The RV Podcast (travel)

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

Episode 194: Why you need a Cell Phone Booster for your RV

 

We all rely on our cellphones when we’re traveling by RV but sometimes, we’re in remote areas where a cellphone signal is marginal at best. That’s where cellphone boosters come in. They make it possible to turn a weak signal into a strong one and this week, we’ll learn from an expert just why every RVer can use a cell booster. He’ll explain how they work, the different kinds available and how to choose the one best for you and your RV.

Plus, lots of RV news this week that you need to know about, some RV resources that will help you save money, RV tips and answers to your questions about the RV Lifestyle.

 

Show Notes for Episode #194 May 30, 2018 of The RV Podcast:

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

So much for easing into summer. It was 95 in Michigan on Memorial Day. A friend in Minneapolis said the temperature actually hit 100 there for a couple hours. For a lot of RVers out for the long Memorial Day weekend on their first campouts of the season, you just know those air conditioners got a big workout.

 

Talk about this heat reminds me of something our friend Laura Robinson recently posted on our Roadtreking Facebook Group. It’s a warning about walking your dog across hot parking lots or sidewalks and how fast your pet’s paws can be seriously burned. Listen to this: When the air temperature is 77 degrees, asphalt can heat up to 125 degrees. When the air temperature is 86, it can reach 136 degrees. And when the air temperature is 87 degrees, the asphalt can be 143 degrees. Since the experts say skin destruction can occur with just 60 seconds exposure to 125 degrees, the warning is very clear: Your pet’s paws will be burned if you insist on walking them across hot asphalt. Always check the asphalt prior to walking your pet. If it is painful to your hand, it will hurt your pet.

 

We’ll put a little graphic of that up with the shownotes for this episode. You can find it at Roadtreking.com/194. But that is very good advice. And it applies to hot sand and hot concrete, or hot rocks and granite as well. Our pets will follow us anywhere so its up to us to be responsible.

 

We’re getting ready to begin a very full summer season of travel. Mike had the tires rotated and balanced on our RV last week. This week, we’re doing an oil change, fluid and belt checks and a lot of preparation inside the RV. Mike has some new camera gear he’ll be taking on our travels this year and I’m doing a thorough cleaning. Once we take off next week for Montana, we’ll be on the road pretty much all the way through until we take a little break at Christmas.

 

One thing we and everyone else will notice is how much more expensive fuel is this year. After a few years of decline, prices are way up there again. Well over $3 a gallon for gas, about $3.25 for diesel. And the auto club is predicting that trend to continue for most of the summer.

 

Just as a comparison, last year at this time, the average for gas in the US was about $2.37. Diesel was $2.65. So both are up a little over 60-cents a gallon. We just out a video up on our RV Lifestyle You Tube Channel on three apps we use in our smartphones that help us find stations with the best prices as we travel.

 

Here’s something else we need to pass along relating to technology. The FBI and Homeland Security had a big announcement over the weekend about another hacking attack, this one directed at routers. The warning had to do with malware being injected in various routers, which many people have in their homes for their wifi setups. Let me quote from the release: “The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices.

The natural question for RVers us does this apply to mobile hotspots or devices like the WiFi Ranger, which many of us use?  Since both of those function, in effect, as mini routers, outfits that we trust like the Mobile Internet Resource Center recommends that, at the minimum, we should unplug and reboot those hotspots and RV routers.

 

OK… now three news stories thus week of interest to RVers, all relating to wildlife

 

Washington officials urging campers, hikers to review cougar safety tips after fatal attack

After two bike riders were attacked, one fatally, by a cougar in the woods outside Seattle last week, Washington officials are urging all campers and outdoor enthusiasts to review cougar safety tips. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said there are about 80,000 cougars in the state, which are most active from dust to dawn. Some tips include hiking in small groups, keeping camps clean, making sure small children in a group, and more. To read the tips click here, to read about the attack click here.



 

Camper out for a jog gored by bison at Canadian national park

A man was out for a morning run at Canada's Elk Island National Park when a bison charged him, goring him in the rear end. The man and his wife were camping at the park's campground. The man apparently left his wife sleeping in the tent when he went out for a morning jog and was attacked. He ended up in the hospital. For more information click here.



 

Whale watching business called 'wild west' in British Columbia

Have you ever been on a Pacific coast vacation and decided to take a whale viewing boat to sea? A story was in the Canadian news last week that showed 10 boats chasing around a pod of Orcas, and  is triggering a discussion about whether the whale watching business needs greater regulation. Some residents of British Columbia said they have seen 25 boats chasing around the giants for whale watching tourists. Because of this some predict tough new regulations out of Canada in the fall, with Washington state also studying the issue. Click here to read more.

