The RV Podcast

Remember the infamous SNL Skit that Chris Farley did as he hilariously portrayed Mat Foley, an erstwhile “motivational speaker” who was “Livin in a Van Down by the River?” Well, in this episode of the Roadtreking RV Podcast, we talk to a whole bunch of people who are just that…livin in a van down by the river…. And down by the beach…and on the mountaintops…and in state and national forests and campgrounds all across North America.

We talk to them about what it’s really like, living in a van – a Class B motorhome, to be precise. You’ll hear them talk about the plusses and minuses and much more.

Also this week, a great tip about keeping your clothes looking great while traveling in your RV, the RV News of the Week that reports on a bunch of RV related safety recalls, some tech tips and an off the beaten path report about a destination you’ll want to check out.

Jennifer’s Tip of the Week – Power Steam Pro

This week’s tip is about a very handy way to make sure your clothes look good and are wrinkle free as you’re traveling in your RV. It’s a very special iron called the Power Steam Pro. I bought one at the recent Family Motorcoach Association Family Reunion rally in Perry, Georgia a couple of weeks ago, but it’s also available online on Amazon.

It costs $70 and I am really impressed by what a wonderful job this does. We keep ours right in the RV.

It is a commercial grade garment steamer that steams in minutes and produces consistent steam for approximately 20 minutes. It can be used to get rid of wrinkles and odors from any type of fabric without the use of a metal plate.

It won’t burn you or scorch your garments and you can use any type of water for the steam, it doesn’t have to be distilled. Even tap water is okay with the Power Steam Pro.

It even is safe to be used for silk and delicate fabrics.

When I bought mine, a sweet young woman named Ginny was demonstrating it so we pulled out the recorder and I asked her to share some of the features.

The tip of the week is brought to you by Good Sam, the world's most popular RV organization, now celebrating its 50th year.

  • Save 10% on the nightly rate at 2,100+ Good Sam RV Parks & Campgrounds
  • Save on fuel at Pilot Flying J
  • Save at Camping World—the Club’s official RV accessory retailer!

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

  • Listener Geoff is outfitting his new RV and has questions about the RV Superbag that Jennifer and I use. Here’s a video Jennifer did about the king-sized bag we have. We also have two singles.
  • Julie called in with a question about de-winterizing her RV and reinstalling the water heater’s anode rod. I referred her to the specifics on her model from the online manuals at http://www.roadtrek.com/support-contact#section-manuals . I sent her to this link with step by step instructions on how to remove and replace a rod. She also asks about a list for what to check before heading off on a trip.
  • Every RV is different and you need to make up your own for your specific model but a good place to start is this pre-trip checklist I found at RV University.
  • Andy is in the market for a new RV but wants to guard against depreciation. Bob Gummersall, the chief technical editor of RVers Online, has been studying and analyzing NADA and Kelly Blue Book RV prices for years and concludes that RVs pretty much all depreciate at the same rate, no matter whether Class A,B, or C. Here is a link to his report, which notes that starting with the MSRP, the depreciation is 30% driving it off the lot, another 10% at the end of the first year and 6% for each year following. By the 6th year, he says, the ownership of an RV is worth approximately one half its net purchase price.
  • Becky has some questions about the undermounted air conditioner Jennifer and I have on our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL. We talk about our system, now available as a factory add-on by Roadtrek
  • And Paul plans lots of backcountry RVing and wants to make sure he has enough clearance for unimproved roads. We share our experiences.

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

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

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat - providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Whether saving for a big RV trip or to get some new RV gear, a number of apps are designed to help you save money in brand new ways – just a few bucks at a time.

This week, I have three of the best personal finance savings apps to help you do just that.

Qapital puts a unique spin on saving. It lets users set up so-called rules – for example, buy a specialty coffee drink and transfer $5 to your FDIC-insured account. The idea is that it will add up and you can withdraw from your savings with the push of a button. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Acorns allows users to not only save but invest in very small amounts. Users set up the Acorns app to take whatever change users are due and instead invest it. For example, if you spend $3.75 on a coffee and pay with $4, you can invest the 25 cents you are due back. If you want to cash out at anytime, no big deal – just push a button. The app is free for iOS and Android. It costs a buck a month.

