The RV Podcast

Episode 198: Top 5 must-visit RV places you never heard of

 

A fun and helpful podcast episode is in store for you this week as we look at Five Top Must-Visit RV Places that you have never heard of. As Jennifer and I have traveled the country this summer, we’ve been asking RVers to give us a report on their absolute favorite places. We expected them to be the standard bucketlist destinations, like Alaska, or Yellowstone or the Maritimes.

Instead, they were much more obscure, places not in the major RV guidebooks, places unique and very appealing. You’ll hear them all coming up in a few minutes in our interview of the week segment.

Also this week, lots of RV news you need to know, a very handy clean up tip from Jennifer, the best on the road apps in our traveling technology segment and much more.

Show Notes for Episode #198 June 27, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

MIKE

Well here it is the 4th of July Holiday is almost here and June has sped right by!

JENNIFER

It sure has. We just pulled into our driveway for a brief stop at our sticks and bricks home in Michigan after being on the road pretty much the entire month. In all we covered 4,384.7 miles from the time we left the driveway until last night when we pulled back in. We traveled through nine states making our way to Montana and Glacier National Park, where we just finished an awesome Roadtreking gathering attended by more than 130 people from all across North America.

MIKE

There’s a post on the roadtreking.com travel blog with a full report and lots of photos from the gathering. And we’ll also have a video on it…. Just as soon as I have time to edit it. We came back with 9 videos in the can ready to be edited. But since each one takes about 20 hours to complete, I have my work cut out for me.

JENNIFER

As we reported last week, we did great going out and keeping to our “330 Rule” of driving no more than 330 miles in a single day, or stopping by 3:30 pm local time so we can still be refreshed and not too tired from the road. That gives us lots of time to explore… and shoot those videos! Coming back…. Well, let’s just say it was hammer time, pedal to the metal all the way, though we did stop by 3:30 one time.

MIKE

Except it was 3:30 AM! That was Sunday night. We stopped on the way back in the Wisconsin Dells and did our regular 9 PM Sunday night You Tube Live report on our RV Lifestyle Channel. But then we made the tactical decision that because we didn’t want to drive through Monday morning traffic in Chicago – which even during no rush hour time is horrific – we would drive through the night and avoid the traffic jams.

JENNIFER

But there was still lots of traffic… even at 1 in the morning. We debated taking the ferry across Lake Michigan. They have ferry service from a couple places in Wisconsin. But we couldn’t justify spending $400 to get us and the RV across. So we drive around, spent what was left of the night in a rest area just inside the Michigan border, and then made our way home.

MIKE

So we’re back in our sticks and bricks house. There’s lots of laundry to do and some house and yard chores but we take off in just a few days for our next Roadtreking gathering, this one to Bryson City, North Carolina on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We’ll be camped on the Natahala River there, a beautiful white water river and we will have calm river float tours, raging rapid runs in a raft for those willing to brave it, zip line rides and, of course, lots of good socializing.

JENNIFER

And we still have openings. We’ll put a link on the shownotes for this episode where you can get details and sign up. But it’s July 9-13 and we’d love to see you there. We have an interview with Yan and Kiki who will be our guides for the event coming up a little later in the podcast.

MIKE

 Hey, I am really excited about the response we have had from listeners to this podcast about the extra features we have added because of popular demand. We now have a full and detailed transcript that will accompany our interview of the week AND we also have a video version, too, which we post on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. I have found an awesome service to do the transcriptions of the interview for me and I am now recording the interviews in video as well as audio. You can see all this on the shownotes page for each episode. In the case of this episode, it is at http://roadtreking.com/198.

JENNIFER

I just noticed. Episode 198. We are almost at our 200th episode! Who would have thought we would be able to do this for 200 weeks in a row, never missing a single one. We should have a party! Figure out a way to celebrate! That really is quite an accomplishment. I’m proud of us! 

MIKE

Yup. And in that time, besides social media and our blog, we have added a free weekly email newsletter that we send out to 24,000 people each week and our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel, which has two or three new videos released every week. We did a tally of how many people we reach on all those platforms each week and it is a community of over 550,000 people. Who’d have thought this would take off like that? Allright, enough about us… here is the RV News you need to know about this week:

JENNIFER

Search and rescues up in national parks, costing millions

As record numbers of people visit the national parks, apparently the number needing to be rescued is also climbing. Nearly 3,000 people needed to be rescued last year from national parks, with search and rescues costing the park system more than $3 million in 2017 alone. About 10 percent of the search and rescues were at the Grand Canyon and 8 percent at Yosemite. Utah saw a jump of 68 percent between 2014 and 2017, but the problem exists throughout the country. The story got me thinking of a podcast interview we did a year ago with a hiking safety expert.  For a link to it go here - it is full of valuable tips on how to stay safe on the trails. To read some of the national stories, click here or here.

MIKE

Colorado launches pilot reservation program at 6 campgrounds

If you're looking to stay at a Colorado State Campground this summer better check to see if it is a reservation only campground first. Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced last week that it is launching a pilot program at six campgrounds July 1 that requires reservations to stay. Reservations, however, will no longer need to be made 3 days in advance. But, if you try to stay without a reservation you could be fined $50. To read more, click here.

JENNIFER

Grandmother, granddaughter die when tree falls on camper

Ohio police reported a grandmother and 2-year-old granddaughter died in a tragic accident last week after a tree fell on their camper while they were sleeping. Apparently a grandfather and grandmother had taken their grandchildren - twin 2-year-olds - camping outside Cincinnati when, in the middle of the night, a 70-90 foot tree fell on them. The family was stuck in the camper until rescuers arrived. The grandfather and other twin survived. To read more click here

MIKE

Vermont State Parks offers free camping raffle to newbies

First it was New York state, now it is Vermont, as Vermont State Parks announced last week its new program to provide free camping to families who have never camped. Those interested must enter their names in a drawing, and the winners will get use of a free campsite, firewood, tent, camp stove, lantern and sleeping pads. Guides will be available to help the chosen families all weekend with the goal of spreading the love of camping. To read more click here.

JENNIFER

Report examines impact of critical RV technician shortage 

Our friends at the RV Daily News published a special report on the RV technician shortage. We've been talking about that a lot for the past year as it's become a major issue for the industry. With about 8.9 million households RV owners, and only about 13,520 RV repair technicians to service them, the report noted there is about one technician for every 658 RVs. To read their special report, and learn more about this important, 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

We have been on the road now for the past several weeks and one thing that is starting to get a little dirty is my kitchen screen. Mostly there are seeds, those fuzzy kinds, that seemed to be everywhere in certain parts of the country, but also some small bugs. 

Taking out the screens to clean them is too much when I'm traveling and having fun, but still I do not like to look out the dirty screens. 

So, that is why I was so excited to read a tip listener Connie emailed to me this week. Connie's solution for dirty screens? A lint roller - one of those round giant tape rolls on a stick that can be rolled over clothes to get lint off.

