from Roadtrek and needs to replace some of her old plumbing. She also asks for input on a composting toilet.

    And despite some distortion on the call, Teri has a problem with swaying with her Serenity RV from Leisure Travel Vans. She’s looking for advice.

     And a caller questioned a recent guest’s worry about crime in Walmart parking lots. She’s looking for advice on straying there when needed.

     Here's our take:

    Here are some recent headlines a quick Google search returns from over the last year or so:

    From Bloomberg - Walmart's Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy

    From NPR - Wal-Mart's Crime Problem Overwhelms Police Across 

    From JR Security - Wal-Mart Parking Lots Are Virtual Magnet For Crime 

    From the publication This Week - Why criminals flock to Walmart

    From the NY Daily News - Violent crimes at Walmart top 200 this year as cops slam retailer 

    Let me read this from Time Magazine: “Across the U.S., Walmarts have become a regular stop for law enforcement responding to calls. In Camden, The State reported in July that 187 of the police department’s 1,372 calls from January to June this year occurred at Walmart. The Tampa Bay Times found 16,800 calls to police for Walmarts in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties in just one year—four times the number of calls to Targets in the area—and amounting to the equivalent of two calls an hour. In Louisville, WDRB reported more than 9,200 calls for police at area Walmarts since 2012, by far the most of any location in the city. In April 2015, a Portsmouth, Va., Walmart was the scene of a fatal encounter between a white police officer and a black unarmed man accused of shoplifting. Police in Amherst, N.Y., recently discovered a meth lab inside a drainage pipe underneath a Walmart parking lot. And earlier this month, criminal charges were brought against three employees of a Florida Walmart Supercenter accused of fatally injuring a shoplifter who was trying to steal $380 worth of DVDs.”

    And this from the All Stays RV site and app developer:

    “There are some issues with parking in Wal-Mart parking lots but it is mostly a safe thing to do. You just to need to use common sense and look around the surrounding neighborhood as well. The location has a lot to do with the safety factor. There are some Wal-Marts in bad neighborhoods of some cities. Look around as you drive near the Wal-Mart store . If there are lots of other nice stores nearby, the police will be around. If there are bars on windows nearby, the police will also be around but you shouldn't be. It is all about what you are comfortable with yourself.”

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    No matter what size RV you have, storage room is always at a premium. Food preparation products and storage is one area every RVer needs to maximize for efficiency.

    That's why we asked Mary Jane Curry, a Personal Chef and the RV Recipes writer for our roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog, to help us identify the best products we can get that will save space and efficiently use the RV kitchen. In this report, we visit her in her RV and she shows us her favorite Must-Have Products for the RV Kitchen.

    To see the complete interview with Mar Jane demonstrating those RV kitchen products and more, check out the video version of the report at https://youtu.be/wr0kXmNEx24

    Check out gear page at http://roadtreking.com/gear You'll find direct Amazon links to the exact products Mary Jane shows in the video.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    Tis the season of giving and that also means there’s the biggest opportunity to snag some savings. So grab your smartphones because I’ve got a couple of apps that are going to come in quite handy as you hustle and bustle around doing your holiday shopping.

    First up...an app called ShopSavvy. Let’s say you’re browsing at Best Buy and decide you want to buy a new FitBit. Before making the purchase, let’s make sure you’re getting the cheapest price by using ShopSavvy. Open the app, scan the product’s barcode and app goes to work checking other physical store locations and online to see how much it’ll cost elsewhere. And then you can decide if the savings are worth another stop along the way.

    And if you decide you’re making the purchase at Best Buy, I’ve got one other app for you to check out. It’s called RetailMeNot. This app will use your phone’s GPS and know which store you’re visiting. Then it’ll check online and physical ads to see if there are any coupons or discount codes you can use to save even more money. I was recently at a mall in Cleveland and used the app to save shoppers anywhere from $10 - $50 on a transaction. And it’s so easy to use!

    Last but not least, consider using your phone to check out. Samsung Pay, a free app for most newer Samsung phones makes it easy to pay with your smartphone at pretty much any store that allows you to swipe a card. In addition, Samsung Pay has additional deals at some retail locations, not to mention promotions and incentives for using your card. For instance, if you have any Gap Brands credit card and add it into Samsung Pay you’ll get up to $20 in gap gift cards just for paying with your phone.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    If you were a West Virginia coal miner, life was especially hard in the early 1930s.  The Great Depression had pulled the bottom out of the coal market, and there were no jobs to be found anywhere in the region.  When Eleanor Roosevelt visited a friend in Morgantown, she saw the terrible conditions in which out of work mining families were living and determined to do something about it.  She began to plan and to prod her husband Franklin.  In 1934, the first New Deal town was begun on 600 acres of farmland near Reedsville.  It was eventually named Arthurdale after the man from whom the property was purchased.
        Each mining family was offered a few acres of land, a kit house, a refrigerator, and a cow.  The family was required to build the house, learn how to farm, contribute to community efforts, and support themselves through the work of cooperatives.  Over time, Arthurdale included a forge, a furniture factory, a weaving cooperative, a tractor assembly shop, and one of the regions first gas stations.  One hundred sixty two houses were built from kits supplied by the Hodgson and Wagner companies.  The homes had indoor plumbing and electricity, a rarity at the time.
        Eleanor Roosevelt made this one of her pet projects.  She visited the community often, and became well known to the residents, who squabbled over the opportunity to partner with her at the square dances always held when she was in town.  Each year she attended the school graduation and handed out diplomas.  She insisted that each resident be paid a living wage, and help establish and promote the cooperatives.
        At its peak population, the industries were producing a substantial output of high quality products and might have succeeded but for the limitations of its location.  There was no easy access to shipping for the furniture, tractors, rugs, and farm goods produced, so the experiment eventually failed.  Some families moved away, others took jobs in nearby Morgantown as the roads and economy improved, and in 1947 the government sold off its assets and left town.  There were. eventually, more than six hundred New Deal towns, some more successful than others.  Among the best known are Roosevelt, New Jersey and Greenbelt, Maryland.
        In 1985 a group of local citizens bought the crumbling central core of the historical village and began to restore it.  Today you can visit the administration building, the forge, the gas station, one of the original Hodgson houses, and the community hall where Eleanor Roosevelt square danced.  The work here is currently being enhanced by the efforts of Americorps historians who are conducting research and restoration work.  Jane, our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, remarked that the organization would be happy to provide a campsite and electrical hookup to anyone willing to volunteer some time to the effort.
        Of the one hundred sixty two buildings originally built here, all but two are still standing.  Many of the residents are descendants of the coal miners who arrived in the years following 1934.  As travelers, we often visit nicely restored historical sites with finished museums and manicured lawns.  It was exciting, here, to see such a project in its early stages.  Some work is finished, but much remains to be done.  The bones of buildings are waiting to be put back in service.  Stacks of photos and historical documents sit on tabletops, undoubtedly hiding hidden treasures.  
        There’s even one of the original Wagner kit houses for sale at an attractive price.  Since our sticks and bricks house was built from a Sears kit, we were intrigued with the notion of about having our own piece of history in this place where our national government flexed its muscle on behalf of struggling citizens. We’ll definitely be going back.  Head south from interstate 68 on US 119 and look for West Virginia 92 south.  You could find us there, Patti and Tom Burkett, working on a fixer-upper off the beaten path.

    https://arthurdaleheritage.org/

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

  • EPISODE 169: How to Quit Your Job and Live on the Open Road
    Tue, Dec 05, 2017

    This week, we meet the Russos, Joe and Kait, a California couple oin heir early thirties who quit their corporate jobs for a life of fulltime travel in an RV. We’ll hear their story, how it applies to you and the pros and cons of living in a van. Plus, lots of questions this week. Tech tips and a must-visit National Park that needs to be on your bucket list.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #169 Dec. 6, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

     

    We’re back home from Louisville and the big National RV Trade Show. We still have a couple of videos to do of interesting things we came across at the show. They’ll be up on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube soon.

     

    We discussed two items in the news this week of strong interest to RVers:

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    We met lots of interesting people at the RV Industry Trade Show last week in Louisville. One of our new friends is Janine Pettit, who has become an ambassador for what is called the Girl Camping Movement. Janine was a recent guest on Episode 165 and talked with Mike at length about solo women campers.

    But in Louisville, Janine and I got to talk about something that affects all of us. Unloading and cleaning our RVs after a trip.

    We recorded the conversation and you get to listen in at

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!                          

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    A listener named Darrell heard our podcast last week from Louisville where we talked about the lack of campground spaces caused by the booming RV sales. He raises a related and equally serious issue: The shameful state of disrepair that characterizes some campground.

     

    Listener Cheryl gave us some kind feedback about our recent video on our RV Lifestyle Channel on You Tube about our Top Ten Holiday Gift Suggestions for RVers.

     

    Carl from Pennsylvania is worried about fire safety and RV refrigerators

     

    David has a question about RVs and who does the repair on the various components of an RV

     

    Jean is a new RVer who want to know about using an RV bathroom in the winter after the RV has been winterized with antifreeze

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     Joe and Kait Russo are travel writers and videographers who live, along with their dog Leo, full-time in a Class B RV - but it didn't used to be that way. For years the Russos, originally from California, worked in demanding jobs with a desire for adventure and travel but little vacation time to do it. In 2015 all that changed, when Joe and Kait dramatically downsized, quit their 9-to-5 jobs, and decided to hit the road in an RV.  Joe recently wrote a book about their decision called:  "Take Risks: One Couple's Journey to Quit Their Jobs and Hit the Open Road."

    RESOURCES

    The book: https://www.amazon.com/Take-Risks-Couples-Journey-Russos-ebook/dp/B07566RT6B

     

    Website: http://: https://weretherussos.com

     

    YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/weretherussos

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    At Sunshine State RV’s you’ll find the largest selection of some of the rarest Class B RVs in the United States of America. If you are looking for a Class B RV, you need to make a trip to Sunny Florida. Our RVs range from 1990 to our current year and everything in between. They also carry the most popular brands like Roadtrek, Pleasure Way, Winnebago, Leisure Travel, and more. You will not find a wider selection anywhere else. 

    Every RV they sell has been through a very thorough 172-point inspection in which the ensure that all the mechanical and manual systems are in top condition. Every RV is road tested to make sure it runs and drives the way that it should. They go over the interior components just as entirely as the outside, and every component is turned on and tested to make sure it works. All of their used RVs are thoroughly cleaned and detailed inside and out, and they even check the roof for cracks and replace any silicone caulking. 

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    I’m back this week with some more great gift ideas under $100.

    First up...home automation the easy way with the Wemo Mini Smart Plug. You can add wifi capabilities to anything that plugs in. This smart outlet connects to your home’s wifi network. Now, anything you plug in from your coffee pot to holiday lighting can be controlled via a smartphone app. And when paired with a Google Home or Mini, you can control via voice as well!

    Next...There’s no need to worry about running out of power when you’re packing the Kate Spade Slim Battery Bank. Its slim, sleek, design means it’ll fit in your purse or backpack with ease...not to mention it’s quite the attractive looking device. And with its built in lightning tip there are no connectors you have to worry about carrying around.

    Finally music to keep you going this holiday season courtesy of the Braven Stryde 360. Durability, sound quality and looks - this bluetooth speaker has it all. And its convenient size makes it easy to carry with you anywhere. It’s also dustproof, waterproof and shockproof so you don’t need to worry about the elements hurting it. And if a call comes in while using it, no need to pick up the phone. Thanks to built in noise-canceling microphones, you can have clear conversations even in a noisy environment.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

     When Verizon says better matters, they mean it. 

    Only Verizon ranked highest in  leading network studies, in multiple tests, year after year that measure Network quality performance in the United States by RootMetrics for the fifth consecutive testing period. 

    Can your network say that?

    If you’re stuck on the wrong network, head over to Verizon and get unstuck. 

     

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Mesa Verde National park

     

    The key attraction at Mesa Verde are the amazing archeological cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here between 600 to 1300 in structures built within caves and under outcroppings in cliffs. The ruins are the largest archaeological preserve in the United States, scattered across 81.4 square miles.

     

    The park was created  in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt and there are lots of spots to see them and even crawl through them.

     

    No one knows why the ancestral pueblo people settled here, in an arid and hot high desert. More mysteriously, no one knows why, after centuries of living here, they suddenly moved. But the sandstone dwellings are amazingly well preserved and the U.S. Forest Service does a great job

     

    The Morefield Campground at Mesa Verde National Park is nestled into a scenic canyon some four and a half miles off US 160 from the park entrance. With 267 sites, it seldom fills up. That's because all but 15 are for dry camping only and of the 15 with full hookups, none accomodate RVs over 45 feet in length. The Class A congestion that turns so many other campgrounds into “tinominium “complexes is refreshingly absent here.

     

    Each site has lots of space between its neighbors and native Gambel oaks, tall prairie grasses and wild flowers and make for a spectacular wooded canyon that abounds with wildlife.

     

    See photos and a review of the park at http://roadtreking.com/mesa-verde-national-park-great-for-boondocking/

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    Since 1917, the Steinbring family has been bringing you the best products and service within the transportation industry. The sales staff at Steinbring Motorcoach brings you decades of experience in the recreational vehicle industry and is celebrating 100 years in business and a 3rd generation family business. 

    Along with being named a Blue Ribbon dealer by RV Business Magazine, Steinbring’s has been named a Top 50 Dealer numerous times including in 2015. Steinbring Motorcoach offers new and used Newmar Class A motorhomes as well as Roadtrek Class Bs. Also for sale are pre-owned coaches from popular brands such as Roadtrek, Winnebago, Itasca, Tiffin, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler and Monaco along with a wide selection of consignments.  

    Whether you are looking for a Class A, Class B, Class C, a diesel pusher, gas or a toy hauler, you’re sure to find your next RV at Steinbring’s. 

    Along with award winning sales, Steinbring Motorcoach offers award winning service.

     

     

    RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

    20th Annual Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale

    Dec. 7-10

    Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival Grounds 

    Indo, CA

     

    CLOSING

    And so ends anther episode of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast.  Remember, if you would like to have your voice heard and be a part of the podcast, you can record a Voice Mail message by clicking the right hand button on the roadtreking.com website…. Please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. New episodes are released…every Wednesday. Join our mailing list… we send out a special newsletter to subscribers every Monday. And don’t forget our YouTube Channel, loaded with helpful videos on the RV Lifsetyle. Search YouTube for the RV Lifestyle Channel and you;ll find us. Till the next time, I’m Mike Wendland… Roadtreking across North America.\ So long everyone

     

     

  • RT168 The Big Issues Facing the RV Industry for 2018
    Wed, Nov 29, 2017

    RT168 The Big Issues Facing the RV Industry for 2018

     

    This episode of the podcast is coming to you direct from the 2017 RV Industry Trade Show in Louisville, KY. Taking questions and comments received over the past week from our Roadtreking.com blog readers, out Roadtreking Facebook Group and Page and our RV lifestyle Channel on YouTube, we’ve interviewed top leaders in the RV industry and identified the three biggest issues this booming industry needs to address as 2018 approaches. You’ll hear their responses in this podcast, plus much more.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #168 Nov. 29, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

     

    Jennifer and I have been in Louisville all week and we are actually doing this episode right from the show floor.

    • This show is not open to the public, just RV manufacturers, RV dealers, service techs and parts suppliers. Plus the RV media, of course
    • 2 million square feet of exhibitor space
    • Hundreds of new RVs for 2018
    • Seminars, accessory dealers, parts dealers and the elite of the industry.

     

    We are moving from our standard podcast format to instead identify the three major issues and bring on industry experts to help shed their insights on what it means.

     

    The three issues are:

    1. With a million new RVers this year, and another million expected in 2018, where will they take their RVs? Campground development is not keeping space with RV sales. What can RVers do? We’ll try to put it into perspective
    2. Our audience identifies RV service as another channeling issue. RV repairs are often hard to get done. Sometime, it takes weeks to get an appointment and when you’re out of town and need help, what can an RV owner do? What’s the industry’s effort to add more service personnel.
    3. RV quality is the third issue our audience raised. With manufacturers rolling our new RVs as fast as they can, many of our readers and viewers think quality has taken a backseat. What is the industry doing to insure the quality of the new RVs they are building in record numbers?

     

    We’ll talk about these, in depth.

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     

    ISSUE #1 – With so many RVers on the road, where will they stay?

     

    We discuss this with industry leaders

     

     

     

     This part of the podcast is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    Issue #2 – The need for more service techs to repair and maintain RVs

     

    We discuss this with industry leaders:

     

    • Marl Polk runs com, a website devoted to teaching RVers how to do it themselves. He shares his thoughts.

     

    • Bob Zagami is executive director of the New England RV Dealers Association. He says the problem is a serious problem and has helped pioneer some innovate ways for the industry to solve it.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

     

    Issue #3: RV quality

     

    Talking about this issue is:

     

    • Walter Cannon is a well-respected leader in the RV industry, specializing in safety and technical issues. He is the director of com and has extensive experience as a fulltimer. He puts the issue into perspective

     

     

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    With Thanksgiving now behind us, we’re solidly locked into the holiday season. So do you know what you’re getting for those on your list this year?

    Over the next few weeks I’ll bring you and your listeners some high tech options...starting this week with gifts under $100.

    First up...the Google Home Mini. When it comes to adding smarts to your home, look no further than this doughnut sized device. Stick it in the kitchen, living room, bedroom or all three and when connected to wifi it’ll answer all of your burning questions, from what’s the weather like, to how to cook a turkey, to playing your favorite holiday songs. And all of that happens simply by saying, “Ok, Google.”

    Next...sometimes your standard white lighting just won’t cut it. And that’s where the Philips Hue White Starter Kit comes in. These LED lights have their own built in wifi chip. And when connected to your home network, you can turn them on and off, automate them and even change the color temperature from cool daylight to warm relaxing light all through an app. These lights can also be connected to your Google Home device allowing you truly hands free control!

    And finally the Chromecast Ultra - this is the dongle that truly does it all! Plug it into any TV or monitor. And using your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can cast YouTube videos, Spotify, Netflix and other content to the display with ease. Now you can bask in the warm glow by simply casting a YouTube fireplace video onto your TV

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

     

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    If you’re headed to or from Houston, or New Orleans, or Pensacola along the gulf coast, it’s easy to get on I-10 and zip through the bayou country.  If you do, you’ll be missing out on some entertaining and unexpected attractions.  After crossing on the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry at sunset, we drove on a couple of hours to Nibletts’s Bluff outside Vinton, Louisiana.  As we settled into our inexpensive full hookup campsite at this county park, we heard banjos and fiddles.  We’d arrived at the end of a five-day bluegrass jam that’s held here annually.  The music was pleasant, and the showers had plenty of hot water.  We walked out on a long fishing boardwalk that wound over the bayou about a foot above the water, but turned around when we saw a sign that warned ‘BE AWARE.  ALLIGATORS CAN JUMP.’
        Not too far down the road was the Gator Chateau.  This large roadside park is operated by the oil and gas industry association, and has a few exhibits explaining the history and process of mineral extraction along the Gulf coast.  But that’s not the real attraction.  A small building along the park drive offers the opportunity for you to hold an alligator.  When we stopped in, a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic young woman explained the do’s and don’ts before handing over a two foot gator to Patti.  Pools nearby held more of the reptiles, large and small.  
        Next door in a small gift shop, we told the clerk we were planning too stop at a nearby shop for some boudin.  We’d seen it advertised a number of places along our way.  “Well,” she said, “y’all can do that.  It’s pretty commercial.  If you want the real thing, you’d best head over to Billy’s, though, down at Scott”   Down the road it was then, to Scott, and at about ten in the morning, we stood in line for a good fifteen minutes for our turn at the counter.  Boudin is a sausage, particular to Cajun country, and it’s usually served with cracklings, which are deep fried bits of pig intestine.  We shared a mid-morning boudin ball and a small bag of cracklings as we drove on to the Atchafalaya Visitor Center.
        The Atchafalaya is the largest wetland in the United States.  Made up of bogs, cypress swamps, and marshes, it’s a nursery for hundreds of species and home to many of the Cajun folk of this region.  Acadians, French loyalists during the French and Indian War, were forced out of the Canadian Maritimes when the war ended in 1765, and settled here along the Gulf before the Revolutionary War.  Their unique music and cuisine have become part of our wider US culture over the past century.  The visitor center houses excellent displays about wildlife and ecology and offers an informative film.  Best, though, is the animatronic swamp critter band that looks like an escaped exhibit from Disney World.
        This coastline was devastated by hurricane Katrina, and if you drive along the coast itself, you’ll see countless lots for sale, and beautiful seaside mansions that can be yours for practically a song.  Remember, though, that they are uninsurable.  As you pass through Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, stop and see the angel tree.  During the hurricane, three humans and a Scottish terrier clung to this tree and were able to survive the storm surge.  The tree died from salt poisoning after the storm, but one of the survivors commissioned a sculptor to turn it into a depiction of angels.  There are many art trees along the coast, but this one is especially symbolic.
        From Galveston, Texas to the Gulf Islands National Seashore every mile of coastline and every interstate exit offers unexpected surprises that will play hob with the plans you made over breakfast.  Give in, and look for us, Patti and Tom Burkett, somewhere among the zydeco and etouffé, off the beaten path.

    RESOURCES

    http://www.niblettsbluffpark.com/

    http://www.jeffdavis.org/tourism/attractions/gator-chateau.html

    http://www.billysboudin.com/

    http://www.atchafalaya.org/

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 167: How to Find the Ultimate Camping Site in 2018
    Tue, Nov 21, 2017

    Episode 167: How to Find the Ultimate Camping Site in 2018

    Before you start making your RV travel plans for the next camping season, you’ll want to listen to this week’s interview about a great resource for finding the perfect spot in public campgrounds. From state and out of the way municipal spots to outstanding boondocking campsites in state and national forests or other wilderness areas, our guest Ted Houghton has a resource that will truly help you find the ultimate camping spot in 2018. That’s coming up in our interview of the week in this episode.

    Also this week, great RV tips, travel ideas, news affecting RVs and, of course, your comments and questions.

    Show Notes for Episode #167 Nov. 22, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We share our Thanksgiving plans and talk about what parts of the RV Lifestyle we live that we are most thankful for over the past year. There are free entry days on Black Friday in state parks in several states.  Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, Arizona, Washington, California, Missouri, Michigan… here’s a link to the ones we’ve heard about https://gearjunkie.com/get-outside-black-friday-freebies-state-parks

    We update Bo’s progress after six weeks of obedience training. So far…so good!

    We talk about the big Recreation Vehicle Industry Association Trade Show coming up next week in Louisville and our plans to ask the questions and find the info our readers, listeners and YouTube viewers want us to dig out for them from the show. 

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    We received a great tip from a listener named Anne who emailed us two tips this week.

    The first tip has to do with wet towels and where to hang them.

    What Anne did was to purchase one of those tension bars that people use for closet organizers or even sometimes bathroom shower curtains. Ann set hers up across the back of the bathroom in the RV.

    She says she set it about an inch from the wall and that it is perfect for hanging those wet towels. They dry perfectly, she says…and out of the way.

    A second tip involves something available in various places like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Walmart and even some of those dollar stores. What she did was buy sock dividers. They’re normally used to keep socks neat in a drawer. But Ann uses them in her RV kitchen cabinet to keep drinking and wine glasses from falling over. Now, she says, everything arrives intact.

    Thanks Anne for sharing those great tips

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping   

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Sue has a comment on how hard to is to find a service tech for an RV and wants to know what can be done about it. We comment.

    Sandra wants to know about where to find resources about boondocking in Canada. We refer her to boondockerswelcome.com, which has nearly 300 spots listed on their handy membership site. Also ultimatecampgrounds.com. We interview the man behind that site in a few minutes but he lists more than 4,000 great spots to camp in Canada, many of them perfect for boondockers. He even has an app devoted just to Canadian public campgrounds.  We also like and are a member ourselves of HarvestHosts.com. They have more than 570 farms and wineries where you can camp for free in the U,S. and Canada. Also in Ontario, there’s mostly free camping on Crown land and conservation reserves, free to Canadian citizens for up to21 days – see https://www.ontario.ca/page/camping-crown-land

     

    Email

    First of all, let me tell you how much I enjoy your Roadtreking Newsletter.  I have learned a lot of tips from the two of you.  Thank you for sharing your experiences.  
    My wife, Eileen, and I are the proud owners of a new RoadTrek Agile.  We took delivery of her in early October.  Although I have driven her around town and on two overnight outings, our first real road trip will be in mid-January when we will take off to Florida for several weeks or more.   Lake Superior and beyond. 
    We live in the Twin City area of Minnesota.  I anticipate it will take us three days to drive out of the freeze belt when we leave on our trip in January (we tend to only want to drive for about 6 hours/day).  When I purchased the Agile, I had the dealer install heat pads on the bottom of the potable water tank, the grey water tank, and the black water tank.  I can turn those on until we get out of the cold weather to keep the contents of the tanks from freezing.  However, the water lines themselves are not insulated.  Is there a way to insulate them? Do I need to worry about the pipes freezing during the day as we drive down the road and at night when we are stopped?  The unit is currently winterized.  Would I be wise to wait until we are out of the freeze belt before I de-winterize it and fill the water tanks?  Likewise, do I want to winterize it again before I re-enter the freeze belt on our return trip?
    We answer… recommending he stay winterized until it gets warm and then re-winterize when its time to return home

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Our guest today is Ted Houghton, who has created a website that we believe is the most comprehensive and accurate resource you will find that lists public campgrounds of all types, in Canada and the US.

    Ted has a great resource for finding the perfect spot in public campgrounds.

    From state parks and out of the way municipal spots to outstanding boondocking campsites in state and national forests or other wilderness areas, Ted can truly help you find the ultimate camping spot in 2018.

    His website is ultimatecampgrounds.com

    Apps are available for all major platforms.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    At Sunshine State RV’s you’ll find the largest selection of some of the rarest Class B RVs in the United States of America. If you are looking for a Class B RV, you need to make a trip to Sunny Florida. Our RVs range from 1990 to our current year and everything in between. They also carry the most popular brands like Roadtrek, Pleasure Way, Winnebago, Leisure Travel, and more. You will not find a wider selection anywhere else. 

    Every RV they sell has been through a very thorough 172-point inspection in which the ensure that all the mechanical and manual systems are in top condition. Every RV is road tested to make sure it runs and drives the way that it should. They go over the interior components just as entirely as the outside, and every component is turned on and tested to make sure it works. All of their used RVs are thoroughly cleaned and detailed inside and out, and they even check the roof for cracks and replace any silicone caulking.  

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    This year I want you and your listeners to own the holiday season. And with a little planning along with the following apps, you’ll be well on your way to doing just that!

    First up...gift giving. It can be a pain to think up gift ideas or to remember what you got your special someone especially if you’ve been buying over the course of the year. That’s why I love the Gift Planner app for iOS and Christmas Gift List app for Android. Both of these free apps let you set a budget and stick to it. As you buy gifts just note who they’re for and the price in the app and you’ll see how much is left to spend. Easy as that!

    Next up...my favorite part...saving money!

    I’ve got a couple of great websites that also have free Android and iOS apps.

    On the top of that list for me is DealNews.com. This site is great for gift ideation as you see what’s currently on sale in all sorts of categories from electronics to health and beauty. It’s a great way to get some ideas especially for the person that has everything. Be careful though as the deals are so tempting you may walk away with something for yourself as well!

    And when you know what you want or where you plan to shop, I’ve got one more site for you to check out - RetailMeNot.com. Let’s say you want to pick something up at the Gap, for instance. Just go to the site and type in Gap - you just might be surprised to find coupon codes that will save you 10% or more on your purchase. It’s not going to have something for you every time but definitely worth checking out before you press the buy button.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.  

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Bronner’s in Frankenmuth

    Bronner’s is America’s Christmas store. You’ve probably seen the billboards urging you to visit them all across the country. They are located in Frankenmuth Michigan, about an hour and a half north of Detroit.

    The store is called America’s Christmas Wonderland and as soon as you walk inside, the sights and sounds and spirit of Christmas will surround and overwhelm you.

    The store is huge – the size of one and a half football fields. They have over 50,000 gift items, trims and decorations.

    It is the largest Christmas store in America, first opened in 1945.

    And it's crowded, especially at this time of the year. Over the three-day Black Friday weekend, 50,000 people will have shopped at Bronner's.

    Bronner's and Frankenmuth make for a great RV trip. There are two fully equipped campgrounds within spitting distance of the store. They are, alas, closed this time of the year. But there are lots of RV spaces in the Bronner’s parking lot, although no overnight stays are allowed. The store is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter Sunday.
    A few years ago, we drove our RV up to Bronners and had it decorated in what turned out to be a really fun story. Here’s a link to it on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube - https://youtu.be/6-O_EOb8XAY

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 166: Campings Dirty Little Secret
    Tue, Nov 14, 2017

    Episode 166: Camping’s Dirty Little Secret

    We have a jam-packed show for you this week. First off, we’ll tackle the dirty little secret of the RV industry. Yes, they are indeed selling lots and lots of new RVs. Setting sales records seemingly every month. But what they don’t tell you is that you’re going to have a very difficult time finding a place to camp in that RV because we’re not building campgrounds fast enough to keep up with all those new RVers. We’ll tackle this issue in our question of the week segment coming up in a couple of minutes.

    Also…

    We RVers love our dogs. Many in fact, cite traveling with a dog as one of the chief reasons they even have an RV! But here’s the deal: Dogs are….well, dogs. Not people. And too many of us do a disservice to our pets by treating them as if they were human.  In this week’s podcast, we get some great advice from a professional dog trainer about traveling with our dogs and making the experience enjoyable for our pets as well as ourselves.

    Plus lots of audience comments, questions, tips and more all coming up in this episode of The RV Podcast.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #166 Nov. 15, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    Bo is back – You can see the reunion at https://youtu.be/mCEuuy71E28  We share how his training went and what it’s like having a Smart Dog.

    We are at our sticks and bricks home in Michigan for the next couple weeks. We’ll send Thanksgiving here and then hit the road again, traveling to Louisville for the annual Recreation Vehicle Industry Association annual Trade Show.

    Our 2018 Travel Schedule is slowly coming together. Many of or destinations will be anchored around one of the many Roadtreking gatherings we will be attending across the country. You can see a full list of those gatherings at http://roadtreking.com/2018-calendar/

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK - Stopping those weird noises from your RV heater

    There are a lot of moving parts in our RVs. And we’re not talking just about the engine We’re talking about the appliances and the RV accessories that we use on every trip…. Things like the heater.

    Sure, there’s usually a manual that comes with the gadget. But owner’s manuals don’t necessarily cover everything.

    We got a great tip this week from a listener named Bob whose,  Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL uses the Alde heating system. Bob’s heater made some weird noises and he shares with us how he fixed it in this week’s Tip of the Week…

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Listener John noticed the big boom in RV sales but is worried that with all those new campers out there, where will they go? Finding an open campsite without making a reservation long in advance grows more difficult each day. He asks for Mike and Jennifer’s thoughts on the issue. We’re more than willing to weigh in on this issue, which is really the dirty little secret of the RV industry.

    Via email:
    My husband and I bought a 2003 190 Roadtrek with 210,000 miles on it. It currently has 4 captain seats and I'm wondering if it's possible to put a twin bed where the seat behind the driver is. Also, can I expect this 3500 engine to go 300,000 if it's well care for? I know there are no guarantees. Thanks. Debra

    I love following your Roadtreking podcast and hearing about your adventures together. I read that you are going to be at your 'sticks and bricks' home through Thanksgiving, then you are leaving Michigan. Do you plan and follow an annual travel calendar, with some months set aside to be on the road, and other stay at home months? My wife and I are considering retiring to a state like Michigan, and don't think we'd want to spend the whole winter there, but were wondering what would be the best months to be home, and to be RVing. Thanks, and Happy Roadtreking Travels! Carlos

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK  - Lea DiBella, Smart Dog LLC

    Lea DiBella is the owner and head trainer at Smart Dog LLC, the Metamora, Michigan – based company that we choose to have Bo trained at. For six weeks, Bo stayed with Lea and was trained to obey

    16 basic commands. Now that he’s back with us, we are thrilled at the changes in his behavior. He’s still the fin-loving, friendly and enthusiastic dog we had before, but now he is obedient, doesn’t pull on the leash, comes the first time he’s called, every time.. and much more.

    But I wanted to have Lea on the program this week not to talk so much about the training but about the way we treat our canine companions. Too many of us, and I’m talking about a lot of RVers here, treat our dogs as if they were human.

    They are not. They’re dogs. A different species. And we do harm to them when we treat them as if they are human, no matter even if the motivation is love on our part.

    If you think that means you can’t still shower them with affection, even spoil them a bit, you’ll learn from Lea that…you still can. I think you’ll enjoy her insights and her tips for traveling with our pets.

    See how Lea trained Bo in this video I shot the day she brought him back to us as a trained “Smart Dog.” https://youtu.be/mCEuuy71E28

    You can reach Lea through her website at https://www.smartdogllc.com/

    Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Smartdogllc/

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

    Verizon Wireless

    With the holiday stress not yet upon us, now’s the time to start pulling together those great gift ideas for you and your loved ones.

    And I’ve got one to add on to your list this year - Google Pixel Buds.

    These are bluetooth wireless headphones that provide amazing sound and one touch control of your music along with access to your Google Assistant.

    That’s right, thanks to its built in microphone, when a question pops into your head at any time, just tap on your Pixel Buds and ask away.

    That means quick access to whether there’s snow in the forecast, how tall this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is, and what Santa is up to at the North Pole.

    But get this...what’s absolutely mind-blowing about the Pixel Buds, is live language translation when you pair them with an original Pixel or Pixel 2 smartphone. Just imagine heading to Europe to celebrate the holidays in Germany and being able to carry on a conversation in German when you don’t speak a word yourself. Instead as you speak english your phone will speak out of its speaker in German. And when the person you’re talking to talks in German you’ll hear english in your Pixel Buds. How cool is that?!

    You can learn more about the Google Pixel Buds at VerizonWireles.com

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Pompey’s Pillar

    In eastern Montana, the Yellowstone River is lined with rimrock cliffs that extend more than a hundred feet in the air.  They posed a substantial obstacle to settlers moving west, as well as migrating herds of bison, deer, and elk and the wolves that followed them.  At one point, about thirty miles east of Billings, a pillar of rock rises from the prairie, seemingly chunked out of the wall and moved across the water.  From many angles it’s easy to miss this huge feature, but the resulting gap provides a way past the rimrock, and the pillar has been a guidepost to travelers for centuries.    
        This rock monolith is now a national monument, and our daughter Maggie just spent a season working there as a park ranger.  We’ll let her tell you a bit about it.
        In the summer of 1806, William Clark was traveling down the Yellowstone River with part of the Corps of Discovery, including their guide Sacajawea and her infant son Jean-Baptiste, affectionately nicknamed Pomp by Clark.  They had separated from the rest of the group at Travelers Rest, four hundred miles to the west.  Lewis took another group north to explore the farther reaches of the Marias River, planning to meet up with Clark a month later at the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone.
        Clark and his party intended to travel on the river, but had not been able to find trees large enough to make suitable canoes.  When one of the party was injured, they were forced to make do with the best trees they could find in the area, and spent several days hollowing cottonwood logs.  The river journey was uneventful until they reached the pillar, which Clark named in honor of Jean-Baptiste.  Pompy’s Tower was later renamed Pompey’s Pillar by the editor of the Corp’s journals.  Look back at the Roadtreking blog from October of 2015 and you can find Mike’s enthusiastic report of visiting the pillar.  The visitor center is closed for the winter, but you can still walk in and visit from dawn to dusk, and all the facilities will be open again in May of next year.
        Summer is a good time to visit, because you can experience Clark’s Days.  Free admission and camping, Native American dancing, cowboy poetry, live music, campfires by the river, bird walks, stargazing, traditional foods, and historic reenactments.  It’s a big deal!  Check the park website foe dates.  Last year it was at the end of July.  If you come, try not to miss the cabin.  It’s the old visitor center, at the foot of the Pillar, and has an extensive display of native Montana wildlife.  You can touch the pelts of bison, fox, wolf,  and grizzly bear.  Summer is also the time to see yellow-bellied marmots, who make their home in the cracks and crevices of the Pillar.
        We had a great visit, and went on west to see several other sites from this amazing chapter of our national history.  Among them was a visit to the National Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, outside the east entrance of Glacier park.  This museum sits on a dusty woebegone plot of ground across from a diner and the grandly-named Glacier Peaks casino.  It’s a completely nondescript 1940s brick building, and it looked uninhabited when we stopped in the parking lot.  Don’t be fooled.  It would be a shame to miss the rich and varied displays of native textiles, pipes, and other crafts found inside.
        We also took time to watch a thirty-minute film called Two Worlds at Two Medicine, a Blackfeet Indian documentary of the only fatal encounter in all of Lewis & Clark’s travels.  It was instructive to see the event, in which two young Blackfeet braves were killed and Lewis nearly lost his life, from the perspective of the indigenous people.  We had lunch at the casino, too.  The hamburger and rice soup, served in styrofoam bowls was nothing to write home about, but the hot fry bread that came with it was outstanding.
        You can find Lewis & Clark sites across the west, and every one of them will be worth the time you take to stop and explore.  Poke your head into the Lewis & Clark Caverns near Three Forks or look at Oscar Howe’s murals in Mobridge, South Dakota.  Come see us at Pompey’s Pillar and I’ll tell you about Sergeat Pryor and the bull boats he made from bison hides.  And while you’re out there, look for my parents, Patti & Tom Burkett, wandering around off the beaten path.

    Resources:

    http://roadtreking.com/pompeys-pillar-a-must-stop-in-montana/

    https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/lewisandclark/pom.htm

    https://www.doi.gov/iacb/museum-plains-indian

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

  • Episode #165: The Girl Camping Movement
    Tue, Nov 07, 2017

    Episode #165: The Girl Camping Movement

    No, I’m not being politically incorrect. There really is a Girl Camping Movement and it is one of the fastest growing segments of the recreational vehicle movement.  Women old and young are following their dreams, buying an RV and traveling the highways and byways of North America. In this week’s episode, we talk to the leading ambassador foe the Girl Camping Movement, who has a lot to teach us all about the joys of traveling with an RV.

    Plus, we have RV news, Tips and travel ideas…all coming up in this episode of the RV Podcast.
    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #165  Nov.8, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We’re back home in Michigan after pretty much two months on the road. We’ll be here through Thanksgiving, then we head to Louisville for the annual trade show by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.

    We get to be reunited with our dog BO tomorrow. Bo has been in special advance off-leash training while we’ve been traveling. We’ll shoot some video and show you how he’s done.

    Speaking of dogs, we had lots of reaction to last week’s topic in episode 164 about the scandal of fake service dogs. It’s become a national disgrace and we’re sorry to say, a lot of RVers are involved, registering their dogs as service animals when, in fact, they have had no real service dog training and the registration is just a sham so they can take their pets with them wherever they want. We had lots of calls, comments and emails about this but we want to play one of them that illustrates why these fake service dogs create so many issues.

    We played a voice message from Kathy who owns a real therapy dog and is being penalized because there are so many fake service dogs out there. Therapy dogs provide a real service. They are registered and trained and visit hospitals, special needs centers, hospices schools, nursing homes, and other facilities. They are owned by caring volunteers who are willing to share their special canines to bring smiles and joy to people, young and old alike.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    OK…this week’s tip comes directly from Jennifer’s School of Hard Knocks.

    Yes, I learned this tip the hard way. And it happened this past week as we were packing for a long 1,000-mile trip from Florida to Michigan

    After we started loading up the RV last Friday, we went through our usual routine of bringing in all the clothing, the food items and the related things we needed for the trip home.

    When I went to the lower storage cabinet next to our refrigerator, I noticed a smell. Not a dirty smell… a clean one! A very clean one.

    You guessed it, my dish soap had spilled… all over the bottom of the cabinet.

    It was a mess. Dish soap t had even leaked out f the cabinet onto the floor of the RV.

    It took pretty much a whole roll of paper towels and 15 minutes on my hands and knees sopping up the mess. And then we had to wait another hour to resume packing for everything to completely dry.

    The lesson? Store your cleaning supplies in a container, were they can’t tip over.

    I should have known better. But now you do. Hope my hard luck lesson will spare you the extra and needless work I went through.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Sandy has a question on turning up the heat in her new SS Agile motorhome…

    Viccy has a concern about her excessively noisy Webasto Heater on her Roadtrek coach. After giving our thoughts, we refer both to Roadtrek’s special support line at 800-663-0066

    We just did a video on YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel about our Alde heater. You can find it at http://rvlifestylechannel.com

    A listener wants to travel in his RV to Alaska but is seeking to go with a group. We offer some thoughts and refer him to our Facebook Group at http://facebook.com/groups/roadtreking

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – The Girl Camping Movement

    Our guest today is Janine Pettit, who’s has become an ambassador for the fast-growing Girl Camping movement.

     

    She encourages women to go places and do things on her podcast Girl Camper, on her blog for Go RVing, her Facebook Page and through her frequent public speaking engagements.

    She is a lifelong lover of camping who took a 25 year sabbatical when she married a non-camper!

    She discovered that camping was still in the cards for her when she stumbled onto an article about a women’s outdoor adventure group that travels around the country in RVs, meeting new friends, checking off bucket list adventures and doing things she had only dreamed of.

    Girl Camper Resources Mentioned:

    Sisters on the Fly

    GirlCamper.com

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    Now that it’s November, folks are already starting to talk holiday, which means family gatherings, gift shopping and meal prep.

    Thankfully, help is available thanks to today’s technology.

    Google Assistant on your Pixel 2 can help with a variety of cooking tasks. Just squeeze the sides and ask for a recipe to cook the perfect turkey or a substitution for butter in mashed potatoes if you run out at the last minute. In addition, when it comes to taking the picture perfect family photo, you’re covered thanks to a best in class camera as well as portrait mode. And with unlimited photo and video storing for Pixel 2 users - you never have to worry about running out of space.

    We know your hands aren’t always going to be clean (or free) in the kitchen. So simply say, “Hey Google, play some holiday music” to create a festive atmosphere from your Google Home Mini  without lifting a finger. And if you have multiple google homes in your house you can link them all together and make the music play throughout.

    Set and name multiple cooking calendars so you can juggle everything at the same time. Just say, “Hey Google, set a 3 hour time called turkey” and you’re set.

    Step by step cooking instructions are now available as well. Just search on your device for a recipe then click on the “Send to Google Home” button. Then say “Ok Google, start cooking” and it’ll walk you step by step through the recipe!

    If you find menu planning challenging, you’ll want to try the Food Planner app. Create your own recipes or import the ones you find from any website. Input an inventory of the ingredients you have on hand and Food Planner will create a grocery list of items still needed.

    And if you really want to make sure your turkey doesn’t go a-fowl, make sure you download the Butterball Cookbook Plus App to your device. From selecting the right size bird, to adding the right sides and seeing the recipes come to life in video, this app has it all.

    Looking to warm up your environment but don’t have a fireplace? No worries. With a flat screen TV and Chromecast Ultra you can cast a high definition virtual fireplace into your home. Then after dinner use it to stream a heart-warming holiday movie.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Watch the Blue Angels Practice

    The Blue Angels is the U.S. Navy’s flight exhibition team, made up of aviators form the Navy and Marines. Each year, they perform before 15 million people in exciting air shows all across the country.

    But here’s a great tip: If you’re down along Florida’s panhandle from March through October, you can watch them practice twice a week. It makes for a great RV Sidetrip, as we show in the video at https://youtu.be/xn7JmyQmp_w

    For more info and a schedule of practices for the team, go to http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/attractions/blue-angels/

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 164: The Fake Service Dog Scandal
    Tue, Oct 31, 2017

    Episode 164: The Fake Service Dog Scandal

    We have lots to talk about this week. We’re going to start off with a discussion about a very controversial topic: The proliferation of what is being called fake service dogs. It’s becoming a national scandal and I’m sorry to say, a lot of RVers are involved, registering their dogs as service animals when, in fact, they have had no real service dog training and the registration is just a sham so they can take their pets with them wherever they want.

    We’ll also talk about a big RV trend… renting out your RV. There are now dozens of companies that are serving those who want to rent an RV for a vacation – just like out rent a vacation home. And the fleet of rental RVs come from RV owners who want to make some cash for their RVs when it would otherwise be just sitting in storage or their driveway.

    Plus your questions, comments and RV news, tips and suggested trips….all coming up in this week’s episode.

    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #164 November 1, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    It’s November. Snow is flying around the upper Midwest but we’re still in sunny and warm Florida.

    We want to talk about a growing national scandal involving service dogs.

    Today, any pet owner can go online and buy a vest for a dog to pass it off as a service animal to gain access to restaurants, hotels and places of business. 

    Across the country, at least 19 states are considering legislation that would crack down on pet owners who claim their animals are service animals. Still more states are considering implementing them,

    Most of the laws hit anyone misrepresenting their animal as a service animal with fines up to $500.

    There are an estimated 20,000 real, service dogs in the US; they are specifically trained to do tasks for a person with a disability and can help with disabilities ranging from vision impairments to seizures to autism and more. However, there are tens of thousands of other animals that have various pieces of service dog ID cards or vests that are available online by simply paying a fee. Just Google service dogs and you’ll see the ads.


    Passing off your dog as a service dog, when in fact it is not, is causing an uproar in the community for those who actually need one. An organization, Glad Wags Service Dogs, is making it known that "fake service" dogs are causing a huge problem, and it needs to stop, citing incidents in which non-service-animals have misbehaved in places they shouldn't have been allowed, casting real service animals in a bad light—or, in some cases, even injuring an actual service animal.

    Case in point: An incident in Sacramento just over a week ago, when a pblind man’s working service dog was attacked by a pit bull whose owner falsely claimed the pet was a therapy dog. 

    According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal to ask about a person’s disability, require medical documentation, require special identification for a service animal or ask for the service animal to demonstrate the tasks it’s trained to do. And while the ADA was created to protect people with special needs from discrimination, sadly it does not thwart those who are able-bodied and seeking to take advantage of the service animal privilege.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     This week’s tip comes from a dental hygienist we met on a recent roadtrip. We were visiting around the campsite and she shared how important it is to keep our teeth cleaned while on the road.

    Thanks Joanne for a good reminder. So good, that I went out and bought a water pic myself that we now take with us on all our travels. 

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear 

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Larry wants to know our thoughts and experience with a 4x4 Roadtrek

    Jerry asks for help on buying a used Roadtrek somewhere in the SE… we suggest the checks the used inventory for sunshinestatervs.com or campersinn.com or the for sale by owner section in the Roadtrek International website at http://www.roadtrekchapter.org   For used RVs elsewhere in the country, of all brands, check the sites of vancityrv.com and SteinbringMotorcoach.com 

    Among email questions we received this week:

    What is the best way to remove snow from the solar panel on my Roadtrek?

    Thanks, - Fred Young

    We are travelling with a truck and camper in Quebec, Ontario now then to Florida. Where can we find dumpsites and water fill ups off season. Thanks. We suggest using the RV Dumps app from All Stays.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas Nevada, Kalispell ,Montana and now Colorado Springs, Colorado. Specializing in Class B and C Campervans.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    The peer-to-peer rental movement that is so popular with websites like Vacation Rental By Owner and Air bnb is sweeping the RV business like a wild storm.

    There are so many companies and dealers that now rent RVs that just keeping track of them can be quite a task.

    One of the newest is a firm called Campanda It started in Europe and has moved to the U.S. We recently talked to Nick Kubasek, the Chief Operating Officer of Campanda who shares with us how this movement is good for those interested in trying an RV out for short term rentals and for RV owners, who wan5t to make some extra cash by renting out their RVs when they would otherwise not be in use.

    Meanwhile, Campanda is far from alone. There are so many RV rental companies out there that we thought we’d share a list for you. By no means is this list comprehensive, nor do these firms necessarily have our endorsement, but here is a sampling of a few RV rental companies we found when we searched the web.

    Some other RV Rental companies:

    AIRBNB.COM - below is michigan RVS for rent but could say any state

    https://www.airbnb.com/s/Michigan--United-States?type=rv&listing_types%5B%5D=32&s_tag=8mdpCMAD&allow_override%5B%5D=

    Apollo RV

    http://www.apollorv.com

    Britz Motorhomes Hire USA

    http://www.britz-usa.com

    Camper Travel USA

    https://www.campertravelusa.com

    Cruise America RV Rentals

    https://www.cruiseamerica.com/rent/

    El Monte RV

    https://www.elmonterv.com/rent/rvs-we-rent/

    Escape Campervans Rental USA

    https://www.escapecampervans.com

    Family RV http://www.familyrv.com/special.cfm?ID=750

    General RV Rentals 

    http://www.generalrv.com/rv-rentals

    Great Alaskan Holidays (rents RVs in Alaska only it appears)

    https://www.greatalaskanholidays.com

    Lost Campers Campervan Rentals

    http://www.lostcampersusa.com

    Motorhome Republic

    http://www.motorhomerepublic.com/aboutus.html

    RVshare

    https://rvshare.com/rental-discounts?semid=google.nb&placement=g&campid=945028445&adgid=45150523137&keyword=b.%2Brv%20%2Brentals&copyid=224757332834&kwd-297245821641&device=c&camptype=search&gclid=CjwKCAjw4KvPBRBeEiwAIqCB-Y4m2fX-u4eIAw48M7LM9EtSkxZ2QbYgJ4nsvtM4fmjvWCplpjvzYBoCn-MQAvD_BwE

    USA RV Rentals

    http://www.usarvrentals.com/rentrv_howItWorks.php

    Vroom Vroom Vroom RV Rentals

    https://www.vroomvroomvroom.com/rv-rentals/

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country 

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    With the advent of Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, our homes have never been smarter. And now some new additions can help inexpensively expand those smarts to our RVs and beyond!

    Take the new Google Home Mini for instance. You get access to all of the Google Assistant in something the size of a doughnut! All it needs is a power outlet and wifi to work.

    That means you could easily put it in the bathroom, bedroom or RV and have access to the news, weather, your calendar and even your wifi lighting and Nest all via voice.

    And since Google Home Mini can recognize the difference in voices, when you ask Google what your day looks like it’ll know to read off your calendar rather than your child’s.

    Also, Google Home Mini is able to make phone calls and use your number so people know it’s you.

    And if music playing is really what you want out of your smart home, then you definitely should check out the Google Home Max.

    This smart speaker packs in the same features as the Google Home and Google Home Mini and with dual 4.5” woofers, it’s made for the ultimate in high fidelity sounds. In fact, Google Home Max is so smart, it adjusts the sound it’s pushing out to best match the acoustics of your room - so your music always sounds great. And if you want the same music playing on your chromecast in the living room as your Google Home mini or Max upstairs, just create a group in the Google Home app.

    Google Home Mini is available now at any Verizon store or at verizonwireless.com. Google Home Max will be available just in time for the holiday shopping season. 

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -   Pisgah National Forest

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    When you’re heading south next time, especially if your path takes you close to the Great Smoky Mountains, carve out some time to drive the Forest Heritage National Byway in the Pisgah National Forest.  More later on specific sights along the route, but first we’d like to share a taste of the fascinating story of this spectacular piece of the mountains.
       If you have any exposure at all to the history of our national parks, you’re probably familiar with the name of Gifford Pinchot, and if you boondock in the national forests, you owe him a debt of gratitude.  Gifford’s father James made a fortune in lumber in the nineteenth century, but became increasingly distressed by the way forest management left the land barren and unproductive.  He convinced his son to attend the National Forestry School in France.  Upon his return, the two of them turned the family home, Gray Towers, into a forestry culture nursery and demonstration project.
       Meanwhile, Fredrick Law Olmsted was completing the design for the Biltmore Estate outside Asheville.  Vanderbuilt had purchased thousands of acres of logged out grazing land adjoining the estate, and Olmsted was determined it should be returned to forest.  He hired young Gifford Pinchot to oversee the work.  The Biltmore Estate became home to the Biltmore Forest School and known as the “cradle of American Forestry” under Pinchot’s successor, Carl Schenk.  Pinchot and his father went on to endow the Yale School of Forestry in 1900.
       Gifford Pinchot coined the term conservation ethic and, with the help of Teddy Roosevelt, established the value of publicly held forests as a resource for both commerce and recreation.  He served in congress and twice as governor of Pennsylvania.  So back to the Byway.  Get on US 276 south off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you’ll soon come to the Cradle of Forestry Center.  Here you can dig a bit deeper into the history, and much more.  Ride a helicopter simulator as it fights a forest fire.  Look at the animals that live beneath the forest floor.  See the cabin where forestry students lived in the early days of the Biltmore Forest School.  This is the actual property Pinchot and Schenck restored.
       Head on down the byway and you’ll soon come to Sliding Rock.  This is one of those places that might have disappeared in these liability conscious days, but not so.  A shaded forest stream runs over a huge slab of rock as it passes down the hillside, and you can climb on out and ride it down.  It’s fabulous fun, and holds a few surprises for first time visitors.  There’s a bathhouse onsite for changing, and it costs a couple of dollars to park.
       Farther along the road is Looking Glass Falls, a spectacular cascade right beside the road.  Trailheads lead into an area that is full of water features—streams and little rills, and wildflowers in season.  Just before leaving the National Forest (formerly part of the Biltmore Estate), you’ll find the lovely Davidson River campground and a well-designed visitor center.  Many of our national forests include scenic byways, and this one is especially rich in things to see and do.  We’re Patti & Tom Burkett, and you may well find us here, off the beaten path.
    Resources:
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5366049.pdf
    https://cradleofforestry.com/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv228RlQs5A 

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 163: How a high tech RV is helping restore communications to Puerto Rico
    Tue, Oct 24, 2017

    Episode 163: How a high tech RV is helping restore communications to Puerto Rico

     

    We’ve all heard of the horrible devastation still affecting Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Nearly a month after the storm, water and electricity are in scarce supply. Cellphone service ranges from spotty to nonexistent, landline telephones are out, banks and many businesses are shuttered, cars are damaged and roads blocked. For many, work and school still have not resumed and there’s been no outside communication with friends and family

     

    Helping out is he Erwin Hymer Group of North America and their special mobile research lab equipped with a Kymeta satellite antenna for the Internet, part of a humanitarian effort sponsored by Liberty Cablevision, the islands cable TV and broadband provider.


