The RV Podcast

Episode 110: Slow Down, You’re Moving Too Fast!

The biggest mistake many RVers make is they stay in Walmart parking lots, cover too much ground, too fast, and overplan!

To maximize the RV experience we all need to slow down and enjoy the journey. In this week’s episode, we interview a couple who have been doing just that for 19 years and they offer some of the most helpful, practical and pointed advice we’ve ever shared in the podcast.

Bill and Peggy Bechtel also tell us how they were able to retire at the age of 55 and fully embrace the RV lifestyle, unworried about running out of money.

This week’s episode is a must listen!

Plus we have RV news, tips, questions and an off the beaten path report about a place called the Dead Horse Park that – despite its off-putting name – belongs on your bucket list.

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

Show Notes for Episode #110 Oct. 19, 2015 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast: 

As we begin this episode, Mike is joined by Jennifer and we discuss:

  • Our recent 10 day trip through Michigan’s UP
  • Hunting season in the woods….time to beware!
  • The friendships that RVing brings
  • Cold weather is coming, and the first wave of the Great Snowbird Migration is underway
  • Our travel plans for Mackinac Island this week, Souderton PA next week

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

This week’s tip is for all of you who have diesel RVs. And it’s a warning about what could happen if you are not careful at the pumps…

Jeff and Mary Jane Curry explain on the podcast in an interview with Jennifer just what happened when they mistakenly filled their diesel tank with gasoline.

Here’s a link to additional details in a story they wrote on the blog about it - http://roadtreking.com/word-caution-regarding-deisel-pumps/

The reverse could be true, for those of you with gasoline engines. Diesel in a gas engine can also be very damaging. So pay attention out there!

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.

If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

I love hearing from you!

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: 

Jake from Kansas is a disabled Vet and part time RVer in a Fifth Wheel… he wants to get a bigger one (a toy Hauler) to convert to a mobile radio room for his amateur radio hobby and make it available to share his hobby for the public. He asks Mike’s opinion, knowing Mike is also an amateur radio operator (K8ZRH)

Jason is a brand new RVer from Canada and he and heading off to Florida in the spring looking for info on where to send a month in FL. Mike and Jennifer share their thoughts.

Mike shares his three favorite Floida State parks.

Mike suggests he go to http://yesyoucamp.com website and enter the information – the campground you want, dates and length of stay desired. For $3 they’ll check the site every 5 minutes and text you if something opens up. For no charge, they’ll check every four hours and email you. If you book, they request a donation. For a list if all Florida state parks, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Florida_state_parks or to search by a map, you can go to https://www.floridastateparks.org

And with the cold weather, lots of readers and listeners emailed this week asking about winterizing and when to do it. We asked Roadtrek Motorhomes Engineer Yan Seiner to weigh in with his suggestions about when you need to winterize and when you don’t.

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 - Slow Down, You’re Moving Too Fast!

This week, we interview veteran RVers Bill and Peggy Bechtel, who’ve been boondocking and exploring North America in an RV for 18 years now. They have been in every state, most of Canada, the Baja in Mexico and in an interview with Mike they share their most excellent travel style, tips and more.

Here’s some of the topics we cover:

  • How driving too many miles can ruin a trip
  • Why it’s better to boondock in the woods than a Walmart marking spot
  • Why to devote extended time (two or three months) to touring one state
  • Why you should never drive more than 200 miles a day!
  • Plan on getting into camp by 2:30 pm, latest!
  • Overplanning can stifle your experience and lock you into schedules
  • Volunteer for local events to really experience an area (they did so for the Iditarod in Alaska!)
  • Where the best and least expensive camping spots can be found
  • How they prepared so they could retire at 55 and live the RV travel lifestyle 

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Is Walmart Camping Dangerous for Rvers?

Camping Word CEO hates motorhomes

Lemonis would Rather sell Cars than RVs

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports:

It’s hard to believe but we’re only two months out from the holidays...and you know what that means? Time to start thinking about gifts for the person that has everything.

And one gadget that’s on my list this year is Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.

Most people are familiar with android phones, but these two mark the first time Google has designed both the hardware and software - and it also means, like with Apple’s iPhone, users will get the latest and greatest software right when it’s available - no more waiting months after the announcements for your phone manufacturer to push down its own version of android.

Pixel and Pixel XL have the highest rated camera ever in a smartphone which means you’ll get amazing photos every time - and Google is throwing in UNLIMITED Google Photos cloud storage for all your pictures and high definition videos.

Pixel and Pixel XL also come with Google’s new assistant built in - just talk to your phone and it’ll not only answer your questions like Google Now does today, it’ll also help you select restaurants or sights of interest and even make dinner reservations for you - now that’s smart!

Google Pixel and Pixel XL are available in Verizon retail stores and online beginning October 20. But you can pre-order and get Google’s free Daydream VR headset for free by visiting www.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 -  Dead Horse State Park, Utah

This week, we heard from listener Kevin in Nashville who shared a great off the beaten path report about Dead Horse State Park in Utah.

RV CALENDAR

All this month, campgrounds across North America are hosting Halloween themed weekend events. See http://roadtreking.com/halloween-makes-for-a-busy-month-at-campgrounds/   Most KOAs, Yogi Bear Jellystone Park campgrounds as well as hundreds of state, county and private campgrounds.

Upcoming RV shows

Oregon State Eugene Fall RV Show
October 21-23
Lane County Fairgrounds/Event Center
Eugene, OR

Tampa Bay RV Show
November 10-13
Florida State Fairgrounds
Tampa, FL

Direct download: RT110.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 7:46pm EST

Episode 108: Quit your job, sell your house and become and RV Entrepreneur

Living and traveling in an RV used to be only for retirees or the annual family vacation. But over the past few years there has been a new movement of young RVers who have intentionally chosen to live with less stuff, be mobile, and take their lives on the road.

This week’s interview segment introduces you to a young man who has done just that, becoming an RV entrepreneur.

Mike and his guest Heath Padgett share ways anyone – no matter their age – can make the break , travel and earn a livable income on the road in an RV.

Plus we have tips, trends, RV news and a great off the beaten path report.

Show Notes for Episode #109 Oct. 12, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast: 

Mike and Jennifer come to you this week from the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan where they’ve been exploring the deep woods and taking in the beautiful fall colors.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

I love getting your tips and suggestions for this segment. We al are really one big family and we’re in this RV travel lifestyle thing together. So when you leave me a voicemail from the Roadtreking dot com RV travel blog, it’s always excitingd to learn something new and get new ideas.

So it is this week from a listener named Julie who has solved a problem many of us have experienced… namely… when one wants to stay up late reading and the other doesn’t. Julie’s tip also helps save battery life, something very important when out there boon docking

So here is Julie…offering a tip about a great LED light for reading…Mighty Bright Clip on LED light

And for everyone… 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.

If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

I love hearing from you!

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by T RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Stephen asks about cell phone use by US citizens in Canada

 Larry asks about parking in unrestricted areas on the California coast

 Reader e-Mail:

Comments: Mike -- I've enjoyed your Roadtrek site, podcast and facebook page for a couple years. After hearing about your yearning for a kayak the last few weeks --- something that I also have had lately -- I wanted to tell you about a foldable kayak (Orukayak.com). My wife, son and I purchased a 2014 CS Adventurous new and have enjoyed it immensely. When I retire -- I wanted to be able to take two kayaks and 2 bikes on a Roadtrek. So, I've been trying to figure out how to do it. I had looked at the set up you recently mentioned a while ago -- but didn't like so much that only a 9 or 10 ft kayak could be used -- plus, couldn't get in the back of the RV if I remember right (it didn't swing out). I'm definitely not an inflatable kayak guy -- earlier in my life I had a 17 ft. sea kayak and just need something better then a raft. A few weeks ago we purchased a Beach model of the Oru Kayak. I was skeptical -- but really amazed at how quickly it went together and how well it performed in the water. Then got a Bay plus model and really liked how well it works. Both of these are 12 ft kayaks and fold up in to a box size of 33 x 30 x 13 inches approximately. I love the innovation and engineering that went in to them. Their website of course has some great information about them. Weigh about 30 lbs -- so I look forward some day to backpacking them in to a remote lakes including mountain lakes. I know your experience with foldable bikes didn't go well -- but, I think this might be different. Plus, I think you could get two of them in the back of your CS Adventurous XL if you gave up some other toys. REI sells them and they have a great return policy of one year - Todd Foster (Kalamazoo)

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

Going paperless on the road….