Connie's email was short and sweet. She wrote:  "Dear Mike and Jennifer, thank you so much for all you do. We enjoy your webpage and podcast very much. I have a tip for Jennifer. If your screens get dirty when you are out on a trip, try using a lint roller. They also come in handy getting dog hair off the cushions. Hope that helps someone. Connie from KY"

Well thank you, Connie, for taking the time to send me an email to share this tip with other RVers. That is what this section of the podcast is all about - sharing little things we pick up to make the RV lifestyle all that much more enjoyable.

I usually have a lint roller already with me to help control Bo's hair, but i had never thought of using one on the screens. I tried it, after reading Connie's tip, and it worked great! Thank you again.

 Lint rollers can be purchased just about anywhere for as little as about $2-3. Here’s a link to a roller and a bunch of refills on Amazon - https://amzn.to/2KiDim7

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Paul is looking for an app that will let him communicate one on one with his family. He saw it demonstrated on an LA to Chicago flight but forgot the name. He thought it used satellites and not wifi or cellular.

            There are satellite messaging programs but they are VERY costly.

            The only free apps that can send long distance messengers need wifi or cellular with an Internet connection. There are some that work within a 200 foot radius using Bluetooth but for longer distances, you need the Internet

            We suggest WhatsApp or Signal, two of the best apps out there.

            WhatsApp uses your phone's Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi, as available) to let you message and call friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos, and Voice Messages. 

Signal does the same thing but uses advanced end-to-end encryption protocol that provides privacy for every message every time.


Sheila has an older RV and is looking for parts. We explain that she should call the manufacturer of her 1994 Roadtrek. She also wants to attend our Roadtreking gathering on the Natahala River in North Carolina July 9-13 for a day. We talk about the gathering. Details and reservations are handled by Eventbrite on this page. Hurry, though, as time is limited and our few remaining spaces will go fast.

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

As Jennifer and I have traveled the country this summer, we’ve been asking RVers to give us a report on their absolute favorite places. We expected them to be the standard bucketlist destinations, like Alaska, or Yellowstone or the Maritimes.

Instead, they were much more obscure, places not in the major RV guidebooks, places unique and very appealing. 

Here’s the full transcript:

Mike Wendland:         So, what is your favorite place that you've been to and camped in so far?

John Mills:                  One of the favorite places, especially if you like beach camping, we camped when our children were younger, we had a little pop-up camper, we camped on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks. You take a ferry to Hatteras-

Jennifer Mills:             From Hatteras.

John Mills:                  ... or from Hatteras to Ocracoke. It's the only way you can get there is by Ferry. Most of the island is national seashore, just beautiful, and then a little village there. Beautiful place.

Mike Wendland:         What did you like most about it?

Jennifer Mills:             Oh, gosh. I don't know.

John Mills:                  The solitude, I think. It was very quiet.

Jennifer Mills:             Yeah, it was. It was quiet. You're just camping. You walk over the dune. You're right on the ocean and then you can ... it's about a mile to town and there's coffee shops, little-

John Mills:                  Book stores.

Jennifer Mills:             ... restaurants, just home-town feeling. There's a lot of history involved and it's just a really relaxing place to be.

John Mills:                  Supposedly, it's one of the places where Blackbeard would hide out.

Mike Wendland:         A-ha. And what do you guys camp in now?

John Mills:                  We've got a little 16-foot Airstream Bambi. We've had it for about three years now. We love it. We love the national parks. We love the national park campgrounds, the quiet, the nice people we meet.

Jim Blair:                     Hi. My name is Jim Blair and I travel in a 2016 Roadtrek 210. One of our most favorite spots that we discovered by accident is in southern New Mexico, about 15 miles north of Interstate 10, over by Deming. It's actually in New Mexico State Park, called City of Rocks, which is an interesting name, which caught our attention, and as you drive off Interstate 10 and go north towards City of Rocks, all of a sudden you come over a rise and there are these boulders the size of houses and this massive set of boulders. There are campsites in amongst the boulders, where you get to boondock, and it's in the middle of nowhere, so at night the stars come out. They're awesome. You get to see the Milky Way and you're parked in this spot that is just absolutely magical. There are some great hikes out of there, up to Table Mountain. It's about a three-hour hike. There are some places to bike ride. You can take a mountain bike and go mountain biking around here. It is the south of New Mexico, so it's the Mexico kind of desert, but out of nowhere are these massive rocks and there must be, maybe 100 of these massive rocks, and they've built roads in between them and camping spots and picnic tables and it's in the middle of nowhere and it is absolutely stunningly beautiful and peaceful and quiet.

Jim Blair:                     Most of it is boondocking. They do have a few electrical sites set off on the side that are more ... have facilities. There's a great visitor's center down there and we just go down there whenever we get a chance to get away, because it's absolutely beautiful.

Gary Wormus:            Hi, my name's Gary, this is Caril. We've got a Sprinter Conversion made by Gulf Stream, who no longer does that. One of the unique places we've traveled in our rig was from Carson City, Nevada across Highway 50 to the east, and it's called the loneliest highway in America. It's unique and we enjoyed it.

Mike Wendland:         How is it unique?

Caril Wormus:             Well, it's the little small mining towns that you go through on a two-lane highway, not a major, you know, mega highway. They have a passport system. You pick it up either, if you're going east or west, and then each little mining town you go through stamps your passport and then they give you a certificate of completion. It was fun.

Gary Wormus:            It's the loneliest highway in America because it's-

Caril Wormus:             Because you're untraveled-

Gary Wormus:            It's not very well traveled. There's some hot springs along there and we didn't have to worry about a crowd anywhere.

Caril Wormus:             Right. Hot springs. State park camping, forest. What was that, National Forest, through there, so it was-

Gary Wormus:            Oh, yeah, we went through the Great Basin National Forest, which was-

Caril Wormus:             National Park, there.

Gary Wormus:            ... National Park and it was interesting.

Mike Wendland:         How long should somebody allot to do that drive and to explore that area?

Gary Wormus:            We were traveling from Carson City back to Colorado, but we usually only go three or four hours a day because it's comfortable.

Caril Wormus:             Right, so I'd say three or four days.

Mike Wendland:         Yeah.

Caril Wormus:             Take your time. Enjoy each little community that you go through.

Mike Wendland:         The loneliest highway in America.

Caril Wormus:             Yes it is.

Gary Wormus:            [crosstalk 00:04:53].

Mike Wendland:         Highway 50 in Nevada.

Dinah Davis:                Hi, I'm Dinah Davis from Sisters, Oregon. We did a wonderful trip where we stopped at hot springs every night for five nights running. We stopped first in southeast Oregon at Summer Lake Hot Springs. This is about, I'm going to say, an hour, hour and a half, southeast of Bend, Oregon. Next, we stopped at Surprise Valley Hot Springs, which is not an RV park. It is a motel, but each motel room has its own spring-fed hot tub, which is a really nice break. Then, we found ourselves at Sierra Hot Springs, near the town of Sierra in north California. We worked our way further on down the Sierras on the eastern side, staying at Grover's Hot Springs, which is a state park and beautiful, big campground, very inexpensive and a big bathhouse with a huge, heated swimming pool and then the warmer hot springs available.

Dinah Davis:                Our next, and final, stop at the hot springs was at Keough Hot Springs, which was a commercial place, but they have a lovely campground and a very nostalgic bathhouse. I think was probably built in the '30s, so you can be out of the wind and enjoying, not only, their very hot pool, but again, another full-size swimming pool. So, this is a great way to enjoy the amazing scenery along 395, US 395, and have a fabulous, relaxing hot spring every night on the trip.

