The RV Podcast

RV Podcast Episode 193: How to get a complete RV Education!

 

In this episode… we talk about RV Education 101, how to learn how to maintain, repair and operate your RV and all the intricate parts and accessories through affordable online training. Our special interview guest this week is with our friend Mark Polk, who has made available an amazing library of how-to tips, videos and RV training courses. Mark is the best in the business at this and I’m sure you’ll find the wealth of knowledge he is offers will greatly enhance your RV Lifestyle.

Plus lots of questions, comments, RV trip reports, traveling technology ideas and another wonderful off the beaten path segment from Tom and Patti Burkett.

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

 

Show Notes for Episode #193 May 23, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

Are you ready for the big Memorial Day weekend? It's the unofficial start of summer and if you don't have reservations, finding an open campsite will be very challenging. Boondockers, of course, can pretty much always find a great spot in state or national forests, BLM land and dispersed camping area.

Here's hoping you have a wonderful time and are able to get out there this coming weekend!

We’re planning our next big trip…out to Glacier National Park for our Roadtreking Photo Safari gathering in a few weeks. We are planning to take our time, taking the Northern Route. US 2 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula all the way west through Minnesota, North Dakota on into Montana. About 2,000 miles one way and we’re planning to leave early so we can follow out 330 rule of no more than 330 miles in a single day or stopping by 330PM so we can explore and enjoy the areas we’re passing through.

 

We are, though, having a problem with Bo, our Norwegian Elkhound. He no longer will ride in the back and insists on crowding between us up front as we drive. That can be dangerous when he bumps the transmission shifter. We put a short little video up on our Roadtreking Facebook Group about this that we’ll also link in the shownotes for this episode. He used to be fine at the back if the RV but when the refrigerator door wasn’t shut properly and stuff started rolling out on him he got spooked. But when not crowding us he insists on trying to share the passenger seat with whichever one of us happens to be sitting in. That is not a pleasant thing with a 6o pound dog!

 

As a result, we are not sure we will take him with us to Glacier. Maybe a seat belt and a harness that would keep him on the unused third seat will work. He’s pretty big for a crate, as some have suggested. And no way will be drug him, as others have urged. So we’re looking for advice. Otherwise, he’s staying with our daughter on our big trip west.

 

Meanwhile, here are the RV stories we came across making news this week.

 

Zion National Park officials use social media to track vandal
Last week we told you about Colorado officials using social media to track down a man harassing wildlife. This week in the news a story circled about about social media users themselves going after a man who defaced rocks at Zion National Park. A professional photographer was upset when he saw graffiti on rocks at Zion that included a heart and the vandal's Instagram ID. That photographer put it on his social media page, and that complaint went viral. It was so bad, the vandal turned himself in. To read more click here.  

 

Oregon officials offering free camping, day use and other events June 2 
Oregon is offering free camping and day use at many of its state parks on June 2 to thank campers for their support for state parks. Oregon's Department of Fish and Wildlife is also permitting fishing, clamming and crabbing anywhere in the state June 2 and 3 without a license as part of the thank you. To find out more and reserve a free camp spot click here or here.

Dog killed by bear at Canada's Jasper National Park
How many of us drive through the national parks, with the window rolled down a bit, so our dog can get some air? A story out of Canada last week was a strong reminder of why that is not such a good idea. Last week a dog was killed by a bear at Canada's Jasper National Park. Apparently the dog's owners had pulled over to look at a bear when their dog leapt out the window to chase it, and was killed. Wildlife officials stressed the importance of controlling pets at all times in a national park, and said the bear would be monitored. To read more, click here.  

E. Coli detected in water at Bryce Canyon National Park
Prairie dogs burrowing near a water spring are being blamed for water contamination at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. County officials have declared the national park's water to be a "significant threat to the health" of visitors and residents after detecting E. Coli multiple times in recent years. County officials are calling on the National Parks Service to fix the problem. For more information click here.

Just two wolves left at Michigan's Isle Royale National Park
The two wolves  of Michigan's Isle Royale National Park survived the winter, as did about 1,475 moose on the island park, officials announced last week. Since each moose can eat up to 60 pounds of plants per day, some scientists are concerned about their impact on the island's ecology, and continuing to call for more wolves to be brought to the island park this fall. To read more click here.   

 

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

Have you ever camped at a particularly dark campground, then stumbled on the stairs going up to your RV at night?

 

Well, a listener named Richard sent us an email, with a really helpful solution - glow in the dark duck tape.

 

Richard said he first placed the tape across the entire step, but found that was too much. What has worked best is placing about three inches of the luminous tape on the left and the right sides of the stairs. 

 

 Since he started using the tape, Richard said he has had no trouble with the steps - and so he wanted to write in case it could help someone else.

 

When we got our current Roadtrek, I found I needed a step to help me get in and out. Our current RV is 4 x 4 and we use it a lot to take us to some great boondocking spots down forest roads, which means it sits a little higher off the ground than previous ones. I have also found myself stumbling a bit at night with that step, so I really appreciate this tip.

 

Richard did not say what type of tape he purchased, but I did a quick look around the internet and found glow in the dark duck tape selling everywhere from Michaels to Walmart and Amazon selling at a variety of lengths and widths.  One tape that seemed to get particularly good reviews I found on Amazon selling for $12.49 a roll. It is waterproof, can glow for 12 hours, and purchasers said it was durable.

 

I will include links to the tape in the shownotes, in case this tip could help you. Richard, thank you so much for emailing us your suggestion!

 

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  

To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

A Canadian listener named Dennis called in with a shame-on-you report about a state park charging a pretty ridiculous “transaction fee” for campers. He also has a great “atta boy” report about a gas station on Antigonish, Nova Scotia, that has gone above and beyond for RVers.

  • We checked and indeed, Dennis is right. The exorbitant charges are in effect in Maryland State Parks this year. Transaction fees are $6.25 per reservation (except for Assateague State Park, which is $6.25 per night) and $4.75 per transaction to cancel or change a reservation (except Assateague State Park, which is $4.75 per night to change or cancel).

 

Dena and Jim made a request for a video that they would like us to do that documents every step of camp set up. She is a new camper and has so much enthusiasm. And, we promise, Dena, we will do such a video for you soon!

 

A listener named Terry wants to know if we have a search box on our RV Lifestyle Blog. We do and you can find on the top right of the page. We sent Terry this image showing its location.

 

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.

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

 

Our special interview guest this week is with our friend Mark Polk, who has made available an amazing library of how-to tips, videos and RV training courses. Mark is the best in the business at this and I’m sure you’ll find the wealth of knowledge he is offers will greatly enhance your RV Lifestyle.

 

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

 

Memorial Day marks the kickoff to summer. So grab some friends and get ready to kick back and relax. And, oh, you’re probably going to want some cool tech as well.

Whether you’re hiking, biking, or just striking a pose by the pool– the UE Blast powered by Alexa – may become your favorite summer companion. It’s dustproof and waterproof - which means it’s also summerproof. And when connected to bluetooth you can ask it to play music, get the weather, and even shop from Amazon all via voice.

Maybe audiobooks are your key to relaxation. If so, pick up a pair of LG Tone Free bluetooth ear buds. These lightweight, rechargeable Bluetooth headphones deliver high–quality sound and let you kick back and relax in your chair without the hassle of tangles and snags. The neckband allows for easy docking and recharging, plus vibrating alerts for incoming calls.

When you’re out and about, you can’t be worried about whether or not your devices are charged. That’s why it’s a great idea to have the mophie charge force powerstation on hand. This handy battery pack charges up to two devices simultaneously - one wirelessly and the other wired - providing up to 48 hours of extra use!


When you want to lighten your load, you definitely want the kate spade sticker pocket. Keep your drivers license, cash and credit cards close at hand while leaving the rest of your purse at home. This handy sticker pocket is easy to attach to the back of your smartphone.

And if you have a Motorola Mods compatible device, summer just got a whole lot more entertaining. First the insta-print Moto Mod. It lets you instantly print out any photo you capture all while on the go. And with no ink required, there’s no hassle.

Lastly for great 360 photos and videos of your summer adventures just snap on the moto 360 camera mod.

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

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

 

By Tom and Patti Burkett

We were sitting in the waiting room of the train station, listening to the incessant tick-tick-tock of the Morse code sounder in the ticket window. This was the women's waiting room, but no one objected to Tom's presence there. We walked through the car room, where equipment as large as steam locomotives was serviced, and out along the tracks. The freight house, next door, surprised us with a model of the original line, running from Baltimore's roundhouse depot to this, the oldest station in the USA. Tiny freight and passenger trains ran the double set of tracks past models of mills and factories, hotels and quarries, fields and little towns.

Three Quaker brothers from Pennsylvania founded Ellicott City Maryland in 1772. It was originally a mill town, and still has one operating mill, the only remaining grist mill in Maryland. Set in a striking limestone gorge, the city offers a picturesque Main Street, lined with offbeat boutiques and quirky eateries, but the number one reason to visit is the B&O Railroad Station Museum. The B&O was the first commercial railroad in the country, established to run freight from the port of Baltimore to Wheeling in the Ohio territory. A group of Baltimore investors gambled that the shorter route of the tracks would make it more profitable than the competing C&O canal.

This thoughtfully designed free museum retains its original floor plan. At street level, where you have to duck your head to get through the freight loading door which now serves as the entrance, you turn left past a small gift shop (and an enthusiastic docent) to get to the freight agent's quarters, which served as both office and living space. The rest of the first floor is warehouse space, where manufactured goods were stored before being hoisted upstairs to the platform at track level. Upstairs is the ticket office, two waiting rooms, and the car room, which has two huge exhaust funnels in the roof to carry off the fumes from the running stock.

Outside, you can climb aboard a caboose and sample the living quarters of the train crew--a tiny kitchen and beds that double as seats. Also outside is one of the original horse-drawn passenger cars, looking surprisingly like a stagecoach with train wheels. Wind your way into Ellicott City, on US 29, a bit west of Baltimore, and look for us, Patti and Tom Burkett, off the beaten railroad tracks.

 

RESOURCE:

http://www.ellicottcity.net/tourism/attractions/bo_railroad_museums_ellicott_city_station/

 

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY-JUNE

27-1

Escapade-Escapees RV Club National Rally

Missouri State Fairgrounds
Sedalia, MO

 
   

JUNE

7-10

Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

 
   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

   

JUNE

25-29

Passport America Music City USA Mega Rally

Wilson County Fairgrounds
Lebanon, TN

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 
   

JULY

18-21

FMCA International Convention and RV Expo

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities
Gillette, WY

 

 

Direct download: RV193.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT

 When it comes to maintenance and do-it-yourself repairs of your RV, are you a bit intimidated Are you, like me, not exactly the most handy of handymen? If so, and even if you are comfortable doing things mechanically, listen up because in this episode, we’re going to talk to a top service technician about preventative maintenance that everyone can do to keep their RVs in tip top shape.

Plus, lots of RV News, this week, your RV questions, traveling tech suggestions and another fascinating off the beaten path report from the Burketts. 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We just returned from a great experience at the Owner’s Academy, held last week for three days by Roadtrek and the Erwin Hymer Group of North America’s headquarters in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. We were there to talk about our style of Serendipity Travel but we found the presentations by the factory staff so helpful that not only did we stuck around and listen but we did this week’s podcast interview on the preventative maintenance tips we learned.

It really was a lot of fun. People came from all over North America and everyone left so much more confident about handling the preventative maintenance things they were taught. They are doing two more Owner’s Academy this year and we look forward to attending them, too. Both, though, are sold out but based on the great reception to them I’m sure there will be others scheduled. When they are, we’ll let you know as soon as we do.

We’ve been working hard on videos these past few weeks. We have a whole bunch in the hopper and you can see new ones on our RV Lifestyle Channel on You Tube. New videos are released every Thursday morning. Best way to know about them is to go to the channel and subscribe. Then you can clock on a a bell icon and every time a new one is ready, you’ll get an immediate notification. But we have travel videos coming, a review of a new cellular booster system we’re trying out, RV model walk-throughs and all sorts of other surprises. 

Here's the RV News of the week…

Colorado Wildlife officers using social media to track people who harass moose
Colorado wildlife officers are using social media to help them track down people who take pictures of themselves standing near and otherwise harassing moose. The desire to take a selfie near wildlife has been a growing problem at national parks and federal lands throughout the country, putting the wildlife and people at risk. In Colorado officers are using pictures, posted on social media, to successfully track down wildlife harassers to either issue tickets or issue warnings.

