The RV Podcast

RV Podcast 188: Finding places to boondock and RV downsizing

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

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

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

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

Shownotes for Episode 188, April 18, 2018

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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


National park day fee to rise $5 starting in June

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

Visit the national parks for free this Saturday

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

Tree falls on sleeping family in trailer, kills girl

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

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

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

QUESTION

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

OUR ANSWER:

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

QUESTION:

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

OUR ANSWER

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

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DESTINATION OF THE WEEK -  Georgia Aquarium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

RV SuperSaver Show

April 20-22

Century Link - Lee Sports Complex

Ft. Myers, FL​​​​​​​

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

going, going, gone!

 

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

I love hearing from you!

 

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

 

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

Email question:

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

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

 

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

 

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

 

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

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

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

play interview

 

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

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

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

Here are five ways:

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


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


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

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

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

You can learn more at verizonwireless.com/tmp

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

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Resources

https://www.greensburgks.org/ 

http://www.bigwell.org/

 

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

 

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

 

Super B RV Show

April 12-15

University of Phoenix Stadium

Phoenix, AZ

 

Acadiana RV, Sport & Boat Show

April 13-15

Cajun Field

Lafayette, LA

 

Washington State Evergreen Spring RV Show

April 13-15

Evergreen State Fairgrounds

Monroe, WA​​​​​​​

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

Patti uses Norwex cloths available in Amazon.

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

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

 TRAVELING TECH TIP: It’s Baseball time again!

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Gila Cliff Dwellings

By Tom and Patti Burkett

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

 

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

 

RV shows this weekend

 

Colorado Springs RV & Travel Expo

April 5-7

Colorado Springs Event Center

Colorado Springs, CO

 

BC Interior RV  Show

April 6-8

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

Penticton, BC (Canada)

 

Kitchener RV Show and Sale

April 6-8

Kitchener Memorial Auditorium

Kitchener, ON (Canada)

 

UP Boat, Sport & RV Show

April 6-8

Superior Dome

Marquette, MI

 

Vacationland RV & Camping Show

April 7-8

Norway Savings Bank Arena

Auburn, Maine

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Night sky educational programs to get even better at national parks

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

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

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK: An easy way to make eggs right every time

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

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

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

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

It’s happened to us all, right?

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

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

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP: Spring Clean Your Tech

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy cleaning!

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Parks considering per person charge, Interior Secretary tells Congress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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

            We suggest:

 

 

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

We suggest:

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK - What’s your RV Lifestyle

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

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

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

If you’d like to see a video version of this interview, head offer to our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube at http://rvlifestylechannel.com 

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

Happy snapping!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

RV Shows this weekend: 

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

Northwest Sportshow

March 22-25

Minneapolis Convention Center

Minneapolis, MN 

Quebec RV Show

March 22-25

Centre de Foires ExpoCite

Quebec, QC (Canada)

Greater Tuscon RV Show

March 23-25

Tuscon Convention Center

Tuscon, AZ 

New Hampshire Camping & RV Show

March 23-25

New Hampshire Sportsplex

Bedford, NH

Northwest Michigan Camper & RV Show

March 23-25

Grand Traverse County Civic Center

Traverse City, MI

Springfield RV & Camping Show

March 23-25

BOS Convention Center

Springfield, IL

Champlain Valley RV & Boat Show

March 24-25

Crete Civic Center

Plattsburgh, NY

 

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

RV Podcast #183: Why you need to attend an RV Rally or Gathering this year

RV rallies and gatherings are wonderful ways to connect with other RVers, to become a part of the RV community and to sharpen your RV skills, develop more practical, on-the-road and camping knowledge and to truly enhance your RV Lifestyle.

Every RVer is really missing out if they don’t take advantage of these special gatherings and in this episode, Jennifer and I are going to offer a guide to finding an RV rally or gathering this year that is just right for you.

Plus lots of listener questions, RV tips and much more.

 

Show Notes for Episode #183 3/14/18 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’re on the road in Texas this week, enjoying all this great state has to offer. Headed to Waco this weekend and will be planning an impromptu meet-up Saturday afternoon, March 17 in Waco. We’ll be at the I-35 RV Park and Resort in Elm Mott, Texas, which is just off I-35 at Exit 346, a few miles north of Waco. We’ll share more details on the Roadtreking Facebook Group but let’s plan from 3-6PM Saturday. Bring a chair, some food or refreshments and we’ll all hang out. And yes, for his fans…. Bo will be with us.

Not Getting Enough Sleep? Go Camping

As much of the country deals with the after effects of daylight savings time this week, I got to thinking of a study on sleep I saw last year. Do you know that camping outdoors has actually been found to be good for you sleep-wise? Turning off the artificial lights, getting outdoors and rising and sleeping with the sun actually improves your  health, the study showed. So if you're groggy this week from springing forward, get outside! And to learn more of the study click here or here.

Congress proposes ways to solve $12 billion national parks deferred maintenance costs

Congress is beginning to discuss the nation's rapidly growing need for maintenance in the national parks system, but like much in Congress, disagreement on how to proceed dominates. Currently there are at least three different bills  proposing ways to fund the $12 billion and growing backlog, including one that proposes gas and oil drilling on federal land. To read an overview, click here.

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

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Jennifer shares a great tip from Tom about making a photo memory book on your next RV trip.

Here are the services Tom uses to make his photobooks:

Shutterfly - https://www.shutterfly.com

Photo Book America - http://www.photobookamerica.com/

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

I love hearing from you!

  Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Sarah is considering an RV and has some questions about boondocking and traveling with a dog.

John asks about the Hollywood brand rack we have on the back of our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 to hold our two Rad Power Bikes ebikes. He wants to know about opening the rear doors.

And a listener wants to know about some the model year designation for RVs versus the model year for the chassis.

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Why you need to attend an RV rally or gathering this year! 

RV rallies and gatherings are wonderful ways to connect with other RVers, to become a family-like part of the RV community and to sharpen your RV skills, develop more practical, on-the-road and camping knowledge and to truly enhance your RV Lifestyle.

Every RVer is really missing out if they don’t take advantage of these special gatherings and in this episode, Jennifer and I are going to offer a guide to finding an RV rally or gathering that is just right for you.