The app Digit helps users save by monitoring spending habits with the users’ permission and using complex math to figure out exactly what you can afford. Every few days, it will withdraw a few bucks to a Digit account that is FDIC-insured up to $250,000. And if you are ready to spend what you’ve saved, withdrawing is a simple as sending a text. The money is in your checking account the next day. The app is free for iOS.

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.

Ever wonder what it would be like to swim with sharks or have a close encounter with a dinosaur? What if I said you could experience those fantasies from the comfort of your own home?

Verizon is making virtual reality…a reality with the new Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus.

The Gear VR is a mobile, virtual reality headset that can transport you to amazing new worlds, in games, video and images.

Think of it as watching movies in your own private cinema, being at the center of your favorite video games or socializing with friends in a virtual world all your own.

The lightweight design and intuitive touchpad drop you right into the action and allow for hours of immersive entertainment.

Sounds pretty fun, right? Visit your local Verizon retailer to take the Gear VR for a test drive.

And, don’t forget to visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  BALTIMORE

Tom and Patty Burkette take us to Baltimore and a whole bunch in interesting museums, historic sites and places of interest.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by AllStays - the Internets #1 RV and camping app since 2010

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Livin’ in a Class B Van

We talk to folks at the recent Family Motorcoach Association rally in Perry, GA about what it’s really like, livin’ in a van – a Class B motorhome, to be precise. You’ll hear them talk about the plusses and minuses and much more.

Direct download: RT81.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT

This week’s podcast shares the things RVers wish someone told them BEFORE they started RVing. We have interviews from the recent Family Motorcoach Association Family Reunion rally in Perry GA. We talked to a whole bunch of RVers… couples, solos, fulltimers and weekend warriors, asking them to share the most important things they’ve learned from their life on the road.

 

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

This week, my Tip of the Week comes from a listener who followed one of my tips from a few weeks ago. I ran into her at the just-concluded Family Motorcoach Association rally down in Perry, GA. When she showed me what she had, I just knew you’d want to know all about it too. Nadine Parker who shares a way to easily clean up a slow cooker, or a crock pot, by using slow cooker liners that go inside the crock pot.

We found some on Amazon, made by Reynolds, the same people who make aluminum foil. These liners are made of heat resistant nylon and designed to make slow cooker cleanup fast and easy. They are safe and BPA free.

You can get four packs of four each or 16 total liners for about $11.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

First up, some info from listener Jim of interest to RVers heading through western Indiana. A new stretch of I-69 is now open between Bloomington through Evansville. Good news for those heading south or for returning snowbirds on the way back home.

  • Listener Tom wants to know about the Quisinart Griddler that Jennifer and I use for cooking in our RV. He is especially interested in using it for baking.

While we love the Griddler, it is not for baking At least if it is, we are not sure how you’d do it. We got ours to replace the George Foreman grill we used to have. It broke when it fell off an uneven surface that Mike was resting it on while cooking a late meal one evening. That’s another story. But we love the Griddler. It works as a contact grill, a panini press, a full grill, a full griddle and half grill/half griddle. You can cook eggs, burgers, all kinds of steak, poultry, fish, pancakes, bacon. It’s very easy to clean and we use ours in our RV and at home. We’ll put a link to the Cuisinart Griddler on the shownotes page for this episode for those interested in checking it out.

But again, as far as using it for traditional baking, I’m not sure how that would work. That’s what we use the convection oven/ microwave for.

  • Reed asks about the air conditioner we have on our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL.

Ours in mounted on the back and underneath the vehicle instead of the usual roof mounted AC that most RVs have. He watched the recent video tour of it we put on the Roadtreking.com blog and wanted to know how noisy it is compared to others. We give him a full rundown but, bottom line, it’s still noisy.

  • And a listener called in to ask about installing a burglar alarm on her RV. Someone tried to break into her RV and, although they didn’t get in, she wants a loud alarm to sound if it happens again.

We talk about the Canary system we have on our unit. It’s a burglar alarm and it is also a live camera that shows video and plays audio of what’s happening inside the RV, as well as a temperature monitor showing this inside temperature. We like it because is the dog is there, we can see what’s happening and also make sure the AC is working. It also has a loud alarm. Ours works with an app over a Wi-Fi system Here’s a video we did about it.