RVs on fire filled last week's news; Take steps to stay safe
Last week's RV news was full of what felt like an unusual number of RV fire reports. There was the story of a fifth wheel trailer fire in Arizona that reportedly appeared to start near the refrigerator. A woman and her cats were inside an RV in Florida when it caught aflame, apparently because of an electrical problem. A trailer was being towed in North Carolina when it caught a blaze, cause not immediately known. In Virginia an RV was parked in the owner's driveway when it caught on fire, spreading to the owner's home. All of these stories, and a few others, got me thinking back to an interview we did last year for the podcast on fire safety with Mark Polk of RVEducation101.com. Folks, it is important to do everything you can to stay safe. Click here to review that conversation and hear Mark's helpful safety tips.

Kentucky combining camping and fine dining in new state park program  
Kentucky officials recently kicked off their "Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail," a tourism project hoping to attract visitors to the Bluegrass state through offering good food at state park locations that typically also offer camping. The state created nine "signature meals" created by top chefs to highlight regional food in nine areas of the state. A state park restaurant in each region will offer one of the designated meals, and tourists are encouraged to collect stamps for each meal they try. Anyone who collects stamps from all nine receives a special gift. Click here or here to learn more. 


Courts clarify that yes, you can be ticketed for left lane driving in Washington
An editorial out of a newspaper in Everett, Washington focused on drivers who insist upon driving in the left lane. Washington, as many of you may remember from past podacasts, has a state law that permits officers to pull over a driver and issue a ticket if the driver is staying in the left lane instead of using it for passing something, sadly, many RV drivers are guilty of doing. Well, apparently the law was challenged by a man, high on marijuana, who was pulled over for driving in the left lane. The editorial details why the law is good, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see other such laws elsewhere. Click here to read more.

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

Everyone who has ever camped in a tent knows how important it is to get a good sleeping bag, but have you ever thought of getting a sleeping bag for your pet? 

Last Sunday our daughter Wendy, her husband and our two granddaughters were over for Mother's Day and they told me about an item their dog would have loved, and that is a sleeping bag for dogs! Many dogs do not have the thick fur coat that Bo has and if the family is tent camping, or for some reason not able to use a heater in their trailer, temperatures out in the woods after the sun sets can get quite chilly - even for our pets. 

I decided to take a quick look into dog sleeping bags and found several for sale on Amazon. The sleeping bags for dogs  look a lot like human sleeping bags, with an opening for the head and a zipper all around the edges to tuck your animal in so he's nice and toasty. Dog sleeping bags come in several sizes, and the pictures of happy dogs zipped in tight  lying next to their owners is enough to make anyone smile.

I found one by Ruffwear Highland selling for $99.95 

Another one by Ozark Trail sold for $32.53

And there were several others.

With Bo's thick snow dog fur, and the heated Alde floors in our Roadtrek, I do not see us investing in one of these anytime soon. But I wanted to share this idea because so many of us camp with our pets, and if you are in a tent, or if your dog does not have a thick fur coat, I thought it might be helpful. 

I will post pictures of these bags on the show notes, as well as links to them on Amazon if you want to check them out in more detail. Just go to Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-192

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

I love hearing from you! 

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

To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Barabara doesn’t want to join Facebook as a member but wants to read our Roadtreking RV posts on our Facebook group. We explain that if she is not a member of Facebook, she is out of luck. She says she used to be able to read it without being a Facebook member. We are unsure how that happened but probably all the security changes at Facebook have now closed that door.

We have two Facebook presences… a Facebook Page: http//facebook.com/Roadtreking that is public and has lots of info… and our Facebook Group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking  that is a Closed Group for members only. That is where a lot of questions and answers and very lively discussions, travel reports and more are posted but you have to be a Facebook member AND request membership in the group. We have it closed because, sadly, there are people who try to exploit the group with spam or personal vendettas and we only accept members who our moderators can vet as real RVers who will abide by the rules of the group. But again, the Roadtreking page and the Roadtreking group ARE on Facebook and if you are not a Facebook member, then you won’t see the material.

Nicole has a bulging disk and wants a more comfortable chair like the truckers have in her RV. There are lots of companies that offer so-called air ride seats and you can just Google them to see. Nicole doesn’t tell us what kind of RV she has. We know that some of the big Class A RVs do have such seats, or offer them as an option. So she could check with Class A dealers for more info. Now with Class C and Class B seats, the seats that come standard often swivel around or recline. Most of the trucker-grade Air Ride seats don’t do that. We invite RVers who have similar back problems to call in our voicemail line on the blog to offer their solutions.

Johanne asks about what we use to sleep in whole in our RV. We tell her about the various solutions and the RV Superbag that we have had now for six years and the various mattress toppers and pads we also use to sleep comfortably in the RV.

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.

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

Our interview of the week is very timely for this episode because many RVers are now getting their RVs out of winter storage and preparing for another season of travel.

Our guest this week is Sean Heintz, the service and warranty coordinator for the Erwin Hymer Group of North America. We met Sean last week at the new Hymer factory in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. We were there to do a presentation to a special Owner’s Academy that brought Hymer and Roadtrek owners to the factory for several days of intense hands-on training in maintaining and understanding how their RVs work.

We heard Sean do a couple of sessions and just knew we needed to have him as a special guest on the podcast.

Now we have a special bonus for you this week. Here in the podcast, you’ll hear Sean talk about the things every RVer can do to keep their RV in tip top condition.

But over on our RV Lifestyle Channel on You Tube, you will also be able to see a video version of this interview, with some photos and videos about the things Sean is describing. But whether audio or video, you’re going to learn a lot from Sean.

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 kids off of school, summer is a popular time to hit the road. In fact, more than 80 percent of American families with children under the age of 18 intend to take a family vacation this summer. But is your family ready to make the most of your time away?

First, make sure you avoid any traffic hassles. With Google Maps, you can plan your route out in advance. And if you add in the time and date you’d like to leave or when you’d like to arrive at your destination, Google will give you an estimate of what traffic is like or when’s the best time to leave.

If summer travel takes you near a beach, you’re gonna want some music - and you’re going to want to make sure your speaker can handle life at the beach. That’s where the UE Wonderboom comes in handy. This portable bluetooth speaker is not only easy to pack, it’s also waterproof and sounds great!

If your travels are outside the US, you may just want to upgrade your smartphone to the Samsung Galaxy S9 before you leave. A new translation feature built into Bixby allows it to translate street signs, menus and anything else in a foreign language just by pointing your phone’s camera at it. Language will never be a barrier again!

Are you at all a forgetful person? When traveling, your keys, wallet and passport are something you can’t afford to lose. Keep track of them with the Tile Sport tracker. Just attach these intelligent squares to anything you want to keep track of and you’ll easily be able to locate them should they go missing.

And lastly, if you’re away from home for a decent amount of time, you want to make sure you’re keeping track of what’s going on at your house. The Arlo Go home security camera will provide peace of mind with its 24/7 live streaming. And since it has battery backup and connectivity via wifi and 4G LTE, even if the power goes out at home, you’ll still be able to look in.

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 Patty Burkett

We're wondering if you remember Joe Palooka.

If you don't, we'll remind you that he's an easygoing animated heavyweight prize fighter who starred in comic strips, radio shows, and movies from the 1920s to the 60s. We ask because you can see a famous statue of him in the little town of Oolitic Indiana.

A few miles north of US 50 on Indiana 37, it calls itself the limestone capital of the world. In addition to the statue, which sits out front of the town hall, there are a number of beautiful limestone buildings along the streets, though sadly several of them are sitting empty.

One of the most interesting is the town jail, which even has a limestone roof. The Indiana limestone company, in business here for more than 100 years, ships out thousands of tons of dressed stone each week for use in monuments, memorials, and building construction. They occasionally offer tours, so check in if you're visiting the area.

The quarries are spread across adjoining counties, and beside one of them, where Indiana Route 37 dead ends into a rusted iron gate, Bill Cook’s grand dream is being overtaken by weeds. 

Cook was, in the 1970s, a local entrepreneur who believed the area should have a tourist attraction to complement its prodigious industry. He drew up plans that included a replica of Cheops’ pyramid from Egypt and the great wall of China, set amid amusement rides, food stands, and a gift shop. With the promise of several hundred thousand dollars in federal funding, the first few courses of the pyramid were laid in place, and restrooms and a visitor center took shape. 

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, Wisconsin senator William Proxmire‘s fiscal conservation agenda was getting widespread support. When Cook's project received a Golden Fleece award, the ensuing spotlight dried up federal funding and the project died in its tracks. Local residents complained bitterly that a Democrat senator from Wisconsin could have something to say about what was happening in this conservative southern Indiana town, but the belt-tightening mood of the country meant the show was over. 

Pillars sit on either side of the gate that marks the end of the highway. One is topped by a small limestone pyramid. The other clearly had one too, once upon a time. Walk around the gate and along the crumbling asphalt, and what's left of the park sprawls out along one side. On the other is a stunning view of a vast limestone quarry, still operating, with monolithic blocks lining the equipment roadways. Some dreams live on, and some flame out in a blaze of glory. This one died young, but you can still see the shape of it, out here off the beaten path. 

https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2924 

http://eerie-indiana.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-great-pyramid-of-bedford-needmore.html

https://www.indianalimestonecompany.com/our-quarries/our-story/

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY

17-20

Tin Can Tourist Annual Gathering

Camp Dearborn
Milford, MI

 
   

MAY-JUNE

27-1

Escapade-Escapees RV Club National Rally

Missouri State Fairgrounds
Sedalia, MO

 
   

JUNE

7-10

Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 
   

JULY

18-21

FMCA International Convention and RV Expo

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities
Gillette, WY

 

 

Direct download: RV192.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

RV Podcast 191: The many different ways to use your RV

It always amazes me how our RVs enhance our lifestyle. We collect stories from the road on how people use their RV and the stories are endless. The hobbies, personal interests and the discoveries people make when they start traveling in an RV inspires us and gives us ideas on activities we can participate in and places we need to visit.

In this week’s episode during our interview segment, you’ll meet a bunch of different RVers we met on the road a couple of weeks ago when we were in Arizona. You’ll enjoy learning the many ways we can use our RV.

Plus much more, RV News, RV Tips Traveling Tech ideas and much more. 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

As this episode goes live we find ourselves in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. We’re doing a seminar this week at the headquarters of Roadtrek and the Erwin Hymer Group of North America at “Owners School,” a special three-day event at the assembly factory for new owners of Hymer and Roadtrek motorhomes. This is the first of three sessions they will be having this year and all are filled right now, with no openings. But fear not, future sessions are being planned and we’ll do a best to give you a feel for it on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube.

 

Mike is recovering fine from his elbow surgery.

 

Jennifer almost lost her key to the RV.

 

Meanwhile, here’s the RV News you need to know about this week:

 

JENNIFER

National parks visitors bring billions into U.S. economy in 2017
The new report shows national parks visitors bring in $35.8 billion in benefits last year to the U.S. economy. The report by economist in the U.S Geological Survey and the National Park Service showed 330 million national park visitors brought in $18.6 million of direct spending to communities within 60 miles of a national park. That spending contributed toward 306,000 jobs, with an overall economic benefit of nearly $36 billion. 

 

MIKE
Plan calls for removal of mountain goats from Olympic National Park
A plan is underway to remove the mountain goats from Washington's Olympic National Park. The mountain goat was reportedly brought into the park by hunters in the 1920s, before Olympic was designated as a national park. In recent years, however, the goats have become a problem. As a non-native species there is no natural salt, essential to their diet. Some blame this for the rare goring of a hiker several years back, and the animals' occasional aggressive behavior towards people. And they hurt native plants. The plan is to move to as many as possible to North Cascades and kill any that remain over two years.

JENNIFER
Hiker bit by copperhead good reminder to know your snake safety before hitting the trails 
A woman hiking at Kentucky's Red River Gorge last week was bit by a copperhead snake, and carried away in an ambulance. The incident led to many reminders about the importance of snake safety when out on the trails. To read more safety tips click here. To listen to a  podcast we published that covered North American venomous snakes and safety tips, click here

MIKE
CDC reports number of people contacting insect-borne disease triples
The Centers for Disease Control issued a warning last week about the rise of disease and illness caused from ticks, mosquitoes and fleas. The CDC reported the number of people reporting insect-borne illness between 2004 and 2016 tripled. More than 96,000 people reported insect-borne illness last year alone. The best defense? Prot ect yourself. Click here to listen to listen to podcast we did on tick protection.