Debbie Cook:               I'm Debbie Cook.

John Fisher:                I'm John Fisher.

Debbie Cook:               And we're from Huntington Beach, California. We are driving a 2018 Pleasure-Way Ascent that we love. One of our favorite places to camp has turned out to be a place that's locally called The Pads. It's right outside of Death Valley when you're coming in from the Pahrump side of Death Valley and it's just before you get to the park. If you look off to the left, there're these flat, concrete pads that used to be the concrete slabs for mobile homes that the miners used, one of the local mining companies there. It's perfectly flat. You just drive right up on top of the pads. No leveling, no nothing, but it's quiet. It's peaceful. It's gorgeous.

John Fisher:                It's dark.

Debbie Cook:               Obviously, it's very hot in the summer and it can be very dark. It's a great place to see dark sky.

John Fisher:                It's really quiet. It's really dark. At night when you want to sleep, and we go to bed early, it's glorious. Very much so.

Debbie Cook:               And we love Death Valley and just being so close to Death Valley, not having to stay in the campgrounds there that can be crowded.

John Fisher:                And noisy.

Debbie Cook:               Yeah.

John Fisher:                Everyone runs their generator till midnight.

Debbie Cook:               Right, so, it's just a great spot. You might find a few people camped out there, but everybody spaces out and there's probably, I think we counted, like 50 pads-

John Fisher:                50 pads.

Debbie Cook:               ... so, you have a lot of space.

Mike Wendland:         What was it originally for?

Debbie Cook:               It was, so they had-

John Fisher:                The town, [Ryan 00:07:56], wasn't it?

Debbie Cook:               No. There's still mining going on in Death Valley and at one point they had mobile homes where the miners were housed and when they moved the mobile homes, then the pads were left. And actually, we explored a little bit around there and if you walk down a few, I don't know, a hundred yards or so, you'll see the old septic system and there's an old warehouse and things [crosstalk 00:08:20] like that. Where they had dumped some of the mattresses and things like that.

Mike Wendland:         And do they charge you to just stay there?

Debbie Cook:               No, it's free. It's totally free.

John Fisher:                You Google the pads and you'll see in an aerial shot from the map, and it just lays itself out. You're going, this is interesting.

Debbie Cook:               And it's the eastern approach to Death Valley, coming in from Las Vegas through Pahrump and it's on that road.

Mike Wendland:         I just have to go to Pahrump just to say, I was in Pahrump.

 

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: Best Summer Road Trip Apps

 

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

Back when I was a kid, my parents would load us up in the car and have us stare out the window on summer roadtrips for entertainment. But when the terrain was smooth and flat and without trees, inevitably my sister and I would start to pick at each other and small fights would break out.

Fortunately, today there are a plethora of ways to keep the family entertained and in harmony while traveling.

 

First up a classic...Roadtrip bingo. Once loaded up on your iPad, simply turn it into landscape mode to display two gameboards side by side. Now, just look for the items on your gameboard and click them to turn them red. First one to get five in a row yells bingo and wins!

 

Sometimes the open road is the best time for creativity to strike. That’s why I recommend you load up the family smartphone or tablet with SketchBook by Autodesk. This fully featured app allows you or your kids to doodle away anytime using just their thoughts and a finger.

 

Maybe someone in your family is destined for YouTube stardom? See how they stack up against their favorite stars by singing karaoke in the Smule app. Sing side by side with your favorite artist or challenge a friend. You can also add fun filters and even enhance your audio with special effects.

 

And lastly, when you get to your destination a great game to play with the whole family is Heads Up created by Ellen DeGeneres. You’ll split off into teams and one person holds the phone at their forehead to display a word. Their teammate has to give them clues to guess the word before time runs out. In addition to the adult version there’s a kid’s only version

 

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 Natahala River in North Carolina

 

In our off the beaten path report this week, a special look at our upcoming Roadtreking Whitewater adventure to the Natahala River in North Carolina. We will be there July 9-13 and you are invited. We still have some extra room available and if you have never attended one of our Roadtreking gatherings before, there is a special discount you can get by using the code “welcome.”

 

To tell us about the river and the area and the things awaiting a visitor, we bring on our and exploring guides for this gathering, Yan Seiner and Kiki Dunigan.

 

They explain that at the event you can spend a day in a river raft, either cruising down the guided and mild Class I-III rapids, or for the more adventurous, taking on Class IV-V white water while your guide gives you an unforgettable experience! Or go for a drive on the Road to Nowhere in the Great Smoky Mountains that was supposed to assuage a displaced community, but ended up a $58 million dead end. Walk the ¼ tunnel at the end of the road to find easy trails and stunning views.

Ziplining is on the schedule too, for those who want to soar through the trees like a bird of prey. Expect spontaneous laughter, and maybe a few screams of delight.

We will camp at Smoky Mountain Meadows campground, with a group area for boondocking. A few sites with full hook-ups are available for those who need them. Water and dump station will be accessible. Hot showers and flush toilets are on site. As promised on the campground’s website, “You will find yourself in a beautiful valley with quiet green meadows and a bubbling brook encompassing your surroundings. When you rise in the morning with dew on the grass, the birds singing, and the aroma of coffee brewing, you will feel a quiet peacefulness beyond your imagination.”

Within 30 miles you will find Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Deep Creek Entrance, Great Smoky Mountain Scenic Railway, Bicycling at Tsali, Antique stores and flea markets, Cherokee Indian Reservation, including "Unto These Hills" Indian Drama, Oconaluftee Indian Village, Harrah's Cherokee Casino, Museum of the Cherokee Indians, Dillsboro - a village of craft and speciality shops, Blue Ridge Parkway, Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, and Gem Mining. Grow your retirement account with rubies, sapphires, and more.

After all that, relax at the end of the day with dinner at Nantahala Outdoor Center, or one of the many local restaurants in Bryson City. Then sit by a fire under the stars and hear Kiki tell stories which may or may not be true.

There is something for everyone here. 

 

Here’s a link where you can get details and sign up. Again, it’s July 9-13 and we’d love to see you there.

 

This part of the program is brought to you by AllStays Pro, the best app for RVers looking for places to camp, boondock or stay free overnight. Go to http://roadtreking.com/allstays for more info.

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahala River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 
   

JULY

18-21

FMCA International Convention and RV Expo

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities
Gillette, WY

 
   

JULY

20-22

Green Country RV Show

River Spirit Expo at Expo Square

Tulsa, OK

 

 

 

Direct download: RV198.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

Episode 197: How to Camp for Free

Camping fees are skyrocketing. It’s common to pay $30 a night at state parks, nearly $50 at commercial campgrounds. Even close to $100 a night at some of the resort-style campgrounds.  Many of us think there is a better way. A free way, in fact.

And this week on the podcast, we sit down with our friend Campskunk, a fulltimer and a regular reporter on our Roadtreking.com blog. And Campskunk tells us how to camp free, for if you must pay, how to camp for a very low cost. He’ll reveal his secrets in our interview of the week, coming up a little later in the program.

