The RV Podcast (travel)

 

In this episode, we talk about Walmart parking lots, one of the favorite overnight camping spots used by RVers when they need a quick place to spend the night.  Over the past couple of years, Walmart parking lots have been linked to story after story about high crime rates.

Many RVers, in fact, now stay away from them. Is the anxiety justified? We’ll answer a call from a worried listener and do our best to clarify the concerns and let you know our thoughts abut this.

Plus more of your questions, a great off the beaten path report, tips on saving money this shopping season and an interview with Mary Jane Curry on the top gadgets uou need in your RV kitchen.

Show Notes for Episode #170 December 13, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

Mike and Jennifer are both recovering from severe head colds. But the show must go on… 

We discuss a major change in direction for the Family Motorcoach Association - FMCA votes to allow owners of all self-contained RVs in 

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

RVers love their pets!  In fact, surveys show that one of the main reasons people buy an RV is so they can travel with their pets.

At a recent RV show in Louisville, we ran into our friends Mark and Dawn Polk, of RV Education 101. They travel with not one, not two but three dogs.

How do they do it?

We whipped out the recorder and asked Dawn for some tips…

Good advice from the Polks!

And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions about any aspect of 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

Hal is a new Pleasureway owner. He shares his travel plans. He likes the blog post we had some time back from Campskunk on staying in 70 degree weather and moving with the season all year

Peggy has a 2004 Chevy 190 from Roadtrek and needs to replace some of her old plumbing. She also asks for input on a composting toilet.

And despite some distortion on the call, Teri has a problem with swaying with her Serenity RV from Leisure Travel Vans. She’s looking for advice.

 And a caller questioned a recent guest’s worry about crime in Walmart parking lots. She’s looking for advice on straying there when needed.

 Here's our take:

Here are some recent headlines a quick Google search returns from over the last year or so:

From Bloomberg - Walmart's Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy

From NPR - Wal-Mart's Crime Problem Overwhelms Police Across 

From JR Security - Wal-Mart Parking Lots Are Virtual Magnet For Crime 

From the publication This Week - Why criminals flock to Walmart

From the NY Daily News - Violent crimes at Walmart top 200 this year as cops slam retailer 

Let me read this from Time Magazine: “Across the U.S., Walmarts have become a regular stop for law enforcement responding to calls. In Camden, The State reported in July that 187 of the police department’s 1,372 calls from January to June this year occurred at Walmart. The Tampa Bay Times found 16,800 calls to police for Walmarts in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties in just one year—four times the number of calls to Targets in the area—and amounting to the equivalent of two calls an hour. In Louisville, WDRB reported more than 9,200 calls for police at area Walmarts since 2012, by far the most of any location in the city. In April 2015, a Portsmouth, Va., Walmart was the scene of a fatal encounter between a white police officer and a black unarmed man accused of shoplifting. Police in Amherst, N.Y., recently discovered a meth lab inside a drainage pipe underneath a Walmart parking lot. And earlier this month, criminal charges were brought against three employees of a Florida Walmart Supercenter accused of fatally injuring a shoplifter who was trying to steal $380 worth of DVDs.”

And this from the All Stays RV site and app developer:

“There are some issues with parking in Wal-Mart parking lots but it is mostly a safe thing to do. You just to need to use common sense and look around the surrounding neighborhood as well. The location has a lot to do with the safety factor. There are some Wal-Marts in bad neighborhoods of some cities. Look around as you drive near the Wal-Mart store . If there are lots of other nice stores nearby, the police will be around. If there are bars on windows nearby, the police will also be around but you shouldn't be. It is all about what you are comfortable with yourself.”

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

No matter what size RV you have, storage room is always at a premium. Food preparation products and storage is one area every RVer needs to maximize for efficiency.

That's why we asked Mary Jane Curry, a Personal Chef and the RV Recipes writer for our roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog, to help us identify the best products we can get that will save space and efficiently use the RV kitchen. In this report, we visit her in her RV and she shows us her favorite Must-Have Products for the RV Kitchen.

To see the complete interview with Mar Jane demonstrating those RV kitchen products and more, check out the video version of the report at https://youtu.be/wr0kXmNEx24

Check out gear page at http://roadtreking.com/gear You'll find direct Amazon links to the exact products Mary Jane shows in the video.

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

Tis the season of giving and that also means there’s the biggest opportunity to snag some savings. So grab your smartphones because I’ve got a couple of apps that are going to come in quite handy as you hustle and bustle around doing your holiday shopping.

First up...an app called ShopSavvy. Let’s say you’re browsing at Best Buy and decide you want to buy a new FitBit. Before making the purchase, let’s make sure you’re getting the cheapest price by using ShopSavvy. Open the app, scan the product’s barcode and app goes to work checking other physical store locations and online to see how much it’ll cost elsewhere. And then you can decide if the savings are worth another stop along the way.

And if you decide you’re making the purchase at Best Buy, I’ve got one other app for you to check out. It’s called RetailMeNot. This app will use your phone’s GPS and know which store you’re visiting. Then it’ll check online and physical ads to see if there are any coupons or discount codes you can use to save even more money. I was recently at a mall in Cleveland and used the app to save shoppers anywhere from $10 - $50 on a transaction. And it’s so easy to use!

Last but not least, consider using your phone to check out. Samsung Pay, a free app for most newer Samsung phones makes it easy to pay with your smartphone at pretty much any store that allows you to swipe a card. In addition, Samsung Pay has additional deals at some retail locations, not to mention promotions and incentives for using your card. For instance, if you have any Gap Brands credit card and add it into Samsung Pay you’ll get up to $20 in gap gift cards just for paying with your phone.

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

By Tom and Patti Burkett

If you were a West Virginia coal miner, life was especially hard in the early 1930s.  The Great Depression had pulled the bottom out of the coal market, and there were no jobs to be found anywhere in the region.  When Eleanor Roosevelt visited a friend in Morgantown, she saw the terrible conditions in which out of work mining families were living and determined to do something about it.  She began to plan and to prod her husband Franklin.  In 1934, the first New Deal town was begun on 600 acres of farmland near Reedsville.  It was eventually named Arthurdale after the man from whom the property was purchased.
    Each mining family was offered a few acres of land, a kit house, a refrigerator, and a cow.  The family was required to build the house, learn how to farm, contribute to community efforts, and support themselves through the work of cooperatives.  Over time, Arthurdale included a forge, a furniture factory, a weaving cooperative, a tractor assembly shop, and one of the regions first gas stations.  One hundred sixty two houses were built from kits supplied by the Hodgson and Wagner companies.  The homes had indoor plumbing and electricity, a rarity at the time.
    Eleanor Roosevelt made this one of her pet projects.  She visited the community often, and became well known to the residents, who squabbled over the opportunity to partner with her at the square dances always held when she was in town.  Each year she attended the school graduation and handed out diplomas.  She insisted that each resident be paid a living wage, and help establish and promote the cooperatives.
    At its peak population, the industries were producing a substantial output of high quality products and might have succeeded but for the limitations of its location.  There was no easy access to shipping for the furniture, tractors, rugs, and farm goods produced, so the experiment eventually failed.  Some families moved away, others took jobs in nearby Morgantown as the roads and economy improved, and in 1947 the government sold off its assets and left town.  There were. eventually, more than six hundred New Deal towns, some more successful than others.  Among the best known are Roosevelt, New Jersey and Greenbelt, Maryland.
    In 1985 a group of local citizens bought the crumbling central core of the historical village and began to restore it.  Today you can visit the administration building, the forge, the gas station, one of the original Hodgson houses, and the community hall where Eleanor Roosevelt square danced.  The work here is currently being enhanced by the efforts of Americorps historians who are conducting research and restoration work.  Jane, our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, remarked that the organization would be happy to provide a campsite and electrical hookup to anyone willing to volunteer some time to the effort.
    Of the one hundred sixty two buildings originally built here, all but two are still standing.  Many of the residents are descendants of the coal miners who arrived in the years following 1934.  As travelers, we often visit nicely restored historical sites with finished museums and manicured lawns.  It was exciting, here, to see such a project in its early stages.  Some work is finished, but much remains to be done.  The bones of buildings are waiting to be put back in service.  Stacks of photos and historical documents sit on tabletops, undoubtedly hiding hidden treasures.  
    There’s even one of the original Wagner kit houses for sale at an attractive price.  Since our sticks and bricks house was built from a Sears kit, we were intrigued with the notion of about having our own piece of history in this place where our national government flexed its muscle on behalf of struggling citizens. We’ll definitely be going back.  Head south from interstate 68 on US 119 and look for West Virginia 92 south.  You could find us there, Patti and Tom Burkett, working on a fixer-upper off the beaten path.

https://arthurdaleheritage.org/

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

Direct download: RT170.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 8:14pm EST

This week, we meet the Russos, Joe and Kait, a California couple oin heir early thirties who quit their corporate jobs for a life of fulltime travel in an RV. We’ll hear their story, how it applies to you and the pros and cons of living in a van. Plus, lots of questions this week. Tech tips and a must-visit National Park that needs to be on your bucket list.

 

Show Notes for Episode #169 Dec. 6, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

We’re back home from Louisville and the big National RV Trade Show. We still have a couple of videos to do of interesting things we came across at the show. They’ll be up on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube soon.