For a transcript of Mike’s report on going paperless, go to: http://roadtreking.com/paperless/

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

 RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

  • Camping World, biggest RV dealer in the country, is now publicly traded. Read more
  • Bear near Vail, Colorado, finds wildlife camera and 'takes' a selfie. Read more
  • Atlanta Motor Speedway offers free camping to Hurricane Matthew

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports:

Where did the year go? As you are well aware we are speeding through the month of October which also happens to be domestic violence awareness month – a cause near and dear to our hearts.

Did you know for instance that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be the victims of violence at some point in their life by their intimate partners?

It’s a tragic but all too true statistic.

Fortunately there’s something all of us can do to help. If you have an old phone lying around the house from any carrier, take it to your local verizon store and drop it off in the HopeLine bin. These phones will be recycled and turned into cash grants which are given back to organizations in the community that help domestic violence victims.

And if you don’t have a phone lying around, you can also stop by a Verizon store and look at the purple accessories that are available. There’s a Mophie battery pack, UE Boom speaker, LG Tone Pro headset and phone case available. Each purple accessory purchased will mean $3 donated towards Camp Hope America – helping children of domestic violence victims gain access to valuable services to heal, survive and thrive.

If you’d like to learn more about Verizon’s HopeLine program visit verizonwireless.com/hopeline.

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  The Hubbell Trading Post n Arizona

By Tom and Patti Burkett

When you’re driving around the country, you often see the brown signs that mark some sort of historic site.  We often stop for these, even though they’re nothing we’ve ever heard of.  Sometimes we hit the jackpot.  That was the case when we pulled off near Ganado, Arizona at the marker for the Hubbell Trading Post.  As it turns out, although this is a National Park Service site, it’s also a working trading post, still in operation since 1878.

In 1864, the federal government hired Kit Carson to round up the Navajo people living in Arizona and relocate them to a fort in New Mexico.  Carson was on good terms with a number of native tribes, especially the Utes, long-time enemies of the Navajo, and enlisted their help in the effort.  The march from Arizona to Bosque Redondo proved devastating, with hundreds dying along the way and hundreds more in the forced isolation of an unfamiliar landscape.

When the Navajos were allowed to return to their ancestral lands in 1868, they found their herds decimated and their fields destroyed.  Thus began an economic depression that continues into today.  It was in the interest of the government that the Navajo should be content and peaceful so they recruited business owners to establish native-friendly trading posts on and near the Navajo nation.  One of these was John Lorenzo Hubbell, who was 29 when he began operating this trading post.

Hubbell was born in New Mexico and spoke three languages, including Navajo.  He worked hard, traded fairly, and soon established a reputation for honesty and reliability among the natives of the area.  The Navajo relied on traders for contact with the outside world and for supplies they couldn’t produce for themselves.  In exchange, they brought in wool, furs, and handmade weaving and pottery.

The Hubbell family ran the post until 1967 when it was sold to the park service.    Today, the post hosts auctions twice a year at which outstanding native handcrafts are offered—rugs, dolls, leatherwork, and pottery.

We visited on a sunny day and thought that, except for the cars parked in the lot, it could have been a century earlier.  Birds flitted through the cottonwood trees at the wash, and people crowded into the trading shop to bargain and buy.  The visitor center was full of information and a local school group was hearing a ranger talk on post history.

In the post itself, we flipped through a big box of beautiful handwoven Navajo rugs, only belatedly looking at the price tags, which ranged to several thousand dollars.  What an experience.  If your road takes you past a brown sign, think twice before passing it by.  Happy travels!

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Heath Padgett

 Living and traveling in an RV used to be only for retirees or the occasional family vacation. But over the past few years there has been a new movement of young RVers who have intentionally chosen to live with less stuff, be mobile, and take their lives on the road.

Heath Padgett and his wife, Alyssa, are two people interested in downsizing their life, creating remote income, and working from anywhere. In 2014 Heath quit his job in software sales to go on a year long RV trip across America with his newlywed wife. After spending a year on the road and traveling to all 50 states, they realized that returning back to “life as normal” in a 9-5 job wasn’t going to fly. 

So he became an RV entrepreneur. He’s started a podcast, blog and some related businesses and he shares his experiences in this week’s interview.

Here are some of Heath’s Internet platforms:

 

Direct download: RT109.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 10:12pm EST

In this episode of the podcast Jennifer offers some resources to help you appreciate those dark fall skies. There are meteor showers you should be able to see on several days this month. Aso this week, we field a bunch of listener questions on everything from battery-eating RV refrigerators to how to cook your meal as you travel in a crock pot.

In RV News this week, the harrowing tale of a Montana man who survived a horrible attack from a grizzly bear and took a selfie video before somehow driving himself to the hospital.

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

Show Notes for Episode #108 October 5, 2016 of Roadtreking - The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

Mike and Jennifer begin by updating everyone on where they are and whats been happening, including:

  • Their upcoming trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
  • Preparing meals ahead of time
  • Jennifer’s new iPhone 7 and update on the Samsung Note 7, which Mike had no idea would be as “hot” as he predicted.
  • They shared a note from a couple who has found the RV lifestyle to provide much needed relaxation and relief from a chronic pain condition

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK - Look at the Night Sky in October

One of my favorite things about fall camping is viewing the night sky. When you get away from all that light pollution and look up, it is just amazing.

If you feel the same way, then be sure and get out there to do some camping this month. October is a month with several special events for amateur star gazers.

Oct. 8 is International Observe the Moon and Astronomy Day. Amateur astronomy clubs throughout the country have special events. We’ll out up a link to all the different events around the country on the shownotes for this episode.

Or, if you are near a city with a science center or planetarium, give them a call because chances are a special event is scheduled for that night - many for free. It is worth checking out.

Also three different meteor showers will be visible this month - on Oct. 8, Oct. 10 and Oct. 21. There’s a special NASA site that we’ll link to that has descriptions of the showers, and the moon phases.

One thing I'm hoping to see when we head up to the Porcupine Mountains gathering in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula next week is the Zodiacal Lights. This special, pyramid-like bright phenomena is visible October 1-15. The National Geographic website has some helpful information on the Zodiacal Lights.

And, while Mike is not a professional photographer, here's a list of tips he recently shared on photographing the night sky,

You can find all the resources I just mentioned at roadtreking-dot-com-slash-108

Happy star gazing!

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.

If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Ted from Washington called in from Canyonlands National Park in Utah. He has all the gadgets Mike has talked about and wants to know how to conserve his data. He suspects that the automatic computer updates he gets on his Dell laptop is the culprit.

Listener Mike’s electric refrigerator often drains his batteries.

Shelly wants to find a roadmap that shows the states and Canadian provinces for RVers.. If she is looking for a sticker map that she can put on the side of her RV, we suggest the RV and Travel USA Sticker Map. It’s $32 form Amazon - amzn.to/1R1QDe0

We don’t know of one that does both the US and Canada.

If she is looking for a paper Road Atlas Map, we recommend the Rand McNally Road Atlas for The US, Canada and Mexico- http://amzn.to/2cIvvvX

contains maps of every U.S. state and Canadian province, an overview map of Mexico, and detailed inset maps of over 350 cities and 20 U.S. national parks. Road construction and conditions contact information for every state conveniently located above the maps. Contains mileage chart showing distances between 90 North American cities and national parks along with a driving times

Adam wants to know why Mike and Jennifer switched from an eTrek to a Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL

And listener Marilyn was intrigued by our way of using a crock pot to cook our dinner while we’re driving but she wonders how we power it.

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

One tool every RVer should have is a tire inflator. Recently on the blog, Roadtreking Reporters Roger and Lynn Brucker shared their favorite, the VIAir 300P from Amazon.  It costs around $150 r so, but the Bruckers say it works perfectly and has proven durable.