Also this week, RV tips, lots of RV news and a great off the beaten path report.

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

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 #197 June 20,2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We are coming to you this week from the Big Sky country of Montana, right, in fact, outside the entrance to Glacier National Park.

The big news for us is that we followed out own rule – the 330 rule and kept it for 10 days in a row, stopping by 3:30 pm every day local time wherever we happened to be, or driving no more than 330 miles, thus assuring we would be fresh and not too tired each day to explore the area we happened to be in. If you are a regular follower, you know that while Mike and I recommend that rule to everyone, we have had trouble keeping it sometimes ourselves.

But we did it this time and has a ball.  Going home may be a different story as we have to be in certain places at certain times but we will try.

We are having a wonderful time here in Montana. This is where we are holding one of our Roadtreking Gatherings this week and we have just over 100 people here from all across North America in all sorts of different style RVs. We are hiking and doing nature walks, taking wildlife and landscape photographs and doing a lot of socializing. Last night, we did an RV stuffing contest to see how many people we could fit into a Class B Roadtrek RV. We think we set a world record with 22!

Here's a video of the shenanigans!

The weather for the first two days has been pretty wet with all day rain. The forecast is great for the rest of the week but everyone is having a great time.

Here are the stories making RV News this week, starting off with a very sad story:

Man camping with wife dies after getting pinned between trailer and truck
A man died at a North Carolina campground last week after getting pinned between his pick up truck and his fifth wheel camper. The 63-year-old man was trying to hook the camper to the truck when the accident happened. The man's wife called for help, a campground employee used a tractor to lift the camper and free the man, who later died. To read more click here


Oil Refinery gets permit approval from North Dakota officials to build near Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Last week, while Jennifer and I were camping at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, I read a story saying North Dakota Health Department officials approved a permit for the construction of an oil refinery three miles from the park. While there are still a few hurdles for the company to pass, placing an oil refinery so close to a national treasure is something conservation and environmentalists are fighting. To read the story, click here.

Florida police arrest drunk woman driving car and honking horn at 3 am through campground

This next story is something you would NOT want to experience while trying to get away. A Florida woman was arrested after she apparently drove drunk through Fort DeSoto Park's campgrounds at 3 am last week, blasting her horn to wake everyone up. Pinellas County's Fort DeSoto Park's campground is located outside St. Petersburg on the gulf. When police arrived the 31-year-old woman was sitting in her car, holding the keys in one hand, a bottle of wine in the other, while screaming at someone. To read more click here.


Georgia officials to charge teens rescued from rapids after ignoring state park signs
Georgia officials decided to file charges against two teens who had to be rescued by helicopter at a state park with charges carrying the maximum penalty of a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. The teens were at High Falls State Park last week when of teens ignored the clearly posted signs to stay out of the rapids, went in, and had to be rescued by helicopter and a dive team. Last year a teen did the same thing and died. Georgia officials said they are charging the teens because their actions not only endanger their lives, but the lives of their rescuers. To learn more click here.  

 

RV Industry expected to set new record in units shipped
EDIEDIT EDIT.  A story out of Indiana last week reported the RV industry expects to ship 539,900 units this year. That is the ninth year in a row of growth. That figure is up 7 percent from the 504,600 record set in 2017. And in 2019 the number is expected to rise yet again. To read more about the forecast, click here.

 

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

 

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

 

Have you ever struggled to find the perfect gift for someone close to you who loves to camp? Well, just a couple months ago our son, Jeff, and his wife, Aimee, bought their first RV,  a new 27-foot Keystone Springdale Special Edition travel trailer.

 

Mike and I went with them and our grandchildren, Jovie and Jax, on their first camping trip, and had so much fun, that I started thinking about how I would like give them a little something whimsical from us with a camping theme to keep in it.

 

Well, I visited a few camping stores near home and during our time on the road and nothing seemed right. But then I went online to Etsy, and I think I found just thing - a personalized "happy camper" hand towel for their kitchen!

 

For those unfamiliar, Etsy is a website where many creative people make an item, then sell it directly to customers.  And I can tell you it is filled with some of the cutest camper hand towels and hot plate holders I have seen.

The towels contain catchy phrases, like "Happy Camper" "Keep Calm and RV On" or "Home is Where You Roam." 

 

Some of the towels are terrycloth, others are not. Some of the towels can be personalized with a name, some can not. But all have cute designs, often featuring embroidered campers, like Class As, Class Bs, towable trailers, or vintage trailers. The prices vary from $8-$25.99 on the day I looked.

 

After browsing through all these cute items, I was able to choose just the perfect one for my son and daughter in law that I hope they will enjoy for years to come. But then I got so excited, I had to share it with all of you in case anyone else is looking for a little something whimsical to give to a camper friend or family member in your life.

 

Resources

https://www.etsy.com/market/camper_towels?ref=pagination&page=2

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/527979759/class-b-plus-conversion-camper-van?ref=related-1

 

 

 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 asks us to explain more about the 330 Rule and also to help her find interesting places to visit between Colorado and Montana. We explain the rule and refer her to Roadtreking.com/allstays for a guide on places to stay, roadtrippers.com for things to see along the route and roadsideamerica.com for quirky places to visit.

 

A listener asks if people can just drop in our gatherings and hang out. We invite him and offer some suggestions on what time to come. He was interested in our North Carolina gathering along the Natahala River from July 9-13. We still have some openings and we have a special discount for those who have never before attended one of our gatherings. First timers who use the coupon code “Welcome” at check out get a $50 discount off the ticket price for the event.

 

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

 

Camping fees are skyrocketing. It’s common to pay $30 a night at state parks, nearly $50 at commercial campgrounds. Even cose to $100 a night at some of the resort-style campgrounds.  Many of us think there is a better way. A free way, in fact. And this week on the podcast, we sit down with our friend Campskunk, a fulltimer and a regular reporter on our Roadtreking.com blog. And Campskunk tells us how to camp free, for if you must pay, how to camp for a very low cost. He’ll reveal his secrets in our interview of the week.

 

We have a video version of his interview on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube.

 

And a transcript of the interview appears below:

 

 

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

The Fourth of July holiday means gathering with friends and family, barbecues and pool parties. And nothing pairs better with these summer activities than tech.

For any outdoor gathering, music can make or break a celebration. But since showers or splashes can happen at anytime, you also want to make sure your speakers are summer ready.

A great choice is the UE Blast with Alexa. This speaker will be the talk of any pool party or BBQ. Not only is it waterproof and drop proof, but it also comes packed with Amazon’s Alexa allowing anyone to request a song via voice. It’ll also connect via bluetooth giving you yet another option for playing music. And with a battery life of 12 hours, it’ll definitely last the whole party.

Next, you’re going to want pics or the party didn’t happen right? That’s where the Go Pro Hero 5 comes in. Unlike other Go Pros, the Hero 5 doesn’t need a waterproof case, it’s waterproof right out of the box. And that makes it great for pool candids. Its one button operation means it’s simpler than ever to capture pictures or 4K video. And you can review what you shot right from your smartphone.