 

We discussed two items in the news this week of strong interest to RVers:

 

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

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

We met lots of interesting people at the RV Industry Trade Show last week in Louisville. One of our new friends is Janine Pettit, who has become an ambassador for what is called the Girl Camping Movement. Janine was a recent guest on Episode 165 and talked with Mike at length about solo women campers.

But in Louisville, Janine and I got to talk about something that affects all of us. Unloading and cleaning our RVs after a trip.

We recorded the conversation and you get to listen in at

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

I love hearing from you!                          

 

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

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

A listener named Darrell heard our podcast last week from Louisville where we talked about the lack of campground spaces caused by the booming RV sales. He raises a related and equally serious issue: The shameful state of disrepair that characterizes some campground.

 

Listener Cheryl gave us some kind feedback about our recent video on our RV Lifestyle Channel on You Tube about our Top Ten Holiday Gift Suggestions for RVers.

 

Carl from Pennsylvania is worried about fire safety and RV refrigerators

 

David has a question about RVs and who does the repair on the various components of an RV

 

Jean is a new RVer who want to know about using an RV bathroom in the winter after the RV has been winterized with antifreeze

 

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

 Joe and Kait Russo are travel writers and videographers who live, along with their dog Leo, full-time in a Class B RV - but it didn't used to be that way. For years the Russos, originally from California, worked in demanding jobs with a desire for adventure and travel but little vacation time to do it. In 2015 all that changed, when Joe and Kait dramatically downsized, quit their 9-to-5 jobs, and decided to hit the road in an RV.  Joe recently wrote a book about their decision called:  "Take Risks: One Couple's Journey to Quit Their Jobs and Hit the Open Road."

RESOURCES

The book: https://www.amazon.com/Take-Risks-Couples-Journey-Russos-ebook/dp/B07566RT6B

 

Website: http://: https://weretherussos.com

 

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/weretherussos

 

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

I’m back this week with some more great gift ideas under $100.

First up...home automation the easy way with the Wemo Mini Smart Plug. You can add wifi capabilities to anything that plugs in. This smart outlet connects to your home’s wifi network. Now, anything you plug in from your coffee pot to holiday lighting can be controlled via a smartphone app. And when paired with a Google Home or Mini, you can control via voice as well!

Next...There’s no need to worry about running out of power when you’re packing the Kate Spade Slim Battery Bank. Its slim, sleek, design means it’ll fit in your purse or backpack with ease...not to mention it’s quite the attractive looking device. And with its built in lightning tip there are no connectors you have to worry about carrying around.

Finally music to keep you going this holiday season courtesy of the Braven Stryde 360. Durability, sound quality and looks - this bluetooth speaker has it all. And its convenient size makes it easy to carry with you anywhere. It’s also dustproof, waterproof and shockproof so you don’t need to worry about the elements hurting it. And if a call comes in while using it, no need to pick up the phone. Thanks to built in noise-canceling microphones, you can have clear conversations even in a noisy environment.

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

 

 When Verizon says better matters, they mean it. 

Only Verizon ranked highest in  leading network studies, in multiple tests, year after year that measure Network quality performance in the United States by RootMetrics for the fifth consecutive testing period. 

Can your network say that?

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

 

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Mesa Verde National park

 

The key attraction at Mesa Verde are the amazing archeological cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here between 600 to 1300 in structures built within caves and under outcroppings in cliffs. The ruins are the largest archaeological preserve in the United States, scattered across 81.4 square miles.

 

The park was created  in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt and there are lots of spots to see them and even crawl through them.

 

No one knows why the ancestral pueblo people settled here, in an arid and hot high desert. More mysteriously, no one knows why, after centuries of living here, they suddenly moved. But the sandstone dwellings are amazingly well preserved and the U.S. Forest Service does a great job

 

The Morefield Campground at Mesa Verde National Park is nestled into a scenic canyon some four and a half miles off US 160 from the park entrance. With 267 sites, it seldom fills up. That's because all but 15 are for dry camping only and of the 15 with full hookups, none accomodate RVs over 45 feet in length. The Class A congestion that turns so many other campgrounds into “tinominium “complexes is refreshingly absent here.

 

Each site has lots of space between its neighbors and native Gambel oaks, tall prairie grasses and wild flowers and make for a spectacular wooded canyon that abounds with wildlife.

 

See photos and a review of the park at http://roadtreking.com/mesa-verde-national-park-great-for-boondocking/

 

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.

 

Since 1917, the Steinbring family has been bringing you the best products and service within the transportation industry. The sales staff at Steinbring Motorcoach brings you decades of experience in the recreational vehicle industry and is celebrating 100 years in business and a 3rd generation family business. 

Along with being named a Blue Ribbon dealer by RV Business Magazine, Steinbring’s has been named a Top 50 Dealer numerous times including in 2015. Steinbring Motorcoach offers new and used Newmar Class A motorhomes as well as Roadtrek Class Bs. Also for sale are pre-owned coaches from popular brands such as Roadtrek, Winnebago, Itasca, Tiffin, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler and Monaco along with a wide selection of consignments.  

Whether you are looking for a Class A, Class B, Class C, a diesel pusher, gas or a toy hauler, you’re sure to find your next RV at Steinbring’s. 

Along with award winning sales, Steinbring Motorcoach offers award winning service.

 

 

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

20th Annual Palm Springs Area RV Show & Sale

Dec. 7-10

Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival Grounds 

Indo, CA

 

CLOSING

And so ends anther episode of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast.  Remember, if you would like to have your voice heard and be a part of the podcast, you can record a Voice Mail message by clicking the right hand button on the roadtreking.com website…. Please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. New episodes are released…every Wednesday. Join our mailing list… we send out a special newsletter to subscribers every Monday. And don’t forget our YouTube Channel, loaded with helpful videos on the RV Lifsetyle. Search YouTube for the RV Lifestyle Channel and you;ll find us. Till the next time, I’m Mike Wendland… Roadtreking across North America.\ So long everyone

 

 

Direct download: RT169.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:08pm EST

RT168 The Big Issues Facing the RV Industry for 2018

 

This episode of the podcast is coming to you direct from the 2017 RV Industry Trade Show in Louisville, KY. Taking questions and comments received over the past week from our Roadtreking.com blog readers, out Roadtreking Facebook Group and Page and our RV lifestyle Channel on YouTube, we’ve interviewed top leaders in the RV industry and identified the three biggest issues this booming industry needs to address as 2018 approaches. You’ll hear their responses in this podcast, plus much more.

 

Show Notes for Episode #168 Nov. 29, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

Jennifer and I have been in Louisville all week and we are actually doing this episode right from the show floor.

  • This show is not open to the public, just RV manufacturers, RV dealers, service techs and parts suppliers. Plus the RV media, of course
  • 2 million square feet of exhibitor space
  • Hundreds of new RVs for 2018
  • Seminars, accessory dealers, parts dealers and the elite of the industry.

 

We are moving from our standard podcast format to instead identify the three major issues and bring on industry experts to help shed their insights on what it means.

 

The three issues are:

  1. With a million new RVers this year, and another million expected in 2018, where will they take their RVs? Campground development is not keeping space with RV sales. What can RVers do? We’ll try to put it into perspective
  2. Our audience identifies RV service as another channeling issue. RV repairs are often hard to get done. Sometime, it takes weeks to get an appointment and when you’re out of town and need help, what can an RV owner do? What’s the industry’s effort to add more service personnel.
  3. RV quality is the third issue our audience raised. With manufacturers rolling our new RVs as fast as they can, many of our readers and viewers think quality has taken a backseat. What is the industry doing to insure the quality of the new RVs they are building in record numbers?

 

We’ll talk about these, in depth.

 

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 16 locations and growing

 

 

ISSUE #1 – With so many RVers on the road, where will they stay?

 

We discuss this with industry leaders

 

 

 

 This part of the podcast 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  

 

Issue #2 – The need for more service techs to repair and maintain RVs

 

We discuss this with industry leaders:

 

  • Marl Polk runs com, a website devoted to teaching RVers how to do it themselves. He shares his thoughts.

 

  • Bob Zagami is executive director of the New England RV Dealers Association. He says the problem is a serious problem and has helped pioneer some innovate ways for the industry to solve it.

 

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..

 

Issue #3: RV quality

 

Talking about this issue is:

 

  • Walter Cannon is a well-respected leader in the RV industry, specializing in safety and technical issues. He is the director of com and has extensive experience as a fulltimer. He puts the issue into perspective

 

 

 

This part of the podcast 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 Thanksgiving now behind us, we’re solidly locked into the holiday season. So do you know what you’re getting for those on your list this year?

Over the next few weeks I’ll bring you and your listeners some high tech options...starting this week with gifts under $100.

First up...the Google Home Mini. When it comes to adding smarts to your home, look no further than this doughnut sized device. Stick it in the kitchen, living room, bedroom or all three and when connected to wifi it’ll answer all of your burning questions, from what’s the weather like, to how to cook a turkey, to playing your favorite holiday songs. And all of that happens simply by saying, “Ok, Google.”

Next...sometimes your standard white lighting just won’t cut it. And that’s where the Philips Hue White Starter Kit comes in. These LED lights have their own built in wifi chip. And when connected to your home network, you can turn them on and off, automate them and even change the color temperature from cool daylight to warm relaxing light all through an app. These lights can also be connected to your Google Home device allowing you truly hands free control!