There are many different types of RV get-togethers, ranging from super-sized, fairground-filling mega events attended by thousands of RVers to small regional and local rallies limited to a few dozen RVers.  Each type of rally has its place. We have attended just about every kind you can imagine, and we’ve been enriched by them all. We’ve also met other RVers who have become dear friends who we continue to see year after year all across the country.

Lets’ start out by talking about the mega rallies. A great example of that is the one going on this week – March 15-18, 2018 – in Perry, GA. It’s sponsored by the FMCA, a large, international group whose initials stand for Family Motorcoach Association. It’s been around more than 50 years and this year, it recently opened its membership up to all RVers, even those in trailers. And their rallies, which they call an International Convention and RV Expo, are held twice a year. Since it may be difficult for you on short notice to drop everything and drop in to this week’s rally at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, you may want to check out the summer FMCA convention July 18-21 in Gilette, WY.

We have attended many different FMCA convention and we can attest to big and fun they are. Cost is typically a little over $200 per couple and includes on-site camping for your RV and full access to the many educational seminars, displays and excellent evening entertainment.

The seminars at these events are what draws us back to them. You can learn everything there, from how to plan an RV trip to Alaska, to understanding your RV’s electrical system, to staying fit and healthy on the road and many, many more topics. There are trams and golf carts whisking attendees from one event to another all day long, strolling musicians and new RVs on display to tour. They also have huge areas filled with vendors who sell just about every type of RV appliance or accessory you could ever hope to have.

So the FMCA has two big, international conventions each year. But the FMCA is made up of various chapters around North America and those regions also hold smaller-scale rallies and activities throughout the year. These gatherings are frequently held on weekends, and they are often organized locally, so long trips aren't necessary. Each FMCA chapter develops its own personality and ways to have fun.

Often, chapters hold gatherings in conjunction with a notable event or attraction that chapter members can enjoy, in addition to the traditional rally activities like potlucks or campfires. Some of the chapters are made up of owners of a particular brand of RV. For example, Roadtrek International is one of the FMCA’s largest chapters and is made up by owners of Roadtrek brand motorhomes.

The FMCA is just one of the big national organizations that hold rallies. Three others include:

  • The Good Sam Club, which holds state and provincial rallies across North America.
  • The Escapees RV Club, which is holding a national rally May 27th through June 1 in Sedalia, MO. The Escapees club has almost 60 chapters, all over North America and many of them also have smaller rallies on a regional scale. In episode 161, Mike did an interview with the leaders of Escapees.
  • Passport America is an RV club that offers discounts and lots of campgrounds across the country. It too sponsors rallies. They have a big one scheduled for Nashville June 25-29, 2018. They call it the Music City Mega Rally.

So those are the big mega or statewide events. Another organizer of rallies are the various manufacturers of the RVs themselves or clubs made up of owners of a certain brand, like the Roadtrek International FMCA chapter talked about earlier. We can’t mention all of them but almost every RV manufacturer has a club for its owners. For example, Airstream, which makes trailers and motorhomes, has the Wally Byam Caravan Club International. They have 122 chapters in 12 regions and are really active, with rallies and gathering held every month, sometimes twice a month. Owners of Winnebago RVs have Winnebago International and they have an annual rally on the grounds of the Winnebago factory in Forest City, IA. This year’s event is July 23-28. They also have smaller state events, too. Leisure Travel Vans has an owners’ club. Their Annual Fall Rally is scheduled for Sept. 5-8 in Manitoba, Canada. Then there’s the FROG Club – the Forest River Owner’s Group. They have a huge rally planned for August 12-14 at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, IN. The Forest River club has several regional rallies scheduled this year as well across North America.

Now all these rallies that we’ve been talking about are very organized, with scheduled activities and seminars. And those formal gatherings are great.

But sometimes, we just want to get together with others to enjoy an area or just hang out. That’s how our Roadtreking RV Lifestyle gatherings came to be (Here’s a link to our schedule). Our gatherings include things like boondocking for several nights on the grounds of a winery in Sonoma, California in May; taking photographs at Glacier National Park in June, and white water rafting in North Carolina in July. Our gatherings are for everyone. You don’t have to have a certain kind of RV or belong to a club. We usually talk and plan them on our Facebook Group. 

Sometimes, individual members of that Facebook Group just say, hey, I’m going to be camping in such a such a place on a certain weekend and others decide that sounds fun and show up, too. We’ve got one such gathering that happened just that way that we’ll be joining this November, at Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World in Florida. Again, owners of any and all kinds of RVs are welcome to our Facebook Group, which, with 16,000-plus members, has launched more RV friendships over the years that could be counted.

We hope all this talk has given you some ideas and inspires you to get together with a group of other RVers this year. There is a rally or a gathering happening this year that will fit every RVers needs.

So pick one and reserve a spot. Many people even plan out extended road trips to and from the Rally, using it as a launchpad to tour certain areas of the country, with lots of stops to and from the rally.

Hope we didn’t give you too much information. But most of all, Mike and I hope to see you out there with us at one of those rallies. Thanks for listening!

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

Ever have one of those moments when you wished you had your camera out but realized there just wasn’t enough time to pull out your smartphone? I’m pretty sure all of us have.

A new gadget, by Google, aims to reduce the number of times we experience this with a unique camera that you can set to be “always on”.

It’s called Google Clips and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Using it’s kickstand you can set or clip this tiny battery powered camera onto anything. And the next part is where things get interesting. Clips will hang out and, using Google’s artificial intelligence engine, it’ll watch for you, your family, friends or even pets to do something cool. Then it’ll automatically take a short video of the action and send it to your phone.

So where would this come in handy? How about in the kids playroom while they’re just being kids. Or watching over your pets while you’re away?

Or how about special events like family gatherings, weddings, vacations...you’re probably getting the picture.

These short video clips can be shared online as gifs or you can go frame by frame and export high quality stills as well.

Google Clips is compatible with many Android and iOS devices and available now at your local Verizon store or VerizonWireless.com.

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT- Texas!  

We’ve been talking about our trip to Texas. Listener Dan called in a bunch of them that will keep us quite busy!! 