You can read their full report at http://roadtreking.com/rv-tire-inflation-go-portable-air-compressor

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Man videos himself after being attacked by Grizzly Bear -

Campers fined for being messy in Banff National park wolf country

U.S. National Park Service Not Very Popular with Congress

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports:

This week we’re calling all creative types!

If you know a middle or high school student with a knack for solving problems, you’re definitely going to want them to look into the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge.

Students just need to identify a problem in their lives or community and then come up with an idea for app that could solve that problem.

And the best part – there’s no coding required.

All they have to do is form a team of 5-7 with an adult supervisor, then create a video talking about what the problem is and how their app would solve it, and write an essay.

One middle school and one high school team from each state will be chosen as statewide winners, their school gets $5,000 and each member of the team gets a new tablet.

In addition, they are entered to become one of eight national award winners who get an additional $15,000 for their school, a trip to a conference in Florida and work with MIT’s App Inventor Group to make their app a reality!

For more information on the app challenge or to apply, visit www.verizon.com/appchallenge

Where was this when I was in school?!

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 -

Matt Fitzwater shares a great campground he and his wife discovered in Plum Tree, North Carolina.

It’s owned by a local microbrewry. It’s in a small town and near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Matt tells us about all the activities available,

Here’s a link to the property - http://www.blindsquirrelbrewery.com/

RV Calendar

RV shows that are coming up around the country this weekend…

MARVAC Fall Detroit Camper and RV Show

Oct. 5-9, 2016

Suburban Collection

Novi, MI

 

St. Johns Fall RV Show

October 6-October 9, 2016

St. Johns County Fairgrounds

Elkton, FL (USA

 

Tacoma Fall RV Show

October 6-October 9, 2016

Tacoma Dome

Tacoma, WA

 

RVIA California RV Show

October 7-October 16, 2016

Pomona Fairplex- Gate 9

Pomona, CA

For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

 

Direct download: RT108.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 8:52pm EST

In this episode, we tackle a whole bunch of audience questions, on everything from camping in cold weather, to showering in an RV to staying connected to the Internet while traveling. Plus we have lots of news, tips and travel suggestions.

Jennifer and I catch you up on our recent travels and experiences and preview where we’re headed. It’s fall and as it finally cools off down south and in the southwest, the forests of the northwest, mountain states, Midwest, northeast and Canada are starting to change colors. It’s a perfect time to get out there on a fall RV trip.

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Today’s tip has to do with making the front seats into a bed on a Class B motorhome.

We just came back from a boondocking getaway in Northern Michigan with our two grandchildren.

Now our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL best sleeps two… so, with me and the two granddaughters, that meant Mike and Bo were outside, in a tent. No problem there, though Mike may have a different opinion after sleeping on the hard ground. But that’s another topic.

This tip has to do with sleeping three in the Roadtrek. I made the back up into two twin beds. Thirteen-year-old Hua Hua slept on the passenger side bed. I had the driver’s side twin.

So where to put 10 year old Rachel?

Up front, of course.

Now Roadtrek and its dealers sell a sort of folding bed that works. But we improvised and found a great solution. We brought along a thick, four inch folding pad that we had used back in our tenting days.

What we did to make a bed for Rachel was push the driver and passenger seats back, pull out one of the tables and put that across the space between the two seats. Then we put the four-inch pad, about the size of a twin bed, right across the seats. The table gave solid support. Rachel’s sleeping bag went on top of the pad and she was as snug as a bug in a rug. She says she slept great and was very comfy.

The configuration is fine for kids. An adult could manage there in a pinch but we wouldn’t recommend it.

We’ll put a photo of Rachel and her sleeping arrangements in the shownotes for this episode at roadtreking.com/107

Rachel and Hua Hua are already looking forward to their next boondocking trip with us.

Mike says he needs a little more padding for the tent outslde.

Do you have a tip you’d like to share? Use the Leave Voicemail link on the Roadtreking.com website. It lets you record a message using the built in microphone in your computer smartphone or tablet and then automatically send it to me.

I love hearing from you!

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Listener John talked about his interest in the new Hymer Activ Class B motorhome and noted that new production models starting in January will have some nice finishing touches.

 Bruce called in from Western Colorado where the temperature dropped to 28 degrees. He wonders when he has to start worrying about freezing his pipes in cold weather.

Joanne, a semiretired teacher from Ontario, is new to RVing and is planning a long trip to Florida and wants to know about finding some great campsites.

A listener is looking for a side rack to carry a surfboard on his Roadtrek. We suggest he look at vertirack.com/ They are side mounted on the driver’s side. Fpr kayaks, the best Mike has seen are from rvkayakracks.com They are vertical racks at the back of the van that connect to the trailer hitch. For Class B RV’s - maximum kayak length recommended: 10' They even have a kayak rack with an attachment that lets you haul two bicycles. The racks cost from $1,200 to about $1,600 for the rack for two kayaks and two bikes. Shipping os about $200.

Matt from North Carolina is a popup camper owner. He wants to know costs of the JetPack Wi-Fi data card. He also asks about setting the right expectations for people who come stay with them while camping. For the JetPACK, USERS can either buy the jetpack outright at $199.99 or on two year contract at $49.99. They can then connect up to 15 devices at once.

This can be added to any Verizon plan for $10 line access and then it shares the data from your data bucket.

Jan asks about showering in a Roadtrek and how to you keep the towels and toilet paper from getting wet.

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

RV BASIC TRAINING – Boondocking Basics

Boondocking is camping without being plugged in to commercial power or using a commercial campground. Most boondockers enjoy getting away from crowds to truly experience nature in the middle of nowhere, like in a national forest.

On an episode of the podcast recorded last year, Roadtreking Reporter and veteran Boondocker Campskunk provided some things to consider for those planning to head out for the first time: 

  • Animal safety. Make sure no food goes outside the unit to keep bears, raccoons, fox, even mice far away.
  • Water management. Use less. Take sponge baths. If using your sink, try collecting grey water in a container and dumping it outside instead of filling your tank.
  • Choose your site carefully. Make sure you are not the highest spot around to stay safe from lightening. If you rely on solar power, pick a spot in the sun.
  • Light management. Use light at night sparingly. Your batteries will last much longer if you are not lighting up the whole wilderness.

Listen to the full interview with Campskunk at http://roadtreking.com/rt39-roadtreking-rv-podcast-boondocking-101/

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: 

  • Western cougars expanding their range, new sighting confirmed in southern Tennessee last week. Read more
  • Montana Department of Fish,Wildlife and Parks plans to open last section of Yellowstone River closed previously from fish kill. Read more
  • Canadian National Parks service to remove bear-attracting buffalo bushes from four campgrounds in national parks as preventive measure. Read more
  • High housing cost in Mountain View in San Francisco area has lead to families living full-time in RVs parked on streets. Read more
  • Realtors getting into the RV hype, developing neighborhoods in retirement markets complete with a spot to park your RV. Read more 

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports about how to safely store your precious photos with Google Photos

I’m sure as you’re traveling about the country you are taking a ton of pictures...and with today’s amazing smartphone cameras I’m guessing most of them end up on your phone, right?

 Well as you know those photos can take up precious megabytes and eventually gigabytes of space.


So what do you do when your phone says you’re out of space?

 No need to dump them, a free app from Google called Google Photos can save the day.

 This app, which is free for iOS and Android devices, will automatically back up your photos and videos to the cloud.

 And the best part...you can store unlimited pictures up to 16mega pixels for free.

 You can’t beat that.

 Now you’ll never have to worry about whether or not to save or delete your amazing photos...or whether you have enough room for that next must have app. And should you lose your phone, just download the app onto your next smartphone and all your pictures will still be there.

 Google photos also makes finding your pictures a breeze as well. If you search in the app for Mount Rushmore, for instance, it’ll pull all of your photos from there.

 Or maybe you remember you took a picture of a cool flower but can’t remember where or when. Just search for flowers and it’ll pull all of the pictures you took with a flower in them. Basically if you can remember something in the photo, you can find it with ease.

 Google photos does back up over the internet so to save on your precious data make sure you set the app to only back up when you’re connected to wifi.

