The RV Podcast

Show Notes for Episode #90 June 1, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

In this week’s episode, we report on how Roadtrek's CEO is personally getting involved to help customers save money and we learn of a Uber-like app that will pay RVers to make deliveries across the country

Plus RV travel suggestions, audience questions, tech tips and an off the beaten path report.

 Scroll down for show note details and resources and click the player below to start listening. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

Show Notes for Episode #90 June 1, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

My tip this week is about being prepared for emergency repairs while on the road. I share it because of an experience last week. We were in hot and humid Florida and navigating stop and go heavy traffic around Destin, which was getting very crowded with vacationers flocking to the area’s beaches for the big Memorial Day holiday.

Anyway, while stuck in traffic, an emergency warning light appeared telling us to pull over and shut down the engine because the coolant was overheating. We did so Mike popped the hood to check on the antifreeze. The level was just fine and as he was scratching his head, he looked around and found that the serpentine belt had shredded and fallen off the pulleys it winds around. The serpentine belt is a single continuous belt used to drive multiple devices in our Roadtrek, such as an alternator, the vehicle air conditioning compressor and the engine generator.

Now that’s not a life and death issue. After the engine cooled down, we drove to our campground. But we obviously needed to put a new belt on.

Here’s where the being prepared part comes in. We had a replacement belt with us. I was so proud of Mike that he had one because trying to find the right one that would fit our Roadtrek would have been very challenging on a holiday weekend.

A friend came by the campground and installed the new one in just a few minutes, showing Mike how to do it.

Our Roadtrek will have about 50,000 miles on it after our next trip and we’ve driven it long and hard. So it was time to replace the belt. Doubtless our auto mechanic would have done so at our next service visit.

But our belt gave up the ghost before he could get to it. Having that replacement belt with us saved a lot of time.

So my tip is find out what size and type of serpentine belt your RV has. Almost all have such a belt and you’ll find the size typically in the manual that came with your vehicle. Or ask your mechanic to get you one and carry it with you.

Same with fuses, by the way. Today’s RVs have lots of fuses of all kinds. Stop by an auto supply store and get a bunch of them. Anyone can change a fuse.

Be prepared! It’s just a smart thing to do!

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

 LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

  • Charles asks about outside tables that attach to a motorhome.

There are all sorts of tables that can be useful when you go camping. Portability is an important consideration, but so are size and functionality. Camping World has tables, accessories, and gadgets that will make dining and meal prep fun and easy.

When space is at a premium, you want a table that can be attached to your camper or RV. Pick one that can be placed in a hitch or on your steering wheel. Tables which fold flat or which can be used at different heights are also great and can be used for prep or eating. Portable kitchens give you a place to wash dishes, chop ingredients, and store gear. You can even pick up a small table which will attach to your camping chair so you can snack in comfort. Check Camping World. They have a bunch - http://www.campingworld.com/category/tables/1289

  • Ryan inquires about heavily wooded campgrounds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Just about all of them are heavily wooded! Here’s a link to my five favorite camping spots in Michigan’s UP - http://roadtreking.com/camping-in-michigans-upper-peninsula/

Our favorite spots are along Lake Superior in the national forest campgrounds on the lakeshore. The lakeshore’s federal campgrounds are rustic and do not have electric, telephone, water, or sewer hookups. Typically there is no cell phone reception. The campgrounds have generator-free zones.