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

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

Flint Camper & RV Show

March 15-18

Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center

Flint, MI

 

East Kentucky Sport, Boat & RV Show

March 16-18

East Kentucky Expo Center

Pikeville, KY

 

Great Rockies Sportshow

March 16-18

Adams Center at University of Montana

Missoula, MT

 

Memphis RV Show

March 16-18

Memphis Convention Center

Memphis, TN

 

Mid-Atlantic RV Expo

March 16-18

Meadow Event Park

Doswell, VA

 

Montana RV, Boat and Powersports Show

March 16-18

MetraPark Expo Center

Billings, MT​​​​​​​

 

 

Direct download: RV183.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 11:09pm EDT

RV Podcast #182: Our National Parks are in Crisis

 

There’s a good news/bad news story about our National Parks that you need to know about.

The good news is the parks have never been more popular and attendance continues at all-time high.

Unfortunately, though, the bad news is so bad that it is jeopardizing our much-loved National Parks. Devastating budget cutbacks, staff reductions, backlogged maintenance and indifferent Congressional inaction have created a crisis that could result in partial shutdowns at many parks.

We’ll talk to an expert and explain the problem as well as what you can do to help.

Also this week, lots of travel advice, RV and tech tips and another great off the beaten path report about a place you will want to visit.

 

Show Notes for Episode #182 March 7, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

We’re planning a trip to Texas, hugging the Gulf Shore through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, before entering Texas and eventually up towards Waco and the wide open spaces south of San Antonio. We’re calling it our “Barbecue and Bluebonnets Tour” as we’ll be scouring the area for good Texas barbecue, maybe a little Tex Mex and then to take in the magnificent display of the blooming bluebonnet wild flowers that turn the hill country into carpets of blue each spring.

 

We are considering an impromptu meet-up for Sunday March 18, somewhere near Waco. If we hear from enough people interested, we’ll let you know in next week’s podcast and on our Facebook Group.

 

We’re still on the Emerald Coast, our winter travel base. We’ve spent the week catching up on video editing for our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube and planning out our spring and summer travel schedule. So many places to go, so little time!

 

Here’s what is in the news this week..


National Parks Release Attendance Numbers

 

The National Parks System visitation numbers are in and the number of visitors in 2017 was almost identical to the record setting visitor count in 2016 (330,882,751 verses 330,971,689).

Some of the parks broke attendance records because of the solar eclipse. Overall national records show, visitors are staying in the parks longer.

 

And the most Visited National Parks in 2017 are ...

 

Speaking of national parks, ever wondered what the top ten most visited national parks are? Here's your official list, with recreational visitors recorded for 2017.

 

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 11.39 million
  2. Grand Canyon National Park - 6.25 million
  3. Zion National Park - 4.5 million
  4. Rocky Mountain National Park - 4.44 million
  5. Yosemite National Park - 4.34 million
  6. Yellowstone National Park - 4.12 million
  7. Acadia National Park - 3.51 million
  8. Olympic National Park - 3.4 million
  9. Grand Teton National Park - 3.32 million
  10. Glacier National Park - 3.31 million

 

RV Industry reports record setting January

 

The latest survey of manufacturers tracked by the Recreation Vehicle  Industry Association show January 2018 was the best on record. The survey of manufacturers found RV wholesale shipments were up 25.3 percent with 42,441 wholesale shipments in January 2018 verses 33,859 in January 2017. Towable RVs were also up, reporting an increase of 26.6 percent with 28,931 in January 2017 and 36,322 in January 2018.

 

Sandhill Cranes arriving in Nebraska en masse

 

Planning to be anywhere near central Nebraska this month? If so, be sure to not to miss the great Sandhill Crane migration. Each year about 500,000 - 600,000 of the beautiful birds, standing roughly 4-feet tall with 6-foot wingspans, pass through Nebraska's Platte River Valley region on their way north. Some estimate 80 percent of the bird's population passes through this area this month, attracting thousands of visitors. The migration typically runs all of March, peeking mid-to late month, and into early April. To read more click here or here.

 

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

 

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

 

One of the things about having a house on wheels is - well, it's on wheels! That means your home is constantly moving from one great camping location to another, causing the items in your refrigerator to move, too. I can't tell you how many times I have opened the door of our RV refrigerator, after settling into a new spot for the night, and a cup of yogurt, or carton of some other item slides out, having shifted during our time on the road.

 

Recently I came across something I am anxious to try. It is a spring-loaded suspension bar that is designed to hold your food items in place when you travel. The bars remind me of the suspension curtain rods many people use over their bathtub showers, only these are a double rod, designed to fit across an RV refrigerator and hold everything on its shelf.

 

Manufactured by Camco, their price is $5.15. I found them at Home Depot, Amazon, and several other retailers.. I am planning to order some myself to see how they work.

 

Here’s the direct link on Amazon - http://amzn.to/2BCIsRl

 

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

 

I love hearing from you!

 

 

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

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

QUESTION:

Chuck is planning to head to Glacier National Park this summer heading out from Indiana and wants to know about the best routes and what to see along the way.

 

ANSWER:

There are two main routes:

 

The first is interstate 90, from Chicago all the way through to Montana, from where you’d make your way north and east. On the way there, you’ll travel through South Dakota. We did a video on five of our favorite spots to stop in South Dakota along I-90.

 

The other route is also fast. It’s I-94. You can take that from Chicago, too, heading a more northerly route before turning west. This takes you through North Dakota. Again, you follow 94 to the Montana border and then, right after you cross over, you head north again, picking up US 2, a two lane highway that is just south of the Canadian border. They call this the Hi Line country. It will take you right into Glacier. There’s lots to see here, too. In North Dakota, a great sidetrip is along the Enchanted Highway. We did a video on it at https://youtu.be/kOCqN1DtqQ4 . In Montana, make sure you stop and see the Underground City in Havre. Yes, we did a video on it, too. You can find it at https://youtu.be/R0vHqf2m5c8

 

LISTENER COMMENTARY:

Listener Kevin sent us a short little commentary that delivers a very powerful message we all need to hear. It has a happy ending but you need to hear it yourself.

 

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

 

There’s a good news/bad news story about our National Parks that you need to know about.

The good news is the parks have never been more popular and attendance continues at all time high.

Unfortunately, though, the bad news is so bad that it is jeopardizing our much-loved National Parks. Devastating budget cutbacks, staff reductions, backlogged maintenance and indifferent Congressional inaction have created a crisis that could result in partial shutdowns at many parks.