 So go ahead...and snap away!

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 -  Pittsburgh, PA

Tom and Patti Burkett take us to Pittsburgh and a fun ride on a vertical railway.

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

Direct download: RT107.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:35pm EST

The title for this week’s episode “The World is Our Backyard” comes from the sign our special guests put out on the back of their RV. A little later on you’ll meet Jim and Rhonda Phipps, two recent retirees, whose lifestyle has dramatically changed for the better thanks to their Roadtreking across the country in a Class B campervan…. Also this week, your questions, helpful tips, RV news and a special Off The Beaten Path Report.


Mike and Jennifer begin by recapping their week in Hershey, PA at America’s Largest RV Show, then they update the audience on their adventures with Bo, their nine-month-old Norwegian Elkhound puppy and his recent “Great Escape.”

They share their travel plans for this week, heading out to do some boondocking in the woods with their granddaughters.

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

One of the biggest challenges faced by RVers is finding that perfect campsite in the perfect place.

The problem is, the most popular campgrounds are booked up months in advance, sometimes even a year ahead of time.

So, it can be very frustrating. The only way to get in is if someone who already has a reservation cancels.

That means you need to spend a lot of time…. Checking.

Well here’s a great tip, originally passed along on our Facebook Roadtreking Group by Judy Bass. Judy has discovered a terrific online service.

If you want to book a site at a public campground and there are no vacancies, go to yesyoucamp.com and enter the information - the campground you want, dates and length of stay desired. For $3 they'll check the site every 5 minutes and text you if something opens up. For no charge, they'll check every four hours and email you. If you book, they request a donation.

Again, the site is to yesyoucamp.com. That’s to yesyoucamp.com.

Judy used the site and snagged a hjghly desireable spot on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for this week, even though it's booked solid till the end of the season.

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: 

Mark and Melissa in Des Moine, IA are getting a new Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL and wonder how lithium ion batteries behave in the winter time.

 Jaqueline wants to know what innovation and “surprises” are coming from Roadtrek in 2017

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

The U.S. Forest Service recommends campers be prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes and other unexpected events by bringing the following items when they head out camping for any extended amount of time. How many items do you have tucked in your RV?

  • Candles
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Foil (to use as a cup or signaling device)
  • Hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Map
  • Nylon filament
  • Pocket knife
  • Pocket mirror (to use as a signaling device)
  • Prescription glasses (an extra pair)
  • Prescription medications for ongoing medical conditions
  • Radio with batteries
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Trash bag (makes an adequate poncho)
  • Whistle (to scare off animals or to use as a signaling device
  • Waterproof matches

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

  • Dog lost during mountain camping trip in July is found six weeks later and returned to owner. Read more
  • Snowbirds, often in RV, add $269 million per year to Mississippi economy. Read more
  • Montana state lawmakers plan to write Yellowstone National Park managers a note supporting Native American tribes request to hunt bison on park lands. Read more

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports:

How did it get to be football season already? Well it is and hopefully you’ve got your fantasy football team in a good place. 

But with all the travel you do, how do you keep up on the games, especially while on the road? 

Well if you’ve got Verizon…that’s easy…just open up the NFL Mobile app.

Being a Verizon customer gives you access not just to news, stats and facts about your favorite teams and players, but you can also watch LIVE HD streams of the games in market – for free!

Not only that but you won’t use any data watching the games as well! As long as you’re viewing through the NFL Mobile app or Go90, you won’t see the smallest dent in your data plan. 

So go ahead and stream football from sea to shining sea! Just make sure you’re in the passenger seat while watching!

Again to access this free content simply download NFL Mobile or Go90 from your respective app store, then kick back and enjoy.

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

 OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  

Jim McKay tells us about a great campground in Madison, WI that is right on the Ohio River. He suggests to bring your bicycles for some great touring. For more info go to visitmadison.org

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

 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

Jim and Ronda Phipps share their new life of adventure as Roadtrekers.

Direct download: RT106.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 3:58pm EST

In this episode, we have lots of tips, suggestions, alerts and RV news and a special interview with a couple we first met a little over a year ago when they had just sole their sticks and bricks home and were about to embark on a life of fulltiming in their Class B Roadtrek RV.

We catch up with them this week and they describe how awesome the past year has ben, a year they describe as “Unsurpassed Freedom.” If you have ever dreamed about fulltiming, you’ll for sure want to hear this interview!

We’re in Hershey, PA this week at America’s Largest RV Show. With over 1,300 new RVs on display, you’ll find every style and every model! From small campers to full-size motorhomes, there’s something for everyone! Plus, it’s the first show in the nation with 2017 products. Come out to shop and compare virtually every major manufacturer. Interest rates are low and so are the prices!

America’s Largest RV Show is set for Wednesday, September 14 through Sunday, September 18 at the Giant Center in Hershey. The show runs from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm Wednesday-Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Tickets are just $10 for adults; children 12 and under get in free. Wednesday is Senior Day: 55+ get in for half price. Thursday is Veterans Day: Half priced admission with a valid ID. You can also get a 5-day pass for $30 or a Twilight pass (after 

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. 

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

One of the fun things about meeting people at or Roadtreking gatherings around the country is touring other folks motorhomes. Everyone has made their RV unique by adding things, arranging and organizing things just so or solving simple problems in creative ways.

For example…. Shoe clutter.

You know what I mean. Dirty shoes can really mess up a motorhome. You can slip them off and leave them outside the door. But a lot of us don’t like that idea because…well… creepy, crawly things have been know to get in them Or it can rain and nothing is worse then wet shoes.

At our recent Roadtreking gathering up near Tobermory in Canada, we came upon a perfect solution from our friend Linda Vesterdahl. Do you know that area right behind the sliding door on a Roadtrek RV? It’s a sort of riser, or step on the threshold leading into the motorhome that is a foot or so off the ground. That’s where Linda and husband Scot solved the shoe problem.

Linda and Scot used two plastic file containers, the kind you pick up at an office supply store. They are clear plastic rectangles with an open top and they put them right there on the threshold behind the sliding door.

Meantime, send me your tips. Just click the Leave Voicemail link on the right side of the Roadtreking-dot-com blog and you can use your computer’s built in microphone to record your message and send it directly to me. I love hearing from you.

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Hello Mike Wendland, Thank you for the article on the underground AC system. I've read some reports that those installed in emergency vehicles have not done well when subjected to winter weather conditions — especially when salt and other additives or added to the mix. What has your experience been? Will Tompkins

A reader and listener sends a warning about Canadian Travel n Highway 407 north of Toronto, = the world's first all-electronic open access toll highway which extends 108 kilometres east-west, just north of Toronto.

407 ETR benefits all users with a barrier-free system so anyone visiting Ontario may also use the toll-road, which is an alternative to other Ontario roads. There are no toll booths and no toll plazas to slow you down. Transponders are not required for light vehicles (see FAQ) and accounts do not have to be set-up prior to use.

Out-of-Province users, including those from the U.S.A., who choose to use 407 ETR are responsible for all tolls, fees and interest under the Highway 407 Act. At the end of each monthly billing cycle, the all-electronic system calculates all tolls, fees and interest and a bill is sent in Canadian dollars, due upon mailing

Here’s the warning from our reader:

Hi Mike I heard this week's podcast on traveling in and out of Canada. I just want to let you listeners know. Beware of the of 407 toll road. We traveled on 407 this past summer. Since there is no toll booths they rely on cameras and they send you a bill off your license plate. If your total weight is above 5,000 kilograms which is most RV's, you will be charged at the heavy vehicle class. We traveled on the 407 twice for a total of 7.4 kilometers and were charged $112.09. This can be a budget breaker. They charged a $50.00 camera charge each trip. Now if you are under the 5,000 kilograms, the camera rate is $4.05 per trip. Stay off the 407 and continue on the 401. Dick, frim Owosso, MI, traveling in a 003 Four Winds fifth wheel