First choice for us is always the Twelvemile Beach Campground, about 12 miles west of Grand Marais off Alger County Road H-58. The campground’s 37 sites are located on a sandy bluff above Lake Superior’s Twelvemile Beach. The entrance road winds through a picturesque stand of white birch. Twelvemile Beach Campground also features a 2.0 mile self-guiding interpretive trail. This place fills up most summer nights so arrive mid morning.
We also like the two Hurricane River campgrounds, the Upper and Lower. They are located off Alger County road H-58 three miles east of Twelvemile Beach campground where the Hurricane River flows into Lake Superior. Eleven campsites are available in the lower campground loop, and ten in the upper loop. A level 1.5 mile walk on the North Country Trail east from the lower campground leads past shipwreck remnants to the historic Au Sable Light Station.
If you need hookups, try Muskallonge Lake State Park. located 15 miles east of Grand Marais on H-58; 28 miles northwest of Newberry in Luce County. The 217-acre park is situated between the shores of Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake and the area is well known for its forests, lakes, and streams. The park has 170 modern campsites that feature electricity and two shower and toilet buildings.
Further west, there are the Porcupine Mountains. The Porkies, as the locals call them, are a group of small mountains spanning the northwestern Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, near the shore of Lake Superior.
The Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park consists of over 60,000 acres and s contain the largest tract of old-growth hardwood forests west of the Adirondacks and is home to black bear, deer, wolves, river otters and even moose, as well as rare woodland plants that depend on the old-growth forest habitat that abounds here. Our favorite spot is the Presque Isle River Campground, on the western end of the park.
It has 50 sites and about half are generator free. This is quiet. You can sometimes hear wolves howl at night and most of your neighbors are in tents, campers or small RVs.
And one more. Along Lake Michigan at the sounthern coast of the UP. It’s the Hog Island Point State Forest Campground. http://roadtreking.com/happy-campers-at-hog-island-point.
This charming but little known hideaway campground, nestled into the cedars and hardwoods of a small peninsula that juts into a pretty little Lake Michigan bay just US-2, about 35 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. There are 59 rustic sites and because of the name, perhaps, and the lack of hookups, we found almost 20 of them vacant.
The one we took, site 43, was right on the rocky shoreline and we slept with the sounds of gentle waves lapping out our back window.The camping fee is $11 a night. There is no cell service here. Zero bars.
To get here, just drive 35 miles west from St. Ignace and the Mackinac Bridge until you see the sign for the campground

  • Beth is an avid kayaker who carries as many as three kayaks in a Class B RV. She slides them in the back door and shares how she does it.

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 BASIC TRAINING

It can all be so overwhelming for newcomers. But once you reach the campground, you’ve arrived! Getting setup is a breeze. But still, there are some basic things that need to be done right – the first time.

Here are two good guides for setting up camp, no matter what kinds of RV you have.

http://gorving.com/what-to-do/setting-up-camp

http://blog.rvshare.com/set-rv-campground-first-time/ 

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 15 locations on the East Coast. Campers Inn RV is giving away The Ultimate Camping Package! The camping package includes a: propane grill, large cooler, 2 camping chairs, a two-person lazy river tube and more. A $500 value! Go towww.campersinn.com/roadtreking for your chance to win.  Promo code: camping. Winner will be announced Aug 1, 2016.

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Here’s an interesting way to make a little extra cash as you travel in your RV, maybe paying for the fuel you use and sometimes a bit more.

It’s with an app called Roadie.

It seems particularly handy for RVers.

Roadie is a peer-to-peer delivery service allows individuals to make extra money on trips they are already taking by delivering packages to the next city or even another state. Whether from Phoenix to LA, Las Vegas to Seattle, New York City to Washington DC – this new platform connects road trippers with those who need an affordable and safe delivery service.

Most local Gigs (delivery jobs) will pay between $8 and $50, and long distance Gigs with oversized items can pay up to $400. Not only is Roadie a great way to recoup gas and travel costs, but drivers can write off mileage on their taxes for places they were driving anyway! Roadie also offers a number of benefits for drivers including free roadside assistance and a free coffee and a waffle at any Waffle House in the country.

Roadie is an app-based shipping community that launched in the Southeast in January 2015, and became available in all 50 states in March 2015.

By tapping into the more than one billion square feet of excess capacity in passenger vehicles already on the road, Roadie is bringing disruptive innovation to the $90 billion shipping industry, similar to what Airbnb and Uber have brought to lodging and transportation.  The service connects people with stuff to send with drivers heading in the right direction. Roadie’s model enables efficient, low cost delivery for senders and rewards drivers for trips they were already taking. It’s quickly becoming the go-to delivery solution for large, awkward or delicate items.

Roadie delivers what people need right to their door, same-day, next day, and even on weekends. Both the sender and receiver can track deliveries in real-time via smartphone and goods are protected up to $10,000 through UPS Capital®.

Roadie has over 260,000 downloads and about 20,000 drivers nationwide.

The Roadie app is available for download in the iTunes Store and on Google Play. To learn more about the world’s first neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network, visit www.roadie.com.

Roadie Driver FAQs: https://support.roadie.com/hc/en-us/sections/200669475-Roadie-Driver-FAQs 

Roadtrek CEO offers to personally make deals, wants to personally sell 100 RVs –

Here’s what Jim Hammill, the President of Roadtrek, posted on our Facebook Group:

Company is getting big. And I was thinking that my people need a lesson in sales. In human relations.

I'm going to personally sell 100 retail vans. How do I do that and stay married?