But in her case, I’d recommend the system we have at home – SimpliSafe. It is so easy to install, works really well and has motion detection alarms, glass breaking alarms, window and door sensors. You install it yourself…. It’s very easy… and you can easily transfer it to another RV. It has a very loud 105-decibel alarm siren, too. It costs $259. The home system s monitored 24 x7 but in an RV, you just want an alarm. So check that out.

Or you could just go to a regular car alarm company. I warn you, though, some of those hard wred alarm systems have what are called parasitic drain issues, meaning they will drain down your RV battery if you keep it connected and on when in storage. So try Canary – that costs $200 – if you like or, for the best protection, look into SimpliSafe, which costs $259.

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

All three have a great fly and drive program. They'll pick you up from the airport and will reimburse you $500 toward your airfare. Then, your RV will be fully prepared for travel, complete with full tanks of fuel and propane.

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

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

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat - providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

RVers have so many tasks to remember, cleaning, maintenance, packing. So there has to be a high tech way to manage and remember all those chores, right? Right.

I found three apps that can be very easily adapted for your various RV tasks, choses and things you need to do on the road and in camp

The first one I recommend is called Cleaning Checklist and it is a simple and straightforward app to write down and manage whatever tasks you want to complete. You can mark off items as they are completed. The best thing about Cleaning Checklist is how easy it is to add new items. The app is 99 cents and available for iOS.

Home Routines is great for the same things and a few more. The app let you assign tasks into zones, making it easy to focus on specific areas at the same time- like a packing zone, a pre drive zone, a camp set up zone, a maintainence zone. The app is focused around areas of a house, but just think RV instead of house and you’ll see its usefulness. To keep you on track, you can set it up to get reminder notifications. Mark off tasks completed on checklists, which reset automatically. The app is $4.99 for iOS.

For you Android users, the best app I’ve found for you is called Smart Task Manager Pro. Cost is $4.70 for this app. Does it all and can be customizable for whatever lists and tasks you want.

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.

Getting ready to hit the road? Then consider picking up a portable battery pack from Verizon so you can keep your smart devices charged.

There’s nothing worse than getting the dreaded “low battery” alert when you’re relying on your smartphone to get directions, stream music, take photos and post updates to social media.

These devices will eliminate the fear of battery failure and keep your devices powered during your excursions.

  • The LifeProof FRĒ Power case was made for adventure. It acts as a portable charger and keeps your phone protected from mishaps, including water damage and cracks. It also features Auto-Stop Charging. Once your phone reaches 100%, it stops charging to preserve power for later.
  • Themophie Powerstation 3X may look like a traditional portable charger on the outside, but it features Priority+ charging. So, when you need to recharge your battery pack and phone at the same time, the Powerstation will prioritize by charging your phone first and then recharge the battery pack. It also has dual USB ports so you can charge two devices simultaneously.

Visit your local Verizon retailer to check out other smartphone accessories and portable chargers.

And, don’t forget to visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

RV CALENDAR

  • Progressive Insurance Northwest Sportshow - March 30-April 3, 2016
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN (USA)
  • Great Rockies Sport, RV & Boat Show
April 1-3
 - Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT
  • Northwest Michigan Camper & RV Show
April 1-3
 -Grand Traverse Civic Center
Traverse City, MI
  • Acadiana RV & Camping Show
April 8-10
 - Cajun Field
Lafayette, LA

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT - The Great Lakes Shoreline

This is a great trip… almost 3,500 miles if you follow the entire US shoreline.

The significance of the Great Lakes is staggering. According to the Great Lakes Information Network, an informational clearinghouse on the Great Lakes group supported by U.S. and Canadian governmental agencies and various civic-minded organizations, the five lakes contain:

  • One-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water (only the polar ice caps and Lake Baikal in Siberia contain more); 95 percent of the U.S. supply; 84 percent of the surface water supply in North America. Spread evenly across the continental U.S., the Great Lakes would submerge the country under about 9.5 feet of water.
  • More than 94,000 square mile of water (larger than the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire combined, or about 23 percent of the province of Ontario). About 295,000 square miles in the watershed (the area where all the rivers and streams drain into the lakes).
  • The Great Lakes shoreline is equal to almost 44 percent of the circumference of the earth, and Michigan’s Great Lakes coast totals 3,288 mi more coastline than any state but Alaska.
Direct download: RT80.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 7:37pm EDT

Complete shownotes for The Roadtreking RV Podcast Episode 79:

MIKE AND JENNIFER’S WHEREABOUTS

We’ll be at the big Family Motorcoach Association 2016 Family Reunion at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, GA March 17-20.