If you’ve got your own pool, or are looking to get fit this summer by swimming more, then you’ll want to have a gadget that can track your progress in the pool. The FitBit Versa is made for swimming. Just click on swimming mode and it’ll track your time in the pool, distance you’ve swam, pace and calories burned. And it’s completely waterproof up to a depth of 33 feet so you can swim with confidence.

Now onto the barbecue. Maybe you’re a master griller looking to do more or a novice that needs a little guidance? Either way, you’ll want the JBL Link 10 speaker by your side. Not only can it play songs to keep you company, but when those all important grilling questions come up like “how long to grill corn on the cob” or “what herbs go well with grilled chicken” you can ask the Google Assistant built into the speaker. And no need to sit over the hot grill to monitor your meats, instead ask google to set a timer to remind you.

Lastly, you may be juggling food cooking inside as well as outside. So how can you keep track of both? Grab a $20 WyzeCam and set it inside. Now you can watch what’s going on in the kitchen live from your smartphone. And when you’re done, just move the camera anywhere inside your house to monitor your child’s playroom, your front door or even a birdhouse.

Everything talked about here besides the WyzeCam can be found at your local Verizon store or VerizonWireless.com. The WyzeCam can be found at WyzeCam.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 -  

Imagine a hunting lodge, long and low, nestled on a hillside overlooking a lake. There's a happy hum of conversation, the clink of glasses, and the smell of steak on the grill. Add some tiki torches and a well-stocked bar and you have the elements of a Wisconsin supper club. One of the granddaddies of these is the 1930s-era Ishnala, set on the shore of Mirror Lake within a state park that was created around it. But that's where our story ends. It begins in a swimming pool. We were visiting the Wisconsin Dells for the first time and struck up a conversation with another swimmer, who'd vacationed here more than fifty times. He recommended we try a restaurant called Wally's House of Embers. 

Set a bit back from the road, the building of stacked stone sports a ten-foot-tall neon martini glass with a cherry inside and bubbles floating up from it. Inside, it's all dark wood and brocade fabrics. Polished glassware and cutlery sparkle on white linen tablecloths, and a hostess burbled "We're so glad you came" nearly before we were in the door. The two-sided menu was simple. Steak, fish, ribs, a choice of potato, a soup, and a few desserts. Soon enough our platters arrived, the meat perfectly prepared and the portions generous. Our server, an area native, was pleasantly attentive and chatty, responding to our many questions about the restaurant and the town.

The next day, on the way north to visit relatives, we passed a billboard advertising a book about Supper Clubs. "Hmm," I said from behind the wheel, and with an overly dramatic sigh of resignation, Patti pulled out her cell phone and began to type. Supper clubs, it turns out, are a phenomenon of the upper Midwest, but especially Wisconsin. Sixty years ago there were thousands of these restaurants, and though perhaps a thousand remain, many no longer fit the true ideal. Even experts struggle to provide a succinct definition, but a comprehensive one would include the words road trip, relish tray, fish, steak, prime rib, and tradition.

As you might have guessed, the House of Embers is a supper club. Looking forward to the ubiquitous fish fry on Friday night, we hunted around for another of these establishments, and settled on the Summit House, about a 30 minute drive away. It was much simpler and more rustic, along a country highway, but still had the bustling well-stocked bar (Did we mention that cocktails are also part of the supper club experience?) and the simple predictable menu. We ordered fish, which was delicious, and as we ate watched multiple generations of families arrive and gather around long tables.

Having dined in modest and mid-range examples, we decided we really should make the trip over to the Ishnala, where if we weren't willing to spring for dinner we could at least enjoy dessert. We arrived a bit before nine and there were still parties waiting for a table. The dining area is on two levels to ensure everyone an expansive view of the lake. Decks and patios provide additional outdoor seating. We chose to sit in one of the three bars to avoid a wait, and watched darkness fall across the water. The moment had a magical feel.

Wisconsin has many supper clubs, and each one will provide a different experience. Pick one, anywhere, and keep an eye open for us, Patti & Tom Burkett, because nearly every one of them is off the beaten path.

Resources:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/chi-defining-wisconsins-supper-club-culture-20150119-story.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16000410-wisconsin-supper-clubs

http://www.houseofembers.com/

http://www.ishnala.com/

 

This part of the podcast is sponsored by All Stays Pro, the best, most detailed and helpful website and app available for finding great campgrounds and places to stay all across North America. Go to http://roadtreking.com/allstays to see for yourself.

 

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

JUNE

25-29

Passport America

Music City USA Mega Rally

Wilson County Fairgrounds
Lebanon, TN

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 
   

JULY

18-21

FMCA International Convention and RV Expo

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities
Gillette, WY

 

 

Direct download: RV197.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:30pm EDT

 Episode 196: The 330 Rule for the RV Lifestyle

This episode comes to you from the road as we head west towards Glacier National Park and our annual Roadtreking photo safari there next week. We’re recording this episode from North Dakota after leisurely traveling through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota. We’re in the RV on the banks of the Red River of the North, which separates Minnesota from North Dakota.

We are following our 330 Rule and in this episode, we’ll give a detailed description of how that traveling rule works and why it is so important.

Also, one thing we’ve encountered on this trip common to all those locations and this time of year has been bugs…lots of bugs. Swarming bugs. Mosquitoes, black flies and clouds of insects called midges. In this episode, we’ll also talk about dealing with bugs while exploring the outdoors…what works, what doesn’t work and how to cope with them.

Plus we have lots of your questions and comments, RV news, tips and a great off the beaten path destination report, all coming up in this edition of the RV Podcast.

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

Show Notes for Episode #196 June 13, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We update our experiences on the road this past week, traveling with no reservations.

We have been doing a great job of keeping to our 330 Rule, of traveling no more than 330 miles or stopping by 3:30PM each afternoon. Some of those days, we barely drove 100 miles. We’ve been able to stop, explore, visit with friends along the way and even take a boat ride into Lake Superior to see the Apostle Islands on Wisconsin’s North shore.

We’ll talk more about the 330 Rule and what we learned by following it this past week coming up a little later when we play part of a presentation we recently did before a group of RVers that explains the rule in detail. We have been videoing each day of our trip from multiple cameras and we had planned to release them sequentially for several days in a row but here’s the problem: To do that, I’d have to do our traveling and exploring and then, work till very late each night to get each story edited. It takes about 8 to 12 hours to edit a single video and there’s no way I can do that.

I already had a serious heart to heart talk to Mike about this. He’s working all the time. From the moment he gets up till bedtime and as much as he likes it, that’s a pace no one should keep.

 So the first of our traveling videos will start on our normal new video day -Thursday – and we’ll release a new one each week…always on Thursday. This is in addition to our weekly live “Ask Us Anything” interactive webcast, which airs every Sunday night at 9PM Eastern Time on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel.

 

Meanwhile, we have lots of RV news to report this week, starting out with some dangerous encounters with wild animals.