I'm thinking of having an online Roadtreking sale/ show until the end of May. I make myself available. You want to buy a unit, you tell me what you want. I find you the unit, and you can have me be the guy who does the numbers. Your closest dealer gets the transaction, and takes care of delivery? I will get a salesperson to handle the paper.

I have some sweetheart deals out there, and I'm in the mood to take care of my Roadtreking family. I don't care where you are, and I don't care who says they can do better. If they can....well, they are probably fibbing.

So, what can I do to earn your business today? Are you a veteran? Let me honour you.

Are you a second time or third time or fourth time buyer? Let me honour you.

Are you kinda ticked off at sales techniques and stalled in your process? Let me help you.

Let's get you out in the air and live this fantastic lifestyle.

And help me show my salespeople how easy it is to be honest, and nice, and knowledgeable and succeed.

All the transactions I do btw, gets a special gift from my wife. She's a gem.

Want to find out what it is?

Buy a Roadtrek. I'm here , and Im available.

My email for this is jimhammill@icloud.com
Tell me what you want. And oh, btw, I never do this and never will again

Hammill told me that, after five days, he had 73 buyers working their way through the buying process.  “Many people are getting things no one else can give them except me.  (Jim.),” he said.  “It's fun. “ 

The deadline is June 5th.  

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

With Memorial Day serving as the unofficial start of summer, it’s time to hit the road andsee the best of what the United States has to offer.

By using the right apps, you can be sure to get the most of your road trips.

I use these apps to help me find interesting stories as Jennifer and I travel. So I thought I’d offer them up for you, too.

Roadside America helps users find all of the oddities across the United States and Canada, from giant twine balls to other off-the-wall attractions like the Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas. Search for attractions nearby, where headed – even by theme. The Roadside America app delivers a short description, address, and directions. The app is $2.99 for iOS with in-app purchases available to expand capabilities.

History Here is an app for travel developed by History channel. You can learn about history from just about any location, whether near home or venturing to someplace new. History Here also can send notifications when users are close to historical points. Locations are displayed in zoomable, map-based view or a scrolling list. The app is free for iOS and Android.

WhatWasThere detects where users are and shows any historic photos captured nearby, then plots them on a map. Switch the app to camera mode for what the app developers call “an augmented reality experience.” Users who want more detail about the photos can open the info screen for more. The app is free for iOS.

This 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 Amarillo RV Museum

This Off the Beaten Path report comes from Roger and Lynn Brucker. http://roadtreking.com/off-beaten-path-amarillo-rv-museum/

Route 66 crosses the Texas Panhandle, and the best known city is Amarillo. The premier RV museum in the Southwest is here, Jack Sisemore’s RV Museum located at Jack Sisemore Traveland, an RV dealer, 4341 Canyon E-Way, Amarillo, TX 79110. The museum is free with hours from 8 to 5 weekdays and Saturday. The museum is in its own building behind the welcome sign. On exhibit are about 20 RVs, including six motorhomes. The RV Museum in Elkhart, IN may have drawn inspiration from the Texas collection. 

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

 

 

Direct download: RT90.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT

Welcome to another edition of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast. No matter what type of RV you have – a motorhome – a towable trailer – a tent – even if your are just dreaming about getting an RV someday – this show is for you.

Here, we talk about getting out there, enjoying God’s amazing creation, meeting interesting people, boondocking, discovering interesting places and using the right gear and technology to enhance our RVing lifestyle.

So welcome, we are honored that you chose to put us in your ears this week!

Lots of great info in this week’s podcast, including an off the beaten path report that tells us that everyplace has a story. And sometimes, even a song.

Plus we have listener questions about 4 wheel drive motorhomes, solar power, keeping your valuables safe while traveling and much more.

We also have an insider’s account of that story from Yellowstone last week that generated so much reaction, the story of the baby bison calf – abandoned by its mother – that was “rescued” by tourists who put it in their car to take it to a ranger. That was a bad decision that eventually led to the bison calf having to be euthanized. There’s much more to this story than meets the eye and we’ll share the account of a top nature photographer who was on the scene.

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Show Notes for Episode #89 May 25, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Ever run into your awning support pole?

Hurts, doesn’t it!

We’ve all done that. So don’t think you’re the only one.

Well here’s a tip to help you avoid that…. or at least to make it not hurt so much when you do.

Get a pool noodle…. you know, those Styrofoam logs that are pool toys… you can get them for a buck or so at the dollar stores…

Slice them lengthwise and then wrap them around those awning poles. They serve as both a warning… and a cushion. They easily store in the basement area of your RV when not in use.