 

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

 

Have you ever had a bar of soap slip out of your hands while using your small, RV shower? Sometimes bending over to pick it up is not all that easy when showering in a small space.

 

This week reader Liz wrote in to share her solution - a terry cloth cotton washcloth soap holder, complete with an attached string for easy storing.

 

Liz wrote she made her washcloth soap holder to use specifically in her RV shower. After dropping her soap one too many times, Liz said she found the washcloth soap holder extremely helpful when showering in a small space. With the slippery soap secure in the washcloth holder, she no longer has to worry about it slipping out of her hands. She also likes that she can hang it up when it is not in use, eliminating soap messes in her RV. 

 

I think this concept could also work well when using public campground shower, too. Sometimes those showers are not the cleanest. We wear flip-flops while in the public showers, so having something to protect the soap from hitting the ground could be helpful, too.

 

I did a little research and found the cotton terry cloth washcloth holder is a pretty popular idea! I saw several reviewers say they simply take the soap out of the washcloth holders and wash the cloth with their regular towels, keeping them sanitary.

 

I found several links with step by step tips on how you could make your own washcloth soap holder, and I will include those in the show notes.

 

Or, if you do not sew, I also found several stores that sell washcloth soap holders. I found them on Amazon, Walmart, Bed, Bath Beyond, Etsy, and several other sites. Amazon sold three for $10.49. I will include a link to that on the show notes.

 

Thank you, Liz, for sending me an email with that very helpful suggestion!

 

 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  

To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 Lisa wants to buy a new motorhome but has some questions about using it at high altitude and on ice and snow. She asks for our experience in our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4.

 

A listener wants to know where he can go to look at a Hymer RV in Colorado. We refer him to the gohymer.com website. Buy Van City in Colorado Springs is a Hymer dealer.

 

And we had a very nice email with some questions:

Mike and Jennifer – Thank you so much for all the information you put out on you tube, and in the newsletter. We cannot thank you enough. We are new RVers having purchased our 2016 CS Adventurous in Dec. So far so good!
A couple of questions I have found answers to yet; how is the best way to wash your Roadtrek particularly the roof? 2) Do rely solely on your Verizon hot spot (jet pack ) to connect to the internet ? I hear some prefer a satellite of some kind. Thanks again... we will keep watching and following you!- George McClure 

 

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.

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

It always amazes me how our RVs enhance our lifestyle. We collect stories from the road on how people use their RV and the stories are endless. The hobbies, personal interests and the discoveries people make when they start traveling in an RV inspires us and gives us ideas on activities we can participate in and places we need to visit. In this week’s episode during our interview segment, you’ll meet a bunch of different RVers we met on the road a couple of weeks ago when we were in Arizona. You’ll enjoy learning the many ways we can use our RV.

 

This week we meet and interview several different RVing couples who tell us the many different ways use their RV

 

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

 

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

Last week we talked about some great gift ideas for Mom. But if that wasn’t enough to get you inspired for Mother’s Day, today I’ve got a few more great gift suggestions.

First, quality time with the family poolside, beachside, outside or inside never sounded so good with the JBL Link 10 speaker. It’s a small and super-portable - not to mention bluetooth and wi-fi enabled wireless speaker. Plus, it’s water- and drop-proof and is compatible with the Google Assistant - so Mom totally won’t have to lift a finger to ask what the weather’s like or call up her favortie song.

 

For the mom on the go, the PopSockets Vent Mount is the perfect travel companion. As long as she has a PopSocket on her phone, all she needs to do is slide it into the vent mount and then attach to her vent. Now it’ll hold her phone in place so that she can use it to navigate or for playing music.

And if she’s spending time a lot of time out and about, she’d probably appreciate a free hand while taking phone calls. The brand new Jabra Elite 65t Wireless earbuds are a stylish and functional way to do that! Four on-board microphones mean crystal clear audio. And she has the choice of tuning out ambient noise or allowing it in. The earbuds are also compatible with Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon’s Alexa - letting her get information and stay connected all via voice.

Lastly, does mom have a cracked smartphone screen and no time to fix it? Verizon’s Total Mobile Protection has her covered with fast, convenient cracked screen repairs. Plus, repairs are cost-effective, at a $29 deductible for select smartphones.  

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

 

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY

10-14

Roadtreking Sonoma Wine Tour Gathering

Indian Leap Winery
Sonoma, CA

 
   

MAY

10-13

West Palm Beach Summer RV Show

South Florida Fairgrounds
West Palm Beach, FL

 
   

MAY-JUNE

27-1

Escapade-Escapees RV Club National Rally

Missouri State Fairgrounds
Sedalia, MO

   

JUNE

7-10

Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

 
   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 

 

 

 

Direct download: RV191.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 12:43pm EDT

RV Podcast 190: How to travel in your RV and help others with Habitat for Humanity

 

How would you like to make a difference in this world with your RV travels? To really help individuals and local communities, while still enjoying the RV Lifestyle and traveling to the destinations of your choice? In this episode, we’re going to learn about an off shoot of Habitat for Humanity, in which RVers build homes with Habitat homeowners in the U.S. and Canada.

Plus, we have lots of RV news, RV tips, tech ideas, an off the beaten path report and much more.

 

Show Notes for Episode #190 May 2, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

We’re back home in our Michigan sticks and bricks house for a few days. We emphasize few as we hit the road again next week. Will be heading to Canada next week, where we will be teaching a session at “Owners School” for owners of Roadtrek and Hymer RVs next week at the Cambridge, Ontario headquarters of the Erwin Hymer Group of North America.

 

Yes, and we’re staying at a local campground there and look forward to lots of visiting around a campfire with the students, who will be attending this gathering from all across North America. We’ll take our video gear and see if we can find some interesting people to interview. It should be a lot of fun!

 

This week, though, Mike will be doing a bit of recuperating. I have surgery scheduled this week to repair some damage done to my right elbow. I broke it back in January when I slipped on the ice up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was during our Roadtreking gathering there and I was getting out of the RV to photograph a bunch of Roadtrekers crossing the Mackinac Bridge that separates Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It should be minor surgery but It’s time I get it tended to before we are tied up with our summer camping travels.

 

Meantime, here’s the RV news of the week…

 

Highest fuel prices in three years greet RVers as they hit the road again
Fuel prices are causing sticker shock across North America. Blame it on demand, caused by pent up desires to get outside and travel again. And more demand means you pay more at the pump. The federal Energy Information Administration’s latest data indicates consumer gasoline demand is at 9.857 million barrels per day, which is at the highest level ever on record for the month of April and exceeds typical summer demand measurements, driving up prices at the pump all across the U.S, according to analysts at AAA. Five states reported double-digit increases and the national average went up a nickel to $2.76, AAA reported. Overall prices are at the highest level in three years. Gas is selling at $2.26 or more at every gas station in America. More so, 13% of stations have pump prices set at $3 or more



Unlucky man survives bear, rattlesnake and shark bites in four years
Did you remember hearing about the young man who woke last summer the crunching sound of a black bear biting him in the head? The young man was at a camp in Colorado, and while he was sleeping a bear bit him in the head and tried to drag him out of his tent. Other staff members scared the bear away and likely saved his life. The young man, now 20, was in the news again this week for surviving a shark bite. This time the Colorado man was on vacation in Hawaii when he was bit by a shark. He had been in the ocean on a board when a shark bit his leg. And four years ago he was bitten by a rattlesnake! Talk about bad luck.

 

Yellowstone's Steamboat Geyser erupts for third time in six weeks 
Steamboat geyser is the largest of Yellowstone's many thermal features and something
is up with it. After being dormant for years, it has erupted three times now in six weeks, the latest this past Friday. When it blows, it goes as high as 400 feet, compared to 150 feet for Old Faithful. The extensive geothermal activity at the park is caused by a magma chamber more than 50 miles long and 12 miles wide beneath the earth’s surface.


Mainstream media recognizes what RVers have already known: Boomers love small motorhomes
There was lots of media buzz last week when the Wall Street Journal ran a major story reporting how the Baby Boomer generation has embraced small, luxury campervans. The article talked about what many of us know: the small van life can open up a world of adventure and travel. It’s old news, of course, to those of us already living the dream, but stories like that can have a major effect on the industry, driving up demand and making sure that campervans and small motorhome sales will be continuing to go through the roof.

 

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 tip this week has to do with another handy app for your smartphone. Mike had a blog post earlier this week on a bunch of different apps that are especially handy for RVers.

But the one that caught my attention s an app called PlantSnap.

How many times have you been camping somewhere and wondered what species of plant or trees you were seeing?

This app lets you instantly identify plants of all kinds: flowers, trees and much more, simply by taking a picture of the plant. The developers claim the app is able to recognize 90 percent of all plant species on the planet, with hundreds of thousands in its database.

It’s always adding new species, too, and the app automatically updates for you.

The app is $3.99 for iOS and Android.

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

I love hearing from you!

 

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

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

Mark rechecks in from Texas, where he is building an RV Park. Some months ago, he sought ideas about what features people want in a park. This week, he asks for advice about setting up an online reservation system. We have several suggestions.

 

Our friend Campskunk checks in from the Big Sur area along the Pacific Coast in Northern California. We talk about staying in pullouts and parking areas further north in Oregon and note that we are receiving reports about police evicting RVers from staying overnight as campers, instead of just getting a few hours rest. Cooking a meal in the RV is considered camping, according to one report we received.

 

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

 

Everyone has heard about Habitat for Humanity. But do you realize there is a robust RV component to this wonderful organization?

Established in 1989, Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners is an all-volunteer run program with nearly 2,000 active volunteers traveling and building throughout the year.

Habitat for Humanity’s RV Care-A-Vanners is a unique opportunity for people traveling by recreational vehicle to build homes with Habitat homeowners in the U.S. and Canada.
Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners give people the freedom to travel to their destination of choice to volunteer and come back to the comfort of their own recreational vehicles at the end of a hard working day.
In this interview, we’re going to learn all about this opportunity by meeting a Care-A-Vanner named Larry Halstead.
Larry has been volunteering as a Habitat for Humanity RV Care-A-Vanner with his wife, Mem, since 2008. Both retired, they’ve traveled across the country volunteering from Michigan to Colorado to Georgia, and to Virginia, where they’re currently located. They’ve been construction team leaders and mentored students during Collegiate Challenges.

Volunteers with little to no experience can register to build with Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners by going to www.habitat.org/rv

 

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

 

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

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

If I asked you to name the three biggest gifting holidays of the year, would you guess that Mother’s Day would be on that list? It’s true. After winter holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day is right there.

And while Mom sure loves her flowers and jewelry, this year you may want to consider something a little different and tech her out for a change.

Perhaps she’s a music connoisseur who likes spending time by the pool? Then I’d suggest picking her up a UE Wonderboom. These small and super-portable wireless speakers are water- and drop-proof and come in six fun colors including cashmere pink, fireball red and lilac.

 

Or maybe she’s into fitness and loves to go hiking with the family? The Fitbit Versa waterproof smartwatch will help her keep track of those steps in style. And, an added benefit for moms: beginning this month, the Fitbit app can now track female health as well.

 

For the mom that loves taking pics with the fam, or just pictures in general, there’s no better option than the Google Pixel 2. This phone continues to be recognized on top for its amazing photos. And couple that with a fast-charging battery and the Google Assistant built-in, and you’ve got one awesome companion.

 

Once Mom’s taken the pictures she wants, she’s going to want to save them and put them on display for all to see. And that’s where the Lifeprint Photo Printer comes in. This portable bluetooth printer requires no ink, and prints high quality images onto special 2 x 3” paper.

 

And lastly if Mom’s a fashionista, help her protect her phone and complement her wardrobe at the same time with a new Kate Spade case. These stylish, flexible covers will make sure her device stays protected no matter what she encounters in her active life and the options are endless!

 

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 -  Silver Lake

Last week we did some early season exploring along the Lake Michigan coastline and spent a delightful couple of days in and around Silver Lake, located halfway along Lake Michigan coastline on Michigan’s power Peninsula.