Our guest in this podcast is Emily Douce, the Director of Budget & Appropriations for the Government Affairs team of the National Parks Conservation Association  In that role, she advocates for additional funding for the national parks, both through appropriations and supplementary sources.

She leads the National Parks Second Century Action Coalition comprised of travel and tourism, outdoor industry, and historic preservation groups to advocate for additional park funding with Congress and the Administration. She has a M.S. in Environmental Resource Policy from The George Washington University and a B.S. from Texas A&M University. Prior to working at NPCA, she worked at Marine Conservation Institute on ocean conservation issues.

For more information, read this news release from the National Parks Conservation  Association.

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

Hi Mike and congrats everyone, we made it through the worst of winter!

And as those spring plants start to peek out for the first time this year, we’re also getting a sneak peek at some next generation smartphones as well.

Samsung recently announced it’s latest flagships - the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. With a quick glance you may think you recognize these devices, but the truth is there’s much more than meets the eye.

What is back is that incredibly beautiful and immersive infinity display stretching from side to side. Now, you can add immersive virtual sound in there as well with speakers than are 40 percent louder! And if you’re looking to keep your music to yourself, just plug in a pair of headphones - yes a headphone jack is still included!

One of the biggest innovations in this next generation device comes in its cameras. Dual aperture on both devices means amazing low light photos with even the smallest amount of light. And on the Galaxy S9+ you get a dual camera on the back allowing you to zoom in and also preview background blurring with its live focus.

And when you’re ready to express yourself, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ have upped the emoji game - with AR emojis. Simply let the phone take a picture of yourself and it’ll create an avatar that looks like you and expresses itself in real time the same as you. And when you’re ready to message others, you can use your own emoji set to let the world know how you feel!

Lastly all of the conveniences you’ve known and loved over the years are still there as well - water resistance, wireless charging and Samsung Pay - to name a few.

Preorders are going on right now and you can reserve yours at verizonwireless.com. The phones launch on March 16.

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.

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

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

By Tom and Patti Burkett

 

We were in Franklin, Indiana, and Rob Shilts was waiting for us, out of the rain, beneath a marquee that dazzled with a half-mile of neon and a thousand chasing lamps.  SHREK, it proclaimed, today at 2 and 7:30 PM. 

Shilts has been involved in Franklin Heritage, the local historic preservation group, for more than twenty years. 

 “When the Artcraft Theater came up for sale,” he told us, “I told the board that if we didn’t buy it, we might as well pack our tent and go home.” 

With the ceiling falling in and the front wall falling toward the street under the weight of the rusting marquee, it was a much bigger challenge than the group had ever taken on.  Now, more than a decade later, more than two million dollars have been poured into the building, with plans for a million more.  

Kirk the ticket booth man, who daylights in the career office at Franklin College, sits in front of a bustling concession counter where a half dozen volunteers serve patrons from the vintage popcorn machine and candy counter. 

More neon graces the ceiling above them, as do mirrors that set off the hand painted period signage for entrances, exits, and amenities.  While I’m waiting in line for my popcorn, I’m greeted by a young woman. 

“Hi, I’m Ashlee.  I’m one of the A-Teens, and we have a souvenir booth over there.  I bet you’d really like the Christmas tree ornaments we made from shredded tickets.  I hope you’ll come over and see them when you’re done!”

While I’m standing at the counter juggling popcorn, water, lemonade, coat, camera, and a Shrek cookie, the concessionaire asks,  “Do you need help getting all this to your seat?”   “Take out,” she calls, and immediately a young man with a tray appears to assist me to my seat in the theater.  

Like Ashlee, everyone in the theater seems to be a volunteer, which contributes to the very reasonable admission and concession prices. 

Bolstering that are numerous show sponsors.  The film this weekend is sponsored by Dr. John Shafer and his dogs Josey and Jaden.  There’s a concession sponsor (who gets to choose the candy of the week), program sponsor, a sponsor for the short feature, and a prize sponsor, who personally donated the prizes for the preshow drawing. 

Yes, there’s a preshow prize drawing, but not before two high school actors appear onstage to provide a 30 second dramatic synopsis of the show for those with short attention spans.  Out comes the prize hopper, full of ticket stubs—blue (our revered elders), yellow (our fragile youth), white (VIPs), and red (the rest of y’all out there). 

The donor volunteers beam from the aisle as winners receive prizes (a crown, a dragon, a Red Riding Hood book) clearly themed on tonight’s show.  

Mary, queen of the backstage, banters with Rob, the emcee, about the prize drawing while the two actors wheel out an old-school blackboard with a map of the USA. 

“Now,” says Rob, “a special prize for our visitors from farthest away.”  We’re feeling pretty confident, being from far away Ohio, until we hear “What? Italy? Come on down!”

A student from Franklin College abashedly makes his way forward while the actors quickly spin the blackboard to show a map of the world.  And the prize? A certificate, a candle made out of earwax, and a jumbo tub of popcorn. 

“Locally grown,” reports the emcee, “and internationally known,” chants back the audience.  Before the curtain rises, the volunteers onstage and in the aisles take on a flight attendant pose as they point one by one to the exits, and each exit gets catcalls or applause.  Exit number five is clearly the most popular.

Families and couples stream out of the theater toward the cafes, coffee shops, and boutiques that have gathered around the skirts of this grand old lady. 

After a quick visit to the gift shop we stand again below the glorious marquee and we appreciate the chance to spend time with some of the people across this country who believe in their home towns and work hard to build communities that nurture hope, joy, and welcome. The neon casts its glow for blocks in every direction.  If you look hard you can just see it, over there, off the beaten path.