From Doug and Mary… We were so disappointed that our plans were changed on the way to Tobermory. Not sure if Yan shared with you but we stopped about half way there for a short camping trip at Letchworth State Park. Doug had a heart attack just and we ended up at Strong Memorial Hospital. We are hoping to be discharged tomorrow. We have only had our van since November and are loving the freedom it gives us. We were anxious to learn from others and see the park. The pictures are so beautiful. Never thought about getting an ambulance to the campground it was about 25 minutes away. They had to take Doug out the back doors to put him on the stretcher. It was another 40 minutes to reach the hospital. God has answered many prayers. The staff here has been excellent. The nurses helped me find a cab that I could share the ride and pay 1/2 the cost to drive 1hr back to the campground. The camp police picked me up and took me to the campsite. The hospital is huge and have allowed us to park our van in the employee parking lot. This morning it was wonderful to walk out and get cleaned up, fix breakfast and grab some things to take back in the hospital. We read your list of how wonderful to travel with your van and this situation is another reason. We plan to be at gate Hershey show on 9/14 will you be there then? Hershey is about 35 minutes from home and would love to meet you and Jennifer. Looking forward to more pictures from Tobermory. Doug and Mary

I have read your information. I have a question....I'm looking to get a smaller RV soon and in the process of doing my research on the best unit to suit my needs. I see there is a show in Hershey PA coming up soon. Is this a good place to go to compare the various models of Class B Rvs? just want to see the various options and compare Roadtreks on Chevrolet chassis versus the Mercedes Agile SS. I would appreciate any help you could provide. I live in Ohio and it appears this is one of the closer shows; however, I do not want to make the trip if it is not worthwhile. Thank you. Gloria

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

How to Find Places for your Dog to Stay While Traveling

Many people are traveling this time of year, but accommodating our dogs can be frustrating. There are places like National Parks where our canine companions are just not welcome. There are times when family or work obligations make it difficult to bring our dog. For RVers – 67% of who travel with pets – this can be quite a challenge.

Fortunately,  a number of website and apps make it easy to accommodate our furry friends and family members while on the road.

I’ve collected quite a list over our years of RVing. Here are the ones I like the bext.

BringFido helps travelers find pet-friendly hotels and attractions like dog parks, doggie beaches – even restaurants where canines are welcome. The app allows for in-depth research on pet polices so users know if they can bring big dogs, or more than one and BringFido includes a rating system so owners can see what others think of it. It’s free foriOS.

DogVacay is for dog owners who can’t take their dogs, yet aren’t crazy about the idea of a kennel. Pets stay in the home of a loving sitter. The ap llists more than 25,000 dog sitters in the U.S. and Canada. Reservations come with pet insurance and even daily photo or video updates of how things are going. The app is free for iOS and Android. Jennifer and I have used this service in distant cities a couple of times and our dog loved it. The photo above show a family that accommodated our dog Tai in Memphis a couple of years ago that I found through GogVacay.

Finally, the website  gopetfriendly.com, which is – hands down – the best resource I’ve found for RVers who travel with their pets.

One of the reasons I like GoPetFriendly so much is because Amy Burkert and her Husband Rod are fulltime RVers themselves, traveling North America in a Class A and documenting thousands of places friendly t pets. Their site is an encyclopedia of travel advice for RVers looking for pet friendly places.

Amy and Rod have traveled over 80,000 miles over the past five years with their two dogs, Buster and Ty. And she has lots of great advice for our listeners about traveling with your four-legged friends.

I interviewed Amy on a podcast episode a couple of months ago. You can hear it at http://roadtreking.com/85 

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Winnebago Recalls Motorhomes for Loose Electrical Wire

Major Road Closure at Yellowstone National Park

Erwin Hymer and Roadtrek debut new models at Hershey RV Show

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports

I’m sure as you’ve traveled across the country this summer there were scenic vistas you took in where pictures just couldn’t do it justice.

Imagine being able to record that scene whether still frame or in video form and then letting people experience it as you did.

New technology like the Samsung Gear 360 allow for just that.

This futuristic looking orb pairs easily to your Samsung device and allows you to record nearly 4K video and 30mp pictures in full 360 using the device’s buttons or controlled remotely via your Samsung phone.

Once posted to Facebook or YouTube people can interact with the video by simply turning their phones to see a new direction...or on a computer they can use the arrow keys to look in any direction.

It also means when paired with something like a Gear VR headset, your friends and family can fully experience your vacation, a scenic view, or family event like a wedding or graduation as if they were there!

And at a price of just $349, recording and sharing 360 video is now easier than ever.

More information is available at VerizonWireless.com or stop by and play with one for yourself at any Verizon store.

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 -  

Tom and Patti Burkett tells us about a true off the beaten path road – US 50

By Tom and Patti Burkett

Few RVers are familiar with US 50, except maybe for the stretch through Nevada called “The Loneliest Road in America.” Stretching from Ocean City Maryland to Sacramento, California, this 1920s highway crosses a lot of rural territory and passes through very few cities.  Long road, few cities.  Hmmm. Sounds like a recipe for a good trip.

Last Saturday, to celebrate Labor Day weekend, we spent a long day on US 50 through the heart of the Midwest.  Sunrise found us in Hillsboro, Ohio, staring at the largest horseshoe crab on the continent.  Who would think to find such a thing in rural Ohio, but there it was.  Rescued from a bankrupt maritime museum in Baltimore, it now sits in the front yard of a man who couldn’t pass it up.  Sixty people can gather under its shell, and have done for weddings and other celebrations.

We headed west, through Cincinnati where we stopped for lunch supplies at Jungle Jim’s International Market, saw a gasoline sign graveyard, walked across America’s longest covered bridge (in Indiana, of course), but bent our way steadily westward so as not to miss the one stop that was the point of the day’s drive.

Bill Larkin grew up in the country outside the little town of Loogootee Indiana and spent his career as a computer programmer for the US military.  When he retired, he bought an odd looking round house out in the middle of nowhere near his childhood home and planted a lot of flowers.  It got to the point, he said, where I was watering flower beds eight hours a day and I just didn’t think I could keep it up.  So he gave up gardening and began building birdhouses instead.

Bill was sitting out on his deck and jumped up to greet us when we pulled into the drive.  Come on in! he said, and proceeded to show us through his immaculately clean house, where nearly two thousand birdhouses, large and small, hung from the ceilings and walls.  We stepped out onto the deck overlooking a small ravine.  Across a hundred and eighty degrees of view were birdhouses, and ceramic birds, and painted stones, thousands of them.

Bill paints each of the birdhouses himself, and builds most of them.  "I painted fifty this morning," he told us.  We enjoyed a long conversation about his work at the nearby military base, his grandchildren, and how he came to create this amazing display.  And we left with two birdhouses.  Bill gives them away—to everyone who comes to visit.  "Nothing for sale here," he says, "I just want to make people happy."  So get happy, friends, go see Bill and his birdhouses. Six thousand and counting.

http://www.billsyard.com/

 

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK -

Recent fulltimers Yvonne and Michael Maddox tell us about how the R Lifestyle offers them “Unsurpassed Freedom” 

Direct download: RT105.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 2:28pm EST

In this episode of Roadtreking the RV Podcast, we come to you from the Bruce Peninsula National park in Ontario, Canada and share lots of RV tips, audience questions, suggestions and ideas – including Mike’s instructions on how to photograph the Milky Way and the night sky.

How to Photograph the Milky Way 1. Find a Dark Sky. Just waiting until nighttime won't do. ... 2. Know When and Where to Look. ... 3. Use a Digital Camera with Good High ISO Capabilities. ... 4. Use a Fast Wide Angle Lens. ... 5. Use a Tripod. ... 6. Use Live View. ... 7. Start with ISO 3200. ... 8. Set a Long Shutter Speed. Here are some apps: • PhotoPills for iOS • SkyGuide for iOS • Stellarium Mobile for Android

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Valerie has a tip about holding mail while you are on a long RV trip

Tom offers a unique way to wash your clothes without having to find a laundrymat

And Jim has a tip about how to stay local by keeping to the back roads

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Daryl has new Roadtrek and wants to know about what kind of fuel economy to expect. He’s averaging a little over 16 mpg. Also wants to know how to protect the painted surface of his RV  

Jim wants an RV with rooftop solar and whether available. Also wants to separately adjustable twin beds.