And while we’re talking about those pool noodles, here’s another tip. This one comes from Roger, one of the regulars on our Roadtreking Facebook group.

Roger’s tip is for those of you who travel with dogs. See,s a lot of dogs get their collars tangled up in the seat recline lever? Roger says those pool noodles can make a “lever guard.” Cut it, fit it around the lever and then duct take it.

No more stuck doors on the lever!

If you have an RV or camping trip, use the “Leave Voicemail” link to the right and send it in.

I love hearing about all the tips you guys have!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Wade asks about whether he should get 4 Wheel Drive in his new Class B motorhome. Mike says not unless he will be going off road. Mike boondocks everywhere and has never needed 4 wheel drive, even when driving in heavy snow.

Merrill has a question about solar charging his batteries and running his refrigerator. Mike tells him he doesn’t need lithium, that AGM batteries are fine and that he should be able to top the batteries off enough to easily run his refrigerator for several days.

Rod wants to know how he can get advance notice of our Facebook Live video feeds. Re only way is by checking our Facebook group throughout the day as we decide to do them rather spontaneously, though we do try to gve a few hours notice - http:// www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking

Lisa asks about securely locking up your gear in an RV. Mike found a lot on Amazon but the best price from Lazy Days RV, at $41 for a 12-by-8-by 3 1/2 inch box that can be welded into the chassis under the coach floor. I’d suggest a safe store. Take your RV there and show them.

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

Why an Ultra Light trailer may be right for you.

The RV press is full of stories about how popular ultra lights are these days..

There are now many travel trailers weighing under 3500 pounds, towable by many of the smaller SUVs and mini vans.

A good source for unbiased reviews is http://www.lightweighttrailer.net/

There are Lightweights, Ultra Lightweights and Hybrid Travel Trailers

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 15 locations on the East Coast 

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

The real story of the abandoned bison calf that was put in a car – Photographer Deby Dixon tells us the truth about nature and Yellowstone and why its never good for us to mess with the natural way – as hard as that can sometimes be.

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on a new free Verizon app perfect for you Indy Race fans called IndyCar.

And Mike has some great apps to help you identify the plants and trees you find out there in your RV travels.

  • Garden Answers helps identify more than 20,000 plants with detailed information. Take a picture of the plant, tap the ‘submit’ button and answers are instantly provided about what’s growing. Garden Answers also provides details about plant diseases and insect infestations with more than 200,000 commonly asked plant questions. The app is free and for iOS and Android.
  • Plantifier uses social media to help identify plants. Take a photo, hit the ‘submit’ button and members of the MyGarden.org community will respond with an answer. In case you’re wondering, MyGarden.org bills itself as the social network for garden lovers so chances are users will be able to get fast and accurate answers. Free for iOS and Android.
  • By the way, if you’re curious about trees, consider Leafsnap – a so-called electronic field guide developed by university researchers and the Smithsonian Institution. The app uses visual recognition software to identify tree species from photos of their leaves. The app also contains high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, and bark to aid identification – all created by the conservation group called Finding Species. The app is free for iOS.

This 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 -  Every place has a story…and a song.

Tom Burkett has a great story this week about a little town on the Great Plains in Iowa that has quite a story. It’s all about a little brown church there and a song that, through the years, has made it one of the best known churches around, even though the town it started in as pretty much up and died. Listen to Tom’s report and you can catch the song, made famous by the Carter family, right here on YouTube.

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

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: RT89.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Show Notes for Episode #88 May 18, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

We have a jam packed show for you this week.

We talk about solar power, what you need to know about it and how it will enhance your RV experience. And we have travel trailer towing resources and insights into life on the road.

We’ll introduce you to a several of the people we’ve met on the road recently, including a single woman who lives in her Class B RV as she travels the country after retiring from her job as a missionary in Africa.

Plus, reader comment and questions, RV news of the week and a fun Bucket List report.

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Show Notes for Episode #88 May 18, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

This week’s tip is about cooking and serving sizes. I’ve shared before that I like to prepare as many meals ahead of time as possible. That means less time spent in the RV on meal prep while Mike and Bo are having fun outside.

So we try to spend an afternoon at home before each trip planning meals and cooking them.

One easy meal is meatloaf. And when I make meatloaf, I like to bake it in a muffin and cupcake pan. The pan I use is non-stick and it has spaces to make 12 cupcakes.

But we make 12 little meat loafs. Just spn the meatloaf mixture into each hole and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.