 

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

 

RV Shows this weekend: 

Manitoba RV Show and Sale

March 8-11

RBC Convention Centre

Winnipeg, MB (Canada)

 

Port Huron Camper & RV Show

March 8-11

​​​​​​​Blue Water Convention Center

Port Huron, MI

 

The Real RV Show

March 8-11

Cal Expo

Sacramento, CA

 

Sioux Empire Sportsmen's Boat, Camping & Vacation Show

March 8-11

Sioux Falls Arena

Sioux Falls, SD

 

 

Atlantic Outdoor Sports & RV Show

March 9-11

Exhibition Park

Halifax, NS (Canada)

 

Eastern Iowa Sportshow

March 9-11 

UNI-Dome

Cedar Falls, IA

 

KX Sports Show

March 9-11

North Dakota State Fair Center

Minot, ND

 

Moncton RV Show

March 9-11

Moncton Coliseum Complex

Moncton, NB (Canada)

 

Quinte Sportsman Boat & RV Show

March 9-11

Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre

Belleville, ON (Canada)

 

Rockford RV, Camping & Travel Show

March 9-11

Indoor Sports Center

Loves Park, IL

 

Virginia RV Show - Hampton

March 9-11

Hampton Roads Convention Center

Hampton, VA

 

Central Wisconsin RV & Camping Show

March 9-11

Central Wisconsin Convention & Expo Center

Wausau, WI

 

York RV Show

March 9-11

York Expo Center

York, PA

 

Direct download: RV182.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT

As the warm weather starts to arrive, many are planning their cross country RV adventures. Many of those routes will be on toll roads. Do you need to purchase a sticker or toll device for your RV? Which toll stickers are the best to get? What happens when you encounter unmanned tool booths?

In this episode, we answer those questions and sort out all those potential issues with an expert who will help us all make sense of turnpikes and toll roads.

Plus RV News and Tips, listener questions and comments and a suggested destination for your bucket list and much more.

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

As the nation copes with late winter storms and flooding, we’re still down along the Emerald coast on Florida’s panhandle enjoying sunny skies and upper 70 temps.

People are swimming in the gulf…shorts and T-shirt weather

We’re planning our next adventure, a leisurely exploration of the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf coast, Louisiana and into Texas, where we hope to time our arrival to the blooming of the bluebonnets, a dainty little plant which paints the sandy, rolling hills of coastal and southern Texas with sheets of royal-blue in the early spring. They have already begun to bloom in many places across Texas thanks to recent, unseasonably warm weather. 

We report that Bo no longer has the cone of shame. He either got some sand in his eye or was scratched while playing in the Destin, FL dog park last week and needed the cone for a few days to keep him from itching it. It has healed up well but we have on order a pair of something called Doggles to keep him from doing it again. 

Here’s what caught our attention this week:

Wyoming legislature want to collect new wildlife fee from Yellowstone visitors

There is a move underway in the Wyoming legislature to collect a fee from Yellowstone National Park visitors for wildlife management. The states surrounding Yellowstone say there is a cost they incur from wandering elk, bison and other creatures that leave Yellowstone's property and collide with cars, spread disease among cattle, and cause other problems. A bill proposing the new fee is moving through the Wyoming legislature but it will need the federal government's approval to take effect. To learn more click here

More than 200 earthquakes strike Yellowstone

Speaking of Yellowstone, did you hear that 200 earthquakes hit the iconic park over two weeks in February? Geologists say the swarm of quakes is nothing to worry about. In fact, Yellowstone gets about 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes each year, and scientists say the quakes do not mean the super volcano under Yellowstone is ready to blow. Click here or here for more info.

RV industry brought billions into U.S. economy

Outdoor recreation accounted for 2 percent of the U.S. economy in 2016, about $374 billion according to a recent report from the U.S. Commerce Department. The impact of outdoor recreation on the U.S. economy is growing. While the report looked at boating, fishing, hunting and a variety of activities, it noted that outdoor activities centered on motorized vehicles, including RVs and motorcycles, were particularly popular, bringing in $59.5 billion with most of that from RVs alone. To read more click here

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

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

I always have my eyes open for tips for you when visiting folks in their RVs. Not long ago while hanging out with my friend Lisa Gruner from Huntsville, AL, I noticed she had a rather unique privacy curtain separating the back from the front of her RV.

 It didn’t cost much of anything except for a couple of stick on hooks. And it involved a bright and colorful beach towel.

There you go…

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

I love hearing from you!

 Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

A listener named Pat asks about whether Roadtrek motorhomes have slides.

(Nope)

Here’s some email questions we have received:

In one of your videos you showed a sprinter side door screen with magnets.  You said it was new and aftermarket. So, how do you like it now?  Jennifer did not say who made it.., so who makes it, what is website. Have you come across any other you might like better? Thanks!! – Mike

(Call your Roadtrek dealer)

Hi Mike & Jennifer, I was wondering if Roadtrek is has a group/membership that travel to places together and if it is open to new travelers? Can you explain Roadtrekers? Thank you -Nancy

(Check out our Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking/)

The other day I saw on one of your Youtube blogs that you had purchased at on time a Stowaway carrier for your RoadTrek CS Adventurous.  I, too,  have a 2017 Roadtrek  CS Adventurous XL 4x4. I am looking for extra storage and was intrigued with your discussion of the Stowaway Carrier.  In reading the reviews by individuals who had a Mercedes Benz diesel Roadtrek I noted a common problem described by each—When they used the adapter to connect the flat 4-prong end from the carrier to the 6-prong round receiver near the trailer receiver hitch, the Mercedes Blind spot warning system was eliminated.  Did you have this problem and what did you do to solve it?  Or, did you elect to live with the loss of the warning system?  Looking forward to your thoughts.
I have talked to Mercedes and they tell me I have to live with it because the sensors on the bumper are so sensitive that the red warning light would continuously flash sensing a object (trailer) behind the rig.  I have certainly learned a lot from you and Jennifer about the Roadtrek and have enjoyed all of the “pearls” and “ratifacts”. Keep ‘em comin’. Mike R

(That’s why we stopped using the Stowaway and another even more deluxe one we tried out)

 

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

As the warm weather starts to arrive, may are planning their cross country RV adventures. Many of those routes will be on toll roads. Do you need to purchase a sticker or toll device for your RV? Which toll stickers are the best to get? What happens when you encounter unmanned tool booths?

In this episode, we answer those questions and sort out all those potential issues with an expert who will help us all make sense of turnpikes and toll roads.

Our guest is Danny Pryor, the executive director of Turnpike Information Company, overseeing a website dedicated to providing information on toll roads throughout the United States.

To learn more about the Turnpike Information Company click here. For a helpful breakdown of what passes work where, visit the Turnpike Information Company site here.