And finally the Chromecast Ultra - this is the dongle that truly does it all! Plug it into any TV or monitor. And using your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can cast YouTube videos, Spotify, Netflix and other content to the display with ease. Now you can bask in the warm glow by simply casting a YouTube fireplace video onto your TV

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

If you’re headed to or from Houston, or New Orleans, or Pensacola along the gulf coast, it’s easy to get on I-10 and zip through the bayou country.  If you do, you’ll be missing out on some entertaining and unexpected attractions.  After crossing on the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry at sunset, we drove on a couple of hours to Nibletts’s Bluff outside Vinton, Louisiana.  As we settled into our inexpensive full hookup campsite at this county park, we heard banjos and fiddles.  We’d arrived at the end of a five-day bluegrass jam that’s held here annually.  The music was pleasant, and the showers had plenty of hot water.  We walked out on a long fishing boardwalk that wound over the bayou about a foot above the water, but turned around when we saw a sign that warned ‘BE AWARE.  ALLIGATORS CAN JUMP.’
    Not too far down the road was the Gator Chateau.  This large roadside park is operated by the oil and gas industry association, and has a few exhibits explaining the history and process of mineral extraction along the Gulf coast.  But that’s not the real attraction.  A small building along the park drive offers the opportunity for you to hold an alligator.  When we stopped in, a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic young woman explained the do’s and don’ts before handing over a two foot gator to Patti.  Pools nearby held more of the reptiles, large and small.  
    Next door in a small gift shop, we told the clerk we were planning too stop at a nearby shop for some boudin.  We’d seen it advertised a number of places along our way.  “Well,” she said, “y’all can do that.  It’s pretty commercial.  If you want the real thing, you’d best head over to Billy’s, though, down at Scott”   Down the road it was then, to Scott, and at about ten in the morning, we stood in line for a good fifteen minutes for our turn at the counter.  Boudin is a sausage, particular to Cajun country, and it’s usually served with cracklings, which are deep fried bits of pig intestine.  We shared a mid-morning boudin ball and a small bag of cracklings as we drove on to the Atchafalaya Visitor Center.
    The Atchafalaya is the largest wetland in the United States.  Made up of bogs, cypress swamps, and marshes, it’s a nursery for hundreds of species and home to many of the Cajun folk of this region.  Acadians, French loyalists during the French and Indian War, were forced out of the Canadian Maritimes when the war ended in 1765, and settled here along the Gulf before the Revolutionary War.  Their unique music and cuisine have become part of our wider US culture over the past century.  The visitor center houses excellent displays about wildlife and ecology and offers an informative film.  Best, though, is the animatronic swamp critter band that looks like an escaped exhibit from Disney World.
    This coastline was devastated by hurricane Katrina, and if you drive along the coast itself, you’ll see countless lots for sale, and beautiful seaside mansions that can be yours for practically a song.  Remember, though, that they are uninsurable.  As you pass through Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, stop and see the angel tree.  During the hurricane, three humans and a Scottish terrier clung to this tree and were able to survive the storm surge.  The tree died from salt poisoning after the storm, but one of the survivors commissioned a sculptor to turn it into a depiction of angels.  There are many art trees along the coast, but this one is especially symbolic.
    From Galveston, Texas to the Gulf Islands National Seashore every mile of coastline and every interstate exit offers unexpected surprises that will play hob with the plans you made over breakfast.  Give in, and look for us, Patti and Tom Burkett, somewhere among the zydeco and etouffé, off the beaten path.

RESOURCES

http://www.niblettsbluffpark.com/

http://www.jeffdavis.org/tourism/attractions/gator-chateau.html

http://www.billysboudin.com/

http://www.atchafalaya.org/

 

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

 

Direct download: RT168.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 9:05pm EST

Episode 167: How to Find the Ultimate Camping Site in 2018

Before you start making your RV travel plans for the next camping season, you’ll want to listen to this week’s interview about a great resource for finding the perfect spot in public campgrounds. From state and out of the way municipal spots to outstanding boondocking campsites in state and national forests or other wilderness areas, our guest Ted Houghton has a resource that will truly help you find the ultimate camping spot in 2018. That’s coming up in our interview of the week in this episode.

Also this week, great RV tips, travel ideas, news affecting RVs and, of course, your comments and questions.

Show Notes for Episode #167 Nov. 22, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We share our Thanksgiving plans and talk about what parts of the RV Lifestyle we live that we are most thankful for over the past year. There are free entry days on Black Friday in state parks in several states.  Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, Arizona, Washington, California, Missouri, Michigan… here’s a link to the ones we’ve heard about https://gearjunkie.com/get-outside-black-friday-freebies-state-parks

We update Bo’s progress after six weeks of obedience training. So far…so good!

We talk about the big Recreation Vehicle Industry Association Trade Show coming up next week in Louisville and our plans to ask the questions and find the info our readers, listeners and YouTube viewers want us to dig out for them from the show. 

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

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

We received a great tip from a listener named Anne who emailed us two tips this week.

The first tip has to do with wet towels and where to hang them.

What Anne did was to purchase one of those tension bars that people use for closet organizers or even sometimes bathroom shower curtains. Ann set hers up across the back of the bathroom in the RV.

She says she set it about an inch from the wall and that it is perfect for hanging those wet towels. They dry perfectly, she says…and out of the way.

A second tip involves something available in various places like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Walmart and even some of those dollar stores. What she did was buy sock dividers. They’re normally used to keep socks neat in a drawer. But Ann uses them in her RV kitchen cabinet to keep drinking and wine glasses from falling over. Now, she says, everything arrives intact.

Thanks Anne for sharing those great tips

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Sue has a comment on how hard to is to find a service tech for an RV and wants to know what can be done about it. We comment.

Sandra wants to know about where to find resources about boondocking in Canada. We refer her to boondockerswelcome.com, which has nearly 300 spots listed on their handy membership site. Also ultimatecampgrounds.com. We interview the man behind that site in a few minutes but he lists more than 4,000 great spots to camp in Canada, many of them perfect for boondockers. He even has an app devoted just to Canadian public campgrounds.  We also like and are a member ourselves of HarvestHosts.com. They have more than 570 farms and wineries where you can camp for free in the U,S. and Canada. Also in Ontario, there’s mostly free camping on Crown land and conservation reserves, free to Canadian citizens for up to21 days – see https://www.ontario.ca/page/camping-crown-land

 

Email

First of all, let me tell you how much I enjoy your Roadtreking Newsletter.  I have learned a lot of tips from the two of you.  Thank you for sharing your experiences.  
My wife, Eileen, and I are the proud owners of a new RoadTrek Agile.  We took delivery of her in early October.  Although I have driven her around town and on two overnight outings, our first real road trip will be in mid-January when we will take off to Florida for several weeks or more.   Lake Superior and beyond. 
We live in the Twin City area of Minnesota.  I anticipate it will take us three days to drive out of the freeze belt when we leave on our trip in January (we tend to only want to drive for about 6 hours/day).  When I purchased the Agile, I had the dealer install heat pads on the bottom of the potable water tank, the grey water tank, and the black water tank.  I can turn those on until we get out of the cold weather to keep the contents of the tanks from freezing.  However, the water lines themselves are not insulated.  Is there a way to insulate them? Do I need to worry about the pipes freezing during the day as we drive down the road and at night when we are stopped?  The unit is currently winterized.  Would I be wise to wait until we are out of the freeze belt before I de-winterize it and fill the water tanks?  Likewise, do I want to winterize it again before I re-enter the freeze belt on our return trip?
We answer… recommending he stay winterized until it gets warm and then re-winterize when its time to return home

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

Our guest today is Ted Houghton, who has created a website that we believe is the most comprehensive and accurate resource you will find that lists public campgrounds of all types, in Canada and the US.

Ted has a great resource for finding the perfect spot in public campgrounds.

From state parks and out of the way municipal spots to outstanding boondocking campsites in state and national forests or other wilderness areas, Ted can truly help you find the ultimate camping spot in 2018.

His website is ultimatecampgrounds.com

Apps are available for all major platforms.

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

This year I want you and your listeners to own the holiday season. And with a little planning along with the following apps, you’ll be well on your way to doing just that!

First up...gift giving. It can be a pain to think up gift ideas or to remember what you got your special someone especially if you’ve been buying over the course of the year. That’s why I love the Gift Planner app for iOS and Christmas Gift List app for Android. Both of these free apps let you set a budget and stick to it. As you buy gifts just note who they’re for and the price in the app and you’ll see how much is left to spend. Easy as that!

Next up...my favorite part...saving money!

I’ve got a couple of great websites that also have free Android and iOS apps.

On the top of that list for me is DealNews.com. This site is great for gift ideation as you see what’s currently on sale in all sorts of categories from electronics to health and beauty. It’s a great way to get some ideas especially for the person that has everything. Be careful though as the deals are so tempting you may walk away with something for yourself as well!

And when you know what you want or where you plan to shop, I’ve got one more site for you to check out - RetailMeNot.com. Let’s say you want to pick something up at the Gap, for instance. Just go to the site and type in Gap - you just might be surprised to find coupon codes that will save you 10% or more on your purchase. It’s not going to have something for you every time but definitely worth checking out before you press the buy button.

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 -  Bronner’s in Frankenmuth

Bronner’s is America’s Christmas store. You’ve probably seen the billboards urging you to visit them all across the country. They are located in Frankenmuth Michigan, about an hour and a half north of Detroit.