Silver Lake is a very small town that owes its existence these days to tourism and the very beautiful sand dunes that tower above the shoreline of Lake Michigan. And Silver Lake is a small little inland Lake that would be part of Lake Michigan were it not for those sand dunes, that tower above it by 150 feet or so.

Sand dunes run all along the north and central coastline of the big lake but what makes Silver Lake unique is the fact that you can drive all terrain vehicles and beach buddies there. Most of the sand dunes are protected and, in fact, the most impressive section, called Sleeping Bear Dunes, has sand dunes that are over 400 feet high. That stretch is designated as a National Seashore by the National Parks Service and no motorized vehicles are allowed there. Even pedestrian access is limited.

But at Silver Lake, the state of Michigan has okayed a 450 acre section of the 2,000 acre denes area, as an area where Off Road Vehicles can scramble up and down the dunes. People bring their own vehicles and the town has several businesses that specialize in dune rides or the rental of ATVs.

There are numerous campgrounds in the area including a large state park. That’s where we stayed last week in a campsite loop that is directly on the lake. As the weather gets warmer, all the parks fill up and reservations are a must.

Here’s a link about our stay last week - http://roadtreking.com/alone-at-silver-lake/

 

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 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY

3-6

Puyallup RV Show

Washington State Fair Events Center
Puyallup, WA

 
   

MAY

3-6

Tin Can Tourists Bull Shoals Gathering

Bull Shoals Dam Site Park
Bull Shoals, Arkansas

 
   

MAY

5-6

Let's Camp America - State Park events

Participating State Parks
Across America
 

 

 

Direct download: RV190.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT

RV Podcast 189: The 2018 North American Camping Report

This week we dig into the 2018 North American Camping Report, an exhaustive study done each year by researchers into every aspect of camping and RV use. Our guest is Toby O’Rourke, president of Kampgrounds of America, which underwrites the study, and she will help unpack this report which is followed by the RV industry as the Bible of where camping is headed and what needs to be done.

Plus we have lots more for you this week, including a bunch of RV news, listener questions and comments, traveling technology tips and a wonderful off-the-beaten-path report.

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

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’ve been on the road to western Michigan these past several days, taking advantage of the first really nice spring weather and the reopening of state and RV parks. This early in the season, we’ve had our pick of really great sites along the awe-inspiring shoreline of Lake Michigan. Some of these parks we stayed at are so in demand that to get in during peak season, you need to make reservations months and months in advance. 

We started out at a Yogi Bear Camp Jellystone RV resort on Grand Rapids, MI. Yup. You heard that right. Now usually, it’s just me and Mike and Bo so those family parks with all those kid activities are something usually bypass. But this time, we were there because our son, Jeff, and his wife, Aimee, just bought a new travel trailer and this was their very first outing in it. So we invited ourselves to come along and had an absolute ball watching our grandchildren, Jovie, 3, and Jax, 8 months. We had a ball!

We’ll have a video in a few days about the experience and Jeff will give us a tour of their new bunk house trailer. After Jeff, Aimee and the kids headed back for to their home Sunday and a new work week, we decided that RVing was our work so we started exploring the coastline towns of South Haven, Holland, Saugatuck, Grand Haven, Muskegon and Silver lake. You can follow our adventures on our blog at Roadtreking.com, where we shared lots of photos.

Lake Michigan is part of what is called the Third Coast. Now sometimes, those along the Gulf Coast argue for that title but considering its Great Lakes coasts, Michigan has more miles of shoreline than does any other of the lower 48 states and more fresh water shoreline than any other state. In fact, a couple years ago, we decided to drive and camo our way across the US shoreline of all five Great Lakes. The mileage totaled 3,000-plus miles! In case you are interested, just click the link to the Great Lakes shoreline videos we did on that trip.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s making RV news this week:

Too many tourists using drones to illegally take video at Oregon's Crater Lake National Park
As prices drop, and technology continually improves, drone use is becoming an increasing problem at some national parks, such as Oregon's Crater Lake National Park.
While drone use at all national parks has been outlawed since 2014, some may find getting an aerial view at some of America's most breath-taking scenarios too hard to resist. According to a story published last week, flying the unmanned aircraft has been an increasing problem at Crater Lake National Park, with some of the illegal camera activity showing up in places like You Tube. Drones can bother wildlife and visitors seeking a pristine natural environment. To read more, click here.

New York wants more residents to go camping, so is providing it for free 
New York's first time camper program was so popular last year, the state has decided to do it again. New York's Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Parks and Recreation is taking applications for 65 families to try out camping at various state campgrounds. Winners will have all their camping gear provided, such as a tent, sleeping bags, firewood and more for free, and receive instruction on how to camp. This has been so successful for New York that other states are eyeing similar programs for their parks.

 
Are You Bear Aware? 
As bears are waking up from hibernation and people are increasing heading outdoors in the warming weather, Be Bear Aware. Officials in states throughout much of the country are urging people to keep an eye out for bears, and be prepared ahead of time by knowing what to do if they should encounter one.

For example, if a black bear makes contact with you, roll on to your stomach, cover your neck, and play dead. If it rolls you over, continue to roll until you are back on your stomach. If a bear is in the distance and stands up, it is trying to smell and figure out what you are. There are other suggestions for dealing with Grizzlies. For tips on what to do in various scenarios, we’ll put a link to the visit the Be Bear Aware webpage in the shownotes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-189. 

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

Ever wonder about the best way to hide extra cash, a special pair of earrings, or even a credit card when you are away from your RV for a bit?  Well a reader named Rachel wrote to tell us about something she recently bought.

The item looks like a canister of Morton salt, complete with the exact same labeling as one you would buy at the grocery store. But instead of salt, the container actually has a bottom that easily unscrews, opening up to a hollowed out tube perfect for storing small valuables.

No one would suspect, at first glance, that the salt container doesn't actually hold salt, Rachel writes. When you pick it up it feels like there is salt inside, and it even makes a salt shaking sound. When it is placed in with her other spices in the cupboard, Rachel said it blends right in.

I went on Amazon and found the Morton salt container selling for around $14. I also discovered all types of everyday items, also sold to be secret containers for valuables.  I found one disguised as a bottle of regular drinking water, another as a Sharpie pen, another as a can of Pringles.

There were all sorts of everyday items under the diversion safe stash category complete with pictures and dimensions about the size of the items that can be secretly stashed inside.

Thank you, Rachel, for this great tip. I will put links to the items mentioned in the shownotes, if anyone 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!

 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  To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Gary took better notes than I did and has the name of the service that will help you find campsites that open up do to cancellations. It’s http://yesyoucamp.com

Dan has another site http://reserve-beta.wanderinglabs.com

After you specify a part and sold out date, they will check the http://reserveamerica.com website, which is the largest onling booking aggregator used by most campgrounds. YesYouCamp checks once a day. The WanderingLabs site checks several times a day, even more if you sign up for a subscription.

Both text you when they find an opening.

Listener Andy calls in with a complaint about money grubbing campgrounds that pressure politicians in various towns to enact local ordinances that prohibit overnight camping in places like Walmart. He talks about how unfair this is and what a hardship it causes those just passing through an area.

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

More than 6 million new North American households have adopted the camping lifestyle since 2014, with the number of campers who camp three times or more each year – the most avid group of campers – having increased by 64 percent. This growth, according to the results of the 2018 North American Camping Report, an annual independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA), is an indicator that camping is fast becoming a lifestyle attribute among U.S. and Canadian households – and there is no indication this trend is slowing down.

Millennials, Gen Xers,  African American and Hispanics are the demographic groups showing the biggest increase in camping.

Our guest this week is Toby O’Rourke, recently promoted to President of KOA.

Among other findings:

  • Among campers who claim an RV as their primary way of camping, 44 percent do not own the RV they use most.
  • A full one-fourth of this subset of campers say they borrow the RV, and 1-in-5 say they rent from a company or peer-to-peer rental service. Borrowing an RV is most common among Gen Xers.
  • Among millennials, those with families are most likely to consider renting an RV from a peer-to-peer service (followed by millennial couples).
  • The largest growth in RV usage is among African American campers, with 27 percent stating that an RV is their primary way of camping, which is up from 19 percent last year. Forty-one percent of African American campers state they tried an RV for the first time in 2017.
  • Among new campers in 2017, one-fourth camped in cabins – a rate much higher than last year (moving ahead of RVs as the primary way of camping). This could be due at least in part to the large influx of non-white campers in 2017, many of whom not only start camping in cabins, but are also likely to express a preference for cabins.

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

The northern US states may not be feeling it, but we’re almost halfway through spring already. And if you’re like me, that means it’s time for a little tech refresh!

First up... spring means more time outdoors, and more opportunities to entertain with music. And for a speaker than can handle and do it all, I can’t think of a better option than the JBL Link 10 speaker. Not only is this a bluetooth speaker that’s weatherproof and drop proof, but it also features wifi, meaning you can play music even when no phone is around. It also has the Google Assistant built in, meaning you can get a weather forecast, sports score, or summon music all without lifting a finger!

I know you and your listeners spend a lot of time in their RVS, so the following would make a great addition - the PopSockets Vent Mount. You just attach this mount to your vehicle’s vent and it’ll hold your phone in place so that you can navigate or use it for playing music. And the best part it’s compatible with all phones, all you need is a PopSocket!

If you’re spending time in the vehicle this spring, you want to be safe if you’ll be taking any phone calls. The brand new Jabra Elite 65t Wireless earbuds are a stylish and functional way to do that! Four on-board microphones mean crystal clear audio. And you have the choice of tuning out ambient noise or allowing it in. The earbuds are also compatible with Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon’s Alexa - letting you get information and stay connected all via voice.

And lastly two great apps to share with you for spring. First up, the QSun app. This free app for iOS and Android will let you know the UV levels in your location and what protection you should be wearing to stay safe.

The second app to check out is also free for Android and iOS. It’s called PackPoint. Just let it know where you’re traveling to, how long you’ll be there and the activities you plan to participate in. It’ll then create a list of things to pack! You can, of course, customize to your own liking. But by all means, let the app do the heavy lifting!

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT  

We'd spent a few days wandering around bluebonnet country, looking for the best pictures. We'd taken a few good shots, found some nice campsites and even had a fun evening with you two on the shore of Buchanan Lake. Now we were driving through the plains of North Central Texas and beginning to see signs for pecan ranches. This early in the season, the trees were still bare of leaves, but they were lined up in pristine rows with the ground beneath cleared of everything but a carpet of spring grass. We wanted to visit a pecan shop, and we needed some place to spread out the maps and think about our route.

So we did what we often do, pulled off in the next small town and went into the library. We found a quiet and comfortable place to sit, a nice big table to work on, power for the laptop, clean bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi. This was the Jennie Trent Dew Library in Goldthwaite, Texas, on route 16 between Llano and Comanche. Chatting up the librarian, we discovered that the three don't miss sights in town were the botanical garden, the Mercantile, and pecans.com, the local pecan processing plant. She began to tell us about the botanical garden, then said, "Wait, wait, I’ll let Susan tell you about it when she comes in. She’ll be here in a few minutes."

Soon Susan arrived and pulled up a chair at our table. Having seen several botanical gardens, and an awful lot of desert plants on the trip already, including the absolutely amazing Sonoran desert museum in Tucson, we politely told her that we didn’t think we would visit the gardens. At that, she waxed so enthusiastic that we just couldn’t say no. After completing our research, we walked the block down the street to the visitor center, where Savannah gave us an illustrated guide to the plants and a key to the garden enclosure.

Boy, were we ever surprised. Taking up less than half a square city block, the garden was exquisite. Rocks had been laid to simulate small cliffs and grottoes. Water flowed through it, both in streams and down short waterfalls. It is landscaped with local native plants, and the signs describe how those plants had been used by native peoples for thousands of years. There were benches to sit in the shade, and along one side a large pavilion with a concrete floor. The walkways and many of the trees were lined with tiny Christmas lights.

Back at the visitor center where we returned the key, Savannah told us that the pavilion and lights were set up for high school prom, which would be happening tomorrow. On the day, each couple walks down the steps of the courthouse while everyone in town watches from their chairs on the lawn. Then every fancy car for miles around is pressed into service to drive the couples the three blocks to the pavilion. Having shepherded my own three girls through the prom experience, I noted with approval that not only was the venue lovely, but it was surrounded by a large fence which would contain the kids. No sneaking in or out.

