The RV Podcast

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

 

 

 

Direct download: RV179.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 2:14pm EST

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 

 

Direct download: RV178.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:41pm EST

 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...

 

 

Direct download: RV177.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:52pm EST

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Direct download: RV176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm EST

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

 

 

 

Direct download: RT175.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 7:13pm EST

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

 

 

Direct download: RT174.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:38pm EST

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

 

Direct download: RT173.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 11:43am EST

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

Direct download: RT172.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:37pm EST

                                    

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.

 

 

Direct download: RT171.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:43pm EST

 

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.

Direct download: RT170.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 8:14pm EST