The store is called America’s Christmas Wonderland and as soon as you walk inside, the sights and sounds and spirit of Christmas will surround and overwhelm you.

The store is huge – the size of one and a half football fields. They have over 50,000 gift items, trims and decorations.

It is the largest Christmas store in America, first opened in 1945.

And it's crowded, especially at this time of the year. Over the three-day Black Friday weekend, 50,000 people will have shopped at Bronner's.

Bronner's and Frankenmuth make for a great RV trip. There are two fully equipped campgrounds within spitting distance of the store. They are, alas, closed this time of the year. But there are lots of RV spaces in the Bronner’s parking lot, although no overnight stays are allowed. The store is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter Sunday.
A few years ago, we drove our RV up to Bronners and had it decorated in what turned out to be a really fun story. Here’s a link to it on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube - https://youtu.be/6-O_EOb8XAY

 

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.

 

Direct download: RT167.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:06pm EST

Episode 166: Camping’s Dirty Little Secret

We have a jam-packed show for you this week. First off, we’ll tackle the dirty little secret of the RV industry. Yes, they are indeed selling lots and lots of new RVs. Setting sales records seemingly every month. But what they don’t tell you is that you’re going to have a very difficult time finding a place to camp in that RV because we’re not building campgrounds fast enough to keep up with all those new RVers. We’ll tackle this issue in our question of the week segment coming up in a couple of minutes.

Also…

We RVers love our dogs. Many in fact, cite traveling with a dog as one of the chief reasons they even have an RV! But here’s the deal: Dogs are….well, dogs. Not people. And too many of us do a disservice to our pets by treating them as if they were human.  In this week’s podcast, we get some great advice from a professional dog trainer about traveling with our dogs and making the experience enjoyable for our pets as well as ourselves.

Plus lots of audience comments, questions, tips and more all coming up in this episode of The RV Podcast.

 

Show Notes for Episode #166 Nov. 15, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

Bo is back – You can see the reunion at https://youtu.be/mCEuuy71E28  We share how his training went and what it’s like having a Smart Dog.

We are at our sticks and bricks home in Michigan for the next couple weeks. We’ll send Thanksgiving here and then hit the road again, traveling to Louisville for the annual Recreation Vehicle Industry Association annual Trade Show.

Our 2018 Travel Schedule is slowly coming together. Many of or destinations will be anchored around one of the many Roadtreking gatherings we will be attending across the country. You can see a full list of those gatherings at http://roadtreking.com/2018-calendar/

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 - Stopping those weird noises from your RV heater

There are a lot of moving parts in our RVs. And we’re not talking just about the engine We’re talking about the appliances and the RV accessories that we use on every trip…. Things like the heater.

Sure, there’s usually a manual that comes with the gadget. But owner’s manuals don’t necessarily cover everything.

We got a great tip this week from a listener named Bob whose,  Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL uses the Alde heating system. Bob’s heater made some weird noises and he shares with us how he fixed it in this week’s Tip of the Week…

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Listener John noticed the big boom in RV sales but is worried that with all those new campers out there, where will they go? Finding an open campsite without making a reservation long in advance grows more difficult each day. He asks for Mike and Jennifer’s thoughts on the issue. We’re more than willing to weigh in on this issue, which is really the dirty little secret of the RV industry.

Via email:
My husband and I bought a 2003 190 Roadtrek with 210,000 miles on it. It currently has 4 captain seats and I'm wondering if it's possible to put a twin bed where the seat behind the driver is. Also, can I expect this 3500 engine to go 300,000 if it's well care for? I know there are no guarantees. Thanks. Debra

I love following your Roadtreking podcast and hearing about your adventures together. I read that you are going to be at your 'sticks and bricks' home through Thanksgiving, then you are leaving Michigan. Do you plan and follow an annual travel calendar, with some months set aside to be on the road, and other stay at home months? My wife and I are considering retiring to a state like Michigan, and don't think we'd want to spend the whole winter there, but were wondering what would be the best months to be home, and to be RVing. Thanks, and Happy Roadtreking Travels! Carlos

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK  - Lea DiBella, Smart Dog LLC

Lea DiBella is the owner and head trainer at Smart Dog LLC, the Metamora, Michigan – based company that we choose to have Bo trained at. For six weeks, Bo stayed with Lea and was trained to obey

16 basic commands. Now that he’s back with us, we are thrilled at the changes in his behavior. He’s still the fin-loving, friendly and enthusiastic dog we had before, but now he is obedient, doesn’t pull on the leash, comes the first time he’s called, every time.. and much more.

But I wanted to have Lea on the program this week not to talk so much about the training but about the way we treat our canine companions. Too many of us, and I’m talking about a lot of RVers here, treat our dogs as if they were human.

They are not. They’re dogs. A different species. And we do harm to them when we treat them as if they are human, no matter even if the motivation is love on our part.

If you think that means you can’t still shower them with affection, even spoil them a bit, you’ll learn from Lea that…you still can. I think you’ll enjoy her insights and her tips for traveling with our pets.

See how Lea trained Bo in this video I shot the day she brought him back to us as a trained “Smart Dog.” https://youtu.be/mCEuuy71E28

You can reach Lea through her website at https://www.smartdogllc.com/

Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Smartdogllc/

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 holiday stress not yet upon us, now’s the time to start pulling together those great gift ideas for you and your loved ones.

And I’ve got one to add on to your list this year - Google Pixel Buds.

These are bluetooth wireless headphones that provide amazing sound and one touch control of your music along with access to your Google Assistant.

That’s right, thanks to its built in microphone, when a question pops into your head at any time, just tap on your Pixel Buds and ask away.

That means quick access to whether there’s snow in the forecast, how tall this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is, and what Santa is up to at the North Pole.

But get this...what’s absolutely mind-blowing about the Pixel Buds, is live language translation when you pair them with an original Pixel or Pixel 2 smartphone. Just imagine heading to Europe to celebrate the holidays in Germany and being able to carry on a conversation in German when you don’t speak a word yourself. Instead as you speak english your phone will speak out of its speaker in German. And when the person you’re talking to talks in German you’ll hear english in your Pixel Buds. How cool is that?!

You can learn more about the Google Pixel Buds at VerizonWireles.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 -  Pompey’s Pillar

In eastern Montana, the Yellowstone River is lined with rimrock cliffs that extend more than a hundred feet in the air.  They posed a substantial obstacle to settlers moving west, as well as migrating herds of bison, deer, and elk and the wolves that followed them.  At one point, about thirty miles east of Billings, a pillar of rock rises from the prairie, seemingly chunked out of the wall and moved across the water.  From many angles it’s easy to miss this huge feature, but the resulting gap provides a way past the rimrock, and the pillar has been a guidepost to travelers for centuries.    
    This rock monolith is now a national monument, and our daughter Maggie just spent a season working there as a park ranger.  We’ll let her tell you a bit about it.
    In the summer of 1806, William Clark was traveling down the Yellowstone River with part of the Corps of Discovery, including their guide Sacajawea and her infant son Jean-Baptiste, affectionately nicknamed Pomp by Clark.  They had separated from the rest of the group at Travelers Rest, four hundred miles to the west.  Lewis took another group north to explore the farther reaches of the Marias River, planning to meet up with Clark a month later at the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone.
    Clark and his party intended to travel on the river, but had not been able to find trees large enough to make suitable canoes.  When one of the party was injured, they were forced to make do with the best trees they could find in the area, and spent several days hollowing cottonwood logs.  The river journey was uneventful until they reached the pillar, which Clark named in honor of Jean-Baptiste.  Pompy’s Tower was later renamed Pompey’s Pillar by the editor of the Corp’s journals.  Look back at the Roadtreking blog from October of 2015 and you can find Mike’s enthusiastic report of visiting the pillar.  The visitor center is closed for the winter, but you can still walk in and visit from dawn to dusk, and all the facilities will be open again in May of next year.
    Summer is a good time to visit, because you can experience Clark’s Days.  Free admission and camping, Native American dancing, cowboy poetry, live music, campfires by the river, bird walks, stargazing, traditional foods, and historic reenactments.  It’s a big deal!  Check the park website foe dates.  Last year it was at the end of July.  If you come, try not to miss the cabin.  It’s the old visitor center, at the foot of the Pillar, and has an extensive display of native Montana wildlife.  You can touch the pelts of bison, fox, wolf,  and grizzly bear.  Summer is also the time to see yellow-bellied marmots, who make their home in the cracks and crevices of the Pillar.
    We had a great visit, and went on west to see several other sites from this amazing chapter of our national history.  Among them was a visit to the National Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, outside the east entrance of Glacier park.  This museum sits on a dusty woebegone plot of ground across from a diner and the grandly-named Glacier Peaks casino.  It’s a completely nondescript 1940s brick building, and it looked uninhabited when we stopped in the parking lot.  Don’t be fooled.  It would be a shame to miss the rich and varied displays of native textiles, pipes, and other crafts found inside.
    We also took time to watch a thirty-minute film called Two Worlds at Two Medicine, a Blackfeet Indian documentary of the only fatal encounter in all of Lewis & Clark’s travels.  It was instructive to see the event, in which two young Blackfeet braves were killed and Lewis nearly lost his life, from the perspective of the indigenous people.  We had lunch at the casino, too.  The hamburger and rice soup, served in styrofoam bowls was nothing to write home about, but the hot fry bread that came with it was outstanding.
    You can find Lewis & Clark sites across the west, and every one of them will be worth the time you take to stop and explore.  Poke your head into the Lewis & Clark Caverns near Three Forks or look at Oscar Howe’s murals in Mobridge, South Dakota.  Come see us at Pompey’s Pillar and I’ll tell you about Sergeat Pryor and the bull boats he made from bison hides.  And while you’re out there, look for my parents, Patti & Tom Burkett, wandering around off the beaten path.