Jennifer and I will be there and presenting two seminars: The first is called “Serendipity Travel with the Wendlands” which details the way we travel in our RV with no reservations and stopping and sightseeing at random along the roads we travel. It will be on Friday, March 18, at in Seminar Room 4 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry.

The second seminar will be “Living in a Type B Motorhome” and talk about how two people and a dog have happily lived and traveled over 100,000 miles over the past four years in a Class B motorhome. There’s a lot of interest in Class A and Class C owners in downsizing and we’ll talk about what it’s like. That seminar will be held Saturday at in Seminar Room 2.

In between times, we’ll be hanging around the FMCA booth The FMCA Membership booth, in the Miller-Murphy-Howard building at the gathering or camped out with a bunch of Roadtrek owners in a special area of the campground. Come look us up and say Hi.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK – Our Protein Smoothie Maker

I’ve shared before how we are trying to eat healthy on the road. Today, I want to tell you about one of the best tools for doing that. A high speed blender/mixer called the NutriBullet, and Mike and I use it to make the most delicious protein smoothies. Today, for example, we mixed up frozen cherries and some whey protein. It was so good it was hard to believe it WAS actually good for us!

But it was!  The NutriBullet breaks down and pulverizes the stems, seeds, and skins of fruits and vegetables, which is where most of the essential nutrition lies – unlike what juicers and blenders do.

Simply add your favorite foods and special boosts like nuts, seeds, and, along with some water or another liquid, and it extracts the ingredients into smooth, tasty drink.

And the best part is it takes only seconds to prepare, seconds to clean and couldn’t be easier to take on-the-go.

We have a NutriBullet at home and, for $70, we added another for our RV. It effortlessly pulverizes fruits, vegetables and healthy superfoods with a high torque 600 watt motor.

The unit we got on Amazon came with a tall cup which we use when we are both having a protein shake, as well as two short cups that are good for individual servings. It comes with a flat blade and an emulsifying blade, as well as a manual and some recipes

So… you want our favorite recipe? Okay, for the two of us, we mix in two cups of frozen fruit, two scoops of protein and some coconut milk. Sometimes, we have it for breakfast, sometimes after a workout or a long hike or some strenuous exercise.

The NutriBullet itself fits with all the accessories in a cabinet beneath the sink in our Roadtrek’s galley, cleans up very easy and is probably our favorite appliance.

You can find in any of the big box stores like Walmart and Target. We’ll put a direct affiliate link to it on Amazon on the shownotes page for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-forward slash-79

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

  • A listener asks for an app to make free long distance calls to other countries – Mike suggests the aptly named Roger app, which has walkie talkie-like features. Just a push the big simple button, record your message, and send. One especially cool feature about the Roger app is you can see the location, weather, and time of day of the person who is receiving your message. And all you need to get started is the phone number of the person you want to start communicating with via Roger – and recipients don’t even need the app installed. The app is free for iOS and Android.
  • A listener is in the midst of installing solar in an old Class A and promises updates as he gets things working. We share how the 650 watts of solar power for our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL makes us energy independent
  • A listener wants to know how often Class B RV’s have to be leveled. Very seldom, we note, and on the occaisons when it is necessary, we easly do so with those leveling squares that look like giant Lego blocks.
  • A listener has a steep driveway and wants to park her RV on it but is worked about the refrigerator not being level. We share how the older RV refrigerators are more sensitive to being level than the newer ones. Generally, if you can sit without tipping and walk around without feeling like you're going to topple over, then you are probably OK.
  • And a listener asks about a he small motorhome show at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale AZ near Phoenix. It’s the Super B RV show sponsored by LeMesa RV, March 17-20 from 9 am to 7pm. New Class B and B+ models will be on display from all the top names like Winnebago, Roadtrek and Leisure Travel Vans!

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Yosemite National Park Changes Some of its Iconic Names -

RV Industry CEO Charged With Pumping Up Company in False Report -

 

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

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat - providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

TRAVELING TECH TIP: Offline Maps

Using a smartphone or tablet to pull up a map and easily find your way is one of the best things about our technology today. But if you are not careful, data charges can add up, especially for RVers who use them all the time

But some apps make it so that you don’t even need to be connected to the Internet or have mobile service when using a map app. And that is good news for RVers and frequent map users.