Three women injured in three different wildlife encounters at Yellowstone National Park 
News last week out of Yellowstone National Park was a good reminder of the importance of keeping a healthy distance from wildlife. Three different women were sent to the hospital on three different days after animals charged them. Two of the women were kicked in the head by an elk believed to be protecting her baby; one woman was gored by a bison after getting too close - about 10 feet away. Officials recommend visitors stay at least 25 feet away from bison and elk. To read more click here or here

 

A Colorado fire department sent into woods to rescue fluffy, exhausted dog 
We've read plenty of stories about people going off on a hike, and for whatever reason, needing help but last week an article about the fire department being sent to a help an exhausted dog was a first. Apparently a 120 pound Great Pyrenees was out for a hike with his owners in Colorado when he simply couldn't go on. So, the volunteer fire department was called. Members hiked up to where the dog laid on a trail, picked him up, placed him on a stretcher and carried him down - at no cost to the owner. What did the fire department say? All in a day's work. To read more, click here.

Thousands from around world descend on Great Smokies to watch synchronized fireflies
Twenty-one thousand people applied to watch the synchronized fireflies this year at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to a story out last week. The fireflies really do synchronize their flashing lights, and attract visitors from all over the world. To read a story out last week on the amazing insects click here. The story reminded me of a report Off the Beaten Path reporters Tom and Patti Burkett did on their visit. To read that report click here.

Bear attacks family of four tent camping in Colorado
A family of four camping in Colorado was attacked by a bear, which ripped into their tent when they were sleeping. The family was on U.S. Forest Service property in a dispersed camping area. Officials believe the bear was attracted to the smell of food. The father was injured and taken to a hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.  To read more click here.

Minnesota opens new modern campground at site of iron ore mine

Minnesota's newest 3,000 acre state campground is now open after an official ribbon cutting ceremony last week. Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park is the first new Minnesota campground in 26 years, offering modern camping accommodations including wifi, flush toilets and screened picnic shelters.  Located in the northern part of the state, it also offers underground tours of a former iron-ore mine. To learn more click here or the park's site 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

When Mike and I planned this trip to Glacier National Park, we knew we would be winding our way west through Michigan's beautiful upper peninsula on into Wisconsin and then Minnesota. While I love driving along Lake Superior, and the deep forests so common in all three states, I couldn't help but think about flies. Black files. Those nasty, disgusting bugs that seem to be everywhere in this part of the country every June.

A few years back when we were camping in the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's upper peninsula, Mike brought a whole arsenal of fly repellants, but nothing seemed to work. The flies were horrible.... and they were everywhere.

Here, listen to yourself from what Mike’s experiment taught him

Bug video https://youtu.be/g-UkHfr85mA

In the video, you can see how Mike’s entire leg was covered in black flies. Disgusting. That’s why I stayed inside the RV in that bug free zine. 

Anyway, this year I did some research, and it is amazing how many homemade concoctions are out there. One site recommended spraying original Listerine throughout your campsite. Flies apparently do not like the stuff.

Many, many sites recommend putting water in clear plastic resealable bags, and hanging the bags from various spots around the campsite. Others recommended placing a couple pennies in the water filled bags. Why do this? The theory goes that the clear, water filled bags with pennies will confuse the fly, which has a compound eye. Many people on many sites recommended this method and swore it worked.  

See https://holistichorse.com/health-care/keep-flies-away-with-water-and-pennies-2/ or https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/water-bags-repel-flies.htm

 But before you get to excited about those water bags, let me add that after I did a little more snooping I found stories at both Snopes https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/fly-bye/and Mythbusters https://mythresults.com/bug-special

that said the water filled bags do not work, leaving me back at square one.

How’s this for an ideas? Some people recommend spraying your body with vodka - swearing flies hate vodka. But, Mike and I are out meeting a lot of people, working on this podcast and our YouTube channel, and I did not want to be covered in in vodka when out reporting. I don’t think that is a very good idea… though I suppose if you sprayed yourself with enough vodka, you would feel no pain. 

Another website I found swore flies hate Pinesol. So, to keep them away simply combine water and Pinesol in a 50-50 solution, wash down your picnic table, and the flies will supposedly stay away. The problem with this method is the Pinesol smell doesn't last very long. When the table is dry, or a few minutes pass, will it keep working?  I found a website that tried this method and the reviewer gave it a C. See

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=21402146

In the end, Mike and I have come to the conclusion that if you can avoid visiting the Northwoods in June and July… do so. But if you must go,  limit your time outside to the hours of 10 am to about 6 am…that’s when the mosquitoes are least active. Black Flies are another matter. If you are in a place like the Upper Peninsula where they are active all the time, well, there’s not much you can do. Hope for windy days as that helps keep them down.

The other tip is wear long pants and long sleeved shirts. And you can buy hats with mosquito netting all around your head. You may look a little silly but that helps.

Does anyone any other methods that work? If yes, I would love to hear about it! 

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

Kent lives in Northern California and is looking for a good dealer. He says Yelp reviews on the dealers he has checked are terrible.

Jacqui wonders about the Kymetta Internet satellite system we are testing out and wants an update.

Brian has a new Pleasure-Way on order and wants a rear mounted swing away bike mount. He reads elsewhere that bouncing causes issues. He asks out experience. We recommend Thule hitches, which have several swing away models. As does Yakima.

 

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.

 

All about the 330 Rule

You have heard us talk a lot about the 330 Rule. That’s what we have been following on our trip west this week.

Here is an excerpt from a presentation we recently did before a group of RV owners that explains it in detail.

 

 

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

Now that we’ve hit the mid part of June, the road is truly an open book just waiting to be explored. So today I thought we could talk about some great apps that can help enhance your journey.

First up, with gas prices hitting levels we haven’t seen in some time, saving a dime or two a gallon is more important than ever. That’s why one of my favorite apps is Gas Buddy. Free for Android and iOS, this app lets you see the current gas prices from stations around the area. It’ll also tell you what’s the most and least expensive and how far those are away - making it easier than ever to save money on fuel. And if you can’t download the app, you can get the same information from gasbuddy.com

Next, Android Auto and Apple Car Play make it easier than ever to navigate, play music and respond to text messages while driving all via voice. But what if you don’t have a car that has this capability? That’s where the standalone Android Auto app for Android phones comes into play. Simply download the app and launch it before hitting the road. Now it doesn’t matter what vehicle you’re in. Your phone acts as the car’s entertainment and navigation system giving you huge easy to see buttons and voice control for all things music, navigation and messaging. And with Google Maps, you can also ask Google for the price of gas at gas stations along your route.

Lastly, school may not be in session but that doesn’t mean grading ends entirely. Verizon has a free app, called Hum, for Android and iOS. It’ll automatically recognize when the vehicle is in motion and grade your driving skills based on how often you speed, how hard you brake or take corners and how often you touch your phone while driving. After each trip you’ll get a safety score based out of 100 to help you become a better driver.

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 Wisconsin Dells

 

By Tom and Patti Burkett

 

It seems that every major urban area has a favored natural retreat that draws its residents when the weather gets hot and summer vacation time rolls around. For Angelinos it's the beach. Atlantans head for the family 'camp' on a lake somewhere, and New Yorkers head upstate. If you live in Chicago, or anywhere in northern Illinois or Indiana, you might make your vacation plans for the Wisconsin Dells. The Dells are the Gatlinburg of the North, miles of kitschy, vintage tourist traps and t-shirt shops set amid dozens of waterparks, definitely not off the beaten path. And still, in the course of a week spent there recently, we found that this place has interesting and less-known stories to tell.