I’ve found that each one is a perfect serving. Sometimes Mike takes two. But after baking the little meat loaf muffins, they store easily in a zip lock bag which then goes into the freezer of our Roadtrek CS Adventurous. It takes only a couple of minutes to heat them up in our RV’s microwave/convection oven.

So simple. We serve with steamed green beans and a nice salad.

Meatball muffins. Try ‘em. Mikie likes em. I bet you will too!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS and COMMENTS OF THE WEEK:

Listener Michael asks for help on adding solar for his RV: How much does he need? We refer him Try to the Go Power! Calculator  which will recommend battery bank size for the loads you use. This is a great web tool that will help you size your system and provide you with equipment recommendations based on your specific power usage, location and season. It’s at http://gpelectric.com/go-power-calculator

A coffee fanatic named Tom offers a tip on preparing great coffee while traveling using something called the Moka Pot – a stovetop expresso maker like the one you can find at this link - http://amzn.to/27vtEjs

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 BASIC TRAINING

 Listener Howard is looking at getting a new travel trailer and wants some tips on driving and towing it.

There are some great travel trailer guides at Trailer Life – See http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides/

Here’s one on choosing the right towing vehicle - http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-how-to/trailer-tech/choosing-the-right-tow-vehicle/

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 15 locations on the East Coast Campers Inn RV is giving away The Ultimate Camping Package! The camping package includes a: propane grill, large cooler, 2 camping chairs, a two-person lazy river tube and more. A $500 value! Go to www.campersinn.com/roadtreking for your chance to win.  Promo code: camping. Winner will be announced Aug 1, 2016.

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

 The worst roads in the country – Drivers say Michigan and Rhode Island lead the list! The best? North Dakota and Wyoming, according to a Gallup Report study and RV Daily News. 

Baby Bison euthanized after Yellowstone tourists out it in their car - Last week, tourists at Yellowstone National Park saw a bison calf in the park. They got worried about it being alone, put it in their trunk, and tried to take it to a park ranger to help the animal. That was exactly the wrong thing to do.

Good News at the pump: Low gas prices predicted for rest of year - Prices at the pump will be lower this summer than in recent years, experts say.

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Direct download: RT88.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

You’ve no doubt heard of the horrific fires that have devastated the Canadian province of Alberta, forcing 88,000 people in the town of Fort McMurray to evacuate in a mad rush to escape the flames.

In this episode of the podcast, we interview a young mom who escaped with her husband, toddler son and dogs. Their house was completely destroyed by the fires but thanks to their Fifth Wheel RV, the family is safe and has shelter in a lakefront RV park that has become a refugee center for the evacuees.

Also in this episode, we have lots of listener questions and tips, including news of a class action settlement over fire problems affecting a popular RV refrigerator. Plus a brand new segment called RV Basic Training , as well as some traveling tech tips and a great Off-The-Beaten-Path Report.

Show Notes for Episode #87 May 11, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK – Occupied Campsite signs

One of the nice things about having a Class B motorhome is mobility.

You don’t have to tow a car behind you when you set out on your RV adventures.

And when you’re at a campground and you want to to do some sight-seeing or head into town for some shopping, you just unplug and take off.

But what do you do about that campsite you are only temporarily vacating?

How do you prevent newly arriving campers from thinking it’s available and taking your spot?

What Mike and I do is put up a sign that says “Campsite if occupied.” It’s a bright red sign with white lettering and we push it into the dirt at the campsite.

We got it at a campground we visited and we’ve since seen them in Camping World stores and at RV shows around the country.

We’ve also seen people string rope across the campsite, or they leave their chairs or water hose and electrical cords behind. We don’t leave anything but the sign when we’re away for any length of time. Water hoses and electrical cords could easily be stolen.

So far nobody has stolen our sign or tried to take our campsite. So it works!

If you’d like something a little nicer and that is personalized, let me tell you about my friend Rhonda Phipps.

Rhonda makes a customized campsite flag that has your names, hometown and even an embroidered drawing of your RV. Because they are personalized just for you, they are less likely to go missing when you’re away from the campsite.

They’re made of durable nylon ripstop and measure 11 by 17 inches.

Here’s a link to a video showing Rhonda’s work.

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Ron checks in with two questions, one about where to install a spare tire on his Sprinter based RV and another about how to install a brush guard on the front… a question brought about by a recent run in with a deer. Mike refers him to SprinterWorld, an aftermarket shop for Sprimters.