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

Parenting in the Digital Age Part 2

Last week we talked about the dangers our kids face when online and how important it is to talk to them when young so they’re prepared.

A study by Pew Research Center found 92 percent of kids age 13-17 go online daily. And social media tends to be a big draw - with the sharing of pictures right up at the top. Did you know, though, that the location you took the photo can be embedded in the photo itself? That’s why it’s important to check your child’s phone and make sure this feature is disabled. You can turn off geotagging for Android and Apple devices in the settings menu. Otherwise your child may be unknowingly sharing the location of their home and school.

Whether you have a tablet-obsessed child, or a smartphone-addicted teen, you can monitor the way they use these devices. For example, Family Base by Verizon allows parents to take back family time by limiting access to calls, texts and data, blocking unwanted contacts, viewing and monitoring a child’s text and call history, setting filters to block access to inappropriate apps/websites and more. Although you can’t be everywhere all the time, apps like these can help you rest assured someone is always watching to keep them safe.

The internet and social media have greatly enhanced our lives, but as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. That’s why it’s important to start conversations early with your children. And if you're unsure how to begin, well that’s where Google can help. 

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT  

Craters of the Moon is a U.S. National Monument and National Preserve in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho that is like no where else on earth, a volcanic wonderland that is easy and fun to explore in one of the weirdest landscapes you can find anywhere.

And it’s perfect for Class B recreational vehicles.

Craters of the Moon formed during eight major eruptive periods between 15,000 and 2000 years ago. Lava erupted from the Great Rift, a series of deep cracks that start near the visitor center and stretch 52 miles (84 km.) to the southeast. During this time the Craters of the Moon lava field grew to cover 618 square miles (1600 square km).

And it’s still pretty active. Over the past 30 million years, this region has experienced extensive stretching. A recent example of these on-going forces was the 1983 Mount Borah earthquake. During that event the highest point in Idaho, Mount Borah, got a bit higher when a magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred across the base of the Lost River Range.

As Jennifer and I toured the preserve, National Park Service rangers told us the volume of past eruptive events suggests that slightly over one cubic mile (4.2 cubic km.) of lava will be erupted during the next event. And that is expected within the next 1,000 years – relatively soon on the geologic time table.

The park is very accessible to cars, small trucks and small RVs. A seven mile loop road takes you past all the major interest points, with comfortable walking trails everywhere.

There’s a nice first come, first server $10 a night campground at Craters of the Moon, right on the lava beds. The 51 sites sare perfect for tents, Class B or Class C motorhomes but too small for big rigs, though there are a couple of sites one could squeeze into. There is fresh water and restrooms but no hookups, showers or waste water dump.

To get there, plan on driving two-lanes. Craters of the Moon is located 18 miles southwest of Arco, Idaho on Highway 20/26/93, 24 miles northeast of Carey, Idaho on Highway 20/26/93, 84 miles from Idaho Falls, and 90 miles from Twin Falls.

Give yourself two to four hours to see it all, longer if you want to walk to the top of the cinder cone or check out the caves.

To see some photos of our visit, go to: http://roadtreking.com/rv-trip-craters-of-the-moon/

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

RV Shows this weekend: 

31st Annual Battle Creek Camper & RV Show

March 1-4

Kellogg Arena

Battle Creek, MI 

 

53rd Annual Red River Valley Sportsmen's Show

March 1-4

Fargo Dome

Fargo, ND

 

Colorado RV, Sports & Travel Show

March 1-4

National Western Complex

Denver, CO

 

CNY RV & Camping Show

March 1-4

New York State Fairgrounds

Syracuse, NY

 

Milwaukee RV Show

March 1-4

Wisconsin Exposition Center

West Alias, WI

 

Ocala RV Show

March 1-4

Florida Horse Park

Ocala, FL

 

Greater Philadelphia RV Show

March 1-4

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center

Oaks, PA

 

Toronto Spring Camping & RV Show & Sale

March 1-4

International Centre

Toronto, ON

 

Central Illinois RV Show

March 2-4

Peoria Civic Center

Peoria, IL

 

Central Valley's Sportsmen's Boat, RV & Outdoor Living Show

March 2-4

Kern County Fairgrounds

Bakersfield, CA​​​​​​​

 

Fredericksburg RV Show

March 2-4

Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center

Fredericksburg, VA 

 

New Orleans Spring RV & Camping Show

March 2-4

Pontchartrain Center

Kenner, LA

 

Oregon State Eugene Spring RV Show

March 2-4

Lane County Fairgrounds

Eugene, OR

 

Rhode Island RV & Camping Show

March 2-4

Rhode Island Convention Center

Providence, RI

 

Springfield RV Mega Show

March 2-4

Ozark Empire Fairgrounds

Springfield, MO

 

10th Annual Spring Clean-Out RV Show

March 3-5

Germain Arena

Estero, FL

 

Direct download: RV181.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:21pm EDT

RV Podcast #180: Why you need to have a bucket list!

 

“What’s on your bucket list?” is a question we all understand and perhaps have asked or had asked of us. As RVers, it’s important to dream about and plan the places we want to visit before, well, before we kick the bucket. You may be surprised to know that psychologists say having a bucket list is very healthy for your mental well being. Plus it’s a lot of fun. In this episode, we’ll talk about how to make your RV bucket list fit your desires and goals and we’ll learn some great tips from a very efficient bucket list-keeper.

Plus, also in this episode, your questions, RV tips and a great off the beaten path report.

Show Notes for Episode #180 Feb. 21, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

This podcast comes to you from Okaloosa Island, FL, our home away from home, where we will be hanging out and exploring Florida and the Gulf Coast at least through April. We will be making a trip to Phoenix Arizona to meet and greet folks at the annual Super B RV Show held at the University of Phoenix Stadium March 12th to the 15th.

We had a great time last week at the Manatee Springs State Park along the Suwannee You can read about it on the blog at http://roadtreking.com/way-upon-suwannee-river

This week, we’ll be out on the Gulf Islands National Seashore just east of Pensacola, putting the finishing touches on our video review of our new e-bikes.