We debated staying to watch the show, but settled on the chance of a weekend rodeo in Oklahoma. Before leaving town, we stopped at Pecans.com and sampled more varieties of pecan goodies than you could list on a page. Next time you’re traveling, look up the local library as a place to get some elbow room, rest and research, and find out exactly what’s going on in town. It's never let us down, so we'll keep an eye open for you among the stacks in some dusty little town, out there off the beaten path.

RESOURCES:
http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasHillCountryTowns/GoldthwaiteTexas/GoldthwaiteTexas.htm

http://legacyplaza.org/

pecans.com 

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

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

APRIL

26-29

Spring Hall of Fame RV Show

RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame
Elkhart, IN

 
   

MAY

3-6

Puyallup RV Show

Washington State Fair Events Center
Puyallup, WA

 
   

MAY

5-6

Let's Camp America - State Park events

Participating State Parks
Across America
 

   

MAY

10-14

Roadtreking Sonoma Wine Tour Gathering

Indian Leap Winery
Sonoma, CA

 
   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 

 

 

Direct download: RV189.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 8:11pm EDT

RV Podcast 188: Finding places to boondock and RV downsizing

It this week’s episode, two topics that always have a lot of interest. First, we’ll offer up a list of resources to help you find places to boondock or stay overnight for free or very low fees.

Then, we’ll talk about a big trend driving record sales for smaller Class B RVs: Downsizing. You’ll meet an RVing couple who have done just that. In a matter of a few years, they went from a Class B to a Class C to a Class A motorhome but then, gave up all those big rigs and downsized back to a Class B. They’ll explain why they have gone full circle and how that’s working out for them.

Plus we have much more for you, including RV tips, RV news and a great place to visit if you’re traveling anywhere near Atlanta.

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

Shownotes for Episode 188, April 18, 2018

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’ve been out in Phoenix, Arizona at the Super B RV Show. Had a great time meeting lots of people and learning all about what’s new in small motorhomes. 

We’ll have several videos over the next few weeks on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel showing the latest RVs we saw.

We left 90 degree sunny weather in Phoenix to return to an ice storm in Michigan. Spring sure is taking its time coming to the Midwest, where temperatures are 20 degrees below normal.

Meanwhile, here’s the RV news of the week:


National park day fee to rise $5 starting in June

Heading to a national park this summer? Starting in June, getting in will cost a little more. The daily per vehicle or in some cases per person entrance fee at the 117 fee charging parks will rise by about $5. The price hikes were announced last week to help with the maintenance backlog. This does not apply to seniors who have the lifetime annual entrance pass. The increased fee is predicted to raise $60 million annually. To read more click here or here. To see the list of fee increases per park click here.

Visit the national parks for free this Saturday

Speaking of national parks, this Saturday April 21, there is no cost to enter any of the nation's national parks in honor of National Parks Week. Many parks throughout the country will be holding special events from April 21-29,  though only on the first day, April 21, is entering free. Park entry is free only four days this year, with the next free day September 22.

Tree falls on sleeping family in trailer, kills girl

Severe weather swept through northern Louisiana early Saturday morning, causing a tree to fall on a travel trailer, splitting it in two, killing a 20-month-old girl inside. The family was apparently sleeping when the storm blew through bringing with it strong winds and heavy rain.

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

While we were in Arizona over the weekend we met a lot of wonderful people and picked up lots of tips. One of the best had to do with monitoring the temperature inside an RV so you can make sure your pets are okay while you are out hiking or eating in a restaurant or otherwise away from the RV for a while.

We’ve talked a lot about various gadgets and gizmos that do that in past podcasts. Most of those require a wifi network and can be challenging to set up.

But a listener named Deb told us about the device she uses, which may be just the right solution many of us have been looking for.

The device Deb is talking about is the RV Pet Safety temperature alarm from a company called Nimble wireless. They have several different models and subscription packages to choose from depending on whether you want coverage in just the US, just Canada or both countries.

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

QUESTION

A caller asks for info on an app for finding places to boondock.

OUR ANSWER:

  • For starters, check out the app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices by AllStays (allstays.com). They list more than 22,000 commercial campgrounds, state and national parks and boondocking spots, everything from KOAs and Walmarts to state and federal forests, military and BLM land. This is my favorite app and website, offering the most detailed information of any app I've yet found on places to stay.
  • Free Campgrounds for RVs (http://www.freecampgrounds.com) has a big database, sorted by state, of state, federal and county land open to camping, most without hookups or services.
  • For boondocking and camping information about National Forests, check out the very useful U.S. National Forest Campground Guide (http://www.forestcamping.com). Much of the research was done by Fred and Suzi Dow, a couple of avid RVers who have spent the last 17 years visiting 155 national forests, 20 national grasslands, 1 national tallgrass prairie and 2,383 developed campgrounds.
  • We also like the Free Campsites website (http://freecampsites.net). There’s an interactive map as well as comments and reviews of boondocking spots.
  • You can also check the site http://boondocking.org. It’s a database of free boondocking spots based on GPS coordinates. Enter in your location’s latitude and longitude and it will tell you whether the closest boondocking spot may be.
  • If you are looking for places to boondock on private land, you'll find no greater resource than Boondockers Welcome
  • Then there isHarvest Hosts, a membership service that allows RVers to camp overnight for free at wineries, farms and special attractionsWhile there is no charge for camping, you are asked to purchase a bottle of wine or some produce or items grown on the property.More than 540 beautiful places around North America are part of Harvest Hosts, located in all the lower 48 states, Canada, Alaska and Baja California.

QUESTION:

Debby asks us about a service we once featured that would let you tell them about a campground you need reservations for and they would keep calling and notify you when there was a cancellation.

OUR ANSWER

We are unable to find any such services anymore. There used to be one but we couldn’tfdind the name, either.

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

Jim Van Heule has gone full circle in his choice of RVs over the past few years – from a Class B to a Class C to a Class A and then, all the way back to a Class B again.

We met Jim and his wife Kris at the recent Super B RV Show in Phoenix and asked him to share his experiences with the different sized motorhomes and what caused him to finally downsize.

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

Did you know that each year, roughly 17 million Americans will lace up their shoes and participate in an organized race? An additional 48 million decide in spring it’s time to give their couch a break and participate in recreational running. So if this sounds a lot like you, listen up because tech can help put some pep in your step!

When it comes to sustained success, many find other people can be a motivating factor. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily need a buddy along on the journey.

Wearables like the new Fitbit Versa can do just the trick. Compatible with third party running apps like RunKeeper, this sleek looking, waterproof device, will give you a quick glance at how far you’ve run, it’ll help you control your music, and it’ll track your pulse at the same time. Then, following your run, you can share your stats to social and show the world your progress!

When you’re running out of steam, the perfect pick-me-up song can give you the extra burst of energy you need. So you want to have some nice sounding headphones that won’t get in the way. The Bose Soundsport Free are a great choice. These bluetooth headphones seriously cut the wire. There’s nothing connecting them to your phone or each ear. And with five hours of battery life they’ll last you your entire run. Not to mention sweat and water resistant so you won’t have to worry about the weather.

Another great option is the Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Sport Earbuds. These lightweight bluetooth headphones use bluetooth to connect to your phone but do have a wire keeping the two earbuds themselves together. Because of that they come in well under half the price. But they still last for hours and are sweat and weatherproof.

Tying everything together on your run is your smartphone - it’s probably how you stream your music to your headphones and use its GPS to track and time your runs. But you certainly don’t want to hold it the whole time or have it flopping around in a pocket. That’s where the Incase Active Armband comes in. This sturdy and comfortable armband keeps your phone where you want it and provides access when you want it. Plus its touch sensitive screen cover means you can even touch apps or notifications without having to remove it from the protector.

Lastly, if you’re training for a long race, like a marathon, you’ll be out on the road for hours. Keep track of who’s visiting your home with the Nest Hello Video Doorbell. This new addition to the Nest Family will let you know anytime someone shows up on your doorstep - even if they don’t ring the bell. You get a crisp live video stream day or night and can even talk to the person on your porch straight from our 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.

DESTINATION OF THE WEEK -  Georgia Aquarium

Right off I-75 in downtown Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere with 10 million gallons of fresh and marine water and tens of thousands of animals.

We've heard great things about it for several years now but never had a chance to spend time there until just recently, when we took our 10-year-old grandson Jacob, for a visit. We were blown away by the quality exhibits and size. For RVers, the only downside is parking. The parking deck attached to the aquarium is enclosed and too low to accommodate even Class B RVs. There are a couple of open air street lots within an easy walk that will do just fine for Class B and C units. None can handle Class A RVs.

Opening in 2005. It's origins go back to November 2001, when Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus announced his vision of presenting Atlanta with an aquarium that would encourage both education and economic growth. After visiting 56 aquariums in 13 countries with his wife, Billi, he donated $250 million toward what was to become Georgia Aquarium. Corporate contributions totaling an additional $40 million allowed the aquarium to open debt-free.

The most notable exhibit is the massive 6.3 million gallon tank containing four whale sharks, taken from Taiwan's annual fishing kill quota, under which they would have been eaten had they not been purchased by the aquarium. Since 2007, a ban on whale shark capture has been in effect, making the Georgia Aquarium the only institution outside of Asia housing the species.

The whole aquarium was built around whale shark exhibit, with tunnels, walk-in windows and a huge 30 foot high plexiglass wall allowing for very up-close observation. The whale sharks cruise with giant manta rays, sharks and dozens of other species.

Another exhibit and another tank holds several beluga whales, distinctively white and as long as 11 feet.

Plan on spending at least four hours to take it all in.

And plan on spending lots of money. Adult tickets cost $36.95. Seniors are charged $32.95. Kids are $30.05. If you order online you can save $3 a ticket.

Expensive it is. But it's worth it. We'll be back. Several times. It's that impressive. If you've never been there, put it on your bucket list

Here’s a link to a full blog post on our visit, with lots of photos: http://roadtreking.com/rv-sidetrip-georgia-aquarium-atlanta/

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

RV SuperSaver Show

April 20-22

Century Link - Lee Sports Complex

Ft. Myers, FL​​​​​​​

 

 

Direct download: RV188.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:01pm EDT

RV Podcast 187 -  Lost in the Wilderness: A Survivor’s Story of Lessons Learned

In this episode, a spring break RV trip that turned into a nightmare. A solo female RVer, on her way from California to Washington, made a wrong turn in a National forest, got turned around lost in the wilderness. She and her Golden Retriever, Walter, were stuck on a steep and rocky mountain road and ended up spending four night and five days far from civilization just as local bears were hungrily waking up from hibernation.   You’ll hear this harrowing tale from the lost RVer herself, 63-year-old Penelope Bax, whose strong spirit and calm actions kept her safe until a California Highway Patrol helicopter spotted her RV and airlifted her and Walter to safety. You’ll love meeting Penelope and hearing the lessons she learned from being lost in the wilderness. Plus, RV tips, questions and answers and a fascinating off the beaten path report… all coming up for you in episode 187 of the RV Podcast.

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

 

Show Notes for Episode #187 April 11, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

As this episode is being released, we are scheduled to arrive in Phoenix, Arizona, where we’ll be attending the big Super B RV Show put on each year at this time by the folks at LaMesa RV.

 

We will be at the University of Phoenix Stadium, on the playing field as a matter of fact, meeting and greeting folks from all over the southwest. I think we’re even going to present a seminar or two about our experience traveling and exploring in a Class B motorhome

 

We’ll also have a Facebook Live report on our Roadtreking Facebook Page that we’ll do sometime Friday or Saturday and, of course, we’ll be shooting a video for our RV Lifestyle You Tube Channel on everything that is new in the Class B world.

 

Well, we’re back in Michigan for a few days, recording this episode from our sticks and bricks house just before we head to Arizona. We’re flying out there because we ran out of time to drive there. We did drive our RV up from Florida and watched springtime disappear. We have a video on that trip that will be published Thursday April 12 on our RV Lifestyle You Tube Channel but needless to say, we had to re-winterize again as we came back from the cold.

 

We watched spring come down south but it sure disappeared as we headed north. Jennifer likes to say that coming back to the cold will let us experience spring again. That’s the good news

 

But the bad news, as Mike likes to say, we also get to experience winter twice.

 

Besides the rescue of that stranded RVer in California that we’ll soon hear about in our interview of the week, there’s a lot of RV news you need to now about this weekend.