Listener Tom alerts us to settlement of a class action lawsuit involving Norcold refrigerators, specifically the 1200 Series, N8 Series and N6 Series of gas absorption refrigerators typically installed in RVs, motorhomes, trailers and lots of boats. The issue involves a safety related defect in the cooling unit which, in certain circumstances, causes the boiler tubes to corrode and leak flammable gas, exposing owners and other users of the RVs to the risk of fire.  This was a $36 million settlement. Details are available at norcoldclassaction.com

Listener Kevin offers some tips on what to do in Nashville, besides the touristy honky tonk action

And listener Janet checks in to say how she appreciates information on traveling with dogs in an RV

SPONSOR – VAN CITY RV

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

What are the differences between a Class A, B, and C motorhome?

All are motorized recreational vehicles

Class A motorhomes - 21-40 feet, from $60,000 to $1million plus, sleep up to 6

Class B motorhomes – 16-22 feet, from about $60,000 to $160,000, sleep up to 4 but typically two

Class C motorhomes – 21-35 feet, sleeps up to 8, from aboit $43,000 to over $200,000

For a free ebook from Campers Inn, go to http://info.campersinn.com/free-motorhome-guide-e-book

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 15 locations on the East Coast 

Campers Inn RV is giving away The Ultimate Camping Package! The camping package includes a: propane grill, large cooler, 2 camping chairs, a two-person lazy river tube and more. A $500 value! Go to campersinn.com/roadtreking for your chance to win.  Promo code: camping. 

Disclaimer* Must be 18 year or older, no purchase necessary, visit the page for giveaway rules and regulations. Winner will be announced Aug 1, 2016. 

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: Escaping the Fires

Alberta fires sent tens of thousands fleeing - The devastating fires in Alberta, Canada that swept through Canada's energy hub of Fort McMurray resulted in the evacuation of 88,000 residents. About 2,400 buildings were lost in the fire, while 25,000 were spared, including the airport, all schools, hospitals and water treatment facilities. The premier said she expects to have a plan to return residents to Fort McMurray over the next two weeks, cautioning that it remains a dangerous place. Some neighborhoods were completely destroyed by the wildfires, which began April 30.

The following account is from Amanda Arrowsmith, of Fort McMurray, Alberta. I wanted to interview her and have her voice on the podcast but she said it was too emotional and she would have trouble choking back tears. So she asked me to interview her in writing.

Here’s her account:

Our house burnt down this week in the Fort McMurray fire so I finally get to live my tiny home RV dreams! We're staying at a lake lot in Alberta and we've been so fortunate to have donated food and items from many different people all over Canada and the world. Our toddler is having the time of his life and our dogs are enjoying plenty of fresh air. So thankful for our tiny second home and that we all got out safe from the horrific fire.

They only gave us about 20 minutes to get out and even then we barely escaped. We had to drive off road and pray not to get stuck to make it out. It was a poorly executed evacuation. The winds were too strong and the fire got out of control quickly

It was a mess getting out. Being in beacon hill we were both fortunate and unfortunate. Fortunate that once we escaped we hit the highway south immediately. Unfortunate that the fire was already burning houses down while we were still packing. We had to escape by driving over the burm down to the highway.

Some drivers were very, very courteous and others were in a panic driving through ditches in fear for their lives. The smoke made it almost impossible to navigate through and there were flames all over the sides of the highway. Those that were downtown were forced north towards site where they were put into camps if there was space for them. Some slept in their cars because they had not enough gas to make it to the camps even those with babies and small children. The schools were evacuated to down town and when the closed off the highway many people were stuck heading south with their children heading north.

It was very painful for many. Those that did try to go south drove through flames and around burning vehicles to do so. People are connecting now like I have never seen. Once to safety everyone is sharing what little they saved and helping people obtain what they need. Thousands of people have been saved off the highways by kind volunteers driving up and down the high way with gas to fill them up or offer water or mechanical services

The place we are staying is Christina lake by Conklin. It's still relatively close to the fires so many people have come and pulled their units out in fear of the fire coming closer. Most have fled to areas like Edmonton and Calgary to live in their trailers. I am unsure of the status of the parks around those areas but I do know that many are in search of cheap or free areas to park until they can straighten out the mess back home and move closer back for commute.