    We caught up with Joe Raetano, the director of advanced research and Development for the Hymer Group, who explains how valuable the Internet Satellite system on his Roadtrek advanced mobile Lab is in helping island residents reconnect. We interviewed Joe over a satellite phone connection made possible by that Kymeta antenna on his RV

     

    That’s coming up in the interview of the week segment in just a few minutes. But also in this episode, your questions and comments, RV tips and news and much more… but first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride…Jennifer.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #163 October 25, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

     

    We had a great spontaneous meet-up this past weekend with many of our listeners along Florida’s Emerald Coast in Navarre Beach. We will try and do this sort of thing again as we visit other parts of the country. Here’s a call we got from Gary, who was among those who showed up.

     

    As we begin the last week of October, we're starting to see the first signs of the great snowbird migration as tens of thousands of folks from northern states are starting to make their way south for the winter. 

     

    For those who stay put during the winter, it's time to winterize their RVs, cleaning it out and putting it in storage for the next several months.

     

    Jennifer and I are spending a few more days in Florida but we'll soon be heading north to Michigan. We, too, will have to winterize while we're up north, but we are among the growing number of RVers who camp all year round. We love winter camping in the snow but we also plan to head back to Florida shortly after the first of the year. If you ever wonder where we are, there's a live map on the lower right had column of our roadtreking.com blog that shows where we are.

     

    There's one big camping weekend left! Most campgrounds are sold out this coming weekend for Halloween, with costume contests, trick or treating and decorated RVs. In fact, the whole month is busy as RVers try to squeeze as many outings as possible before the cold weather arrives.

     

    But that cold weather is not to be ignored. Out west, they are starting to close roads in some of our national parks....because of snow!

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    Here’s a tip on what to do with your RV AFTER you return from a trip, after you’ve emptied your clothes and other items and after you’ve emptied the refrigerator and are ready to leave it for a long period of time, be it a week or a few months.

     

    And it has to do with the refrigerator.

     

    Specifically, how to avoid the sour smell that often happens when an RV is shut up tight when it’s not being used or is in storage.

     

    One, after the freezer had thawed, wipe it and the main compartment out. You want to put it away dry.

     

    Secondly, we put an open box of baking soda in one of the shelves on the fridge doors.


    And third…and most important… leave both the freezer and refrigerator doors open until the next time you need to turn it on and head out on an RV trip. That prevents any odors from being trapped inside.

     

    That’s it. Follow those three steps and you’ll have no more refrigerator odors.

     

    And now it’s your turn! I want you to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

     

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    A reaction to our recent meet-up on Navarre Beach, FL

     

    • A follow up to our recent tip about using Ikea bags to store things in the RV

     

    • A question about the Kymeta Satellite Internet system we are using and that will soon be marketed by the Erwin Hymer Group of North America

     

    • A story of an alarming incident in a campground out west

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas Nevada, Kalispell ,Montana and now Colorado Springs, Colorado. Specializing in Class B and C Campervans.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    We’ve all heard of the horrible devastation still affecting Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Nearly a month after the storm, water and electricity are in scarce supply. Cellphone service ranges from spotty to nonexistent, landline telephones are out, banks and many businesses are shuttered, cars are damaged and roads blocked. For many, work and school still have not resumed.

     

    Helping out is he Erwin Hymer Group of North America and their special mobile research lab equipped with a Kymeta satellite antenna for the Internet, part of a humanitarian effort sponsored by Liberty Cablevision, the islands cable TV and broadband provider.


    We caught up with Joe Raetano, the director of advanced research and Development for the Hymer Group, who explains how valuable the Internet Satellite system on his Roadtrek advanced mobile Lab is in helping island residents reconnect. We interviewed Joe over a satellite phone connection made possible by that Kymeta antenna on his RV

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:


    More Florida state parks open to visitors, as recovery from Hurricane Irma continues

     

    Tourism up to to record levels for Montana, with most visiting Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks

     

    Family lost while hiking in Michigan state park called police, then followed the sound 

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    You don’t need to visit a haunted house to have shivers sent down your spine. In fact, all it takes is getting out of the car after forgetting that your phone is on your lap. That’s just one of the many scary ways phones can meet their demise this time of year!

    And it’s not just Halloween we need to wary of. In fact, every two seconds, someone, somewhere cracks their phone screen. About half of those people had their phone fall out of their hands, ⅓ had their phone fall out of their pockets, and you guessed it roughly the rest had it fall out of their lap when standing up.

    The worst part is about 1 in 3 people who break their phone screens won’t get them fixed - and have even suffered glass cuts because of it!

    Fortunately Verizon customers have a worry free option. It’s called Total Mobile Protection. And now - Nov 17 any customer who currently doesn’t have their device covered, can sign up.

    And once covered, you can get same day, cracked screen repair for just $29! That means nothing to ship and no need to transfer content from one phone to another. Now that’s peace of mind and convenience!

    You can learn more about total mobile protection at www.vzw.com/tmp

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

  • Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security
    Tue, Oct 17, 2017

    Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security

    In this episode of the RV Podcast we’ll talk to an expert on how to fulltime RV on $1,500 a month, even less if you follow some of the tips you’ll hear on our interview of the week segment…coming up.

    Also in this episode, lots of practical, how-to RV tips and advice, your questions and our answers, RV news of the week and an off the beaten path report for your RV travels.

    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #162 October 18.2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: 

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We’re still down on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida’s panhandle and because we’ve heard from a number of you who would like to meet us, we’re going to try something – a meet and greet afternoon next Sunday, October 22. We’re going to meet on Navarre Beach, at the entrance of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Now because of the recent Hurricane Nate, the national seashore drive is closed just west of Navarre Beach. But the meet spot we picked is just to the left, or east of the bridge leading from Highway 98 and the mainland to Navarre Beach. Jennifer and I will be there from 2PM on and whoever shows up, shows up. Bring some beach chairs and refreshments and we’ll hang out for the afternoon on one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Just look for our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 and come by and say hello. If there are any updates it, we’ll post a notice on our Roadtreking Facebook Group and Our Roadtreking Facebook Page so check there for the latest.

    We’re excited to see fuel prices dropping once again…especially east of the Mississippi. A new survey from AAA says that the national gas price average has dropped two cents on the week to $2.47, states east of the Mississippi are paying as much as eight cents less at the start of this week. While gas prices are more expensive than a year ago, the past five weeks of sustained weekly declines indicate that demand may be leveling out alongside refineries and pipelines returning to pre-hurricane operations. In September, Hurricane Harvey drove gas prices to the highest price of the year – $2.67. That was a 32-cent increase inside of 12 days. Now nearly seven weeks post hurricane, gas prices have shown steady decline dropping a total of 20 cents since September 11, 2017.

    We’re really excited about the phenomenal growth of our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. We are now getting almost 1 million video views EACH month. We continue to put two videos up each week, as well as regular live reports, and we thank you for subscribing to the channel. 

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    One of the reasons we so enjoy doing meet and greets like the one we’re planning for Florida this week, or attending RV gatherings and rallies around the country is the opportunity it presents to pick up valuable suggestions and tips from other RVers.

    In North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, we met the Emby family, who shared with us how they pack and organize for RV trips using Ikea bags.

    Thanks Embry family! We will definitely pick up some of those Ikea bags.

    And for all of you listening today, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    A listener asks us how we level our Class B RV in when setting up camp. We share our procedures and also talk about the leveling blocks we sometimes use under the wheels. We use the Tri-Lynx 00015 Lynx Levelers. They go together like Legos and fit under whichever tires need to be raised. They come in a 10 Pack, so you have plenty for even RVs with dual wheels. A lot of readers also recommend the Andersen Hitches Camper Leveler. These are curved. You just drive up on them till level and then chock the wheels. They cost $62. And cost $28

    Another listener wants to know where she can but an alcohol based two-burner campstove.

    These are most often used in boats by live aboard sailors, though sometimes RVers reluctant to use propane, prefer them for safety reasons.. They tend to be costly. The one we would suggest is the Dometic Origo 4100.  It is fueled by denatured alcohol, making it very safe. They work without pressure, are quiet and take up little galley space. The Origo 4100CB comes with a cutting board. Simply pour denatured alcohol into Origo's stainless-steel canister where fuel is absorbed and bound in a non-flammable wool material. The stove draws alcohol from storage to surface, which means there is no dangerous pressure involved. Fuel Capacity: 1 qt. 8-1/2 oz. (1. 2 liters) per canister. Average Cooking Capacity: 6-8 hours

    For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations. 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    How’d you like to quit your job and fulltime in your RV? Or maybe you’ve retired and just have social security to live on. Is that enough to live a fulltime life in your RV on the road? Our guest this week in our interview segment is Jerry Minchey, a frugal expert who says yes…it is.

    But first, Jerry says, before you quit that job or sell the house, you better count the cost. Literally…and figuratively!

    Jerry Minchey is the author of several books about the RVing lifestyle and retirement living. He lives full time in his 34-foot Class A motorhome. He has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA from the University of Suth Carolina, and management degree from Harvard Business School. He has worked for NASA and worked for many years as a computer design engineer. He holds five patents, and has a private pilot license. He is the founder and editor of the website, LifeRV.com.

    Here’s a link to his many books of interest to RVers - http://amzn.to/2yPOUrc

     The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    For many teens, getting your driver’s license is a time for celebration. However for parents, it can lead to clock-watching and worrying. And for good reason: according to the National Safety Council, nearly half of all teens are likely to be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school.

    This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) - a great time to strike up a conversation on this important topic.

    For instance:

    •         Set rules and expectations with your teen driver. A parent-teen agreement is ideal for outlining rules, privileges and consequences for both parties.
    •         Restrict driving with young passengers. A single young passenger can increase a teen driver's fatal crash risk by 44%.
    •         Practice with your teen for at least 30 minutes each week.
    •         Become a role model for your teen. Let them know it's OK to put the phone away or disconnect from in-car infotainment systems and drive distraction free.

    Additionally, parents can look to technology like hum to keep a virtual eye on their teen when he or she is behind the wheel. Once installed, hum will show mom or dad where the vehicle is in real-time and will send alerts when it exceeds a speed limit set by the parent. In addition, hum offers additional peace of mind through navigation, roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics, a mechanics’ hotline and emergency assistance. You can learn more at www.hum.com

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    We see a lot of folks with the North America map on the side of the RV, and we’ve visited with friends and acquaintances at camping get-togethers enough to know that making collections of travel memorabilia is a common pastime.  We ourselves collect national park magnets (only from parks in which we’ve actually camped) to put on the front of the fridge at our stick and bricks house.  They remind us both of where we’ve been, and of the fact it’s soon time to get out on the road again.  

    Better than that, though, we’ve come across a few collectibles that are more intangible in the hand but sharper in the mind.  One of the latter recently saw us in Iowa Falls, Iowa at sunrise to capture a few photos of a tall wooden sculpture on the bluffs overlooking the river.

    Peter “Wolf” Toth was born in Hungary and emigrated to the United States as a young man.  He settled in Akron, Ohio and received an art degree from Akron University.  He completed his first Whispering Giants sculpture in 1972, carved into the stone of a cliff overlooking La Jolla, California.  Toth studied and admired the Native Americans, both for their devotion to the Earth and for their tenacity.  Wishing to honor and bring attention to their mis-treatment, he chose to make them the focus of his lifetime work.

    After selecting a location, he secures a native log or standing tree about ten feet in diameter.  He next spends time with the Native Americans of the area, learning from them about their history and lore, and looking at historic and contemporary photos and paintings.  Sometimes it’s agreed he’ll carve the likeness of a specific historical figure, like Chief Grey Lock, who can be seen in Burlington, Vermont.  

    More often, Toth visualizes a face that incorporates the lines and features of many individuals.  Says he, “I look at the log until I can see the Indian inside it, then I start carving.  His work is mostly done with hammer and chisel, and takes two to three months to complete.  The town provides him room and board, and he donates the completed sculpture in return.

    There are seventy-four sculptures in the series, with at least one in each of the fifty states, and in several Canadian  provinces.  We’ve had the pleasure of seeing several, and gladly drive out of the way to collect another.  Most recently we communed with heads in Paducah, Kentucky and Red Lodge, Montana, as well as the one in Iowa Falls.  Toth lives in Florida and creates small sculptures for sale, the proceeds from which support his ongoing work on the Whispering Giants.  In addition to creating new pieces, he restores and repairs earlier pieces that need attention.

    Pick something that interests or intrigues you - giant balls of twine, ethnic pastries, esoteric breeds of cattle, regional dance styles, accents and dialects, or local folktales.  Let it guide your travel, if just a bit.  Gather some stories and tell them here.  We’d love to hear them.  Meanwhile, you just might run across us, Patti & Tom Burkett, somewhere off the beaten path.

    For More Information:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_the_Whispering_Giants#The_Trail

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

    RV SHOW SCHEDULE FOR THIS COMING WEEKEND

    Panhandle RV Show

    October 19-22

    Emerald Coast Convention Center

    Fort Walton Beach, FL

     

  • Episode 161: An RV Club for Todays RVers
    Tue, Oct 10, 2017

    Episode 161: An RV Club for Today’s RVers

    There are RV Clubs and then there are the Escapees. Ever heard of them before? If you’re an active RVer, if you dream of working from the road, or retiring to an RVing life of adventure, or packing the most fun you can into your weekend camping tips, you need to know about the Escapees.

    This week, in our interview segment, you’ll meet the young couple who are leading the Escapees community and discover just why this club may be the perfect fit for you.

    Also this week, lots of listener questions and answers, plenty of tips, RV news and an off-the-beaten path report about two great Georgia state parks that Jennifer and I visited last week.

    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #161 October 11, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We’re coming to you from Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast after a very eventful trip down here, in which we were brushed by Hurricane Nate. You can see a video on that adventure at https://youtu.be/TXsAG7_aOKk

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

      JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Two weeks ago back in Episode 159, Mike interviewed veteran automobile sales consultant Gary Tilkin, who shared his expertise about the RV buying experience. Gary gave a lot of very helpful tips and if you are shopping for an RV, I urge you to go back and listen to episode 159.

    But we just heard back from Gary, who wanted us to know that he has just signed the bottom line to buy a new motorcoach. And Gary put into personal practice many of the tips he offered here in the RV Podcast.

    Gary called in with a follow up tip on buying an RV from a dealer located far away.

    Thanks, Gary. We are delighted to hear back from you. Congratulations on that new motorhome. And Mike and I look forward to taking you up on that kind invitation for a visit while we are here on the Florida Emerald Coast.

    And for all of you listening this week, please be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    • Brian asks if 80 years old is too old for he and his wife to start a life of RVing in a small motorhome – the Roadtrek Agile SS
    • Lisa asks Mike and Jennifer about the varying amounts of solar panels they have had in previous RVs they’ve owned. She wants to know the ideal setup. 
    • A caller with an older RV is frustrated that when he puts in gas, the pump keeps shutting off, unless he holds the handle down a tiny bit so the gas going through the nozzle flows out very slow.\
    • And a caller wants to know if she still needs to winterize the hot water heater even though it didn’t work last year.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    The Escapees RV Club has been around since 1978 and is a community that perhaps is more in tune with today’s RVer than any other organization out there. It’s open to everyone, no matter what kind of RV they have and it comes with lots of great benefits, not the least of which is the cool and fun aspects of RVing.

    I love the club’s motto: An RV club that gives you the freedom to break the mold and do something different with your life.

    Escapees is now being run by Travis and Melanie Carr, a young couple who are on the road about half the time who represent the third generation of Escapee’s leadership. Travis, the grandson of the original founders, was exposed to RVing from a young age. After he served in the military, Travis and his wife Melanie returned to the RVing lifestyle.

    He began in the maintenance department for the club’s network of RV Parks, but his focus quickly shifted as he took the lead on upgrading every park’s reservation system, bringing them into the digital age. Since then, Travis and Melanie have made themselves an irreplaceable part of the Escapees culture. In 2015, they founded Xscapers, a lifestyle group of Escapees that brings the club back to its origins. Xscapers are RVers who work full-time while traveling, just like Travis’ grandparents Joe and Kay Peterson did in the 70s. Under their guidance, Xscapers has grown to provide numerous benefits targeting the needs of this demographic, including the development of Escapees’ Job Board and diversifying Escapees’ social and educational opportunities.

    We’re delighted to have Travis and Melanie join us in our RV interview of the week.

    Resources:

    Escapees Website: https://escapees.com

    Escapees info kit: https://escapees.com/images/pdfs/infokit.pdf

    Escapees Online Tools: https://escapees.com/

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Cougar shot at Oregon RV park after it was caught hunting house cats

    Everglades National Park re-opens, but funding needed for hurricane repairs

    Next generation state campground, now open in Minnesota

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    Google Pixel is Back and Better Than Ever

    Last year Google Pixel unexpectedly took the world by storm. And this year Pixel is back and better than ever!

    At Google’s recent announcement, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were unveiled and boy are they something to be excited about!

    With Google Assistant front and center of both devices, Pixel 2 helps you get answers and get things done. To activate you can say “ok Google” like you can on most android devices. But with Pixel 2, you can also squeeze the phone’s frame and activate your assistant that way.

    Also, let’s say you are traveling and want to know what the name of the building is you’re looking at. Simply fire up your camera and click on the Google Lens icon and you’ll instantly receive a ton of information - like when it was built, what it’s called, and see other pictures that people took of it.

    Speaking of pictures, Pixel 2 features the highest rated smartphone camera and can take professional looking portraits from its rear and front cameras. And Google is also throwing in unlimited photo and video storing for Pixel 2 users - so you never have to worry about running out of space.

    Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are also IP 67 water resistant, come in 64GB and 128GB sizes and are available in a number of colors.

    Plus they’re both Gigabit LTE ready, meaning they’ll have access to Verizon’s fastest possible network speeds right out of the box.

    If you’re looking for an easy-to-use smartphone that gets thing done, check the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 out at any Verizon store or at verizonwireless.com

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Georgia’s Black Rock Mountain and Tallulah Gorge State Parks

    Jennifer and I just visited these two state parks, located in north Georgia, right near the North Carolina line. And you couldn’t find two parks more diverse…even though they are located just 15 miles apart.

    Black Rock Mountain State Park is the highest state park in Georgia, offering some of the most outstanding scenery in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Roadside overlooks provide spectacular 80-mile vistas, and four hiking trails lead visitors past wildflowers, streams, small waterfalls and lush forests. Visitors enjoy the summit visitor center for its views, gift shop and picnic tables.

    Campsite are nestled under rhododendron and gnarled oaks. Tent campers will appreciate the walk-in sites that allow extra privacy. The park’s small lake is popular with anglers and circled by an easy walking trail. At an altitude of 3,640 feet, Black Rock Mountain is often cooler than other Georgia parks and may close during icy weather. RVers should be comfortable driving on steep, winding roads.

    Tallulah Gorge State Park, meanwhile, is the exact opposite. Where Black Rock Mountain’s attraction is its height, Tallulah Gorge draws folks because of its deep, 1,000 foot gorge. One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. Visitors can hike rim trails to several overlooks, or they can obtain a permit to hike to the gorge floor (100 per day, not available during water releases). A suspension bridge sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom, providing spectacular views of the river and waterfalls. Tightrope walkers have twice crossed the gorge, and visitors can still see towers used by Karl Wallenda. A paved path follows an on old railroad bed, and mountain bikers can test their skills on a challenging 10 mile trail.

     This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

    RV SHOWS NEXT WEEKEND 

    Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show

    October 12-15

    Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

    Salem, OR

    Georgia RV & Camper Show

    October 13-15

    Cobb Galleria Centre

    Atlanta, GA

    RV Liquidation Super Sale

    Oct. 13-15

    David L Lawrence Convention Center

    Pittsburgh, PA

     

    Toronto Fall RV Show and Sale

    October 13-15

    Toronto Congress Centre

    Toronto, ON (Canada)

     

     

     

  • Episode 160: How to save on fuel costs and get better mileage with your RV
    Tue, Oct 03, 2017

    Episode 160: How to save on fuel costs and get better mileage with your RV

    Probably the top question motorhome owners are asked is “what do you get for mileage?” Although gas prices are dropping again, the big spike they had after the hurricanes this summer reminds all of us that one of the biggest expenses our RV lifestyle has to deal with is fuel prices. So, how can we lower those costs and get the best mileage possible? To help us with that our interview of the week features our friend Mark Polk of RVEducation101 who will share some very practical tips that are all but guaranteed to increase your mileage and save you money.

    Also this week, lots of your email questions, RV news, tips and an off the beaten path report.\

     

    Show Notes for Episode #160 Oct 3, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    This episode is recorded from our camping spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina after a great four days attending the Overland East Expo held on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

     

    We shared what we learned there, explaining what overlanding is and how it relates to boondocking. We also share the results of our first real world test of the Kymeta satellite Internet system we are testing out.

     

    And we talk about what a great month October is for RVers.

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    One of the things many of us do when we’re stopped for the night is spin the front passenger’s seat around so that instead of facing forward, it faces the back part of the coach, making for a way to relax, to create a conversation area or to use the front table if we decide to set that up.

     

    But for some of us, the way that seat is angled makes sitting there a bit uncomfortable.

     

    At the Overland East gathering this past weekend, we met Pam Brown. Pam knew we would be there was on the alert to share her tip about dealing with the seat. It is so simple. What Pam does is use a Yoga Block – one of those foam square shaped little blocks that you find yoga practitioners use – as a foot rest.

     

    Presto! Instant comfort.

     

    You can find the Yoga blocks everywhere. Pam got hers at Walmart. You can also find it in on the master list of products and handy services that we talk about on the podcast at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-gear… that’s Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-gear. Since we just added it, you’ll need to scroll down to the end of the list to find it.

     

    Meanwhile,  be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

     

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    We just bought a Roadtrek Zion SRT. Its small with very little counter space in the bathroom & kitchen. What do you use for hand wash & dispensers & how do you store them when you’re rolling? Leslie

     

    What is the name of the reflective bubble wrap you talked about? Terry

     

    My husband and I are looking at purchasing our firt rv, a roadtrek. The undermount air conditioner seems quieter than the roof mount. Is there a reason one would want the roof mount? Kristen

     

    Thinking about purchasing a Roadtrek CS XL.  Wondering if you have trouble parking it in town or parking lots with the extra length? Kathrine

     

    Planning on getting a used Roadtrek next spring and am wiring a new garage for electric hookup. What size power source would you recommend? Greg

     

    Do I need a cover for my RV? It will sit in my driveway at the back of the house all winter. I live in Minnesota and it won’t be unusual for it to be covered with up to two feet of snow fromDecember through February. David

     

    Hi Mike. Great video, as always. Question: As this video was published 18 months ago, and technology tends to march forward relentlessly, I am curious whether you are still using the Jetpack and weBoost combo for connectivity or not. We are researching for our class B and not sure why we wouldn't just use the "Personal Hotspot" on our iPhone 6's (Verizon) as our connectivity point, coupled with a weBoost Drive 4G-X RV for added signal strength. What are your thoughts, sir? Thanks! Via YouTube

     

    For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

     

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK - How to save on fuel costs and get better mileage with your RV

     

    Probably the top question motorhome owners are asked is “what do you get for mileage?” Although gas prices are dropping again, the big spike they had after the hurricanes this summer reminds all of us that one of the biggest expenses our RV lifestyle has to deal with is fuel prices. So, how can we lower those costs and get the best mileage possible? To help us with that our interview of the week features our friend Mark Polk of RVEducation101 who will share some very practical tips that are all but guaranteed to increase your mileage and save you money.

     

    Mark’s Resources:

    www.rveducation101.com

    https://rv101withmarkpolk.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/user/rved101

    https://www.youtube.com/c/RV101

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Some concerned by RV Industry lobbying to privatize campgrounds, other services on public land

     

    Custer State Park reports another successful buffalo round up

     

    Massive rockfall at Yosemite National Park's El Capitan kills one visitor, injures another

     

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP - Verizon's New and Improved Family Base

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    Now with the kids back in school, there’s homework, sports practice and other demands pulling at their lives. That sure puts a premium on family time! To help you make the most of it, Verizon has something called FamilyBase.

    With this tool, you now have control over your child’s devices, who they’re texting, who they’re calling, how much data they use and most importantly when they’re using those devices. That means if you want to restrict data use - both wifi and cellular -  during dinner time or late at night, you can!

    In addition, for younger kids, Family Base lets you block access to inappropriate websites or apps so someone is always watching out for them, even if you’re not able to.

    Family base is available for just $4.99 a month no matter how many lines you have, is easy for parents to use and is compatible with all Android and iOS devices. You can learn more at vzw.com/familybase

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT – Beer and bacon

     

    Sometimes, I have to admit, it can be exhausting traveling with Tom. He's relentless in his pursuit of things to see and do. Every time we go on a trip he spends weeks preparing an itinerary. He looks at dozens of websites and books, and the google map he comes up with looks like a pincushion. Then he goes into his notes. He has newspaper clippings going back I don't know how long--about things we might do some day.  Emails from other travelers, blog posts, and a shelf full of maps and brochures from parks and tourist bureaus across the country. 

    And it doesn't stop when we get in the RV. We're constantly looking at roadside signs and searching things on the internet.  Just yesterday, on I-94 we passed an exit sign for Home On The Range. Off we went, to discover a remote prairie ranch for the rehabilitation of troubled youth. 

    We were headed for Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and as we approached Medora, the little town at the entrance to the park, I heard the inevitable words, "Hey, what about this. . ."  This, as it turns out, was the Medora Beer and Bacon fundraiser. Though it was a bit pricey for us, at $20 a ticket, we bought a couple. 

    It was a perfect day. As we drove down the hill to the campground, we saw a bison grazing next to someone's tent. The air was warm, the breeze was steady, and the Little Missouri river chattered past the campsites. We chose the best one, stopped at the visitor center, and headed on over to the chamber of commerce, where we picked up a map. Strolling this picturesque western town on a perfect night was magical. At each business on the map there was a beer to sample, many of them local. There were sixteen different beers.  And there was bacon. Lots of bacon. 

    Stop one offered a local porter paired with ice cream. Ice cream topped with homemade chocolate cream sauce and crumbled bacon. There was bacon taffy, bacon dip, bacon meatballs, and bacon maple donuts.  Our path matched that of some other folks, so we struck up conversation and heard about living in the oil boom towns of the Bakken shale. 

    Myron Schweitzer, owner of the Farmhouse Café, said his first year had been pretty good, and he was glad he'd chosen to move here. Medora is wall to wall people during the summer, but the proprietor of Hidden Springs Java told us about living in this tourist town during the off season, when locals stop by for soup and a sandwich and there's plenty of time to catch up on the books. 

    Almost every town has a website, and they're often treasure troves of information. Take the time to look, and you may find the firefighters fish fry, the jalapeño festival, or the school's annual local history scavenger hunt. There's a good chance we'll be there too, Patti and Tom Burkett, scouting out something happening today, off the beaten path. 

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

      

    RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

    28th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show
    October 4-8
    Suburban Collection Showplace
    Novi, MI

    Tacoma Fall RV Show
    October 5-8
    Tacoma Dome
    Tacoma, WA

    California RV Show
    October 6-15
    Los Angeles Fairplex
    Pomona, CA

     

  • Episode 159: How to shop for and get the absolute best deal on your next RV
    Tue, Sep 26, 2017

     

    Episode 159: How to shop for and get the absolute best deal on your next RV

     

    Don't buy an RV without listening to this episode and our interview of the week... Plus your questions, our answers, tips and RV news

     

    Show Notes for Episode #159 Sept. 27, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

     

    We’re hitting the road as soon as this podcast is recorded, heading first to Ashville, NC where we will be attending the Overland East Expo,  Sept. 29-October 1 on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  This is the premier overlanding event in the world—no other event offers the scope of classes taught by the world's leading experts, alongside a professional-level trade show that brings together in one place all the camping and vehicle equipment and services of interest to extreme RVers…overlanders, off the beaten path explorers who love rough terrain and rugged wilderness. We’ll have a Facebook Live report Saturday afternoon from the event.

     

    Bo is not going to be with us! He’s attending a six week off leash boarding school that will make him a very Smart Dog. We’ll be following his progress with photos posted on the training school’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Smartdogllc/

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    In Montana this summer, we spent some delightful time with Marilyn Daniel, who showed us the best screens we have ever seen in an RV. Marilyn made them herself and they cover the driver and passenger windows of their Roadtrek Popular 210.

    Mike also shot a video of Marilyn’s do-it-yourself screens. I’ll put a link to it on the shownotes page for this episode at roadtreking-dot-com-slash-59/

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    Gerhard from Washington State called with information for the Florida caller least week who wanted to be able to use the generator in her RV to power her home refrigerator if they ever lose power again like they recently did with Hurricane Irma.

     

    Kathy wants a hands-free device for her cellphone so she can have access in the car. We like the kind that attach to the air vents. Here’s a link to a whole page of various mounts and cradles that will let you go hands free with your smartphone in your car http://amzn.to/2xsp8Z7  We like the Kenu Airframes - http://amzn.to/2ypDjuX

     

    Lynn wants to travel in her motorhome to Florida or Arizona with “no mountains at all… please.” She hates mountains. She’s leaving either from Canada or Iowa, but to get to Florida from the north, I-65 south to Alabama and then on two lane roads over to I-10 East. That will avoid the little bit of the Smoky Mountains you encounter on I-75 between Corbin, KY and Knoxville, TN. Once you head west on I-10 to where you can pick up I-75 you can then head south right down the middle of Florida.

    For Arizona, my best solution is to take I80 to Des Mointes, IA, then I-35 South to Dallas-Ft. Worth, west on I-20 and then pick up I-10 and head north to Phoenix.

    I also suggest she post this on our Roadtreking Facebook Group and get input from lots of other RVers. That’s at https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking/

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Gary Tilkin is a very in-demand Automotive Consultant and Trainer. Through 32 years of experience, he has guided automobile dealerships and sales personnel all across the country into developing successful programs that bring integrity and professionalism to the car-buying procedure.

    When he decided he wanted to purchase an RV for he and his wife to travel in, he was shocked to find the RV industry was, in his words, “15 years behind the auto industry.”

    In this interview, he shares how his many years of automotive expertise applies to the RV industry. Among topics covered:

    How consumers should research the RV they want to buy

    Is it better to buy from the lot and the dealer’s inventory or wait for a special order?

    What markup do RV dealers add to the RVs they sell?

    Should you buy an extended warranty?

    Why you should never negotiate with a dealer

    What’s more important, the dealership or the price?

    What are the extra fees that some RV dealers may try to charge that you that you should refuse

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country. 

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Four stories this week:

     

    Tourist Vehicles Vandalized at Smoky Mountains National Park

     

    Environmental Groups sue over drilling near Yellowstone

     

    Many Florida State Parks Remain Closed or only open for day use following Hurricane Irma

     

    Officials close a Virgina state park after black bear attacks a woman walking her dogs 

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    If you’re a fan of iOS, then you’re in heaven with the recent release of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and Apple Watch Series 3!

    Featuring a new glass and aluminum design with three beautiful finishes, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are sure to stun! Couple that with wireless charging, retina HD displays and an A11 Bionic chip and you’ve got phones designed for the ultimate augmented reality experience!

    And what pairs best with the next generation iPhone but an Apple Watch Series 3 of course! This next generation wearable now comes with a built in LTE connection. That means whether users are out for a run, at the pool or just trying to be more active throughout their day, Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular allows them to stay connected, make calls, receive texts and more, even without their iPhone nearby.

    Apple Watch Series 3 comes in two models, one with GPS and cellular, and one with GPS, both featuring a 70 percent faster dual-core processor and new wireless chip.

    All are available now both in your local Verizon store or online at verizonwireless.com

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Update on the fires in Waterton National Park, Aberta, Canada

     

    Tom Burkett updates us from the scene about the devastating effects of the fires that swept through Albert’s Waterton National Park in Canada.

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

    Great American RV Show

    September 28-30

    Norris Penrose Events Center

    Colorado Springs, CO

     

    Austin RV Super Sale

    September 29-October 1

    Dell Diamond

    Round Rock, TX

     

    Evergreen Fall RV Show

    September 29-October 1

    Evergreen State Fairgrounds

    Monroe, WA

     

    New York State RV Show

    September 29-October 1

    NYS Fairgrounds

    Syracuse, NY

     

  • Episode 158: Satellite Internet for RVers Takes a Huge Step Forward
    Tue, Sep 19, 2017

    Episode 158: Satellite Internet for RVers Takes a Huge Step Forward

    Location Independence is a phrase you hear a lot about these days in the RV industry as more and more people take to a life on the road in their RV and do their work from anywhere, as long as they have a connection to the Internet. That connection is now a whole lot more reliable thanks to a company called Kymeta that has come up with a revolutionary satellite solution that provides broadband-speed Internet where it’s never been before. And this week in our interview section coming up, you’ll learn how this works and what it can mean to you. And I’m also excited to tell you that I am testing that solution right now in my RV.

    That’s coming up soon. But also this week… your RV questions, RV tips and news, plus a special off the beaten path report. But first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride…Jennifer.

    Show Notes for Episode #158 Sept. 20, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We’re back from Canada and the opening of the Erwin Hymer Group of North America’s brand new 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility – see https://youtu.be/CyLm5_3LrA8

    We’re testing out that new Kymeta system we’ll be talking about in our interview section but we’ve also added the WiFi Ranger system to the RV, plus our Wilson WeBoost cell phone booster and a new VHF/UHF amateur radio transceiver that utilizes some cool new technology.

    We also have tested a new cargo box for the RV. We did a review on it and you can see why we won’t be recommending it for others by watching the video review we did. We’ll link to it in the shownotes for this episode at roadtreking,com/158

    Our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel is rockin and rollin! One of our videos, a tour of our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL RV, just reached a very huge milestone! It has been watched over 1 million times! We love doing RV videos and have been putting out two and sometimes three a week. You can subscribe by going to rvlifestylechannel.com and clicking the little red subscribe button. There’s also an option to be notified of when new videos go online. After subscribing, just click that little bell icon you at the top right of the channel page.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

      JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    With fall now upon us, the nights are getting colder and for those with forced air heaters, the air inside your RV can get mighty dry. We met fellow RVer Jan Mathews at a campground a while back and she had this suggestion for us.

    Jan says these little humidifiers are available everywhere. We found them on Amazon. In fact, we found a whole page of them, some of them even offering aroma therapy as well. We even found one that works off the USB connectors in your RV. Here’s a link to the Amazon offerings - http://amzn.to/2w5jCHY

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Lynn is from Florida and recently lost power at her home as a result of Hurricane Irma. She wonders about the generator in her 17 year old Roadtrek Popular 200 RV is strong enough to power her house refrigerator of it happens again.   

    The generators that Roadtrek uses are made by Cummins/Onan and the gas generator model that is installed will generate 2800 wattsor 2.8KW of 110/120 volt AC power. Most house refrigerators use about 700 watts.

    Alan asks about his water pump and boondocking. Can he leave it on when off the grid or just turn it on when he needs it.

    The water pump in your RV is an on demand pump in other words the only time the pump will operate is when you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet. As long as the pump is operating properly it will not use any power when there is no demand for water.

    And Dan wants some ideas on where to go RVing in the winter and I the snow where there are fun things to do.

    We suggest he read our blog story on our annual winter campout at Tahquemenon Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at http://roadtreking.com/time-reserve-spot-annual-winter-campout  It’s January 19-21, 2018

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Location Independence is a phrase you hear a lot about these days in the RV industry as more and more people take to a life on the road in their RV and do their work from anywhere, as long as they have a connection to the Internet. That connection is now a whole lot more reliable thanks to a company called Kymeta that has come up with a revolutionary satellite Internet solution that provides broadband-speed Internet where it’s never been before. And this week in our interview section coming up, you’ll learn how this works and what it can mean to you.

    Now this system is brand new and I am really excited to reveal that our RV   - a 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 – is the first production RV to have the Kymeta solution installed. Jennifer and I will be traveling the country with it, testing it out in many different places and under many different scenarios. I’ll be doing a video in the next week or two that shows how it works in our RV but – to answer your question – YES! It will soon become available but only from one RV manufacturer – the Erwin Hymer Group of North America. How soon? I don’t know. How much? Pricing hasn’t been set yet. We should have answers to those questions certainly before the end of the year.

    But right now, I want you to meet Bob Shuman, an executive with Kymeta, who will give us an overview on why this system is a first of a kind satellite technology that can deliver broadband Internet connectivity anywhere, anytime, while on the move.

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Interior Dept. Recommends Cuts or Changes to Seven National Lands Monuments


    Wildfire destroys 70 percent of Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park's forested area

    National Parks Service seeks hunters to shoot bison in Grand Canyon's North Rim area

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    Many people have a goal to be more active. But the difficult part tends to be conflicting priorities like family, work and let’s be honest - relaxing. Sometimes all it takes though is a little extra prodding from a digital friend to help you out.

    That’s where the newest wearable - the Fitbit Ionic comes into play. This one is supercharged to help you go the extra mile.

    Think of it as your coach, friend, assistant and entertainment director all in one!

    That’s right, Fitbit Ionic has a full color screen that will walk you through your workout giving you on screen guidance for every stretch, lift and step you take.  It also has built in GPS to keep track of your distance and even a heart rate monitor so you know just how hard you pushed it.

    Because life doesn’t stop when you’re working out, Fitbit Ionic also makes sure to keep you on top of your notifications, calls and texts. In fact, you’ll see them right on screen.

    And when it’s time for some motivation, just connect a bluetooth speaker or headset to this smart tracker and play away. With it’s on-board memory, it can even store 300 or more songs...so you can leave your phone at home and still get the boost you want.

    Speaking of boosts, ever wish you could be pushed harder while training in the water? You guessed it...Fitbit Ionic can track your swims as well!

    Finally when it’s time for bed, leave it on and it’ll keep track of your sleep.

    Fitbit Ionic boasts a four day battery life and even has an NFC chip allowing you to make mobile payments on the go.

    It’s available at Verizon stores and Verizonwireless.com beginning Oct 11. 

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide. 

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

     When Mike was twelve years old, he accidentally dropped a baseball in a bucket of paint.  "Interesting," he said to himself, and kept dipping it. Then he wrapped a wire around it to use as a handle and invited his friends to help.  That was the beginning of this story.  It continues when Mike helped his toddler son begin painting his own baseball.   In 2006 Sherwin-Williams sponsored the ball and provided a building to house it.  It hangs suspended from steel I-beams and occasionally gets a steel band reinforcement. 

         We came across an article about the ball a few months ago. Don't just drop by, the article said, call and make an appointment. Not wanting to miss it, we did just that the day before we arrived. Mike and his wife Glenda were waiting for us. We pulled up in the drive, and as we got out, the lights in the building lit up the ball for us to see through the glass front doors.   It was quite the reveal. 

         The ball hung there like a giant orange avocado, with the number 25,271 written on one side.  We had a brief tour of the historical articles posted on the walls, saw the original ball of paint with its coat hanger hook, and were asked to select from several colors for the next coat of paint on the ball. "Teal looks good," Patti said. "Now let's get a before picture," Mike said as he opened the teal paint bucket. Next thing we knew we had rollers in our hands. "You can use the mirror on the floor to make sure you get all the way underneath," advised Glenda.

         Twenty minutes later we'd finished our chore and the once orange 2 1/2 ton ball now looked like a slightly misshapen Earth, seen from space, and covered with clouds. As we painted, we heard about the list on the wall, naming the countries (about two dozen) from which our fellow ball-painters had hailed. We heard about the Oak Ridge Boy's visit and the ball's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show, and about the numerous periodicals that had featured this Guinness certified creation.    

         At least until the next group of visitors, or until tomorrow (Mike or his son paint the ball faithfully once a day even if no one shows up), we hold the record for the worlds largest ball of paint --coat number 25,721!  We have certificates to prove it and signed our name on the wall along with all those who came before us!  So head up IN route 9 northeast of Indianapolis towards the little town of Alexandria, and among the truck farms and housing developments, you'll find this roadside wonder.  It's waiting for you to set your own record. Don't look for us there, because we've already done that, but you might well find us, Patti and Tom Burkett, somewhere else off the beaten path. 

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service. 

    RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

    Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis Fall Boat and RV Show, Sept. 22-24, 2017

     

     

  • Episode 157: How to find the perfect boondocking spot
    Mon, Sep 11, 2017

     

    Episode 157: How to find the perfect boondocking spot

     

    Boondocking just may be the biggest trend affecting the RV Lifestyle these days. For one thing, with so many new RVers coming on the scene, it’s getting more difficult each day to find an open site at a campground. But for another, new technology like solar power, engine generators and lithium batteries are making it much easier to camp in the wilderness, with no hookups, off the grid.

    So how do you find that perfect boondocking spot? In our interview segment coming up, we’ll hear from an expert – Nina Fussing, a fulltime RVer and the author of the popular WheelingIT  RV blog.  Nina, with husband Paul accompanied by a small a menagerie of pets, are boondocking experts and this week, she’ll share how to find the perfect boondocking spot.

    Plus we’ll answer your questions, share a bunch of travel and technology tips and some great off the beaten path RV stops in the American heartland.

    But first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride…Jennifer.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #157 Sept. 13, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

     

    We’re in Cambridge, Ontario today, as this episode is being released, covering the Grand Opening of a new manufacturing facility for the Erwin Hymer Group of North America. It’s in the next town over from Kitchener, Ontario, where Hymer has its factory to manufacture Roadtrek motorhomes. This new building will be used to assemble Hymer’s new line of towable trailers. It will also have a couple of dedicated bays for warranty work for all their products. We’ll be doing a live video from the new factory and you’ll be able to see it on our You Tube RV Lifestyle Channel.

     

    We’ve heard from lots of friends from Florida who are in their RVs after evacuating their homes in the path or Hurricane Irma. With 5 million households out of power throughout the Sunshine State, having a self-contained RV has been a great convenience for so many. Hats off to the many state and local campgrounds in adjoining states that have welcomed the evacuees, many waiving their camping fees for the duration.

     

    We’re getting ready to head to northern Michigan over the next week or so to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and the early color we’re seeing on the trees. It’s been spectacular so far this month, with lows in the 40’s for good sleeping at night and highs in the upper 60’s or low 70’s.

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Last week, a listener named Bill shared how he uses cleaning vinegar mixed 50-50 with water in a spray bottle to wash the dishes in his RV, thus saving use of fresh water when out boondocking.

    Mike and I were a little skeptical about the idea and Len, or “Vinegar Ben” as he now calls himself, sent us in this follow up Tip.

    He swears there’s no after taste and…best of all… he says the vinegar cleaner is a great way to clean your dishes on winter camping trips!

    Thanks, Bill! You won us over with your suggestion on how cleaning vinegar will help during winter campouts, especially the one we have coming up in January at Michigan’s Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula. In winter camping, you don’t have running water. So we promise, we’ll try your idea and use cleaning vinegar – to clean the dishes we dirty during that event. We appreciate your tip!

    And for the rest of you, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    Listener Sue has a question about the indicator lights on her black water tank showing that there is still stuff in there, even though she has dumped it. She’s tried a bunch of enzymes and liquid solutions sold by Camping World but still, the LEDs show it’s not empty. She asks if this is normal.

    The best solution we’ve had is I use a half cup of Calgon water softener and half cup of dishwasher detergent in the tank. This is not foolproof nut it does the best job I’ve found in keeping the tank clean and the sensors to read closer to accurate. The Key is using lots of water to flush

    Here’s a nice video from Pete’s RV Service that explains the problem and Pete’s idea on how to fix the problem: https://youtu.be/xJRvK6rU_-k

     

     

    We got a long email from a listener named Gary who writes with several questions: I've recently been searching for the next Rv. I enjoy watching your video clips. After various size campers, two used Class Cs, new 2004 Class A DP (11 years) and just sold new 2016 Class A gas; towing the jeep of course.  I'm 66, ready to down-size and simplify; Mike and Jen are good examples. 
    You mentioned on one of your videos about the air conditioning in the Adventurous CS E-trek, just turn on, no need for shore power or generator.  I understand batteries and inverters but you can actually run roof air and for how long?
    Also, how does the under-hood generator work?
    Question:
    One recent video you took delivery of new 4X4 Adventurous. What did it cost you in mileage?
    I'm coming from 8mpg world; I'm curious about the mpg difference. 
    Question:
    I caught your discussion that the new Rv has a roof air again.  I'd be no fan of under-structure AC components.  We live in CA and have traveled all over the USA, hot weather happens. Does the roof air do the cooling job?
    My final challenge is to convince my wife we no longer need 34ft Class A.  We started off in a sleeper camper shell, then 8ft camper. Ready to get back to simple Rv-ing. Our big Los Angeles RVshow is in October, I want to get good information from an experienced owner, not a weekend salesman they seem to float to shows. 

     

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.a

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Boondocking just may be the biggest trend affecting the RV Lifestyle these days. For one thing, with so many new RVers coming on the scene, it’s getting more difficult each day to find an open site at a campground. But for another, new technology like solar power, engine generators and lithium batteries are making it much easier to camp in the wliderness, with no hookups, off the grid.

    So how do you find that perfect boondocking spot? In our interview segment coming up, we’ll hear from an expert – Nina Fussing, a fulltime RVer and the author of the popular WheelingIT  RV blog.  Nina, with husband Paul accompanied by a small a menagerie of pets, are boondocking experts and this week, she’ll share how to find the perfect boondocking spot.

     

    Resources:

    Boondocking for Newbies

     

    Finding your Boondocking Area

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Georgia family gives their loaded RV to strangers left homeless by Harvey

     

    Western National Park sites endangered by wildfires

    Canada's popular Waterton Lakes National Park ordered evacuated because of wildfire danger

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP: Samsung Note 8

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    Wow the year is just flying by! But that also means we’re at my favorite time of year - when we see a whole bunch of new updates to our favorite smartphones.

    And first up is the beauty that is the new Samsung Note 8.

    Talk about an amazing piece of art...this phone and it’s 6.3” infinity screen feels absolutely perfect in your hands.

    The larger screen means more viewing space for the latest videos or watching a presentation and taking notes at the same time using the multiwindow experience.

    The beloved S Pen is back...and allows you to take notes, doodle and even leave notes on your lock screen so you don’t forget the memo.

    And before I forget, more than ever people want a great camera...and the Note 8 has two. This means when you take a photo one lens is snapping a telefoto and the other a wide angle...you you won’t need to choose in advance. And with its Live Focus, you can choose to blur out the background or foreground of a photo after it’s been snapped, so you won’t have to worry about making a decision in the moment.

    For our techies it features iris and fingerprint scanning, IP 68 water and dust resistance, has Gigabit LTE capability and is compatible with DeX - letting you plug your phone into any TV and turn it into a fully functioning computer.

    Whew! And that’s just scratching the surface.

    You can learn more at verizonwireless.com

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Rural Kansas

    Listener Len has a nice Off the Beaten Path report this week about two attractions in rural Kansas.

     

    In Concordia, he tells us about the National Orphan Train Complex, which commemorates a fascinating social reform movement that saw an estimated 250,000 orphaned, abandoned, and homeless children were placed throughout the United States and Canada during the Orphan Train Movement from 1854 to 1929. When the orphan train movement began, it was estimated that 30,000 abandoned children were living on the streets of New York City.

     

    About an hour away in Abilene, Kansas, hevisited the Eisenhower Presidential Library and the boyhood home of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    Since 1917, the Steinbring family has been bringing you the best products and service within the transportation industry. The sales staff at Steinbring Motorcoach brings you decades of experience in the recreational vehicle industry and is celebrating 100 years in business and a 3rd generation family business. 

    Along with being named a Blue Ribbon dealer by RV Business Magazine, Steinbring’s has been named a Top 50 Dealer numerous times including in 2015. Steinbring Motorcoach offers new and used Newmar Class A motorhomes as well as Roadtrek Class Bs. Also for sale are pre-owned coaches from popular brands such as Roadtrek, Winnebago, Itasca, Tiffin, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler and Monaco along with a wide selection of consignments.  

    Whether you are looking for a Class A, Class B, Class C, a diesel pusher, gas or a toy hauler, you’re sure to find your next RV at Steinbring’s. 

    Along with award winning sales, Steinbring Motorcoach offers award winning service.

     

     

    RV SHOW SCHEDULE 

     

    Hershey, PA - America's Largest RV Show Sept. 13-17, 2017

     

    Portland OR - Portland Fall RV Show, Sept. 14-17, 2017

     

    Timonium, MD - Maryland Fall RV Show, Sept. 14-17, 2017

       
         

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Episode 156 - RVing in Europe: Campskunks Big Adventure
    Tue, Sep 05, 2017

    Episode 156 - RVing in Europe: Campskunk’s Big Adventure

     

    In this week’s podcast we catch up with our friend Campskunk, who shipped his RV to Europe and has been touring as many different countries as possible. He tells us what RVing is like over there, the differences he’s encountering and the surprises – both good and bad. If you’ve ever thought about RVing in Europe, his is a must listen. Also, if you want to see a video version of the interview, we’ll post that on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel.

    Plus we have lots of listener questions to answer this week, RV news, RV tips and a great RV off the beaten path report… all coming up in Episode 156 of the RV Podcast

     

    Show Notes for Episode #156 Sept. 6, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: 

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    First off, a new way to hear this podcast, especially for those of you who have the Amazon Echo or Alexa sysetm in your house. Besides, iTunes, the Google Play Store, Sticher and other streaming services, the RV Podcast is now available through Tune In, the service used by Amazon Echo and Alexa and a bunch of other devices. You can just tell your device to play the RV Podcast and it will start doing so with the most recent episode.

    Our direct link on Tune In is https://tunein.com/radio/The-RV-Podcast-p1026701/ Tune in also has an app you can download to your smartphone, like the Apple Podcast app, so you can listen anywhere.

    We’re back in Michigan for a few days. Keeping an anxious eye like many others on Hurricane Irma, which, as we speak, seems to be taking a direct bead on Florida sometime over the coming weekend. We just left the Emerald Isle area on the panhandle where we have a beachfront condo. So we’re a little apprehensive. To all of you in Florida and along the eastern seaboard, pay attention to the warnings. This is not a storm to take lightly.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    One of the things RVers need to conserve is the water they use. About the only time you don’t have to be concerned about water usage is when hooked up to city water and sewer in a big campground.

    But when boondocking or traveling, especially in a Class B or C motorhome, you can only carry so much in your fresh water tanks. And those grey tanks are also limited in how much dish or shower water.

    So how do you conserve?

    There are lots of ideas. We’ve talked about many of them here in the podcast over the years.

    But this week, a listener named Bill called in with a way to really cut back on water usage when washing dishes.

    Bill’s suggestion is to use cleaning vinegar, put in a spray bottle, mixed 50-50 with water. They spray it on the dishes and use a paper towel. Bill gives the details in an audio report.

    Thanks, Bill.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping   

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    • Listener John shares how he has started a entire new life through RVing!
    • Lee Ann from Sacramento asks for an RV Inspector in the Las Vegas area. We refer her to the National RV Inspectors Association, which certifies professional recreational vehicle inspectors across North America. There is a search box on the site at https://nrvia.org/locate/ that lets you find the nearest inspectors. We didn’t find any in Las Vegas. If you can’t find an NRVIA inspector, our suggestion is to use the services of a mobile RV repair company. Just do a Google search on RV inspection and the name of the city. We found several listed in Las Vegas. You might also try a major RV dealer. In Las Vegas, we recommend our friends at Wagon Wheel RV.
    • Lou is looking for an RV cover for her Class B motorhome. There is only one RV cover we recommend. It is Hugger Covers. You can find them at http://huggercovers.com Make sure you tell them you heard about them through us and they’ll throw in a special gift. 
    • John in Hawaii is interested in an update about our experience with the Bike Friday folding bicycles we bought at an RV rally a couple of years ago. We talk about the bikes and

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    In this week’s podcast we catch up with out friend Campskunk, who shipped his RV to Europe and has been touring as many different countries as possible.