The first story is: that the government issued a report last week linking faulty Goodyear motor home tires to as many as 95 deaths or injuries over the past two decades. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started investigating last year.  The investigation centers on tires made between 1996 and 2003, alleging they were made for delivery trucks not motor homes which travel at high speeds on freeways. To read more click here or here

 

We RVers love to travel with our pets. But have you heard about Henry and Baloo? The dog and cat are best friends whose owners photograph them camping and hiking in Colorado, clearly enjoying every minute of it. The cat likes to sit on the dog as he walks or swims, and the two cuddle, making quite a photogenic pair, gaining a large and ever growing social media following. To read more click here or check out their Instagram here.

 

And Speaking of dogs and cats, pets are no longer allowed on Canada's Prince Edward Island's National Park beaches under a new law. From April 1 - October 15 domestic animals are banned from the beach, and violators face a $125 fine. To learn more, click here

 

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

going, going, gone!

 

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

We talked a couple of episodes back about making photobooks out of the pictures we take on our RV adventures. But listener Tom from Ottawa, Canada has another way you can relive all those great memories… right on your television.

The app Tom suggests is called PhotoCloud. It’s for Android devices. A similar app for the iPhone is TV Assist. We’ll put links to them in the shownotes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-187

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

I love hearing from you!

 

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

 

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

Phil tows a long trailer with his Sprinter-based Roadtrek eTrek RV. He recently replaced the stock Continental tires with Michelins but now notices a lot more sway when he tows the trailer. He wonders what he can do about it.

 

We note the best defense against trailer sway in all conditions is proper trailer loading. You will need to check your trailer tongue weight and gross trailer weight and get the weight distributed properly. Most times sway is induced by too little tongue weight on the trailer ball. Experts say your trailer’s tongue weight should be 10 to 15 percent of the total trailer weight, loaded and ready to tow. Most of the time redistributing weight in the trailer will solve sway issues especially if a weight distribution system with sway control is used..

 

Email question:

Hi...would love to subscribe to your weekly newsletter.  What are the procedures to do so?
Carol Campbell

Here is how to subscribe…go to http://archive.aweber.com/roadtreking. You can see past issues there and, if you want to subscribe, use the form on the lower left.

 

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

 

It was supposed to be a spring break getaway in her RV for Penelope Bax, a 63-year-old flower shop owner fro. San Diego. She was heading up to Washington State to visit relatives over the Easter holiday in her brand new Class C RV. She would camp her way north and enjoy northern California’s beautiful wilderness.

But she made a wrong turn in a mountainous area of Shasta County and, with her Golden Retreiver, Walter, became stranded in the wilderness for four nights. As frantic relatives posted missing person alerts on RV websites and social media, dozens of search and rescue volunteers combed the rough terrain. Many feared the worst. Finally, she was spotted by a California Highway Patrol Helicopter.

Penelope Bax is our interview of the week. We caught up with her not long after she returned to her San Diego home, in remarkably good health and with an optimistic can-do attitude that will soon have her out RVing again. Her story could happen to anyone and she has learned some powerful lessons from the experience that just might keep the same thing from happening to you.

play 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

 

Spring is the time many families start to plan their summer travel. While the main point is to kick back and relax, travel also brings about an increased risk of damaging or losing your smartphone. That’s why protecting your device is important - I’m talking more than just a case here.  If you didn’t take advantage of protecting your phone when you got it, Verizon is offering an open enrollment period from now through May 31 to sign up for Total Mobile Protection or any of our other protection options.

It’s more than just peace of mind if an unexpected drop, break or loss happens here or abroad, it can also help you save time and money.

Here are five ways:

Save money on cracked screens - Cracked screens happen, but with Total Mobile Protection, you have access to our coast-to-coast cracked screen repair network. Repairs are cost-effective, just a $29 deductible for select smartphones.


Save time getting your screen fixed. Did you know you can get many smartphone screens replaced on site in more than 360 markets nationwide? Or you can send in your damaged device and it’ll be repaired and shipped back to you.


Save time with replacement devices, even while traveling internationally. Time is of the essence when something happens to your phone or tablet. If your cracked screen can’t be repaired or your device is lost, stolen or damaged, only Verizon will send you a replacement - even internationally - as soon as the next day. Or, in many international destinations you can also get your cracked smartphone screen repaired by a local shop and Verizon will reimburse you.

Get time-saving help with Tech Coach. Tap the Tech Coach app to connect with a live expert in seconds. Get more from your phone or tablet with unlimited access to experts who can help transfer content, explain error messages and manage connected devices.

Save money with multiple lines. If you’ve got three or more lines on your account, Total Mobile Protection Multi-Device provides flexible account coverage for $39 per month. You can also add Additional Coverage for up to 7 more lines at $9 per month, per line.

You can learn more at verizonwireless.com/tmp

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

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

 

We were standing at the top of a very large, very deep hole, looking down at a pool of water. And we were inside. It was an odd feeling. When we entered the Big Well Museum in Greensburg, Kansas on US 400, we were greeted by two women. They asked us to sign the guest book and then if we knew much about the history of the town. Hearing that we did not, one said, "Did you know our town was completely destroyed by a tornado ten years ago? You can see it on that screen." We turned around and watched in fascination as news reports and video showed a scene of utter destruction with people wandering aimlessly among the rubble. "We were here then," the other said, "my son and I made it through by holding onto the toilet in the bathroom. Everything else blew away." 

 

With this to whet our appetites, we went on along into the museum. The Big Well takes up the center of the building. More than 30 feet in diameter and over a hundred deep, it's imposing. Dug entirely by hand and completed in 1888, it isn't quite the largest hand dug well in the world, but it's close. We walked the spiral staircase that lines the wall down to near the surface of the water.

 

Originally ten feet deep, the pool sits now at less than four feet, a stark indicator of just how much water has been pumped out of the Oglalla aquifer that feeds it. The water supplied the needs of the town, surrounding farms, and as many as three railroad lines during the town's boom years around the turn of the twentieth century. Then the railroad line moved, taking much of the population with it.

 

In 1937 the well was covered and advertised as a tourist attraction for the growing number of motorists exploring the USA. As traveling tourists became fewer, the well was boarded over and left idle. On May 4, 2007, the EF5 tornado ripped through the town. leaving only three buildings standing. Facing a daunting rebuilding challenge and the prospect of few local jobs, many of the remaining residents moved away. Those who remained were determined that Greensburg should not fade off the map. 

 

Enter FEMA and the state of Kansas, who collaborated with the residents to help reimagine the town as a showplace of green energy. The circular museum displays surrounding the Big Well tell the story of the town's beginnings, the tornado, and its new beginnings. Climb down into the Big Well in the middle of its new museum.

 

Climb up from the well and you can look through 360 degrees of windows accompanied by explanatory displays. There are many things to see around town, too. Reimagined Greensburg has public art and free self-guided bicycle tours and a rebuilt historic theater. US 400 is the main street, and there are still only a few businesses, so come help support this scrappy little town in the flat lands of Kansas, far off the beaten path. 

 

Resources

https://www.greensburgks.org/ 

http://www.bigwell.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 SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

 

Super B RV Show

April 12-15

University of Phoenix Stadium

Phoenix, AZ

 

Acadiana RV, Sport & Boat Show

April 13-15

Cajun Field

Lafayette, LA

 

Washington State Evergreen Spring RV Show

April 13-15

Evergreen State Fairgrounds

Monroe, WA​​​​​​​

 

 

Direct download: RV187.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

RV Podcast #186: What can happen when mice invade and infest an RV

In this week’s episode, a cautionary tale about what can happen when you buy a used RV that’s been sitting in one place for a long time from a dealer who seems to be less than thorough in quality control. But more than that, it’s a nightmare true story about the hidden damage that can be done to an RV by mice and what questions you should ask when buying a used RV to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Plus, an off the beaten path report, your RV questions, RV news and tips you can use. All this coming up in this episode of the RV Podcast.

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

Show Notes for Episode #186 April 4, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

It’s April already and springtime is slowly making its way north to those still in the unseasonable cold Midwest and northern states.

We’re finishing up a nearly three month trip that has us coming to you this week from Florida.

We just had a long aster weekend visit fom two of our three adult children, their spouses and five of our eight grandkids. It was great family time here on the Emerald Coast hanging out at the beach and enjoying the sunshine.

We will hit the Road Thursday of this week and make our way back to check up on our sticks and bricks home in Michigan. But it will be a very brief visit of about three days because next week, we will head to Phoenix, Arizona, here we will be putting on a couple of seminars and hanging out at the Super B RV Show being held April 12-15 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

We’ve been reporting a lot on past podcasts about a proposal by the government to dramatically increase entry fees to National Parks. Well this week we can report that Interior Department officials are backing away from that after receiving more than 100,000 public comments from Americans nearly unanimously opposed to the idea.

In October, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed to increase peak-season entrance fees at 17 parks from $25 to $70 — the largest hike since World War II. Joshua Tree National Park in California, where the peak season starts in January, would have been the first to charge the higher rate, followed by a dozen other parks where visitation peaks in May and June. The cost of riding a motorcycle into the parks would have risen to $50, and walking or biking in would have cost $30.

But as temperatures climb and parks prepare for another season of potentially record-breaking visitation, Interior and National Park Service officials are rethinking the plan based on public comments that inundated the NPS website over an abbreviated 30-day period.

An Interior official familiar with the changes now being discussed told the Washington Post that some type of increase remains almost certain but that the dramatic hike is being reconsidered for fear that it would cause visitation to plunge, reducing sorely needed revenue at top destinations such as Yosemite in California, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Zion and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Yellowstone in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming

Here's something else that has been making the news and RV related social media. It has to do with a 63 year old San Diego woman who was missing over the Easter weekend. Elizabeth Bax was on her way to the Seattke area to visit relatives for the holiday but never showed up.

We’re happy to say she was fund and rescued near Hirz Bay, a campground off of Lake Shasta in California, which has 6,200 miles of rivers and streams. Her sister says she thinks Bax ran out of gas in her Winnebago Class C  RV and her cell phone was dead. Bax was found dehydrated but stable and was airlifted to a local hospital. Her dog Walter is also being treated.

Here’s some other things happening this week that we think will be of interest to RVers…

Pain at the pump – Gas Prices on the Rise
I saw a story this morning that fuel prices nationwide have been creeping up in recent days by about a penny a gallon and that we are now paying the highest for fuel for this time of the year since 2014. That’s according to the Automobile Club of America. Gas companies are changing over to a different summer blend. To do so, some refineries shut down, leading to the classic market principal of supply and demand. A tighter supply means they can demand more for your fuel. Demand is up as people are driving more, and crude oil prices are up $15 per barrel compared to this time last year. Every time crude oil prices rise a dollar, consumers will pay roughly 2.4 cents more per gallon, says the auto club. This week, the average price for gas is $2.67 a gallon. Diesel is near $3 a gallon in many parts of the country.

Sleepy black bear at Glacier National Park drawing viewers by the thousands

In need of something sure to make you smile? You aren't alone. People have been clicking a webcam of a black bear emerging from hibernation at Glacier National Park by the thousands. The bear is inside a hollowed out cottonwood tree, yawning, and trying to decide whether to wake up and get out.

Hey Thief: Smile, You're On Camera! RV Dealer Searching for Man Captured on Camera

Speaking of hidden cameras, a Michigan RV Dealer is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man, captured on camera, stealing a $40,000 camping trailer from its lot. It happened in Coldwater, MI at the Haylett Auto & RV Supercenter. The 35-foot travel trailer was found nearby at a Walmart, stripped. The man apparently used his pick up truck to haul the trailer out of the RV lot, all of which was captured on video.

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

This week, we are introduced to a microfiber cloth by our friend Patti Burkett, who says it has all sorts of uses around the RV, not the least of which is removing condensation from glass surfaces.

Patti uses Norwex cloths available in Amazon.

You can get a large pack of them in assorted sizes and colors for about $41. The microfiber cloths are antibacterial and have all sorts of uses.