We left May 3rd with about 20 minutes notice for evacuation. We were not prepared at all and our trailer was not ready. When we first arrived we didn't have a battery for our 5th wheel or a generator. We had a few pots and pans some plastic cups and plates and what ever else had been randomly left behind from the previous year. Because of the possibility of mice we had removed all blanketing and towels. The first few days before donations were received were awful. Luckily I brought my son's blanket but we had nothing for ourselves. With generosity of others we now have a battery as well as a generator and a nice warm blanket on our bed. Having lived in Beacon Hill which was the front of the fire our neighborhood lost 80% of the homes and ours was one of the unlucky ones.  

The RV park was the first to burn down however (centennial) and many many full timers lost their RVs and everything in them. I don't believe they were even able to go in at all for their belongings. People can help by sending out donations, offering homes, offering an rv to sleep in for the summer, donating to red cross, or even just offering emotional support. 88,000 people have been displaced from this fire, many who didn't get to save anything and are living with only the clothes on their backs.

Many are looking for help and people come from all over Canada and the world to work in Fort McMurray which means no matter where you live there may just be someone returning home who has lost everything.

For more info go to Alberta strong at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1020146071365296/

To help, see Jim Hammill’s post at

https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking/permalink/602200109938972/

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Lots of people love to shop garage sales this time of year, but sometimes it’s simply easier and more convenient to bring the garage sale to you.

I have three apps for you to try... and then get ready to find treasures.

Wallapop is great for buying and selling. Take a picture, write a short description, set a price and wait for buyers to get in touch. The app uses your location to find what’s close to you so you won’t have to travel great distances, either. And you can instantly chat with sellers should buyers want more details about items for sale. The app is free for iOS and Android.

The makers of the Letgo app say you can list items in 30 seconds or less. Take a picture, write a short description and it’s posted. Buyers and sellers can connect and negotiate via chat. Buyers can browse items listed for sale nearby. And Letgo has a cool feature to let sellers create mini-commercials for items. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Developers of the OfferUp app say it’s the biggest mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers. Like Wallapop and Letgo, simply take a pic, name a price, and off you go. Buyers can message sellers directly and it uses a rating system similar to eBay that allows sellers to build up their reputations. For Android and iOS.

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on how you can now travel to Canada to Mexico and have all your data services available for $2 extra a day thanks to Travel Pass.

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Tom Burkett reports on Lamberts Café in Sikeston, MO

Jennifer and I visited this a couple years ago and did a video… here it is: http://roadtreking.com/lamberts-throwed-rolls/

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

 

 

Direct download: RT87.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

This episode of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast offers so much information and advice that it’s a virtual RV Travel Magazine for the ear. From National Park guides and news to a discussion on taking a canoe or kayak on an RV trip to some awesome drives that belong on every RVer’s Bucket List, we cover it all.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Where to get a great National Park Guide… http://nationalparkstraveler.com

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Listener Dave asks for recommendations on where to park his Class A RV while visiting America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, PA Sept. 14-18

            Mike suggests a link to area campgrounds in and around Hershey, but recommends the Hersheypark Camping Resort, right near the show grounds, which runs free shuttle service. 

Listener John asks if there is any news about the lottery we held for the camping spots for the Roadtreking gathering we call the Tobermory Expedition, Sept. 5-9 at Tobermory in northern Ontario, Canada.

The event is sold out and the lottery was held. We showed a video of it on our Roadtreking Facebook Group. That group is THE single best place to go when you have RV questions, need help or just want to be kept informed on events, news and items of interest to the Roadtreking RV audience, no matter what kind of RV you have. Tobermory is at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula between Georgian Bay and the main basin of Lake Huron. It is known for its crystal clear waters and spectacular

wilderness scenery. You can watch the video for the lottery to award spots on the Facebook Group.

Just a note that our other Roadtreking gatherings for this year – to the Smoky Mountains in June and the Fall Foliage one in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in October are also sold out with long waiting lists. All this is to underscore the importance of being a part of our Facebook Group.

The next event that is not yet sold out will be January 20-22, 2017 and is our annual winter campout at Tahquamenon Falls. We’ll start taking signups for it on the blog and announce via the Roadtreking Facebook Group sometime in the early fall.

Speaking of the Smokies, reader Jane DeWolf sent a nice note:

My husband, Dennis, and I are looking forward to the Roadtrek  trip to the Smokies in June.  We actually live near the Smokies and do volunteer work in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This weekend when we were listening to your podcast,  you mentioned that you were going to bring Bo with you on this trip.  Naturally we are very anxious to meet you, your wife, Jennifer, and of course, Bo.  However, we thought we should warn you that there are only 2 trails in the GSMNP which allow dogs on them.  Both are near the park entrances.  The one on the Tennessee  side of the park is the Sugarland's trail near the Sugarland's Visitors Center.  The one near Cherokee in the NC side is the River trail near the Oconuluftee Visitor Center.  Dogs are allowed in the park campgrounds and on the roads. We just thought we would give you a heads up in case you were not aware of the GSMNP regulations.