    He tells us what RVing is like over there, the differences he’s encountering and the surprises – both good and bad.

    If you’ve ever thought about RVing in Europe, his is a must listen. Also, if you want to see a video version of the interview, we’ll post that on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Legislators May Seek to Override Michigan Governor’s Plan to keep unfair RV Tax – Read more
    • RV Hall of Fame Eyes $10 million expansion Read More 
    • Fires Continue to Rage in West and Northwest Read More

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    September means the end of summer and a look ahead to the fall and winter months. It’s also Preparedness month, which is a great time to make sure your family is ready for what’s ahead.

    With reliability at the top of its priorities, Verizon considers every month preparedness month. For instance, did you know that most of Verizon’s cell sites have battery backup and generators to ensure your phone continues to work even when local commercial power is lost? That’s one of the reasons it continues to be the primary network for first responders. 

    You, too, can take steps to be prepared for any disaster.

    • 
Store phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location. Ziploc storage bags will do the trick or look into waterproof phones, cases or other protective accessories.
    • 
Keep your phone and tablets fully charged – in case local power is lost.

    • Have additional batteries and car-chargers available for backup power. A nice variety, including solar-powered devices, make it easy to stay powered up.

Maintain a list of emergency numbers – police and fire agencies; power and insurance companies; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your phone in advance so you have them ready when needed.

    • Use your phone or tablet to photograph and catalog your valuables and other household belongings for possible insurance claims.

    • And for a wealth of additional tools and apps you can use to prepare your family, check out gov

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    Recently we saw a copy of a letter posted on the wall of a museum.  It was dated November third.  The letter said. “The federal government is taking your land for a project of vital national importance.  We’re going to pay you fair value for it, and you have to be gone by December 15.”  Six weeks to pack up and leave.  Hundreds of people got these letters.  A fair number of them had been forcibly displaced to make room for the great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Of those, some had been displaced a second time for construction of dams by the Tennessee Valley Authority.  As you might imagine, they were not too happy.  But what could they do?  War was coming, and Uncle Sam needed a safe place to develop a secret weapon.

        The place he chose was a remote valley in the Tennessee mountains with a scattered rural population, far from transportation corridors, air lanes, and casual visitors.  The town that grew up here is called Oak Ridge, and it’s the home of the atomic bomb.  To be fair, work was done elsewhere, too—in Los Alamos, New Mexico and Hanford, Washington—but this was the beating heart of the infant nuclear age.  Contractors, sworn to secrecy, poured in and built a city.  Three years later, seventy-five thousand residents lived and worked here behind a ten-foot-high fence and under the eyes of elevated guard towers.  The city offered schools, movie theaters, churches, restaurants, a library, sports facilities, and a symphony orchestra.  It even had its own Fuller brush salesman.  The National Museum of Science and Energy, where you can learn about all this, is part of the national park system.

        Because of the war, a majority of the workers here were women.  We enjoyed reading a fascinating book, The Girls of Atomic City, that details the efforts and the daily lives of these patriotic scientists and technicians.  Women gathered here from around the country, knowing only that they were volunteering to help in the war effort.  From the sprouting of the city almost overnight to the challenges of keeping house and living a life of total secrecy, you’ll be impressed with the lives they made for themselves and their families.

          Outside of the museum you can see a fully restored flat-top house.  These unique modular homes were developed to meet the need for fast, comfortable accommodations when thousands of families suddenly arrived.  Featuring two bedrooms, living room, bath and kitchen, each house could be erected by a crew of four in an afternoon.  Several of these have made their way around the country and can be seen in other locations.

        For a variety of reasons, Oak Ridge was also at the heart of the movement to desegregate public schools, and the now-vanished town of Scarboro had one of the first segregated high schools to be closed as integration swept the south.  The struggle for civil rights played out here in microcosm several years before it gripped the nation as a whole.

        When you visit Oak Ridge, don’t miss the International Peace Bell, the University of Tennessee Arboretum, and the Southern Appalachia Railroad Museum.  Drive the Coal Creek Motor Nature Trail, and enjoy one of several excellent campgrounds along the shoes of the reservoirs in the area.  Look out across the water and you might just see us, Patti and Tom Burkett, somewhere off the beaten path.

    RESOURCES MENTIONED:

    http://amse.org/

    http://archive.knoxnews.com/entertainment/life/original-flat-top-house-on-display-at-oak-ridge-museum-ep-410247173-359509341.html

    https://www.amazon.com/Girls-Atomic-City-Hardcover-Kiernan/dp/B00CP6M8NY/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=VPGNYEFRS29EZSHQVW97

    http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM5EK9_The_Scarboro_Community_1D29_Oak_Ridge_TN

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 155: How to Make Your Fulltime RV Dreams Come True
    Tue, Aug 29, 2017

    Episode 155: How to Make Your Fulltime RV Dreams Come True

    Have you ever dreamed about fulltiming in an RV? Quitting your job, moving from a sticks and bricks house to an RV, taking your family on the road and becoming location independent? It’s happening every day. In fact, our guest in the interview segment this week estimates that 200,000 families are doing that across the country right now. Is this for you? What about school and the kids? What about earning a living? Stay tuned because in this episode, Kimberly Travaglino, author of the book How to Hit the Road, Making Your Family's Full-time RV Dreams a Reality, joins us to talk about how breaking free and hitting the road.

    Also, listener questions and answers, lots of RV tips, traveling technology you need to know about and the RV News of the week.

    But first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride…Jennifer.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #155 August 30, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

     

    The Labor Day weekend is almost here and this podcast comes to you from the heart of the Emerald Coast - Okaloosa Island, Florida where we’re catching some R&R time before jumping into a busy full travel schedule.

     

    Our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 is not with us on this trip as its being outfitted with some experimental communications gear that we’ll be talking about in a few weeks.

     

    We’re working on Facebook and YouTube Live videos. We’ve been doing two and three new videos a week. Best way to know about them is to subscribe to our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube at

     

    Over on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel, someone wrote a comment about not understanding why anyone would spend $100K for a "depreciating asset" like our Roadtrek. I wrote a reply there that I want to share here:
    "It’s much, much more than a "depreciating asset." In fact, it makes me APPRECIATE life more. It's a lifestyle. It's a freedom machine. It brings me joy every time I drive it, camp in it or look at it in the driveway. It reduces the stress in my life. It gives me wonderful vacations to look forward to and awesome memories to make me smile in remembrance of. It’s taken me to places and introduced me to people I would never had seen or met. It's enlarged my circle of friends, helped me learn history and geography, shown me the magnificence of nature up close and enriched my life, my marriage and my faith by giving me new perspectives and sensitivities. Add all that up and it's a terrific bargain in my book. :-) . "

     

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    One of the realities of RV Travel is that things have to be put away and not left out. Otherwise, they’ll slide off counters and tables. RVers are not the only ones who experience such problems. So do boaters.

    And this week, I received a tip from a listener named Melissa who is both an RVer and a boater and she shares a terrific suggestion on how to keep things in place…in our RV or boat.

    PLAY

    The product Melissa suggests is called coaster tacky.

    You can find it at the dollar store as she suggests. And Amazon has lots of coasters treated with that tacky surface that will keep it – and the things you place on it – from sliding around.  I’ll put a link on the shownotes for this episode to an Amazon search page with several different types of coaster tacky you can look at. Just go to Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-155  EDIT EDIT EDIT

     

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

     

    • Robin is looking for a map she saw on our Facebook Group that shows various travel routes to get to lots of National Parks. The best one we have ever seen is from a guy named Randal Olson who's a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. He created  a map of the shortest possible road trip through all 47 national parks in the contiguous United States. The trip spans just a hair under 14,500 miles, from Acadia National Park in Maine to Redwood National and State Parks in California. Olson estimates it would take about two months to run the circuit, depending on your tolerance for long driving days.

     

    Here’s his map: http://www.randalolson.com/2016/07/30/the-optimal-u-s-national-parks-centennial-road-trip/

     

    • Doug is seeking ways to keep cool in an RV and minimize all the loud noise from air conditioners and generators.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    Kimberly Travaglino and her husband, Chris, have been living full time on the road since June 2010. The couple has four kids, ages 14, 13, 10 and 7. They started when they were a family of three, with a 7, 6, and 3 year old.

     

    The Travaglinos run Fulltime Families, a membership organization (cost $45 a year) that helps support families living full time on the road, homeschooling their children, in a number of ways. (sponsor gatherings, create community, practical support, counseling, campground discounts, etc.)

     

    Kimberly has also written the book, "How to Hit the Road, Making Your Family's Full-time RV Dreams a Reality,' and is one half of a weekly podcast, called "Road School Moms, Where Education Meets Adventure."

     

    Kimberly was living with husband in 3,500 square foot house in suburbia, husband came home one day with pop-up. They had never camped before. She went into camper, and had an epiphany, and said let's do it full-time. Chris did not want to do this at first – and it was about 3 years before they hit the road. They have been on the road now as full timers since June 2010.

     

    Today, the two counsel and advise others considering the lifestyle. They also created a support system for families wanting to do this lifestyle.

     

    Here’s a short video on who she is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R115xolrmM8

     

    Another longer video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnYe5flh6UQ

    (talks about hard times, and advantages)

     

    and another video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI1egklf6ZA

     

     

    Other Resources:

    Fulltime Families Facebook group with 20,050 members

    https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/    costs $45 for annual membership,

     

    Her podcast with a second mom comes out weekly: http://ultimateradioshow.com/roadschoolmoms/

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Four stories this week…

    • Texas Opens State Parks for Free Use by Storm Evacuees Read more

    Texas state parks, including those in the Highland Lakes, are open for free to evacuees from Hurricane Harvey, Gov. Greg Abbott announced.

    Parks open to evacuees in the Highland Lakes are Colorado Bend State Park, Inks Lake State Park, and Pedernales Falls State Park.

    Cory Evans, superintendent of Inks Lake State Park, said the parks have opened in the past to evacuees from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    “We still have quite a few campsites. This week, about 70 or so are still open,” Evans said. “If anybody is needing those, we are trying to accommodate as many as we can.”

    Evans said many of the park’s cabins have been filled with more than 70 evacuees.

    “There are local folks that are providing food and water and that kind of thing,” he said. “If they run low, food pantries are contributing, too.”

    Many state parks near Houston and almost all of Southeast Texas are closed due to damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

    The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website has updated information on which state parks have spaces available for evacuees.

     

    • Bass Pro Shops sends boats to help with Hurricane Harvey aftermath Read more

     

    • Camping world to match up $2 million for storm relief Read more

     

    • Drone illegally harassed grizzly bear and her two cubs at Grand Teton National Park. Read more

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    Using Tech to Labor Less this Labor Day Weekend

    It may be called Labor Day weekend, but the ultimate goal is to labor less, right?

    First I want to talk about some apps to make your life easier. If you’re traveling you can keep track of the best gas prices along your route by using Google Maps. Click on the menu button, then categories and gas stations and it'll show you not only the next gas stations on your route but also their prices. If you’d rather stay handsfree, push the microphone and say "show me gas stations along my route".

    Next...turn your video memories into a gif you can easily share using an app called Motion Stills. And the best part is it's free for Android and iOS.

    When planning your Labor Day party, do you fill your backyard with more than it can handle? That's a thing of the past with the Asus ZenFone AR. Simply launch the Lowe's augmented reality app and point your phone towards the backyard. Now you can drop in tables and chairs and make sure there'll still be room for people to move freely about. Problem solved!

    Maybe you've mastered the art of physical design, but struggle with the laws of physics? Then the Moto Z2 Force is the phone for you. Talk about rugged - it has a screen guaranteed not to crack or scratch even if dropped directly on concrete! Now when you're juggling your phone and chips and guac, you can focus on saving the food even if your phone slips. And with Moto Mods, you can turn your phone into a projector, speaker and gaming device all in a snap.

    If you're going away for the weekend, you want to make sure things at home are fine. That's where Nest's newest camera, the Nest Cam IQ comes in handy. Not only will it sit quietly and keep watch while you're gone it can send you notifications and live views of your home should motion be detected. And if its smart sensors detect a person, it goes into total CSI mode, giving you an HD picture in picture view of the person that's detected. And with a high quality speaker, you can even talk live to the person in your home - whether welcomed or not.

    Finally if your Labor Day weekend involves taking a hike or doing something else adventurous, take cinema-quality videos of the whole experience with the OSMO Mobile. This stabilizing device works with any smartphone and will make for the ultimate in buttery smooth shots.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Cody, Wyoming

     

    To see a video of this, go to:  https://youtu.be/oRqa7uFo928  

    Cody, Wyoming is an honest to goodness, real western town, founded in 1896 by William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The hotel he built and named after his daughter Irma still stands and is open for business.

    Today, nearly 10,000 people live there, on the eastern road leading to Yellowstone National Park, a road Cody also built.

    He was the real deal. A Pony Express Rider. A Buffalo Hunter. An Indian Scout. A man who epitomized the American West. He was discovered by dime novel paperback writers, who made up and embellished his many exploits. That led him to start his Wild West Road show, which traveled the world and made him the most recognized figure in America at the turn of the last century.

    Today, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center is a world class museum in Cody that celebrates the exploration of the West, with exhibits that document the history of the Plains Indians, as well as Cody’s life and the history of firearms.

    Speaking of guns, every night at 6PM downtown, the streets are blocked off for these folks, the Cody gunfighters, who stage a nightly gunfight between the good guys and the bad guys, with a couple of saucy saloon girls mixed in. The good guys always win and you can pose for photos with the gunfighting cast afterwards

    Cody has another major claim to fame – the nightly rodeo… every single night of the week during the summer. The Cody Night Rodeo has also made the town America’s rodeo capital.

    Then there’s the source of the music you hear under the video – the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Revue, which plays Monday through Saturday nights at 8PM. Don't miss this show.

    Cody is a destination in and of itself, but especially for RVers heading to or from Yellowstone. There are several campgrounds to choose from. We spent two nights at the Ponderosa Campground. Allow at least that much time for your visit.

    There’s a lot to do in Cody.

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 154 Wanna Be an Author? Telling Your Stories On the Road
    Tue, Aug 22, 2017

    RT154  Wanna Be an Author? Telling Your Stories On the Road

     

    Have you a story to tell, a book to write, a blog to do? This week, we are going to meet an on-the-road author, an RVer who likes to say she tells lies for a living. Writer Judy Howard will be our guest. Judy teaches creative writing to RVers at gatherings and rallies and workshops all across the country, at the same time writing her own novels while fulltiming on the road. You will enjoy our discussion.

    Plus we have lots of RV news this week, including a big political controversy involving Camping World that is resulting in calls for a boycott of the nation’s biggest RV retailer, tips on how to get more from your RV and next outing and a great off the beaten path report that belongs on your bucket list.

     Show Notes for Episode #154 Aug. 23, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    We sure had a lot of fun with the Eclipse. Over on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube you can see a one hour Live Video special we did on RV gatherings from across the country formed to witness the event. We had video check ins from 10 different RV gatherings from Oregon to the Carolinas. It was a ball and we believe the largest single RV Travel weekend in history.

    Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner. And finding a spot in a campground may be harder than ever. Advanced reservations for the Labor Day Weekend at more than 500 Kampgrounds of America locations in North America are running more than 10 percent higher than those for the same period last year. The Labor Day numbers look to continue a string of record results for holiday weekends at KOA this year. In fact, the world's largest system of family-friendly campgrounds is on track to set yet another annual record for camping in 2017. KOA has set a new record for camping each of the past five years. October is also an amazingly busy month because of fall color, cooler weather and Halloween celebrations that go on every weekend at hundreds of campgrounds across the country.

    We’re still in Georgia, to catch a couple of grandsons playing football this week. For the weekend, we’ll scoot down to the Emerald Coast on Florida’s panhandle, and then, for Labor Day, head on up to Michigan to catch up on some chores around the house before we set off on another very ambitious fall travel schedule that will have us in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida again and Mississippi.

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing 

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Last minute reminder: The price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass increased for the first time since 1994. On Aug.28 it will go from $10 to $80. Those with current passes are lifetime passes and will remain valid.

    US citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older are eligible for the Senior Pass. Annual and lifetime Senior Passes provide access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six federal agencies:

    • National Park Service
    • US Fish & Wildlife Service
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • Bureau of Reclamation
    • US Forest Service
    • US Army Corps of Engineers

    The passes cover entrance and standard amenity (day-use) recreation fees and provide discounts on some expanded amenity recreation fees.

    Traveling companions can also enter for free. The Senior Passes admit pass owner/s and passengers in a noncommercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas, not to exceed four adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.) Also, at many sites, the Senior Passes provide the pass owner (only) a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).
    Senior Passes can be purchased at any federal recreation site, including national parks, that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day-use) fee. Many on site parks have sold out of the oases so the parks service is urging people to buy online.

    That way you can get one instantly. An additional $10 processing fee will be added to the price. We will put a direct link in the shownotes for this episode, under my Tip of the Week section, to where you can go online and get your pass.

    You can order online at https://store.usgs.gov/senior-pass

    To allow visitors to use a recently purchased Senior Pass before they receive the printed pass, the National Park Service and five other land management agencies that honor the pass will accept the order confirmation generated from the online sale of the pass as proof of pass ownership until the backlog is cleared. Eligible visitors who purchase a Senior Pass online can now bring their order confirmation along with a photo ID to one of the more than 2,000 sites and parks that accept the pass.

    Additionally, some National Park Service and other agency sites that sell the Senior Pass will immediately begin issuing rain checks to eligible visitors who wish to purchase a pass if the site has no more printed passes. Purchasers can access a park with the rain check until they can exchange it for the Senior Pass. Visitors are encouraged to contact the national park or other agency site they plan to visit to ensure the availability of rain checks at that location before traveling there.

    So remember, the deadline is Aug.28. After that, it’s $80.

     

    Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

     

    If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

     

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    A listener named Gerhard called in to wonder why if the podcast is released every Wednesday morning, he doesn’t hear about it until he gets the newsletter every Monday. So, to clear up any confusion and make sure others like Gerhard understand our varuous platforms, let us explain:

    The RV Podcast – this show – goes live every Wednesday morning. The absolute best way to hear it is on a smartphone or tablet app like iTunes or the Google Play Store. When you subscribe via iTunes, it will automatically be downloaded to your device on release and then, just click the app to play it. The vast majority of our hundreds of thousands of listeners listen to it that way.

    But you can also listen to it on the Blog – the Roadtreking.com RV Lifestyle Blog. Every Wednesday morning, the latest episode, with complete shownotes and links to everything we report in the show, is published online. There are also links in the blog to subscribe by iTunes.

    The third way…the only way our caller apparently knew about…is in the weekly newsletter we send out free every Monday morning. You can also sign up for the newsletter through the blog –at Roadtreking.com. The newsletter lists all sorts of RV stories and tips and it always has a link to the previous week’s podcast. But if the only way you get to the podcast is through the newsletter, it will be almost a week late.

    There’s one more platform you hear us talk about a lot. That’s our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. This is where we publish our RV travel videos, our question and answer videos and our how-to videos about the RV lifestyle. We typically have one or two new videos being posted there every week and plan to soon have contests, lots more RV reviews and other interesting things. You can also subscribe to the Video channel so you will automatically be notified as soon as a new video goes online. We’ll put links in the shownotes for this episode n how to do all this.

    To subscribe to the Podcast via iTunes go to: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-rv-podcast/id925781328?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

    To  subscribe to the newsletter go to: http://archive.aweber.com/roadtreking

    To subscribe to our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel go to: https://www.youtube.com/user/roadtrekingmike

     

    Caller Jeanne wants to know how to clean off the dirt under her solar panel. We recommend a hose with a steady stream of water.

     

    And caller Kevin wants to downsize from a Class A to a Class B motorhome. He’s looking at Roadtrek and is confused about the differences between the RS Adventurous, the CS Adventurous and the eTrek. We try to sort it out.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Have you a story to tell, a book to write, a blog to do? This week, we are going to meet an on-the-road author, an RVer who likes to say she tells lies for a living. Writer Judy Howard is our our guest.

    Judy is a motivational speaker and she teaches creative writing to RVers at gatherings and rallies and workshops all across the country, at the same time writing her own novels while fulltiming on the road.

    She is a top ranking Amazon author travels in a big Winnebago motorhome she calls The Big Story, followed closely by her towed Smart Car she’s named The Short Story. 

    You will enjoy our discussion.

    Here’s links to her blog and all of Judy’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Howard/e/B005H1KXYU

    Her Facebook Group: Authors on the Road

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Political Remarks by CEO has calls for a Camping World Boycott mounting Read More

     

    • Canada's national parks facing record crowds which bring unique challenges during country's 150th birthday.  Read more

     

    • Nine-year-old trying to save the 27 national monuments the Trump administration is reviewing, inspired by a Dr. Seuss book and movie. Read and listen more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    AR you Ready to Blend Digital with Reality?

    If you think about it, our smartphones have really become the smart hub of our busy lives - keeping track of our schedules, helping navigate us around traffic and connecting us unlike ever before.

    But would ever think to pick up your phone to help measure how tall your ceilings are? Or how about to see how a new couch looks in your living room? Or to virtually try on clothes?

    Well add this all to the list, because the Asus ZenFone AR can do all of that and then some. This exclusive to Verizon device is the first project Tango phone certified by Google - meaning it has the sensors necessary to help it “see” the physical spaces around it and add in virtual elements.

    For instance, ever wonder what your kitchen would look like with wood floors? Using the Lowe’s app on the Asus ZenFone AR - you can virtually replace your current flooring with wood floors and walk around your room seeing how it looks from any angle - using your phone as a window to this virtual world.

    Or maybe your son or daughter is totally into dinosaurs? Using the Dinosaurs Among Us app created by the American Museum of Natural History you can drop a live velociraptor into your living room, walk around it and see it in all it’s animated glory!

    All told there are dozens of these augmented reality apps that have been developed for this device with more on the way.

    If you haven’t experienced AR, now’s the time!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    New Haven Connecticut is probably best known as he home of Yale University, and if you go there, you would certainly enjoy a walk around that iconic campus.  But New Haven has some other things to offer that are not quite as obvious.  Connecticut is nicknamed the nutmeg state.  Early ship captains, and some industrious crew, brought these valuable spices back with them from voyages to the east and provided a steady supply for the bakers and meat packers of the east coast.  Southerners, unaware that the nuts had to be grated, accused the sailors of palming off worthless carved fakes, but were soon put into the picture.  
        In the late 1800s and early 1900s the population in some areas of the city was so completely Italian that visitors thought they had been transported to the old country.  Italians now make up only about 20% of the population, but the historic influence is still strong today.  An outstanding example of this is pizza.  Some pizza shops in the city have been in business for nearly a century.  Frank Pepe moved from Italy to New Haven in 1909.  Within a few years Frank was selling his inimitable tomato pies in the city market, where he carried his wares on a specially made headdress.  In 1925 he bought his boss’ bakery and renamed it Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napolitana.  Look at any list of the ten best pizzas in America, and you’ll find Pepe’s near the top.  It’s a traditional tomato pie, baked in a coal fired oven, and dressed with sauce and romano cheese.  Specify all toppings, including mozzarella if you want it.  Now there are several locations, but you can still eat at the original on Wooster Square and see where it all began.  Wander next door for a gelato after you’ve had your fill of pizza.
        New Haven is home to a much more macabre story as well.  It centers around Mary Hart.  Mary is buried under a large granite block in Evergreen Cemetery.  Across the top of the block is a quote from the book of Job—THE PEOPLE SHALL BE TROUBLED AT MIDNIGHT AND PASS AWAY.  More information follows below, and the story goes like this.  In 1872 the city was besieged by an epidemic of an unknown disease.  It spread easily from one person to another and from the corpses of the dead to the living.  When Hart, a young woman, died suddenly, her family had her quickly buried to protect others from the contagion.  That night her aunt dreamed that Mary was alive, and the next morning insisted the grave be dug up.  Mary was found in the coffin with bloody fingertips, the coffin lining shredded from her efforts to get out.  She had died of suffocation.  Some legends claim she was a witch and haunts her family home.  Others claim she walks the cemetery at night.
        If you’d like to hang on to the creepy vibe, head on over to the Yale University library and have a look at the Cushing Collection.  Harvey Cushing was a distinguished surgeon and Pulitzer prize winning author.  He also collected brains.  More than four hundred of them are tastefully displayed at the library, with more being added as they finish the conservation process.  Look over tools from Cushing’s work and his remarkable set of infant skulls.  The whole thing was just recently redone and is nicely organized.
        Make your last stop at Louis’ Lunch, where the hamburger was invented around 1900.  They’re still cooked in strange looking vertical cookers powered by gas, and served without condiments.  You can easily spend a week in this industrial city, hunting up oddball sites and stories that range from prehistory to the space age.  Find out why Connecticut’s other nickname is “the Constitution State.”  Try to break the code of the Voynich Manuscript.  Sneak into a meeting of Skull & Bones.  And while you’re there, look for us, Patti & Tom Burkett, somewhere off the beaten path.

    RESOURCES MENTIONED

    http://www.pepespizzeria.com/index.php#about

    http://newenglandfolklore.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-ghost-of-midnight-mary.html

    http://library.medicine.yale.edu/cushingcenter

    http://louislunch.com/

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 153: The Biggest RV Event of the Year: The Total Eclipse
    Tue, Aug 15, 2017

     Episode 153: The Biggest RV Event of the Year: The Total Eclipse

    This week we are talking about THE outdoor and RV event of the year, and that is Monday’s total solar eclipse. We’ll tell you why this is so important, why it’s perfect for RVers, how to view it safely, how to find a place to watch it and why, even if you have to skip work or school, this is the one event of the year just made to be experienced by RV.

    Plus, your RV questions, RV news of the week, traveling tech tips and Jennifer will tell you how to once and for all solve the pesky problem of RV light pollution from those inside switches and LED lights.

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK…

     

    We’re in Albany, GA…on the road, visiting our son, Scott, and his family for a couple of weeks, and catching our grandson’s Jacob and Matthew playing football. We also plan to watch the eclipse down here with them and then maybe head out for some exploring maybe down towards the Emerald Coast after Labor Day.

     

    In mid September, it’s our Blues and BBQ gathering in Tupelo MS and in late September, we’ll be heading to Ashevile NC to the Overland East Expo, a trade show for those go what’s called overlanding in extreme, off the grid, 4X4  adventure-type vehicles.

     

    We met an interesting RVer this week, a nurse named Tiffany. She’s a traveling nurse and apparently, part of a group of traveling medical professionals who journey around the country in an RV, taking on short and long term contract work. Tiffany, her husband and two young preschool children, are in a small RV at a RV park near here. We suspect this is more common that we realized. TIffany is on a 13 week contract with the hospital here in Albany. Last year, Mike met physician, a coronary surgeon, who did the same thing. He’s from Orlando and travels throughout Florida and the Gulf States as far as New Orleans in a big new Tiffin Class A motorhome.

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

    • Home of the “Integrity Pricing Guarantee”. All quotes for new RVs include freight, orientation, detailing and prep, so you’ll never be surprised by hidden up-charges and fees
    • Motorhomes, travels trailers and more from the industry’s leading manufacturers
    • Features top brands like Tiffin Motorhomes, Grand Design, Coachmen, Thor, Forest River and Campers Inn RV exclusives like the Gulf Stream Friendship and Cruiser Embrace           •          Award-winning RV sales and service
    • 100s of RVs at the best prices
    •           Certified and trained service personnel
    •           Professional staff with years of RV knowledge

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    It’s been an ongoing discussion here on the RV Podcast for the past several months about how to dim or block out all that bright LED light from the electronics and switches in our RVs so we’re able to sleep in the dark.

    Listen up… this tip from and RVer we met named Ken is probably that last idea you’ll need on How to finally solve the The Great LED Light issue.

    Play

    This IS the ultimate solution!

    Once again, the product Ken said is called LED Light Dims and we have built in direct links to them on our special site at kit-dot.com/rvlifestyle. There you will find a master list of every product we talk about on the podcast and the Light Dims are there. Amazon sells two types, one which dims the LED by about 50%, and another kind that dims by 100% - or completely blocking all light. They cost about $8 for a package that will let you cover up just about any offending light in your RV or your home.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    • Elaine is in a Class B Winnebago and she’s suffering with vertigo while fulltiming. They are missionaries and wants to find a solution to better ride
    • Rich from California is upgrading to a Sprinter Based 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL and is concerned about using 20% diesel bio He asks are take.

     

    • Susan from Pennsylvania wants to know if a good quick grip solution for fresh water hose.
    • Gerald wonders about needing a spare tire on his Pleasureway, and also about a storage box for the back to carry things

     

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    A total solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the earth and the sun, so that it completely blocks the light from the sun. During a total eclipse the shadow of the moon falls on the Earth, and you can see the atmosphere around the sun, called the corona, which you usually can’t see.

    During that time it gets like dusk, and the animals react, and it is just a really special time. At the eclipse’s peak, four planets can be seen, and you can even see stars!

    Everyone in the continental US will see at least a partial eclipse, weather permitting.

    The total eclipse will start in Oregon at 10:15 am local time, traveling about 1,600 miles per hour (that is three times faster than a jet plane) to South Carolina. About a 70 mile swath of land in 12 states will be the path of totality – that is complete darkness – with an area in southern Illinois, called Giant City State Park, experiencing the longest period of darkness, at about 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

    A total solar eclipse is rare. The last one to hit the U.S. mainland came in 1979, but it could be seen in only five states. A total solar eclipse from coast to coast has not crossed the entire country since 1918. Next one IS April 8,2024.

    (https://www.space.com/35495-where-to-see-2017-total-solar-eclipse.html (good state by state description and overview)

    What you need:   Glasses….

    You cannot look at the solar eclipse without wearing glasses to protect your eyes. You can not only injure your eyes, but you could actually go blind. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/08/11/solar-eclipse-glasses-where-buy-them-why-you-need-them/559710001/

    Unfortunately, as Aug. 21st gets closer, it is getting harder and harder to find safe glasses.  The glasses must have ISO on them – for International Organization for Standardization. And they must have this reference number: 12312-2.

    Five companies make eclipse glasses that the American Astronomical Society and NASA have certified are safe: American Paper Optics, the Baader Planetarium (in Germany), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

    NASA says once you have the  glasses, there are steps you need to take to wear and use them safely: Again, we’ll link to those steps in our shownotes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-153

    https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

    If you can’t find approved solar eclipse viewing glasses, check your local library. Many have glasses they will be distributing for free. Many of the public viewing events in the path of totality will be providing public viewing glasses as part of their price of admission. Also many science websites have information on how to make your own safe viewing device.

    https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/how-make-solar-eclipse-sun-viewer

    https://www.livescience.com/33906-solar-eclipse-viewer.html

     

    National parks

    There are 21 national parks and seven NPS trails that lie in the path of totality. Many of these parks are expecting record setting crowds and planning special events. They’ll all be listed in the shownotes.

    https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060058581

    This site lists each national park by name and says what is going on that them.

    https://www.space.com/37254-see-the-solar-eclipse-in-a-national-park.html

     

    Boondocking:

    In Oregon state officials are warning people not to camp on the beach in hopes of experiencing the solar eclipse, because of dangerous changes in tides. Officials said Aug. 20 and 21s will have very high and very low tides, making it potentially dangerous when the high tide rolls in.

    http://www.kptv.com/story/36119350/oregon-state-parks-warn-of-dramatic-tide-shift-during-eclipse

    http://www.oregonlive.com/eclipse/2017/08/oregon_solar_eclipse_meets_ver.html

     

    NASA

    NASA has a count down and will be reporting live from noon-4 pm eastern at its website tracking the eclipse.  It is one of the best sites to visit before Monday to watch interviews with scientists and learn more about what you are about to watch.

    https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-live-streamm.

    https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

    NASA also has a webpage listing community events throughout the stream of totalitaty. (below really good interactive map with community /small town listings)

     

    We are excited to bring back to the podcast Michael Zeiler, the map making solar eclipse expert behind the Great American Eclipse Website

    Michael’s wesbite is hands down the best resource you will find on this momentous event, where to best see it, how to see it and how to how RVers are best poised to be a part of this.

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Two stories this week…

    But first, breaking news. Announcing the birth of our 8th grandchild, Jax Jeffrey Wendland, born Aug.12 in Kalamazoo, MI to son Jeff and daughter-in-law Aimee. Jax was 9 pounds, oneinches.

     

    Disney World Unveils New Glamping Resort for RVers  read more

    Michigan to Raise Camping Fees Starting Nov. 1  read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to

    TRAVELING TECH TIP: What do we need? More Power! When do we need it? Now!

    By Steve Van Dinter

    Verizon Wireless

    With fall quickly approaching, our already packed schedules start to overflow with work, school, practices and games. And all that extra running can put a strain on our device's batteries. But fear not, there are some easy ways to power up.

    SoundSport Charging Case

    Your SoundSport bluetooth headphones can be a lifesaver - playing your favorite tunes while on the run, allowing you to finish a conference call on the go, or letting you listen to an audiobook for work while watching your child's game. Spend less time charging and more time using them with the SoundSport Charging Case. With just 15 minutes of charge time, you get an additional hour of listening time. Or leave your headphones in here for two hours for a full charge.

    Wireless Charging Pad

    Have a device like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6? Then you can wirelessly charge it! With a wireless charging pad you simply set your phone on and charging begins instantly. No more fussing around with tangled or lost wires. Simply set it and forget it! And with 15 watt fast charging, devices that support fast charging will wirelessly charge about as fast as when they're plugged into the wall.

    Mophie Juice Pack Wireless

    Turn any phone into a wirelessly charging phone with the Mophie Juice Pack Wireless. This protective case will provide an additional 50% power to your device making sure you make it through the day. And when it's running low, simply lay it on the included wireless charger to get a boost.

    Mophie Powerstation XXL 20000

    Find all of your devices are always running on empty? Now you can power your tablet, smartphone and another USB device at once with the Mophie Powerstation XXL 20000. This is seriously the king of battery packs with enough capacity to fill your smartphone six times over! And it's slim size means it easily slips into a backpack, briefcase or purse.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    Our off the beaten path report this week is about what you need to know, state by state, about the eclipse.

     

    Oregon:

    • All Oregon State Park Campgrounds are full. This is not the weekend to wing it!
    • Expect unprecedented traffic before, during and after the eclipse. Avoid travel on Aug. 21.
    • The usual conveniences may be hard to get to. Fill your tank and stock up early on food, medicine, cash and anything else you can't live without.
    • Cell phone service may become iffy.
    • Expect campfire bans in central and eastern Oregon.
    • Expect very high tides at the coast overnight: camping on the beach is risky. Overnight parking on the beach is prohibited.

    http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=v.page&id=75

     

    Idaho and Wyoming:

    Officials have no idea how many people will come, crowds ranging from 50,000 to 500,000 were the estimates according to the Idaho Falls Fire chief. Toilets, food,  medical emergencies, crowds heading outside increasing the risk of wildfires are all real concerns.

    https://www.ksl.com/?sid=45369115&nid=1419

     

    Nebraska has banned oversized trucks from traveling I-80 for four days  from sundown Friday to sunrise Tuesday to ease traffic around the eclipse. (Wyoming and Oregon doing the same)

    www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/oversized-semi-trucks-won-t-be-allowed-on-nebraska-roads/article_e4b5c0f0-7ded-11e7-b368-8b52c1a3824b.html?ex_cid=SigDig

     

    Missouri Department of Transportation were anticipating more than a million visitors heading to its state to view the eclipse. Residents are being warned to expect extreme gridlock.  Officials are also warning people not to stop in the middle of the road to watch.

    http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article166570472.html

     

    Illinois  The Carbondale – southern Illinois University football stadium is being converted into a stadium viewing spot. Tickets are selling for $25 a piece.

    http://eclipse.siu.edu/tickets/

     

    South Carolina

    And officials with the SC Emergency Management Division  issued a tongue in cheek   warning to citizens in several of its counties to be vigilant of paranormal activity associated with the upcoming total solar eclipse. Specifically they are asking for residents to report any sightings of lizard men – a report that gained a lot of traction at news agencies across the country last week.

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/08/11/south-carolina-warns-citizens-lizard-man-sightings-during-solar-eclipse.html

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article166660277.html

     

    And across the country..

    Individual states are setting up portajohns, setting up extra emergency rooms, canceling optional surgeries, setting up additional cell towers, stocking up on toilet paper….

    http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2017/08/14/total-eclipse-towns-stock-toilet-paper-add-cell-towers-ahead-unprecedented/

     

    Weather forecasts

    The weather forecast is the one variable that could ruin your view of the total solar eclipse. At the time of this recording,  a six days ahead of the event, the forecast was for clear skies in the west of the country and chance of showers in the southeast.

    https://weather.com/forecast/national/news/solar-eclipse-weather-outlook-aug2017

     

    https://weather.com/forecast/national

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 152: What every camper needs to know before heading out on the trails!
    Mon, Aug 07, 2017

    Episode 152: What every camper needs to know before heading out on the trails!

     

    One activity every RVer loves to take part in is hiking. Whether it’s a long day trip, a short hour long loop or a half-day picnic hike, exploring the wilderness by foot is one of the joys of camping and our mobile lifestyle. But staying safe needs to be a top priority on any hike and in this week’s podcast, we’ll hear important advice from an expert hiker… coming up in our interview of the week.

    But we also have your questions, comments, RV News and lots of RV tips. Plus a great off the beaten path report.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #152 Aug.9 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO:

    • ­We discuss the latest long range weather forecast, which predicts unseasonably chilly August temperatures for the eastern two-thirds of the US with 60F lows lasting up to TWO WEEKS. Experts say a southward dip in the jet stream is causing the cooling effect. This pattern will continue into the second week of August with below-average temperatures affecting much of the East Coast, Midwest, and some of the South. The Weather Channel reported that Sunday morning saw record breaking lows in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.

     

    • School has begun across many parts of the country this week… the south… also far west. That means less crowded campgrounds and an ease in congestion around national parks.

     

    • The August 21 total eclipse is coming fast. Listen to episode 132 of the podcast for detailed info. On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. You’ll be able to see stars! To learn where to see it best and how to safely view it, go to the Great American Eclipse website

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Here’s a dilemma every RVer has… what to do with wet towels? One of the nice things about traveling and meeting so many of our listeners on the road is seeing how they solve such everyday problems.

    So it was with our friend Jeff Curry, who showed us his creative solution to the wet towel issue.

     

    Jeff took bungee cords, two S hooks and a piece of PVS pipe to make a portable towel rack.

     

    Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    • Josh is about to become a fulltime RVer and has a suggestion on Kayaks from a company called Oru Kayak https://www.orukayak.com/– foldable kayaks that are perfect for storing in a small RV

     

    • Chris talks about what to expect when traveling between Canada and the US in an RV

     

    • And a listener named Virgil sent us an email asking us to talk about how we select a route for our RV trips.

     

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    One activity every RVer loves to take part in is hiking. Whether it’s a long day trip, a short hour long loop or a half-day picnic hike, exploring the wilderness by foot is one of the joys of camping and our mobile lifestyle. But staying safe needs to be a top priority on any hike and in this week’s podcast, we’ll hear important advice from an expert hiker Douglas Scott of the Wilderness Society.

    That’s him on the featured photo at the top of this post!

    Scott is a nationally recognized outdoors writer, with works appearing in publications all over the country. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, his passion for the wilderness spills into everything he does. He is a trail runner, avid hiker and guidebook author, sharing his experiences with like-minded modern adventurers hoping to get to know their own backyards a little better.

    Resources:

    Douglas Scott’s tips - http://outdoor-society.com/how-to-stay-safe-while-hiking-11-easy-tips/

    His blog:

    http://outdoor-society.com/articles/

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

    An RV owner who crashed into a toll booth in San Francisco may be billed as much as $10,000 for damage. Read more

    Many government agencies running out of senior national park passes and having to issue vouchers because of rush to buy one before price jumps. Read more

    Texas mom hiking with kids in Grand Canyon believed to have died of heat exhaustion. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    Recently at our meet up in Grand Rapids, we had a number of questions come up about how best to use to a Chromecast Ultra to meet your entertainment needs while on the road.

    First...for those who need a bit of a refresher, a Chromecast Ultra is a hockey-puck looking device that has an HDMI cable that plugs into the back of your TV. When connected to a wifi network - be it via a hotspot on your phone or jetpack - it allows you to stream or “cast” any video or pictures from your phone, laptop or tablet to your TV.

    This means content like HBO Go for those Game of Thrones viewers, or Netflix or even streaming video from your local news stations back home can be easily viewed while on the road.

    You can even move the Chromecast Ultra easily between your home TV and RV TV. Just make sure your wifi network’s name and password matches that of your mobile one.

    Then once plugged in look for the blue cast icon in apps like Netflix, HBO Go, and others. Or if your app isn’t supported, you can cast anything that’s on your device’s screen to the TV by clicking on the Google Home app and then clicking on menu and cast screen/audio.

    With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

     

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

     

    There are some places in this wide country of ours where there are no big roads, and no one ever really goes except the people who live there.  Here’s description of one of them: an oozing mass of water, mud, snakes, wolves, wildcats, biting flies, and clouds of gnats and mosquitoes forty miles long and a hundred or more wide.  Water stands stagnant on the ground, waist deep, until it evaporates in the summer or turns into mud and muck in the winter.  The undergrowth is absolutely impenetrable.  While some travelers are given to hyperbole, this is a fairly objective description of the great black swamp in northwestern Ohio, sometimes called the dismal swamp.
        Families and explorers headed westward detoured around it until, gradually, it was diked and drained to create extraordinarily rich farmland.  Today it grows strawberries, fruit trees, and produce that would make central California farmers blue with envy.  It’s also home to a large settlement of Amish craftspeople, and these make up much of the workforce at Sauder industries in the little town of Archbold.  Sauder makes those flat packed, some assembly required bookshelves and TV carts and entertainment centers that predated Ikea.      
        Still very much a going concern with hundreds of workers, Sauder continues to provide furniture for churches, schools, college dorm rooms, and yard sales.  Also in Archbold is Sauder Village, a living history museum and farm that recreates life at the turn of the twentieth century.  Costumed interpreters share stories of life on the Ohio frontier, the struggle to keep the fields drained, and the pleasures of days on the farm.
        There’s a church, an ice cream shop, and several craftspeople working in their shops.  All the ones you’re expect are there, as well as some that you don't see at other museums—a cooper, a broom maker, a tinsmith, and an encampment of Native Americans napping flint and making rope from natural fibers.  Walk over to the farm and you might enjoy a local farm market, a chance to pet the baby animals, a stroll through the herb garden, or a turn behind the mule-drawn plow.
        Drive a bit south to Wapakoneta (there’s a town name that’s fun to say) and you can visit Jim Bowsher’s Temple of Tolerance.  Jim bought up some vacant land behind the houses in his neighborhood and he and his brother began building rock structures.  From simple to grand, each structure has a story.  So do many of the rocks, which have been collected from notable locations.  Call ahead and you might get Jim to give you a tour himself, a real treat.
        If you’re here at the end of the summer, head over to tiny Venedocia on Labor Day weekend for the annual Gymanfa Ganu.  This tradition was brought to the region by the Welsh coalminers that emigrated here in the 1800s.  Under the direction of a guest choral conductor, and usually with the assistance of a well-known Welsh soloist, singers gather to belt out an evening’s worth of hymns in unaccompanied four-part harmony.  Sing in Welsh or English as you like.
        It’s a little easier to get around than it was two hundred years ago, but it’s not much more populated.  Despite that, there are dozens of things to see and do in this little corner of the Midwest.  Come explore on your own.  Whether you like history, classic cars, art, natural beauty, or delicious pizza cooked in a six hundred degree oven, it’s quite possible you’ll run into us, Patti & Tom Burkett, somewhere around here, off the beaten path.

    https://saudervillage.org/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9JBrVr-N5I
    http://www.venedocia.org/

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 151: Downsizing Your RV!
    Tue, Aug 01, 2017

     

    There’s a new trend sweeping the RV industry: Downsizing. In involves trading in big Class A or Supersized Class C motorhomes for something smaller, most usually a Class B. Today we meet a couple who have done just that: Jim and Chris Guld, otherwise known as the Geeks on Tour as they’ve traveled the country demoing technology tools to RVers at major shows and rallies.

    The Geeks share with us the factors that led to their downsizing and how they are adjusting to traveling the country in a smaller RV…. Plus we have lots of listener questions and feedback, RV tips, RV news and much more…all coming up in episode 151 of The RV Podcast.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #151 Aug. 2, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

    • Back from Grand Rapids and a fun day with Verizon showing traveling technology gadgets
    • Waiting for grandchild #8 to be born
    • Hoping to enjoy spectacular northern Michigan and the Great Lakes
    • Catching the total eclipse on Aug. 21
    • Planning our next trip to Georgia for a grandson’s football games, to the Emerald Coast of Florida once peak tourist time passes, to our Roadtreking Blues ‘and BBQ Gathering near Tupelo, MS Sept. 14-18

    After that to Ashville, NC and the Overland East Expo, which is perhaps the world's most unique event for do-it-yourself adventure travel enthusiasts and their rugged, 4-wheel-drive vehicles, Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Biltmore Estate

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Maximizing space inside an RV is Job #1 for every RVer. No matter what size RV we have, we can all use more room. So we look for ways to make that happen, especially in the kitchen.

    Many of you are familiar with Mary Jane Curry. Mary Jane is our RV Recipes writer for the Roadtreking.com blog. You know her from the wonderful recipes she posts on the blog each week. Recently, I got a chance to visit her and husband, Jeff, in their RV and was mas most impressed by a way Mary Jane had extended the working space in her kitchen, or galley area.

    She uses dish mats!

    Want to learn more about these dish mats? We keep a master list of all the products, gadgets, apps and services that we mention on the podcast at http://kit.com/rvlifestyle

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    • Jim has a lot of questions about maintenance, DEF fluid and the use of CB radios in an RV

     

    • Joan is looking for tips on buying a used RV out of state, registering and paying for it.

     

    • Listener Valerie heard me struggling to pronounce some Hawaiian words on a recent podcast and called in with a pronounciation guide…. With a little twist at the end. Let me share it with you.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    Jim and Chris Guld are some of our oldest friends in the RV world. We met them right after Jennifer and I started RVing and they were one of the very first interviews I did for the blog way back in 2012.

    You know them as the Geeks on Tour, from their many seminars and teaching sessions at RV rallies and shows around the country, and from their weekly What Does This Button Do? YouTube video series.

    But this week, we talk to them about something very different. They are RV downsizers, recently trading in their big Super Size Class C RV for a compact Roadtrek Class B campervan.

    They are part of a growing trend of downsizers in the RV world and I am delighted to bring them on the show to share with our RV Podcast audience what factors caused them to downsize and how they are adjusting to life in a smaller RV.

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    At Sunshine State RV’s you’ll find the largest selection of some of the rarest Class B RVs in the United States of America. If you are looking for a Class B RV, you need to make a trip to Sunny Florida. Our RVs range from 1990 to our current year and everything in between. They also carry the most popular brands like Roadtrek, Pleasure Way, Winnebago, Leisure Travel, and more. You will not find a wider selection anywhere else. 

    Every RV they sell has been through a very thorough 172-point inspection in which the ensure that all the mechanical and manual systems are in top condition. Every RV is road tested to make sure it runs and drives the way that it should. They go over the interior components just as entirely as the outside, and every component is turned on and tested to make sure it works. All of their used RVs are thoroughly cleaned and detailed inside and out, and they even check the roof for cracks and replace any silicone caulking. 

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

     

    • Rare seven-week old ring-tail cat rescued after traveling 200 miles in Texas under an RV. Read more

     

    • Camping World acquires RV dealers in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Amarillo, Texas. Read more

     

    • Alligator eats a nine-month-old puppy on a walk with its owner at an Alabama state park. Read more

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    We’ve talked about the best tech for elementary, high school and college students, so today we’re going to talk the best tech for the student athlete. For many students, sports is a big part of life and we want to make sure they have a leg up.

    First up...the Fitbit Alta HR. If you’re training for a PR, you want definitely want to be able to track your progress and see how hard you’re pushing yourself. This lightweight wearable does that and more, automatically recognizing and recording every step, stair and calorie you burn - not to mention keeping continuous watch on your heart rate. And when you’re done, it also monitors how much sleep you’re getting as well.

    Next, you want to protect your phone from drops, but wouldn’t it be nice if you had added benefits from your case? That’s exactly what you get with the Under Armour Grip. It’s shockproof design with layered ridges makes for a more secure hold. And paired with the UA Magnetic Mount it allows your phone to magnetically attach to fitness equipment, a basketball hoop, and more. Now you can watch training videos, make sure you’re lifting properly and even record your personal best to share with your friends all without having to hold your phone.

    Lastly, there’s the Google Pixel. This smartphone seriously does it all. Start your pump up music, ask how to properly do a dead lift or begin a timer all via voice. And with unlimited photo and video storage through Google Photos, you never have to worry about running out of space.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    By Ari and Jessi Adler

    We recently planned a trip from our home in Michigan to Point Pelee National Park in Ontario, Canada so that we could take advantage of free admission as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Along the way, we took a side trip off the beaten path to an historic fort we spotted on Google Maps while planning our trip.

    Fort Malden is located in Amherstburg, Ontario, about 35 minutes south of the Ambassador Bridge where you enter Canada from the U.S.  It was built in 1795 by Britain to protect against an invasion by those upstart Americans. Throughout its history, it is most known for its military use during the War of 1812 and also is the site of the longest occupation of any Canadian land by the United States. Over time, however, the main building that now serves as a museum has been everything from a private residence to a lumber mill to an insane asylum.

    Visitors are able to see the wide array of Fort Malden's history through the buildings that remain and the information provided in the museum. Local college and high school students get summer jobs serving as “soldiers” at the fort and help tell the history through period costumes and exhibitions of firing muskets and cannons.

    The fort sits overlooking the Detroit River, so you can always take a stroll through the grounds to enjoy the view or sit and relax by the water to see if any boats happen to float by. Coming and going from the fort, you drive through the city of Amherstburg and the entrance is basically in a residential neighborhood now. I can only imagine what the soldiers from the 1800s would think of the area compared to what they saw!

    Amherstburg is located along Highway 20 in the southwest corner of Ontario. It’s a pleasant drive and we think Fort Malden is a great stop to soak up some history and wander the well-manicured grounds. The staff was very friendly and welcomed questions, as they all seemed to enjoy talking about this historical treasure that is kind of tucked away. We recommend making it a stop if you’re going to be in the area.

    Maybe some day soon we’ll run into you off the beaten path. Until then, happy travels everyone!

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 150: Snakes Alive!
    Wed, Jul 26, 2017

    Snakes. They are out there. And RVers, campers and hikers are much more likely to encounter them than the average person, especially this time of the year, when warm weather has these cold blooded reptiles slithering around.

    And their territory is likely to be close to where you park your RV and do your exploring.

    How worried should you be about encountering venomous snakes? What’s the best way to deal with a snake encounter?

    Our guest is an expert on snakes, especially the five types of venomous snakes found in North America. He is David A. Steen Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor, Auburn University Museum of Natural History, Alabama Natural Heritage Program.

    If you are wondering what those five species are and where you are most likely to stumble on them, you’re going to want to hear the interview with Dr. Steen.

    Also this week, we have a lot of questions, tips and feedbacks from listeners, some great RV ideas and a fascinating off the beaten path report. And - in what soon may be a sign of the times - there is a proposal afoot to require reservations just to visit a national park.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #150 July 26, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK:

    If you are anywhere near Grand Rapids, MI, we invite you to come meet us at American RV there on Thursday, July 27. Jennifer and I (and Bo) will be joined by Steve VanDinter, our pal from Verizon Wireless, for a live, in-person demonstration of the traveling tech gear we talk about each week on the podcast. There will be free hot dogs, chips and refreshments. Don't worry, if you can't get there in person, we'll be doing a Live Report from there on our Facebook Group (http://facebook.com/roadtreking)

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    We’re always looking for great spots to overnight while we’re traveling.

    This week, a listener from California named Sharon called in with a great tip about where to find free overnight parking spots in where you can boondock out on the west coast.

    Sharon’s specific info had to do with Sno-Parks, which are snow-cleared parking lots in California, Oregon and Idaho ski areas. From November 1 through May 30, you need a paid permit to use them but during the summer and fall months, when there is no snow, the permits are not required and overnight parking and sleeping in an RV is allowed, unless a sign notes it is specifically prohibited.

    God tip, Sharon!

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    • A solo woman traveler has a new unit on order and wonders about electricity use while boondocking

     

    • A Pennsylvania man is considering buying a 20-year-old RV and wants to update it with a generator and a new refrigerator and wants to now if this is feasible and where it can be done.

     

    • A couple of listeners wonder about the music accompanying one of our RV Lifestyle videos pn You Tube

     

     

    • And a listener suggests sanitizing the hose that is used to connect your RV to city water

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    Snakes. They are out there. And RVers, campers and hikers are much more likely to encounter them than the average person, especially this time of the year, when warm weather has these cold blooded reptiles slithering through their territory.

    And that territory is likely to be close to where you park your RV and do your exploring.