 

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

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

 

Do you have a favorite campground where you return to again and again? You may visit annually, or maybe once every couple years. But have you ever started to make reservations at a favorite spot only to find you can't remember which sites were the best - and which were the ones to avoid.

 

Well, I recently stumbled across something on the internet that offers just the fix. It is a campground review sheet I found on a website called "All Those Details" produced by a woman named Sarah in the California bay area.

 

The sheets contain prompts where you write down the name of the campground, the dates you visited, the good and bad spots, where the closest diesel selling gas station is located, and other such details.

 

The page includes suggestions on what to list in each category. For example, under general details Sarah recommends describing such things as the shower and toilet condition, water source, and if it is quiet at night. 

 

In the spot for site details, Sarah recommends writing about how level the site is, how close the neighbors are and maybe something on the firepit.

 

The sheets on this website can be printed, easily filled out, then stored in a three ring binder. And the best part? it is completely free!

 

I could also see recording such information electronically on a database you create and keeping with you on your computer. And if you are boondocking,  versus staying at an official campground, recording descriptions of where you are so you can find it again could still be helpful.

 

I thought the idea of having an organized system for taking notes on the campgrounds we visit was excellent. I am looking forward to printing some of these sheets, and using them to better remember places in the future.

 

Here’s a link to the sheets that you can download - http://www.allthosedetails.com/campground-reviews/#more-1012

 

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. Visit WWW.RADPOWERBIKES.COM 

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

Joseph wants to retire and travel in an RV across the country, maybe settling down someplace nice for six months of the year. But his wife is not on the same page. He is asking for advice. We jump in both feet.

 

Dena is seeking info on the RV parks we stay at as we travel and wants us to share a list. Since we never know where we will stay until we’re there, we can’t help much. We share our style of traveling.

 

Lois asks about the American Coach Patriot  and wonders what we think about it. We will soon have a video on the Patriot Cruiser model. We give some quick impressions. Made by the REV Group, formerly Allied Specialty Vehicles, we saw them at an RV show in Phoenix a few weeks ago. The parent company makes buses, fire and emergency vehicles and now luxury conversion vehicles after some corporate acquisitions. They have Class A, C and B RVs…Besides American Coach, they have own the Fleetwood, Monaco and Holiday Rambler brands. Their Class B vans came from their acquisition of Midwest Automotive Designs, a super nice Class B and Luxuty van manufacturer in Elkhart, IN. We were very impressed by what we saw. That video on the Patriot model will be coming in a couple weeks to our YouTube Channel at RVLifestyleChannel.com. Subscribe and click the little bell icon when you do and you will be notified of new videos as they are released.

 

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

 

We all rely on our cellphones when we’re traveling by RV but sometimes, we’re in remote areas where a cellphone signal is marginal at best. That’s where cellphone boosters come in. They make it possible to turn a weak signal into a strong one and this week, we’ll learn from an expert just why every RVer can use a cell booster.

 

He is Josh Barnes, a Senior Product Line Manager for Wilson Electronics, maker of the popular Weboost line of cell boosters for autos, trucks and RVs.

I’ve been using the Weboost line in our RV for the past six years. I can’t begin to count the number of times my cell booster made all the difference in getting me a useable connection through my cell phone or Jetpack datacard.

 

In this interview, Josh explains how these systems work and how to determine what model may be best for you.

 

To get more information on the Weboost system and their various systems, use my special affliate link at: http://roadtreking.com/weboost

 

The model recommended for most RVs is the Drive 4G-X . Click on this Amazon affiliate link and you can see every part of the system and a video on how and where it can be installed.- https://amzn.to/2xnV0z4

 

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

 

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

With the kids’ summer vacation close at hand, they’re going to be looking for more freedom. But with that freedom can come some added dangers. Today, I wanted to talk about some apps that can help families out.

First, the Verizon Family Locator app. It helps you monitor where your children are at any time. Not only will you get email or text alerts when they get to or leave their friend’s house for instance, but you can also see their location as a pin on a map anytime you’d like.

Second, seasoned parents know that—like it or not—we all end up in the emergency room with our kids eventually. Luckily there’s an app to help you navigate that experience. The Family Medical Info app can store vital information on your family’s medical history, including lists of prescriptions, allergies and vaccinations along with any medical conditions. The app also allows you to contact your primary care physician or insurance rep with the tap of a button.

A companion app—ICE: In Case of Emergency—makes your child’s medical info available to EMTs and doctors even when the smartphone is locked.

For better parental control over your child’s digital interactions, Verizon Smart Family lets you govern when, how and with whom your child communicates, restricting their usage hours and limiting calls, text messages and purchase options. As an added bonus, it can help manage your child’s data usage—ensuring you don’t exceed your monthly limit.