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

Newbie question. If I park my RV at home and it has a 30amp cord, how do I plug it in to a cord from my house??? Alan

We are looking for a place that will avoid large crowds, Spring Break and hurricane season. We've narrowed the search to northern FL and have found a few locations the Destin/Miramar area. That is the good news. The bad news so far is that none of the places we have found allow dogs on the beach. Our question to you is this...how have you been able to spend time in FL with your dogs at the beach? And, if so, where have you been able to stay? - Carol

I have a 26 ft class c and thinking about going smaller. The problem the class Bs do not have jacks. Appreciate your thoughts since you go to a lot of places – Hayden

My wife and I are considering Rad Power Bikes RadCity bikes for our RV travels but am concerned about how all those electric components will fare after continued exposure to the elements (particularly water, road salts and grime) while being transported on the hitch mounted carrier. How do you plan to mitigate the effects of those damaging elements when the weather gets foul while you are driving between camp spots? Tom

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

 In our interview of the week segment for this episode we introduce you to our friend Ginny Evans. Ginny is a solo RVer with a lot of experience.

But that experience was no match for the nightmare situation she encountered when she bought a used RV half way across the country…only to find that instead if the great bargain she thought she was getting, she instead was buying an RV that had been inFested by mice who did a tremendous amount of damage that you would not believe.

This is a cautionary tale about what can happen when you buy a used RV that’s been sitting in one place for a long time from a dealer who seems to be less than thorough in quality control. But more than that, it’s a nightmare true story about the hidden damage that can be done to an RV by mice and what questions you should ask when buying a used RV to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

 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: It’s Baseball time again!

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

Despite the late season blast of winter weather, spring baseball season is upon us! Today I wanted to talk about the tech you can have on hand to take your game to the next level.

For instance, with the new Samsung Galaxy S9+, you can capture and share even the fastest pitch or swing in super slow motion. The device’s revolutionary new camera also lets you take incredible photos in low-light situations (like a night game).

Can’t make it to the game? Google’s Daydream View coupled with virtual reality games like Home Run Derby will put you at home plate in the big leagues.

Whether you're in the stands or the front lawn, the JBL Free wireless in-ear headphones make it easy to listen to the game, while keeping your hands free for important things like peanuts and Cracker Jacks (or mowing your lawn!).

Have more than one team you want to keep track of? The Fitbit Versa will display score updates from across the league right on your wrist. Not to mention it'll give you credit for the steps you took to go pick up a hot dog at the concessions stand!

Lastly, are you getting in the game yourself? Reviewing your swing is easy when you have the Under Armour Connect Magnetic Mount. Snap the Magnetic Mount onto your phone case and attach it to the batting cage while recording a video to give you a perspective of what you’re doing right and what you may need to focus on.

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 -  Gila Cliff Dwellings

By Tom and Patti Burkett

We were traveling the Trail of the Mountain Spirits in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico.  After a night at Gila Hot Springs Campground, a fun and rustic spot along the Gila River, we drove a few miles north to the visitor center for the Gila Cliff Dwellings.  This site is in the National Forest, and is jointly administered by the Park Service and the Forest Service.  Unlike the ruins at Mesa Verde, these are largely un-excavated and receive relatively few visitors.  In the couple of hours we spent there, we saw about a dozen others.  The visitor center had some interesting displays of artifacts, but the real action was out on the trails.

The ruin itself has forty-six rooms spread over five caves.  It was discovered in 1878 by a man from Silver City who’d organized a quick prospecting trip in order to get out of jury duty.  After improving the access to the site, he built a resort at the hot springs and began providing guided trips.  Shortly thereafter, the discovery of mummified remains in the caves piqued the interest of both scientists and the general public.

Nowadays, you get to the caves by a footpath that climbs ramps and stairs about 200 feet over the course of a half mile and deposits visitors on ledge from which ladders and stairs rise into the caves themselves.  One of the things we really enjoyed here was the access.  We were able to walk through almost all the rooms and imagine what the life might have been like for the mostly nomadic people who settled here a thousand years ago to learn how to grow crops.

The caves were staffed by a very knowledgeable young man who was able to answer all our questions.  At the foot of the trail we spoke with a young woman, a trained archaeologist, who was also a volunteer at the site.  Just before we left, while visiting the museum, we finally encountered the only ranger at the park, who told us he’d just arrived onsite a few weeks earlier.  We’ve seen this at many parks, where most of the work is done by volunteers.  A good use of resources, to be sure, but it seems the park staffs are getting smaller and smaller as visitor numbers increase.  Hardly any of the desert parks we visited on this trip were offering ranger programs, even though it was their busy season.

After the caves, we continued along the Trail of The Mountain Spirits, making our way south on New Mexico 15 through the mountain wilderness.  The Roadtrek gave us an advantage on the twisty, narrow roads from which the views were spectacular.  All along the way were attractive small Forest Service campgrounds, any one of which we’d have been happy to spend some time visiting.  You’d enjoy them too, we’ll wager, so come on along one of these days, and we’ll look for you in the Gila Wilderness, 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

 

Before we get started with this weekend’s events. Here’s a heads up for those of you in the southwest. Jennifer and I will be meeting and greeting folks at the Super B RV show in Phoenix. The show runs Phoenix April 12-15, a Thursday through Sunday. Please put it on your schedule and come say hello! It’s at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale and is run by LaMesa RV. This is only for Class B and small motorhomes and well over 125 will be in display.

 

RV shows this weekend

 

Colorado Springs RV & Travel Expo

April 5-7

Colorado Springs Event Center

Colorado Springs, CO

 

BC Interior RV  Show

April 6-8

​​​​​​​Penticton Trade & Convention Centre

Penticton, BC (Canada)

 

Kitchener RV Show and Sale

April 6-8

Kitchener Memorial Auditorium

Kitchener, ON (Canada)

 

UP Boat, Sport & RV Show

April 6-8

Superior Dome

Marquette, MI

 

Vacationland RV & Camping Show

April 7-8

Norway Savings Bank Arena

Auburn, Maine

 

 

Direct download: RV186.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

In this episode, we talk about the RV accessory that we probably complain about the most but also depend upon to get where we are going - the GPS navigation system.

We talk to a top government GPS expert this week who explains how GPS works; how accurate and reliable it is, or isn’t; what system – the one in the dashboard or the one on your smartphone or tablet - is most accurate and what to do when it is not accurate.

Also some spring cleaning ideas for your traveling tech, a great off the beaten path report from New Mexico, RV tips and your questions.

 Show Notes for Episode #185 March 28, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

Happy Easter everyone!  It's Spring Break and Easter Vacation time for much of North America this week and campgrounds are experiencing their first major rush of the 2018 camping season.

We’re in Florida at our Emerald Coast Location on the Gulf of Mexico again after a great visit last week to Texas. And the first of two videos we did on that trip will go live tomorrow – Thursday April 29 – on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. It’s about our trip to Waco and all the fun we had there. 

Two of our three kids and five of our eight grandkids will be joining us over the weekend here at the beach to celebrate Easter so we’re looking forward to some fun family time. Then we hit the road again for what promises to be perhaps our busiest travel season ever. Though we’ve been busy all year so far. In fact we travel somewhere in our RV every month.

Now…here are the top RV related stories that have interested us this week….

Rangers at Arizona's Saguaro National Park using microchips to thwart thieves 

So many people are taking home a piece of Arizona's Saguaro National Park's famous saguaro cactus that rangers have started the unusual practice of micro chipping them. Yes, you read that right. Microchips are being inserted into the iconic plant that can grow up to 40 feet tall and live 200 years because selling them has become a lucrative market that is hurting the national park.

Ohio buys 60,000 acres to develop new park, complete with camping

We always like seeing stories about new state parks. Ohio announced its plans to buy 60,000 acres of privately owned land in the southeastern part of the state and turn it into the Jesse Owens State Park and Wildlife Area, complete with camping. The rolling hills and lake-specked land is owned by American Electric Power and was once mined for coal. In recent years the electric company allowed public use of the land, and a recent story we will link to in the shownotes presents an interesting picture of how one state is trying to preserve undeveloped land for future generations.

Night sky educational programs to get even better at national parks

Enjoy viewing the night sky in the nation's national parks? Your experience may be even a bit better this summer. The University of Texas-Austin's McDonald Observatory is creating a training program for park rangers to help them develop better night sky experiences for visitors.

 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: An easy way to make eggs right every time

In this week’s tip, we meet Kristi Gilson, a new RVer, who recently showed us a gizmo she travels with in her RV that makes a perfect egg breakfast every time.

The device Kristi showed us is called the Egg Central Egg Cooker by Quisinart. You use distilled water and it quickly cooks eggs just about any way you want from omelets to hard boiled. It costs $39 and you can find it on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2pLi5oi

You can also find it – and all the various products and services we talk about here on the podcast and our blog – at http://roadtreking.com/gear

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Listener Donna is wondering about places to stay on a motorcycle camping trip to Texas

We suggest Canyon of the Eagles, northwest of Burnet, for Texas hill country scenery and great camping; the area around Fredicksburg for shipping and wineries and wildflowers, Big Bend for rugged wilderness and the Padre Islands National Seashore for beach camping.

Mary is planning a trip along the Oregon coast in May and wants some places to overnight, especially one called Cook’s Chasm that she read about in this post from 2013 -

http://roadtreking.com/boondocking-along-the-middle-oregon-coast/

 Oregon made some very wise land use decisions fifty-sixty years ago, and practically the whole coastline is state parks and national forest. Oregon also has a liberal boondocking policy – you can stay for 12 hours at any spot not otherwise posted, as long as it's outside a state park.

Cook's Chasm is a parking area maybe 2-3 miles south of the town of Yachats (YAH-hots)

Old lava flows to the ocean are all up and down the coast here, and at Cook's Chasm the lava has been eroded by wave action into caves and chasms – the waves really boom and spout out the blowholes of these when the surf's up and the tide is right. It's a large parking area on the ocean side of the highway, overlooking Thor's Well, a giant blowhole in an underwater cave that you can watch for hours as the waves come in and waters sloshes in and out of it. And the best part is – the waves are phosphorescent on moonless late summer nights. It's an eerie blue-green glow in the breakers – unforgettable.

 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

We’ve all cursed our GPS system, right? We’re driving a bunch of strange roads following the GPS map in our RV but instead of getting to where we programmed it, we find ourselves somewhere else closer to the middle of nowhere.

It’s happened to us all, right?

In this episode, we talk to Jason Kim. Jason is  a Senior Advisor for the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing for the U.S. government. His agency’s website is www.gps.gov

As such, he is a top government GPS expert and in this week’s episode, he explains how GPS works; how accurate and reliable it is, or isn’t; what system – the one in the dashboard or the one on your smartphone or tablet - is most accurate and what to do when it is not accurate.

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: Spring Clean Your Tech

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

Now that the weather’s getting warmer it’s just about time to spring open those windows and let in the fresh air. There’s something magical about the season and it really can get us energized to do some cleaning in our homes. But did you know your smartphone could use a good cleansing as well?

Here are some quick and easy tips to get you started:

First...storage. Those photos and videos on your phone take up a ton of space! Google Photos is free app for iOS and Android that gives you free unlimited storage of those photos! You click on free up space and it’ll automatically backup your photos for free in the cloud and then delete them off your device.

Or, you can use the Sandisk Connect Wireless Stick to wirelessly transfer files between your smartphone and laptop.

Next there are all those random menus you’ve downloaded, practice schedules, etc. You probably don’t even know where they are! But for Android users, the app, Files Go, can help. It’ll scan your phone and let you know what’s taking up space and if you haven’t accessed an app or a file for a while it’ll recommend deletion. Or if you want to save the file, it can be sent to Google Drive for storage.

If you use an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Storage > to see all of your apps. And you’ll also see how long it’s been since you used them. If you haven’t used it in about six months, I’d say you can delete it. If there’s an app you haven’t used in a while but you don’t want to delete, you can offload it when you’re low on storage and that app’s data will be saved.

Organize your apps. Take a look at what you use most and sort – for instance, texting, phone, email and your camera should always be right at your fingertips.

Finally, do your constant notifications make you anxious? Prioritize what you need to know and be alerted about and change your settings accordingly.

Happy cleaning!

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 -  Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico

It was well below freezing in the Gila National Forest, and we were happy the Roadtrek was still winterized.  We’d thought about filling the tanks more than once in the previous week, but hadn’t gotten around to it.  The previous night we’d made the acquaintance of a couple from Alaska, and as I walked up to the hot spring pool in the pre-dawn darkness, I heard them chatting.  “ I hope it’s still clothing optional hours, “ I said, “because my suit is too cold to put on this morning.”  “Not to worry,” said John, who reached out of the pool and picked his own suit up to show me—board stiff and covered with frost.