    How worried should you be about encountering venomous snakes? What’s the best way to deal with a snake encounter.

    Our guest is is an expert on snakes, especially the five types of venomous snakes found in North America. He is David A. Steen Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor, Auburn University Museum of Natural History, Alabama Natural Heritage Program. If you are wondering what those five species are and where you are most likely to stubmble on them, you’re going to want to hear the interview with Dr. Steen.

    You can learn more about Dr. Steen’s interests and expertise through the following platforms:

    Twitter

    Instagram

    Facebook

    Blog

    YouTube

     

    Also, for more information about snakes, check out the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles: https://ssarherps.org/

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Three stories this week…

    • Cat lost camping in Oregon found six weeks later and returned to owners. Read more
    • Zion National Park considering taking reservations to handle budget cutbacks and swelling crowds. Read more
    • Idaho campground reopens, but officials continue to search for bear that placed woman's foot in its mouth, letting go when she awoke and screamed. Read more

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

     

    We don’t always think about tech for the little ones...but this week as we continue to talk about back to school let’s not forget them.

    First up...the LG GizmoGadget. This Dick Tracey looking device helps parents keep track of their little ones while at the same time giving them a bit more freedom. Know exactly when they make it to school or home thanks to its built in GPS and alerts. Your child can also stay connected by using its 1.3 inch touchscreen to call any of the up to 10 pre-programmed contacts.

    Next up...the GizmoTab. This child-friendly educational tablet comes with up to 300 premium learning apps. Parents are able to control age-appropriate usage, set play and learning times, and manage profiles and passwords through a portal. The tablet supports up to three profiles per device with separate permissions and applications and it’s perfect for children ages 3 to 8.

    With the tablet you may want some apps.

    First up Penzu. Journaling is perfect for children of any age and this free app for Android and iOS will let them get creative anytime they want.

    Lastly...finding time to hang out with friends, to study or even to relax isn’t always the easiest once school gets up and running. But thanks to the Google Goals feature as part of Google Calendar, it’s a little easier. Touch the plus button in your Google Calendar app and choose what type of goal you’d like to set. Then select when you’d like to accomplish it (in the morning, night, etc). Google will automatically scan your calendar and find time for you to focus on your goal. You’ll also get regular reminders for class and even homework.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    Mike and Steve have been talking about cool traveling tech gadgets and gizmos week after week on the RV Podcast. We thought it would be fun to arrange a time and place to show and demonstrate these gadgets. So we will! On Thursday, July 27, we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at American RV. You're invited to come for an in-person demo. Grand Rapids is not far Lake Michigan and there are lots of camping opportunities in the area. Come meet us  

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

     

    We know there are intrepid RV folks out there, including Roadtrekkers, who drive their rigs into Mexico for a season or a shorter visit. One favorite destination of norteamericanos is San Miguel de Allende, which has a large US and Canadian ex-pat community. We visited here expecting to see the well preserved and historic central city and were not disappointed. During our visit we also met three particularly interesting people, two of whom were expats.

     

    Bill and Heidi LaVasseur operate a beautiful B&B called Casa de la Cuesta.  It's full of striking Mexican folk art. The real treasures, however, are next door.  For nearly forty years Bill has been visiting remote indigenous villages to observe their ritual and community celebrations. From these travels, he has brought back more than 600 carved wooden masks.  Each is handcrafted by a traditional village artist and has a specific role in the community's oral history.  At the mask museum, they're presented with detailed information about the community and the ritual, and many are accompanied by videos. The masks are stunning, and on their own would make a visit to San Juan worthwhile. Call for an appointment if you go.

     

    You'll need to eat while you're in town, and there are plenty of options from upscale to US chains to street food.  We really enjoyed La Fondita, a tiny little place off the Main Street near the downtown.  There are six or seven tables, and the menu is on a chalkboard at the back.  Everything we had was good, but especially the cecina, grilled thin slices of pork.  Owner and hostess Sandra beams at the guests, explains the menu, and generally makes you feel like you're the best thing that's happened today.   She also has a few guest rooms if you'd like to stay overnight.

     

    Call and make an appointment with Anando McLaughlin if you'd like to see the Chapel of Jimmy Ray and the Casa de las Ranas.  McLaughlin and his partner, aging hippies from the US, have lived and worked here for decades.  The house, grounds, and chapel (dedicated to McLaughlin's martinet father) are covered with wildly colorful mosaics of animals, people, indigenous history and myths, and historical events.  You'll probably have a chance to visit the studio and see works in progress.  Anando himself conducts the tours, and provides garrulous commentary on art, politics, and the changes in his neighborhood over the past twenty years.

     

    As we left San Miguel, we began to pass walkers along the roadside--large groups and small.  One particularly large group was carrying posters and accompanied by a police escort.  A few miles down the road the groups were turning off onto a small side road, and being how we are, we followed.  About a mile of bumpy cobblestones led us to an old church, Atotonilco, and an annual celebration of the church's saint.  The church itself was stunning.  A large side chapel features three full size three dimensional carvings of events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. They were made by untrained indiginous artists more than a century ago.

     

    The plaza outside played host to a group of traditional  dancers in elaborate dress, some masked, and some wearing fabulous feather headdresses. We visited stands selling every manner of meat, tortilla, toy, and religious trinket. We tasted shaved ice made from cactus fruits and agave leaves. Among the hundreds gathered there, we saw only two other Anglo faces.

     

    North or south of the border, it seems to be the same. People are happy to tell their stories, share their hometowns, and feed you their most unusual foods.  And wherever there's a road, there's a side road. We're Patti and Tom Burkett, and we'll look for you on that one, somewhere off the beaten path. \

     

    RESOURCES MENTIONED

    http://www.maskmuseumsma.com

    https://www.facebook.com/pg/LaFonditaSMA/about/?tab=page_info

    https://vimeo.com/152855076

    http://www.experience-san-miguel-de-allende.com/atotonilco.html

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 149: The Changing Face of Camping
    Tue, Jul 18, 2017

    Episode 149: The Changing Face of Camping

    Camping in North America is changing rapidly. In this episode of the podcast, we’ll learn in our interview segment from the most comprehensive camping study ever done, from the industry’s most influential camping organization. Toby O’Rourke, the Chief Franchise Operations Offer for Kampgrounds of America, shares the results with us, telling us how its changing, who is driving that change and what it means to every RVer out there.

    Plus your listener questions and answers about RVing, RV tips, the RV news of the week and a great off-the beaten-path report, all coming up on Episode 149 of the RV Podcast, being released July 19,2017.

     

    MIKE AND JENNIFER’S RV ACTIVITIES AND INSIGHTS FOR THE WEEK  ..joined by Jennifer for monologue section

     

    • Mike and Jennifer are just back from FMCA gathering in Indianapolis. The big news is the executive board has announced approval to bring to a full membership vote a change in membership requirements that would let those with non-motorized vehicles – like towable trailers and fifth wheels… to be members of what up until now has been a 50-plus year organization made up exclusively of motorhome owners. Ballots will be in the next three editions of Family Motor Coaching Magazine, with the results know in November.   The FMCA has been going through a great deal of turmoil lately. They have been hit with rapidly dwindling membership, the group is now on their third executive director in less than a year. And an announced but then suddenly cancelled plan with Verizon that would have given members unlimited data at an unbelievable price has the membership all riled up. Add to that a newly elected board and the FMCA is facing a very uncertain future.

     

    • The best deal in the RV and camping world is coming to an end. The $10 for a lifetime of free entry into the nation’s national parks and public recreation lands. bout to change, the result of Congressional legislation approved last December. The price of the Senior Pass, the card that gives free entrance to those 62 years and older (as well as three accompanying adults) at all public lands and recreation areas operated by six different federal agencies, is increasing a whopping 700 percent, to $80 for the lifetime pass. The price increase takes effect on Aug. 28. But even at $80, it’s still a great deal. With the pass, you can visit roughly 2,000 public lands or recreation areas operated by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Board of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. The pass can also give its holders up to 50 percent discounts on other fees, such as camping fees, at some of the sites.

     

    • We’re a little over a week away now from our big Traveling Tech Live Demo in Grand Rapids, MI on July 28. We’ll be joined by Verizon’s Steve VanDinter, who regularly contributes to our Traveling Tech segment on the podcast. We will be in person from 3PM to 7PM Thursday, July 27 at American RV in Grand Rapids, MI. We’ll be showing many of the cool gadgets and gismos we talk about every week here on the podcast for all those who show up. And if you can’t attend in person, we’ll also have a Facebook Live report that can be watched online, in real time.

     

    • Mike and Jennifer remind everyone the importance of having a weather radio, to be alerted to weather emergencies. The importance of that was made clear last weekend in Arizona when a heavy thunderstorm led to a flash flood that filled a number of children and adults at a popular Arizona swimming hole. Mike refers listeners to his master list of products, services and gadgets at http://kit.com/rvpodcast to see the weather apps and the weather radio he uses and recommends.

     

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    One problem those of us who travel with dogs regularly face is what to do with our pets when we have a place to go or an activity to do that doesn’t allow dogs.

    Listener Judy shares a website she used called Rover.com, which claims to be the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers. It’s a very easy site to use. Just type in your location, whether you need boarding… house, or RV, sitting… dog walking..or doggie day care. You’ll be returned a list of qualified people that you can check out and book.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

     

    • Steve, from Mississippi, asks Mike and Jennifer to share how they take care of maintenance on their sticks and bricks home while they are on the road for extended periods of time

     

    • A listener asks what is the easiest type of bedding to use in a motorhome when it is surrounded by three walls. Mike and Jennifer refer her to their video on the RV Superbag at https://youtu.be/xm6gWwcJOt0

     

     

    • A caller just bought a 2011 RV and the fresh water tanks are not so…well, fresh. The caller wants to know how to make them that way

     

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    Camping in North America is changing rapidly. In this episode of the podcast, we’ll learn in our interview segment from the most comprehensive camping study ever done, from the industry’s most influential camping organization. Toby O’Rourke, the Chief Franchise Operations Offer for Kampgrounds of America, shares the results with us, telling us how its changing, who is driving that change and what it means to every RVer out there.

    Millennials now account for 38 percent of the 75 million active camper households in the U.S., up from 34 percent in 2016, and 51 percent say they plan to increase their camping this year. Results of the survey indicate that these younger campers are using camping to add more balance to their lives. Their key reasons for camping include spending more time with friends and family, being physically active and improving their overall emotional well-being and health.

    Their attitudes about camping are reinforced by their behaviors and, with the influx of younger campers, this is changing the camping landscape overall. Camping is becoming a more social activity, and outdoor recreation while camping is shifting to more physically active activities. In this year’s results, hiking outranked fishing as the most popular type of camping recreation for the first time since the first iteration of the North American Camping Report. Kayaking and mountain biking also saw significant increases.

    You can read the entire survey that Toby talks about at https://www.rvda.org/RVDA/Media/News_Releases/2017_News_Releases/March_2017/Camping.aspx

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Four stories this week…

    • Man camping with his family in Florida panhandle killed by lightning. Read more
    • Researchers study why 22 million people around the world like to watch Alaska's Katmai National Park bears on live stream. Read more
    • Dog dies of heat exposure when family took pet on hike at Cowles Mountain near San Diego  Read more
    • Florida state park having to close some walkways because of aggressive wild monkeys. Read more

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    Where is summer going? It’s already time for us to start talking back to school and off to college. So for the next couple weeks I’ll have some suggestions to have your student perfectly prepped for success.

     

    This week we’re talking college. And tech is very much a part of the dorm room experience.

     

    First up...Google Home(https://www.verizonwireless.com/accessories/google-home-voice-activated-speaker/). Talk about the perfect assistant! Set it on your dresser or desk and now you’ll receive reminders for everything from when to leave to class to when a paper is due. Have to wake up early for that 745am class? No worries, just set the alarm via voice. Always forget to check the weather before heading out the door? You can now get the forecast while laying in bed! And when it comes to playing music to concentrate...you guess it...all available by saying “Ok Google”.

     

    Next up….Samsung Galaxy Book(https://www.verizonwireless.com/tablets/samsung-galaxy-book/)
     Desktops are so 2000 and laptops are almost as outdated. Today’s college student wants something with the convenience of a tablet and power of a desktop. That’s where the Samsung Galaxy Book comes in. Powered by Windows 10 and an Intel Core i5 processor, this device is a two in one tablet and laptop. The keyboard disconnects for a tablet experience and reconnects when you need to write. And with Samsung Flow, everything you do on it can seamlessly transfer to your Galaxy phone like magic.

     

    Sometimes it’s easier to study with a little bit of noise. So help your student reach the ultimate level of concentration with the Bose Soundlink Revolve speaker (https://www.verizonwireless.com/tablets/samsung-galaxy-book/)
    . This bluetooth device has Bose quality sound that emanates in 360 degrees so there’s never a bad side. Plus it’s splash and drop proof  - making it perfect for any situation.

     

    Finally, to stay on schedule, your student could certainly use the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch (https://www.verizonwireless.com/connected-devices/samsung-gear-s3-frontier/)
    With the Gear S3, your student can stay on top of assignment reminders, track their heart rate and even pay for a quick bite to eat all with one tap on the wrist. And because it packs 4G LTE inside, your phone doesn’t have to be anywhere near you! Now that’s smart!

     

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    Mike and Steve have been talking about cool traveling tech gadgets and gizmos week after week on the RV Podcast. We thought it would be fun to arrange a time and place to show and demonstrate these gadgets. So we will! On Thursday, July 27, we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at American RV. You're invited to come for an in-person demo. Grand Rapids is not far Lake Michigan and there are lots of camping opportunities in the area. Come meet us  

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

     

    Acadia, in Maine, is one of the top ten national parks in the USA, with more than 2 and a half million visitors every year.  Come summer, it’s wall to wall people from Ellsworth to Bar Harbor and everywhere in between.  You might think it would be hard to get off the beaten path here, but not so!  For at least a little while longer, until the crowds discover it, you can enjoy a quiet experience in this spectacular park by heading north and east to the Schoodic peninsula, a remote section of the park across the water from Mount Desert Island.  From here, you can take a ferry across to the main part of the park, and both sections are served by an extensive free shuttle bus system.


    Schoodic Woods campground will surprise you if you’ve done a lot of national park camping.  This is its second full season since opening late in 2015, and it offers some things you don’t usually fine in a national park.  Loop B has pull through sites to accommodate RVs in excess of forty feet, and full hookups.  Even the outer loops have electricity.  The bathrooms are bright, new, and pristine.  Sadly, no showers.  We can understand why there aren't showers in the parks out west where water is scarce, but here where it’s plentiful, the reason is mystery.  We drove ten miles up the road to a 50s mom and pop campground and paid for showers there.
    Bike trails, part of a vast network that covers the park, come right through the campground, and several hiking trails are easily accessible.  The park shuttle, free and frequent, stops at the headquarters building.   Turn left out the entrance and you’re on the Schoodic loop road, with a number of pleasant surprises in front of you.  As we navigated this two-lane, one-way road, we came first upon an excited group of birdwatchers huddled around a ranger’s spotting scope.  The cliffs above were home to nesting peregrine falcons, and the birds—mom, pop, and the kids—were putting on a show.
    Winding through salt marshes, tidal creeks, and along the cobbled shore, we came eventually to the turnoff for the Schoodic Institute.  in the early 1930s, John D. Rockefeller (who masterminded Acadia and gave it to the nation) wanted to clear the spectacular Otter Cliffs area of Schoodic for a a scenic drive.  At the time, the US Navy had a very busy listening post sited there.  Rockefeller offered to build a new facility for the Navy if they’d relocate.  It all worked out, and abut ten years ago the Navy turned the site over to the National Park.  Several buildings were razed, several renovated, and the centerpiece Rockefeller building fully restored.  The result is a stunning location for an institute that supports research in the national park.  The Rockefeller building includes a visitor center and is open every day.  Don't miss it.


    On down the road is Schoodic Point.  The waves, rocks, and scenic view here are every bit as good as those at Thunder Hole across the bay, and infinitely less crowded.  The best times are sunrise, sunset, and when the tide is coming in.  Along the rest of the loop road are many pullouts suitable for exploring and taking pictures.  As you exit the loop road, notice the narrow Wonsqueak harbor on your right.  If you’ve visited in the morning, take a right when you get back to route 186.  Go a couple of miles and take another right on route 195.  Follow signs for Corea Lunch on the Wharf.


    At Corea, a fully functioning fishing harbor, you can walk out on the newly reconstructed wharf and enjoy lobster or a steaming bowl of haddock chowder.  Joe Young, the owner, will likely be around to chat.  Joe is a lobsterman, and brings in the items on the menu every morning.  In the off season, he weaves doormats from old lobster pot rope, and you can buy one for a lot less here than at LL Bean.  Also on the wharf is a photo gallery featuring the work of Joe’s aunt Louise from the early 20th century.  Several of the photos were taken at Wonsqueak harbor.  How ill tell you, if you ask, that his was one of the first families to settle on the peninsula when the emigrated from Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1812.


    There’s a surprising lot to see here on Schoodic.  The Tidal Falls Preserve offers a spectacle comparable to the tidal bore rafting on the Bay of Fundy.  At US Bells, you can see bells being cast and shop a gallery of beautiful items that include pottery and woodworking made by members of this artistic family.  Prospect Harbor United Methodist Church offers a meal on the first Saturday of the month—we enjoyed a traditional New England baked bean supper.  And this may be the only place in the country you can get pickled wrinkles.  We’ll let you decide whether you’re willing to eat one.  While you’re thinking about it, keep an eye out for us, Patti and Tom Burkett, way out there off the beaten path.

     

    RESOURCES MENTIONED


    https://www.recreation.gov/camping/schoodic-woods-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=74299


    https://www.schoodicinstitute.org/


    http://frenchmanbay.org/preserves-trails/tidal-falls/


    http://www.phumchurch.com/

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 148: On to the next 30,000 Roadtreks!
    Tue, Jul 11, 2017

    Up in Kitchener Ontario at the factory where the Erwin Hymer Group of North America builds Roadtrek Motorhomes, they just celebrated a momentous event – the building of the 30,000th Roadtrek since the company’s founding more than 40 years ago.

    We were there, met the buyer and talked to officials who shared some what’s ahead for Roadtrek and the booming Class B RV market.

    All that is coming up in our interview section.

    Also this week, listener questions, some great TV tips, traveling tech and RV new and an off the beaten path report about an enchanted highway.


    Show Notes for Episode #148 July 10, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    Mike and Jennifer’s activities this week:

    To Kitchener and Cambridge, Ontario to meet and tour Erwin Hymer facilities in Ontario
    Then to Indianapolis and the Family Motorcoach Association annual summer reunion rally… Mike and Jennifer will be doing seminars Wednesday and Thursday at the FMCA rally
    Mike confides he is coping with another case of Shingles. His second in two months. Doctors say he overdid it after his emergency gallbladder surgery, doing too much hiking and traveling on a whirlwind trip to three U.S. National parks and two Canadian National Parks immediately on his release from the hospital. Stress is a suspected cause of shingles outbreaks and Mike tells everyone the key to treatment is starting on a drug regimen within 72 hours after the outbreak. He missed that deadline and is now waiting for it to go away. He was keeping this all quiet but those who see him in Indianapolis will still see the sores, so he decided to come clean. The last time was on his left arm. this time its the left side of his neck.
    Building a master list of all the resources, products, gadgets and RV travel apps we use and talk about on the podcast, the Roadtreking blog and out RV Lifestyle Youtube Channel. You can access it all, organized by categories, at http://kit.com/rvlifestyle
    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    When we travel, we often wonder what mail we’re getting back home, and if there is something important that we need to attend to.
    Well listener Tom called in this great tip about a new service from the United States Postal Service - USPS Informed Delivery .

    Once there, you first enter in your zip code to see if it’s available in your area. Most of the country is included. Mike and I just signed up thanks to Tom’s tip.

    The service allows customers to track incoming mail through an online dashboard and/or a daily email. Enrolled customers are able to see scanned images of the outside of their letters the morning before they are delivered to their physical mailbox.

    Again, while the Informed Delivery product is available for most addresses, it is not available for all. A few of you may need to be patient a bit as the program is rolled out.
    Meantime, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    Sue and Bud want some help in cleaning their screens, which are getting clogged up by insects and tree seeds
    Alan can’t get a foul taste out of his city water hookup. His fresh water tastes fine but the city hookup…not so. He’s looking for help.
    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK
    Up in Kitchener Ontario at the factory where the Erwin Hymer Group of North America builds Roadtrek Motorhomes, they just celebrated a momentous event – the building of the 30,000th Roadtrek since the company’s founding more than 40 years ago.

    We were there, met the buyer and talked to officials who shared some what’s ahead for Roadtrek and the booming Class B RV market.

    he interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Two stories this week -

    Verizon deal with FMCA falls through – read more
    Bison injures hiker in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Read more
    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP: July is all about Food

    By Steve Van Dinter
    Verizon Wireless

    If there’s any month that’s about food - it’s July. This month there are national celebrations for ice cream, hot dogs, blueberries and grilling. So I thought it would be fitting to talk about apps and accessories that help you make the most of your food this month.

    First, my favorite kitchen helper, Google Home. Mine sits right on the kitchen counter. Then, anytime I wonder how long something needs to be cooked or at what temperature, all I have to do is ask Google. That goes for recipes, timers and even recipe substitutions. All are available on demand via voice. It’s quite handy.

    Next...if you find yourself always blanking on what meals to make when you get to the grocery store, you’ll want to check out Food Planner. Food planner lets you create your own recipes or import the ones you find from any website. Add your own notes, create an inventory of the ingredients you have on hand at home and then have a grocery list created for you! And if you really don’t have time, you can purchase a meal plan from the Food Planner store.

    Or if you’d prefer food that comes straight from the farm, be sure to check out the Farmstand App. With the app, or the mobile site, you will see the nearest farmer’s markets to you as well as days and hours of operation.

    Lastly, once you’ve created your food masterpiece, you want to share it with the world, right? If you’ve got a Samsung S8 or S8+, there’s a camera setting that will help you. Simply launch the camera and swipe right. Then choose food. Now click on the food in your viewfinder you’d like to focus on. And go ahead and capture it. It’ll make all your Instagram followers hungry!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    Mike and Steve have been talking about cool traveling tech gadgets and gizmos week after week on the RV Podcast. We thought it would be fun to arrange a time and place to show and demonstrate these gadgets. So we will! On Thursday, July 27, we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at American RV. You're invited to come for an in-person demo. Grand Rapids is not far Lake Michigan and there are lots of camping opportunities in the area. Come meet us  

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  The Enchanted Highway

    The Enchanted Highway is a collection of the world's largest scrap metal sculptures constructed at intervals along a 32-mile stretch of two-lane highway that cuts south across the prairie off I-94 in western North Dakota.
    The road is so rural and remote, it doesn’t even have a real name…. thus, because of the amazing sculptures… locals started calling it the ”Enchanted Highway.”
    A local artist named Gary Greff started building the towering sculptures in 1990 to draw people off the interstate and to small towns like Regent, to keep it from drying up. But the stunning beauty of the prairie is just as much a draw as Greff’s amazing sculptures, which he continue to erect each year.
    See the sights on North Dakota's Enchanted Highway. Click to see our video - https://youtu.be/oncUoe3bpIQ

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 147: A Bucket List Guide from the RV Guy
    Tue, Jul 04, 2017

     Episode 147: A Bucket List Guide from “the RV Guy”

    This week we meet “the RV guy.” That’s the nickname Jason Kimbrell has as the head of LaMesa RV, a chain of RV dealerships in Florida, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

    But Jason didn’t always live up to that name. In fact, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to continue in the family business. So he walked away from it for a while and went off to explore the west in an RV. In the process, he became the RV Guy.

    I think you’ll enjoy his story on how that happened, and his suggestions of the places across the Southwest that belong on your RVing bucket list. Jason is our interview guest of the week.

    Plus we have ots of listener questions this week, some great tips, RV News and an off the beaten path report… all in Episode 147 of the Podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #147 July 5, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    Mike and Jennifer begin the show by discussing:

    • Their recent travel…. A long month on the road… 5,500 miles in nine states… and one Canadian Province…from Michigan to Montana to Alberta… three U.S. National Parks (Theodore Roosevelt, Glacier and Yellowstone) and two Canadian National Parks (Waterton and Banff)
    • Highlights of their “serendipity” style of traveling… the 1880’s town in South Dakota, camping out on the Laura Ingalls Wilder family homestead as told on the Little House on the Prairie TV and book series, the Angel Museum in Wisconsin, Buffalo, WY and crossing Lake Michigan with their RV on the SS Badger.
    • All the video stories they shot and are now editing which will soon be on Mike and Jennifer’s RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube
    • Their visit next week - July 12-15,- to the Family Motorcoach Association’s annual summer reunion in Indianapolis

    This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

     JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    One accessory every RVer has to have – no matter what kind of vehicle they have – is a hose to fill your unit with fresh, clean water. But unless you take a lot of time and attention winding them up, they can develop a lot of kinks and turn into a tangled mess.

    At our recent Roadtreking gathering in Montana, we met Ken Yoho who showed us a particular type of hose that solves that problem.

     

    The hose Ken had is called the Zero-G RV and Marine Water Hose. That’s the model you want. The company makes a lot of garden type hoses but for drinking water, you want to make sure it’s labeled for RV and Marine or Fresh Water use. We could not find it at Amazon but if you search for it online by that NAME - Zero-G RV and Marine Water Hose – you will find several sources.

    Meanwhile, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the rv lifestyle. you can use the “leave voicemail” link at roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. you can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

    • Paul is dreaming about getting an RV and has a lot of questions. He asks for Mike and Jennifer’s input about boondocking and air-conditioning and how much he will need it. He also wonders about how much battery capacity he needs. He has financing questions and questions about using an RV as a second vehicle.
    • Darlene is about to be a fulltime RVer and is looking for a place to find an RV lot. Mike shares how he just did a Google search on “rv lots in florida” and found plenty! One site com has lots for sale in RV parks and lots for sale by private owners. Another site, www.rvproperty.com/florida-rv-lots-for-sale, notes that are so many RV lots for sale in Florida that they have divided the state into North and South for easier searching.  The dividing line is along Interstate 4 that runs basically from Tampa Bay to Daytona.
    • Fran wants to rent a Roadtrek and try it out before buying and is having a hard time finding one. We refer her to com, which is a site for private owners who make their units available for rentals when they are not using them. 

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations. 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    “The RV Guy” is Jason Kimbrell, who runs LaMesa RV, a chain of RV dealerships in Florida, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

    But Jason didn’t always like that name. In fact, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to continue in the family business. So he walked away from it for a while and went off to explore the west in an RV. In the process, he became the RV Guy. I think you’ll enjoy his story on how that happened, and his suggestions of the places across the Southwest that belong on your RVing bucket list.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

    • Glacier National Park opened its 50 mile scenic road last Wednesday, later than normal because of unusually harsh winter. Read more
    • Friend saves cyclist from bear attack in Alaska, using bear spray. Read more
    • Camping World to keep 57 Gander Mountain stores open Read More

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

     Verizon Wireless

    Now that the 4th is over, it always seems like we quickly slide into fall. But before we get there, I wanted to share some of the cool accessories I’ve found that I know your listeners will find useful not just for the rest of summer, but into the fall as well.

    First...the Chromecast Ultra. Admit it, you take a LOT of photos and videos over summer...and for good reason. From graduations, to holidays and family vacations, there’s a lot of picture perfect moments over these 90 days. When it comes to showing them off, there’s no need to have people crowd around your phone. Instead, plug the small hockey puck looking Chromecast Ultra into your TV and project “or cast” your photos onto the big screen. Chromecast works for more than just photos, you can cast Netflix, HBO and even your phone’s screen live onto any screen the device is plugged into. In fact more than 1,000 apps are compatible in up to 4K streaming.  Pretty cool, huh?

    Next...if you’ve got a new Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, you’re gonna want to pick up an accessory called DeX. This device looks like a stand for your phone, but it’s so much more. Set your phone on the device and connect it to your TV. A new, desktop like experience pops up on your television. Pair this with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard and you now have a portable desktop on the go powered by your phone. The best part is it’s very secure as files you work on remain locked on your device. So if you do a lot of work on your phone and feel the screen size hinders your progress, DeX might just be your new best friend.

    Lastly, we talked earlier about all those videos and pictures we shoot in the summer...with the OSMO Mobile kit, you can give these a professional flair. I’m talking three axis stabilization giving you ultra smooth cinematic shots as you walk, pan and move. Let OSMO be your personal cameraman as well...simply mount the device and have it track and follow your movement - so you’re always in shot.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    Come Meet Mike and Steve July 27, 2017 in Grand Rapids, MI

    Mike and Steve have been talking about cool traveling tech gadgets and gizmos week after week on the RV Podcast. We thought it would be fun to arrange a time and place to show and demonstrate these gadgets. So we will! On Thursday, July 27, we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at American RV. You're invited to come for an in-person demo. Grand Rapids is not far Lake Michigan and there are lots of camping opportunities in the area. Come meet us   

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    Larry Daniel, aka Ozarks Photos, checks in to shares some of his off the beaten path travels in Montana. From waterfalls to massive cedar trees to places to picnic and take photos, he offers some of his favorite stops, along with some tips on what kind of RVs can go down his out of the way spots.

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motrohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

     

  • Episode 146: What the RV Lifestyle is all about
    Wed, Jun 28, 2017

    Episode 146: What the RV Lifestyle is all about

     

    We talk a lot about the RV Lifestyle? But what is it? This week, we hear from a whole bunch of different RVers, from all across North America. I bet the answers we got when we posed this question to a group of RVers we met up near Glacier National Park in Montana will resonate with you, too.

    Also in this episode, listener questions and feedback, RV News of the Week, Tips and a great pff the beaten path report.

    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #146 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    This episode was recorded in Buffalo, WY… where Longmire Days later this month will brimg some 14,000 fans of author Craig Johnson, whose series of books about a modern Wyoming Sheriff has been the basis of the popular A&E and Netflix series, Longmire.

    Mike and Jennifer share their travels over recent weeks to Glacier National Park in Montana, Waterton National Park across the border in Canada, Banff National Park and Lake Louise in Alberta and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    One of the nice things about the RV Lifestyle is meeting other RVers, hearing their stories, getting to know them and learning from their experience. One such RVer we recently met gives us some RF basic training on an issue involving awnings.

    Bottom line: Put it away at night!

    Linda explains why.

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Peggy asks a question about a 4 x 4 RV and whether she should order one. Mike and Jennifer share their perspective.

    And Maureen gave a message of encouragement about the RV community

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    Last week, we talked about how most – if not all – U.S. National Parks are not very dog friendly. This week, we can report that Canada’s National Parks ARE.

    While there are a lot of restrictions that greatly limit where you can take your dog in the US National Parks, Canada welcomes dogs and only requires that they be on a six-foot leash. On our recent trip to Banff National Park in Alberta, we saw all sorts of people and their dogs enjoying all parts of the park and its many trails. Banff even had a fenced in off-leash area for you to let your dog run free !

    We even saw one couple who were kayaking in Lake Louise…. With their poodle, no less! Mike took a photo of that kayaking pooch and will post it with the shownotes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-146.

    We noticed the same dog-friendliness last year at the Bruce Peninsula National Park near Tobermore, Ontario. Lots of people and lots of dogs. Everyone is happy.

    This year is a particularly good time to visit a Canadian National Park. As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, entry into al of the national parks there is free – for everyone.

    So head on up north. You and your dog will enjoy Canada’s beautiful National Parks just as much as Mike and I – and Bo.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    What is the RV Lifestyle all about? Listen as a bunch of RVers share the things that they thunk characterize it the most.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone National Park no longer considered endangered, opening door to hunting outside the park. Read more
    • Boy scout group honored for helping dehydrated tourists at Zion National Park, likely saving their lives. Read more
    • Father and son on hiking trip at Carlsbad Caverns National Park found dead, likely from heat exhaustion. Read more
    • Some 21 U.S. national parks prepare for record-setting crowds Aug. 21 as the Great American Total Solar Eclipse spans the continent. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    July is almost here and that means we’re all gearing up for the biggest holiday of the summer - the Fourth of July!

    To make the most of it though you need the right tools...and this year that means being armed with the right apps.

    First up...Gas Buddy. Fuel prices are at their cheapest summer point in a decade, but we’re all still looking for good deals. With Gas Buddy you’ll see not only where the upcoming gas stations are, but you’ll also see the latest prices.

    Next...if you’re planning to stay home and make use of the grill, you’ll want to be packing the Weber app. This app is full of all sorts of recipes to ensure your Fourth is flavor packed. And it’s built in timer will make sure your food is grilled to perfection.

    While you’re waiting for the fireworks to begin, make the night an educational one by using a free app called Sky Map. Simply point your phone at the sky and you’ll see the names of planets, constellations and even stars appear.

    And if the mosquitos or traffic prevent you from making it to a public display, you can enjoy a virtual display at home! Simply pick up the Philips Hue Light Kit and replace your current lights with these bulbs. Then download the Hue Fireworks app from your respective app store. The app will control your lights and make them burst into life with color...even matching them to the firework sounds coming from your phone!

    Here’s to a safe, colorful and fun Fourth of July!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    Mike and Steve have been talking about cool traveling tech gadgets and gizmos week after week on the RV Podcast. We thought it would be fun to arrange a time and place to show and demonstrate these gadgets. So we will! On Thursday, July 27, we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at American RV. You're invited to come for an in person demo. Grand Rapids is not far Lake Michigan and there are lots of camping opportunities in the area. Come meet us!

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Anna  Burkett

    New England towns have plenty of vestigial British references. One of these is the suffix minster, as in Westminster, which designates a town with a monastic center or a cathedral. Leominster Massachusetts cedes that distinction to its namesake in the old country, but does have an interesting history. It's the only town in the central part of the state that sits on land legally purchased from its former Native American residents. For many years it was an agricultural center, but quickly transitioned to manufacturing during the industrial revolution. 


    The tolerance that made the town a center of activity on the Underground Railroad also attracted large numbers of Irish, Italian, and French immigrants. These old world craftspeople were skilled at making combs from animal hoof and horn, earning Leominster the nickname of the comb city.  As the raw materials for this work became scarce, entrepreneurs took up a new substance called celluloid, and Leominster emerged as a center in the nascent plastics industry. 

    Among the early pioneers of this technology were Foster Grant, who made his fortune selling plastic sunglasses and Earl Tupper whose burping kitchen bowls were a staple of home parties in the 50s and 60s. As if that weren't enough, in 1956 local sculptor Don Featherstone created a mold based on a photo he saw in National Geographic and the pink lawn flamingo began to migrate across the globe. 

    It's hard to find physical traces of this former glory around town. The much-praised plastics museum has closed, and a fascinating display at the Fitchburg museum only makes occasional appearances. Don't despair, though, this town has several more surprises in store. 

    One of them is a historical marker and a model of the birthplace home of John Chapman. Chapman was an explorer in the early days of the westward expansion. He purchased land and planted orchards in advance of settlements. By the time the settlers arrived, the orchards were producing, and Chapman sold them for a handsome price.  Apples were important on the frontier because they provided Something safe to drink as well as alcoholic beverages.
    You may think of him as a barefoot eccentric who married an Indian maiden, but Johnny Appleseed was a canny entrepreneur.

    And everyone will find something to enjoy at the Top Fun aviation toy museum.  The two septuagenarian operators of this storefront wonder, one a pilot, the other a historian, will take you through the development of aviation toys from rubber spaceships of the 1930s to the most modern Star Wars fighters. You'll see extravagant rare Polly Pocket and My Little Pony jetliners, and have the opportunity to compete in a paper airplane flying contest.  Operating on what appears to be less than a shoestring, here is a testament to the passion of eccentric collectors. 

    History is layers deep in the industrial milltowns of New England. Take time to do a little digging, and you can unearth a handful of gems wherever you look. And while you're looking, watch out for my parents, Patti and Tom Burkett, somewhere off the beaten path.

    Resources:

    http://www.topfunaviation.com/

    http://www.fitchburgartmuseum.org/Plastic-Imagination.php

    https://www.chemheritage.org/distillations/magazine/plastic-town

    https://www.biography.com/people/johnny-appleseed-38103

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 145: The Power of a Dream
    Tue, Jun 20, 2017

     Episode 145: The Power of a Dream

    This week in our interview of the week, we meet Alicia Crabbe, a retired woman and solo traveler who is living her dream as a guide and naturalist, leading people on hikes and wilderness experiences for an organization known as Road Scholar, which is a not for profit group dedicated to providing educational travel. It offers 6,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries.

    And while Alicia, who everyone calls “Lish,” has a dream job of working much of the year at Yellowstone National Park, her story is one about the power of a dream.

    In her case, it was a dream that involved traveling the country by RV and experiencing nature in all its marvelous beauty. She began living it at retirement, after leaving a long professional career.

    Lish’s story is one of inspiration and joy, all focused on the RV lifestyle.

    Plus Jennifer and I answer your RV questions, we have the RV news of the week, RV Tips and a great offf the beaten path report. 

    MONOLOGUE

    Mike and Jennifer share their current location, near Glacier National Park and how much they love this area of the country.

    We’re here on one of our Roadtreking gatherings, periodic get-togethers in awesome locations for photography and exploration. About 50 Roadtrekers in some 30 different RV’s and towables are with us, staying at the Chewing Blackbones Campground and RV Resort on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, right outside the park gates. 

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    The saga of making the interior of our RVs dark continues. Regular listeners know that we’ve been tossing around various ideas for covering up or reducing the light levels of the various LEDs, indicators and operational lights that shine from control panels while we are trying to sleep at night.

    We’ve talked about several solutions but a listener named Jan, who started the whole discussion a few weeks ago, has settled on a solution that works for her – and may very well also work for you.

    Liz explains how she uses small felt patches and sick-on Velcro to cover up the lights.

    Edit         

    And for the rest of you out there in the audience, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Listener Dan knows Jennifer is an exercise nut and that finding a place for us (her especially) to work out is a very important part of our travel plans in any given day. So he asks for her advice in finding a solution to finding workout spots in different locations around the country.

    Listener Tessa wants to know where to ride on a prairies schooner like the pioneers took out west Mike refers her to his post at http://roadtreking.com/rv-sidetrip-ride-covered-wagon-along-oregon-trail/ and a guy named Morris Carter in Casper, WY.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    Mike and Jennifer talk dogs talk about why most National Parks don’t allow dogs in most areas and trails, except for sidewalks and drive in camgrounds, where they must be on a six foot leash.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Our guest this week is Alicia Crabbe, a retired woman and solo traveler who is living her dream as a guide and naturalist, leading people on hikes and wilderness experiences for an organization known as Road Scholar, which is a not for profit group dedicated to providing educational travel. It offers 6,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries. But while Alicia, who everyone calls “Lish,” has a dream job of working much of the year at Yellowstone National Park, her story is one about the power of a dream.

    In her case, it was a dream that involved traveling the country by RV and experiencing nature in all its marvelous beauty. She began living it at retirement, after leaving a long professional career. Lish’s story is one of inspiration and joy, all focused on the RV lifestyle.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Three teens hiking near Alaskan campground mauled by bear. Read more
    • Scientists tracking "swarm" of earthquakes that hit Yellowstone last week, including one that hit 4.5 magnitude. Read more
    • Kayak guide dies at Yellowstone National Park trying to save visitor. Read more
    • Washington state troopers will be issuing tickets to any drivers who are staying in the left lane while driving in sting operation this week. Read more
    • Drone finds two lost hikers and their yellow lab on Colorado trail. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    Summer is all about being outdoors. And what do we bring with us outside to capture those experiences? Our smartphones of course!

    So what have you done to ensure your prized possession will stay protected?

    A case is one thing...but what about a phone that gets stolen...or goes swimming unexpectedly while you’re boating? With Total Mobile Protection from Verizon, you are covered.

    What I love about this service is should the unexpected happen to your device, you can file a claim up to midnight eastern and receive a replacement phone the next day - including Saturdays!

    And if it’s a spider-webbed screen that ails your device - no worries. We have more than 270 locations in cities across the country that will fix a cracked screen in just a few hours for just a $49 deductible. No more needing to send in your device or set up an entirely new phone just because of one accidental drop.

    For those with many people on their family plan, you can now cover up to 10 lines on an account for one low monthly cost with total mobile protection multi device.

    If you haven’t enrolled in total mobile protection, now is the time! Until July 14th, take advantage of open enrollment, which is open to anyone - even if you’ve had your phone for a while without.

    You can learn more about total mobile protection at VZW.com/TMP

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    Mike and Steve have been talking about cool traveling tech gadgets and gizmos week after week on the RV Podcast. We thought it would be fun to arrange a time and place to show and demonstrate these gadgets. So we will! On Thursday, July 27, we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at American RV. You're invited to come for an in person demo. Grand Rapids is not far Lake Michigan and there are lots of camping opportunities in the area. Come meet us 

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    Mike and Jennifer share about the Underground City in Havre, MT -  http://havrechamber.com/whattodo/item/havre-beneath-the-streets-2

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 144: Dark Sky Places for your RV Bucket List
    Wed, Jun 14, 2017

    Episode 144: Dark Sky Places for your RV Bucket List

     

    If you’ve ever looked up at the night sky while on a camping or RV trip and marveled at the beauty of the universe, you know how hard it is to find places where light pollution hasn’t limited night sky visibility. This week, we learn about special places you can visit across North America that are designated as Dark Sky Preserves and Places. These are spots that belong on your bucket list.

    Also this week, listener questions, RV tips, news of the week and a great off the beaten path destination. 

     

    Show Notes for Episode #144 June 14, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Some RVers are not able to keep their motorhomes at their home. So they need to have their vehicle left in a storage yard. That makes for a lot of work, having to take the things you can’t or don’t want to leave unattended.

    You have to take it home when you put the RV away, and then bring it back when it’s time for another RV adventure.

    A listener named Lynne has that dilemma… and she’s come up with a nifty way to minimize the extra work.

    Here’s Lynne…

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you! 

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    www.RadPowerBikes.com

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Listener Jeffrey heard our report last week about RV technology and wondered if one of the innovations we featured would make it easy for thieves to steal an RV. The short and long answer is… no. You can hear the discussion at

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK 

    Lots of RVers like to take their pets with them while travelling, but that creates a lot of opportunity for our animals to get lost, one way or another.

    That’s a big deal. It can be like losing a member of our family.

    But there are steps we can take to prevent lost pets and find them if they do get separated from us.

    That’s according to someone we interviewed not long ago for the RV Podcast back in Episode 117: Texas-based Pet Detective Cindy Gordon. Gordon is one of several dozen trained through an organization called the Missing Animal Response Group. She says there are two things every pet owner needs to do to make sure that if their pet runs off, they can be found.

    • One…Microchip your pets, and immediately register the microchip with your personal information. A great tip is to keep all of the microchip information for each pet as a contact on your own phone. Keep the chip number, and the phone number for the chip company. Immediately report as lost if they escape, and call them and be sure the chip info is up to date.
    • And two…Get them an identification collar embroidered with your phone number: We bought one for Bo from a woman who has an Etsy store. We’ll put a link to her in the shownotes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-144.

       Good advice for us all…from a real pet detective.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    There’s nothing like camping and RVing to get you to appreciate nature and few sights are more breathtaking than a dark night sky filled with stars. Across the world, communities and local governments are designating dark sky places and preserves. An organization known as the International Dark Sky Association is dedicated to protecting those dark night skies for a variety of important reasons, not the least is your health.

    Our guests this week are:

    Dr. John Barentine  International Dark Sky Association Program Director. John received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013. He is the author of The Lost Constellations and Uncharted Constellations

    Chrystal White is leader of the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative, which has been instrumental in assisting 13 Dark Sky Places obtain certifications from. The Her group also trains star guides to lead stargazing trips, and hosts education and outreach events in schools, parks and planetariums. You can read more about the Cooperative's accomplishments here: https://cpdarkskies.org/our-work/mission-statement/

    You can learn more about Dark Skies and find a Dark Sky Place or Preserve near you at: http://darksky.org

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

    Officials close Montana's Lake Como campground because of bear activity. Read more 

    Man gets stuck inside RV when trying to steal it. Read more

    RV Capital of the World has record low unemployment Read more

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    Dads have long had to endure Father's Day gifts like ties, “World’s Greatest Dad” mugs and even wristwatches. I'm sure dad said he liked it, but did he REALLY need another tie?

    The good news is technology has revolutionized what dads wear around their neck, use at home and wear on their wrists

    So grab a pen and paper...or who am I kidding...your tablet or smartphone and let's talk about what dad really wants this year.

    First up: wearable personal speakers

    The LG TONE Platinum Bluetooth wearable speaker sports a contoured, around-the-neck design that's lightweight and easy to wear. But what'll really knock his socks off is the truly exceptional audio these headphones reproduce using the full audio bandwidth over Bluetooth. It's perfect for watching videos, gaming and even virtual reality.

    Next: smartwatches and fitness wearables

    Dad's had his analog watch since the 80s, right? Help him keep up with the times with the new Wear24 smartwatch. With it he'll never miss a moment...including sports scores, calls and texts and other notifications. And no need for him to always have his phone along. This watch packs a 4G LTE chip...meaning he'll have connectivity anywhere there's a Verizon signal. And if he likes to run, pair the watch to a Bluetooth headset and now he can steam on the go wire free and phone free!

    Finally: we have smart home accessories 

    Dad works hard, so when he's resting he really shouldn't have to lift a finger - not even to turn off the lights or adjust the temperature. And with devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation or Hue Motion Sensor, paired with any of the Phillips Hue light bulbs, he can do just that. Both are very easy to install and connect to your home's wifi system allowing them to be controlled via an app or via voice using a smart assistant like Google Home.

    And with all these ideas, you're going to be set for the holiday season as well!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    In 1959, a young pharmacist in India gave up his family, his business, and his professional life for the sake of a religious vision.  Over the next decade he studied scriptures and began writing commentaries.  His work became the foundation for the international Society for Krishna Consciousness, known here in the US as the Hare Krishna movement.  Swami Prabhupada traveled and taught all over the world, but when he was here in this country, he often spent his time in the hills of West Virginia.  That’s where his followers founded a town called New Vrindiban, near Moundsville.

    Visitors are welcome at the complex, which includes an elaborate home, a worship center and conference space, motel style dormitories, pleasant walking paths, a lake with swans, a gift shop, and a restaurant.  Scattered throughout the grounds are large statues of animals and people, often with benches to allow the visitor time to sit and contemplate.  The residence is elaborately painted with gold and jade, and furnished with whimsical and fantastically carved furniture.  The faithful still gather here on a regular basis for retreats and study, and you may have the opportunity, when visiting, to sit in awn a session.  It’s free to wander the grounds and to visit all the buildings but the palace.  The palace, when not in use, can be toured for a fee.

    You can easily spend two or three hours enjoying the palace complex.  Arrive early in the morning, and take golden hour photos.  When you’re ready to leave, head down the road toward Fairmont.  There are two good reasons to visit this little berg.  If your rig has an Onan generator, you’ll find one of the best Onan service centers in the country here.  Call ahead for an appointment.  Even if you have no generator troubles, it’s still worth making a stop here.  Giuseppi Arjiro left his pregnant wife behind in Italy and came here to work in the coal mines in 1920.  Within a few years, he’d made enough money to return for her, and the family settled down to work in his soda pop bottling factory.

    In 1927 Giuseppi had a brainstorm and sold the bottling plant to open a bakery.  He knew, from his years working in the mine, that miners needed the right kind of meal for long days underground, and he had realized what it was.  Start with a good piece of meat, he thought, one that won’t go bad after hours in a lunchbox.  Wrap it in bread, both for necessary carbs and to keep the meat contained.  After some experimentation with dough recipes and baking methods,  the pepperoni roll was born.  It was instantly successful, and the bakery sold little else for several years.  At first, he sold them to local bars for 45¢ a dozen.  Now you can buy them anywhere, and they’re even a regular part of military MREs.  Visit the Country Club Bakery for the real deal, baked in these ovens for nearly 100 years.

    We suggest one more stop here in the corner of the Mountaineer State.  After the extravagance of the Palace of Gold, and with your belly full of pepperoni rolls, ease on down US 50 to Horseshoe Run and find Our Lady Of The Pines.  We’re big fans of tiny churches, and this one is a winner.  Made of stone, with a steeple and stained glass windows, it even features a period set of stations of the cross.  Feel free to sit and contemplate the beauty of this secluded spot and the lovely grounds, which include a pond and picnic area.  Before you go, you can pick up a postcard in the two square foot gift shop just inside the door.

    Next time you’re headed through Wheeling, turn south on US 250 and wander into the heart of the West Virginia mountains.  You’re guaranteed to see things you didn’t expect and things you’ve never seen before.  You might even see us, Patti & Tom Burkett, somewhere out there, off the beaten path.

    Resources:
    http://www.palaceofgold.com/
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/2438
    https://www.facebook.com/countryclubbakery/?rf=148117175206601

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 143: How Technology is Changing the RV Lifestyle
    Tue, Jun 06, 2017

    Episode 143: How Technology is Changing the RV Lifestyle

    Technology is changing the RV World and Lifestyle faster than any of us could imagine. Terms like electrical independence, Voltstart, Ecotrek and technologies like lithium ion batteries and solar power generation are revolutionizing the way we camp and experience the outdoors in our recreational vehicles.

    This week, we talk about the future of RV technical innovation with an RV engineer, our friend Yan Seiner from the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, the makers of Roadtrek motorhomes. Yan tells us how far technology has advanced and where it’s headed. That’s in our interview segment.

    But we have much more, including our regular RV tip segments, a traveling tech report, your questions and an off the beaten path destination… all coming up in this episode of the RV podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #143 June 7, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

      MONOLOGUE

    Mike and Jennifer chat about their multi-trip west and how they intend to keep Mike’s “330 Rule,” which is to stop for the day after traveling no more than 330 miles or by 3:30 PM local time, whichever is first.

    To help keep their own rule, they need to be held accountable and the best way to do that is to be committed to keeping a live video report schedule. So, starting Thursday, June 8, they will go live on the Roadtreking Facebook Page at 4PM local time…which will be 5 or 6PM Eastern Time as they head through the various time zones.

    Also look for video report on Mike and Jennifer’s RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube.

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    You know those maps we all like to use that show all the states and provinces we visit? A lot of RVers use them but there’s one thing that many don’t like: They can sometimes leave an ugly residue on the paint because of the adhesive used to stick them on the RV.

    Well, a listener named Sharon found a way to solve that and she sent us in this tip!

    Sharon bought a magnetic sheet and affixes the stocker to it, instead of the RV body. The magnetic attaches without glue and can easily be removed.

    Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: 

    Listener Jim noticed our new RV has the roof mounted air conditioner, rather than the undermount that we used to have. He also wonders about solar and fuel mileage. We explain that the unit we have was bought off the lot, and to have waited for an undermount would have meant a new build and these days, that takes months. Besides, our new unit is a 4 x 4 and we were not keen on hanging stuff under the chassis because we plan to do a lot of back road boondocking.

    Kathy from Hamiliton, ON, Canada is picking up a new Leisure Travel Van Unity in the fall. She asks if she needs a Canadian plan and a US cellular plan if she is traveling in both countries. As with Sprint and Verizon in the US have plans for US people traveling to Canada, nearly all Canadian carriers have all-inclusive roaming plans for visiting the US. The benefits are obvious: you get to keep your phone numbers, allowing you to send and receive calls and texts as if you were at home For $5 per day, customers on Rogers Share Everything plans can access their call, texts and data buckets from back home. Bell has a similar $5 a day plan called Bell Roam Better.And for $7 a day Telus has a US Easy Roam plan. And for $15 per month, Wind Mobile customers can add unlimited talk and text, and 1GB of full-speed data in the US. Wind also offers many plans that include unlimited US talk, text and 1GB of monthly data. Customers spending longer than 10 days per month in the US will only be charged for 10 days, to a maximum of $50.

     Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations. 

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    This week, I have three tips that we’ve picked up from our friends at quickanddirtytips.com that can come in handy.

    Ready?

    Tip #1: If your cat or dog likes chewing on electrical cords, we know you need a solution, and fast! Here it is: Unplug the electronics, then rub the cords with a wedge of lemon. Once they’ve dried, you can plug them back in. Animals hate the taste of lemon and will steer clear.

    Tip #2: The busiest days at the pet groomer’s are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Find a groomer who offers discounts on Tuesdays through Thursdays, or ask your groomer if she will offer you a discount for coming midweek.

    #Tip 3: Keep your pet’s playthings clean and free from bacteria and germs by tossing them into the dishwasher alone (without dishes) once a month. But hold the detergent: Just turn the temp to hot and the heat plus the water pressure will completely sanitize plastic or rubber toys. And not only will a quick wash help ensure that Fido stays healthy, it’ll prolong the life of the toys and keep your floors, carpets, and furniture clean, too.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Technology is changing the RV World and Lifestyle faster than any of us could imagine. Terms like electrical independence, Voltstart, Ecotrek and technologies like lithium ion batteries and solar power generation are revolutionizing the way we camp and experience the outdoors in our recreational vehicles.