Here are three to consider:

Maps.Me is among the best when it comes to offline map offerings. Its developers claim you could download maps to just about the entire world if you want to. Maps.Me, which used to be called Maps With Me, has a nice clean interface and easy to use. It has clear, easy-to-read maps (including street numbers) with the details you need. Maps.Me is free for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

OsmAnd is the offline map for those who want as many details as possible. OsmAnd is rich in details, offers turn-by-turn voice guidance and re-routing and search options using information obtained from the popular navigation service called OpenStreetMap. The free version of OsmAnd gives you up to 10 maps and you have to pay if you want more. The app is available for iOS and Android. It’s also available for Kindle, but costs $6.49.

Sygic is a GPS app with almost global coverage – useful for whether going to Japan and China or a two-hour trip away from home. Sygic has a simple user interface and gets information from the popular and reputable GPS service called TomTom. Sygic developers say one of the biggest benefits is the way the app stores a ton of info and uses less memory on your device. The app is free for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Kindle with premium services available for purchase.

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

When it comes to network quality in the United States, J.D. Power ranks Verizon highest across all six regions among U.S. wireless providers.

The study surveyed more than 41,000 wireless subscribers across the U.S. about the performance of calls, messaging and data quality on their mobile devices.

This is the third time Verizon took the top spot in all six regions, and comes on the heels of the recent RootMetrics National Rootscore® Report that ranked Verizon’s network highest in overall network performance for the fifth consecutive testing period.

Consistently ranked #1 for network performance by third-party testing companies, Verizon continues to listen to what’s important to customers and is committed to providing the best network experience.

In addition to enhancing XLTE coverage and providing rural coverage, Verizon focused on increasing network capacity in select, high traffic locations across the U.S. And, while the company is dedicated to enhancing its 4G LTE network, Verizon is currently testing 5G technology.

Isn’t it time you joined the nation’s most reliable network? Visit your local Verizon retailer today to learn how you can switch and save.

Don’t forget to visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT - Dade City, FL

Listener Beth Field has an off the beaten path report in Dade City, FL, a wonderful town abut 45 minutes north of Tampa, that has a great Pioneer Museum.

Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review!

Many listeners are asking how they can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your review.

Here’s how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
> From there (see photo above), you can…

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments about RV topics by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at Roadtreking.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your words.

Direct download: RT79.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:04pm EDT

Our special guest in this week's edition of the Roadtreking RV Podcast is none other than Campskunk, our resident fulltimer, who is about to end his winter hiatus in Florida and hit the road for another year of RV travel.

But before he does, he shares with us the chores he says every RVer should do before heading out for a new season of RV adventure.

Besides Campskunk, we have lots of audience comments and questions, a tip from Jennifer on our most often used RV accessory, some tips on how your smartphone can double as an RV walkie-talking for your RVing pals and a fun off the beaten path report about some little known must-see attractions in Colorado.

Complete shownotes for Episode 78 of the Roadtreking RV Podcast, released March 9, 2016.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK - A clock and indoor/outdoor thermometer for the RV

My tip this week is about the one device in our RV we probably use more than any other device or appliance. The clock!

Specifically, a very handy wall clock. We use SkyScan Atomic Digital Clock with Indoor and Outdoor Temperature. We got it on Amazon for $38.

There’s an outdoor sensor that Mike mounted on our outside rear door with industrial strength Velcro… On the inside, he mounted the main display on the wall between the rear bed and the galley, also with Velcro. Both the sensor and the display stay firmly in place, even on bumpy roads.

The display is very easy to read, especially with those three inch time digits.

We get an inside temperature reading and an outside temperature, plus the time, as well as the day and date. We like this clock because it is always accurate. That’s because it is self-setting and uses atomic time. Every day around 2 am, it syncs by radio waves to the official US time standard in Fort Collins CO. All you do is select the time zone you are in and the clock automatically adjusts the time and, like it will do on Sunday March 13, automatically sets itself to Daylight Savings Time.