 Here’s what caught our attention in the news this week:

Plan to reorganize Interior Dept. causing concern

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's plan to reorganize his department by moving federal employees out of Washington, D.C. and into 13 newly created regions dominated national parks news last week. Zinke says he wants the federal employees to be located closer to the federal lands, rivers and ecosystems they manage. To do this he is proposing creating 13 regions that do not follow state boundaries. He says it will streamline federal government but not everyone is so sure. A few stories to follow can be found here or here.  

 

Climbers may soon need to haul their excrement out of Alaska park​​​​​​​

 

Denali National Park is considering proposing a poop carry-out rule, according to a story that caught my eye this week. About 1,000 people try to climb the Kahiltna Glacier annually, and because everything is frozen, this waste never breaks down. The result is about 150,000 pounds of human excrement in the glacier's crevices, by conservative estimates, frozen in time. Officials are discussing requiring climbers to carry their waste out in biodegradable bags. To read more click here

 

Rare month for stargazers: No full moon to view

 

Excited to get out there and gaze at a full moon? Well, better wait for March. February 2018 is the very rare month (roughly once every 25 years) where there is NO full moon to view. After two full moons in January, one a super moon because it was so close, there will be none this month. Click here to learn more or  here.

 

Canadian officials study how to legalize pot sales near national parks

 

The Canadian Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to have marijuana available for legal purchase everywhere in the country by July, but officials are saying they may need more time. Canada is on tract to become the second country in the world to legalize marijuana sales everywhere. But figuring out how to do this is causing some headaches for its national park communities as leaders try to figure out the right way to legalize and regulate pot sales in heavy tourist areas. For more information read here or here.  

 

If you read our RV Newsletter, you would have learned about these stories and more. It’s sent out absolutely free every Monday morning to our subscribers. Just go to http://archive.aweber.com/roadtreking

 

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

 

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

As we travel across North America, we love meeting and visiting with those who follow us on the blog, podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel. Everyone, it seems, has a tip of suggestion that is very helpful.

At the recent Jacksonville RV Show in Florida, we ran into a listener of the podcast named Ron. He shared with us how a mouse that got into the front part of his RV caused a massive amount of damage.

And he passed along a great tip on how we can avoid having the same thing happen to us.

Ron made small containers that held peppermint oil that he fastened with a magnet around the RV

Ron says, they are doing a very effective job in keeping mice out of his RV.

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

I love hearing from you!

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

  • A listener asks how much RV antifreeze do you pour into the toilet when camping in cold weather an RV that has been winterized.

 

  • A listener named Bruce responded to our request last week to send us a voice message about how and where they are listening to the podcast.

 

  • By e-mail: I recently received my senior lifetime pass to all National parks unfortunately I. Just discovered that the pass is not good for State Parks.  Is there a similar pass for State Parks and if so how do I apply for one.  If not, would it behoove us to start a united petition to get All States to get together and offer such a pass for Seniors, something like a Senior Lifetime State Park Passport, for Seniors and Veterans - Jesse, Camden, DE 

 

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

What’s on your bucket list is a question we all understand and perhaps have asked or had asked of us.  “The Bucket List” is a phrase that’s been around awhile but entered the common vernacular in 2007 following a film of the same name, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two aging and terminally ill men who strike out together to cross accomplishments off their bucket lists – their term for those things they hope to achieve before kicking the bucket.  The idea of reaching certain goals and milestones before crossing life’s finish line is nothing new, really, but now we have a name for it and countless people have embraced the idea since. 

 

Having a bucket list is important because it will help keep your spirit of adventure going. Just having the list itself is great because through it, you are keeping your goals and dreams alive. Writing them down or making them vocal makes them more real and it will build your confidence and drive to fulfill them .Studies show that learning and seeing new things helps ward off dementia. Think of it this way: A mind that is growing is a mind that is young.

 

A bucket list is not about dying but about living, Life is all about making memories. Your bucket list certainly will give you plenty of them. They will be memories you will hold onto forever, and give you great stories to tell other people. It'll be nice to look back on the things you've experienced and seen, something to make you feel fulfilled and something you can share with other people.

 

The idea of making a bucket list to create a more meaningful life is certainly bolstered by anecdotal evidence. Just ask those who have one. But research also supports it. One study found that participants who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not. Other psychology research suggests that accomplishing goals that connect us to something larger than ourselves (say touring Alaska in an RV) is important for a fulfilled life.


And here’s the thing about a bucket list: A bucket list is never ending. You can always come up with new ideas, always try new things. It's not a list that's meant to be completed.

At our recent RV Lifestyle Roadtreking Gathering at Manatee Springs State Park in Florida, we spent some time with one of the most efficient bucket list keepers we’ve ever met and she shared just how she handles her list.

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

Parenting in the Digital Age Part 1

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. You find out that your child has been put in danger after having a conversation with someone they met online. Unfortunately, stories like this one happen every day. So what can you as a parent do to protect them?

First things first: communicate. And often.

Stephen Balkam, founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute says the number one thing to do is talk to your kids. Start as early as two or three years old and continue talking all the way until they get into college. Ask your child how they feel about social media. Create a social media contract outlining expectations and repercussions they may face if the contract is broken.

If you can’t beat them, join them! Follow your kids on all social media platforms and keep up with key trends. While you may not have time to be an active user across all platforms, it is important that you monitor their activity from a user’s standpoint. This will help you look for any red flags.

Unfortunately, what lands online today, stays online - forever. But your children may not think about the future consequences, so be sure to talk to them about this. Additionally, according to a recent Up to Speed podcast by Verizon, parents must learn to be digital role models. Children are far more likely to do what you do as opposed to what you say, so be sure your actions line up with your words.

This is just the first part of protecting your child online. Next week we’ll talk about important settings on your phone you’ll want to check and how to keep tabs on what your kids are doing online, even when you’re not around.

 

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

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

September was cold in the Montana mountains, and we’d just enjoyed an afternoon soak in the hot springs at White Sulphur Springs.  We debated spending the night.  After all, it was hunting season, and there was live music at the local hangout.  There were a few other things to poke into around town, too, including a mansion built by one of the Ringling Brothers, of circus fame.  On the other hand, there was enough light left to enjoy the King’s Hill Scenic Byway through the Lewis & Clark National Forest.  Besides, it was Thursday night, and there were mermaids in Great Falls.