    This week, we talk about the future of RV technical innovation with an RV engineer, our friend Yan Seiner from the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, the makers of Roadtrek motorhomes. Yan tells us how far technology has advanced and where it’s headed. That’s in our interview segment.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country 

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Bear Totals Vehicle in Search of Food – Read More
    • Bears in Canada's Banff National Park causing several challenges for officials who are trying to keep the humans safe.Read more
    • Alaska wildlife officials warn public to beware of moose after seeing rise in human/moose injuries this year.Read more 

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    I know you and your listeners are always on the go - and often that probably means the RV feels more like home than the one your mail goes to.

    Today I’ve got a gadget that can make your home on the road feel even more comfy. It’s called the Verizon SmartHub.

    You travel all over the country, so I don’t need to remind you that Verizon has more of rural America covered than any other carrier. And because of that the SmartHub is a great choice to make your RV truly a smart home.

    Plug it in and it’ll take the Verizon 4G LTE signal in the area and convert it into a mobile wifi hotspot. But hold onto your wheels, because here’s where it gets exciting.

    First it has an ethernet port on the back. This means you can plug in a printer, smart lighting router like Hue or anything else that takes a direct connection and bring it on the go. It also has a traditional phone jack. You can have a mobile landline on the go!

    But the reason it’s called a SmartHub is it can connect to smart home accessories directly. And through the Verizon Home app you can control all of them in one place. That means adding things like smart lighting and security cameras and setting schedules or checking in on them is a breeze.

    Again the device powering it all is the Verizon Smarthub. Learn more at VerizonWireless.com

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Atlanta’s Coca Cola Museum

    The quintessential American drink is Coca-Cola. Nothing comes close. Culturally, the syrupy soft drink is globally recognized and cuts across all political, economic and social divisions and in a real sense, links everyone to a shared and usually pleasant experience. So it's only natural that there would be a Coke museum in the town where a pharmacist named John Pemberton, otherwise known as “Doc,” invented the concoction in 1886.

    Pemberton fought in the Civil War, and at the end of the war he decided he wanted to invent something that would bring him commercial success. Usually, everything he made failed in pharmacies. Alas, he probably thought his soft drink failed, too, as he died two years after he mixed it up. He never saw what a winner he invented.

    So much so that,  since opening in 2007, the World of Coke attraction has seen more than 5 million people shell out $16 to, in effect, experience a very long commercial for Coke.

    Yeah, you do get all the Coke you want, starting with a free cold bottle to sip while a friendly hostess shows off old advertising signs and historic mementos, and ending in an upstairs tasting room where you can sample all the Coke you want as well as the dozens of ofter sugary, syrupy soft drinks the conglomerate makes around the world.

    On the way to the tasting room, they make a big deal of winding you through a supposed vault that contains the Coca Cola “Secret Formula,” but you see nothing and the room seemed to be a pointless and unnecessary exhibit. Maybe I missed something, but like the 12 minute “movie” that we were all hustled into at the start of the tour that was nothing but a long feel-good advertisement, I found myself wondering about the worth of that $16 admission.

    But then, as if the sugar high you undoubtedly have after all the free samples wasn't enough, your invited to take still another bottle with you as you exit the attraction through the gift store.

    I was particularly interested in discovering whether some of the many myths surrounding the product were true, like the old rumor that the original Coca Cola actually contained cocaine. The attraction never did answer it. So I checked Snopes, the anti-rumor site, and learned that the original recipe indeed did contain an extract of coca leaves and kola nuts. Just how much cocaine was originally in the formulation is hard to determine, said Snopes, but the drink undeniably contained some cocaine in its early days, albeit a mere trace.

    And then there was the rumor that a tooth left in a glass of Coca-Cola will dissolve overnight. Again, according to Snopes: “Coca-Cola will not dissolve a tooth (or a nail, or a penny, or a piece of meat) overnight…Coca-Cola contains acids (such as citric acid and phosphoric acid) which will eventually dissolve items such as teeth (given enough time), but so do plenty of other substances we commonly ingest (such as orange juice). The concentration of acid in these products is so low that our digestive systems are easily capable of coping with it with no harm to us.”

    I didn't see any displays or exhibits about all the urban myths that have come up about the product at the World of Coke. Again, maybe I missed it. But those numerous Old Wives Tales are much more fascinating than the nostalgic ads and signs on display I did see and you'd think that the company would have had a fun display debunking them.

    The World of Coke is on a 20 acre downtown complex called Pemberton Place that also features the Georgia Aquarium (an excellent place to visit – see my story) and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. There is a huge parking garage serving the three attractions but it can not handle RVs, so look for parking in private lots around the complex.

    We visited it after touring the aquarium. It took about an hour or so to experience the World of Coke so you can visit both it and the Georgia Aquarium in a single day. Since both are next door to each other, you can easily walk to them. Arrive in the morning and you'll be able to be back on nearby I-75 before Atlanta's afternoon rush hour begins.

    Photos and more at http://roadtreking.com/rv-sidetrip-world-coke-atlanta/

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 142: The New Trends Shaping the RV Park and Campground Industry
    Tue, May 30, 2017

    Episode 142: The New Trends Shaping the RV Park and Campground Industry

     

    As the demand for recreational vehicles continues to grow, the RV Park and Campground industry is working hard to add new camping sites, new pricing and new amenities. This week’s guest is Paul Bambei, the President and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and he shares about how the campground industry plans to make your camping experience this year better than ever.

    Besides Paul we have lots of audience questions, feedback, RV news and tips, along with a great Off-the-Beaten-Path report.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #142 May 31, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    There are so many hobbies and activities that fit so well with the RV Lifestyle. Some of those activities can help us stay fit, too.

    So we learn with a tip we received this week from listeners Jeff and Deb Spencer.

    PLAY

    They share a great resource from those who like to run – a website called vacationraces.com

    The group has info on boondocking, camping and RVing in beautiful wilderness areas where trail runs and races can be found.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

     

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

     

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Listener Bill wonders whether he should rent or buy. He’s new to RVing, thinks he wants to do it but asks our recommendations. We are big believers in renting. If he can’t find one at a dealer to rent – they are in high demand and dealers have limited rental fleets – we suggest he try a website called RVShare

     

    And we received a nice voice mail this week from, a listener named John who understands that Roadtreking isn’t about any specific brand…its all about the lifestyle w-no matter what size RV you have.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

     

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    When we travel with our pets, there are things we need to bring with us, besides their food, bedding and some toys. Just like with humans, you should have a basic pet first-aid kit on hand.

    Keep your pet's first-aid kit in your home and take it with you if you are traveling with your pet.

    One way to start your kit is to buy a first-aid kit designed for people and add pet-specific items to it. Or you can also purchase a pet first-aid kit from a pet-supply store or catalog. But you can easily assemble your own kit by gathering the items suggested by the Veterinary Medical Society. They have an special first aid for pets handout .

    But besides the first aid kit, make sure you also bring along the phone number of your veterinarian and health paperwork for your pet, including proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other immunization medical records and a current photo of your pet - in case he gets lost.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Paul Bambei, Campground Association

    As the demand for recreational vehicles continues to grow, the RV Park and Campground industry is experiencing a “brand new world” and working hard to add new camping sites, new pricing and new amenities.

    This week’s guest is Paul Bambei, the President and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and he shares how the campground industry plans to make your camping experience this year better than ever.

    Among the topics we discuss:

    • All-inclusive pricing at some parks and campgrounds
    • New and easier-to-access reservation systems
    • New amenities that are in demand at campgrounds
    • How parks are trying to increase Internet bandwidth
    • The changes millennial campers are bringing to the campground industry
    • More pet-friendly campgrounds
    • Park expansion to improve the “no vacancy” problems

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Three stories this week…

     

    Motorists Waste 29 Hours a Year Using GPS Gadgets – Read More

     

    Giant mudslide near California's Big Sur expected to close scenic Highway 1 for a year – Read More

     

    Group works to stop oil refinery from opening just outside North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Read more

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

     

    I’m coming to you from Indianapolis this week, home of the 101st running of the Indy 500 and this year a huge milestone for Verizon. As speed records fall at the track, Verizon is racing ahead to bring the fastest possible wireless speeds to market. 

     

    In fact, just west of IMS, Verizon has a pre-commercial 5G network up and running providing a consistent 1.6 Gbps connection to a real home. It’s one of 11 cities across the country where these tests are occurring.

     

    This connection is powering a whole home of the future including multiple 4K screens running streaming video, a live 4K VR stream from the track and smart devices like Google Home, Ring Doorbell and Phillips Hue lighting. 

     

    It’s called fixed line of sight 5G and it’ll be here before we know it! And while that happens, Verizon is also working on bringing 5G to our smartphones and devices as well. In fact, a recent test showed consistent 5+ Gbps mobile speeds with a vehicle driving 60mph around the track.

     

    So what’s that mean for you and your listeners? Within the next year or two you’ll likely have faster than fiber internet speeds available wirelessly to your home. This will enable you to download movies in the blink of an eye, stream extremely high quality content and experience events - like Indy 500 - in 4K streamed live in VR. And before 2020, these speeds will be available to the latest smartphones as well!

     

    Stay tuned...5G is coming soon!

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

     

    We're in the middle of an extended visit to the ‪Great Smoky Mountains national park. We came to look at spring wildflowers and see the synchronous fireflies. Having been here any number of times, and given that it's the most visited of all our parks, we didn't expect it to generate any off the beaten path reports. I'm happy to report we were wrong. 

     

    Did you know it was possible to enter the Smokies from the north and completely miss Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg?  Driving in through the tiny town of Wears Valley, we noticed a sign in front of a local church advertising a potluck dinner and talk by a park ranger the following night. 

     

    Up and over the mountain we arrived at Elkmont campground. On the road in, we remarked a dead end spur with a sign--Elkmont cemetery. The next morning we took the spur and found ourselves alone in a light mist in a graveyard filled with stones--some simply large rocks--from the early 1900s. We were struck with a number of markers for children only days old. 

     

    A little used path across from the gate struck off across a hillside where we'd seen a ‪tumbledown house, so we took it in hopes it would lead to the ruin. Sure enough it did, and we found not one but a half dozen old summer homes in various stages of collapse, all perched overlooking the little river below. The path was rich in wildflowers and discarded artifacts from a century ago. 

     

    Conversation with the campground ranger about the dwellings led us to another nearby area, not on any visitor map, where the park service is restoring a street of summer homes from the same era. At the end of the row is a fully restored social club built in 1934, complete with rockers on the wide porch and a big dance hall. 

     

    We spent the afternoon wandering along the street, thinking about what it must have been like to summer in the mountains a century ago, gathering in te evenings for card games at the club or a weekend dance. Then we hopped in the RoadTrek and drove back over the mountain to Wears Valley and the little Methodist church. 

     

    After surveying the pantry, we were able to come up with a satisfactory plate of deviled eggs as our ticket to the dinner. And what a dinner it was!  The church members insisted the speaker and his family go first, followed by a couple of folks with canes and wheelchairs. Next, all eyes turned to us, in the back corner of the room. "You're next," they said. As the only 'guests' in the hall, we got special treatment. 

     

     Like most good small town potlucks, there was a feast of choices and a separate table for desserts. After the meal, everyone gathered in the sanctuary for the talk. The speaker was introduced as the recently retired chief wildlife ranger from the park, who grew up in the valley and worked in the park for more than forty years. "Well," he said, "when I looked in the rear view mirror of the jeep and saw a bear looking back at me, I knew it wasn't going to be an ordinary day."  He spent the next two hours telling stories about skunks, elk, river otters, beaver and, of course, bears. He also told a few stories about hunters and tourons. 

     

    We've been to the Smokies any number of times, but nearly everything on this trip was a surprise. Almost all of it came from a willingness to take a little risk, dig a little deeper, and step a bit outside the comfort zone. The reward was spectacular--history, entertainment, and an afternoon completely alone with history and nature in this beautiful and crowded park. So turn left when everyone else is turning right and you may find us, out there somewhere, off the beaten path. 

     

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5927164

    https://www.amazon.com/Bear-Back-Seat-Adventures-Mountains-ebook/dp/B00EW8TTQW

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 141- Lises Story: Finding Empowerment and a New Life in an RV
    Tue, May 23, 2017

    Episode 141- Lise’s Story: Finding Empowerment and a New Life in an RV

     

    They say that up to 20% of all RVers are solo travelers, many of them single women who find fun, friends and great adventure out on the road. So it is for our interview guest this weekend, a woman named Lise, who, after three decades of marriage and a dfifficult divorce, suddenly found herself alone and uncertain of what life had in store for her. So, as she shares in our interview of the week, she bought an RV and took off, pushed out of her comfort zone and finding a new sense of empowerment.

    Also this week, listener questions, lots of RV tips, traveling tech advice and a great off-the-beaten-path report.

    Show Notes for Episode #141 May 24, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Like a lot of people, I like sleeping in darkness. And with all the technology in today’s recreational vehicles, that can be challenging. That’s because of all the glowing LED indicator lights that are shining to tell us various things are on and operating normally.

    We’ve talked before about how to cover them up easily at night and a listener named Wade has about the simplest suggestion we have had yet!

    He suggests getting white electrical taps from a hardware store, using a hole punch to cut out a little circle, and then just sticking that little circle of white tape over the glowing LED.

    Problem solved

    Our listeners are the smartest people. Thanks Wade!

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Peggy is a new RV owner and wants to know about the wisdom of purchasing High End Motorsports Sunshades for all the windows. She asks if just the windshield shade is sufficient or should she get sunshades for all windows. Mike recommends their windshield and front side shades but then suggest she buy a roll of Reflectix and make her own for the other windows. The material keeps out the heat in the summer and keeps the heat in during the cold camping months. Here’s a video we did on how to use Reflectix in your RV. By the way, to use Reflectix in the summer it should be placed on the outside of the windows so as not to bounce back the sunshine to the glass interior. Just add double stick Velcro to fasten around the outside windows when you have stopped. The windshield sunshade from High End Motorsports can be stuck up on the inside.

    Michelle writes:

    We have been vacationing for 3 years of retirement all over the country. But we are finding the call of the Gulf Coast pretty difficult to resist. We have loved "camping" in the off-season. Usually heading south we do find ourselves overnighting somewhere mid-States: Kentucky, Tennessee area--Daniel Boone National Park a number of times. And our miseries seem to start there. You never see them--but about 2 days later the most unmerciful, unrelenting itching starts around the ankles and calves of your legs. I have to guess that they also get on the dogs, as they will also be itching and when you pet them my fingers will find little welts. It has taken me until now do diagnosis that this must be chigger bites. We come from Wisconsin--so we do have them somewhat in the summer in sandy areas. But these seem to always catch us by surprise---we'll camp that first night in areas that I would normally think are too cold at that time of the year---bammmm. We are miserable for over three weeks. I would expect to get these bites down in the sandy areas of the Gulf Coast but there it does not seem to be as terrible--some but not like those mid-States. So, are regular repellants effective against chiggers that we will have to remember to spray at the beginning of our travels? Especially on legs and maybe the poor dogs on that first night of a walk? Suggestions please…

    DEET is one of the most effective bug repellents for use against chiggers and other mites. Apply the repellent to your exposed skin, especially on the hands, arms, and legs. Off Deep Woods spray, Sawyer Premium Clothing Insect Spray and Sawyer Maxi-DEET all promise to work well against chiggers. Available at sporting goods stores, outfitters and even many pharmacies.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    We’ve talked before about the importance of choosing healthy food for your pet. Unfortunately, a lot of bad food is being sold on the market. Pet food recalls are much too frequent. Like us, I’m sure you are concerned about finding safe and healthy food for your dog.

    Last week while we were exercising Bo at the Fort Walton Beach, FL off-leash dog park, we got to talking with one of the women there. She worked as a vet tech and she told us about a public service website that is designed to help pet owners make more informed decisions about buying dog food.

    It’s called DogFoodAdvisor.com and it’s motto is “Saving Good Dogs from Bad Dog Food.” The website has researched, reviewed and rated more than 4,500 dog food products. The website knows who actually makes each dog food, the company’s recall history and safety practices.

    They teach how to read labels and correctly interpret the nutritional content. They also report where the ingredients come from, which additives are safe and which ones are toxic. And they promptly list all pet food recalls. You can even sign up to get an email about them as they happen.

    It is so important for you to know what’s actually in your dog’s food — before you buy it. And this website, which is privately owned and maintained and is not affiliated in any way with the pet food industry, is the best way Mike and I have found to be sure that what we feed our Bo is the best food available.

    Check it out. I think you’ll agree.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    We’ve talked before about solo travelers, often single women, traveling across North America in their RVs. This week’s guest in our interview of the week is a recent solo traveler. Her name is a Lise and after her multi-decades long marriage ended bitterly, she found herself alone and wondering how to make a new life. A year ago, she bought a new Roadtrek Class B RV and found a new sense of empowerment that, we believe, will be a great inspiration to many as she ventured out past her comfort zone. Let’s meet her.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

    • Record Travelers expected this Holiday Weekend Read More
    • Pickup towing trailer has roof ripped off by winds on I-90 Read More
    • Millions of senior Americans are living too frugally, according to a new study. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless 

    Summer is almost here and for the school age, that means a few months of care-free fun. Today I’ve got some app suggestions that’ll keep them entertained (and stretch their brains a bit).

    
First up...one I know parents will like - Chore Check. This free web-based tool and app allows parents to log in and create a list of things that need to be done and to assign them to their kids. Then once done, they’re checked off. For a little added fun, you can also make some of the chores “stealable” and the first child to complete them gets the bonus money associated with the chore. 

    Next...what happens when you make education a game? You get the app, Think! Think! Designed by Japanese mathematicians, these brain games are designed to be challenging and fun. With more than 30 games in all, your children will never get bored. And they won’t spend all day on it either as the app will remind them once the daily time limit is met.

    When rain puts a damper on the day’s fun, have the kids check out the website Story booth. On the site, children are encouraged to share their story in their own voice and submit. The best ones will be chosen to be animated and then appear on the website.

    And finally something I used to love to do as a kid - Mad Libs - only now there’s an electronic version. It’s like Choose Your Own Adventure meets comedy hour. With Mad Libs, you have a seemingly endless number of stories to choose from but the best part is you fill in the blanks by answering questions ahead of time. You’ll blindly add in nouns, verbs, adjectives and even photos. Then the app goes to work filling the blanks of its story with the pieces of speech you chose. Not only will this have your kids rolling on the floor with laughter, but they’ll also learn the basic parts of speech along the way.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

    Curse of the UP… black flies … see my video report here - https://youtu.be/eYGM4Cj7bQ8

    June and July along the Lake Superior shoreline is where they are the worst.

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 140: How to Be Prepared for RV Emergencies
    Tue, May 16, 2017

    Episode 140: How to Be Prepared for RV Emergencies

    As millions of RVers are planning their summer adventures and making lists of what to bring to add to their fun, stocking first aid kits and doing some emergency preparation planning also needs to be on all our To-Do lists.

    This week, we talk to a top expert from the American Red Cross in emergency wilderness and camping first aid. This is a must-listen intervew so be sure and take the time to learn what you need to do to be ready for the unexpected.

    Also this week, lots of audience questions and comments, along with RV news, RV tips and a fascinating Off-the-Beaten-Path Report from the Burketts.

    Show Notes for Episode #140 May 17, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    One of the things we like the most about doing this podcast is hearing from you and receiving your tips. Sometimes, it’s about how to do things better while on the road, or maybe a helpful Do-It-Yourself Project. Or it could be a nifty product you came across that you want to share with the audience.

    So it was today with a listener named Ed.

    Ed’s product is a Bem Multi Function Lantern EXO-900, a 300 lumen lantern with three different power levels. It has a blue tooth speaker and can even be used to recharge cell phones. He found his for $30 at his local Sams Club. On Amazon, it is $48.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    • Dan asks about parking a Class B RV in regular parking lots, noting how Mike uses his as a second vehicle to run errands around town. Dan seeks more elaboration on the ease of parking.

     

    • Jeff asks about using an electric can opener or a toaster in a Class B RV and wants to know if they are worth the space.

     

    • Steve is a soon to be fulltime RVer and solo traveler and he wonders whether he needs a Class A or a Class B to work in from the road.

     

    • Sue winders whether she should get a dedicated Mi-Fi data card for on the road connectivity or use her iPhone as a hot spot. 

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    We had a nice voicemail from a listener named Ken, who heard our recent Traveling with Pets T about how Mike and I make a point to find off-leash dig parks for Bo while we’re traveling. Ken knew we were in Florida this week and offered this tip about a dog park he likes.

    PLAY TIP

    Thanks Ken. Next time we travel through the Punta Gorda area of Florida, we’ll be sure to check out the Hounds of Henry Park.

    But while I’m on the topic of dog parks, let’s talk about problems that can happen at any park, namely, over-aggressive dogs. That happened to us last night at a park we visited. There are times when as a pet owner, you need to either cut your visit short or not go in at all.

    Last night, there was a German Shepherd and a Great Dane in the park, along with many other dogs. The shepherd was extremely possessive of its owner and became very aggressive whenever anther dog came near. The Great Dane just got too excited as he chased and played with other dogs. He was too big – about 120 pounds – to roughhouse with any of the other dogs. For what he intended as a gently romp was way overpowering for other dogs.

    So, our advice when entering a dog park is to spend a minute or two assessing the other dogs. And when you are inside, don’t spend all your time visiting with other owners. Never let your dog out of your sight and be ready to intervene at any time.

    We want to stress that we very seldom encounter problems in a dog park. But that doesn’t mean we can relax our vigilance.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Our guest n this episode is Dr. Jeffrey L. Pellegrino, PhD, MPH. Dr. Pellegrino is a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and professor and program director of Health Sciences at Aultman College in Canton, OH. One of his specialties is remote and wilderness first aid.

    Here’s notes from his interview:

    RV Travel Safety

    Everyone wants to have a safe and enjoyable trip when they venture out in their RV. It’s important for travelers to take some steps ahead of time in order to help make this happen.  Knowing when and how to provide first aid can be at your fingertips through the American Red Cross First Aid app (free).

    GET YOUR VEHICLE READY

    • Have a mechanic check your tires, battery, brakes and fluid levels. Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
    • Pack an emergency preparedness kit with water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, a battery operated or hand crank weather radio, blankets and non-flammable flares.
    • Personalize your kit with extra medications (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, prescriptions), medical supplies, and items for your pet.
    • Include a first aid kit in case an injury or accident occurs with:
      • Non-latex, preferably Nitrile disposable gloves (to prevent body fluid contact)
      • Assorted sizes of self-adhesive bandages- transparent, sterile dressing that is waterproof (known as transparent film dressing), sterile gauze and adhesive tape (to cover and protect open wounds)
      • Wound gel or antibiotic ointment (to help promote healing/ prevent infection)
      • A breathing barrier (to prevent disease transmission while giving rescue breaths)
      • Other items to include:
    • Low-dose (81mg) chewable Aspirin (for chest pain)
    • Tweezers (to remove splinters or ticks)
    • Instant cold compress (to control swelling)
    • Scissors (to cut tape, cloth or bandages)
    • Emergency blanket (to prevent heat loss and to treat for shock) 

    PLAN AHEAD

    • Map out your route and share your travel plans with a family member or friend.
    • Pay attention to the weather forecast before you leave and throughout your trip.
    • Download the American Red Cross Disaster Apps for free in your app store.
    • The apps provide weather alerts, suggest safety actions, and other helpful tips to prepare. 

    BOONDOCKING

    • Water is help item, from preventing first aid emergencies to using it to help others
      • Heat related illness
      • Burns
      • Cleaning wounds
      • Gastro Intestinal health
      • Fill up your tanks and keep a spare, also a backup plan to decontaminate water is recommended
    • When help is delayed, the Red Cross has a first aid course that is recommended, Wilderness and Remote First Aid
      • The Check Call Care Emergency Action Principles
      • Resources that can be improvised
      • Packing first aid kit with things that can’t be improvised.
        • Low-dose (81mg) chewable Aspirin (for chest pain)
        • Tweezers (to remove splinters or ticks)
        • Instant cold compress (to control swelling)
        • Scissors (to cut tape, cloth or bandages)

    DURING YOUR TRIP

    • Obey traffic rules and avoid distractions like cell phones while driving.
    • Drive in shifts so drivers are well rested.
    • Heed all severe weather alerts and warnings.
    • Pellegrino also recommends that people get trained in First Aid and CPR and learn how to use an AED. Training can give you the confidence and skills to act in an emergency until help arrives.
    • The Red Cross has a variety of online and in-person courses available at redcross.org.
    • A little preparation and planning can help make your journey one you’ll remember for years to come.

    Help and suggestions for handling emergencies, first aid kits and emergency supplies as well as training resources can be found at redcross.org . The Red Cross has one of the very best first aid apps available in their app store or at redcross.org/apps

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Camper demographics are changing fast – Read More
    • Now you can search for Campspites and “Trails near Me” … Read More
    • Washington couple's RV was stolen at a repair shop; found one and a half months later with nine people living in it. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP: Time to Get Snapping!

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    Happy National Photography Month to you and your listeners! And guess what? With today’s mobile technology, there’s no better time to be an amateur or even pro photographer. Not only are our mobile devices taking better photos, but the tools we have to enhance and share them continue to improve as well. 

    For instance…if you have the latest Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ phone (https://www.verizonwireless.com/smartphones/samsung/) you just HAVE to try out the selective focus feature. You choose it by swiping right when the camera is open. Simply take your photo and now your subjects will magically pop out from the background. It’s like having a professional hiding in your pocket! 

    Take your photos to the ultimate level by packing an Allure Selfie case (https://www.verizonwireless.com/accessories/case-mate-allure-x-case-mate-selfie-case-for-iphone-7-plus-rose-gold/). The case, designed for the S8 series and iPhone 7 has a ring stabilizer on the back to help you take your photos, and it also has a ring of LEDs around it allowing you to look great no matter the ambient light.

    Speaking of stabilizing your phone, all the kids have a PopSocket (https://www.verizonwireless.com/accessories/popsockets-arabesque/?lid=sayt&sayt=Pop*)go   these days - and they’re on to something! These circular and colorful additions to your phone have a super strong adhesive on the back. Normally they lay flat against your phone, but are always ready to spring into action. Pop it out from the back and use it between your first two fingers to keep your phone steady. Or use it as a prop later to show off those great photos!

    And finally to make sure you keep every moment...download the free Google Photos app (https://photos.google.com/). Free for Android and iOS, this photo storage system will automatically back up unlimited photos for free. And if you have Verizon Unlimited, make sure you choose the back up anywhere option, that way should your phone ever get stolen or broken while on vacation, at least you’ll always have the photos.

    Happy snapping!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

     

    By Tom and Partti Burkett

    Once in a while, exploring out-of-the-way places puts us on the path of a much greater adventure.  We’ve seen Cincinnati’s painted pigs, Lexington’s painted horses, and Fort Wayne’s painted frogs.  Recently, we took a stab at finding some of the 47 unique Mr. Potato Head statues adopted by communities in Rhode Island.  One of these is Betty The Learned Elephant, who sits behind the town hall in Chepachet.  Asking a local resident why choose an elephant, we were treated to an amazing story.  We’ll tell it to you somewhat backwards, the way we first learned it.

    “Head out to the Putnam Pike Bridge,” we were told, “and look for the plaque.”  Erected in 1976, the monument recognizes Little Bett, an elephant who was shot down on the bridge by local residents in 1826.  It seems the Puritan town fathers didn’t look kindly on the fact that local residents were spending their money on frivolous and exotic entertainment. 150 years the town decided to come clean, admit the deed, and declare Elephant Day in honor of the 12-year-old pachyderm who had amazed audiences from Massachusetts to North Carolina with her intelligence and personality. 

    Little Bett was part of a traveling menagerie owned by Hecaliah Bailey, of Somers, New York.  By chance, Bailey had seen the very first elephant ever to come to North America s it was being offloaded from a ship, the America, in New York harbor in 1796.  He was entranced.  Imagine his surprise when, several years later, he again saw the elephant, this time offered for sale at a livestock auction he was attending.  He bought the behemoth, named Betty, and took her home.  Bailey imagined rightly that his neighbors would pay a few cents to have a look, and he was right.  It wasn’t too long before he gave up farming and earned his living traveling with a menagerie of animals and sideshow attractions.

    Several of his neighbors became partners and competitors in these endeavors.  When one of them married the star of a traveling acrobatic show and joined the two entertainments, the American circus was born.  Somers, New York is known as the birthplace of the circus, and when you visit, you can climb to the third floor of the Elephant Hotel and see exhibits of early traveling show history.  Sadly, Bailey’s first elephant, bought at the cattle auction, was also shot dead by religious fanatics, and the museum and hotel stands as a memorial to her.

    Hecaliah served as a mentor and role model for young PT Barnum, and the Bailey family continues in the circus business to this day.  You can discover more of the story at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  So, the chance encounter with a Mr. Potato Head elephant led us first to New York, then to Bridgeport, and then back to Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum on the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania.  With an eye open for new stories, we now collect elephant lore as we travel, and have found some great tales.  If you like, we’ll tell you one the next time we see you somewhere, out there, off the beaten path. 

    Links to places mentioned by the Burketts:

    Elephant Hotel

    Betty the Learned Elephant

    Memorial to Little Bett

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 139: Paying Jobs for RVers
    Wed, May 10, 2017

    Episode 139: Paying Jobs for RVers

     

    Would you like to leave your current job and fulltime in an RV? Or perhaps you’re retired and would like to travel more in your recreational vehicle but need to have some income to offset the costs of living on the road.

    In this episode, we talk about making money while you’re out there RVing.

    Yes, it is possible – and practical – to make enough money to live in an RV full-time, travel, and enjoy life! You may be surprised to know there are more jobs for RVers and work campers than there are RVers and campers willing to work. You can also earn a living running a business from your RV.

    Our guest today has been helping RVers find paying jobs for many years.

    Her name is Colleen and, with husband, Bob, she publishes a Workers on Wheels website that keeps track of temporary, seasonal, and mobile jobs that pay. Also, RV based business, online careers, work camper campground jobs, and volunteer workamper positions. You can do them all while traveling, camping, or living in a recreational vehicle – while being Workers On Wheels!

    Plus your questions, comments and tips.

    Show Notes for Episode #139 May 10, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: 

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    In an RV, storage space is at a premium. And one of the things that takes u a lot of that space is clothing.

    We recently met w woman named Lise, who travels solo in her Class B RV.

    And Lise showed us how she’s able to maximize her clothes storage with a great accessory.

    Here’s Lise.

    She uses a cloth she storage bag she bought at Ikea.

    Meanwhile, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    First this listener note about a recent tip we had on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel about removing bugs that get squished on our windshields.  You can find that tip on our RV Tios and How-To Playlist or by clicking here

    Listener Julie is looking for an owner’s manual for her Roadtrek RV. We refer her to the Roadtrek.com corporate site, Here’s a link to the page that lets you download a manual for every model they have made.

    Jon wants to know how long he has to wait for an RV that is propelled by electricity. Mike says a very long time as he knows of nothing like that in the works for RVers.

    And listener Jeff has a suggestion to the person in episode 138 of the RV Podcast who wanted to use a crock pot to slow cook as they drive down the road in their RV. It’s a non-electric Thermal Cooker. It comes with an inner pot that will go over the stove top to boil the food. Once the food is boiled, set into the outer, stainless steel vacuum insulated container to allow the food to cook thoroughly without fire or electricity while the outside body stays cool to touch.

    We found a whole page of them on Amazon starting at a little over $60,

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    With warm weather we become more aware of  the need to protect our pets from fleas, ticks and parasites.

    But these days, many vets are urging year-round protection programs.

    Fleas are the most common external parasite that can plague pets, and they can lead to irritated skin, hair loss, hot spots, and infection. Fleas can also introduce other parasites into your cat or fog. All it takes is for your pet to swallow one flea, and it can to end up with tapeworms, the most common internal parasite affecting dogs and cats.

    Year-round prevention is key, say animal health experts.  They suggest regular flea and intestinal parasite control, as well as heartworm prevention.

    You also need to protect your pet against ticks. Ticks are major health worries for pets and people, linked to Lyme disease among and many other serious ailments. Many vets now recommend that your pet be put on tick prevention program year round,

    Because some parasite medications made for dogs can be fatal to cats, talk to your vet about keeping your precious pets worm-free, flea-free -- and safe.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Would you like to leave your current job and fulltime in an RV? Or perhaps you’re retired and would like to travel more in your recreational vehicle but need to have some income to offset the costs of living on the road.

    In this episode, we talk about making money while you’re out there RVing.

    Yes, it is possible – and practical – to make enough money to live in an RV full-time, travel, and enjoy life! You may be surprised to know there are more jobs for RVers and work campers than there are RVers and campers willing to work. You can also earn a living running a business from your RV.

    Our guest today has been helping RVers find paying jobs for many years.

    Her name is Colleen and, with husband, Bob, she publishes a Workers on Wheels website that keeps track of temporary, seasonal, and mobile jobs that pay. Also, RV based business, online careers, work camper campground jobs, and volunteer workamper positions. You can do them all while traveling, camping, or living in a recreational vehicle (RV) – while being Workers On Wheels!

    Colleen and Bob’s website is http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com/

    The guide to flea markets is at: http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com/clarks-flea-market-guide.html

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    At Sunshine State RV’s you’ll find the largest selection of some of the rarest Class B RVs in the United States of America. If you are looking for a Class B RV, you need to make a trip to Sunny Florida. Our RVs range from 1990 to our current year and everything in between. 

    We also carry the most popular brands like Roadtrek, Pleasure Way, Winnebago, Leisure Travel, and more. You will not find a wider selection anywhere else. 

    Every RV they sell has been through a very thorough 172-point inspection in which the ensure that all the mechanical and manual systems are in top condition. Every RV is road tested to make sure it runs and drives the way that it should. They go over the interior components just as entirely as the outside, and every component is turned on and tested to make sure it works. All of their used RVs are thoroughly cleaned and detailed inside and out, and they even check the roof for cracks and replace any silicone caulking. 

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

    Heavy damage to a water pipeline will limit services to the Grand Canyon's North Rim when it

    Community in Virginia seeks to make up budget shortfall by levying tax on residents who own an RV. Read more

    Humans causing noise pollution in national parks, study finds. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    Regardless of whether people have a wearable device today, chances are good in the next year or two there’ll be a smart device on their wrists. And there’s no better time than now to start looking because the choices are endless.

    And that means often the question isn’t whether to get one...but which one to go with. Here are a few of my favorites:

    • If you’re looking to keep track of your activity and sleep, get notifications of calls and texts and have continuous heart rate monitoring, look no further than the Fitbit Charge 2. And with all it does you’ll be surprised the battery lasts up to five days on a charge!
    • Let’s say you’re a bit more concerned with how a watch looks on your wrist - but then again you still want the functionality that comes with a smart device? No worries - Fossil Q Grant and Q Tailor Hybrid smartwatches have you covered. At first glance, there’s no way anyone would know it’s anything but a traditional watch. But once you wear it, the vibration and LED notifications let you know this device is so much more. Fitness tracking, notifications and a six month battery life make the Fossil Q hybrids definitely worth a look.
    • Finally if you’re ready for the smartwatch with a colorful screen and apps, you guessed it there are options here as well. From the Apple Watch, to Samsung’s Gear S3 and the newest - Wear 24, all of them have amazing screens and will make your wrist oh so smart. And my picks - the Samsung Gear S3 and Wear 24 also come with 4G LTE technology as well, meaning even when you’re away from your phone or if your phone battery dies you can still make and receive calls and texts, do google searches and even order an Uber.

    Again it just all comes down to what makes the most sense for you.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Stromy Kromer Hats, Ironwood, MI

    Ball caps, cowboy hats, straw hats, watch caps and lately, Stormy Kromer hats.

    We picked up our first Stormy Kromer hats while doing some winter camping a couple years ago in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Seemed like every Yooper we saw was wearing one. So Jennifer and I both got one, me a rakish black, Jennifer’s a demure grey with pink trim.

    As we returned from that trip but kept wearing our hats, we met lots of other people who either had one, knew someone who had one or wanted one.

    Lots of people call them an Elmer Fudd hat. Don’t do that.

    This is a Stormy Kromer hat, steeped in UP tradition. Here’s the official story, from the Stormy Kromer website:

    George “Stormy” Kromer was a real guy – a semi-pro baseball player and railroad engineer. Not the kind of guy you’d expect to start a clothing company, in other words, but one who happened to create a cap that became known for long-comfort and the ability to stay snug, even in the fiercest winds.

    The hats have really become cult items.

    Hollywood and rock stars wear them, they’re showing up in trendy magazines and a new marketing campaign is about to make them even better know.

    The Stormy Kromer factory in Ironwood welcomes tours. Just stop in next time you are through the area. A wall of photos tells the history and story of this cool hat. You can watch the Yooper ladies in the sewing room assembling the hats. And afterwards, shop a retail area of the factory to get your own.

    Here’s my video of the factory and the hats: https://youtu.be/ZGebSrX51-0

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

  • Episode 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry
    Wed, May 03, 2017

     The RV industry is booming, no doubt about it. But it’s also changing and facing new challenges and opportunities. In this week’s interview, we sit down with Jim Hammill, the CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, the corporate owners of Roadtrek Motorhomes. Jim is a straight talking, shoot from the hip guy who tells it like it is and coming up in the interview segment of the podcast, you’ll learn how the trends shaping the RV industry will impact your RV Lifestyle.

    Plus lots of reader questions, some great tips, traveling with technology and a fun off the beaten path report…all in Episode 138 of The RV Podcast, being released May 3, 2017.

     

    Mike and Jennifer share their whereabouts:

    • A recent visit to Arizona and an RV show devoted to nothing but small motorhomes
    • Jennifer’s mishap that left her with a broken hand
    • Their current trip to the Gulf Coast and where they stay overnight while on long drive days

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    One of the fin things about visiting RV shows like the Super B small RV show that Mike and I attended this past weekend in Glendale, AZ is visiting with other RVers and sharing tips and suggestions.

     

    So it was with one of our listeners named Jim, who came out to meet us and offered a tip about using mobile RV repair services when local RV service centers can’t squeeze you in for an appointment.

     

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

     

    I love hearing from you!

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    • Sharon has a question about using a crock pot with a small inverter of the type that can charge a laptop. She was specifically wondering if the Energizer Cup Inverter being offered by Verizon would work. A crock potis a slow-cooking vessel which uses a heating element. It has two settings, Low (223 watts) and High (312 watts). The Energizer inverter is only capable of a continuous power output of 180n watts, not nearly enough for a power hungry crock pot. Here’s a guide to choosing the best one for you.

     

    • Ron and Jan share their excitement about being new RVers

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    Mike and I are big fans of off-leash dog parks. It keeps Bo happy, healthy and out of trouble. Not all dogs are good candidates for off leash parks. Before you take your pet to one, make sure it has been socialized well and gets along with other dogs, If so, visits to your local dog park can greatly enrich her life:

     

    Here are three reasons why Pet MD says off leash parks are a wise choice for pet owners

    • Physical and mental exercise for dogs- Your dog can zoom around off-leash to her heart’s content, investigate new smells, wrestle with her dog buddies and fetch toys until she happily collapses. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards.
    • Opportunities to maintain social skillsDogs are like us, highly social animals, and many enjoy spending time with their own species. At the dog park, your dog gets practice reading a variety of other dogs’ body language and using her own communication skills, and she gets used to meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression problems around other dogs.
    • Fun for pet parentsDogs aren’t the only ones who enjoy dog parks. People do, too. They can exercise their dogs without much effort, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs.

    Do you have a pet about traveling with pets. Send it to me by using the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com.  Thanks!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    This week our special guest is Jim Hammill, the CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, the corporate owners of Roadtrek Motorhomes. I got him to sit own for an interview at the recent Super B small RV show out in Arizona and we talk about how the RV industry is booming and changing. With that growth and change come new challenges and opportunities Jim is a straight talking, shoot from the hip guy who tells it like it is and coming up in the interview segment of the podcast, you’ll learn how the trends shaping the RV industry will impact your RV Lifestyle.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

    The RV Consumer Demographic Profile released last week shows 8.9 million American households own a RV, a new record, up from 7.9 million in 2005.

    It also showed who is buying RVs. For example:

    • The median income of RVers is $62,000.
    • About 39 percent of RVers have children under 18 at home.
    • Ownership among those 55 or old rose to 9.3 percent.​​​​​​​

    The Profile, conducted by an economist at the University of Michigan, was sponsored by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. To see the RVIA release click here.

    College student dies of hypothermia while out camping in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with friends. Read more

    President Donald Trump issues executive order to review national monuments of 100,000 acres and larger designated by past three presidents Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    Hi Mike,

    Hope you are enjoying your new Samsung Galaxy S8 device as much as I am. And for your listeners out there who just got one or are thinking about it...I wanted to share a few cool things to help you get the most out of it.

    First, the front camera is now 8mp meaning your selfies are looking oh so much better. But did you know that you don’t have to push the button to take a photo? Just hold up your palm somewhere in the viewfinder and the phone will set a two second timer and take your pic. This helps for those of us who move a bit when we try to take a selfie.

    Also as part of the camera feature is a setting called “selective focus”. This will really make your selfies or traditional photos look like a portrait. To enable this mode, swipe right on the screen after you open your camera. Choose selective focus. Now when you take a pic it’ll separate your subjects from the background and give a professional look.

    Looking to take a screenshot? If you want the whole thing press your power and volume down buttons together. But let’s say you only want part of the screen and would prefer it cropped as a circle? That’s totally do-able. swipe left on the edge panel which is on the righthand side of the screen near the power button. Swipe left on the menu until you see “smart select”. Now choose rectangle or oval and select the area of the screen you’d like to copy. Easy as that!

    Lastly I know a lot of your listeners take videos as they travel around the country. But sometimes we don’t want to use all of the video we took. Fortunately editing videos even with captions is now a breeze. Open up your Galaxy Apps and search for video editor. This downloads a free Samsung video editor for the S8. Now you can edit down the videos you have, add in transitions, captions, title screens and even music. Your home movies are definitely going to a new level!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    As Europeans moved westward across the North American continent they found a variety of artifacts left behind by earlier cultures.  Even more have been discovered in recent times.  Think petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, cave art, and totem poles.  Throughout the Midwest and stretching south to northern Alabama and Mississippi can be found a variety of earthen mounds.  Many of the most striking of these are in Ohio.  Southeastern Ohio boasts Fort Ancient and the Great Serpent Mound, and a bit farther north you can visit the Great Circle and Octagon earthworks.

    The small city of Newark is home to the latter two structures, which are on the short list to be designated World Heritage Sites.  Early explorers thought these might be burial mounds and dug into them hoping for treasure and ancient bones.  We know now that they’re mostly ceremonial, built for gatherings and celebrations.  A thousand years ago the Adena and Hopewell people marked specific lunar events at this site.  Modern astronomers and astro-tourists gather here for the periodic alignments.  The next one will occur in 2024.  archaeologists and historians are unsure why these events were important to the cultures that built the mounds, but it’s clear they were.

    Even if you’re not here for a lunar viewing, there’s plenty to see.  The eagle mound, in the center of the great circle, is interesting, as it the small museum on the grounds.  In nearby Granville you can see the alligator mound, protected by a traffic circle in the middle of the upscale Bryn Du subdivision.  While you’re in the area, take the time to see the site of the first lock on the Ohio & Erie Canal and tour the Hebron State Fish Hatchery.  If you’re especially lucky, your visit will coincide with one of the periodic tours of the unique floating cranberry bog on nearby Buckeye Lake.

    Ohio has several other mounds to visit.  The Great Serpent, between Columbus and Cincinnati, is the largest effigy mound in the US, and features an interesting museum and an elevated viewing platform that’s perfect for photos.  Also along I-71, the Fort Ancient earthworks are interpreted by rangers who convey their vast knowledge with enthusiasm and flair.  For true mound junkies, a variety of smaller earthworks cluster in this part of the state, and most are publicly accessible.

    Summer can be pretty brutal in the Buckeye state, but spring and fall are frequently delightful.  Spring arrives with abundant wildflowers and flowering trees, and fall offers autumn colors to rival New England.  Roads are less crowded and the pace more relaxed.  Canoeing and rafting are great in the spring, festivals and fairs in the fall.  There are numerous boondocking opportunities in the Wayne National Forest and along the Ohio River.  Come for the mounds and you’ll find much more to pique your interest.  We’ll be looking for you out there, maybe just over the top of the next mound, off the beaten path.

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

    Since 1917, the Steinbring family has been bringing you the best products and service within the transportation industry. The sales staff at Steinbring Motorcoach brings you decades of experience in the recreational vehicle industry and is celebrating 100 years in business and a 3rd generation family business. Along with being named a Blue Ribbon dealer by RV Business Magazine, Steinbring’s has been named a Top 50 Dealer numerous times including in 2015. Steinbring Motorcoach offers new and used Newmar Class A motorhomes as well as Roadtrek Class Bs. Also for sale are pre-owned coaches from popular brands such as Roadtrek, Winnebago, Itasca, Tiffin, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler and Monaco along with a wide selection of consignments.  Whether you are looking for a Class A, Class B, Class C, a diesel pusher, gas or a toy hauler, you’re sure to find your next RV at Steinbring’s. Along with award winning sales, Steinbring Motorcoach offers award winning service. Our service team has won the Mahlon Miller Service Excellence Award 4 times along with the Newmar Customer Service Award numerous times since 2004 and most recently in 2015. Dealer

    RV CALENDAR

    Puyallup RV Show
    May 4-7

    Washington State Fair Events Center

    Puyallup, WA

    For a complete list of RV shows for the rest of the year, click here. 

     

  • Episode 137: What to do when encountering a newborn animal alone in the wild
    Tue, Apr 25, 2017

    Episode 137: What to do when encountering a newborn animal alone in the wild

     

    With the return spring and warm weather, many RVers are making their first trips to the great outdoors this time of year. And seeing wildlife in or adventures is always exciting, especially when we encounter newborn animal babies out in the wild.

    But what is the best way to behave when we come across these little critters?

    Too many people make too many mistakes when encountering wildlife babies and this week, in our interview section, we talk to an expert who sets us straight on how we can best protect those animal babies… and ourselves.

    Also this week, lots of RV news, Tips, a bucket list report and, as always, your comments and questions.

     

    WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THESE DAYS:

     

    Our YouTube Channel has been redesigned and reorganized, now offering hundreds of RV videos on just about every topic. It’s called Mike and Jennifer’s RV Lifestyle Channel and we put up new videos all the time. We invite you to subscribe!

     

    Join us this weekend at the huge:

    Super B RV Show

    University of Phoenix Stadium Class B RV Show

    Dates: Thursday, April 27th to Sunday, April 30th.
    Time: 9am to 7pm

    Location:University of Phoenix Stadium (Inside)
    1 Cardinals Dr.
    Glendale, AZ 85305

    FREE PARKING & ADMISSION

    Here is your opportunity to compare Class B & C RVs side by side from these manufacturers: Roadtrek, Hymer, Leisure Travel Vans, Winnebago, Thor Motor Coach, Tiffin and Jayco! Plus, get a sneak peak of concept vehicles on display to see what may be coming in the future. Almost 100 different floorplans to consider in vehicles that are 26 feet in length and shorter.

    Attend a FREE seminar from Roadtrek. Learn about their EcoTrek system, VoltStart system and solar!

    Meet factory personnel including:

    • Jim Hammill, President & CEO of Erwin Hymer Group North America
    • Trent Tiffin of Tiffin Motorhomes
    • Royer Allman of Mercedes Benz
    • Mike and Jennifer Wendland, Roadtreking.com

    We’ll be doing Facebook Live videos on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 3PM Eastern time on our Roadtreking Facebook Page at

    The show is an indoor RV show, so you can leave the heat outside and shop comfortably indoors

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    The RV community is a very sharing group of people and one of the most enjoyable things for me as Mike and I travel about reporting on the RV lifestyle is hearing from members of our RV community who have great tips to pass along.

    So it is today with one from Tom, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada who has a suggestion about choosing a mattress to put on our bed.

    Specifically, Tom mentions the Therm-a-Rest type of mattress…. And he has five reasons why it may make sense for your RV.

    Like Tom said, you can find Therm-a-Rest air mattresses at most outdoor stores. There’s also a bunch of them on Amazon. We’ll put a link on the shownotes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-137

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Wade has a great DIY solution for dimming the bright lights of various displays in the RV so as to be able to sleep in darkness.

     

    Scott wants to know about the ProAir undermount ACand its availability

     

    A reader asks for a resource on finding places to bookdock. We suggest a website -http://www.uscampgrounds.info

     

     

    SPONSOR – VAN CITY RV

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    Our dogs can get so enthusiastic. In fact, that’s what we call Bo, our Norwegian Elkhound: “Mr. Enthusiasm.”

    But when that enthusiasm results in excess barking, that is definitely not a good thing. Especially when we’re in an RV campground. So how’s the best way to curb your pet’s enthusiasm and get them to quiet down?

    Here’s some suggestions from pet trainers and experts:

    Number one - Don't yell at your dog to be quiet—it just sounds like you're barking along with him.

    Number two – Use one word, firmly spoken as the command to stop barking. “Quiet” is probably the best.

    Number three - If he doesn’t obey the quiet command and continues to bark at passersby when he's outside, bring him into the RV or house. Never leave your dog outside unsupervised.

    Number four – Break his focus. Put yourself between the dog and whatever he seems to be barking at. Toss him a ball, move in the opposite direction, talk to him, get him to look at you and preoccupy him.

    And number five, keep your dog tired. Make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration.

    Want more tips to stop barking? Here’s a link to the Humane Society’s suggestions.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    With the return spring and warm weather, many RVers are making their first trips to the great outdoors this time of year. And seeing wildlife in or adventures is always exciting, especially when we encounter newborn animal babies out in the wild. But how is the best way to behave when we come across these little critters?

    Too many people make too many mistakes when encountering wildlife babies and this week, in our interview section, we talk to an expert who sets us straight on how we can best protect those animal babies… and ourselves.

    Our guest this week is Sandy Woltman, senior animal care director at Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in Illinois, and former board president of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories for you this week

    • Wolf population declines at remote island national park, reeking havoc as moose population explodes, scientists say. Read more
    • Oregon's first RV park designed to be a legal place for campers to gather and smoke pot is to open May 5. Read more
    • Wisconsin state parks and campgrounds work to find ways to be self-sustaining after governor's order. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

     

    Spring is just flying by and before you know it Mother's Day will be here. That's why now's the time to start thinking about those gift ideas! And here are some thoughts to get you started.

     

    First, you've got a busy mom, right? Then make sure she's got a smartphone that can keep up. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 is a perfect fit. Its Infinity Screen will let her see more at once and even let her multitask in split screen mode, its 8mp front facing camera means she'll always look good in her selfies, and when she needs a little extra help it's got two artificial intelligence engines - Bixby and Google Assistant - to help get the job done.

     

    Next, moms rarely have any spare time in the day so the more we can help her get what she needs to done sooner, the easier her life will be. And that's where the Wear24 smartwatch comes into play. This beautifully designed device is something she'll feel good wearing, and once she gets notifications of calls/texts/and can respond with her voice on the go she'll wonder how she ever lived without. Not to mention with its 4G LTE chip inside, she can leave her smartphone at home and still stay connected.

     

    Finally, now that we've got her feeling good about herself, she's probably ready to take a selfie. But is the lighting ok where she's at? If she has the Allure Selfie Case, she'll never have to worry. This case not only protects her Samsung or iPhone from the hazards of life, it really shines, literally, when you flip on its LEDs. That's right, the case has LEDs built into the frame around your smartphone and when you turn them on, you can get the perfectly lit selfie. Not to mention the rotating ring on the back helps you steady your hand.

     

    Want to see Mike’s take on the Galaxy 8+, which is now is personal phone. Here’s a video review from the Mike and Jennifer’s RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike has a whole playlist of his RV technology and gadget reviews.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Quilt City USA

    Reader Rebecca EWilson sends in this week’s Off-the-Beaten-Path RV travel suggestion – Quilt City USA, also known as Paducah, KY.

    Quilting, you say? Hold on. Quilting is an amazing art — an art, a craft, a hobby, a pastime, an outlet for creativity, even a form of therapy. But it is also a $3.5 billion a year industry, with 21.3 million quilters, nationwide. Fourteen percent of U.S. households are home to at least one active quilter.

    And this week, April 23-30 is Quilt Week in Paducah and a major destination for thousands, including many RVs.

    There are exhibitions, demonstrations, seminars and much more but if you can’t make the Quilt Week festivities, you’ll want to keep Paducah on your bucket list because it is home to the Quilt Museum. This is no small little out of the way place, The Quilt Museum is a destination for quilters and art enthusiasts worldwide. Annually the Museum receives visitors from all 50 US states and over 45 foreign countries from every continent. The Museum's in-facility and traveling exhibits are viewed by over 110,000 people per year. In addition, over 6,000 youth and adults participate in Museum youth and adult educational opportunities on an annual basis.