The clock is quite attractive. The one we picked has black frame that matches very nicely with the gray and ebony interior colors of our Roadtrek.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Comments and questions from the audience deal with:

  • How to get a great RV Packing List (hint: email Mike),
  • The Canary streaming camers as a security device for the RV
  • Photo tips
  • RV comparisons

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

All three have a great fly and drive program. They'll pick you up from the airport and will reimburse you $500 toward your airfare. Then, your RV will be fully prepared for travel, complete with full tanks of fuel and propane

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Trial to begin for man accuse of killing a couple who banished on an RV trip

California RV Park invests $1.1 million in solar

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

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat - providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

TRAVELING TECH TIP: Turn your smartphone into a walkie-talkie

If you prefer the nuance and context of a phone call, but the simplicity and convenience of a text, you’re in luck.

That’s because a number of apps allow you to record and sent short audio messages – kind of like a good old fashioned walkie talkie. I have three such such apps to suggest this week.

Zello promises to turn your phone or tablet into a walkie talkie with its lightning fast speed and free push-to-talk feature. Just push a button, record your message, and send over a WiFi or data network – just like you would with a walkie talkie. You can set it up to talk with others privately or create or join a larger public group. Zello is free for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Aptly named Roger is another app with walkie talkie-like features. Just a push the big simple button, record your message, and send. One especially cool feature about the Roger app is you can see the location, weather, and time of day of the person who is receiving your message. And all you need to get started is the phone number of the person you want to start communicating with via Roger – and recipients don’t even need the app installed. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Voxer also has the ability to deliver short recorded messages. You can decide to listen to message when they’re delivered or wait until you’re in a more private setting. You can also see the location of others, and even send photo, videos and your location to others through Voxer. Voxer is free for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

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

When it comes to network quality in the United States, J.D. Power ranks Verizon highest across all six regions among U.S. wireless providers.

The study surveyed more than 41,000 wireless subscribers across the U.S. about the performance of calls, messaging and data quality on their mobile devices.

This is the third time Verizon took the top spot in all six regions, and comes on the heels of the recent RootMetrics National Rootscore® Report that ranked Verizon’s network highest in overall network performance for the fifth consecutive testing period.

Consistently ranked #1 for network performance by third-party testing companies, Verizon continues to listen to what’s important to customers and is committed to providing the best network experience.

In addition to enhancing XLTE coverage and providing rural coverage, Verizon focused on increasing network capacity in select, high traffic locations across the U.S. And, while the company is dedicated to enhancing its 4G LTE network, Verizon is currently testing 5G technology.

Isn’t it time you joined the nation’s most reliable network? Visit your local Verizon retailer today to learn how you can switch and save.

Don’t forget to visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT – Colorado’s Bishop Castle

Tom Burkett reports on some interesting off the beaten path spots in SE Colorado, like Bishop Castle, a fascinating free form structure that you just need to see,

He also suggests a ghost town and a scenic and historic byway.

Campskunk's Tips on RV chores to do before starting the new travel season

Among his tips:

  • Wash/Wax the exterior of your RV
  • Pull everything out of it, clean and get rid of everything you didn't use last season, repacking evrything you do need in places that correspond to how often you use them and how easy they are to reach
  • Repaint interior paint chips, clean, reseal, spruce up and reorganize storage drawers
  • Do maintenance, oil changes, tire rotations, etc
  • Top off with propane
Direct download: RT78.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:07pm EDT

RV Podcast Episode 77: The right food for you and your dog

RV Podcast Episode 77: The right food for you and your dog

In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Podcast, we talk about food: The food we prepare and eat ourselves in our RV, and the food we serve our pets.

Plus, we have a whole bunch of listener comments and questions, tips on finding the best deal for an RV, RV News, the RV Calendar and an Off-The-Beaten-Path Report.

Mary Jane Curry, the new RV recipes writer for the Roadtreking.com blog, is our special guest. And Jennifer has a special report on the need to very carefully select the food we serve our pets.

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Complete Shownotes for Episode 77 of the Roadtreking RV Podcast:

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK - Healthy Dog Food

This tip is a long one and it has to do with proper feeding of our pets and it comes from Bill and Peggy Bechtell, who recently wrote us to congratulate us on the addition of Bo, our now three-month-old Norwegian Elkhound puppy. Since well over half of all RVers travel with pets, we figure this will interest many.