To begin with, the word dells is a corruption of the French word dalles. You're likely familiar with the dalles of the Columbia River in Oregon, which posed a considerable obstacle to the pioneers headed west on the Oregon Trail. The word describes a place where a river is squeezed through a deep rocky gorge, resulting in formidable rapids. Europeans first became familiar with Wisconsin as part of the fur-trading empire of the voyageurs, but it soon became a source of vast quantities of timber. Huge rafts of logs were floated down the Wisconsin River toward what is now Chicago. At the Dells, the rafts were broken up into smaller units and guided through the tight turns and churning water caused by the sandstone walls.

You'd never know about this, or even see the beauty of the river, from the area's roads. We took a two hour boat trip through the upper Dells (above the dam), and saw little but water carved sandstone formations and hillsides of trees, preserved from development by forward thinking residents a century ago. The boat made two stops, one for us to wind our through a narrow canyon along a boardwalk while water rushed beneath our feet, and one to climb to an overlook above the river. It was quiet and tranquil in the midst of a thundering vacationland. For a slightly more rollicking experience, you can take a similar trip on the Lower Dells in surplus military amphibious vehicles called ducks.

Wisconsin Dells is one of three towns that make up the resort area. Lake Delton, the second, appeared to be a solid mecca of tourist delights. T he third, Baraboo, is home to several interesting sites. The first we came across was a casino operated by the Ho-Chunk nation. If you like to wager a bit now and then, you might enjoy this large and glittering collection of gaming tables, restaurants, and slot machines. Also in Baraboo is the International Crane Foundation. After visiting the Platte River in Nebraska for the sandhill crane migration, we were interested to see this attractive operation with an extensive network of trails and the opportunity to view every specie of crane found on Earth in a large display habitat.

We spent most of our day in Baraboo at the Circus World Museum. Covering several city blocks, this was the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus. The circus, which was operated by six of the seven Ringling Brothers, performed continuously from 1884 until it closed in 2017. The grounds, now owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, include a splendid collection of restored circus wagons, displays covering history and costumes, and documentary films. Best, though, are the live acts including a tiger show and big top performance, all included in the admission price.

Perhaps the most interesting, and least known, discovery of our visit was Wisconsin's long love affair with supper clubs. That deserves its own report, so we'll save it for next week. Meanwhile, safe travels to those of you headed for the Roadtrek photo event in Glacier National Park. If you're avoiding the interstates, and eating at the mom and pop diners, or spending the night in small town municipal campgrounds, you're likely to come across us, Patti & Tom Burkett, out there off the beaten path.

RESOURCES
https://www.savingcranes.org/plan-a-visit/
http://www.circusworldbaraboo.org/
http://www.dellsboats.com/upper-dells-tours/

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JUNE

25-29

Passport America

Music City USA Mega Rally

Wilson County Fairgrounds
Lebanon, TN

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahala River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

   

JULY

18-21

FMCA International Convention and RV Expo

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities
Gillette, WY

 
   

JULY

20-22

Green Country RV Show

River Spirit Expo at Expo Square

Tulsa, OK

 
   

AUGUST

9-12

Midwest RV Super Show

RV/MH Hall of Fame Elkhart, IN

 

 

 

Direct download: RV196.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

It’s no secret the RV Industry is on a tear. Record sales continue and every month, thousands of new RVers are hitting the roads. But where will they all stay?

The sad fact of the matter is there just are not enough campsites to keep place with the growth in RV sales. And many of the existing campgrounds are poorly kept up. Fortunately, all that is about to change as across North America, developers are building out new, modern, state of the art campgrounds that sometimes more resemble all-inclusive vacation spots than empty fields with electric pedestals.

In this week’s podcast, we talk to one of those developers who talks about the upcoming boom in RV resorts.

Plus, lots of RV news, RV tips, your questions, traveling technology advice and an off the beaten path report.

Show Notes for Episode #195 June 6, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’re busy packing. Had to stop to do this podcast but we take off soon for the first long trip of the summer, heading to Glacier National Park in Northern Montana. We have a Roadtreking gathering there staring in less than two weeks and this time, instead of rushing, we are going to take our time.

We are viewing to follow our 330 Rule – which means quit by 330 PM in the afternoon or stop after driving no more than 330 miles. Now if you are a regular follower, you know Mike and I haven’t been real successful at following our own rule. But this time, we are going to promise. And to be accountable to that, we are going to post a video every day that we’re traveling on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube.

I should point out that we won’t be traveling every day. We have a business meeting we have to do and we have a couple of stories we’ll be shooting on the way out so because unexpected things always arise, we don’t plan to be driving every single day. But, every day that we are on the road, we will do our best to keep that 330 Rule.

That, of course, depends on us leaving. Even though we travel in a Class B campervan, it takes forever to get it packed and stocked….and Mike doesn’t help with all his camera and video gear and drone taking up all our storage space! If you wonder just what we do to get ready on a long trip like this, check out our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube as we will have a video coming out Thursday June 7 first thing in the morning showing the various things we did to prepare for this trip. 

We are planning on making a gazillion videos on this trip. Oh yeah, that reminds me to announce that those videos include a brand new weekly Live Webcast that we are doing at 9 PM every Sunday night. We call is “Ask Us Anything” and we go live from wherever we are to talk about what’s happening in the RV world and to answer whatever questions you sent in. We did our first one this past Sunday and it was a ball. We had SO MANY questions.  I can’t wait to go live this coming Sunday. We’re not sure where we’ll be. Maybe the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Maybe somewhere in Northern Wisconsin or Minnesota.

We should point out that if we are in a really remote location and we do not have a robust Internet connection, we won’t be able to go live. But most times we are just fine and we anticipate being able to do the program most weeks….  By the way… Bo will NOT be accompanying us on this trip. We have a lot of work to do there and on the way out and National Parks are not very dog friendly…so he will be staying with our daughter and her family in Michigan.

Ok. That’s what we are up to. Meantime, here is the RV News you need to know about this week:

Utah national park considering limiting daily visitors after record numbers visit Memorial Day
Officials at Utah's Zion National Park are studying plans to limit the number of daily visitors and require reservations to walk on popular trails after being overwhelmed Memorial Day weekend. A story out last week stated that 30,000 people visited Zion on Sunday alone, creating two hour shuttle bus waits, long lines on trails and overflowing trash cans. At Arches National Park, Memorial Day numbers were so overwhelming rangers had to turn people away and tell them to come back later. About 4.5 million people visited Zion in 2017, making it one of the more popular parks in the country. To read more click here.

Dog lost camping found after two months living in Utah wilderness
A Utah family whose dog ran away while camping found their missing pup last week, ending a two month search. Cooter, a mini Aussie, lost 16 pounds during his two months in the wilderness, was visibly malnourished, missing teeth, and covered with fleas and ticks. But the dog was thrilled to be home. A volunteer helped the owner find the missing pup, which got me to thinking back to an interview we did with a pet detective who offered valuable insight into how to keep your pet safe while camping. To read more about the story click here. To listen to the podcast, click here.