    Located in a 27,000 square foot facility in historic downtown Paducah, , the Museum's three galleries feature exhibits of the finest quilt and fiber art in the world. The Museum features three exhibit galleries. The Museum's vibrant and breathtaking exhibits are rotated 8-10 times per year. The primary gallery features quilts from the Museum's collection which includes over 500 works of art. The two other galleries feature unique and diverse traveling exhibits.

    The Museum has also gained a reputation for its educational programs. Throughout the year, the Museum hosts educational programs on a diverse number of topics for quilters of all skill sets. Quilters come from all over the world to attend the Museum's educational programs taught by master quilters.

     

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    RV CALENDAR

    Come join Mike and Jennifer this weekend at the:

    Super B RV Show

    University of Phoenix Stadium Class B RV Show

    Dates: Thursday, April 27th to Sunday, April 30th.
    Time: 9am to 7pm

    Location:University of Phoenix Stadium (Inside)
    1 Cardinals Dr.
    Glendale, AZ 85305

    FREE PARKING & ADMISSION

      

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

  • Episode 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities
    Tue, Apr 18, 2017

    Episode 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities

    Show Notes for Episode #136 April 19,2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    In this episode we meet a couple who have been RVing for 40 years! They started in a popup and now have a Class B RV and they share how RVing has allowed them to enhance and enjoy other interests and hobbies, like discovering antiques, old cars, trains, planes and all things mechanical.

    Also this week, lots of reader comments and questions, traveling technology tips and a special off the beaten path report about an amazing natural phenomenon you need to see.

    Show Notes for Episode #136 April 19,2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

    What Mike and Jennifer are up to this week:

    • Mike is awaiting the arrival of the brand new Samsung Galaxy 8 Plus smartphone, coming this week. He’s also been working on the RV Podcast and Blog You Tube channel – You can sign up at: https://www.youtube.com/user/roadtrekingmike
    • Jennifer is working on a video on how to keep the cushions in the RV from sliding off while driving, turning corners, etc.
    • Next week, we’re heading to Arizona, Phoenix area for The Super B RV Show

    April 26-30 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Jennifer and Mike will be there! Come meet them, ask questions. Roadtrek will also be conducting seminars. And there will be representatives on hand form all of the major Class B motorhome manufacturers.

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    I get so many of my tips from friends we meet on the road, in campgrounds at our Roadtreking gatherings. So it was not long ago when we met our friend Kiki around a campfire. She was wearing a Onesie. You know what a Onesie is… its those one piece jumpsuit-like coveralls that we buy toddlers and infants to keep them all warm and cozy. Well, Kiki was indeed that, in an adult Onesie… perfect for hanging around a campfire.

    Here’s Kiki.

    PLAY REPORT

    Kiki got hers from a local store in northern Michigan. But you can also find a wide variety of them in all different sizes on Amazon. We’ll put a link to them on the shownotes page for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-136

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you! 

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Jan is a new RVer and wonders why the monitors inside her RV are so bright and how they can be dimmed so the panel lights are not as jarring at night.

    Arvid has an alternative to the Lynx Leveling blocks many of us use for our RVs. The curved device he suggests is the Anderson Hitches 3604 x 2 2 Pack Camper Leveler and chock set. I warn you, it’s expensive. $82 on Amazon. A cheaper alternative for just $17 is the Camco Yellow Tri-Leveler. The Tri-Leveler features a gradient of three levels for simple, customizable leveling up to 3-7/8-inch.

    Craig wants to know of a good exterior wax for his RV. We suggest Turtle Wax paste, available in most stores. Here’s a handy article we found that recommends other waxes, all of which is fine - http://www.doityourselfrv.com/what-is-the-best-product-to-use-for-waxing-your-rv/#

    Laura was interested in Campskunk’s planned RV trip to Europe, which we talked about in Episode 135 of the RV Podcast. She shared how years ago she and her husband took advantage of a unique way to buy a new RV in Europe from Volkswagon and then ship it back here as a used vehicle. She wonders if, now that Roadtrek is owned by the German-based Hymer group, whether it will be possible to do such a program under Hymer.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    One question a lot of dog owners have is how much water do they need?

    You may be surprised to now that your dog should drink about as much as a human is supposed to drink, namely about ½ t 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight each day. So a healthy 65-pound Labrador Retriever should be drinking between about 33 and 65 ounces, or about ¼ to ½ gallon of water daily.

    To determine if your dog may need more water, lift some skin at the back of her neck and let it go. If your dog is well hydrated, the skin will fall quickly back into place. The skin of a dehydrated dog will fall more slowly and form sort of a tent. Another method is to check your dog’s gums. Moist, slick gums indicate a good level of hydration; dry or sticky gums mean your pet’s body needs more water.

    One important note here: The amount of water your dog drinks can be an indicator of an underlying illness. Dogs with pancreatitis or parvovirus, tend suddenly not drink much water, but a brewing bladder infection, or other types of infection can cause excessive thirst and water consumption. So if your pet is drinking less or more water than normal, you should have her checked by your veterinarian to rule out an underlying condition.

    What about cats?

    A normal cat's daily water requirement ranges from 5 to 10 fluid ounces per day. Cats eating canned food will receive much of their needs from its food, since canned food is about 70 to 80 percent water. In contrast, dry food is only 7 to 10 percent water.

    So… whether a dog or a cat…lets keep our pets well hydrated, especially as the weather is starting to warm up and they can easily overheat.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Our guests today are John and Nancy Richardson, an RVing couple we have met several times in our travels around the country attending various gatherings.

    The Richardson’s have been RVing for four decades now. They’ve been everywhere. And they have a lot of things to share, from doing your old maintenance – which John does – to their unique traveling style and how it enriches their various hobbies and special interests.

    Let’s meet them now in our interview of the week.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

    National Park advocates say $12 billion needed for park maintenance ranging from neglected roads to sewage issues to broken water lines and more. Read more

    Virginia woman converts RV to a hair salon on wheels. Read more

    Yellowstone National Park euthanized often-photographed white wolf after hikers find her with unknown injuries. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    In today’s power-hungry world, the thought of running out of juice for any of our gadgets is enough to send shivers down your spine.

    And it’s not just maximizing battery life we worry about…it’s also remembering to bring along the right chargers and wondering if there will be enough outlets to cover them all.

    That’s why to save some sanity when I travel, I bring along a power inverter like the Energizer Cup Inverter. What I like about this inverter is it plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter then sits snugly in a cup holder so it’s not moving about. Then on the top you have 4 USB ports and 1 standard AC outlet – yes that means you can plug in a laptop in addition to 4 smartphones!

    Also, while we’re talking about power, if you have a Mophie Charge Force case for your phone, you’re going to want to pick up the Charge Force Vent Mount. This mount plugs into your vehicle’s power port and hangs on your vents. Your phone magnetically attaches to it and begins charging wirelessly! Use it in portrait or landscape mode for easy Google Maps viewing and never worry about draining your phone’s battery because it’s charging the whole time it’s mounted.

    So what does saving all this power get you – more battery for more selfies! Take your selfie game to the next level with a PopSocket. These ultra-portable accessories stick to the back of your phone giving you more stability when holding your smartphone or tablet. Pop it out and set your phone on a table to use it as a kickstand when watching a video or wrap your headphones around it for easy storage. With their reusable adhesive and wide selection, switch them out anytime you’re looking for a different pop of color.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT  

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    One of nature’s most unusual spectacles is on offer during the month of June, and it’s a good idea to plan ahead if you want to see it.  Many folks think the Great Smoky Mountains are the only place to see synchronous fireflies, but they can be found in several other places as well. There are more than a dozen species of fireflies, and three are known to show this unusual behavior. 

    Fireflies start life as eggs, and live for two years in the soil and under the bark of trees before emerging in their winged form.  Once they begin to fly, they never eat again, and groups of twenty to several hundred will all flash together, creating a genuine spectacle for those willing to stand around the woods or fields in the dark on a June night. 

    Our favorite place to see them is the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania.  The local town of Kellettville, in Forest County, hosts an annual festival featuring guided walks and expert talks, but for the few weeks the bugs are active you can just walk out and look at them.  Nor do you have to walk far.   Stake out a site at the Kellettville Campground in the National Forest, and walk onto the bridge over Tionesta Creek.  Watch the fireflies put on a show.  Of course, you can walk down along the creek and get into the middle of it all if you like.  There are dispersed campsites available too.

    Another place you can watch synchronous fireflies is in Congaree National Park.  This little known park is near Columbia, in the interior of South Carolina.  It’s full of huge, beautiful old growth trees, and we’ll give you a complete description one of these days.  Meanwhile, know that flashing season is about a month sooner than in Pennsylvania, and sometimes starts as early as the middle of May.  Congaree has a lot of wetland areas and is notorious for mosquitoes, so be prepared in case they’re about.  They do tend to abate as it gets darker, and this park has some of the darkest skies in the state.

    The operation in the Smokies is a bit more organized, with a lottery for passes to the Sugarlands parking area on firefly nights.  The dates are being announced on April 27, and the lottery for spots begins on April 28.  Early June is the window for the Smokies outbreak, and can vary by as much as two weeks.  Check the park website for updates.  And if you love fireflies, think about making a stop to see their cousins, the glowworms.  They can be seen seasonally at Hazard Cave in Tennessee, and at Dismals Canyon in northwest Alabama.

    Some things simply can’t be captured with a camera, and this is one of them.  Early summer air redolent with new growth and rich with moisture, the buzz of nighttime insects and frogs, a sky full of stars, and the excitement of the hushed crowd around you all contribute to an incomparable experience.  Go see for yourself.  We’re Patti & Tom Burkett, and we’ll look for you, out there, somewhere in the dark, off the beaten path.

    Resources on where to see the flies:

    http://pafireflyfestival.blogspot.com/

    http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article78506127.html

    https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/fireflies.htm

    http://dismalscanyon.com/dismalites/index.html

    http://tnstateparks.com/parks/activities/pickett-swimming

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

    RV CALENDAR

    Two shows on the calendar this week…

    22nd Annual Super Saver Show
    April 21-23

    Century Link-Lee Sports Complex

    Ft. Myers, FL

    The Super B RV Show

    April 26-30

    University of Phoenix Stadium

    Glendale, AZ

    Jennifer and Mike will be there! Come meet them, ask questions. Roadtrek will also be conducting seminars.

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

  • Episode 135: Campskunk Goes RVing in Europe
    Tue, Apr 11, 2017

    Our longtime boondocking buddy Campskunk has shared lots of information on the blog and podcast about traveling North America as a fulltime RVer. But he’s now expanding his territory and is about to embark on a six month RV tour of Europe. His RV is now on a ship somewhere in the mid Atlantic. In a week or so, Campskunk and his wife, Sharon, and their cat, Fiona, will fly to Belgium and pick their RVup at the dock and begin the tour.

    In this episode of the RV Podcast, Campskunk shares what you need to do to take your RV to Europe. And he tells us the places he’ll go, where he’ll boondock and how much it will cost.

    Plus your RV questions, RV news and lots of tips and helpful RV information.

    Show Notes for Episode #135 April 12, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    One frustration many RVers have is not having enough room to take all the things they’d like in those small RV refrigerators.

    Our friends Tom Burkett and his wife, Patti, have found an innovate way to get more food in the RV freezer

    Tom shares his idea with us.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me.

    You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    • Rosie asks for advice in cleaning the little fuzzies and stuff that accumulates on the window screens of her RV. We answer, noting that clean screens produce more efficient air flow through your windows and will make you breathe better. Normally, to meticulously clean your RV screens, you remove them and wash them off with soap and water. But if they are just dusty, a microfiber towel which you can buy at WalMart or in auto stores can do the trick even without water. You will be surprised how it can do wonders to your screen. A small battery operated vacuum like the Dirt Devil also helps.
    • Pam wants to remodel her older RV. One such place is focalwood.com in Indiana. They specialize in RV makeovers and amish-crafted RV furniture like tables, desk units, headboards, window treatments and much more. Another is RVMakeovers in Wheat Ridge, CO. They do all sorts of projects on RV kitchens, baths, flooring and more on Sprinters, campervans and lots of Class A, B and C motorhomes.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    We’ve heard of jobs for volunteer campground hosts at RV parks. But here’s one for you dog owners. You and your pet can become “Bark Rangers.”

    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan is hosting an orientation meeting for anyone interested in volunteering to serve as a “Bark Ranger.”

    Bark Ranger volunteers and their canine companions serve as ambassadors on national lakeshore beaches to provide visitors information about the park, highlight pet policies, and pet safety. Bark Rangers will also help to protect the lakeshore’s nesting shorebirds.

    You do not have to own a dog to become a Bark Ranger. Bark Rangers will receive training and Bark Ranger gear for their dog, if they choose to volunteer with their dog.

    “We started this program last year and it was very successful," said lakeshore wildlife biologist Sue Jennings.

    She said the park received numerous positive comments from visitors about the Bark Ranger program throughout the summer.

    Ms. Jennings noted dogs are welcome in the park as long as they are on a leash and stay on beaches that are open to dogs. Biologists are concerned about the potential impact unleashed dogs may be having on nesting shorebirds.

    “We are seeing an increase in nest disturbances from dogs whose owners are not fully aware of the negative impact dogs can have on nesting plovers," she said. "The Bark Ranger volunteer program is a fun way to inform dog owners of our policies, help bridge the information gap, and protect the birds.”

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Campskunk is about to embark on a six month RV tour of Europe. And he’ll be doing it in his own RV, which, as we talk, is now on a boat in the mid Atlantic waiting for him and wife, Sharon to fly to Belgium and pick it up at the dock.

    In this episode of the RV Podcast, Campskunk shares what you need to do to take your RV to Europe. And he tells us the places he’ll go, where he’ll boondiock and how much it will cost.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week...

    • Spreading near Florida’s Big Cyrus Park force camper evacuations Read More
    • Caution: Bears emerging from their dens Read more
    • Free Admission at National Parks the next two weekends Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter
    Verizon Wireless

    Like you and your listeners, many people who travel for business also love to travel in their personal life. In fact, a recent survey by Luth Research reports growing interest in “bleisure” travel – where people tack on a few extra days to their business travel to relax and enjoy the areas they visit. And extending bleisure time relies heavily on mobile devices, especially when booking additional hotel stays or finding the best local events and attractions.

    So if this sounds like you or someone you know…listen up…here are some tips to make your bleisure travel more enjoyable:

    • Since most bleisure travelers check on hotels, restaurants and local attractions on their mobile devices, life is easier with a device that has a larger screen…I’m talking the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus here, the iPhone 7 plus or the Pixel XL.
    • If you need to keep track of miles for work, let Google help. In Google maps, you can see your personal travel timeline showing you where and when you traveled on a map – complete with miles! It’ll make life way easier when you get back. Just click on the menu in Google Maps….and then choose personal timeline.
    • For light packing and back-up battery, make sure you’re packing the Mophie powerstation plus 12000 which comes with a switch tip cable built in for both Apple and Android devices for charging on the go. No extra cables to carry means more space in your suitcase!
    • Before leaving for travel, make sure to enroll in Verizon’s Total Mobile Protection – where you can protect your devices against loss, theft and damage. Receive a replacement device as soon as the next day. Same-day repair may be available for cracked screens – just in case the unfortunate happens as you’re on the road.
    • Finally…a travel app I can’t live without…TripIt! It automatically scans your email looking for hotel, rental car and flight info. When it sees it, it adds it to your personal travel timeline. Now you’ll always have access to the info you need – including confirmation numbers – in one easy to use location.

    And when all these boxes are checked, the only thing you need to focus on is relaxing and having fun!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL

    Sometimes, the most amazing museums and attractions are in places you’d never expect. Such it is with the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL, ranked one of the top 25 museums in the world, and in the top 12 in the U.S.

    We came to spend half a day there but learned the hard way when a “Now Hear This” announcement told visitors it was closing at 5 PM that a whole day should be devoted to seeing this fascinating attraction.

    More than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation are on display inside the Museum’s nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and outside on its 37-acre grounds. There are even fighter World War II airplanes from Japan and the very first jet fighter ever flown – an amazing machine built by the Nazis and captured by the U.S. so as to be reverse engineered.

    We’ve visited the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. several times in the past and found the Naval museum in Pensacola to be every bit as fascinating.

    The National Naval Aviation Museum’s exhibits provide a close look at the people and events that shaped our history. From vintage uniforms and historic documents displayed in brilliant mahogany display cases, to dioramas that transport visitors to the World War I Western Front, Main Street U.S.A. in 1943, and the depths of Lake Michigan, the exhibits seek to capture the human element of the enduring history of Naval air power.

    To really appreciate it, we suggest you tag along with one of the regular – and free – guided tours staffed by volunteers who are experts in Naval Aviation history. Jennifer and I started out on our own, going from airplane to airplane, display to display, reading the signage and picking up as much as we could by looking. But when we found a tour group and joined it, we were captivated by the history and significance of the displays.

    The museum is in two levels. A separate building called Hangar Bay One, has more displays.

    In the main museum are flight simulators, an interactive display that puts you on an aircraft carrier’s flight deck and a huge IMAX movie theater.

    The museum is located on the sprawling grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola, which serves as the launching point for the flight training of every Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer (NFO), and enlisted aircrewman. In addition, approximately 23,000 aviation personnel in aeronautical technical phases of naval operations are trained here.

    Because this is a secure and very active military installation, you’ll need photo ID to get on the grounds and also again in the museum. But there is no charge to tour the museum.

    There is ample and free parking right next to the museum, with a dedicated area for larger RVs.

    If you go, try and arrange your visit on a Tuesday or Wednesday. That’s because the world-famous Blue Angels are based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, and can be seen practicing over the Museum most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November. Practices typically begin at 11:30 a.m.(Central Time), and last about 55 minutes. Admission to practice is free and open to the public.

    The outside viewing area for the Blue Angels practice is located on the Museum Flight Line north of the Museum. Signs are posted to direct visitors to viewing and parking locations, including limited parking for handicapped visitors. Open bleacher seating is available for seating 1,000 people.  Chair service is provided at each practice session, a limited quantity of chairs are available for a fee of $3 per chair good for that day’s practice session. Concessions (bottled water, sport drinks, light food and treats) and merchandise are also available.

    Chair service, concessions and merchandise are provided by the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation and proceeds support the Museum and Foundation programs.

    Be sure and use sun protection. And hearing protection is recommended for those people with sensitive hearing. Those awesome jets are LOUD!

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

    RV CALENDAR

    The Super B RV Show
    April 27-30
    University of Phoenix Stadium
    9am-7-pm
    La Mesa, AZ
    (Jennifer and I will be there. Come meet us!)

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

  • Episode 134: What you Need to Know About Blacktop Boondocking
    Tue, Apr 04, 2017

    In Episode 134 of the RV Podcast, we talk about Blacktop Boondocking, free or very low cost self-contained overnight camping on blacktop, specifically parking lots at businesses and places that welcome RVer, like casinos, Walmarts, Cracker Barrel restaurants and many others. Unlike traditional boondocking in wild places that allow dispersed camping like national and state forests or Bureau of Land Management holdings out West, Blacktop Boondocking has its own distinctive rules. This week, we talk to an expert who sets us right on the benefits and etiquette of Blacktop Boondocking.

    Plus, as always, your tips, suggestions questions, as well as RV news, the RV calendar and a great off-the-beaten path report.

    Show Notes for Episode #134 April 5, 2017 of The RV Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Well, it’s April and for most RVers who live in the Midwest, mountain and northern states, that means it’s time to de-winterize their rigs, draining out all that sticky, sweet-smelling pink antifreeze, sanitizing and filling their fresh water tanks for a new RV season.

    For a lot of folks, one of the hardest things about dewinterizing is to make that water taste clean, without that bleach odor or aftertaste that seems to linger from the sanitizing process.

    A listener of the RV Podcast named Bob from the state of Arkansas has sent in a great tip about how to get rid of that chlorine or bleach taste.

    Bob suggests using one cup of white vinegar for every 15 gallons of fresh water. 

    We love to get your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    • Yvonne is a new RVer and she hates laundromats but asks what we do about washing clothes on the road.
    • Trish asks what was the follow up to the break in we had a couple of years ago, as discussed in the RV Podcast Episode 36
    • And a new RVer named Sharon is headed to Yellowstone National park with her husband on what will be their first big camping adventure. She asks for our recommendations.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    If you are a regular listener, you’ve heard us talk a lot about our dog Bo and how much energy he has. Bo is 16 months old this week which, in dog years, makes him a very active teenager. We’ve shared before about finding places to exercise Bo as we travel. We love to find various off leash dog parks and have found it’s also a great way to get to know the towns and places we’re traveling through.

    But this week, we want to stress just how important it is for your pets to get exercise. We know it’s important for people. But with dogs, it is even more important.

    According to Vetstreet.com, exercise a necessity for maintaining optimal physical and mental well-being in your dog. As with people, obesity is a major health problem in today's dogs. Between 20 and 40 percent of all dogs seen by veterinarians in the United States are considered overweight, and many are clinically obese.

    If the health threats associated with obesity aren't enough, consider the behavioral aspects of a lack of exercise. Dogs are active by nature. Their ancestors, wolves, covered many miles every day in search of food. Many domestic dogs were selectively bred to be even more active, with a focus on hunting or herding or patrolling. Preventing them from their genetically programmed activity level can build frustration, which may exhibit itself in the form of hyperactivity, barking, digging, tail chasing, and home destruction. Boredom has also been associated with behavioral problems in some dogs.

    How much exercise depends on your dogs age and health but generally, dogs should be exercised twice a day. If it’s just walks that consist of his exercise, make them brisk and give him two to three walks a day. Shoot for at least 20 minutes at a time. Playing fetch, letting him play with other dogs or jogging with you will also help.

    Talk to your vet for a specific plan. But be sure and exercise that dog, taking frequent breaks to move around, especially after he’s been cooped up during long RV drives.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Our main interview subject this week deals with Blacktop Boondocking, or self-contained overnight camping on blacktop, specifically parking lots at businesses and places that welcome RVer, like casinos, Walmarts, Cracker Barrel restaurants and many others.

    Jane Kerry is an expert in Blacktop Boondocking. She is the author of the book Casino Camping , now in its 8th edition. She has been a fulltime RVer and has put together the best guide I’ve found to locating free or dirt cheap places to stay at nearly 400 casinos in 37 states across the U.S.

    She believes casinos just may be the absolute best places for RVers to overnight while on long trips, noting that a great many now offer modern, upscale facilities for free or at reasonable rates. But whether at a casino or a Walmart, Blacktop Boondocking has its own special etiquette.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week...

    • Oregon man finds baby bear in woods off trail, "rescues" it; wildlife specialists say finding baby animals alone in woods common. Read more
    • Trump donates first quarter salary to National parks Read more
    • Major League Pitcher lives in an RV Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter
    Verizon Wireless

    As the trees green up and the weather gets warmer, this is the time of year when many of us are ready to go out with the old and in with the new.

    And if you’re looking for a new smartphone to take cross country, have I got the travel partner for you! Two actually – the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

    With the world’s first infinity screen, these new smartphones look more like a gem than a piece of technology. The infinity screen stretches basically from side to side and top to bottom of the phone. In fact the S8 Plus has Samsung’s biggest smartphone screen at 6.2”…and this means more screen real estate than ever for gaming, browsing and watching movies. But it doesn’t feel that much bigger thanks to the two gentle curves on either side of the device.

    In addition, the S8’s feature iris recognition for security – yes you can literally unlock your phone with your eyes! They’re also water resistant to five feet…have fast wireless charging…expandable micro sd storage…a physical headphone jack and are VR ready – meaning you can plug them into the new Gear VR with in-hand controller for the ultimate immersive experience.

    And these phones feature Samsung’s artificial intelligence engine…called Bixby. Bixby is so smart it’ll learn your typical habits and then prompt you. For instance, let’s say you call your loved one every day when you’re five minutes from home. If you forget one day, Bixby will remind you! It’s that smart!

    Lastly…back to the amazing infinity screen. It’s the world’s first HDR premium certified smartphone meaning the level of detail in the HD videos you watch is unparalleled. That would certainly come in handy for your passengers on those long flat stretches of highway. And paired with Verizon’s new Unlimited plan, you won’t have to worry about running out of data or facing overages.

    The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are currently on pre-order at Verizonwireless.com and will be in store beginning April 21.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    On a recent trip, I stopped after dark at the city park in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.  There were all night bathrooms with showers and even electrical hookups, but no signage at all about rules or fees.  It took most of an hour to track down one of the local police officers, but he gave the thumbs up and I settled into an area near the outdoor basketball court.  The court was in use, and the players were blasting music from their car radio, but they soon left, and after finding the switch that turned off the court lights, I passed a restful night.  Even the trains running through on the nearby track didn’t disturb us too much.

    Walnut Ridge is home to the guitar walkway.  Set in the ground is a large replica guitar.  Walking down the neck of this facsimile Fender, the visitor is treated to several displays, each featuring a famous R&B or country artist who has some connection to the area.  Each display is equipped with a speaker, and the push of a button delivers a notable performance by the artist.  Amazingly, all of them worked!  The installation sits alongside the railroad station, which now houses the visitor bureau.  Just across the street is the local diner.

    We’ve always loved diners, and not just for the grits, eggs, and biscuits (which were delicious), but for the opening they give onto the local culture.  Invariably there will be a group of locals, usually retired men, drinking coffee at the corner table.  Ask a question of your waitress, loudly enough to be overheard, and within a few minutes one or more of them will begin to volunteer information on the topic.  Then you’re in.  You can take your cup, move over to their table, and spend the rest of the morning talking over local history, politics, and sports as if you were a native. I remember on morning along the Ohio River when I asked about a factory that used to make buttons from the shells of freshwater clams harvested from the river.  I spent the rest of the day on a private tour of the local museum, which had been closed for two years, and being driven to the site of the factory by the only man still living who’d worked there.  But I digress.  “What can you tell me about the guitar across the street,” I asked, just a little too loudly. “I don’t really know anything about it,” admitted the waitress.  Pause. Pause. And one of the old guys at the front table called out, “Ask Danny about it. He runs the yogurt stand around the corner.”

    Walk around the corner, as instructed, and you come face to face with the Beatles crossing Abbey Road.  Tucked into a corner park by Art & Culture Frozen Yogurt and The Dark Side Coffee Shop is a life-size sculpture and the story that inspired it.  It seems the Fab Four, on their 1964 tour of the USA, were offered a bit of R&R at a dude ranch near here.  Secretly they flew into the small local airport, it being the closest to the dude ranch in question.  But small towns are small towns, and the secret didn’t last.  A screaming crowd of locals greeted them on the single runway.  Danny West, owner of the coffee shop and yogurt stand is also Danny West, sculptor and artist.  He was there the day it happened.

    So drive down US 67, the music highway, through Arkansas.  Stop in Walnut Ridge to see the Beatles and the guitar walkway.  Enjoy some R&B at one of the roadhouses that still survive along the way.  And whatever else you do, don’t skip breakfast and morning chat at the local diner.  We’re Patti and Tom Burkett, and we hope to run into you out there, somewhere, off the beaten path.

    http://www.beatlesattheridge.com/attractions/guitar-walk/

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

    RV CALENDAR

    Two shows to talk about this month…

    The Fifth Annual Vancouver Island RV Show and Sale

    April 7-10

    Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre in Nanoose Bay

    British Columbia Canada

     

    The Super B RV Show

    April 27-30

    University of Phoenix Stadium

    9am-7-pm

    La Mesa, AZ

    (Jennifer and I will be there. Come meet us!)

  • Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV
    Tue, Mar 28, 2017

     Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV

     In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast we answer one of the most asked questions we get – what are our sleeping arrangements in the RV? We talk about how we set up our RV bed, what we use for bedding and comfort and how and where we store it.

    This is a question we get in several variations a couple of times each week so in this episode, we go into great detail. And we’ll share resources on the gear we use for our RV bed.

    Also this week, a very interesting interview with Charlie Adcock, the President of the Family Motorcoach Association. Charlie talks candidly about the future of this very influential organization and how to survive, the FMCA needs to reach out to other RVers, specifically those who have towables – travel trailers and fifth wheels. You’ll also want to learn about the FMCA’s Member Assist Program, which offers what I think is the most essential peace of mind an RVer can have if, while traveling, the worst happens – a heart attack, or death or being stranded on the road because of an incapacitating injury or illness.

    Also in this episode, as always, RV News, traveling, tech and pet tips and a great off-the-beaten-path report.

    Show Notes for Episode #133 March 29,2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    When you go on a long trip and leave your sticks and bricks home, one of the worries is that there will be a power outage while you are gone. The nation’s electric grid and infrastructure is in decline and outages happen more and more.

    So maybe you get home and see the clocks all blinking – a sure sign of an outage. What you don’t know is how long there was no electricity. Maybe it’s been just a few hours, but also there is a possibility it’s been for days. In this case, the food in your refrigerator have been defrosted and spoiled.

    Now if you see that happened – that the frozen food is all squishy soft, the best thing to do is to throw it out right away.

    But even if it’s frozen solid when you check, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. That’s because food freezes again when electricity comes back. So you can’t notice it was thawed.

    This can be a major threat to your health because the food may spread salmonella and other bacteria.

    The food can stay safe without power at least 4 hours, only if the fridge is left unopened. The door of the fridge should be closed as much as possible to keep the cold temperature. The food in the freezer can stay safe without power for 48 hours, but only if it is full. The food is safe in the freezer for 24 hours if it is half-full.

    But if it’s re-frozen, how do you know?
    Here is a trick you can use to find out how long your freezer was without any power. This way you will discover if your food may be consumed or it spent too much time being warm.

    Pour some water into a cup and place it in the freezer. When there is only ice in the cup, place the coin on the top of the cup and put it back into the freezer.

    Next time you come back from a long trip, take a look at the coin.

    If the coin is still at the top or in the middle of the ice cubes in the cup, there was no electricity, but only for a short period, which is why the water was only partly melted.

    In addition, if the coin is at the bottom of the cup, it shows that there was no electricity for a long period, which caused the water to dissolve completely and thus the coin sank to the bottom. If this is the case for your freezer, do not consume the food that is in your freezer.

    That’s this week’s tip.

    Do you have an RV tip or suggestion for me? You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Listener Mary Ellen asks about bedding in the RV and Mike and Jennifer share, in detail, how they have set up their RV and what they use to sleep on.

    Resources mentioned:

    We talk about our RVSuperbag -

    Here’s a video of it in our RV: http://roadtreking.com/the-most-important-part-of-an-rv/

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK 

    There’s no question about it: having a dog romping around the RV that smells “a bit ripe” is none too pleasant. Keeping your dog clean and well-groomed will pay dividends beyond simple aesthetics. It will also help to keep your dog healthy. Basic grooming involves bathing and brushing.

    Just like people, dogs need regular bathing. But unlike people, dogs don’t need frequent bathing. Your dog’s breed and the environment in which it lives and plays will largely determine the optimum frequency of bathing. But once a month is a good rule-of-thumb.

    Vets recommend that you do not bathe your dog more than once a week.

    And this is important: You can’t use your bath soap on your dog when you give it a bath; use a shampoo that is formulated specifically for dogs.

    Right along with bathing comes brushing. Most dogs love a good brush. Brushing also helps to prevent skin irritation by removing dead hair from your dog’s coat before it mats. And it gives you control over where hair is shed – in the brush instead of all over your RV! 

    You can brush your dog as frequently as you feel is needed, but the longer your dog’s hair, the more frequently you’ll need to brush. Very longhaired dogs may need it daily, while shorthaired dogs may need it only monthly.

    Always brush outward from the skin – never toward the skin from the ends of the hair. And misting your dog’s coat with a grooming spray will help the brush glide smoothly through any snags and mats.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon  and sold at Home Goods Stores across their 600 store chain.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    The Family Motorcoach Association is America’s premier organization for RV travel by motorhome, well over 50 years old. Their rallies and gatherings and the benefits that come with membership are the best in the industry and there are scores of FMCA chapters that regularly meet and gather together, too.

    But as other forms of RVs have come into the marketplace, membership has taken a nose dive And now, to save itself, there’s a new proposal that will be up for a vote this summer that, for the first time, would change the membership requirements of the Family Motorcoach Association and open it up to those who own other RV types, like travel trailers and fifth wheels.

    It’s perhaps the biggest change in the organization’s history and our guest this week is FMCA President Charlie Adcock, who explains the proposal and also shares details about one of the groups top benefits, a program called FMCAssist that provides amazing peace of mind should the worst happen while on an RV trip.

    Meanwhile, the next major gathering of the FMCA will be its 96th International Convention July 12-15, 2017 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN. Mike and Jennifer will be there and conduct a couple of seminars on their style of RV travel. Come meet them!

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Major fight brewing over fate of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument – Read More
    • Killer Bees Attack Residents of Arizona RV Park – Read More

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    Whether it’s spring break or summer vacation, no doubt you and your listeners are thinking about that next road trip. And if you’re gassing up the family truckster, this year I’ve got one new gadget you’re going to want to bring along – HumX by Verizon.

    This is a family road trip game-changer. Why’s that? Well for starters, HumX turns your whole vehicle into a wifi hotspot for up to ten connected devices. Now the whole family can be online at once – from tablets to gaming consoles – you’re covered.

    In addition, it comes with peace of mind on several fronts. First, should your car break down on the side of the road or you get into an accident, you have free roadside assistance and crash detection. In addition, if you’re like me and sometimes forget exactly where you parked it’s not a big deal. That’s because you pull up the Hum app on your phone and can see the exact parking stall your vehicle is at. 

    If you let your teens drive the vehicle as well, you can use the app to see in real-time where the vehicle is, what speed it’s going and where it’s headed. Not to mention you can set speed limits and geographic boundaries to ensure they only go where they say they’re going…and do so safely.

    And speaking of safety, each trip you take you are given a safety score…1-100 where one is the least safe and 100 is the safest drive. It’s based on how often you speed, touch your phone, how hard you brake and how fast you corner or accelerate. 

    That magic again is all brought to you by HumX. You can learn more at www.hum.com. And if you don’t need all of the features and just want to see your safety score while driving you can do so with the free Hum application found on both the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

    With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

     

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    Boston and Cape Cod certainly have their attractions--think lobster, beaches, history—but Massachusetts doesn’t end at the shore.  Head west into the mountains, and there’s a completely different landscape to explore.  Aside from the transportation hubs and the occasional college town, the villages are tiny, picturesque, and sometimes, fading away.  Not so the berg of Shelburne Falls, nestled along the Deerfield River.

    Massachusetts Route 2 winds its way through some of the most picturesque scenery we’ve seen, much of it along the river valley, but now and then scaling a mountain ridge for a spectacular view.  Get off I-91 at exit 26 (Greenfield) and head west for about 30 minutes and you’ll see the turnoff for Shelburne Falls.  The sign says glacial potholes, ½ mile.  You may know what glacial potholes are.  We did not.  The smallest are the size of a bowler hat, and the largest bigger than a football field in diameter.  Shelburne Falls has the largest concentration of them in the world.

    We’re not much for shopping, but this little town lured us in, first with the fudge and ice cream shop across the street, then with the old textile mill converted to an artist co-op.  In the mill we found the extraordinary glass sculpture of local artist Josh Simpson.  Simpson is best know for making glass planets, intricate with apparent life on the surface, ranging from an inch in diameter to the one hundred pound wonder he created for the Smithsonian Institution.  A film in the gallery tells about the special equipment invented to make it and the several local glass artists who came together to help.

    Crossing the river is the bridge of flowers.  This abandoned vehicle bridge has been planted with a lavish garden along both sides, and foot traffic crosses amid the flowers and flowering trees with the river rushing below.  It’s closed in the winter, but beautiful for three seasons.  There are several good eateries in town, at least one with a dining room hanging over the river, and several venues that feature live local music.  Charlie King and Bill Harley, bit well-known folk artists, live locally and can sometimes be heard performing.

    If you visit in the late winter, the local sugar shacks will be in full operation.  This is the heart of maple syrup country.  Several of the operations offer pancake breakfasts, and it’s an experience to walk through the steam of the boiling sap and sit down to a hot plate of flapjacks covered with syrup that’s just minutes old.  The sugar shacks are hubs for local produce as well, offering free-range meats, local cheeses, preserves, and fresh bakery goods.

    Not too far down the road is the Montague Book Mill, a used book store with the motto “Books You Don’t Need In A Place You Can’t Find”  Grab a cup of coffee from the little café downstairs, find a spot in the sun on one of the many couches scattered around, and spend a day reading whatever tickles your fancy from the endless shelves.  Just outside the back door is an equally enjoyable used music store called Turn It Up!

    This is a winter ski area and a summer resort area, so you’ll find tourist prices in effect year round.  Local campgrounds are a bit tight, but there are two lovely camping areas at Mohawk Trail State Forest, perched on a mountainside and convenient to all the attractions of the area.  There are also several nice pulloffs along the river, which may or may not be good for overnight parking.  There were no signs posted.  Visit western Massachusetts, in any season, and you won’t be disappointed.  We’re Patti & Tom Burkett and we’ll look for you out there, somewhere, off the beaten 

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    RV CALENDAR

    It’s the end of the spring RV show season. Only one show on the calendar this weekend:

    Evergreen Spring RV Show
    March 31-April 2
    Evergreen State Fairgrounds
    Monroe, WA​​​​​​

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

  • Episode 132: Why You Need to be Camping on Aug. 21, 2017!
    Wed, Mar 22, 2017

    On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky.

    In this week’s podcast, we offer a guide to understand, prepare for, and view this rare celestial event. We interview Michael Zeiler, the founder of the Great American Eclipse website, who tells us why RVers are in the best position to view this stupendous event.

    That interview is coming up in just a few minutes, along with audience Q&A, lots of RV News and tips and an off the beaten path report.

    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #32 March 22, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    MONOLOGUE

    Here’s the link to the post from our Facebook Group that Jennifer and Mike talked about, the story of the snakeskin in the RV:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking/permalink/775652012593780/ 

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Have you ever had trouble sleeping in your RV at night because it’s too bright? Then listen to listener Nancy Richardson’s tip on making your own black out curtains

    Great tip! Do you have one? Well consider this an invitation send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Kevin asks about the Volcano Grill… Mike shares his thoughts about this $145 three-fuel portable camping grill.

    Two email questions this week:

    From Neal: Just wondering if you have encountered any problems with using BioDiesel in your Roadtreck.  I have the same chassis with a Winnebago unit and I’m planning a cross country trip this Summer.  Did you encounter places where you could not find regular diesel and if so, were there any problems using BioDiesel?

    From Anette: Greetings! I have recently found your website and can't stay long enough to hear enough! I am in the process of purchasing my first Roadtrek! It is a 2009 170 popular with 25,000 miles, one owner. Your podcasts have been soooo very helpful. I have wanted a Roadtrek for the last ten years and have been actively been look for 3 years. My question is do you have any recommendations for a company for extended warranties? You might talk about it on one of your shows, but I have a ton to listen to. Thank you very much for your helpful tips and information.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    We all know that humans need skin protection from too much sun. But do you dogs do, too? No granted, dogs heavy fur cast minimize the risk over much of their bodies but one part of them is very susceptible to sun damage: Their nose.

    A sunburned nose on your dog can be painful, and they can also increase your dog’s risk of cancer.

    Search for sunscreens that are designed specifically for dogs, and consult your veterinarian for recommendations. You should find a couple to choose from at any pet store.

    Whatever you do, do not use human sunscreen. Human sunscreens usually contain zinc oxide. And zinc oxide can be toxic to dogs if they eat it because of the zinc. So check the label before you apply.

    You don’t need to cover your dog all over, just in the areas that will be exposed to the sun. Apply it to the snout and nose. Dog hair doesn’t need protection.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon  and sold at Home Goods Stores across their 600 store chain.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. A website called Great American Eclipse provides an amazing guide to understand, prepare for, and view this rare celestial event.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week...

    Anchorage considers RV overnight ban. Again. Read more

    First confirmed sighting of grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park as the sleepy giants wake up from winter nap. Read more

    Arkansas teen found 7.44-carat diamond at Arkansas Crater of Diamonds State Park after just 30 minutes of searching. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

    Verizon Wireless

    On March 23, puppy lovers from across the country will celebrate their furry friends as part of National Puppy Day.

    And whether you have a new pup or a seasoned dog, you can of course up your pet game with the use of some tech.

    The Nest Cam Security Camera is the perfect device for new puppy owners – allowing you to keep your eye on what matters most. Free live streaming lets you see if your pup is getting into places that a puppy shouldn’t – or sleeping peacefully. As a bonus you can let them know you care by talking to them from the tablet or mobile app.

    When it comes to taking pup-tastic pics, there’s no better way to do it than with the Google Pixel. Not only do you get a best in class camera but thanks to unlimited cloud storage with Google Photos you’ll never have to worry about running out of space.

    If you’re prone to temporarily misplacing things while hanging at the dog park, the Slim Tile bluetooth tracker could be a lifesaver. Tile Slim is about the size and width of two credit cards placed together. Easily slide it into the pocket of your jacket, inside your wallet or fanny pack. Or, attach it to your doggy fanny pack. Should it go missing, simply launch the app and click on its name and you’ll be set!

    Who says technology is just for humans? The following apps will surely get two paws up.

    First the Dog Teaser app. Tap one of the bones and get a bark, doorbell, dog whistle and more – all of which will perk your pet up. And if you’re looking to soothe them try the Pet Acoustics app. It plays music that has been designed for your pet, in frequency, volume and rhythm – which will surely come in handy if your new pet is excited by the arrival of any house guests.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

    By Michael Deutsch

    Illinois is known as the land of Lincoln, but did you know Indiana is the boyhood home of our famed president Abraham Lincoln? Nestled in the foot hills of Southern Indiana’s Spencer county are some of the old stomping grounds of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln State Park.

    The park is located on highway 162 East of US 231. Like most of our state parks Lincoln has something to offer everyone. From the nature center to the lake, from the hiking trails to the beach, and from the canoe rental to the campground there is something for the young and old alike. We visited the state park for an extended weekend in the late fall; we were surprised to find the campground sold out, but as luck would have it we had reservations.

    The campground boasts a primitive tent camping area, electric RV sites near the lake, family cabins and a group camp area. The RV campground has nice gravel sites and older pine trees with younger hardwoods growing as well. We found the lake to have nice scenic vistas to see the fall colors or catch a sunset. The hiking trail around the lake is always a favorite offering a steep hill climb up to a fire tower. For those that like heights, be sure to count the number of stairs on your way up.

    Across the highway from the state park is the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial area. It has a recreated 1820’s homestead, a historic cemetery, hiking trail and Memorial Building with indoor exhibits.

    If thrill rides and theme parks are your thing be sure to visit Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, a short drive East on Highway 162 in Santa Claus, IN. Holiday World is a family favorite

    boasting big roller coasters, a large water park, and smaller rides for the little kids. It is very affordable for families offering free soft drinks, free parking, free sunscreen and free Wi-Fi. We found the food to be affordable and delicious as well.

    So whether you are looking for some adventure in the great outdoors, a history lesson, or a roller coaster ride look no further than Southern Indiana’s Spencer County. Until next time, keep on exploring God’s wonderful creations.

    This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.

     

    RV CALENDAR

    Progressive Insurance Northwest Sports Show
    March 23-26
    Minneapolis Convention Center
    Minneapolis, MN

    Midwest Outdoor Expo
    March 24-26
    Lucas Oil Stadium
    Indianapolis, IN

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

  • Episode 131: Why Canada Needs to be on your 2017 RV Travel Bucketlist
    Tue, Mar 14, 2017

    Are you planning your 2017 RV travels? Be sure to include Canada this year. There’s no better time to visit our neighbor to the north as the nation proudly celebrates its 150th birthday. And Canada’s amazing National Parks are making it particularly attractive for RVers this year with a pass that allows free entrance all year long, no matter where you’re from, Canada, the U.S. or anywhere else. 

    We’ll tell you how to get one and offer lots of suggestions on what to see and where to go in Canada this year….coming up in our interview segment of the podcast.

    Plus tips for you, your pets and your on the go technology, as well as audience questions, RV news of the week and the RV calendar… all this coming up in episode 131 of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle podcast.

    Show Notes for Episode #131 March 15, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    Mark down April 27-29 if you are in the American Southwest within driving distance of Phoenix, AZ. Jennifer and I will be there that weekend making personal appearances, meeting and greeting folks at the big Class B RV show and expo sponsored by the good folks at La Mesa RV. 

    There’s a free BBQ that Saturday, demos of the latest in Class B technology and displays featuring the latest models from Roadtrek and others. We’ll have more to say about this but for now, if you can get there, put it on your calendar…April 27-29, 2017 in the Phoenix AZ area. 

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Our Roadtreking friend Mary Z recently shared a fascinating article from Outdoor magazine that notes sixteen hundred people go missing from our public lands each year. They’re on a hike or jogging or exploring, usually not from camp or a road and they are never seen again. We’ll put a link to the article from the magazine on the Roadtreking-dot-com blog but Mary, who used to work for the Forest Service posted this on our Roadtreking Facebook Group that I think is worth passing along here on the podcast.

    Says Mary:

    “I am retired Forest Service and I have seen this happen so many times people disappear without a trace. If you are solo make sure people know where you are headed. I witnessed people disappear on Forest Service roads, and no one had an inkling they where they were. We found several dead in unexpected locations. Let your family know your plans and if you hike solo, as I do, take less risk and sign in to those trail head logs, your life may depend on it.” 

    Mary’s post brought some good responses and even more tips:

    Said Rick: “Always carry a little, but loud, whistle. I include one in my first aid kit, camera bag and glove compartment”

    Another Facebook reader noted: “My husband always lets me know which trail he is taking and what time he should be back by.”

    And Connie added: “Be very cautious following your GPS. More than once we have been directed to forest service or Township roads totally unsuitable for a vehicle, especially a Roadtrek. Keep road maps up front (along with common sense). “

    Good tips all!

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Sue is getting ready for a three month RV trip and has a question about bringing along a 15 amp extension cord.

    Ann wants to know where to get those peel and Paste maps for the U.S. states and Canada - Here’s the one we have, for the US - http://roadtreking.com/jennifers-tip-rv-travel-map-state-stickers/

    The one for the US is at: http://amzn.to/1R1QDe0

    The one for Canada is at: http://amzn.to/2n7sGKU

    Bruce is a new RVer who wants tips on finding great places to camp in natural settings

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    Today’s tip has to do with what to do with your dog when you set up camp. And the best advice is, take them for a nice, long walk around the campground.

     Animals never can relax unless they have an idea of where they are. And your dog has been cooped up in the RV during that long drive. So when you arrive and set up, even before you bring out the chairs and the BarBQue, put the pet on a six foot leash and go for a walk.

     A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state for the rest of the day.

     And by the way… your dog may growl at strangers and that’s ok. It’s natural for your dog to be a little nervous around new people. He’s out of his element and may growl. This isn’t because he’s being aggressive, but because he’s a little freaked out and needs reassurance that everything’s under control. If you nervously pull him away from the new person, you’re indicating that there is something wrong and he’ll freak out more. Just smile and be calm with the people you encounter, be relaxed and show your dog that you’ve got it covered. Walk around, talk to people, let your dog see you’re happy and content. He will be, too.

     Then, when you bring him back to the campsite, everything’s cool. He’s happy, familiar with the new environment and you can now join him in relaxing.

     This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon and sold at Home Goods Stores across their 600 store chain.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     Are you planning your 2017 RV travels? Be sure to include Canada this year. There’s no better time to visit our neighbor to the north as the nation proudly celebrates its 150th birthday. And Canada’s amazing National Parks are making it particularly attractive for RVers this year with a pass that allows free entrance all year long, no matter where you’re from, Canada, the U.S. or anywhere else.

    Our guest is Eric Magnan, of Parks Canada. He joins us from his office in Quebec:

    Resources mentioned in this interview:

    Parks Canada: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/index.aspx

    Free Admission Pass: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/pn-np/index.aspx

    Parks Canada Camping Info: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/media/ltc-dlc/ltc-dlc01.aspx

    Where to Camp: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/media/ltc-dlc/ltc-dlc05.aspx

    Parks Canada Camping Reservations: https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/ParksCanad 

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    California's Big Sur state parks may not reopen until June because of extensive storm damage. Read more

    Meet Gracie, Glacier National Park's "Bark" Ranger, who helps keep wildlife and people safely apart. Read more

    South Florida is taking applications for 25 paid snake hunters. Those hired start in April and are paid bonuses for eliminating pythons from the Everglades. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter

    Verizon Wireless

    Depending on what part of the country you’re driving through, you’ve likely started to see the first signs of spring!

    And with the warmer weather, comes the urge to get outside and be a little healthier. That includes eating.

     March is national nutrition month, which means there’s no better time than now to make some healthy choices. And of course technology can play a role.

    Ever wonder for instance just how healthy that granola bar is? With the free Fooducate app, you can easily find out. Each food you search will give you a grade from A the healthiest to F the worst. If your first choice doesn’t make the grade, you’ll get healthy suggestions.

    Another option is to pull out your smartphone or Google Home and ask google. Simply say, OK Google, how many calories are in an apple for instance, and it’ll tell you. Or ask Google for a healthy baked chicken recipe and you’ll get that as well.

    Finally, remember that making better choices is a marathon and not a sprint. So watch your progress happen over time by using a free app like MyFitnessPal. Log your total caloric intake and keep track of how active you are all in an easy-to-use app. 

    Or if losing weight is your goal, you can try out a wifi connected scale like the Fitbit Aria. Step on it the same time every day and watch as your healthy choices lead to real results. 

    With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    RV CALENDAR

    Just two shows to tell you about this weekend as the annual winter RV show calendar winds down for the new travel season…

    48th Annual RV Super Show

    March 16-19

    State Fair Park

    Oklahoma City, OK

     

    Springfield RV & Camping Show

    March 17-19

    Prairie Capital Convention Center

    Springfield, IL 

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

     

     

  • Episode 130: Before you visit this year, take the Yellowstone Pledge
    Tue, Mar 07, 2017

     

    Episode 130: Before you visit this year, take the “Yellowstone Pledge”

     

    On everyone’s bucket list is Yellowstone National Park. But after record crowds and a series of unfortunate incidents last year, this year, before you go, park officials are asking you to take the “Yellowstone Pledge.”

    What is it? Listen to our interview of the week, as we learn about the pledge and what else is new for 2017 at Yellowstone.

    Plus, an important update to our recent report on Ticks and Lyme disease that shows a just released report predicting an epidemic of tick infestations, particularly on the eastern seaboard. And we have RV questions, tips and a great off the beaten path report.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #130 March 8, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

     

    OPENING MONOLOGUE

     

    I've written before about the dangers of truck tire retreads and the shredded parts left on the road when they blow out and how the tire remnants cause damage and sometimes injuries.

    It happened to us on I-75 just north of Chattanooga over the weekend. A part of a truck tire was hit by a vehicle in front of us and flew up and took out my side mirror. We are very glad it wasn't the window it hit as that would have injured Jennifer in the passenger seat. Nasty.

    Truck retreads and the "gators" they leave are real hazard on the roads! They cause over 25,000 accidents and at least 100 deaths each year in the United States and Canada.

    JENNIFER’S TIP OF THE WEEK - Tick Prediction Update

    We’ve talked on this podcast before about how bad Lyme Disease has become. As we reported in Episode 128 a couple of weeks ago, Lyme Disease s contracted in humans primarily through ticks. Officially, the Centers for Disease Control report 30,000 cases are diagnosed every year.

    They actually suspect the real number is 10 times that!

    That means 300,000 people come down with this very serious illness every year in the U.S. alone.

    The reason we’re revisiting this as a tip this week is because officials have come up with a way to estimate how bad tick infestations and Lyme disease will be in any given year.

    And the prognosis for 2017 is grim.

    They are predicting an epidemic.

    NPR recently did a major story on this. We will link to it on the podcast. but, essentially, scientists who have studied Lyme for more than 20 years, have come up with an early warning system for the disease. They can predict how many cases there will be a year in advance by looking at one key measurement: Count the mice the year before.

    The explanation is simple: Mice are highly efficient transmitters of Lyme. They infect up to 95 percent of ticks that feed on them. Mice are responsible for infecting the majority of ticks carrying Lyme in the Northeast. And ticks love mice. An individual mouse might have 50, 60, even 100 ticks covering its ears and face.

    The warm winter has led to an explosion of mice, killed off much fewer ticks than usual and, as a result, 2017 is predicted to be the worse year yet. The disease shows up in Maine, swoops down the East Coast into Washington, D.C., and southern Virginia. Then it hops to the Midwest into northern Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. There are also small pockets of Lyme on the West Coast.

    So what can you do to keep from getting infected? The experts say you should do a tick check to your daily routine, When you're in the shower check your body for tiny ticks, especially the places they like to hide. That's the scalp, behind the ears, the armpits and in the groin area.

    If you do find a tick, get it off as quickly as possible. The longer an infected tick stays on your skin, the greater the chance it will pass the Lyme bacteria on to you. EDIT   Generally, it takes about 24 hours for the tick to infect a person after it starts biting.

    Then be on the lookout for Lyme symptoms — like a red rash or a fever. It anything crops up, go see a doctor immediately. Don't wait: The earlier you get treated, the better chance you'll have for a full recovery.