Resources:

http://roadtreking.com/pompeys-pillar-a-must-stop-in-montana/

https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/lewisandclark/pom.htm

https://www.doi.gov/iacb/museum-plains-indian

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.

Direct download: RT166.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:44pm EST

Episode #165: The Girl Camping Movement

No, I’m not being politically incorrect. There really is a Girl Camping Movement and it is one of the fastest growing segments of the recreational vehicle movement.  Women old and young are following their dreams, buying an RV and traveling the highways and byways of North America. In this week’s episode, we talk to the leading ambassador foe the Girl Camping Movement, who has a lot to teach us all about the joys of traveling with an RV.

Plus, we have RV news, Tips and travel ideas…all coming up in this episode of the RV Podcast.
Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

Show Notes for Episode #165  Nov.8, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’re back home in Michigan after pretty much two months on the road. We’ll be here through Thanksgiving, then we head to Louisville for the annual trade show by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.

We get to be reunited with our dog BO tomorrow. Bo has been in special advance off-leash training while we’ve been traveling. We’ll shoot some video and show you how he’s done.

Speaking of dogs, we had lots of reaction to last week’s topic in episode 164 about the scandal of fake service dogs. It’s become a national disgrace and we’re sorry to say, a lot of RVers are involved, registering their dogs as service animals when, in fact, they have had no real service dog training and the registration is just a sham so they can take their pets with them wherever they want. We had lots of calls, comments and emails about this but we want to play one of them that illustrates why these fake service dogs create so many issues.

We played a voice message from Kathy who owns a real therapy dog and is being penalized because there are so many fake service dogs out there. Therapy dogs provide a real service. They are registered and trained and visit hospitals, special needs centers, hospices schools, nursing homes, and other facilities. They are owned by caring volunteers who are willing to share their special canines to bring smiles and joy to people, young and old alike.

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 16 locations and growing

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

OK…this week’s tip comes directly from Jennifer’s School of Hard Knocks.

Yes, I learned this tip the hard way. And it happened this past week as we were packing for a long 1,000-mile trip from Florida to Michigan

After we started loading up the RV last Friday, we went through our usual routine of bringing in all the clothing, the food items and the related things we needed for the trip home.

When I went to the lower storage cabinet next to our refrigerator, I noticed a smell. Not a dirty smell… a clean one! A very clean one.

You guessed it, my dish soap had spilled… all over the bottom of the cabinet.

It was a mess. Dish soap t had even leaked out f the cabinet onto the floor of the RV.

It took pretty much a whole roll of paper towels and 15 minutes on my hands and knees sopping up the mess. And then we had to wait another hour to resume packing for everything to completely dry.

The lesson? Store your cleaning supplies in a container, were they can’t tip over.

I should have known better. But now you do. Hope my hard luck lesson will spare you the extra and needless work I went through.

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Sandy has a question on turning up the heat in her new SS Agile motorhome…

Viccy has a concern about her excessively noisy Webasto Heater on her Roadtrek coach. After giving our thoughts, we refer both to Roadtrek’s special support line at 800-663-0066

We just did a video on YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel about our Alde heater. You can find it at http://rvlifestylechannel.com

A listener wants to travel in his RV to Alaska but is seeking to go with a group. We offer some thoughts and refer him to our Facebook Group at http://facebook.com/groups/roadtreking

 

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – The Girl Camping Movement

Our guest today is Janine Pettit, who’s has become an ambassador for the fast-growing Girl Camping movement.

 

She encourages women to go places and do things on her podcast Girl Camper, on her blog for Go RVing, her Facebook Page and through her frequent public speaking engagements.

She is a lifelong lover of camping who took a 25 year sabbatical when she married a non-camper!

She discovered that camping was still in the cards for her when she stumbled onto an article about a women’s outdoor adventure group that travels around the country in RVs, meeting new friends, checking off bucket list adventures and doing things she had only dreamed of.

Girl Camper Resources Mentioned:

Sisters on the Fly

GirlCamper.com

 

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

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

Now that it’s November, folks are already starting to talk holiday, which means family gatherings, gift shopping and meal prep.

Thankfully, help is available thanks to today’s technology.

Google Assistant on your Pixel 2 can help with a variety of cooking tasks. Just squeeze the sides and ask for a recipe to cook the perfect turkey or a substitution for butter in mashed potatoes if you run out at the last minute. In addition, when it comes to taking the picture perfect family photo, you’re covered thanks to a best in class camera as well as portrait mode. And with unlimited photo and video storing for Pixel 2 users - you never have to worry about running out of space.

We know your hands aren’t always going to be clean (or free) in the kitchen. So simply say, “Hey Google, play some holiday music” to create a festive atmosphere from your Google Home Mini  without lifting a finger. And if you have multiple google homes in your house you can link them all together and make the music play throughout.

Set and name multiple cooking calendars so you can juggle everything at the same time. Just say, “Hey Google, set a 3 hour time called turkey” and you’re set.

Step by step cooking instructions are now available as well. Just search on your device for a recipe then click on the “Send to Google Home” button. Then say “Ok Google, start cooking” and it’ll walk you step by step through the recipe!

If you find menu planning challenging, you’ll want to try the Food Planner app. Create your own recipes or import the ones you find from any website. Input an inventory of the ingredients you have on hand and Food Planner will create a grocery list of items still needed.

And if you really want to make sure your turkey doesn’t go a-fowl, make sure you download the Butterball Cookbook Plus App to your device. From selecting the right size bird, to adding the right sides and seeing the recipes come to life in video, this app has it all.

Looking to warm up your environment but don’t have a fireplace? No worries. With a flat screen TV and Chromecast Ultra you can cast a high definition virtual fireplace into your home. Then after dinner use it to stream a heart-warming holiday movie.

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 -  Watch the Blue Angels Practice

The Blue Angels is the U.S. Navy’s flight exhibition team, made up of aviators form the Navy and Marines. Each year, they perform before 15 million people in exciting air shows all across the country.

But here’s a great tip: If you’re down along Florida’s panhandle from March through October, you can watch them practice twice a week. It makes for a great RV Sidetrip, as we show in the video at https://youtu.be/xn7JmyQmp_w

For more info and a schedule of practices for the team, go to http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/attractions/blue-angels/

 

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.

 

 

Direct download: RT165.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:08pm EST

Episode 164: The Fake Service Dog Scandal

We have lots to talk about this week. We’re going to start off with a discussion about a very controversial topic: The proliferation of what is being called fake service dogs. It’s becoming a national scandal and I’m sorry to say, a lot of RVers are involved, registering their dogs as service animals when, in fact, they have had no real service dog training and the registration is just a sham so they can take their pets with them wherever they want.

We’ll also talk about a big RV trend… renting out your RV. There are now dozens of companies that are serving those who want to rent an RV for a vacation – just like out rent a vacation home. And the fleet of rental RVs come from RV owners who want to make some cash for their RVs when it would otherwise be just sitting in storage or their driveway.

Plus your questions, comments and RV news, tips and suggested trips….all coming up in this week’s episode.

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 #164 November 1, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

It’s November. Snow is flying around the upper Midwest but we’re still in sunny and warm Florida.

We want to talk about a growing national scandal involving service dogs.

Today, any pet owner can go online and buy a vest for a dog to pass it off as a service animal to gain access to restaurants, hotels and places of business. 

Across the country, at least 19 states are considering legislation that would crack down on pet owners who claim their animals are service animals. Still more states are considering implementing them,

Most of the laws hit anyone misrepresenting their animal as a service animal with fines up to $500.

There are an estimated 20,000 real, service dogs in the US; they are specifically trained to do tasks for a person with a disability and can help with disabilities ranging from vision impairments to seizures to autism and more. However, there are tens of thousands of other animals that have various pieces of service dog ID cards or vests that are available online by simply paying a fee. Just Google service dogs and you’ll see the ads.


Passing off your dog as a service dog, when in fact it is not, is causing an uproar in the community for those who actually need one. An organization, Glad Wags Service Dogs, is making it known that "fake service" dogs are causing a huge problem, and it needs to stop, citing incidents in which non-service-animals have misbehaved in places they shouldn't have been allowed, casting real service animals in a bad light—or, in some cases, even injuring an actual service animal.

Case in point: An incident in Sacramento just over a week ago, when a pblind man’s working service dog was attacked by a pit bull whose owner falsely claimed the pet was a therapy dog. 

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal to ask about a person’s disability, require medical documentation, require special identification for a service animal or ask for the service animal to demonstrate the tasks it’s trained to do. And while the ADA was created to protect people with special needs from discrimination, sadly it does not thwart those who are able-bodied and seeking to take advantage of the service animal privilege.

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 16 locations and growing

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

 This week’s tip comes from a dental hygienist we met on a recent roadtrip. We were visiting around the campsite and she shared how important it is to keep our teeth cleaned while on the road.

Thanks Joanne for a good reminder. So good, that I went out and bought a water pic myself that we now take with us on all our travels. 