Anyway, here’s the note from the Bechtells:

“We love to listen to your podcasts and met you both in Montana last year, the day before Jennifer went to the hospital. I wanted to recommend, ‘Taste of the Wild’, dog food for your new dog. We had a beautiful Labrador who was given three months to live. We took her to a holistic vet recommended by the oncologist. She changed her food to the above, and gave her supplements, which allowed her to live two and a half more years. The changes in her coat and energy due to the food were amazing. Any dog food that has, “meat by products”, as an ingredient is made from some pretty disgusting things, sometimes even including euthanized dogs and cats, road kill, and animals too ill for us to eat. So, our pets are eating cancer and flea and tick medications. I verified this with a friend that works at the SPCA, a veterinarian, and a nationally known dog trainer.”

That is quite the revelation isn’t it? We spent a couple days researching this and found that while the pet food industry as a whole denies the part about euthanized dogs and cats being used, some pet foods indeed do contain them. Here’s a link to just one of many such reports we found that quotes a top industry expert saying as long as it says the food is from meat by-products or meat meal, there’s no way to know and, he claims, even dead dogs and cats are considered a source of protein. Disgusting!

The fact is almost all the major pet food manufacturers do sell food made with meat by-products, which is a rather vague term that indeed has some pretty disgusting things. So our decision is never choose a food that has such a vague term.

Mike and I have learned that human food with GMOs and additives and chemicals is not good for us and is linked to lots of our chronic diseases. So it figures that pet food, made under even more questionable regulatory standards, also contains bad stuff.

In fact last year on an RV trip, our previous dog, Tai, became very ill with pancreatitis. A wonderful vet we found in Georgia had us show him the food we were feeding him, a well-known national brand. The vet showed us how high it was in fat content. The ingredient label showed the minimum fat content of about 16%, as I recall. It hardly ever shows the maximum, the vet explained, which often exceeds 50-60% and, in Tai’s case was a direct cause of this life-threatening disease. We got him on a lower fat dog food and he immediately improved.

The pet food industry is very strong and while I don’t want to pick a fight with them, let me say we have sought out a quality grain free dog food made with quality meats, low fat and lots of protein. We ended up choosing the brand the Bechtell’s recommended, Taste of the Wild. We got ours from Amazon but have since found a local pet store that carries the brand.

Anyway, my tip to you is check the ingredients in the food you feed your pet. Like the food we eat, we want only the best for our pets.

Sources of info about what’s really in pet food:

www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2010/oct/rendered_barbiturates-10474

www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-industry-exposed/shocking-truth-about-dog-food

www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/rendered-products-in-pet-food

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Debbie asks about Roadtrek’s new owners

Another listener named Debbie gives a great recommendation to go to Alaska

Reader Chris shares his summer travel plams

Jim asks for some tips on shopping around to get the best deal in an RV

And listener Mark asks for Mike’s recommendations on photo editing software and a laptop

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

 

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: I75 closed by rockslide

Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi says motorists should be prepared to use alternate routes for weeks to come. A TDOT site indicated Tuesday that the road would reopen by March 21.

Nagi said the long closure is needed to give workers time to clean-up the slide and stabilize the area, making sure it is safe.

Motorists traveling I-75 South can take Exit 160 (Jellico). Follow US 25W / SR 297 West to SR 63 South, and then re-enter I-75 South.

Motorists traveling I-75 North can take Exit 134 (Caryville/Lafollette). Follow US 25W north to Lafollette, continuing to Jellico, and then re-enter I-75 North.

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

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat - providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

TRAVELING TECH TIP: Mileage Tracking Apps

Keeping track of how much you drive is important, whether for personal information or for business and to claim as a tax deduction at the end of the year.

This week I have three for you to consider.

MileIQ allows you to distinguish if trips are personal or business with one swipe. It uses your smartphone’s GPS to track miles accurately. Probably the coolest feature of MileIQ is the ability to instantly see how much you have racked up in tax deductibles. The app is free to use for your first 40 drives of a month and $5.99 a month if you go over that. It’s available for iOS and Android.

MileBug uses your phone’s GPS to track and map your drives. It, too, makes it easy to classify drives as business or another purpose. MileBug also uses less battery power and makes it easy to email reports to you or your boss for easy recordkeeping of mileage. The app is $2.99 for iOSAndroid, and Windows.