    That’s this week’s tip. I invite you to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

     

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Deborah is a regular listener of the podcast. She has a 40 foot fifth wheel towned by a bug truck She says she’s always stayed away from state and federal parks because she didn’t think her RV would fit. But will it, she asks? And if so, how does she make sure before making a reservation?

    Mike answers. He notes RVs up to 40’ in length fit in 53% of all National park Campgrounds. National Forest Service dispersed and organized camping sites also have can take rigs that big, though not all.

    Some of the resources to check that he mentions include: www.recreation.gov, http://www.rv-camping.org/usfscampgrounds/ . He also says to call or visit the district headquarters office for U.S. Forest Service lands. They have maps available, and can give you the latest road and campground status report for the area you wish to visit. They can also provide little known information about the area you intend to visit such as old ranch and railroad buildings, mines, and other points of interest nearby and road conditions. Many boondocking spots can easily handle big rigs.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    People ask us how we find places to take Bo for exercise while we’re traveling. We love off leash parks where he can run and play with other dogs. We also are big believers in doggy day care. To find them, we have a couple of apps that we use.

    For doggy day care – places that let you drop off your dog for supervised play with other dogs during daytime hours – and for occasional overnight stays in the homes of trusted pet sitters, we use the DogVacay app and website. It automatically finds your location and returns a list of boarding and day care facilities in areas you will be visiting. You can read all about them and contact them right from the app.

    When it comes to finding off leash parks and other pe friendly places like restaurants, hotels and even doggy beaches where Bo can swim, we use the website GoPetFriendly. As we plan our route for the day, we open up the site and find places where we can stop along the way and get Bo some exercise or places we may want to visit where we can bring him. Some time back, Mike interviewed the owners of GoPetFriendly.

    Hope this helps!

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon  and sold at Home Goods Stores across their 600 store chain.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    Our guest in this episode is Morgan Warthin, a Public Affairs Specialist with Yellowstone National Park. And we talk about the 2017 season at Yellowstone and what’s new and expected for the coming season.

    Spring plowing is underway now. Roads to wheeled vehicles and RVs are expected to open, weather permitting, around April 21.

    For one thing, Morgan shares how attendance at Yellowstone is expected to keep rising. In 2015, the park set a record with 4 million visitors. Last year, the centennial year for the National Parks Service, Yellowstone had 4.2 million visitors. Even more are expected in 2017.

    After a series of unfortunate incidents involving people who risk their lives getting too close to wildlife or intentionally walk all the boardwalks in the thermal areas, this year Yellowstone is asking visitors to take the “Yellowstone Pledge,” a series of behavioral promises that will help them be a steward of the park and protect themselves and others.

    Here are some other resources that will help RVers plan their visit:

    Yellowstone webcams

    Yellowstone Traffic and Road updates

    Resources and Issues

    Camping Reservations

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories this week…

     

    • RV Industry Publication cites Roadtreking Facebook Group as example of effective social media… Read More

     

    • Need a Job? RV Industry desperate for workers in Elkhart Read More

     

    • Sandhill crane migration underway at Nebraska's Platte River valley. Read more

     

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP: Spring Cleaning Your Tech

     

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

     

    Just like our closets get overrun with clothes and other things over the course of the year, phones, too can become slower and low on space. But unlike when you clean out the closet at your house, spring cleaning your electronics won’t cause you to break a sweat and is more satisfying that you may think.

     

    So a few questions you want to ask yourself. First, are you using all the apps on your phone? To be sure, open the app tray and take a look…a real look. If you’re not using them, go ahead and delete.

     

    Second, is your system up to date? Most phones will update their software automatically. But just to be sure, go to settings and system update and make sure you have the latest.

     

    Next…are photos taking up lots of phone space? No need to delete them, instead take advantage of the cloud. Google Photos will back up unlimited amounts of your photos and videos. Once the backup happens, hit “free up space” and the copies will be deleted from your phone but stay in the cloud for you to access anytime, anywhere.

     

    Remember downloading that PDF of your gym schedule or a local restaurant menu? PDFs and other downloads are easily forgotten and take up space in a download folder. Open up your apps menu, select downloads and delete.

     

    Finally, when it’s out with the old and in with the new, put your old phone to work helping others in the community. Consider donating it to HopeLine from Verizon – a national program that recycles old phones for cash grants to local nonprofits. HopeLine dedicates its resources to agencies that help survivors of domestic violence.

     

    Happy spring! With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Tower of the Four Winds in Blair, Nebraska

    By Tom Burkett

    If you’re familiar with historical Native American figures beyond Crazy Horse and Osceola, you’ve likely heard of Black Elk. He was born to the Oglala Sioux on Wyoming’s Powder River in 1863.  As a young man, already a distinguished warrior, he fought in the Battle of Greasy Grass (we call it Little Bighorn), in which Custer’s forces were defeated.  After that battle, pressure from the Army increased and many of the Oglala Sioux fled to Canada rather than be forced onto reservations.  Black Elk was among them.

    After several years in Canada, he returned to the reservation and settled near Wounded Knee Creek, where became known widely as a skilled healer.  In 1886, he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and toured North America and Europe for three years before coming back to the Dakota Territory to help lead the Ghost Dance movement.  Ghost Dancers believed that traditional rituals could end the European dominance of the West and bring back the bison. 

    The Ghost Dance movement became more and more threatening to the Army, and in 1890 the Wounded Knee massacre ended the hopes of the Sioux.  Black Elk continued to live on the reservation, where he maintained his practice of traditional healing and his position as a respected elder.  In 1930, he met John Neihardt of Dana College, who recorded his biography and memoirs.  Black Elk Speaks became the best selling book ever written by a Native American. 

    In the final chapter of the book, Black Elk reflects on the moment Chief Red Cloud convinced him and others to surrender in the wake of Wounded Knee: “I did not know then how much was ended….I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.”  Black Elk’s complex vision of the transformation and healing of the world is memorialized at the Tower of the Four Winds in Blair, Nebraska.  The tower is covered with intricate mosaics, and more are inlaid in the walkways that crisscross the park.      

    Just down the road, Dana College, where John Niehardt was a professor, sits shuttered amid the growing weeds, a victim of declining enrollment and rural location.  It’s striking, and unusual, to see an abandoned college campus.  The Sioux are gone, Niehardt and Black Elk are gone, Dana College is gone, but the vision remains of a transformed Earth.  Blair is on the Lincoln Highway, just a bit north of Omaha.  It’s worth a visit. 

    When you’re in Blair, stop by a sports bar called Runza and get yourself a runza.  This local chain began in Lincoln in 1949.  What’s a runza? Well, it’s a lot like a bierock, if you’ve ever had one of those.  Here, they’re hot, tasty, and Nebraska perfect.  We’re Patti & Tom Burkett, and if it’s not eating hubcaps and runzas among the cornhuskers, we’ll hope to see you somewhere else out there, off the beaten path.

     

    Tower Of The Four Winds

    Black Elk Speaks

     

    RV CALENDAR

     

    Rally in the Valley

    Family Motorcoach Association gathering

    March 7-10

    Rawhide Western Town and Event Center in Chandler, Ariz.

     

    The RV season is winding down. Just two shows this weekend:

    Virginia RV Show 
    March 10-12
    Hampton Roads Convention Center
    Hampton Roads, VA

    ​ EDIT  

    Rockford RV, Camping & Travel Show
    March 10-12
    Indoor Sports Center
    Loves Park, IL

     

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

     

     

  • Episode 129: How One Couple Uses their RV to Bring Comfort and Support for Gold Star Families
    Tue, Feb 28, 2017

    Episode 129: How One Couple Uses their RV to Bring Comfort and Support for Gold Star Families

     

    Show Notes for Episode #129 March 1, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    We love hearing how other people use their RV. In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Travel Podcast we meet Jim and Carolyn Diepenbruck who have one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever encountered about how they use their RV to help them bring support and encouragement to Gold Star families who have lost loved ones to conflict in the armed services. You’ll definitely want to tune in to meet the Diepenbrucks, subjects of our interview of the week. Plus, lots of email questions, reader tips and helpful RV news and information… all coming up in Episode 129 of the podcast.

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    Today’s tip is a fun one… and tasty, at that!

    Quick now: What do you roast around a campfire at night?

    Marshmallows, sure.

    We all love gooey marshmallows and s’mores.

    But there’s another treat you can put on that marshmallow stick.

    Listen up as our friend Rhonda Phipps shares an alternative – Star Burst candy!

    Thanks Rhonda!

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping! And if you are attending the Portland RV show March 8-12 be sure to see Rad Power Bikes on display!

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Listener Don has a question about the new Hymer Activ RV, a relative new Class B in the North American market. You can find more info at http://www.gohymer.com/

    Here’s a list of where you can see it at an RV show - http://www.gohymer.com/upcoming-tradeshows-and-events/

    Here’s a dealer list http://www.gohymer.com/dealer-locator/

     

    Meanwhile, here are some email questions that came in this week:

     

    From Alan: Newbie question. If I park my RV at home and it has a 30amp cord, how do I plug it in to a cord from my house???

     

    From Nancy: This question is for Jennifer. Please talk about driving your motorhome. I know my husband wishes I would drive more but, frankly, it scares me. I know you drive. I guess I need a little female persuasion that tells it like it really is, rather than my husband’s advice to “just get behind the wheel and do it!” Do you know what I mean? Men! Thanks in advance.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    This week’s pet tip is for those of you who travel with cats, although I would think those who have very small dogs will also want to take notice of it.

    It comes from reader Ken Sowell, who passes along this valuable information;

    Dear Mike and Jennifer,

    I listened to the tip on lost pets on the podcast this week and an additional comment.  We travel with our two cats.  When we checked into Banff National Park for a stopover on our way to Alaska, the check-in ranger saw one our cats who rides on the right dash in the windshield.  She warned that coyotes in the park were picking off pet cats and we should be cautious with our pets in the park.  When we parked at our campsite I took the cats out on their leashes and harnesses as we usually do when we reach a campsite.  They were out for 20 minutes and I then put them back in the RV.  A few minutes later a coyote trotted through our campsite with me standing outside and he wasn't the least bit afraid of me.  If I had a cat out on a long leash, he could have grabbed it and made off with it.  The same could happen with small dogs.  The rest of the summer as we traveled through Canada and Alaska I was very wary of our surroundings when walking our pets on a leash and took care to keep them on a short leash and sometimes only one at time.

     

    Thanks Ken. Good advice! We appreciate your sharing it with us. And if you have a ip about traveling with pets in your RV, please send them along. EDIT   Use the send voicemail link on the right side of the Roadreking.com blog.

    Like we always tell you, his podcast is your podcast and we love featuring your voices right along with ours.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon 

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    We love hearing how other people use their RV. In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Travel Podcast we meet Jim and Carolyn Diepenbruck who have one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever encountered about how they use their RV to help them bring support and encouragement to Gold Star families who have lost loved ones to conflict in the armed services.

    play interview

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three RV News stories fir you this week

     

    • Wyoming county allowing permits to land owners as it prepares for tens of thousands of visitors for summer solar eclipse.Read more
    • Man called the RV bandit, who stole wallets from RVs at races for decades, finally faces justice.Read more
    • Man with drone caused a 1,500 elk stampede in Wyoming.Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    With the start of spring just around the corner I’m sure the RV community just can’t wait to get back on the road again.

     

    And while traveling coast to coast, now more than ever it’s important to stay connected not just in major metro areas, but also America’s countrysides as well. 

     

    That’s why I wanted to share with your listeners the latest results from RootMetrics, an organization that drives across the country consistently checking how each major cell carrier performs in various criteria and then awarding winners in reliability, calling, texting, data, data speeds and overall.

     

    For the second half of 2016, Verizon not only swept all six categories, but for the first time since RootMetrics testing began, Verizon maintained its lead in all categories for back to back testing periods.

     

    So what’s that all mean? If you’re looking to call, text, check social media or watch videos and you’re always on the go there’s no better choice than Verizon.

     

    And with third party validation like this, you don’t have to just take my word for it.

     

    With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

     

     

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    RV CALENDAR

     

    Colorado RV, Sports and Travel Show
    March 2-5
    National Western Complex
    Denver, CO 

    Greater Philadelphia RV Show
    March 2-5
    Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
    Oaks , PA

    Ocala RV Show
    March 2-5
    Florida Horse Park
    Ocala, FL

    Central Illinois Recreational Show
    March 3-5
    Peoria Civic Center
    Peoria, IL

    Eugene Spring RV Show and Sale
    March 3-5
    Lane County Fairgrounds
    Eugene, OR

    Fredericksburg RV Show
    March 3-5
    Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Rhode Island RV, Camping Show and Sale 
    March 3-5
    Rhode Island Convention Center
    Providence, RI 

     

     

     

     

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

  • Episode 128: Tiny Tick Major Menace
    Tue, Feb 21, 2017

    Episode 128: Tiny Tick – Major Menace 

    Show Notes for Episode #128 2/22/17 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    With warmer weather, we are spending more and more time outdoors again and that means more exposure to a tiny creature that poses big problems. I’m talking about ticks, a biting, blood-sucking bug not much bigger than a pinhead. But they are nothing to take lightly. Ticks are everywhere, increasing in numbers, and spreading a terrible illness called Lyme Disease.

    You need to listen to our interview his week with a top expert on tick infestation and Lyme Disease, a very real threat to any RVer who spends a lot of time outdoors.

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    We’ve talked before about a great product called Reflectix, an insulating product that comes in rolls and can be easily cut to fit inside and around your RV’s windows. Most recently, we used it on a winter camping trip in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and it did a great of keeping our Roadtrek motorhome warm by preventing the inside heat from escaping through the windows.

    But you can also use Reflectix in the summer to keep your air-conditioned coolness in, and the outside heat…out!

    A listener named Tom tells us the Reflectix should be applied on the outside of the window, not the inside. Don’t put inside the window because it would reflect too much heat onto the window and could damage the glass. Mount it outside, with stick on Velcro, just as Tom suggests!

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Joyce has air in her water lines and wants to know how to get it out

    Bill saw our recent Videoblog about our trip south and through Nashville and wants to know how to beat rush hour traffic in big cities 

    And Bob asks about amateur radio and RVing.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    What could be worse than losing your pet while on an RV trip?

    It happens and it happens much too often. Our pets can be stressed and confused in new environments and be frightened by those unfamiliar surroundings.

    Do you know that lack of identification means as few as 14% of pets ever find their way home after getting lost? So for starters, always have your pets wear a collar with ID. Our Bo has his name and our phone number engraved on his collar, We don’t have to worry about a metal tag getting snagged and falling off.

    But there’s even a better way: Microchipping. About the size of a rice grain, a microchip is inserted under the skin in less than a second. It needs no battery and can be scanned by a vet or an animal control officer in seconds. If your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his unique ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted using the contact information on file with your pet's microchip.

    The average cost to have a microchip implanted by a veterinarian is around $45, which is a one–time fee and often includes registration in a pet recovery database. The American Humane Society estimates that one in three pets will become lost at some point during their life. Having your pet microchipped provides peace of mind that your beloved companion will never wander unknown.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon  

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Tiny Tick, Major Menace

    With warmer weather, we will soon be spending more and more time outdoors again and that means more exposure to a tiny creature that poses big problems. I’m talking about ticks, a biting, blood-sucking bug not much bigger than a pinhead.

    Ticks are in the spider family and there are hundreds of different kinds of ticks in the world. Many of them carry bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that cause disease in humans and/or animals.

    Ticks are everywhere, increasing in numbers, and spreading a terrible illness called Lyme Disease. More than 300,000 people in the U.S. come down with Lyme Disease each year.

    To help us understand just how serious the problem is, what we can do to prevent being infected, we talk to Dorothy Leland, from LymeDisease.org.

    Whenever you plan outdoor activities this summer, she suggests simple steps can help reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease:

    • Wear long sleeves and pants and tuck your pants inside your socks. Lightcolored clothing will make it easier to spot ticks. Don't wear open-toed shoes and sandals.
    • Use insect repellents containing .5 percent permethrin or 20 to 30 percent DEET. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
    • Walk down the center of mowed trails to avoid brushing against grass and shrubs.
    • At the end of each day, carefully inspect yourself, children and pets and remove any attached ticks. Tick bites are painless so you probably won't feel it if you're bitten. Remove attached ticks with thin-tipped tweezers by grasping them as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight up. Be careful not to squeeze the tick. It may contain infectious fluids. Clean the site with rubbing alcohol or skin disinfectant.
    • Wash and dry all clothing. Ticks can survive a wash cycle but can't withstand an hour in a hot dryer.
    • Check with your doctor and watch for early symptoms of Lyme disease.

    For information on how to remove a tick, go here.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    • Wild gray wolf population in American southwest growing, according to new report. Read more
    • Primitive camping at Perdido Beach in northwest Florida temporarily banned because of
    • Road through Arches National Park will close at night to all traffic from March through

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    With your “always on the go lifestyle” staying connected couldn’t be more important. It’s how you share your story with listeners, keep up with family and friends, and no doubt stay on top of bills.

    And I’m sure there are plenty of listeners who use their mobile connection for entertainment as well as streaming radio.

    In fact, the average smartphone user is seeing their data usage grow about 60 percent a year! Think about that!

    That’s why I’m excited to tell you that if you’re done with data limits, Verizon has the plan for you! Last week we announced Verizon Unlimited, the unlimited plan you want on the network you deserve. It couldn’t be more simple – unlimited calling, texting and data – just $80 for a single line or $45/line for a family of four.

    The plan also comes with 10GB of free 4G LTE hotspot – after that it’s unlimited at 3G speeds. And if you roam into Canada or Mexico – no worries. Calling and texting are still free and you can use up to 500MB of 4G data per day there without charge. After that it’s unlimited at 2G speeds the rest of the day.

    One other thing I’d like to clarify – Verizon will not throttle you on this plan. There’s been some confusion. What happens is if you have already used 22 GB on a particular line during your current billing cycle AND you are on a cell site that is congested at that moment, your download may be temporarily queued behind other Verizon customers. This may result in slightly slower download speeds for a period of time, maybe as long as stopping at a traffic light, or as long as being caught in rush hour traffic. But once congestion on the particular cell site clears up, you will go back to 4G LTE speeds - even if you have used more than 22 GB.

    More information is at verizonwireless.com.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Texas Ghost Towns

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    Big Bend in Texas is not one of our most visited national parks but it’s certainly not off the beaten path.  Even though this area of the Southwest is extraordinarily dry and rocky, it’s not without its rewards for the sharp-eyed and patient traveler.  Half an hour west of the park you’ll find a ghost town called Lajitas.  During its heyday it was home to many of the miners that worked the cinnabar mines in the area.  This town, however, is known for it’s most famous resident, Clay Henry, who was elected mayor in 1986.

    Clay Henry grew up at the Lajitas trading post while the town was a bit more lively than it is today.  In his youth he developed a taste for beer, and by the time of his election often drank more than a case a day.  When he disagreed with a constituent he was more likely to knock the person down than engage in conversation, and he was notoriously silent on the issues of the day.  NAFTA? Who cares?  Immigration reform?  Not my problem.  Whatever the problem, the solution was always another beer.  Clay Henry was a wildly popular mayor, re-elected six times.  Clay Henry was also a goat. A billy goat.  Horns and all.

    At the ripe old age of 23, Clay Henry was killed by his son in what many call a battle for political succession, but like another famous Texas family, the son could not quite match the father in matters of state or (in this case) beer consumption.  Lajitas today is no more than a cemetery filled with unmarked graves, but Clay Henry lives on.  

    Ride a few miles down the road to the ghost town of Terlingua (host to the world famous chili cookoff) and look for the Starlight Theater Restaurant.  This old building was once the entertainment center for the mining crews.  Now it’s a rollicking Western bar and restaurant with local entertainment and local food.  On weekend nights it’s probably not all that different than it was in mining days.  When we were there it was full of mountain bikers who were fully enjoying a night off the trail.

    But back to Clay Henry.  In the far end of the restaurant is a stage, and both walls are covered with the work of local artists, for sale a reasonable prices.  The works range from predictable to startling, and the proceeds are often going to support a good local cause, like restoring the Terlingua church or running a summer art camp for local kids.  Tucked up in a corner of the stage, wearing his signature top hat, longneck in mouth, is the legendary goat.  Some kind local craftsperson has rendered him timeless.

    Terlingua is an interesting town.  Though it’s called a ghost town, and there are many abandoned structures, there are also several thriving businesses and more than a few new homes with more being built.  If the history interests you, the book Terlingua Teacher tells a lively and personable tale.  The town is also a photographer’s dream, both before and after dark.

    If two ghost towns aren’t enough, nearby you can visit Big Bend State Park (not the national park) and see the abandoned set where seven Western films and a number of music videos have been filmed.  Only the cantina remains, but it’s a beautiful drive to a beautiful setting.  And if you want a little late night excitement, drive to Marfa and look for the Marfa mystery lights.  We’re Patti and Tom Burkett, and we’ll look for you out there, somewhere, off the beaten path.

    http://ghosttowntexas.com/

     

    RV CALENDAR

    Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show
    February 17-26
    Indiana State Fairgrounds
    Indianapolis, IN

     

    Good Sam RV Super Show 
    February 23-26
    Phoenix International Raceway
    Phoenix, AZ

     

    Harrisburg RV and Camping Show
    February 23-26
    PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center
    Harrisburg, PA

     

    Maryland RV Show
    February 24-26
    Maryland State Fairgrounds
    Timonium, MD

      

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

     

  • Episode 127: Can Two People and a Dog Really Live in a 24-foot Motorhome?
    Tue, Feb 14, 2017

    Episode 127: Can Two People and a Dog Really Live in a 24-foot Motorhome?

    On the Valentine’s Day episode of the Roadtreking RV Podcast, Mike and Jennifer answer your questions about their relationship, living for long periods in a 24-foot camper van and how two people so different can get along so well.

    I’ve been saving all sorts of questions our audience has been sending Jennifer and me over the years - questions perhaps more personal than practical - and decided this Valentine’s Day week that we’ll use those questions to interview ourselves and answer some of the more revealing questions about us.

    Plus we have tech and pet tips, RV travel advice and the most romantic RV memories from our Off-the-Beaten-Path reporters Tom and Patti Burkett.

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    We love listening to audiobooks as we drive.

    With CD players now a thing of the past for most new vehicles, downloading them and playing them back through a device is the most common way to get them.

    But they cost a small fortune from the app stores. That’s where Hoopla (www.hoopladigital.com) comes in.

    Hoopla is a free app for Android, iOS (Apple) or Kindle that lets you download audiobooks directly to your smartphone or tablet from your home public library. For free. Naturally, you have to belong to a public library and have a valid membership.

    Besides audiobooks, Hoopla lets you check out movies and TV shows and, of course, ebooks. They download to your device for offline playback, meaning you’re not streaming and thus eating up your data plan, or dependent on wi-fi.

    There are hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, with more being added daily and EFIT EDIT EDITtitles are automatically returned and removed from your device at the end of the lending period, typically after a month.

    We love this app. It saves us money and makes those miles go by faster.

    EDIT EDIT Do you have an RV tip you’d like to share? You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    We answer three email questions this week:

    • We were hoping you might have experience with a product that does a good job of removing odor from the soft surfaces. Any ideas? Gary and Carol

     

    • My sister and I are getting ready for a cross-country trip -- (a straight shot across via I-80), in my 2014 Ranger RT. I was looking for a list of all your podcasts.....just the number and title, so we could select those of interest and listen to them while on the road. Do you have a Word/PDF document that I could print off giving just the number and title of all 120+ Thanks!!! - Joan

     

    • I'm 85 and have some health issues (heart & arthritis). We live in Tampa,FL and hope to leave in April to drive around the country by taking the southern route to San Diego, coast road to Seattle, then east via the northern route. We travel with a cocker spaniel and a cat. I am nervous about lack of cellular service and MB service when we get "Out West". I have the opportunity to buy a 2008 Honda Fit to use as a tow car for flat towing. In the event of problems we could use the Fit to drive for help. We could also use it for side trips into town, etc. The main objective is peace of mind. Earlier experience included losing our Alison transmission on a NJ Interstate. It was 5 hours before got towed even when there were services nearby.. I notice that you don't have a dinghy. How would you handle a problem where there is no cellular service? Do you have any suggestions? Thank you. Maurice

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    As warm weather comes, and our dogs go exploring, we risk the chance of a skunk encounter!

    Skunks live all over the place, and if your dog gets curious about one, they may end up with a face full of stink. If your pooch gets sprayed, there are ways you can rid them of the scent without having to buy up every can of tomato juice in the area. Over-the-counter products (such as Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover) are a quick fix, but if you don't have that on hand, you can mix up your solution.

    Here’s some advice from the Humane Society of the US:

    Mix together:

    • 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at any pharmacy)
    • 1/4 cup baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap

    Wearing rubber gloves, wash your dog with this solution immediately after they've been sprayed. DO NOT get the solution in their eyes. (If you don't have peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap on hand, use vinegar diluted with water.)

    Caution: Do NOT store this mixture or make it ahead of time, as the mixture could explode if left in a bottle.

    Clean and rinse

    • Rub the mixture through their fur, but don't leave it on too long (peroxide can bleach fur). Rinse them thoroughly.
    • Next, wash your dog with pet shampoo and rinse thoroughly. By now, they should be de-skunked and smelling sweet. Thoroughly towel-dry your dog, and be sure to place them in a warm, sunny room for the next couple of hours so that they don't get chilled. 

    If your dog rubbed some of the stink onto you, you can rid your clothes of the smell by using regular laundry detergent mixed with a half-cup of baking soda.

    Here’s hoping you won’t have to do any of this. But, if that skunk encounter does occur, we hope this advice comes in handy.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon  

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK 

    Mike and Jennifer interview themselves, answering the following questions sent in their listeners over the last year or so:

    Audience Questions for Mike and Jennifer:

    1. How did you two meet?
    1. Did you grow up camping?
    1. Tell us about your family, grandkids and how Jennifer keeps in touch with them. I know you travel a lot? How do you keep Jennifer happy when she’s far from family and misses the grandkids 
    1. You two seem to really like each other. But be honest now: Don’t you sometimes get on each other’s nerves?
    1. Mike and Jennifer seem to be very different. It seems hard to imagine such different personalities meshing on long trips in confined quarters!
    1. How do you manage to “survive” on long trips in such a small motorhome?
    1. You guys are always gushing about how much you like the RV lifestyle. But tell us what you don’t like about it!
    1. How does Bo like all the traveling?
    1. How long do you two plan to keep living like this?
    1. How old are you and how is your health?

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    We have some wildlife news of interest this week to RV travelers…

    • Yellowstone National Park starts to slaughter bison amist Tribes objections.Read more
    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission seeking public's help in reporting Florida panther sightings.Read more
    • Gray Wolf is again a Political flashpoint in the Midwest. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP: Tech for a Healthier Heart

    By Steve Van Dinter 

    Verizon Wireless

    Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.? That’s one of the reasons we devote the month of February to raising awareness and making heart healthy choices.

    And believe it or not, technology can help your ticker as well.

    For instance, the Fitbit Charge 2 is a fitness wristband, with heart health at its core. Equipped with wrist-based heart rate monitoring, the Fitbit Charge 2 provides simplified heart rate zones to make sure you’re pushing your heart when working out and it also keeps track of trends so you can see your fitness levels are improving. 

    Music not only touches your heart it can also inspire you to pump up your heart rate. The LG TONE Active+ features a built-in fitness tracker that counts calories, steps, distance, and your workout history. Plus, it’s water and sweat resistant and can be connected to external stereo speakers for a personal surround-sound experience. 

    Finally, if you’re needing motivation, the MOOV NOW™ 3D Fitness Tracker and Real Time Audio Coach may be just the ticket. This gadget provides real-time audio coaching to better heart health and more productive workouts. The fitness tracker actively monitors exact movement and analyzes it, then offers suggestions such as tips to improve your workout or correct your form.

    Now that’s some information you’ll want to take to heart.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  The Burkett’s Favorite RV Memories

    It’s Valentine’s Day, and we thought we’d tell a bit about what going off the beaten path means to us.  We had our first night of camping together 40 years ago this month, and believe it or not it was in a Class B, a 1969 Volkswagen camper – a sink, an icebox, a stove, and a sofa in the back that folded down into a bed.  Thinking back, it was a lot like our Roadtrek.  Back then we had to avoid the highways because we weren’t fast enough to keep up with traffic, or because going fast created an uncomfortable draft from the leaky windows and doors.

    Over the years we carve out our own beaten paths—professional and personal that make daily life efficient and productive.  A couple weeks ago you interviewed Howard Payne about fulltiming.  He related that a trip to Alaska had pointed out to him and his wife how they’d been living parallel lives without really noticing it.  The trip brought them back together.  Sort of like traveling on a multi-lane highway, don’t you think?  Smooth flow of traffic, pass or get passed, focus on the destination and getting off at the right exit.

    Some wise friends advised us about this way of traveling early on in our marriage.  We learned to get off on each other’s beaten path frequently—to develop shared interests and be sure we knew what was going on in the other person’s life.  Sort of like traveling the back roads, the slow roads, where whether you like it or not, you get the full experience.  Potholes and farm tractors, yes, as well as sunsets over the hilltop and homemade ice cream by the side of the road.

    We’ve spent plenty of time on the interstates—meeting a deadline, avoiding construction, bypassing icy, hilly alternatives.  We’ve even had adventures on them, like the time the rack system loaded with kayaks and bicycles slid off the trailer at 65 miles an hour or the time we drove across Pennsylvania under a full moon because the headlights weren’t working.  It seems our interstate highway experiences are inclined to be more hair-raising than relaxing.  And as we zip along at the speed limit, we always know we’re missing something on that old road just over there, and we wonder what it might be.

    So, for Valentine’s Day, here are a few of our favorite romantic memories:

    • Strolling in the sunrise at the De-Nah-Zin wilderness of New Mexico
    • Cooking pancakes by Jefferson Lake, in the Rockies, on a frosty morning
    • Eating fresh seafood on the deck of The Wyld Restaurant on a tidal creek in Georgia
    • Watching the sun shine on Capitol Reef from a swimming pool in Torrey, Utah after a long hot day
    • Seeing the sun set on the Toronto skyline across the lake from Fourmile Creek campground
    • Hiking the South Dakota badlands by moonlight
    • Snuggling into our blankets on a zero-degree night in Michigan’s upper peninsula
    • And falling asleep to the sound of the waves on the Oregon coast.
    • We’re Patti & Tom Burkett, and if you watch, you’ll find us poking around out there, somewhere, off the beaten path.

    RV CALENDAR

    We’re still in the heart of the RV show calendar around North America. We have 10 big shows scheduled for this coming weekend:

    Houston RV Show
    February 15-19
    NRG Center
    Houston, TX

    Austin RV Super Sale
    February 16-19
    Austin Convention Center
    Austin, TX

    Chicago RV & Camping Show
    February 16-19
    Donald E. Stephens Convention Center 
    Palatine, IL

    West Palm Beach RV Show
    February 16-19
    South Florida Fairgrounds
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Atlantic City RV & Camping Show 
    February 17-19
    Atlantic City Convention Center
    Atlantic City, NJ 

    Maryland RV Show
    February 17-19, 24-26
    Maryland State Fairgrounds
    Timonium, MD

    Vermont State RV & Camping Show
    February 17-19
    Champlain Valley Expo
    Essex Junction, VT

    Northeast RV New Product Show
    February 17-20
    Rockland Community College Field House
    Suffern, NY

    Springfield RV Camping and Outdoor Show
    February 17-20
    Eastern States  Exposition
    West Springfield, MA

    Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show
    February 17-26
    Indiana State Fairgrounds
    Indianapolis, IN

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

     

     

  • Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know
    Tue, Feb 07, 2017

    One of the biggest fears many RVers have is fire. Each year, RV fires cause deaths, many injuries and tens of millions of dollars in damages.

    So to help us fireproof our RVs, this week we interview one of our friends, Mark Polk of RVEduction101.com. Mark is a true expert on all aspects of RVs and RV safety and has critical and very practical advice for us in this episode about keeping our RVs safe from fire.

    Plus we have lots of news, tips, RV information and, as always, your questions and comments about the RV lifestyle.

    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

     

    Show Notes for Episode #126 Feb. 8, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Edits….

    We love to boondock. We also love to camp in the wintertime. Both types of RVing can pose challenges in staying clean. When on long boondocking trips, we try to conserve our water. In the winter, with no water in the fresh water tanks, it’s the same thing.

    We connected with our Roadtreking friend Jan Mathews on a recent winter campout and she showed us a very handy way to clean and bathe when water is in short supply.

    Jan suggests cleaning cloths available in pharmacies for bedridden patients.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

    I love hearing from you!

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Jan in Tucson has a bunch of questions. She wants to know what Jennifer takes in terms of pans and silverware utensils. She asks us about storing a portable BarbeQue. We share our solution - a small Coleman two burner propane stove that cleans up easy and stores in an airtight case

     

    John is coming to the Oregon eclipse gathering in August and wonders if it’s okay to bring a dog. By all means, we tell him!

     

    Bill has a Roadtrek Versatile 190. He’s a trout fisherman and wonders how to stash is fishing rods. He also wonders about a small trailer for his kayaks and bikes. Mike tells him to check out to Yak-Shak Kayak Trailers - https://youtu.be/wEXfBRck8YY

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    There was a very sad story we came across this week from California. A dog locked in a car died of heat exhaustion on Sunday in Palm Springs. Now no one would think it’s hot out there this time of year. The day this happened, the high only reached 70 degrees.

    But you get direct sunlight even on cooler days. It can be very warm inside a vehicle. Think of it like a solar oven, basically, in your car.

    Police say that dog left inside of a car for more than three hours in Palm Springs died of heat exhaustion on a 70 degree day. Police say the dog's body temperature reached 104 degrees by the time police came in contact with the owner.

    The owner was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.

    Here’s the warning: Experts say there can be as much as a 40- to 50-degree difference between what's outside and inside a closed up vehicle. Especially in places like California, Arizona, Florida and the south where you have a lot of sunny days that, in the winter, may be chilly. But that sunshine warms up a vehicle very quickly.

    Now here’s the thing: Many RVers often leave their pets in their RVs with the air conditioning on.

    But the experts don’t recommend that. And in many states, it’s illegal to do so, no matter whether the RV’s AC is on or not. Animal safety experts and vets say leaving an animal in any kind of enclosed vehicle with the air conditioning on is not a safe alternative. They say the best solution is to consider leaving your pet at home, or with a pet sitter if you are going to be away from the pet for an extended period of time.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon 

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

     

    One of the biggest fears many RVers have is fire. Fire destroys thousands of RVs each year, often at a tragic cost of life.

    If you've never seen an RV fire, you may not realize how quickly an RV can burn down to the metal frame. Having propane on board makes the prospect worse, as it will likely mean an explosion.

    It’s very hard to nail down exact statistics, except to say that RV fires are much more common than they should be. The numbers of RV fires reported each year range from a low of about 1,000 to as many as 10,000, depending on the source.

    Our friend Greg Gerber at RV Daily News started tracking news accounts of RV fires late last summer and his list is over 150 now…and those are just the ones that received news coverage.

    So to help us fireproof our RVs, we brought on our friend Mark Polk, who, with wife, Dawn, produces professional RV how-to instruction at RVEduction101.com in the form of videos, DVD's, books and e-books on using and maintaining your Recreation Vehicle. Mark is a true expert on all aspects of RVs and RV safety and has critical and very practical advice for us in this episode about keeping our RVs safe from fire.

    You can listen to the interview at

    And for more info from Mark:

    Subscribe to Mark’s RV Consumer Magazine: http://goo.gl/pnHryo
    Visit Mark’s free RV video site: http://rv101.tv/
    Visit Mark’s RV Blog: http://rvingwithmarkpolk.com/
    Visit Mark’s RV learning Center: http://rvconsumer.com/
    Visit Mark’s You Tube Channel: https://goo.gl/PkICHz
    Like Mark’s RV Education 101 on Facebook: https://goo.gl/E9Daxr

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    We have three RV news stories this week…

    • Florida woman scammed out of $8,500 when trying to buy an RV online. Read more
    • Study shows sleeping outdoors can help people who stay up too late reset their sleep cycle. Read more
    • Legislators in Washington state consider raising ticket fines for slow drivers who stay in the left lane, instead of using it only for passing. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP: Valentine’s Day Tech Gifts for Travelers

     

    By Steve Van Dinter

    Verizon Wireless

     

     

    With less than a week to go until Valentine’s Day the pressure is on! And if you’re looking to make the day extra special, from music, to lighting and more, we’ve got you covered.

     

    First off when it comes to a gift…red is always the right color…from a deep red designer Rebecca Minkoff leather slide case for the latest iPhone to the wireless PowerBeats2 headphones, you can make a tech bouquet filled with these romantically colored treats.

     

    On the music side…there’s the JBL Flip 3 speaker, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom and Bose SoundLink II giving you great Bluetooth options with amazing sound…and a bonus they also come in red. When it comes to speakers you can slip into your purse for a night out there’s also the Altec Lansing Mini H20.

     

    When you’re looking to set the mood, you don’t want harsh white lights. Instead opt for the Hue Lightstrip Plus. These discreet LED strips can be tucked into many places – under counters, behind stereos, along the edge of your walls – a glow in 3 million shades of beautiful color! Plus pair with apps like Hue disco and have the lights synced to music or try an app called Hue Manic and let your lights pulse with the glow of candlelight.

     

    Finally, of course there are some great Valentine’s apps and here are a few from our friends at Digital Trends.

     

    One of the best of the bunch is an app called Between. It lets you share texts, voice messages and calendars with your loved one and creates an archive of your relationship. Guys, it also lets you know how long you’ve know your partner so you’ll never miss that special occasion again!

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Tiny attractions across the nation

     

    By Tom and Patt Burkett

    You’ve undoubtedly seen at least a few of the “biggest” things our backroads have to offer.  Maybe it’s the popcorn ball in Sac City, Iowa.  Or the lobster in Islamorada, Florida.  Or the 4000 pound Paul Bunyan in Bangor, Maine.  You might not have noticed that our national byways also offer a wide array of “smallest”things. 

    Some of these are scale models.  The venerable Roadside America model near Shartlesville, PA has been amazing travelers for nearly a century.  Cross Island Chapel in Oneida, New York is a church that will seat exactly two worshipers, and Mill End Park in Portland, Oregon has one tree and four square feet of flowers and grass.

    One of our favorite small things is Tiny Town, which sits a bit west of Denver on US 285 in the town of Morrison, Colorado.  George Turner began building this attraction in 1915 for the enjoyment of his daughter.  Ten years later the town had grown to more than 125 buildings and saw more than 20,000 visitors a year.  For a few years, it rivaled Pike’s Peak as Colorado’s number one tourist attraction.  Then Tiny Town fell on hard times.  A series of floods, a fire, rerouting of US 285, and several changes of ownership left it basically in ruins in 1983.

    Then a real estate group adopted Tiny Town.  In a fundraiser for the Denver Children’s Museum, they leased lots in the town to anyone who was willing to build a house to the original specifications, following a strict building code.  The lots sold out almost immediately.  Businesses clamored for the chance to be included, so the town added a business district.  Local Colorado shops (no chain stores allowed) built replica models of their own stores to populate the new real estate.  Two ride-on model railroads were added to the grounds.

    Since then, Tiny Town has grown.  The hillside above it sorts a mining camp and mine operation.  There are Native American settlements and encampments.  Lakes and forests surround the settlements, and the town has parks and civic features.  New neighborhoods have been added, as have new businesses.  Each new addition conforms to a specific time period, and only unique or historical commercial structures are allowed.  Recently, several of Turner’s original buildings were discovered in a barn nearby.  They’ve been restored and added to the town as the neighborhood of Turnerville.

    Visit Tiny Town.  Climb onboard behind the genuine scale model steam locomotive.  It burns as much as 140 pounds of coal every day, and boils off more than 100 gallons of water.  Ride the train in and out among the neighborhoods and environs.  You’ll even get to see some things that can’t be seen by visitors on foot.  Walk around and take a close look at the intricate and historically accurate models.  Sit under the trees and enjoy a picnic.  Not too far west on 285 you can turn off to the Buffalo Creek camping area in the Pike National Forest for dispersed sites and a campground.

    Big or small, you’ll find it all if you get off the interstate and keep your eyes open.  You might even see us, Tom & Patti Burkett, somewhere out there, off the beaten path.

    Here’s some links for more info:

    Tiny Town

    Camping at Buffalo Creek in the Pike National Forest

     

    RV CALENDAR

    We have nine RV shows for you this weekend around North America…

    Jacksonville RV Show
    February 9-12
    Jacksonville Equestrian Center
    Jacksonville, FL

    Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show 
    February 9-12
    Minneapolis Convention Center
    Minneapolis, MN

    Salem Spring RV Show
    February 9-12
    Oregon Sate Fairgrounds
    Salem, OR

    Seattle RV Show
    February 9-12
    CenturyLink Field Event Center
    Seattle, WA

    Ottawa RV Expo & Sale
    February 9-12
    EY Centre
    Ottawa, ON, Canada

    San Antonio Boat & Travel Trailer Show
    February 9-12
    Alamodome
    San Antonio, TX

    Montana RV, Boat & Powersports Show
    February 10-12
    Four Seasons Arena
    Great Falls, MT

    Columbus RV Show
    February 10-12
    Greater Columbus Convention Center
    Columbus, OH

    Richmond Camping RV Expo
    February 10-12
    Richmond Int’l. Raceway Complex
    Richmond, VA

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

     

  • Episode 125: The Real Cost of Fulltime RVing
    Tue, Jan 31, 2017

    Episode 125: The Real Cost of Fulltime RVing

    Have you ever dreamed about fulltiming, or at least spending extended period of time in your RV, traveling the country, seeing the sights, free and easy down the road?

    Well we have news for you: It’s not free.

    Just how much will it cost to live fulltime on the road in your RV? This week, we talk to an accountant who retired at the age of 41 and has been fulltiming with his wife in an RV for the last eight years. They’ve kept track of every cent he’s spent and he has lots to share on this week’s episode.

    Also this week, your questions, comments, plus lots of tips and RV news.

    Show Notes for Episode #125 Feb. 1, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    This week’s tip comes from our friend Ari Adler… Let’s listen:

    I have something to share for your tip of the week that folks might find helpful. Often, people are worried about humidity in their RVs depending on the weather they are traveling through.

    I found a mini-dehumidifier -- called an Eva-Dry -- that’s designed to help keep small areas moisture-free. Although it’s target use is really more for closets or bathrooms, the unit works well inside small RVs like Roadtreks.

    The Eva-Dry is small and requires no electricity or batteries to operate. It’s designed with a special absorbing silica gel that is odorless and nontoxic. One of the best parts is the little window in the front of the unit that has moisture crystals that start as one color and slowly change to another as the gel absorbs moisture.

    Once the crystals completely change color, you simply plug the unit into an electrical outlet for about 8 to 10 hours so it can warm up, dry out and renew itself. The manufacturer claims this process can be done many times for years.

    Jessi and I have used this for several months and it seems to be working well in terms of absorbing moisture and humidity from our 2008 190 Popular. The Eva-Dry can either sit somewhere in your rig, or you can use the included hook to hang it up.

    The Eva-Dry is available at Camping World and Amazon. Prices vary, but the small version is usually available for less than $25.

    Here is a link to the unit at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2koahYM

    Thanks, Ari… and for everyone be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox. I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    A new RVer named Shelly wonders about where to find the least expensive RV parks in Florida and wonders why the only time there are discounts there is during the summer

    Listener Lisa calls in to talk about all the red tape involved in buying a used RV from a private seller in California

    And listener Dan asks Mike where he keeps all his toys. Mike talks about a couple of kayak mounts he’s considering (see https://youtu.be/msEJBUO9yz8) for a swing away system, or rvkayakmounts.com, which lets you carry kayaks and up to two bicycle. We’ll have more about RVing with a kayak and the different mount systems on an episode we’re planning for mater in February. The rear mount bike rack Mike currently uses is called the Swagman XC. It holds two bicycles and fits in the rear bumper hitch.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat wishes just one thing — that he or she has a healthy and long life. Here are five tips we found from PetMD.com that can help your pet do just that:

    1. FEED A HIGH QUALITY DIET.

    Pets fed a high-quality diet have a shiny hair coat, healthy skin, and bright eyes. A good diet can help strengthen your pet’s immune system, help maintain his or her intestinal health, help increase his or her mental functions, help keep joints and muscles healthy, and much more.

    2. KEEP YOUR PET LEAN.

    Pets that are overweight are at risk for a whole bunch of health issues. Obesity is the number one nutritional disease seen in pets currently and studies have shown that being overweight or obese can shorten a dog or cat’s life span by as much as two years. Why? Being overweight or obese puts your pet at risk for joint disease, heart disease and diabetes, among other things.

    1. TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VETERINARIAN REGULARLY.

    All pets, including both dogs and cats, require regular veterinary care. However, veterinary care goes far beyond routine vaccinations, even though those are important. A routine examination by your veterinarian can uncover health issues of which you are unaware. In many cases, an early diagnosis improves the chances of successful treatment. Early diagnosis is also likely to be less costly for you than waiting until your pet’s illness has become advanced and serious before attempting treatment. Be sure to carry a copy of all your pet’s vet records with you when you travel.

    4. KEEP YOUR PET’S MOUTH CLEAN.

    A common problem among dogs and cats, dental disease and oral health issues can cause your pet pain, making it difficult for him or her to eat. If left untreated, oral health issues may even lead to heart and kidney disease. In addition to regular dental checkups, the most effective means of caring for your pet’s mouth at home is to brush his or her teeth at home. If your pet isn’t a big fan of toothbrushes there are other alternatives as well, including dental diets, treats like Dozers dental chews, and toys. Ask your veterinarian for some recommendations.

    1. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PET TO ROAM UNSUPERVISED.

    Allowing your dog or cat to roam free may seem like you’re doing your pet a favor. However, pets that roam are susceptible to a number of dangers, including automobile accidents, predators, exposure to contagious diseases, exposure to poisons, and more. Additionally, allowing your pet to roam unsupervised may alienate your neighbors should your pet ever "relieve" him- or herself or dig up their campsite

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    Our guest this week is Howard Payne, who, at the age of 41 with wife Linda, quit a high-paying corporate job in 2005, sold everything they had and made the transition to living in an RV full-time as they travel North America.

    An accountant and lawyer by training, Howard documented every cent they spent. He and Linda started a website – RV-Dreams.com – to share their experiences and to offer help to those considering such a move.

    His website has a wealth of information, including budget spreadsheet templates to help.

    In our interview he talks about” How important it is to be debt free before setting out fulltime in an RV

    Just how much you should expect to spend per month to live a frugal fulltime RV lifestyle

    How you can supplement your expenses by workcamping

    Why you don’t have to get campground reservations as you travel

    Resources mentioned:

    Howard and Linda’s Website – RV-Dreams.com

    Workkamper News - workamper.com

    Spreadsheet templates for tracking expenses and budgeting - rv-dreams.com/spreadsheet-downloads.html

    Mike’s suggested expense-tracking app: SmartReceipts

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories for you this week..

    • RV shipments reached 40 year high in 2016. Read more
    • India’s Irula tribesmen brought to Florida everglades to catch Burmese pythons and teach locals how to do it. Read more
    • Harsh winter in U.S. western states brutal on wildlife. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on some Valenine’s Day Tech Gifts

    Flowers and chocolate are typically first to mind when it comes to showing your sweetheart how much you care for them this time of year. However, to mix it up this February, consider giving the gift of tech. It’s not only a more thoughtful option, it’s something they’ll be able to use the whole year through! Or incorporate a little technology to help make your Valentine’s evening a bit more special. 

    For instance, with Google Home, you can start playing your sweetie’s favorite songs just by saying a few keywords. Or record a love poem and ask Google Home to play it for your special someone. And if you have Nest installed at home, turning up the heat is as easy as saying “OK Google, turn up the heat.”

    Wish you could travel this Valentine’s Day but don’t have time or funds to do it? Grab a Daydream View VR headset and take your loved one around the world without having to leave the comfort of your couch. And make the experience a 4-D by serving up special French treats while you stroll the virtual streets of Paris! Ooh la la!

    Not a fan of crowds at the local movie theater? Make your own. With the Moto Z Droid, you can turn any flat surface into a screen. Just snap on an Insta-Share projector to the phone, dim the lights and now you’ll have a screen up to 70 inches wide! Pair your phone with one or two UE Boom speakers and you’ll swear you weren’t at home! 

    No matter what you choose to do, most importantly cherish the moment you’re sharing with the one you love.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide. 

    RV CALENDAR

    Four big shows for you this weekend across North America,,,

    Cincinnati-Dayton RV Show
    February 2-5
    Airport Expo Center
    Vandalia, OH

    Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show
    February 2-5
    Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
    Fort Wayne, IN

    St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show
    February 2-5
    America’s Center 
    St. Louis, MO

    Hamilton RV Show & Sale
    February 3-5
    Players Paradise Sports Complex 
    Stoney Creek, ON, Canada

     

     

  • Episode 124 -What to do with all those photos you take on your RV trips?
    Wed, Jan 25, 2017

    Episode 124 -What to do with all those photos you take on your RV trips?

    RVers love to take photos and these days, it’s more apt to be with our smartphones. But what do you do with them? How do you keep from running out of space? And what’s the best way to share those great memories? To help us answer those questions we talk with our RV buddies Jim and Chris Guld – better known as the Geeks on Tour.

    Chris has just written a great book called Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos and we chat about why – no matter what platform your smartphone is on Apple or Android – this amazing and totally free app need to be on your device.

    Plus RV Tips, suggestions about RVing with pets, traveling tech suggestions, RV News and much, much more!

    Show Notes for Episode #124 Jan. 25, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast: 

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    As we said earlier, we are just back from our annual Roadtreking winter campout in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Like all our gatherings, I love meeting fellow RVers and picking up valuable tips from them about little things that make the RV lifestyle more convenient. And I came back with a bunch of them from our latest adventure.c

    Here’s one you will find particularly helpful if you camp in snowy or muddy country. Nobody likes the thought of getting stuck in your RV. Our friend Jan Matthews found a very handy little product that she always carries with her…after learning the hard way why such a product is needed.

    The product is called the Mr. Emergency Snow n’ Mud Track. Jan found hers at Walmart. It’s also available at Amazon for $28.

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Jim asks about Mike’s experience with the   Professional Grade weBoost Drive 4G-X + RV Trucker Essentials Kit – 470510-RV. It comes with a big external antenna. It is most powerful in-vehicle booster certified in the US and Canada and enhances 4G LTE, as well as 3G and 2G network signals, up to 32x. Mike shares his thoughts. Jim also asks about Wi-Fi boosters and if Mike recommends them. Mike shares why he doesn’t.

    An Oregon listener with a new Navion Motorhome isn’t sure whether he needs to winterize his RV and wonders about using the bathroom at night and having the black water tank freeze. We explain that RVs used in below freezing weather for extended periods of time should be winterized. And you flush the toilets with antifreeze.

    An email asking about winter RV use came in from readers Sue ands Bob, who ask: What do you use for traction?  RT says no chains and I can see why as there is little to no clearance and if they broke they could do some serious damage. In Oregon they will not let you, in some circumstances go over a pass without traction devices. Plus, I'm not so sure how comfortable we would be driving in snowy or icy conditions. 

    We talk about it and how we have never had a problem with traction or the need for chains.

    A California listener asks how long they can boodock on the Pacific Coast Highway . Here’s a post Campskunk did on the blog about the area - http://roadtreking.com/boondocking-pacific-coast-highway-north-ft-bragg-ca/ There’s a stretch of the Pacific Cast Highway there where you can honest to goodness boondock – camp right on the side of the highway overlooking the ocean. 

    To understand this, you have to look at the tangle of regulations governing boondocking. First and foremost, there’s the California Vehicle Code dealing with how long you can park (not camp, park) alongside highways on the right of way. It’s eight hours. Then there are all the municipal and county exceptions to this statewide rule.  Good boondocking spots are defined by what they are not. Don’t try to boondock in state parks or vista points. They are great day spots, but be out of town by sundown. Stay out of small towns, make sure you are outside the city limits of them before you try to spend the night.

    But there are three good night spots and a variety of day spots we move up and down this ten mile section of highway, staying mobile and not aggravating the local constabulary or landowners.  We have stayed a week or so.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    Just like we have packing lists for our RV trips, every pet should also have their own pet travel kit.
    You need to bring food, treats, a bowl, leash, a rope to keep them confined outside the RV when you stop for the night, plastic bags to pick up their waste, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and a list of their health records from your vets, showing vaccinations and any health issues they have.

    Be sure to pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.

    And bring a supply of water from home. Drinking water from an area your pet isn’t used to could result in stomach discomfort. We give Bo bottled water, at home and on the road and have never had a problem.

    Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle.

    We keep all this in a special bag. We call ours the “Bo Bag.”

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – What to do with all those photos you take on your RV trips?