Angelique called in to comment about traveling with pets

RV BASIC TRAINING The Care and Feeding of Your Solar Panels – By Campskunk

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: Man’s Typo while Booking RV Site costs him $1,000 Tornado hits NC Campground National Parks Grappling with Misbehaving Tourists

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: From Verizon's Steve Van Dinter …

I always love sharing cool tech info with your listeners, and today I’ve got some great news - a wireless speed increase for those who use Verizon - and the best part - it comes at no additional cost. It’s thanks to something Verizon is calling LTE Advanced. We’re all familiar today with traditional 4G LTE. When you see that symbol on your phone you know it means being able to browse the web, download movies and listen to your music fast. 
Well with LTE Advanced, you’ll now see those movies, music and files download about 50 percent faster. To access this next generation network, all you need is one of 39 compatible phones - and make sure you have accepted software updates when they’ve become available. You also need to live in or travel near one of the 461 cities and counting where LTE Advanced is available - which is a good portion of the US. Highways, interstates and rural areas are also included. To bring you these crazy fast speeds, your phones uses two or even three channels to transmit on - rather than one - and that means speeds of up to 225 mbps when it’s connected via two channels and up to 300 mbps for the times it’s connected on three channels - that’s many times faster than most people’s home internet! For more information you can visit VerizonWireless.com This should help make those long trips more entertaining! This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

RV CALENDAR America’s Largest RV Show Sept. 14-18 in Hershey , PA – This is the big one! Mike and Jennifer will be hanging out at the Roadtrek Motorhomes and Erwin Hymer of North America booths. We will also be posting reports on the roadtreking.com blog and live video on our Facebook Roadtreking Group.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT - Tobermory, Ontario and the Bruce Peninsula The Bruce Peninsula National Park This part of the podcast is brought to you by AllStays - the Internets #1 RV and camping app since 2010

Direct download: RT104.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:34pm EST

Episode 103: Protecting your house while away on RV trips 

This week we offer tips and suggestions on what do about your sticks and bricks house when you are off traveling in your RV. We share the ways Jennifer and Mike make sure things are safe and secure back home while they’re out traveling

We also offer a very detailed report about going to and coming back from Canada -what you need to know, what you can and cannot bring into each country and what to expect when you travel between the two countries.

Plus info on the best way to level and stabilize your RV at the campground, tech tips, RV news and lots of audience questions and comments.

We talk at length at our experiences of going back and forth between the U.S. in Canada all the time. Among other things, we cover:

·      Why you need to remove your sunglasses at the border check point

·      What questions to expect

·      Will they search or enter your RV?

·      What food can you bring in?

·      Can you take pets?

Traveling into Canada from the U.S. in your RV

Coming back to the U.S. from Canada When returning to the U.S. from Canada, all travelers are required to declare at customs any items purchased or acquired during their stay.

Food that can be brought into the U.S. from Canada – Detailed info

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Most RVers are not fulltimers and thus, when you hit the road, you have a sticks and bricks home to worry about. Mike and I travel about half the year, oftenfor weeks at a time, so we’ve learned by experience how to make sure everything will be just fine at home when we return. So here’s a list of the things we do:

First, we have a home alarm system. The one we use is SimpliSafe. It’s a do-it-yourself system, You buy the various sensors, attach them to the walls and it’s done. There are no holes to drill and the system is all wireless. It is extremely reliable and for $14.95 a month, we have 24 x 7 monitoring with it. Mike installed the system himself and we couldn’t be happier. We have an app that lets us control the whole system from wherever we are. But whatever system you do choose, we do recommend you have an alarm system and monitoring.

Okay, here’s what we do before leaving?

Stop mail delivery – You can do it online or stop by the post office and get a supply of their yellow hold mail cards. They need three days notice but we fill out ours with the date we’re going to be away and they hold it until our return. On the day we return, they deliver it to our door.

Alert neighbors or a friend that you will be gone – We have friends who periodically stop by to check the house. The friend water my plants, makes sure everything is okay inside and does a check of the property. We deactivate the alarm by our app for the time they visit and then remotely reactivate it after they leave.

Have the lawn cut – We use a lawn service and they cut our lawn weekly. In the winter we use a snow removal company. Nothing indicates a home is empty more than unkempt landscaping or snow covered driveways.

There are lots of other things you can do. Some experts recommend unplugging television sets, major appliances, turning off water and that sort of stuff. We have an automatic whole house generator so we don’t worry about power interruptions but in cold climates you want to make sure your furnace is always working so if travel is going to take you away a lot in the winter, the idea of an automatic generator may be worth the investment.

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Catrien asks about a list of RV dump sites. Mike refers him to the allstays.com website and app. It’s the best, most detalied list of dump sites available anywhere.

James asks about how to find a replacement parts for the Fantastic Vent on his RV, We send him to the company itself at fantasticvent.com or call them at 800-521-0298. They welcome calls.

Pamela inherited a 2000 190 Roadtrek Popular has questions. Refer her to a real mechanic. We refer her to the Facebook Roadtreking group and someone near her will surely help. We suggest she talk to https://rvinspection.com/

Bill is planning an RV trip to Florida next winter. He wants to know how to handle fresh water needs when traveling in sub freezing weather. 

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

How to Level your RV

The big Class A RVs most all have aitoatic levelers and stabilizers.

So this is directed more towards towables and small motorhomes.

First thing is to get a level. I have one on my smartphone. Just search for levels in the app store. Or you can buy one of those little circle or bullseye levels at just about any hardware store. They cost just a couple of bucks.

The cheapest way to get your RV level is to make your own…place a stack of 2x10s under as many tires as it takes to get the bubble on the level centered.I’m not a big fan of bringing and using wood. They take up a lot of storage room.  And more importantly, will the stack hold together as you try to run up on it with your tires?  This method is not only an inconvenience, but also a possible safety hazard

The best way to get your RV level is to use a set of RV leveling blocks. (Lynx Levelers are my favorite.) They cost less than $30. These interlocking plastic blocks are designed to handle the weight of the largest motorhome around.  You just snap them together and form a ramp that will stay stable while you drive or pull your RV onto them.  When your ready to leave, they unsnap and can be easily stored in a handy carrying case.å

They not only configure to fit any leveling function, but they also withstand tremendous weight

To use: simply set them into a pyramid shape to the desired height that the RV needs to be raised and drive onto the stack

The levelers can also be used as a support base for other stabilizing equipment

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

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: Health Apps

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports

Staying well while on the go can be a bit of a challenge. But that’s no reason to make your health and well-being less of a priority.

Fortunately there are gadgets that can help us stay well...and today I’ve got three such ideas you’ll definitely want to keep in mind.

First off...high blood pressure. It is often called the silent killer and affects millions of Americans. The best way to control it is with diet and exercise and also to make sure you’re regularly checking those numbers. Thankfully the folks at Withings have made that easy with their portable Bluetooth blood pressure cuff. Slip it on anywhere - at the beach, in the passenger seat of your RV or at your office and it’ll take an FDA-certified reading of your blood pressure. It then sends the info directly to your phone for tracking. Should you notice a trend or wonder if it’s something you should be concerned about, sharing it with your physician is just a few taps away. Again that’s called the Withings Blood Pressure Cuff.

Next...carrying around a thermometer isn’t always something we think about when running out the door. But this latest gadget, Thermo, makes it easy. The pill container shaped device slips easily into luggage or a purse and is just as easy to use. To take a reading, simply hold within ½ inch of the middle of your forehead and move it left or right toward your hair. It’ll take 4,000 infrared temperature readings and send it - you guessed it - wirelessly to your phone where it will keep track of your readings and also any symptoms you’d like to log with it. How great would this be especially for those with little ones?! That one again is Thermo.

And finally, fitness trackers are all the rage...but sometimes we don’t need all the bells and whistles. With the Withings Go, you attach the coin-shaped device to your belt or where as a watch and it’ll keep track of when and how you’re moving. Graphically it displays how many steps you’ve taken and all that info is fed wirelessly to your phone. In addition to running and walking, it’s waterproof and can keep track of your swims. Wear it to bed and you’ll get a good idea of how well you’ve slept. Also...the best part - with the Withings go you get up to 8 months of use on one battery!