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!

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear 

 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

Larry wants to know our thoughts and experience with a 4x4 Roadtrek

Jerry asks for help on buying a used Roadtrek somewhere in the SE… we suggest the checks the used inventory for sunshinestatervs.com or campersinn.com or the for sale by owner section in the Roadtrek International website at http://www.roadtrekchapter.org   For used RVs elsewhere in the country, of all brands, check the sites of vancityrv.com and SteinbringMotorcoach.com 

Among email questions we received this week:

What is the best way to remove snow from the solar panel on my Roadtrek?

Thanks, - Fred Young

We are travelling with a truck and camper in Quebec, Ontario now then to Florida. Where can we find dumpsites and water fill ups off season. Thanks. We suggest using the RV Dumps app from All Stays.

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas Nevada, Kalispell ,Montana and now Colorado Springs, Colorado. Specializing in Class B and C Campervans.

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

The peer-to-peer rental movement that is so popular with websites like Vacation Rental By Owner and Air bnb is sweeping the RV business like a wild storm.

There are so many companies and dealers that now rent RVs that just keeping track of them can be quite a task.

One of the newest is a firm called Campanda It started in Europe and has moved to the U.S. We recently talked to Nick Kubasek, the Chief Operating Officer of Campanda who shares with us how this movement is good for those interested in trying an RV out for short term rentals and for RV owners, who wan5t to make some extra cash by renting out their RVs when they would otherwise not be in use.

Meanwhile, Campanda is far from alone. There are so many RV rental companies out there that we thought we’d share a list for you. By no means is this list comprehensive, nor do these firms necessarily have our endorsement, but here is a sampling of a few RV rental companies we found when we searched the web.

Some other RV Rental companies:

AIRBNB.COM - below is michigan RVS for rent but could say any state

https://www.airbnb.com/s/Michigan--United-States?type=rv&listing_types%5B%5D=32&s_tag=8mdpCMAD&allow_override%5B%5D=

Apollo RV

http://www.apollorv.com

Britz Motorhomes Hire USA

http://www.britz-usa.com

Camper Travel USA

https://www.campertravelusa.com

Cruise America RV Rentals

https://www.cruiseamerica.com/rent/

El Monte RV

https://www.elmonterv.com/rent/rvs-we-rent/

Escape Campervans Rental USA

https://www.escapecampervans.com

Family RV http://www.familyrv.com/special.cfm?ID=750

General RV Rentals 

http://www.generalrv.com/rv-rentals

Great Alaskan Holidays (rents RVs in Alaska only it appears)

https://www.greatalaskanholidays.com

Lost Campers Campervan Rentals

http://www.lostcampersusa.com

Motorhome Republic

http://www.motorhomerepublic.com/aboutus.html

RVshare

https://rvshare.com/rental-discounts?semid=google.nb&placement=g&campid=945028445&adgid=45150523137&keyword=b.%2Brv%20%2Brentals&copyid=224757332834&kwd-297245821641&device=c&camptype=search&gclid=CjwKCAjw4KvPBRBeEiwAIqCB-Y4m2fX-u4eIAw48M7LM9EtSkxZ2QbYgJ4nsvtM4fmjvWCplpjvzYBoCn-MQAvD_BwE

USA RV Rentals

http://www.usarvrentals.com/rentrv_howItWorks.php

Vroom Vroom Vroom RV Rentals

https://www.vroomvroomvroom.com/rv-rentals/

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 advent of Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, our homes have never been smarter. And now some new additions can help inexpensively expand those smarts to our RVs and beyond!

Take the new Google Home Mini for instance. You get access to all of the Google Assistant in something the size of a doughnut! All it needs is a power outlet and wifi to work.

That means you could easily put it in the bathroom, bedroom or RV and have access to the news, weather, your calendar and even your wifi lighting and Nest all via voice.

And since Google Home Mini can recognize the difference in voices, when you ask Google what your day looks like it’ll know to read off your calendar rather than your child’s.

Also, Google Home Mini is able to make phone calls and use your number so people know it’s you.

And if music playing is really what you want out of your smart home, then you definitely should check out the Google Home Max.

This smart speaker packs in the same features as the Google Home and Google Home Mini and with dual 4.5” woofers, it’s made for the ultimate in high fidelity sounds. In fact, Google Home Max is so smart, it adjusts the sound it’s pushing out to best match the acoustics of your room - so your music always sounds great. And if you want the same music playing on your chromecast in the living room as your Google Home mini or Max upstairs, just create a group in the Google Home app.

Google Home Mini is available now at any Verizon store or at verizonwireless.com. Google Home Max will be available just in time for the holiday shopping season. 

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 -   Pisgah National Forest

By Tom and Patti Burkett

When you’re heading south next time, especially if your path takes you close to the Great Smoky Mountains, carve out some time to drive the Forest Heritage National Byway in the Pisgah National Forest.  More later on specific sights along the route, but first we’d like to share a taste of the fascinating story of this spectacular piece of the mountains.
   If you have any exposure at all to the history of our national parks, you’re probably familiar with the name of Gifford Pinchot, and if you boondock in the national forests, you owe him a debt of gratitude.  Gifford’s father James made a fortune in lumber in the nineteenth century, but became increasingly distressed by the way forest management left the land barren and unproductive.  He convinced his son to attend the National Forestry School in France.  Upon his return, the two of them turned the family home, Gray Towers, into a forestry culture nursery and demonstration project.
   Meanwhile, Fredrick Law Olmsted was completing the design for the Biltmore Estate outside Asheville.  Vanderbuilt had purchased thousands of acres of logged out grazing land adjoining the estate, and Olmsted was determined it should be returned to forest.  He hired young Gifford Pinchot to oversee the work.  The Biltmore Estate became home to the Biltmore Forest School and known as the “cradle of American Forestry” under Pinchot’s successor, Carl Schenk.  Pinchot and his father went on to endow the Yale School of Forestry in 1900.
   Gifford Pinchot coined the term conservation ethic and, with the help of Teddy Roosevelt, established the value of publicly held forests as a resource for both commerce and recreation.  He served in congress and twice as governor of Pennsylvania.  So back to the Byway.  Get on US 276 south off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you’ll soon come to the Cradle of Forestry Center.  Here you can dig a bit deeper into the history, and much more.  Ride a helicopter simulator as it fights a forest fire.  Look at the animals that live beneath the forest floor.  See the cabin where forestry students lived in the early days of the Biltmore Forest School.  This is the actual property Pinchot and Schenck restored.
   Head on down the byway and you’ll soon come to Sliding Rock.  This is one of those places that might have disappeared in these liability conscious days, but not so.  A shaded forest stream runs over a huge slab of rock as it passes down the hillside, and you can climb on out and ride it down.  It’s fabulous fun, and holds a few surprises for first time visitors.  There’s a bathhouse onsite for changing, and it costs a couple of dollars to park.
   Farther along the road is Looking Glass Falls, a spectacular cascade right beside the road.  Trailheads lead into an area that is full of water features—streams and little rills, and wildflowers in season.  Just before leaving the National Forest (formerly part of the Biltmore Estate), you’ll find the lovely Davidson River campground and a well-designed visitor center.  Many of our national forests include scenic byways, and this one is especially rich in things to see and do.  We’re Patti & Tom Burkett, and you may well find us here, off the beaten path.
Resources:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5366049.pdf
https://cradleofforestry.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv228RlQs5A 

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.

 

 

Direct download: RT164.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 6:32pm EST

Episode 163: How a high tech RV is helping restore communications to Puerto Rico

 

We’ve all heard of the horrible devastation still affecting Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Nearly a month after the storm, water and electricity are in scarce supply. Cellphone service ranges from spotty to nonexistent, landline telephones are out, banks and many businesses are shuttered, cars are damaged and roads blocked. For many, work and school still have not resumed and there’s been no outside communication with friends and family

 

Helping out is he Erwin Hymer Group of North America and their special mobile research lab equipped with a Kymeta satellite antenna for the Internet, part of a humanitarian effort sponsored by Liberty Cablevision, the islands cable TV and broadband provider.


We caught up with Joe Raetano, the director of advanced research and Development for the Hymer Group, who explains how valuable the Internet Satellite system on his Roadtrek advanced mobile Lab is in helping island residents reconnect. We interviewed Joe over a satellite phone connection made possible by that Kymeta antenna on his RV

 

That’s coming up in the interview of the week segment in just a few minutes. But also in this episode, your questions and comments, RV tips and news and much more… but first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride…Jennifer.

 

Show Notes for Episode #163 October 25, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

 

We had a great spontaneous meet-up this past weekend with many of our listeners along Florida’s Emerald Coast in Navarre Beach. We will try and do this sort of thing again as we visit other parts of the country. Here’s a call we got from Gary, who was among those who showed up.

 

As we begin the last week of October, we're starting to see the first signs of the great snowbird migration as tens of thousands of folks from northern states are starting to make their way south for the winter. 

 

For those who stay put during the winter, it's time to winterize their RVs, cleaning it out and putting it in storage for the next several months.

 

Jennifer and I are spending a few more days in Florida but we'll soon be heading north to Michigan. We, too, will have to winterize while we're up north, but we are among the growing number of RVers who camp all year round. We love winter camping in the snow but we also plan to head back to Florida shortly after the first of the year. If you ever wonder where we are, there's a live map on the lower right had column of our roadtreking.com blog that shows where we are.