By email, a listener asks: “I am trying to find the best way to carry a canoe on a roadtrek. I have a 2003 Popular 200. Any ideas?”

            Mike notes that he found a webpage at Trails.com that offered some ideas.

Roadtrek RVs have raised roofs that can make carrying a canoe seem difficult. However, the vehicles are compatible with several roof racks and canoes can also be mounted to the rear of the RV. Roof racks are the most stable and the safest carrying option. The canoe you choose should be measured first to ensure it fits your vehicle model and to see if your RV can transport the canoe safely at high speeds.

Another option is foam blocks Roadtrek rooftop designs make it difficult to install standard racks. Foam blocks are a simple solution that allow you to safely mount a canoe to the roof. The blocks have slots to fit the canoe, and with three straps you can secure the canoe to the vehicle. This is an effective method of transport and is cheaper than trailers and permanent racks. The blocks do not require any alterations to the vehicle and can be easily stored when not in use. You can find blocks in several different sizes, but the standard, square blocks are the best for mounting on Roadtrek rooftops. The square blocks use a small amount of space and can be placed in areas that will not obstruct vents.

They are available from:


DRD Corp.
PO Box 460
Glenmoore, PA 19343
610-239-0650
drdcorp.com

Standard roof racks by Thule and Yakima are good carrying options. Installing the roof racks can be complicated on Roadtrek vehicles because their rooftops are not standard. The racks require custom installation by clamping to the rain gutters or drilling through the fiberglass. Once installed, the racks make it easy to secure your canoe to the roof. Installing railing on the roof and using the Crossroad package from Thule is a great option for Roadtrek vans. You can adjust the height of the railing during installation to create clearance, which will prevent the canoe from interfering with raised vents and obstacles.

Thule
42 Silvermine Road
Seymour, CT 06483
203-881-9600
thule.com

Trailers are great method for carrying a canoe with a Roadtrek. Trailers are light and their behind-the-vehicle location results in less wind resistance and better clearance. Castle Craft manufactures a single canoe trailer that is light enough to be towed with a motorcycle. The trailer will safely hold the canoe and not have any major effect on gas mileage. The company makes a trailer capable of holding multiple canoes and kayaks. Yakima also makes a lightweight trailer for carrying multiple canoes. Yakima's RackandRoll trailers are designed to hold canoes, kayaks, bicycles and other recreational gear. The versatility of the Yakima trailer makes it a top choice.

Castle Craft
PO Box #3
Braidwood, IL 60408
888-274-8490
castlecraft.com

Here’s how my friend Gary Hennes managed to carry a kayak and a canoe on his Sprinter based Roadtrek: http://roadtreking.com/carrying-kayak-roadtrek/ He used a roof rack from Yakima and a Hullavator mechanism that effortlessly lifts the kayak up to the roof. He also carried in a separate rack on the other side,  a We-no-nah 16 1/2 foot Kevlar Advantage canoe. That was on his old 2006 RV. He has a newer Roadtrek and says, because of solar panels its much trickier and that he may have to remove awning to make room

SPONSOR – VAN CITY RV

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP: Hear any TV on your smartphone

Steve Van Dinter of Verizon checks in with a great Traveling Technology Tip about an awesome app called Tunity. This is a great app that allows you to hear any muted, live TV’s audio directly on your mobile device. Simply scan the TV with your smartphone, let Tunity locate the channel and stream the audio through your headphones or bluetooth speaker.

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

Come to Nashville andmeet Jennifer and me at the KOA in Nashville (on Music Center Drive) May 14 and 15. We’ll also be going to the Grand Old Opry on Saturday the 15trh. Details at https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking/permalink/597677957057854/

The Family Motor Coach Associations 94th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase – Aug. 3-6 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. Jennifer and I will be there presenting a couple of seminars. Details at http://fmca.com 

BUCKET LIST TRIP - Our three favorite RV Drives

Here’s a link the full report including videos of our most most favorite drives after 100,000 mikes of travel over the past four years.. The Going to the Sky Road at Glacier National Park, Pikes Peak and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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

 

Direct download: RT86.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

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