All of these great gadgets can be found at your local Verizon store or at verizonwireless.com

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

RV CALENDAR

America’s Largest RV Show Sept. 14-18 in Hershey , PA

 Mike and Jennifer will be hanging out at the Roadtrek Motorhomes and Erwin Hymer of North Amercia booths. We will also be posting reports on the roadtreking.com blog and live video on our Facebook Roadtreking Group.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT -  The world’s largest wind chime and other small town wonders

By Tom Burkett

When I was growing up, we made a lot of trips from the eastern US to Colorado.  Camping was an adventure, but I can imagine what a job it must have been to set up our old canvas tent and wrangle two meals and a bedtime for four young children for one night, so we almost always did it straight through—Ohio to Kansas City where we overnighted with family, then another long day to Denver, where other relatives were waiting.

As an adult, I’ve repeated the same trip many times, often taking my grandmother to a family cabin in the Rockies.  The big difference was that she was willing to stop anywhere, any time.  We often drove the smaller state highways north and south of the interstate and passed through the towns that grew up to serve local farms and ranches and, later, travelers as they made their way west.

A surprising number of these little towns had (and have) quirky museums that highlight local history.  Over the years we visited the steamboat museum, the post rock museum, the barbed wire museum, the forgotten fossil museum, and many others.  Some of these are still around to enjoy, and now some of these bypassed towns are making an effort to lure us off the big road with something unusual.  High marks go to Casey, Ill.

As you ride Interstate 70 you may see a billboard inviting you to visit the world’s largest wind chime.  With its longest tube a whopping 42 feet , it sets up a low lonesome ringing when the wind begins to blow.  Looking like a modern sculpture, it towers over the town and dwarfs the tiny park in which it’s set.  The sunshine shimmers off it and on a gray day it looks ready step off down the road to better weather.

If you listen to Prairie Home Companion, or if you grew up here, you know Midwesterners are given to overachievement.  What surprise then, to look across the street and see the world’s largest rocking chair.  You can wander down the street and climb up to stand in the world’s largest mailbox.  Largest knitting needles? Check.  Largest golf tee? Check.  Pitchfork?  Wooden shoes?  Check and check.  You never know what’ll be next, so stop in.  Have a meal at the wind chime cafe.  Shoot an entire roll of film in one small town block.

Then leave Casey if you like, but keep your eyes open.  Little towns aren’t so little in their own eyes.  I’ll let you discover for yourself which tiny Midwest museum will hand crank ice cream to order while you look at the exhibits.  And which one will allow you to design your own cattle brand and burn it into a wall plaque.  And where you can eat homemade kolaches in the shadow of a giant psankey egg.  Or where you can wake the neighborhood by making a fifty foot dragon breathe real fire in the middle of the night.  They’re all out there.  Happy travels

For more info: http://www.bigthingssmalltown.com/learn-more.html

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

 

Direct download: RT103.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 4:35pm EST

In this episode we talk about fall fun and RV travel… plus we discuss seat belt laws and sleeping in the back of a motorhome while driving, choosing the right vehicle to tow a travel trailer. There’s lots of tips, interesting RV news and a fun off the beaten path report… so stay tuned…

In this episode, we talk about our fall schedule and some fall activities that our readers can participate in. They include:

Or check out this full list of the Best Fall Festivals

And here is a list of two of the big events Mike and Jennifer will be attending.

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

Shari has a tip about Getting rid of sand and dust… and a question, too, about sleeping in the back of a motorhome while moving.

There’s lots of controversy about the issue of walking around in a moving motothome.

As to legality, as far as we could find out, in most states, you can. Kids have to be buckled in the regular seats. Always. So do the front seat driver and passenger.

In a motorhome, though, even the seat-belt law becomes very questionable. Most states only require those in the front seats, the driving area, to wear seatbelts. Those in the living area are free to roam or sit without belts. Therefore, it would be legal to sleep in the back bed while driving.

Trailers are different. Most states only allow passengers in a trailer when it is a 5th wheel and there is a communication system to the driver.

It basically comes down to a risk management decision

We do. We also have belts back there. Think of a tour bus or an airplane. Each of these vehicles permit you to move about when safe. There is always that risk that something could happen. Many of the long haul trucks with sleepers you see on the highway have the other driver sleeping in the bunk.

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Chuck asks about choosing the proper tow vehicle for his new travel trailer that has a unit base weight of 5,600 pounds, a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,600 pounds and a tongue weight of 775 pound

We towed a 21 foot trailer with our Roadtrek, which was on a diesel Sprinter 3500 chassis. It was rated to tow at 7,500 and the Ultra lite we towed near 5,000 pounds with passengers and weight… it handled it fine

The number of actual vehicles you may need to sort through is limited by the weight of the trailer you wish to tow. If all you plan to pull is a 3,000 to 4,000 pound popup camper, you have dozens of possibilities. If the trailer weighs 4,000 to 9,000 pounds, choices become fewer – usually full size trucks, vans or SUVs. And when contemplating 9,000 to 20,000 pounds or more, you are far more likely to become a customer of the American Big Three – Ford, Chevy/GMC or Dodge, although Toyota or Nissan have full-size trucks suitable for the lower end of this scale.

You also want to use a weight distributing hitch with sway control. You will also need a brake controller.

I personally would not recommend using any 1/2 ton to pull that kind of weight. Step up to a 3/4 ton.

Here are some of the resources we referenced:

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

This week, we talk about using the awnings and getting shade for your RV. The helpful info we report comes from our own Roadtreking Reporters, Roger and Lynn Brucker. Here’s a link to their entire report.

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: 

Unprecedented Fish Kill Shuts Down Yellowstone River in Montana

Terrible Hammock Accident Injures Two on Isle Royale National Park

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports:

With summer coming quickly to a close, we all focus our attention a bit more on being productive.

Smartphones are an indispensable part of the workforce, and now there’s a smartphone that fits perfectly for that business person or college student on the go.

Fresh from Samsung it’s the Galaxy Note 7. It improves upon the already impressive design and specs of the Galaxy S7 edge and adds Samsung’s signature S pen - now upgraded - and comes water resistant like the phone as well as with a smaller, more pressure-sensitive tip to allow for more precise note taking and drawing.

Security is also enhanced on the Galaxy Note 7...in addition to an impressive fingerprint reader, you can also use your eyes to unlock your phone - yes it has a built in iris scanner!

You also get an amazing 12 megapixel rapid firing camera, 64 gb of memory and built in wireless charger.

Couple that with America’s best network - Verizon - and you’ve got a winning combination!

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

Listener Lyle Phillips tells us about a nostalgic place in the northeast Georgia mountains - the Tiger Drive In Theater, in Tiger, GA, where RVs are most welcome.

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

 

Direct download: RT102.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 5:58pm EST

In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast, we talk about how RV Travel has spoiled us, especially when it comes to automobile travel. Ten reasons immediately come to mind.

Plus, we have reader questions about emptying RV waste water tanks, a tip on a way to sanitize and clean them, traveling tech info, RV news of the week and a great off the beaten path report. Click the player to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details and resources and click the player below to start listening. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

We’ve just driven about 1,000 miles in an automobile instead of our RV.

And we can’t believe how much we disliked it.

Traveling by motorhome has spoiled us.

The trip, from our Michigan home to Atlanta, was unplanned and very quick, made necessary by a family medical emergency. Because we were going to be in downtown Atlanta around the Grady Memorial Hospital medical complex, we only had parking garage space available. Same with the downtown hotel where our other family members were staying: There was only underground parking available.

Our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL motorhome was too tall to bring.

So we drove. By car.

First, let me say that the medical emergency passed and had an excellent outcome. We had hundreds of people praying, many connected to me from Facebook and many part of our Roadtreking Facebook Group. The Roadtreking community support was so comforting.

But the drive down and back in our personal vehicle was anything but comforting and made us really miss the motorhome.