We were at the Gila Hot Springs campground on a New Mexico scenic roadway called the Trail of The Mountain Spirits, which begins in the town of Silver City, north of Deming off Interstate 10.  The previous night our dinner server had recommended the museum there, and it happened that a Silver City mechanic had time to take care of a small problem with the Roadtrek.  At the museum, we were surprised to find a detailed exhibit about flamenco dancing and the growing flamenco culture in New Mexico.  It was a very interesting museum, and we enjoyed a nice walk through the historic downtown as well.

Traveling counterclockwise on the circular Trail of the Mountain Spirits, we spent quite a while driving through the Mimbres valley, an area that’s been cultivated and inhabited for perhaps as much as three thousand years.  We were looking forward to a stop at the Three Questions Coffeehouse, where breakfast and lunch are served from pots on the stove and you simply help yourself.  Sadly, we found the shop already closed for the day when we arrived.

Finding the Gila Hot Springs campground was not a simple task.  As we approached, there was a large sign for the Gila RV Park.  Thinking this was it, we pulled in, only to discover a perfectly adequate facility, with hookups and a spring-fed hot tub, but not the place we were looking for.  Back down the road a mile or so, we located the sign for the Gila Wilderness Lodge (and camping).  The approach looked like a farm lane—a steep downhill between paddocks of goats, with a few rugged driveways branching off from it.  Down we went, and enjoyed the dozens of baby goats scrambling on both sides.  Sure enough, as we approached the river, a sign pointed left to the campground.

Allen and Carla Campbell own the hot springs, and have operated it since 1992.  Allen was born and raised here, and can answer any question about local history.  Carla told us the river floods every few years, and they take these opportunities to make improvements to the springs.  There are three spring pools of varying temperatures, surrounded by natural rock walls with gravel bottoms.  The pools range from bathtub to hot tub temperature and are drained and cleaned regularly.  Spread out along the riverbank are about a dozen roomy campsites, each with river access and fire rings.  Eight dollars a person buys you a campsite and unlimited soaking in the pools.

If you’d rather, you can stay at the RV park with full hookups and get a day pass to the springs for five bucks.  Across the road from the RV park is a nice store with groceries, souvenirs, and a selection of art and craft work by local artisans.  There’s no cell service here, but the store has free wifi, and even posts the password on a sign out front by a strategically placed picnic table.  There’s more to see and do on the Trail of the Mountain Spirits, and we’ll tell you about it next time, from this mile high corner of New Mexico, 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

There are no RV shows this weekend because of the Easter holiday weekend.

But here’s a heads up for those of you in the southwest. Jennifer and I will be meeting and greeting folks at the Super B RV show in Phoenix. The show runs Phoenix April 12-15, a Thursday through Sunday. Please out it on your schedule and come say hello! It’s at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale and is run by LaMesa RV. This is only for Class B and small motorhomes and well over 100 will be in display.

 

 

Direct download: RV185.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

There are a lot of RVs out there. And there are a lot of reasons people buy them. So the RV Lifestyle takes many different forms. In this episode, we will introduce you to a wonderful group of people we spent time with this past weekend at an informal meet-up in Waco Texas. I think you’ll find it very interesting how the RV lifestyle can fulfill so many dreams and be used in so many different ways.

Plus, coming up, your RV questions, RV tips, traveling tech suggestions and a great off the beaten path report.

Show Notes for Episode #184 March 21, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We are doing this podcast from the beautiful Texas Hill Country, specifically at the Canyon of the Eagles Park on the shores of Lake Buchanan.

It’s called the Canyon of the Eagles because lots of bald eagles winter here each year, fishing the warm waters of the lake. We are in a beautiful campground overlooking the lake. It’s just us and one other RV in the entire campground and but is so quiet and peaceful we keep extending our stay. What was to be a quick visit to the area is now on its fourth day!

We posted lots of photos on the blog already and we’ll talk more about this place in an off the beaten path report a little later in the podcast.

But we’ve had a great week of traveling and have so enjoyed Texas. We spent the past weekend in Waco, Texas, a place well known to fans of the HGTV television show Fixer Upper as the home of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of the show.

It is unbelievable how the popularity of the show and Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia branded businesses have transformed Waco.  They have a bakery, they renovated two old grain Silos and turned it into a design boutique and they just opened a restaurant… that has a 2 ½ hour wait to get in.

20,000 tourists a week come to Waco… Waco is the 2nd most searched zip code on realtor.com… David Ridley, who owned ne of the homes Chip and Joanna fixed up, runs a tour bus company.

This was a really, really busy weekend in Waco. Chip and Joann had their Spring celebration and they say as many as 150,000 people came from all over the country. Every hotel and RV park was supposedly booked up for 80 miles around.

We also had our expert tour guide… and we want to give a big shout to David Hunt, one of our Roadtreking followers. David lives in Waco and generously gave us a our past many of the homes featured over six seasons if the TV show.

Besides that, we toured the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

And we had an informal meet-up on Saturday with a bunch of folks who fo0llow us who live in Texas. You’ll hear from some of them in a few minutes in our interview if the week segment on the podcast.

We love hearing from our listeners. In fact, if you heard last week’s episode, Dan Izzard, who lives in Georgetown, Texas, called in with a suggested route we travel to see bluebonnets. And That led us to the beautiful spot we are now in and will soon be talking about in our off the beaten path report.

Here are some stories in the news this week of interest to RVers…

National Parks considering per person charge, Interior Secretary tells Congress

Too many people get into the national parks for free, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week. The National Parks Services offers free or discounted entrance to active military service members, disabled people, seniors and fourth graders. Zinke said that is too many discounts, and the cost per vehicle needs to go up or instead of charging per carload, parks need to charge per person to help bring in revenue.

Family says they were locked inside a Camping World RV lot in Arizona

A couple and their two small children were in the news last week after being locked inside an outdoor lot of a Camping World RV store in Mesa, Arizona. The couple was interviewed by their local television station and said an employee showed them the outside lot, left, and before long they realized they were locked inside. The store was closed and they were stuck. They called the police and then chronicled the event in a Live Facebook post, much to the embarrassment of Camping World.

Navy Seals requesting use of Washington state parks for stealth training drills

Imagine camping in one of Washington's beautiful state parks, deciding to head out to the beach for a midnight stroll and seeing ... a U.S. Navy Seals invasion? An interesting story that came over the news this week covered a request from the elite fighting force to increase access to Washington State Parks for training exercises. Apparently the U.S. Navy Seals already  use some state parks for mainly nighttime training drills, but are requesting permission to use more. Since they want to use public land, including some where campers visit, there is controversy..

Camping in outback will now require permit at Michigan's Porcupine Mountain

Michigan's remote Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park boasts more than 60,000 acres of old hardwoods in the state's upper peninsula, and is apparently becoming a backpackers favorite. To cope with the growing crowds, Michigan's Department of Natural Resources is now requiring a permit to camp in remote spots and will limit how many are issued.

 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

As we’ve said before…we love campfires. But the smoke that often envelopes those gathered around a campfire? Not so much.

That’s why we’ve been really interested in the various portable propane campfire solutions, like the Outland Firebowl Model 870 Premium Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit that we talked about in a recent episode.

This week, we heard about another such solution from a listener named John.

The portable firepit John alerted us to can burn wood…but with none of that stinky smoke that permeates your clothing and hair of you sit around a traditional campfire long enough.

The firepit John told us about is from a company called BiolLite. The company’s website says it has a capacity for four wood logs. If you don’t want to use it as a campfire, you can also throw in charcoal and use it as a grill. It sells for $199 but won’t be shipping until August 2018. We’ll put a link to it on the shownotes to this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-184

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

A listener named Roy wants advice on finding affordable insurance for his RV

            We suggest:

 

 

John wants to know the best way to do taxes online.

We suggest:

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’s your RV Lifestyle

We love meeting other RVers on the road and recently during a trip to Texas, we had an informal meetup with a bunch of folks who follow our reports.

We thought you’d enjoy meeting some of them, too, as they share just what the RV Lifestyle means to them.

This group comes from all walks of life, all have different reasons they chose the RV lifestyle and all were just a joy to be around.

If you’d like to see a video version of this interview, head offer to our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube 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

Spring is here (according to the calendar, anyway!) and as the trees bud and flowers begin to bloom, you’re going to want to capture the world around you. Fortunately, tech makes it easier than ever before! Today I wanted to give you some tips to take those photos to a new level.

First let’s talk about the Samsung Galaxy S9 - With this phone you can become a photography pro: manually adjust shutter speeds, set exposure levels, select filters and more using Pro Mode. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) compensates for your movement to give you clear, crisp photos. And if you’re shooting in low light, you’re going to be quite pleased with the results.

When you’re ready to take your photos to a new dimension, you’re going to want to check out the Samsung Gear 360 This pocket–sized camera shoots immersive 360–degree scenes at quadruple the resolution of standard HD, so your videos have more detail in every direction. With Verizon's super fast 4G LTE network, you can easily share your videos on YouTube and Facebook bringing your friends and family along for the journey.

If you’re planning to take a lot of photos or videos, space on your device could become a concern. That’s why you may want to download the Google Photos app. It’s free for Android and iOS and includes unlimited storage of your photos! Not a bad deal...plus you can easily search for old photos by location, date and even the person that appears in the picture.

Sometimes you actually want to physically hold a photo, right? And that’s where the Polaroid Insta-Share Printer Moto Mod comes in. Take a picture and print a 2x3” photo right from your phone - all it takes is a click of a button when you have a Polaroid mod attached to your Motorola phone. You can even customize your favorite photos by picking the combination of filters, borders and designs that suit your mood. 

Happy snapping!

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  The Texas Bluebonnet Trail and the Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park

We’re on the Bluebonnet trail in Texas. And as we said at the top of the program, we’re staying at The Canyon of the Eagles nature park. It is privately owned resort offering pet friendly lodge style cabins, a full service high end restaurant and lots of amenities. There are two primitive campgrounds ($25 a night), a group camping area and a full service RV park) $45 a night). It's located about 16 miles from Burnet, the nearest town, a friendly little place which proudly proclaims itself to be the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas. 

We arrived about 10 days before the peak bluebonnet time but they are blooming fast and even during our short stay we found them popping up all along the winding road that leads to the park and, indeed, even on our campsite. Bluebonnets are the official state flower of Texas.

They are so named because of the shape of the pedals on the flower, which resembled the bonnets worn by pioneer women to shield them to the sun. Texas historian Jack MacGuire says the bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland or the tulip is to Holland.

They are worth a springtime visit as they blanket the countryside around here. The south central Texas hill country is where they grow the best. Thanks to the highway beautification efforts of former first lady Lady Bird Johnson who encouraged the planting of native plants along Texas highways after she left the White House, they can be found statewide.

We planned to just pay a quick visit to this region and then move on.

But then we were struck by the silence. And the beauty. The 25-site campground where we are staying was all but deserted. Just us, Jim the astronomer, and a couple of other RVers. For $45 you get full hookups and – from many of the sites – great views of Lake Buchanan, a 40-mile long lake formed by the construction of Buchanan Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. (For a full account of this destination, go to: http://roadtreking.com/bluebonnets-and-the-canyon-of-the-eagles-in-the-texas-hill-country)

 

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: 

Before we get started with this weekend’s events. Here’s a heads up for those of you in the southwest. Jennifer and I will be meeting and greeting folks at the Super B RV show in Phoenix. The show runs Phoenix April 12-15, a Thursday through Sunday. Please out it on your schedule and come say hello! It’s at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale and is run by LaMesa RV. This is only for Class B and small motorhomes and well over 100 will be in display. 

Northwest Sportshow

March 22-25

Minneapolis Convention Center

Minneapolis, MN 

Quebec RV Show

March 22-25

Centre de Foires ExpoCite

Quebec, QC (Canada)

Greater Tuscon RV Show

March 23-25

Tuscon Convention Center

Tuscon, AZ 

New Hampshire Camping & RV Show

March 23-25

New Hampshire Sportsplex

Bedford, NH

Northwest Michigan Camper & RV Show

March 23-25

Grand Traverse County Civic Center

Traverse City, MI

Springfield RV & Camping Show

March 23-25

BOS Convention Center

Springfield, IL

Champlain Valley RV & Boat Show

March 24-25

Crete Civic Center

Plattsburgh, NY

 

Direct download: RV184.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:58pm EDT