 

There's one big camping weekend left! Most campgrounds are sold out this coming weekend for Halloween, with costume contests, trick or treating and decorated RVs. In fact, the whole month is busy as RVers try to squeeze as many outings as possible before the cold weather arrives.

 

But that cold weather is not to be ignored. Out west, they are starting to close roads in some of our national parks....because of snow!

 

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 16 locations and growing

 

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

 

Here’s a tip on what to do with your RV AFTER you return from a trip, after you’ve emptied your clothes and other items and after you’ve emptied the refrigerator and are ready to leave it for a long period of time, be it a week or a few months.

 

And it has to do with the refrigerator.

 

Specifically, how to avoid the sour smell that often happens when an RV is shut up tight when it’s not being used or is in storage.

 

One, after the freezer had thawed, wipe it and the main compartment out. You want to put it away dry.

 

Secondly, we put an open box of baking soda in one of the shelves on the fridge doors.


And third…and most important… leave both the freezer and refrigerator doors open until the next time you need to turn it on and head out on an RV trip. That prevents any odors from being trapped inside.

 

That’s it. Follow those three steps and you’ll have no more refrigerator odors.

 

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

 

I love hearing from you!

 

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

 

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

 

A reaction to our recent meet-up on Navarre Beach, FL

 

  • A follow up to our recent tip about using Ikea bags to store things in the RV

 

  • A question about the Kymeta Satellite Internet system we are using and that will soon be marketed by the Erwin Hymer Group of North America

 

  • A story of an alarming incident in a campground out west

 

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas Nevada, Kalispell ,Montana and now Colorado Springs, Colorado. Specializing in Class B and C Campervans.

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

 

We’ve all heard of the horrible devastation still affecting Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Nearly a month after the storm, water and electricity are in scarce supply. Cellphone service ranges from spotty to nonexistent, landline telephones are out, banks and many businesses are shuttered, cars are damaged and roads blocked. For many, work and school still have not resumed.

 

Helping out is he Erwin Hymer Group of North America and their special mobile research lab equipped with a Kymeta satellite antenna for the Internet, part of a humanitarian effort sponsored by Liberty Cablevision, the islands cable TV and broadband provider.


We caught up with Joe Raetano, the director of advanced research and Development for the Hymer Group, who explains how valuable the Internet Satellite system on his Roadtrek advanced mobile Lab is in helping island residents reconnect. We interviewed Joe over a satellite phone connection made possible by that Kymeta antenna on his 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

 

 

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:


More Florida state parks open to visitors, as recovery from Hurricane Irma continues

 

Tourism up to to record levels for Montana, with most visiting Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks

 

Family lost while hiking in Michigan state park called police, then followed the sound 

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.

 

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

 

You don’t need to visit a haunted house to have shivers sent down your spine. In fact, all it takes is getting out of the car after forgetting that your phone is on your lap. That’s just one of the many scary ways phones can meet their demise this time of year!

And it’s not just Halloween we need to wary of. In fact, every two seconds, someone, somewhere cracks their phone screen. About half of those people had their phone fall out of their hands, ⅓ had their phone fall out of their pockets, and you guessed it roughly the rest had it fall out of their lap when standing up.

The worst part is about 1 in 3 people who break their phone screens won’t get them fixed - and have even suffered glass cuts because of it!

Fortunately Verizon customers have a worry free option. It’s called Total Mobile Protection. And now - Nov 17 any customer who currently doesn’t have their device covered, can sign up.

And once covered, you can get same day, cracked screen repair for just $29! That means nothing to ship and no need to transfer content from one phone to another. Now that’s peace of mind and convenience!

You can learn more about total mobile protection at www.vzw.com/tmp

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

 

Direct download: RT163.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:30pm EST

Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security

In this episode of the RV Podcast we’ll talk to an expert on how to fulltime RV on $1,500 a month, even less if you follow some of the tips you’ll hear on our interview of the week segment…coming up.

Also in this episode, lots of practical, how-to RV tips and advice, your questions and our answers, RV news of the week and an off the beaten path report for your RV travels.

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 #162 October 18.2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: 

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’re still down on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida’s panhandle and because we’ve heard from a number of you who would like to meet us, we’re going to try something – a meet and greet afternoon next Sunday, October 22. We’re going to meet on Navarre Beach, at the entrance of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Now because of the recent Hurricane Nate, the national seashore drive is closed just west of Navarre Beach. But the meet spot we picked is just to the left, or east of the bridge leading from Highway 98 and the mainland to Navarre Beach. Jennifer and I will be there from 2PM on and whoever shows up, shows up. Bring some beach chairs and refreshments and we’ll hang out for the afternoon on one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Just look for our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 and come by and say hello. If there are any updates it, we’ll post a notice on our Roadtreking Facebook Group and Our Roadtreking Facebook Page so check there for the latest.

We’re excited to see fuel prices dropping once again…especially east of the Mississippi. A new survey from AAA says that the national gas price average has dropped two cents on the week to $2.47, states east of the Mississippi are paying as much as eight cents less at the start of this week. While gas prices are more expensive than a year ago, the past five weeks of sustained weekly declines indicate that demand may be leveling out alongside refineries and pipelines returning to pre-hurricane operations. In September, Hurricane Harvey drove gas prices to the highest price of the year – $2.67. That was a 32-cent increase inside of 12 days. Now nearly seven weeks post hurricane, gas prices have shown steady decline dropping a total of 20 cents since September 11, 2017.

We’re really excited about the phenomenal growth of our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. We are now getting almost 1 million video views EACH month. We continue to put two videos up each week, as well as regular live reports, and we thank you for subscribing to the channel. 

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 16 locations and growing

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

One of the reasons we so enjoy doing meet and greets like the one we’re planning for Florida this week, or attending RV gatherings and rallies around the country is the opportunity it presents to pick up valuable suggestions and tips from other RVers.

In North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, we met the Emby family, who shared with us how they pack and organize for RV trips using Ikea bags.

Thanks Embry family! We will definitely pick up some of those Ikea bags.

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

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

A listener asks us how we level our Class B RV in when setting up camp. We share our procedures and also talk about the leveling blocks we sometimes use under the wheels. We use the Tri-Lynx 00015 Lynx Levelers. They go together like Legos and fit under whichever tires need to be raised. They come in a 10 Pack, so you have plenty for even RVs with dual wheels. A lot of readers also recommend the Andersen Hitches Camper Leveler. These are curved. You just drive up on them till level and then chock the wheels. They cost $62. And cost $28

Another listener wants to know where she can but an alcohol based two-burner campstove.

These are most often used in boats by live aboard sailors, though sometimes RVers reluctant to use propane, prefer them for safety reasons.. They tend to be costly. The one we would suggest is the Dometic Origo 4100.  It is fueled by denatured alcohol, making it very safe. They work without pressure, are quiet and take up little galley space. The Origo 4100CB comes with a cutting board. Simply pour denatured alcohol into Origo's stainless-steel canister where fuel is absorbed and bound in a non-flammable wool material. The stove draws alcohol from storage to surface, which means there is no dangerous pressure involved. Fuel Capacity: 1 qt. 8-1/2 oz. (1. 2 liters) per canister. Average Cooking Capacity: 6-8 hours

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

How’d you like to quit your job and fulltime in your RV? Or maybe you’ve retired and just have social security to live on. Is that enough to live a fulltime life in your RV on the road? Our guest this week in our interview segment is Jerry Minchey, a frugal expert who says yes…it is.

But first, Jerry says, before you quit that job or sell the house, you better count the cost. Literally…and figuratively!

Jerry Minchey is the author of several books about the RVing lifestyle and retirement living. He lives full time in his 34-foot Class A motorhome. He has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA from the University of Suth Carolina, and management degree from Harvard Business School. He has worked for NASA and worked for many years as a computer design engineer. He holds five patents, and has a private pilot license. He is the founder and editor of the website, LifeRV.com.

Here’s a link to his many books of interest to RVers - http://amzn.to/2yPOUrc

 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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

 

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

For many teens, getting your driver’s license is a time for celebration. However for parents, it can lead to clock-watching and worrying. And for good reason: according to the National Safety Council, nearly half of all teens are likely to be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school.

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) - a great time to strike up a conversation on this important topic.

For instance:

  •         Set rules and expectations with your teen driver. A parent-teen agreement is ideal for outlining rules, privileges and consequences for both parties.
  •         Restrict driving with young passengers. A single young passenger can increase a teen driver's fatal crash risk by 44%.
  •         Practice with your teen for at least 30 minutes each week.
  •         Become a role model for your teen. Let them know it's OK to put the phone away or disconnect from in-car infotainment systems and drive distraction free.

Additionally, parents can look to technology like hum to keep a virtual eye on their teen when he or she is behind the wheel. Once installed, hum will show mom or dad where the vehicle is in real-time and will send alerts when it exceeds a speed limit set by the parent. In addition, hum offers additional peace of mind through navigation, roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics, a mechanics’ hotline and emergency assistance. You can learn more at www.hum.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

By Tom and Patti Burkett

We see a lot of folks with the North America map on the side of the RV, and we’ve visited with friends and acquaintances at camping get-togethers enough to know that making collections of travel memorabilia is a common pastime.  We ourselves collect national park magnets (only from parks in which we’ve actually camped) to put on the front of the fridge at our stick and bricks house.  They remind us both of where we’ve been, and of the fact it’s soon time to get out on the road again.  