And lastly, there’s always the scary thought in the back of a parent’s mind that their child could go missing while out in a crowd. Unfortunately, according to the FBI, more than 400,000 children are reported missing each year. That sobering statistic is why the FBI has created a free Child ID app (available for Android™ and iOS) with safety tips and advice on what to do in the event of a crisis.

The app lets you store up-to-date photos and information about your child that is vital to detectives in the critical first 48 hours of a missing person investigation. Simply use the special tab on the app to quickly e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks.

With any luck, you won’t need a lot of these apps. But it might just make you sleep better knowing you have them.

 

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

 

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

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: RV194.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:27pm EDT

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I love hearing from you!

 

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

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

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

 

By Tom and Patti Burkett

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

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

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

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

 

RESOURCE:

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

 

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY-JUNE

27-1

Escapade-Escapees RV Club National Rally

Missouri State Fairgrounds
Sedalia, MO

 
   

JUNE

7-10

Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

 
   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

   

JUNE

25-29

Passport America Music City USA Mega Rally

Wilson County Fairgrounds
Lebanon, TN

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 
   

JULY

18-21

FMCA International Convention and RV Expo

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities
Gillette, WY

 

 

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

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

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

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

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

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

Here's the RV News of the week…

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

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

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


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

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

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

I found one by Ruffwear Highland selling for $99.95 

Another one by Ozark Trail sold for $32.53

And there were several others.

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

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

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

I love hearing from you! 

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

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT   

By Tom and Patty Burkett

We're wondering if you remember Joe Palooka.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY

17-20

Tin Can Tourist Annual Gathering

Camp Dearborn
Milford, MI

 
   

MAY-JUNE

27-1

Escapade-Escapees RV Club National Rally

Missouri State Fairgrounds
Sedalia, MO

 
   

JUNE

7-10

Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 
   

JULY

18-21

FMCA International Convention and RV Expo

Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities
Gillette, WY

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

 

Mike is recovering fine from his elbow surgery.

 

Jennifer almost lost her key to the RV.

 

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

 

JENNIFER

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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

 

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

 

And we had a very nice email with some questions:

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

 

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY

10-14

Roadtreking Sonoma Wine Tour Gathering

Indian Leap Winery
Sonoma, CA

 
   

MAY

10-13

West Palm Beach Summer RV Show

South Florida Fairgrounds
West Palm Beach, FL

 
   

MAY-JUNE

27-1

Escapade-Escapees RV Club National Rally

Missouri State Fairgrounds
Sedalia, MO

   

JUNE

7-10

Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

 
   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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



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

 

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


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

 

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

 

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

 

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

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

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

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

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

The app is $3.99 for iOS and Android.

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

I love hearing from you!

 

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

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Silver Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

MAY

3-6

Puyallup RV Show

Washington State Fair Events Center
Puyallup, WA

 
   

MAY

3-6

Tin Can Tourists Bull Shoals Gathering

Bull Shoals Dam Site Park
Bull Shoals, Arkansas

 
   

MAY

5-6

Let's Camp America - State Park events

Participating State Parks
Across America
 

 

 

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

RV Podcast 189: The 2018 North American Camping Report

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

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

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

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

Both text you when they find an opening.

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

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

Among other findings:

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

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://legacyplaza.org/

pecans.com 

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

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

   

APRIL

26-29

Spring Hall of Fame RV Show

RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame
Elkhart, IN

 
   

MAY

3-6

Puyallup RV Show

Washington State Fair Events Center
Puyallup, WA

 
   

MAY

5-6

Let's Camp America - State Park events

Participating State Parks
Across America
 

   

MAY

10-14

Roadtreking Sonoma Wine Tour Gathering

Indian Leap Winery
Sonoma, CA

 
   

JUNE

18-22

Roadtreking Photo Safari at Glacier NP

Chewing Blackbones RV Park
Babb, MT

 
   

JULY

9-13

Roadtreking Natahalla River Wildwater Adventure

Smoky Mountains Meadows Campground
Bryson City, NC

 

 

 

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

RV Podcast 188: Finding places to boondock and RV downsizing

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

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

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

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

Shownotes for Episode 188, April 18, 2018

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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


National park day fee to rise $5 starting in June

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

Visit the national parks for free this Saturday

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

Tree falls on sleeping family in trailer, kills girl

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

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

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

QUESTION

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

OUR ANSWER:

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

QUESTION:

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

OUR ANSWER

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

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

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

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

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DESTINATION OF THE WEEK -  Georgia Aquarium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

RV SuperSaver Show

April 20-22

Century Link - Lee Sports Complex

Ft. Myers, FL​​​​​​​

 

 

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