Officials considering gas and oil drilling one mile from Colorado national park
Federal officials are considering a plan to allow oil and gas development within a mile of Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The plan is something environmentalists oppose, and the Environmental Protection Agency is urging officials from Bureau of Land Management to consider air quality concerns before making a final decision. To learn more, click here.

Calling all snake hunters: Florida national park needs you!
Everglades National Park is seeking to hire about 120 paid snake hunters to find and kill Burmese pythons who are destroying the park's ecosystem, nearly wiping out bobcats, rabbits and other small mammals. The invasive species has been a problem for years, with park officials trying all kinds of things to get rid of them from bringing in python hunters from India, using volunteers, and other methods. Hunters will be vetted and could be working as early as July. To read more click here.

All Canadian national parks offering different 2018 free day

All of Canada's national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas are offering a free day in 2018. Many of these dates are different, meaning it is possible to visit many for free with a little planning. To learn 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

This week I received an email from a listener named Donna, who wanted to share a tip on an inexpensive item that she has found extremely handy.

Donna writes: "Hi Jennifer. I really enjoy listening to your and Mike's podcast. I have a tip of something I'd like to share with your listeners. It is about something I  always try to keep stocked in the camper -  a box of waterproof, disposable  shower caps picked up at the dollar store.

I know that sounds like a strange must-have camping item, but they are super handy! 

I use them to cover up plates of food when my husband and I are eating outside and we need to make a few trips back and forth to get everything on the table. The plastic shower caps are the perfect size to cover a large bowl, or our plates, and then I do not need to worry about flies or any other bugs getting at our food before we sit down.

I also use shower caps over my sneakers when I need to run into the camper for a minute but do not want to take the time to take off my shoes. I like to keep the floor clean, and found that taking off our shoes at the door really helps. But when I just need to run in for a minute and do not want to take the time to untie and tie my shoes, the plastic shower caps are perfect! I just slip them over my feet, go inside, and slip them off, and there is no mess.

My husband and I like to ride our bikes when we camp. I place a shower cap on each of our seats to keep them clean and dry when not in use.

I have even used the shower caps as a rain cover. Sometimes we'll be out for a walk and I want to use my phone to take a picture but it is raining. By putting the phone in the shower cap, everything stays dry, and I can still take my picture.

I hope this idea can help someone, and thank you and Mike again for all you do!"

Well thank you, Donna, for that tip! I never thought of using a plastic shower cap in so many ways, but those are all excellent ideas. I can see how the size, elastic and waterproof plastic could be very handy.

I looked online to see how much they cost and noticed the Dollar Tree sells an 8 pack of disposable shower caps for $1. Amazon also sells them. I found 100 clear waterproof and disposable shower caps selling for $6.99 at Amazon.  

I will put links and information on this idea in the show notes. 

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK 

Here are the questions we answered this week:

Yvonne asks about Mobile RV Repair Services and how to find one.

Look them up or ask the nearest RV campground. Every campground knows at least one RV Mobile Tech. 

Sharon asks can she use a regular metal roasting pan to roast vegetables in the Highpoint microwave/convection oven found in many RVs.

            Metal cookware should not be used in a microwave. Metal will not allow microwaves to penetrate; the food behind the metal will not be cooked. The metal could also cause arcing in the oven. Microwave convection ovens can use metal and foil safely during the convection cooking. But make sure it is used for convection cooking, not microwave! 

Rachel is a new Rver and solo traveler and wants to know how far ahead to plan for RV site reservations. Far in advance? The day of your travels? 

e-mail:

Hi...we were in the Upper Peninsula (MI) on a gravel road and our popular 190 started shaking so bad in the front end we had to go about 5 mph max...Some cars were whizzing past us. Anybody have this problem? Shocks? Tie rods? ball joints? We don't expect to try any 4 wheel drive roads but we'd like to be able to navigate the occasional gravel road. Thanks, Stefan 

            RVs do NOT like washboard roads. Also, many gravel and dirt roads are tarred and tar sticks to the rubber on your tires, gathers rocks and stones and makes the vehicle drive like you described. If that happens, you need to scrape the tar off.

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

  

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

As we noted at the top of the podcast, record sales continue and every month, thousands of new RVers are hitting the roads. But the question is….where will they all stay? The sad fact of the matter is there just are not enough campsites to keep place with the growth in RV sales. And many of the existing campgrounds are poorly kept up. Fortunately, all that is about to change as across North America, developers are building out new, modern, state of the art campgrounds that sometimes more resemble all-inclusive vacation spots than empty fields with electric pedestals.

In this week’s podcast, we talk to one of those developers who talks about the upcoming boom in RV resorts.

Our guest is Todd Burbage, a real estate developer specializing in commercial and hospitality properties operating in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Maine, New Jersey and North Carolina. Todd is head of Blue Water Development, one of a number of companies throughout North America that recognizes the need for more high-quality campgrounds and is working to meet it.

Blue Water's diverse portfolio includes five luxury RV resort properties: The Resort at Massey's Landing in Millsboro, DE, Chincoteague Island KOA in Chincoteague, VA, Cape Charles/Chesapeake Bay KOA in Cape Charles, VA, Flat Rock Bridge Family Campground in Lebanon, ME, and Hampton Lodge Campground in Coinjock, NC.

All these luxury campgrounds have one major thing in common: Sophisticated designs and superior amenities.

I invited Todd to help us understand what goes into making a modern RV campground. It’s much more than you think.

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: The Google Pixelbook

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless 

Living life on the road certainly has its perks - getting to see the countryside, meeting new people, and enjoying every kind of food imaginable. And for those working remotely from their RVs, having a mobile office solution that is a joy to use makes a big difference. Or just having a device that’s comfortable to use while paying bills, writing emails and doing research.

So let me introduce you to a device you’ve probably never heard of. It’s called the Google Pixelbook, and it’s a laptop that runs on an efficient and easy to use operating system called Chrome OS.

There are many many things I like about this laptop. First, it is easy to carry around. While the screen itself is a decent sized 12.3 inches, it’s only 4/10 of an inch thick! It lasts a long time on battery - up to 10 hours. And it can be charged by using your phone’s USB C charging cable.

Next the form factor. It can be used as a laptop with an attached keyboard that is one of the best I’ve used. Or you can bend it into a tent and watch streaming videos like Netflix. And finally you can fold it completely over and use as a tablet. It also looks really nice and feels durable.

Now onto Chrome OS. If you’re like me and hate waiting for a device to turn on, you’re going to love Chrome OS. It boots up in less than 10 seconds and because of how it’s built will never slow down over time. It also has access to the Google Play store meaning you can download apps to use on it like you would your phone. And it’s the first laptop with the Google Assistant built in so getting answers to your questions is as easy as talking to your Google Home.

And when it comes to connectivity, if you have a Google Pixel phone it can use instant tethering. This let’s the Pixelbook share your phone’s data connection without needing to even touch your phone. Or you can connect to any wifi hotspot.

Lastly, if you’re artistic or prefer to handwrite notes, you can using the Pixelbook Pen.

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

 

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

JUNE

7-10

Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

 
   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JUNE

25-29

Passport America

Music City USA Mega Rally

Wilson County Fairgrounds
Lebanon, TN

 

 

Direct download: RV195.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:14pm EDT

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