Better than that, though, we’ve come across a few collectibles that are more intangible in the hand but sharper in the mind.  One of the latter recently saw us in Iowa Falls, Iowa at sunrise to capture a few photos of a tall wooden sculpture on the bluffs overlooking the river.

Peter “Wolf” Toth was born in Hungary and emigrated to the United States as a young man.  He settled in Akron, Ohio and received an art degree from Akron University.  He completed his first Whispering Giants sculpture in 1972, carved into the stone of a cliff overlooking La Jolla, California.  Toth studied and admired the Native Americans, both for their devotion to the Earth and for their tenacity.  Wishing to honor and bring attention to their mis-treatment, he chose to make them the focus of his lifetime work.

After selecting a location, he secures a native log or standing tree about ten feet in diameter.  He next spends time with the Native Americans of the area, learning from them about their history and lore, and looking at historic and contemporary photos and paintings.  Sometimes it’s agreed he’ll carve the likeness of a specific historical figure, like Chief Grey Lock, who can be seen in Burlington, Vermont.  

More often, Toth visualizes a face that incorporates the lines and features of many individuals.  Says he, “I look at the log until I can see the Indian inside it, then I start carving.  His work is mostly done with hammer and chisel, and takes two to three months to complete.  The town provides him room and board, and he donates the completed sculpture in return.

There are seventy-four sculptures in the series, with at least one in each of the fifty states, and in several Canadian  provinces.  We’ve had the pleasure of seeing several, and gladly drive out of the way to collect another.  Most recently we communed with heads in Paducah, Kentucky and Red Lodge, Montana, as well as the one in Iowa Falls.  Toth lives in Florida and creates small sculptures for sale, the proceeds from which support his ongoing work on the Whispering Giants.  In addition to creating new pieces, he restores and repairs earlier pieces that need attention.

Pick something that interests or intrigues you - giant balls of twine, ethnic pastries, esoteric breeds of cattle, regional dance styles, accents and dialects, or local folktales.  Let it guide your travel, if just a bit.  Gather some stories and tell them here.  We’d love to hear them.  Meanwhile, you just might run across us, Patti & Tom Burkett, somewhere off the beaten path.

For More Information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_the_Whispering_Giants#The_Trail

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 SHOW SCHEDULE FOR THIS COMING WEEKEND

Panhandle RV Show

October 19-22

Emerald Coast Convention Center

Fort Walton Beach, FL

 

Direct download: RT162.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:18pm EST

Episode 161: An RV Club for Today’s RVers

There are RV Clubs and then there are the Escapees. Ever heard of them before? If you’re an active RVer, if you dream of working from the road, or retiring to an RVing life of adventure, or packing the most fun you can into your weekend camping tips, you need to know about the Escapees.

This week, in our interview segment, you’ll meet the young couple who are leading the Escapees community and discover just why this club may be the perfect fit for you.

Also this week, lots of listener questions and answers, plenty of tips, RV news and an off-the-beaten path report about two great Georgia state parks that Jennifer and I visited last week.

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 #161 October 11, 2017 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’re coming to you from Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast after a very eventful trip down here, in which we were brushed by Hurricane Nate. You can see a video on that adventure at https://youtu.be/TXsAG7_aOKk

 

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 16 locations and growing

  JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Two weeks ago back in Episode 159, Mike interviewed veteran automobile sales consultant Gary Tilkin, who shared his expertise about the RV buying experience. Gary gave a lot of very helpful tips and if you are shopping for an RV, I urge you to go back and listen to episode 159.

But we just heard back from Gary, who wanted us to know that he has just signed the bottom line to buy a new motorcoach. And Gary put into personal practice many of the tips he offered here in the RV Podcast.

Gary called in with a follow up tip on buying an RV from a dealer located far away.

Thanks, Gary. We are delighted to hear back from you. Congratulations on that new motorhome. And Mike and I look forward to taking you up on that kind invitation for a visit while we are here on the Florida Emerald Coast.

And for all of you listening this week, please 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

  • Brian asks if 80 years old is too old for he and his wife to start a life of RVing in a small motorhome – the Roadtrek Agile SS
  • Lisa asks Mike and Jennifer about the varying amounts of solar panels they have had in previous RVs they’ve owned. She wants to know the ideal setup. 
  • A caller with an older RV is frustrated that when he puts in gas, the pump keeps shutting off, unless he holds the handle down a tiny bit so the gas going through the nozzle flows out very slow.\
  • And a caller wants to know if she still needs to winterize the hot water heater even though it didn’t work last year.

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

The Escapees RV Club has been around since 1978 and is a community that perhaps is more in tune with today’s RVer than any other organization out there. It’s open to everyone, no matter what kind of RV they have and it comes with lots of great benefits, not the least of which is the cool and fun aspects of RVing.

I love the club’s motto: An RV club that gives you the freedom to break the mold and do something different with your life.

Escapees is now being run by Travis and Melanie Carr, a young couple who are on the road about half the time who represent the third generation of Escapee’s leadership. Travis, the grandson of the original founders, was exposed to RVing from a young age. After he served in the military, Travis and his wife Melanie returned to the RVing lifestyle.

He began in the maintenance department for the club’s network of RV Parks, but his focus quickly shifted as he took the lead on upgrading every park’s reservation system, bringing them into the digital age. Since then, Travis and Melanie have made themselves an irreplaceable part of the Escapees culture. In 2015, they founded Xscapers, a lifestyle group of Escapees that brings the club back to its origins. Xscapers are RVers who work full-time while traveling, just like Travis’ grandparents Joe and Kay Peterson did in the 70s. Under their guidance, Xscapers has grown to provide numerous benefits targeting the needs of this demographic, including the development of Escapees’ Job Board and diversifying Escapees’ social and educational opportunities.

We’re delighted to have Travis and Melanie join us in our RV interview of the week.

Resources:

Escapees Website: https://escapees.com

Escapees info kit: https://escapees.com/images/pdfs/infokit.pdf

Escapees Online Tools: https://escapees.com/

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Cougar shot at Oregon RV park after it was caught hunting house cats

Everglades National Park re-opens, but funding needed for hurricane repairs

Next generation state campground, now open in Minnesota

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

 Verizon Wireless

Google Pixel is Back and Better Than Ever

Last year Google Pixel unexpectedly took the world by storm. And this year Pixel is back and better than ever!

At Google’s recent announcement, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were unveiled and boy are they something to be excited about!

With Google Assistant front and center of both devices, Pixel 2 helps you get answers and get things done. To activate you can say “ok Google” like you can on most android devices. But with Pixel 2, you can also squeeze the phone’s frame and activate your assistant that way.

Also, let’s say you are traveling and want to know what the name of the building is you’re looking at. Simply fire up your camera and click on the Google Lens icon and you’ll instantly receive a ton of information - like when it was built, what it’s called, and see other pictures that people took of it.

Speaking of pictures, Pixel 2 features the highest rated smartphone camera and can take professional looking portraits from its rear and front cameras. And Google is also throwing in unlimited photo and video storing for Pixel 2 users - so you never have to worry about running out of space.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are also IP 67 water resistant, come in 64GB and 128GB sizes and are available in a number of colors.

Plus they’re both Gigabit LTE ready, meaning they’ll have access to Verizon’s fastest possible network speeds right out of the box.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use smartphone that gets thing done, check the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 out at any Verizon store or at verizonwireless.com

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  Georgia’s Black Rock Mountain and Tallulah Gorge State Parks

Jennifer and I just visited these two state parks, located in north Georgia, right near the North Carolina line. And you couldn’t find two parks more diverse…even though they are located just 15 miles apart.

Black Rock Mountain State Park is the highest state park in Georgia, offering some of the most outstanding scenery in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Roadside overlooks provide spectacular 80-mile vistas, and four hiking trails lead visitors past wildflowers, streams, small waterfalls and lush forests. Visitors enjoy the summit visitor center for its views, gift shop and picnic tables.

Campsite are nestled under rhododendron and gnarled oaks. Tent campers will appreciate the walk-in sites that allow extra privacy. The park’s small lake is popular with anglers and circled by an easy walking trail. At an altitude of 3,640 feet, Black Rock Mountain is often cooler than other Georgia parks and may close during icy weather. RVers should be comfortable driving on steep, winding roads.

Tallulah Gorge State Park, meanwhile, is the exact opposite. Where Black Rock Mountain’s attraction is its height, Tallulah Gorge draws folks because of its deep, 1,000 foot gorge. One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. Visitors can hike rim trails to several overlooks, or they can obtain a permit to hike to the gorge floor (100 per day, not available during water releases). A suspension bridge sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom, providing spectacular views of the river and waterfalls. Tightrope walkers have twice crossed the gorge, and visitors can still see towers used by Karl Wallenda. A paved path follows an on old railroad bed, and mountain bikers can test their skills on a challenging 10 mile trail.

 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 NEXT WEEKEND 

Oregon State Salem Fall RV Show

October 12-15

Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

Salem, OR

Georgia RV & Camper Show

October 13-15

Cobb Galleria Centre

Atlanta, GA

RV Liquidation Super Sale

Oct. 13-15

David L Lawrence Convention Center

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Toronto Fall RV Show and Sale

October 13-15

Toronto Congress Centre

Toronto, ON (Canada)

 

 

 

Direct download: RT161.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:11pm EST