The byway was sprinkled with small national forest campgrounds, and as we pulled through a couple of them, mostly deserted and mostly strung along small mountain streams, we again considered just pulling off for the night.  Frankly, I was for it, but Tom was determined to see the mermaids, even if it meant night driving in the mountains.  Sure enough, it was plenty dark when we arrived in Great Falls, and the lights of the big refinery there lit up the horizon.

The O’Haire Motor Inn was built almost fifty years ago during the heyday of motor vacations.  It features a casino, an enclosed parking garage, a restaurant called Clark & Lewie’s, and, most importantly, the Sip ’n’ Dip Lounge.  There was a time in the fifties and sixties when tiki bars were all the rage.  Some still survive, and as you travel around North America, we encourage you to visit one for a bit of kitschy nostalgia.  The Sip ’n’ Dip is one of these.  Things were buzzing when we arrived, and we counted ourselves lucky to find two seats at the bar.

A gregarious bartender immediately greeted us and informed us that we looked like we could use a fishbowl.  The signature tropical drink was soon in front of us, yes, in a fishbowl (yours to take home) and sporting two straws.  While we waited for fish tacos, we visited with our neighbors at the bar.  On one side were two bikers from Jasper. Alberta making their way south on a long weekend fall ride.  On the other was the morning news anchor from the public radio station in Valdez, Alaska.  

I immediately chatted up the Canadians about the best route and things to see between here and Jasper, and Patti found out from Karen the news anchor just why there was so much excitement.  Over in the corner, surrounded by a crowd of barroom singers, sat Pat Spoonheim at the keyboard.  Piano Pat has been tickling the ivories in this room since the bar opened in 1969, and tonight the New York Times was in town for an interview and photos.  

And let’s not forget the mermaids.  Tonight there were two of them,  swimming on the other side of tall glass windows behind the bar.  Up and down they cruised, blowing bubbly kisses to patrons and posing for pictures.  The bartender told us mermaids are surprisingly hard to find, and both of these would be graduating from high school soon and swimming off somewhere else.  I wasn’t surprised.  After all, these were the only ones I’d ever seen except the ones at Weeki Wachee Spring in Florida.

Going out to a bar is not one of our regular travel activities, but we agreed, as we settled down to sleep in a parking lot a few blocks away, that festive atmosphere and easy conversation had made this one of the absolute highlights in our years of traveling.  So, you can click through to the New York Times article linked below and see us, sitting there with the mermaids, or just maybe you can find an empty bar stool yourself, somewhere off the beaten path.
RESOURCES MENTIONED:
http://www.spahotsprings.com/index.html
https://ohairemotorinn.com/sip-n-dip/
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/25/style/mermaid-tiki-bar-sip-n-dip.html

 

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

 

RV Shows this weekend: 

Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show

February 19-25

Indiana State Fairgrounds

Indianapolis, IN

 

Red Deer RV Show

February 19-25

Westerner Park

Red Deer, AB (Canada)

 

Billings RV & Boat Show & Sale

February 22-25

MetraPark

Billings, MT

 

Dallas RV Super Sale

February 22-25

Dallas Market Hall

Dallas, TX

 

Harrisburg RV & Camping Show

February 22-25

PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center

Harrisburg, PA

 

18th Annual Vermont State RV & Camping

February 23-25

Champlain Valley Expo

Essex Junction, VT

 

Belleville RV & Camping Show

February 23-25

Belle-Clair Fairgrounds

Belleville, IL

 

Birmingham RV Super Show

February 23-25

Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center

Birmingham, AL

 

Columbus RV Show

February 23-25

Greater Columbus Convention Center

Columbus, OH

 

Great Rockies Sport, RV & Boat Show- Bozeman

February 23-25

Brick Breeden Fieldhouse

Bozeman, MT

 

Hot Springs Boat, Tackle & RV Show

February 23-25

Hot Springs Convention Center

Hot Springs, AR

 

Maryland RV Show

February 23-25

Maryland State Fairgrounds

Lutherville/Timonium, MD

 

NCRVDA Raleigh RV Show

February 23-25

Raleigh State Fairgrounds

Raleigh, NC

 

Pennsylvania Adventure RV Expo

February 23-25

Blair County Convention Center

Altoona, PA

 

RV and Boat Show Main Event

February 23-25

EAA Grounds

Oshkosh, WI

 

Worcester RV & Camping Show

February 23-25

DCU Center

Worcester, MA 

 

 

Direct download: RV180.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:06pm EDT

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

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

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

 

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

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT  

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

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

RV Shows this weekend: 

Duluth Boat, Sports, Travel & RV Show

February 14-18

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

Duluth, MN

 

49th Annual RV Super Show

February 15-18

State Fair Park 

Oklahoma City, OK

 

50th Annual Chicago RV & Camping Show

February 15-18

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

Rosemont, IL

 

Austin RV Expo

February 15-18

Austin Convention Center

Austin, TX

 

Earlybird RV Show & Sale

February 15-18

Tradex Building

Abbotsford, BC (Canada)

 

Utah Sportsmen, Vacation & RV Show

February 15-18

South Towne Expo Center

Sandy, UT

 

West Palm Beach RV Show

February 15-18

South Florida Fairgrounds

West Palm Beach, FL

 

Alabama RV Super Show

February 16-18

Von Braun Civic Center

Huntsville, AL

 

44th Annual Northeast RV Show

February 16-19

Rockland Community College Field House

Suffern, NY

 

Atlantic City RV & Camping Show

February 16-18

Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show

February 16-18

Lake Charles Civic Center

Lake Charles, LA

 

Chattanooga RV Show

February 16-18

Chattanooga Convention Center

Chattanooga, TN

 

Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show

February 16-25

Indiana State Fairgrounds

Indianapolis, IN

 

Gulf Coast RV Show - Mobile

February 16-18

Mobile Convention Center

Mobile, AL

 

London RV Show

February 16-19

Metroland Media Agriplex

London, Ontario (Canada)

 

Maryland RV Show

February 16-18 and 23-25

Maryland State Fairgrounds

Lutherville/Timonium, MD

 

Red Deer RV Show

February 16-25

Westerner Park

Red Deer, AB (Canada)

 

Springfield RV Camping & Outdoor Show

February 16-19

Eastern States Exposition Grounds

West Springfield, MA

 

 

 

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