    RVers love to take photos and these days, it’s more apt to be with our smartphones. But what do you do with them? How do you keep from running out of space? And what’s the best way to share those great memories? To help us answer those questions we talk with our RV buddies Jim and Chris Guld – better known as the Geeks on Tour.

    Chris has just written a great book called Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos and we chat about why – no matter what platform your smartphone is on Apple or Android – this amazing and totally free app need to be on your device.

    Plus RV Tips, suggestions about RVing with pets, traveling tech suggestions, RV News and much, much more!

    Jim and Chris Guld are Geeks Who Teach. They’ve both been in the Computer Training and Support industry since the early 80s. Now they live fulltime in a motorhome and tour the country presenting Technology Seminars at RV Rallies, Computer Clubs, and even people’s homes. 

    Jim and Chris have the Geeks On Tour website at http://geeksontour.com/

    Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos is available at http://geeksontour.com/google-photos-book/

    And their “What does this Button Do?” You Tube videos can be accessed at https://learnbuttons.blogspot.com/

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three RV News stories for you this week…

    • Heath advisors urging campers to take precautions as study confirms Lyme disease carrying ticks in nine east coast national parks.Read more
    • Company wants to build a marijuana friendly RV park in Oregon.Read more
    • Eighty-one false killer whales breech themselves in Florida everglades and die, mystifying scientists.Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge

    This week I wanted to take a little time to give a tip of the hat to some of the brightest middle and high school students across the nation.

    This past fall, Verizon kicked off it’s innovative learning app challenge - calling out to all middle and high school students to form teams and come up with ideas for smartphone apps that could make a positive difference in their communities.

    And did students ever answer the call!

    All told, more than 1,800 teams from across the country participated with some truly unique ideas.

    And recently Best in State winners were announced - one middle and high school team from every state - to receive a $5,000 grant and free tablets for each member of their team.

    Now they need your help. Because the team that gets the most votes as fan favorite wins an additional $15,000 for their school, an all expenses paid trip to Orlando to a tech conference and most importantly, the opportunity to work with MIT experts to create their app!

    To vote, visit verizon.com/appchallenge. There you’ll see the list of Best in State winners. Find the one you’d like to support and then text in their code to, 22333. 

    Voting is open until February 14th and the winner will be announced on Feb 15.

    Again that website is verizon.com/appchallenge

    Best of luck to all teams in the running!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT – Crystal Geyser, Utah

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    Winter is here, and as much as we enjoy winter camping, we also are thinking about getting warm.  We don’t think there’s any better way to warm up than in a hot spring.  Sitting in a natural spring on a winter evening, as a light snow falls is about as perfect as it gets.  There are a number of great sites around the country for this, although some of them rarely get snow.  Classic old-time commercial institutions like the ones in Arkansas and North Carolina are at one end of the spectrum, and some of the absolutely solitary spots along US 50 in Utah and in the Rocky Mountains are at the other end.

    Although hot springs got us thinking, this report is about another sort of geological feature.  As you drive along I-70 in Utah, it’s easy to put on the playlist and blow through without looking left or right.  If you do, you’ll lose out.  For example, the little town of Green River has several things to recommend it.  If you happen to be there in September, you can spend the weekend at Melon Days.  This classic small town festival celebrates all things green and stripey.  Pancake breakfasts, seed spitting contests for all ages, a 5K run, and a parade are on offer.  Enjoy live music, brush up on your square dancing, or just sit back and watch the softball tournament.

    What has this to do with hot springs, you’re wondering?  Well, the most underrated feature of the Green River area is a few miles out of town.  When we visited, it was five miles of driving down badly washboarded rural roads.  At the end we found Crystal Geyser.  Several times a day, water spouts from the ground here along the banks of the Green River, sometimes rising more than a hundred feet in the air. What makes this spot unique, one of only a handful in the world, is that it’s not geothermal.  the eruptions are powered by dissolved carbon dioxide in the groundwater, and the erupting stream is cold.  The water tumbles down to the river, and has left shelves of orange colored travertine.

    Amazingly, this wonder sits entirely unremarked on public agency land.  We came in after dark and parked twenty yards from the geyser.  By morning one other camper was sharing the large two-level undeveloped parking area with us.  As the morning wore on, a couple of families arrived in bathing suits, a few fishers ranged themselves along the banks, and a group of canoeists launched nearby.  The geyser burbled off and on, water running down the shelves.  We enjoyed the wildflowers and chatted with the regulars.  We chose to move on before a major blow, but the locals assured us it would happen several times that day.

    Green River also offers the John Wesley Powell Museum, with information about his river trips as well as local geology.  Slow down in those long stretches of seemingly barren country.  Look around.  You’ll be glad you did. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elxfvPCYiuQ

    http://melon-days.com/schedule/

    https://www.visitutah.com/places-to-go/cities-and-towns/green-river/john-wesley-powell-river-museum/

    RV CALENDAR 

    Three shows this weekend…

    Louisville Boat, RV Sport Show
    January 25-29
    Kentucky Exposition Center 
    Louisville , KY

    Fort Myers RV Show
    January 26-29
    Lee Civic Center
    Fort Myers, FL

    Atlanta Camping & RV Show
    January 27-29
    Atlanta Exposition Center South
    Atlanta, GA

    For a complete list of RV shows for the rest of the year, click here.

     

     

     

  • Episode 123: What you need to know to plan an RV trip to Alaska
    Tue, Jan 17, 2017

    Episode 123: What you need to know to plan an RV trip to Alaska

     

    Survey any group of RVers about what’s number one on their bucket list and inevitably, one destination will be at the very top: Alaska, a wilderness land of majestic mountains, spectacular scenery and wildlife and grand adventure.

    Every RVer needs to experience Alaska at least once and in this episode of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast, we learn from perhaps the top expert when it comes to RVing in Alaska – author and fulltime RVer Ron Jones.

    Ron tells us that if you are planning to visit Alaska this year – right now is when you should start planning and he dispels some myths and false notions, replacing it with solid, practical and expert advice on making this long journey. You will not want to miss my interview with Ron, coming up soon.

    Also in this episode, RV travel, tech and pet tips, news, your questions and comments and much more.

     

     

    Show Notes for Episode #123 Jan. 18 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    This tip comes by email from one of our listeners named Wendy… who came across an inexpensive little gadget that can help with staying clean and showering on camping trips and hikes.

    It’s called the Simple Shower and it is a specially designed portable shower that attaches to just about any one or two liter bottle to convert them into a shower.

    That’s right: It turns an empty water or soft drink bottle into a makeshift shower.

    Here’s how it works:

    Simply fill a plastic 1 or 2 liter bottle with warm water, or leave the bottle in the sun to heat up, and attach the Simple Shower device in the open neck of the bottle for a quick and easy shower.

    It's ideal for backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, camping, emergencies, cleaning pets, washing utensils, at the beach, and anywhere else a steady stream flow shower can be used. 

    A two liter bottle can hold pretty close to a half gallon of water and the Simple Shower attachment pours it out in a nice stream, not all at once

    And if you have a couple of them, you could even wash your hair.

    It costs just $12.99 on Amazon.

    Thanks, Wendy, for sending me that tip.

    And I invite all our listeners to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by T RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    A listener wants to have her own website to post pictures and tell her story. She wants someone else to build it for her but to teach her how do updates.

    Mike suggests several resources and services:

    www.blogger.com

    http://www.wix.com/

    http://www.weebly.com/

    http://blogstarting.org/

     

    And a reader wants to see an eTrek at an RV show. Mike suggests visiting the biggest one near or to call their local Roadtrek dealer and ask where they will be displaying one.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    We all know how important it is not to sit for long periods of time and, on long RV trips, to get up and walk around.

    But you know it’s just as important, if not more so, for our dogs. In fact, exercise is a necessity for maintaining a dogs optimal physical and mental well-being. As with people, obesity is becoming a major health problem in today's dogs.

    Between 20 and 40 percent of all dogs seen by veterinarians in the United States are considered overweight, and many are clinically obese. Obesity prevents dogs from enjoying many physical activities; it also decreases speed and stamina and makes it more difficult for dogs to deal with heat.

    Obesity is also associated with certain medical problems, including arthritic changes in overly burdened joints, increased risk of torn ligaments, back problems, cardiac problems, difficulty breathing, increased surgical risks, skin problems, whelping problems and a possible increase in risk for some cancers.

    So, experts say that, like with people, your pets should be able to get out and move around frequently during the day as you travel. About every two hours is the longest you should go without a stretching exercise break – for you and your dog!

    Mike and I are big believers in leash-free dogs parks for our Norwegian Elkhound, Bo.

    He runs and plays and gets rid if all that excess energy… plus he stays in great shape. Sometimes, we have been known to take him to a park twice a day. A typical visit is a half hour to an hour. Bo loves it and we also enjoy visiting with other pet owners and enjoying the fresh air, especially during long travel days.

    As we travel, we use a website called dogfriendly.com to locate those dog parks. They have the best list we’ve found. Just click on the state you’re in and it lists all the nearby parks. Again, the website is dogfriendly.com

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon 

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK Ron Jones, RVing in Alaska

     

    Alaska is the number one travel dream for many an RVers… the ultimate bucket list destination. But a lot of RVers make a lot of mistakes, or have a lot of wrong notions about Alaska. For one thing, they don’t do enough planning. And they often miss a lot of things because they didn’t allow enough time.

    My guest this week is Ron Jones, who probably knows more about RVing to Alaska than anyone else you can find. He has put on seminars all across North America on RVing to Alaska and he has written a series of books on the topic.

    If you plan to head to Alaska in tur RV... listen up!

    Ron’s blog – www.aboutrving.com

    Ron’s Alaska books - http://www.aboutrving.com/store/

    For free travel planning, things to do and maps from the State of Alaska go to www.travelalaska.com

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    Three RV News stories this week…

     

    Zion National Park Road Closes Indefinitely because of Rock Slide

    Tampa-area owner of an RV consignment business arrested for defrauding customers

    New 750-mile hiking/biking recreational trail planned for New York

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on Prepping for Severe Weather

     

    This past week’s ice storm wreaked havoc across much of the central United States leaving accidents and power outages in its wake.

     

    Preparation isn’t something a lot of us feel we have time for but it’s moments like these that it truly pays off.

     

    For instance, did you know that Verizon’s network is built with redundancies and battery backups to ensure you can stay connected? Everything from the individual cell towers to the switching centers that route all your calls, text and data.

     

    You, too, can take steps to be prepared for any type of severe weather.

     

    Store phones, tablets, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location. Zip-lock storage bags will do the trick or look into waterproof phones, cases or other protective accessories.

     

    Keep Your phone and tablets fully charged – in case local power is lost – well before warnings are issued.

     

    Have additional batteries and car-chargers available for back-up power. A nice variety, including solar-powered devices, make it easy to stay powered up.

     

    Maintain a list of emergency numbers – police and fire agencies; power and insurance companies; family, friends and co-workers; etc. – and program them into your phone before an emergency arises.

     

    Use your tablet to photograph and catalogue your valuables and other household belongings for possible insurance claims.

     

    Choose from hundreds of free weather-, news- and safety-related apps and services for smartphones and tablets - in particular I like the American Red Cross app, Weather Underground, and NOAA Now.

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

    RV CALENDAR

     

    Here’s the schedule of RV shows around the country for this weekend…

    Florida RV SuperShow
    January 18-22
    Florida State Fairgrounds
    Tampa, FL

    Inland Northwest RV Show
    January 19-22
    Spokane County Fair & Expo Center
    Spokane, WA

    Tacoma RV Show
    January 19-22
    Tacoma Dome
    Tacoma, WA

    Austin Boat & Travel Trailer Show
    January 19-22
    Austin Convention Center
    Austin, TX

    Toronto RV Show & Sale
    January 19-22
    Toronto Congress Centre
    Toronto, ON, Canada

    Northeast RV and Camping Show
    January 20-22
    CT Convention Center
    Hartford, CT

    Chattanooga RV Show
    January 20-22
    Chattanooga Convention Center
    Chattanooga, TN

    New Jersey RV & Camping Show 
    January 20-22
    New Jersey Convention Center
    Edison, NJ

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

  • Episode 122 - What you need to know before buying a used RV
    Tue, Jan 10, 2017

    Episode 122 - What you need to know before buying a used RV

    It’s RV shopping season and for a lot of shoppers, finding used RVs can be a daunting experience, especially for the high demand Class B campervan style motorhomes. But once you locate one, how do you make sure you are getting a good deal? What are the things that need to be carefully checked out? What red flag warning signs should you look for? That’s what we talk about this week in our interview of the week.

    Plus your RV questions, RV tips involving travel, technology and your pets, news of the week and a great off the beaten path report all coming up in this episode of The RV Lifestyle Podcast.

    Complete shownotes for Episode 122 of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    This is the time of year when people are shopping and buying their RVs. That means they are also buying the things they need for that RV, like pots and pans and plates and silverware.

    When I meet new RVers, one of the first questions I usually get is how much of all that do need to bring and store in the RV?

    The answer is not as much as you may think.

    How much entertaining do you plan to do? By that, I mean how often will you have people in your RV for dinner or lunch?

    Mike and I travel with four placesettings. That’s it. Just four. Same with glasses and cutlery. By the way, we often of paper plates and disposable cups, especially on winter campouts. Why make more work and spend all your time washing dishes?

    As far as pots and pans goes. That depends on your cooking style and how much food preparation you plan to do. We grill out as much as possible. All I have in our RV is a fry pan and a sauce pan. Now if you love Italian cooking, you’ll need something for pasta. You may want to steam your veggies and will need something for that. But our style is fast and easy. We prepare and freeze meals in advance that just need to be thawed.

    Or, as I said, we cook out on a grill.

    Again, we all have different RVing styles. Ours is keep it simple…less is always best and do whatever we can to make cleanup as easy as possible. After all, RVing is supposed to be a break from the routine.

    How about you?

    I’m interested in hearing about your RV style and tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by T RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    Terri asks about getting a better cellular signal inside her RV. Mike suggests a cellphone booster. The one Mike uses is the the  Professional Grade weBoost Drive 4G-X + RV Trucker Essentials Kit – 470510-RV. It comes with a big external antenna. It is most powerful in-vehicle booster certified in the US and Canada and enhances 4G LTE, as well as 3G and 2G network signals, up to 32x. That is probably overkill for most RVers at more than $500. Wilson makes much more affordable ones for single devices starting at around $100.

    Phil asks Mike and Jen about the gravity chair/loungers they take with them in their Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL. The brand we use is the Best Choice brand. They are available on Amazon at $64.99 for a set of two. When we bought them we found them at a Kmart in Missouri on sale for about the same price.

    And listener Debbie reacts to last week’s travel suggestion for fans of the Sheriff Longmire novels and TV show and plans for Longmire Days in Wyoming this summer. The dates haven’t been set yet but should be in June or early July.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    PET TIP OF THE WEEK

    When you travel with pets, they need to be protected just as you are. That means you really don’t want them roaming around inside the RV while you are underway.

    Pet safety experts recommend a soft protective crate. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.

    Make sure you secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop.

    We saw a great one used by Roadtreker Colleen Schneider… whose lab Sage rides in the Precision Pet Soft Sided Crate. They come in different sizes and can handle pets up to 90 pounds.

    Colleen says Sage loves the crate and gets excited whenever they get it out. They use it only wjhen traveling in their RV and it fits behind the driver and passenger seats of their Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL, facing the sliding door. The crate has openings on three sides and besides being a safe place for Sage to be while driving, it keeps that pesky dog hair in one place.

    Now if you decide to forgo the crate, we’ve seen others who keep their pets in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle. We found a whole bunch of pet safety harnesses with seat belt latches on Amazon that are made just for such purposes. We’ll put a link with the shownotes for this episode at Roadtreking.com forward slash 122.

    That’s this week’s traveling with pets tip. If you have one to share, use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com to record a message to us.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

    It’s RV shopping season… For a lot of shoppers, finding used RVs can be a daunting experience, especially for the high demand Class B campervan style motorhomes. But once you locate one, how do you make sure you are getting a good deal? What are the things that need to be carefully checked out? What red flag warning signs should you look for? That’s what we talk about this week in our interview of the week.

    Our guest is Nick Schmidt of Sunshine State RV. Jennifer Bo and I traveled to Gainesville, Florida this week to meet with Nick, who carries one of the largest inventories of used Class B RVs in North America.

    Nick shared with us the things buyers need to know when selecting a previously owned RV, whether they buy from a dealer or a private individual.

    Nick mentions getting an inspection before buying a used RV.

    Here are some organizations that do just that:

    http://lemonsquad.com/used-car-inspections/rv

    https://rvinspection.com/

    https://nrvia.org/locate/

    http://www.accuratervinspection.com/

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Two stories in the RV news this week, both related to exotic animals…

    • Trail camera in southern Arizona's Huachuca Mountains confirms new wild jaguar sighting.Read more
    • ​​​​​​​Bicyclist captures video of Burmese python and alligator fighting just off the trail at Big Cypress National Preserve in southern Florida.Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports - Protecting your phone from frigid temps

    Recent blasts of bitter cold and snow are reminding all of us that winter isn’t leaving any time soon. And while we have hats and gloves to keep our bodies warm, did you know your smartphone needs a little extra love when it’s cold as well?

    In fact, the farther the temperature drops below freezing the more you need to be concerned about it.

    You may have noticed your phone taking a little longer when it’s cold out, or your battery doesn’t seem to last quite as long. That’s not an illusion.

    For best results, never leave your phone in a car overnight if temperatures are plummeting. And if you do happen to leave your device outside for a long period of time and can afford to wait before using it, it’s a good idea to let it warm up to room temperature before you turn it on and start using it. That will maximize your battery life.

    If you happen to be outside in the cold for a long time and still need to use your phone you may want to invest in an insulated phone case. Or move your phone to an inside pocket of your coat where it will absorb the most body heat.

    Finally if you’re traveling along treacherous roads, make sure you are packing a car charger or bringing along an extra power pack. This could be a lifesaver if you were to be stuck on the side of the road.

    With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide. 

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    Well, we really enjoyed hearing everyone’s 2017 travel plans last week, and the mention of Kentucky’s moonbow.  This amazing phenomenon is most impressive on a full moon night in the winter.  As you can imagine, getting a clear night on the full moon, in Kentucky, in the winter is quite a crap shoot, so seeing it is a real treat!  If you go, take a chair and arrive early.  Cumberland State Resort Park is a bit of a drive off interstate 75.  If you’re making the trip, stop in Corbin at Harlan Sanders’ original restaurant to see the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Anyway, hearing about the moonbow reminded us of another stellar Kentucky adventure.  We’ve often spent time at the Big South Fork on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee.  The Green River, which runs through the park, is great for swimming, fishing, and paddling.  Theres a restored mining settlement, an excellent interactive historical display, and an annual festival that celebrates mountain culture with first-rate music and storytelling.  You can also climb around on a huge old coal tipple and see how it worked.Not too far away from the Big South Fork is Pickett State Park and Forest.  Pickett is tranquil and quiet, and it’s home to Hazard Cave.  In the late spring and early summer, you can take a hike to the cave at dusk, arriving at dark, and step inside to see some amazing animals.  The cave seems to sparkle with the stars of a night sky thanks to thousands of battle larvae commonly called glow worms.  Unlike stars and fireflies, they don’t flash, but glow steadily.  Call the park for updates near the time.  There are ranger-led walks, but if your schedule doesn’t match you can also go on your own.  Be sure to have a flashlight or headlamp for the walk back along the trail in the dark.Glow worms are found in only a handful of places around the world.  Many folks spend lots of money to visit the famous Waitomo Glowworm caves in New Zealand.  While the caves in Kentucky aren’t quite as spectacular, they’re a lot easier to get to, and you can camp within walking distance.  Kentucky cave worms are one of several phenomena that only occur at a certain time of the year, so we keep a travel calendar with such events scheduled to recur annually.  When we’re planning a trip, we consult the calendar and try to make our route match one or more of the time-limited attractions.  Patti and I begin our new year travels next weekend, and we’ll be looking for you somewhere, out there, off the beaten path.

    http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/pickett

    http://www.2geton.net/martin/moonbow/moonbowschedule.html

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/4156 

    RV CALENDAR

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here. 

    Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show
    January 11-15
    McCormick Place 
    Chicago, IL

    Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show
    January 12-15
    DeVos Place
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Mid-America RV Show
    January 12-15
    Bartle Hall 
    Kansas City, MO

    56th Annual RV & Campgrounds Show
    January 13-15
    Allentown Fairgrounds
    Allentown, PA

    Greater Chicago RV Show
    January 13-15
    Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
    Schaumburg, IL

    Valley RV & Camping Show
    January 13-15
    Century Center
    South Bend, IN

    Washington RV Show
    January 13-15
    Dulles Expo Center
    Chantilly, VA 

    Boston RV & Camping Expo
    January 13-16
    Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
    Boston, MA

     

  • Episode 121: Must visit ideas for Your 2017 RV Travel Bucket List
    Tue, Jan 03, 2017

    Episode 121: Must visit ideas for Your 2017 RV Travel Bucket List

    It’s a New Year and RVers have made their bucket lists and are ready to take on 2017. And in this episode of the podcast. We hear from lots of our fellow RV travelers who share what’s on their bucket list for this year. And in the process, they offer all of us plenty of ideas for places and events that wemay not have been aware of. 

    Plus tech tips, your questions and much more. 

    Shownotes for Episode 121 of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    There are lots of ways to use a Roadtrek besides camping and boondocking. 

    You can driveway camp at the homes of friends and relatives, use it to stay in the parking lot of a hospital, use it as a moving van or as a second vehicle for errands around town.

    Meanwhile…

    We have follow up report from Steve Dodd, a Roadtreker we met and interviewed last summer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Steve shares a most unusual second use for his Roadtrek…. As Santa’s delivery van. He gives us this update on how it worked out for him this past Christmastime.

    Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile device to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com)  an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: 

    A listener named Donna put her RV under cover and in storage. When she checked it the other day, the carbon monoxide alarm was chirping. She wonders what’s wrong…

     

    Carbon monoxide detectors and alarms are designed to alert you to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.  They do this by making noise and flashing lights.  However, they also make noise and flash lights under other conditions.  The noise that they make has been described as beeping, chirping, and even squeaking.  Most detectors will make two sounds: a “beep” and a much shorter “chirp”.  The beeping noise is used to alert you to unsafe CO levels.  It is usually in the form of 4 beeps, a pause, then 4 more beeps.  This pattern is repeated continuously until the CO level drops or until you press the “mute” button. 

    On the other hand, the chirping sound is used to report some problem with the detector.  It is not as critical as the beeping alarm, but it should be addressed.  The chirping is telling you that the detector may not be functioning or may fail soon. It may be reporting a low battery, an internal error, a unit malfunction, or the end of the internal sensors useful life. 

    If you do not have it plugged in, your batteries will drain down.  

    If the CO detector and/or the smoke alarms notice low batteries, they will beep to warn you the batteries are low.  That is most likely what is happening.

    My gut feeling is that your C0 detector is probably fine; but your batteries might need looking at and or replacing if they been drained down too often.

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Bucket Lists for 2017

     

    Jennifer and I have a bunch of trips on our 2017 bucket list, too. We’ve shared many on the blog (see http://roadtreking.com/2017-schedule-roadtreking-gatherings/).

     

    Mike and Jen’s big trips include:

     

    • January 20-22:  January Freezeout, Tahquamenon State Park, Michigan

     

    • February 24-27, Pogo’s Smokin’ on the Bayou Mardi Gras Gathering, Ocean Springs, MS

     ·      June 19-23: Roadtreking’s Photo Safari, Glacier National Park (Chewing Blackbones Campground)

    - August 18-22: Pacific Northwest Gettogether and Solar Eclipse, John Day, OR 

    -  September 14-18: Blues and BBQ, Tupelo, Mississippi – Trace State Park

    - October 2-6:  Fall Foliage Tour, Shawangunks, NY

    Listen to the podcast as numerous listeners share what’s on their bucket lists for 2017.

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    Also…

    by Alde… the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on new traveling tech gadgets for 2017

    Welcome to 2017! I hope you and your listeners had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.

    And with the start of the new year, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about some new tech that can get you off on the right foot.

    First up…the Misfit Ray Fitness and Sleep Monitor. It looks like a sleek piece of jewelry for men or women, but it’s really packing a whole lot of smarts inside. In fact, while you’ll feel good having it on your wrist, it’s actually keeping track of your movements throughout the day, notifying you when you get a call or text, allowing you to take selfies and even wakes you in the morning at the time when you’re in the lightest sleep! And its 6 months battery life – yes one half of a year – means you never have to think about plugging it in. And all its info is shared via an app on your phone! Again that’s the Misfit Ray.

    Next, if you struggle with getting pictures and other files onto and off of your Android device, then have I got the gadget for you! It’s the Ultra Dual Drive USB Flash Drive – long name I know, but what it does is simple. On one side you have a traditional USB connector that plugs into your computer, on the other is a USB type C connector that plugs into any phone with a USB C port. Plug it into your phone and easily transfer files to and from the flash drive. Then plug into your computer and easily transfer there as well. It doesn’t get much easier than that! 

    And finally if you ever stop to take a hike on any of your roadtreks, or maybe your kids like to listen to music on their Bluetooth headphones while on a cross country drive, then the Mophie Power Capsule would be a great addition to your trip. Not only does it act as a protective case for your headphones, it also has a built in battery and will charge your Bluetooth headphones up to 8 times over! Again that’s called the Mophie Power Capsule.

    For more information on any of these, head on over to VerizonWireless.com. With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

  • Episode 120: The Largest RV Gathering in the World
    Tue, Dec 27, 2016

    Episode 120: The Largest RV Gathering in the World

     

    When it comes to snowbird getaways, one place stands out… Quartzsite, AZ. It is a gathering spot so huge that sometimes – and we are not exaggerating - as many as 100,000 RVers set up camp there. Some think attendance is often even more than that. It is easily the biggest RV gathering in the world and it happens every January and February.

    It belongs on every RVers bucket list, with a sort of a Woodstock/Burning Man/carnival atmosphere built around flea markets, RV displays and boondocking fun in the desert. This week, we learn all about Quartzsite from Shanana Raid Golden Bear, publisher of Quartssite’s community newspaper the Desert Messenger, and the Marketing Director at Quartzsite Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

    Plus RV new, RV tips and much more!

     

    Show Notes for Episode #120 Dec. 28, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

     

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     

    On our Roadtreking.com blog this week, RV Recipes Chef Mary Jane Curry has shared some tips about the convection oven that comes prettystandard on most RVs these days. For many RVers, it’s an appliance seldom used. We know how the microwave part of it works but are often perplexed by the convection oven part. Fear not! Mary Jane shares some more tips for us this week!

     

    Check out:  http://roadtreking.com/convection-oven-tips/

     

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

    I love hearing from you!

     

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

     

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     

    This week, we answer a bunch of email questions sent to Jennifer. Mike has been saving these or several months and this podcast is where Jennifer answers them:

     

    • We wonder about how much Jennifer drives while you are on the road. We’ve heard her say before but my wife is afraid to do so and perhaps we could hear from Jennifer on her perspective of driving the RV. – Dick from St. Paul

     

    • We’d like to hear from Jennifer about how she makes up the bed in your Roadtrek…. As two singles or king, whether it stays made all the time and if you put it away where al the bedding goes when you use it in the original sofa configuration. Ron and Marta

     

    • How do you two handle chores in the RV… like cooking, cleaning, dog walking, etc. – Beth, from Metaire, LA
    • =
    • Jennifer… how much stuff do you leave in the RV when you return from a trip? What do you take out (besides refrigerator items, of course) and what do you leave in? It seems packing and unpacking our Roadtrek takes way too much time. My wife brings everything in and I have to believe you two have figured out a better way. Howard, from Ames, Iowa.

     

     

    Dear Jennifer: What’s your favorite accessories that you have added to your Roadtrek? We’re getting our new CS Adventurous in early spring and I am hoping you can save me some time so I can get them all ahead of time. Christy

     

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

     

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Quartzsite, Arizona

     

    When it comes to snowbird getaways, one place stands out… Quartzsite, AZ. It is a gathering spot so huge that sometimes – and we are not exaggerating - as many as 100,000 RVers set up camp there. Some think attendance is often even more than that. It is easily the biggest RV gathering in the world and it happens every January and February.

    It belongs on every RVers bucket list, with a sort of a Woodstock/Burning Man/carnival atmosphere built around flea markets, RV displays and boondocking fun in the desert. This week, we learn all about Quartzsite from Shanana Raid Golden Bear, publisher of Quartssite’s community newspaper the Desert Messenger, and the Marketing Director at Quartzsite Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

     

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

     

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

     

    We have three Rv News stories this week…

    • More Boomers retiring and hitting the road in an RV.Read more
    • Washington firefighters urge RVers to use caution when using portable heater when camping.Read more
    • ​​​​​​​Federal agency establishes 7,000 square mile conservation area in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah to protect wildlife.Read more 

     

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

     

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on how technology can help you keep those New Year resolutions

     

    The beginning of the new year offers us a chance to reflect on who we are and how we can make our lives better. This often means setting goals and trying to make them stick. Today, I’ve got some technology options that can help!

     

    • Google Goals – Whatever your resolution, Google’s Goal feature built into Google Calendar can help make sure you achieve it. Simply decide what you want to change and then open up the Google Calendar app on your phone. Not click the plus sign and choose “goal” and then answer a few questions. After that Google will look at your calendar and find time to make it work. You’ll also get helpful reminders and automatic rescheduling should something unexpected come up.

     

    • FitBit Charge 2 – Many people choose working out more as their new year’s resolution but often that’s a hard one to stick simply because the results aren’t always immediate. That’s where the FitBit Charge 2 comes in. You simply wear this as you work out and it will automatically track your movement and record it in an easy-to-use app. You’ll see not only how long you worked out but also the intensity (thanks to its built in heart rate monitor) and all of that is logged and charted over time. In addition, wear it as you sleep and it’ll also track how long you slept and the quality of that sleep.

     

    • Bose Soundsport Pulse – No matter how busy your life, there’s always room for relaxation. What better way than breaking away from the hustle and bustle by listening to some calming meditation music. With the Bose Soundsport Pulse just pop them in your ears, turn on your favorite music, and escape the world. These headphones have Bose quality sound so they’re sure to sound great and also are completely wireless. That means you can stream from your phone even when it’s charging across the room – a double win!

     

    Here’s wishing you and yours a great 2017!

     

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

     

  • EPISODE 119: The Evolution of Recreational Camping
    Tue, Dec 20, 2016

    EPISODE 119: The Evolution of Recreational Camping

    Show Notes for Episode #119 Dec. 21 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    Modern campgrounds are replete with delightful irony: an increasingly sophisticated range of utilities and conveniences services them, yet they are marketed to perpetuate the cherished American ideal of the backwoods camp.   This week, we meet Martin Hogue, a landscape architect and professor who has studied the emergence of the American campground.

    Hogue has produced a coffee table book, called Thirty-Four Campgrounds, that traces the history of modern campground and looks at thousands of campsites from an academician’s viewpoint. 

    Also in this weeks podcast, major RV News for those who love National Parks, your questions and answers, RV tips and much more. 

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

     Well, as we said, we’re about to hit the road for several weeks and that means, we’ll be camping out in some cold conditions until we get far down south for Florida’s sunshime.

    And in a little less than a month’s time, we’ll have made out way back to the cold and to Tahquamenon Falls, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, for our annual Roadtreking January Freezeout winter camping trip.

    People ask how we stay warm and we love to tell them about Reflectix.

    ReflectIx looks like bubble wrap between two layers of aluminum foil. It is available in rolls at Lowes or Home Depot.

    ReflectIx is very helpful in the winter to prevent heat loss around the windows.

    You can easily Use scissors to cut it in any shape you want.

    The first thing you should do is to cut pieces that fit the windows tightly. Most of the time you can press them into the window and they will stay in place. Put it on every window. For us, we use one of those aluminum-sided sun shields for the massive front window. Instead of putting the aluminum facing out, as we do in the summer to keep the heat out, we place it so the aluminum side faces inward, to keep the heart in.

    We also stuff a big piece of ReflectIx around the tops and bottoms of the center and rear doors, temporarily holding in in place with duct tape. 

    If you like cold weather camping, try it. ReflectIx will be one of your best tools to keep warm and comfy.

    For more about Reflectix check out these stories from Roadtreking Reporters Roger and Lynn Brucker:

    http://roadtreking.com/winter-roadtreking/

    http://roadtreking.com/keeping-cool-in-rv-reflectix/

    Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

     A listener named Mavis lives in Virginia and wonders I she needs to winterize when the weather only occasionally gets below 30. The catch is, she sometimes travels to New Jersey in the winter. 

    And a reader named Jim called in to offer a resource for those whose RVs are made by Omnistor. RV dealers tell him parts are no longer available but he found a website in the UK that shipped him what he needs. The address is: http://www.omnistorawnings.co.uk/

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK Martin Hogue

    Modern campgrounds are replete with delightful irony: an increasingly sophisticated range of utilities and conveniences services them, yet they are marketed to perpetuate the cherished American ideal of the backwoods camp.  

    Martin Hogue is a landscape architect and professor who set out to study the emergence, standardization, and modernization of the American campground. And what he found is that the campsite upon which travelers may pitch a tent and will almost certainly park their car, trailer, camper, or RV is thus only an imagined ideal.

    Despite the nearly one million campsites across the country, demand for sites remains so high at popular destinations like Yosemite National Park that would-be campers reportedly turn to Craigslist to purchase campsite reservations at three or four times their original price.

    Hogue has produced a coffee table book, called Thirty-Four Campgrounds, that traces the history of modern campground and looks at thousands of campsites from an academician’s viewpoint.

    The central part of the book consists of color photographs of individual campsites, downloaded from such online reservation websites as reserveamerica.com and recreation.gov, organized by zip code, and arranged in grids across the pages. The campsite pictures seem at first endlessly repetitious; but then the repetition makes way for difference.

    Time reveals itself in fading light and passing clouds, the weather changes between photographs of neighboring sites, leaves turn color and fall, in an unexpected kind of time-lapse photography.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered free to the customer free, anywhere in the country.

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three stories for you this week…

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on Apps to help you this Holiday Season

    As we pack up our sleighs to head over the river and through the woods this holiday season, most of us are bringing a smartphone along.

    So I thought it would be fitting to talk about some of my favorite apps that can help make your trek a more enjoyable one.

    First up, Android Auto. If you have an Android phone, this one is a must – especially if you’re driving. When you get into the car just place your smartphone somewhere in the front seat, fire up the app and now you have navigation, calling and streaming music available all via voice. And I love that when text messages or other notifications come in they’re read off to you and you can respond via voice without having to touch your phone.

    If you have a newer car with Android auto built in, simply plug your phone into the car’s USB port and away you go! Again that one is called Android Auto.

    If you’re taking to the skies, then you’ll want to check out the app, App in the Air. This free app for Android, iOS, and Windows phones lets you know your flight status, how long you have left to check in, the time until boarding ends and more. In addition, you get access to tips and tricks from others like the best restaurant or places with free wifi. Finally it connects with your TripIt account for easy integration. Again, that is called App in the Air.

    And finally, if you’re looking to make some money to afford paid apps or movies while on the road, and you have an Android phone, then be sure to download a free app called Google Opinion Rewards. As you answer quick survey questions you’ll rack up a quarter here or a dollar there. It’s not a lot each time but it does add up. And it’ll help you pass the time.

    Here’s wishing you and yours a great 2017!

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Fruit and Fruita

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    A few weeks ago, as I was thinking about making my annual holiday fruitcake, my mind wandered (as it often does) to traveling in the Roadtrek, and a visit we made to an orchard last spring.  Utah is legend for the sights you can see there—arches, hoodoos, swirling stone landscapes, cliffs and canyons.  Visit in season and you’ll definitely be on the beaten path.  But there are places even here that most people never see.  Far from the interstate you’ll find Capitol Reef.  This park is, at most, often a drive-through on the trip between Zion and Bryce Canyon. It has its own charms, though, well worth the time it takes to stop and smell the baked goods.  Near the center of the park is the town of Fruita, right along the beautiful Fremont River, and is home to one of a surprising number of orchards maintained by the National Park Service.

    The orchards at Fruita grow apples and apricots, pears and a variety of berries.  This was a serendipitously fertile area in a pretty barren landscape when it was settled by Mormons a hundred years ago.  You’re welcome to walk through the fruit trees.  If fruit is in season, feel free to pick what you can eat.  A nearby historic bake shop turns the produce into pies and jams for you to stick in your RV cupboard.  There’s freshly-baked bread. too.  Right next door is a tree-shaded campground with direct access to the riverside paths and the orchard walks.

    You may not know that the NPS takes responsibility for quite a few fruit trees, all across the continent.  In the northeast there are orchards in Massachusetts and in the Delaware Water Gap.  You’ll find them on the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Smokies, on Manitou Island in Sleeping Bear Dunes, and at the Japanese-American internment camp in Manzanar, California.  You can even pick olives in a historic grove at John Muir’s gravesite.

    So, watch out.  This next year we hope to gather enough fruit on our travels to at least make a good contribution to our holiday fruitcake.  I guess that means planning a travel schedule that accommodates harvest season in parks from California to Massachusetts.  No reason that can’t work.  Add in some Michigan cherries, Hawaiian pineapple, and Texas pecans and it could be a very good Roadtreking season. 

    Happy holidays.  When the year turns we’ll be out there again, hoping to run into you somewhere under the trees, off the beaten path.

    https://www.nps.gov/care/learn/historyculture/orchardscms.htm

    http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/evening-2-Susan-Dolan-Historic-Orchards-in-National-Parks.pdf

    RV CALENDAR

    Florida RV SuperShow
    January 18-22
    Florida State Fairgrounds
    Tampa, FL

    Tacoma RV Show
    January 19-22
    Tacoma Dome
    Tacoma, WA

    Austin Boat & Travel Trailer Show
    January 19-22
    Austin Convention Center
    Austin, TX

    Toronto RV Show & Sale
    January 19-22
    Toronto Congress Centre
    Toronto, ON, Canada

    Northeast RV and Camping Show
    January 20-22
    CT Convention Center
    Hartford, CT

    Chattanooga RV Show
    January 20-22
    Chattanooga Convention Center
    Chattanooga, TN

    New Jersey RV & Camping Show 
    January 20-22
    New Jersey Convention Center
    Edison, NJ

    Georgia RV & Camper Show
    January 23-25
    Cobb Galleria Centre
    Atlanta, GA

    Louisville Boat, RV Sport Show
    January 25-29
    Kentucky Exposition Center 
    Louisville , KY

    Ft. Myers RV Show
    January 26-29
    Lee Civic Center
    Ft. Myers, FL

    Atlanta Camping & RV Show
    January 27-29
    Atlanta Exposition Center South
    Atlanta, GA

     

  • Episode 118: Get Ready for Self-Driving RVs
    Tue, Dec 13, 2016

    Episode 118: Get Ready for Self-Driving RVs

    An autonomous or self-driving RV may be in your future. And not that far off, either. That’s what we learn this week from Joel Adams, Director of Engineering and Innovation for the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, who talks with us about self-driving RV’s and what that will mean for the typical RVer.

    Plus we offer up winter tips for clearing off the snow and ice from your windshield, answer your RV questions, gave RV news of the week and Christmas tech gift ideas under $100

    Show Notes for Episode #118 December 14, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    Well, it is almost officially winter. And for those in all but the warmest southern states, it can be a real chore to get all the ice and frost and snow off your windshield before heading out in the morning. Keeping the snow and ice off your windshield in the first place makes getting on the road that much easier. 

    So I have a bunch of tips, collected from our Roadtreking Facebook Group and gathered from our own experience and that of our friends.

    Tip #1:

    Use an old set of car floor mats to cover your car's windshield in the evening and you won't have any ice or snow to scrape in the morning. Carpet remnants also work. Others use clear plastic shower curtains or old table cloths or old bed sheets. You just put it across your windshield, covering wiper blades so they don’t freeze. Open one front door and put it inside the vehicle; and then stretch it and do the same on the other side. In the morning, just slide them off the windshield and have clear vision with no scraping and defrosting. 

    Tip #2:

    Spray a 3 to 1 solution of water and vinegar on your vehicle's windows the night before. It keeps them ice proof. It is necessary to dilute the vinegar lest it harm your windshield wipers or the rubber around the windows If it is really cold, like in the single digits, vinegar may not be as effective as rubbing alcohol. You need to prepare a solution by mixing two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water.

    Tip #3:    

    To keep your windshield wipers from freezing to the windshield overnight, pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice build up on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.

    Tip #4:

    If you forgot to do these things the night before and you come out to find a frozen windshield, try this: Fill a small spray bottle with windshield washer solvent. When your windshield is iced over spray beginning at the top of the windshield and work down towards the midway point. This starts a melting process and the top area will loosen up by time you get to the other side of your car.

    Tip #5

    Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Although drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away rain, sleet and snow, many wait to replace them until they need them the most. You should change your wiper blades every six months. or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility.  Edit When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility. And the worst thing you can do with your wipers is to use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, either use an ice scraper or use your defroster to melt snow and ice

    So there you go, winter tips for your RV or your car.

    Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Send Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by T RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    A listener is traveling after Christmas from Denver to Florida is planning to travel from Denver to Florida and asks for winter travel tips and ideas on how to make the trip more comfortable 

    And a listener is interested in after market screens for her RV

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations. 

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Autonomous RVs

    An interview with Joel Adams, Director of Engineering and Innovation for the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, talks with us about self-driving RV’s and what that will mean for the typical RVer.

    The Erwin Hymer Group on North America, makers of Roadtrek Motorhomes and other RV models under the Hymer brand, will be testing an autonomous Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van as part of a joint project between the province of Ontario and the University of Waterloo. As such it is the first RV manufacturer in the world with a government permit for testing automated vehicles. 

    Adams reveals the timeline for the project, just how a self-driving RV would work and what it means to the RV lifestyle.

    The interview of the week is brought to you by http://sunshinestatervs.com/, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Three big RV-related stories this week:

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on Great Holiday Gifts for Under $100

    We’re coming up on the home stretch before Santa’s big day and now the pressure is on to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

    You don’t have to break the bank to put a smile on someone’s face and each of today’s ideas come in under $100.

    First up is Google Daydream View. This makes a great gift for anyone on your list and brings the immersive world of virtual reality to their home. And the remote control takes gaming in VR to a whole new level. Keep in mind, you do need a Google Pixel or Motorola Z Droid smartphone as well.

    Next, if you’ve ever dreamed of flying your own plane or have a child fascinated by flight then the Mambo Mini Drone is worth a look. This small and easy to fly drone is controlled via a free app on your iOS or Android device. In addition to just flying around it also comes with a mini cannon allowing you to make a game out of it.

    For the audiophile on your list, the Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones are lightweight, durable, sweatproof option bringing great quality.

    And finally, who couldn’t use more portable power?! If that sounds like the person on your list, then you’ll want to check out the Mophie Powerstation plus 6000 With this battery you can leave your cords behind, that’s because it comes packing charging tips for both Android and iOS devices. It has enough juice to power up your smartphone about two times over.

    Hope these ideas help you cross at least a few people off your list.

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide. 

    RV CALENDAR

    Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show 
    January 5-7
    Colorado Convention Center
    Denver, CO 

    Greenville RV Show
    January 6-8
    TD Convention Center 
    Greenville, SC 

    Knoxville RV Show
    January 6-8
    Sevierville Convention Center
    Sevierville, TN

    Wisconsin RV Show
    January 6-8
    Wisconsin Center
    Milwaukee, WI

    Houston Boat, Sport & Travel Show
    January 6-15
    NRG Center
    Houston, TX

    Indy RV Expo
    January 7-15
    Indiana State Fairgrounds
    Indianapolis, IN

    Pittsburgh RV Show
    January 7-15
    David L. Lawrence Convention Center
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show
    January 11-15
    McCormick Place 
    Chicago, IL

    Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show
    January 12-15
    DeVos Place
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Mid-America RV Show
    January 12-15
    Bartle Hall 
    Kansas City, MO

    56th Annual RV & Campgrounds Show
    January 13-15
    Allentown Fairgrounds
    Allentown, PA

    Greater Chicago RV Show
    January 13-15
    Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
    Schaumburg, IL

    Valley RV & Camping Show
    January 13-15
    Century Center
    South Bend, IN

    Washington RV Show
    January 13-15
    Dulles Expo Center
    Chantilly, VA 

    Boston RV & Camping Expo
    January 13-16
    Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
    Boston, MA

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

     

     

  • Episode 117: A Pet Detective Reveals What RVers Need to Know about Pet Safety
    Wed, Dec 07, 2016

    About 70% of all RVers travel with pets and while they bring great joy to us, taking care of them on the road presents some unique challenges. This week we talk to a certified Pet Detective who offers us some critical tips for pet safety.

    Plus RV News, RV travel tips, technology suggestions and a great off the beaten path report.

    Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

    Show Notes for Roadtreking Episode 117:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK – Wine in a Bag

    We RVers all have our own ideas and tips and little things that make life on the road a little easier. So it was with a couple of newbies we met not long ago… Doug and Glenda McLendon from Texas. If you drink wine and are always worried about breaking a bottle while you’re on the road, then you'll want to listen to the McLendons….

     We hunted around Amazon and found these wine bags like the McLendons showed us. Each wine pouch carries one full bottle of wine. They are leakproof, reuseable and you get two for $18.98. They come with a collapsible funnel and corkscrew bottle opener. (http://amzn.to/2gMV0Pu)

    We also found the unbreakable rubber glasses. A set of four costs $22.98. http://amzn.to/2gN6B0W We will put links to both on the shownotes for this episode at roadtreking-dot-com-forward slash- 117,

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

    I love hearing from you!

    Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    A couple with a 43-foot Class A are thinking about downsizing and want to know how Mike and Jennifer get around in their Class B, especially when it comes to driving around town and parking.

    Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

    INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Cindy Gordon, Pet Detective

     This week we interview Texas-based Pet Detective Cindy Gordon. She has some very practical advice for all RVers who travel with pets. You need to listen to ther whole interview for details, but here are some highlights and resources that she mentioned.

     5 Critical Tips for RV Pet Safety:

    1.Microchip your pets, and immediately REGISTER the microchip with your personal information. A great tip is to keep all of the microchip information for each pet as a contact on your own phone. Keep the chip number, and the phone number for the chip company. Immediately report as lost if they escape, and call them and be sure the chip info is up to date.

    1. Identification collar embroidered with your phone number: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreeLittleIgletsTammy has been kind enough to offer a discount for Roadtreking listeners. Enter in the discount code RVLIFE for $3off through the end of December 2016.
    2. Kennel your pet during transport. If you want to read more about the kind of crates that are available, there’s a good Facebook group called “Dog Sport Vehicle Ideas & Set-ups” that has a lot of reviews and specifics about different brands, etc. Here's the link to that page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DogSportVehicleIdeas/
    3. Harnesslead for walking pets:  Lisa at www.harnesslead.comhas been kind enough to offer a 10% off any purchase through the end of December 2016, with the same discount code, RVLIFE.
    4. Lastly, and most importantly, a Marco Polo tracking system which is a radio tracking device (not a GPS tracking device.) There's no monthly fee for this product, so it makes a perfect holiday gift. 2016 Holiday sale is going on right now with the BEST discounts they’ve ever had on 1, 2 and 3 pet tracking systems: www.eurekaproducts.comPlease visit them on Facebook to see their testimonials: http://facebook.com/marcopolosystem. Please visit Cindy’s Facebook page and read in great detail about the Marco Polo Tracking System in a post: http://facebook.com/lostpetsar

    RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

    Four stories for you this week:

    • Connecticut state parks struggle to keep campsites, more open throughout season in midst of state budget crunch. Read more
    • British Columbia adding 1,900 new campsites to meet growing public demand. Read more
    • Georgia town seeks to pass laws to keep RV parks from becoming home to temporary workers. Read more
    • The location where John Smith met Pocahontas is purchased and added to the National Park Service.Read more
    • Couple in 80s escape Smoky Mountain fire by hiking down a mountain in the dark. Read more

    This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

    TRAVELING TECH TIP:

    Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports taking your connected home to the next level

    How many connected devices do you have in your home? This year for the first time more than half of US homes had at least one connected entertainment device – whether it was a TV, gaming console or streaming media player.

    And I’ve got some great gift ideas that can take your connected home to the next level.

    First off, how many times have you been out and about only to wish you could turn on a lamp in your home remotely to make it appear like someone was home or pop on your tree lights so you could see them as you drove into your driveway? Well with the Belkin Insight Switch you can! This one is so easy to use. Just plug it into an outlet and then plug in whatever you want to control from a lamp to your Christmas tree to a coffee maker. Then you can use your app to turn your appliance or light on and off or even schedule it to turn on and off on its own!

    Next if you’ve ever felt bored by the lighting in your house then listen up – you want to go pick yourself up some Hue lights by Philips. These are wifi connected lights – meaning they talk to one another and their internet hub. Now you can turn them on and off with an app…AND you can make them appear one of 3 million colors. Talk about festive lighting! Also, paired with apps like Hue Disco, you can make your lights dance to your holiday music! Who needs a DJ?!

    Finally, I know you and your listeners travel a lot. Wouldn’t it be great to know if your home is in danger while you’re away? Thanks to a device from HouseSetter you can. This little plastic dog is a big time helper. Simply set him anywhere in your house and he’ll monitor things like temperature and humidity. If he senses trouble he’ll send you a message. And if your power goes out he has battery backup and connects to our network so he can alert you before you have burst pipes. He’s available at www.housesetter.com.  The rest of these ideas here are available at your nearest Verizon store or at verizonwireless.com

    This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

    OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Woolaroc Museum in Oklahoma

    By Tom and Patti Burkett

    Remember Phillips 66 gas stations? Well, Frank Phillips made his money in the oil business and he thought about building a big east coast mansion like his friends the Rockefellers and Carnegies.  Instead he bought a big hunk of Oklahoma land and put up a western style lodge, but one with eastern style amenities.  He called the lodge Woolaroc, and shortly built an adjacent museum to house his extensive collection of western, Native American, and pre-Columbian artifacts.

    We puzzled over the name of Phillips ranch, thinking it must be a Native American word until a docent told us no, it came from Frank’s love of the WOOds, LAkes, and ROCks of his beloved acreage.  In its industrial heyday, it hosted many of the illustrious names of the US boom in oil, gas, steel, and manufacturing.  Anxious to impress his Eastern business friends with the spirit of the West, Phillipps hosted a barbeque in 1927 that included tycoons, lawmen, Native Americans, ranchers, and several notorious outlaws.  The rules required all guns to be checked at the gate and that no one could be arrested while on the property.  The “Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion,” as it was called, was an instant success and continued for many years.

    Nowadays, Woolaroc is a museum and animal sanctuary.  A few exotic animals roam the grounds, among them ostriches and water buffalo, but mostly it’s a rehabilitation facility for native bison, antelope, raptors, and small mammals.  The big show is the museum. It has a stellar collection of Fredrick Remington sculptures and Charlie Russell paintings.  Of “Kid” Russell, as he was called, it was said that he could paint a sunset just a bit better than God.  We were also intrigued to see Russell sculptures and Remington paintings.  Those guys could do it all!

    While the museum was a showcase of archaeological items and cultural treasures, it was also a sad reminder of a time in which a single man with vast capital could plunder the treasures of half a continent.  The artifacts are beautifully displayed, and the extensive grounds have walking paths and a variety of animal habitats.  There’s a nice large picnic area near the entrance.

    Woolaroc is a bit south of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, many miles from I-40, the nearest interstate, but handy to US 60 on the Osage Indian Reservation.  The reservation has a small casino with a small RV park, where you can hook up to water and electric for free if you check in at the information desk.  There are lots of other things to see.

    Among the regulars at the outlaw barbecue were the Miller brothers who owned the 101 ranch not too far from here.  It was the gathering place for many performers in the Wild West shows, including Buffalo Bill Cody, Pawnee Bill, and May Lillie.  Local lore says that on a moonlit night, if you sit by the foundation of the old ranch house, you can hear the ghosts of the cowboys singing around the fire.

    http://woolaroc.org/

    RV CALENDAR

    For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

    Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale
    December 8-11
    Riverside County Fair Grounds
    Indio, CA

     

     

  • Episode 116: Get out there and Hike the Florida Trail
    Tue, Nov 29, 2016

    In this episode of the podcast we talk about one of the best kept secrets in the nationwide system of hiking trails – the Florida Trail, a 1,300 mile trail that runs across the state and is very accessible to RVers.

    Plus news about a rowdy bull moose in Montana, self-driving RVs and an update on the devastating fires around the Great Smoky Mountains National park.

    Show Notes for Episode #116 Dec. 1, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

    JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

    In small RV’s, stroage is always at a premium. Where do we keep all the things we need?

    Listen up.. here’s one idea:

    Peggy Bechtel suggests using a shoe bag attached by a tension rod for extra storage for pockets to store small items.

    You can find these shoe bags at WalMart, on Amazon or, as Peggy suggested, at Camping World stores. Another great idea we all can use!

    And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

    If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

    I love hearing from you!

    Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

    LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

    • A listener asks about RV shows and which ones we think are the best.
    • A listener asks about winteri