To that end, Jennifer and I have identified 10 ways Motorhome Travel has spoiled us. Here’s what we missed:

  • The high seats in the motorhome – We love sitting up high, over the road, with a huge panoramic windshield that lets us see the road, traffic, the conditions around us from a position much higher than that in our SUV. We feel more “on top of things” in the motorhome, better able to see road conditions and traffic and anticipate corrective moves when needed.
  • The refrigerator – In the motorhome, the fridge is always on, always cool and we have lots of water, snacks, fruit and refreshments on hand. A great road snack is sliced apples and cheese. I suppose we could have packed a cooler for the Yukon. But the fridge in the RV is much more convenient.
  • The bathroom – Have you stopped at gasoline station rest rooms or interstate rest areas lately? Most all leave something to be desired in the cleanliness department. Our own bathroom in the RV is clean. Always.
  • The kitchen – Eating on the road while driving in a car almost invariably means fast food or lots of online searching and review checking to find nice places to eat on route. In our motorhome, we can quickly prepare anything – breakfast, lunch, dinner. We just pull over and eat off our own plates, with our own utensils and always, the food we prepare ourselves in the RV is cleaner, healthier and better tasting than what we’d find at a roadside diner or fast food joint.
  • Being in control – This is a real intangible. But it provides a great sense of security. We are not dependent on anything other than fuel as we travel. We are self-contained. Everything we need is with us. This has to truly be one of the nicest things about RV travel.
  • Closets – We have plenty of extra clothes with us in the RV. If the weather turns suddenly cooler, we can go to the closet and replace shorts and T-shirts with long pants and sweaters. We have extra shoes on board the RV. Raincoats, jackets, hats and gloves. We are ready for most anything Mother Nature delivers. For a trip by automobile, where you have to pack everything in suitcases, it’s difficult to be prepared for different weather conditions.
  • A bed – I cannot begin to say how nice it is while traveling long distances to pull over and lay down in the motorhome’s bed for a quick roadside nap. On this recent trip down to Georgia, we were challenged by torrential rains. We had to pull over three times and wait a half hour or so each time for storms to pass. It’s very hard to nap in a car. In our Roadtrek, with the patter of rain on the roof, a rain delay makes for a wonderful nap. How we missed being able to do that on this trip!
  • Big side mirrors – I’m talking here about the mirrors outside the driver and passenger windows. The motorhome side mirrors are big and cover a very wide area. We feel we really can see what is around us and behind us in the motorhome. The mirrors on our automobile are much smaller.   Was not nearly as comfortable making lane changes as I would have been in the RV.
  • Being able to stand up and stretch – Our motorhome lets me walk around and stand up. I can move around and stretch out (while Jennifer is driving, of course!). We felt cramped and a bit claustrophobic in the car.
  • Our Home on Wheels - Put all of the above reasons together and that’s what our RV clearly is: Our Home on Wheels. It has all the comforts of home because it is That’s really what we missed when we traveled by our car.

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Mention Roadtreking and take $75 off your purchase price.

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

If you are like us, you have drawers full of T-shirts you’ve collected over the years from your various travels. Most are seldom or ever worn, yet you’ve hung on to them all because they represent nice memories. But all they are really doing is gathering dust.

Here’s an idea: Make a quilt from them.

If you’re handy at such things, by all means do it yourself. I’m not. That’s why a service like Project Repat is so appealing.

Project Repat is a company that turns t-shirts into quilts or pillows. Just send in your t-shirts or sweatshirts and they will turn it into a personalized, unique quilt or pillow within a couple short weeks.

Project Repat quilts and pillows are fun to use for RV Travel t-shirts and sweatshirts collected over the years that would otherwise sit in a drawer, or by anyone cleaning out the closet who can’t bear to part with nostalgic t-shirts

They charge $75 for a basic lap quilt. They make them in various sizes up to king, depending on how many t-shirts you send them. Each t-shirt is typically cut down to a 12 by 12 or 14 by 14 panel, with fleece lining sewn in.

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

A listener named Kelly wants Mike’s opinion on the Pantech 4g LTE Tablet versus the iPad or Kindle Fire.

AT&T has been steadily growing the number of 4G LTE devices they offer and one of the more recent 4G LTE tablets is this $299 8-inch tablet, the Pantech Element. It’s about a hundred bucks cheaper than the new iPad mini 4. The big claim to fame in our book is it is waterproof! But the cons outweigh that in our book. Incompatible with some apps. No hotspot functionality. Here’s a link to a PC Magazine review of this unit.

We had a couple of questions abut emptying the waste water tanks:

One listener thinks the Roadtrek macerator pump takes too long and wonders about the reliability of the indicator lights that supposedly show when it is full.

And another listener asks about using a composting toilet and whether she will have to empty her waste tanks every other day as she currently encounters.

Listener Kevin explains how and why we should track our fuel expenses.

And listener Sue is planning to visit Yellowstone and wants to make sure she doesn’t lose her spot when she drives off in her Class B from one of those first come, first served camping sites.

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

RV BASIC TRAINING

Maintaining your Waste Water Tank with The GEO method 

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

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Floods Cause $50 million in damage to Louisiana RV Dealer - Dixie RV

Road Construction Will Close Arches National Park's Campground For Most Of 2017

Monkey escapes from RV, scares Walmart shoppers

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

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports

With back to school season in full swing, many parents are stuck with the perennial dilemma of driving their students to and from school or letting them walk to school on their own.

But how do you know if they made it there safely and if you’re not at home when they return, how do you know they came right back?

Thanks to technology it’s easy.

There’s a great gadget out called My Gizmo Pal 2 by Verizon.

This cool looking wearable brings parents peace of mind by providing automatic alerts when their child enters or leaves specific geofenced areas like school, home or a friend’s house.

In addition, should a child go somewhere they’re not supposed to, parents automatically are alerted to that as well. You can even check in live at any time to see where your child is at...and their unique icon appears on the map allowing you to track multiple children at once.

Kids enjoy Gizmopal because it allows them to call one of four predetermined contacts at any time...like parents when they’re ready to be picked up from a friend’s house or practice.

GizmoPal has customizable stickers and is also rugged and waterproof so you don’t ever have to worry about it.

You can find GizmoPal 2 at your local Verizon store or at verizonwireless.com

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

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT

By Tom and Patti Burkett

We’d like to tell our fellow roadtrekers about a monster we encountered on our recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina.  Charleston is full of bloody history, lowcountry folklore, and pirate tales, so finding such a thing here is maybe not a surprise.

John’s Island, a bit south and west of the city, is home to one of the largest trees in the USA—the Angel Oak.  It’s a southern live oak tree with a canopy that extends over most of an acre.  This tree was already huge when the Revolutionary war started.  Its longest branch is 187 feet, and five adults can barely reach around it.

It’s said that the name comes from the angel ghosts of slaves who gather in its branches on moonless nights, but actually, the land it’s on was owned for many years by the Angel family and called Angel Farm.  Nowadays it belongs to the city of Charleston and operates as a free city park, host to nature talks and occasional parties.

Many of the branches of the tree support patches of epiphytic ferns that dry up and turn brown when water is scarce.  When it rains, they become lush and green.  It’s no surprise they’re called resurrection ferns.

We visited on a wet morning after a rainstorm and the tree was covered with them.  Photo opportunities a-plenty, but for a reason we couldn’t discover, tripods are not allowed, so bring a steady hand.

As you travel around the country, you can visit other big and famous trees, and maybe you have.  There are the Evangeline Oaks in St. Martinsville, Louisiana, where the lovers in Longfellow’s poem met, and the Survivor Tree in Oklahoma

City, veteran of the bombing of the Murrah Building there.  The Hangman’s Elm in Manhattan’s Washington Park is over 300 years old, and the Big Tree (catchy name, right?) on Goose Island in Texas has been there for more than a thousand years.

Sure, the General Sherman sequoia in California is impressive, and worth as many visits as you can make, and the bristlecone pines of Utah’s Great Basin may be 4000 years old, but there are lots of arboreal superstars scattered across the country.  Visit Charleston.  Eat shrimp and grits. Buy a Gullah basket. Take pictures of Rainbow Row.  Then head out to spend some time with the serene majesty of the Angel Oak.  You’ll be glad you did.  Happy travels!

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

 

Direct download: RT101.mp3
Category:Travel -- posted at: 10:39pm EST