TrackMyDrive has a simple user interface but offers all of the features you would expect from a robust mileage app. It runs in the background and automatically detects all of the drives that you make. Or you can enter them manually. You can then save info from your trip or drive and mark it as business, personal, or make a custom category. The iOS app is free for the first 10 trips of a month or you can pay $8.99 for a year’s worth of unlimited trips.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

Looking for a phone that can keep up with your mobile lifestyle? The Samsung Galaxy 7 or Galaxy 7 Edge may be just what you’re looking for.

Now available for pre-order on Verizon, the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S7 was made for adventure and is revolutionizing the way consumers use their smartphones.

  • It’s water resistant. TheGalaxy S7 has an IP68 rating and repels splashes, spills and even dunks.
  • It takes brighter, better, faster photos.The Galaxy S7 also has a dual–pixel camera with faster, more precise autofocus and a new low–light sensor for better photos.
  • You can stay powered longer. Fast, wireless charging lets you power the Galaxy S7 from 0–100% in virtually no time. And with Samsung Galaxy’s biggest battery, the Galaxy S7 gives you power to keep going even on those extra long days.
  • And, you never have to worry about running out of memory space again.The phone’s 32GB memory can be expanded up to six times with a 200 GB microSD card. That’s the equivalent of 50,000 songs, 130 movies and 200,000 photos!

There’s never been a better time to switch to Verizon. For a limited time, you can receive up to $300 when you trade in an old smartphone and activate a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Samsung Galaxy S7 edge on a device payment plan.

If you purchase a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge on device payment at vzw.com, you’ll also be eligible to receive a free Gear VR or Gear S2.

For in-store transactions, you’ll be eligible to receive a free Gear VR and get $100 off Gear S2 with a new 2-year activation.

Isn’t it time you joined the nation’s most reliable network?

RV CALENDAR

We’re just a coupe of weeks away from the big Family Motorcoach Association’s 2016 Family Reunion, a huge gathering of motorhome owners in Perry, GA, March 17-20.

Jennifer and I will be there and presenting two seminars: The first is called “Serendipity Travel with the Wendlands,” which details the way we travel in our RV with no reservations and stopping and sightseeing at random along the roads we travel. It will be on Friday, March 18, at 11:30 in Seminar Room 4 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry.

The second seminar will be “Living in a Type B Motorhome” and talk about how two people and a dog have happily lived and traveled over 100,000 miles over the past four years in a Class B motorhome. There’s a lot of interest in Class A and Class C owners in downsizing and we’ll talk about what it’s like. That seminar will be held Saturday at 11:30 in Seminar Room 2.

In between times, we’ll be hanging around the FMCA booth The FMCA Membership booth, in the Miller-Murphy-Howard building at the gathering or camped out with a bunch of Roadtrek owners in a special area of the campground. Come look us up and say Hi.

There’s one other big event occurring those same days, March 17-20. And it’s in Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium. It will feature all small motorhomes from all the major manufactured, new and used Class B motorhomes. The event is sponsored by LeMesa RV in Phoenix. Call them for details.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -   The National Naval Musecum in Pensacola, FL

Listener named Mark was so excited by his visit that he phoned in this report from the road after visisint the National Naval Aviation Museum.

It is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida. Share the excitement of Naval Aviation’s rich history and see more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. These historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the Museum’s nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and outside on its 37-acre grounds.

There’s so much to see and do, you’ll want to stay all day! Admission is free! Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s. For more information, call 1-800-327-5002.

INTERVIEW - RV Cooking and food preparation

Our guest is Mary Jane Curry, the new RV Recipies writer for our Roadtreking.com RV Lifestyle Blog.

Mary Jane and husband Jeff love RVing and travel in a 2013 Roadtrek RS Adventurous motorhome. She is a Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant and Registered Nurse in Emergency and Occupational Medicine, and is nearing retirement and has great enthusiasm for the travels and adventures awaiting.

Her love of food science and food presentation led her to pursue a secondary career about 10 years ago when she became a certified Personal Chef and owner of Custom Cuisine in Southern California.

She received her training and certification through the United States Personal Chef Association, an organization with Personal Chef membership in both the US and Canada. She plans to share many recipes here for RVers!

 

 

Direct download: RT77.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 12:14pm EDT

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