Summary: Celebrating the RV Lifestyle by Mike and Jennifer Wendland. Tips, travel ideas, RV news and great interviews about the RV Lifestyle.
Imagine that you are about to retire. In the driveway, is a brand-new RV. Your dream machine. The Florida sun is shining, and life looks good…until you look out over the Gulf of Mexico to see a hurricane named Michael barreling down towards you. That’s what happened to a couple we met this week, who shared their harrowing story of what happens when a hurricane hits …how you – and your RV - need to be prepared, from having enough RV insurance, food and off-grid battery power in the RV. You will not want to miss the interview of the week, coming up in a bit. We also have lots of RV news this week, answer your RV Lifestyle questions about alternate energy for the RV and four-season RVs ready for cold weather camping and we have a great off-the-beaten path report from our friends the Burketts. But first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride…Jennifer. Show Notes for Episode #226 Jan. 23, 2019 of The RV Podcast WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK JENNIFER We've been attending the annual Florida RV Supershow for the past four days and it's good to be sitting! We put on a lot of miles shooting video on the new models and RV Lifestyle accessories we've seen down here. MIKE It seems like we walked pretty much every inch of the 26 -acre display area - several times - each day! There was so much to see with more than 1,500 RVs on display and 400 vendors showing off their RV products and services. JENNIFER Look for a full video on all the cool stuff this Thursday on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel at https://youtube.com/rvlifestyle And please, if you have not done so, subscribe to our channel there so you can be notified of new videos as we publish them. MIKE We also met dozens and dozens of fans and followers. It was truly humbling to shake so many hands and get so many hugs. We leave the show on an emotional high from all the encouragement and kind words. Thank you to all for taking the time to introduce yourself to us! And we’re off traveling again. By popular demand. We asked you on a recent YouTube live stream what kind of stories you’d like us to focus on besides our regular travel and trip reports and there was an overwhelming response to do more RV reviews and factory tours. So that’s what we plan to do over the next few weeks, visit various RV factories and suppliers and do a video report on how they build RVs, what new gadgets and innovations they have, who are the people building today’s RVs and what are the exciting things they are seeing for the future. So we’re off tomorrow to shoot our first one this week. We have another scheduled next week and you’ll be seeing them all soon on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel – https://youtbe.com/rvlifestyle We should note there was a definite downer part to this past weekend. Several very disturbing stories broke about a shakeup and serious allegations of financial irregularities surrounding the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, the parent corporation that owns Roadtrek Motorhomes. Many of you know that Jennifer and I have been on-the-road ambassadors for Roadtrek and the company has been one of our sponsors. We know many of the people who work there and our hearts go out to them in this time of uncertainty. Most of the stories we've seen come from unnamed sources and, as we write this newsletter, the company has not issued any comments at all. I’ve written all I know on the RV Lifestyle blog and if you need a background on it… check there. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK MIKE
Have you looked at RV prices lately? They are through the roof. Expect to pay well over $100,000 to buy a new Class B campervan. Even $150K is not that unusual and some of the super high-end ones are closer to $200,000. Those high prices are one reason why lots of RVers are making their own vans, buying stripped down cargo vas and turning them into their own customized RV, with exactly the features and accessories they want. This week in our Topic of the Week interview, we’ll talk with a DIY van expert who has helped hundreds build their own RVs and even has an online course that shows you how to do it. The featured image above is from Larry and Wendy, a couple I met this past weekend who built out their own van. I'll have a video on their build and that of another DIY van-building couple we met in a couple weeks. But Larry and Wendy used the expertise of Ross Lukeman, who has become a guru in the DIY van-building crowd and you can hear my interview with Ross in this week's podcast. But keep reading and listening as we have lots of other RV News, tips, travel ideas and more. WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK We’re just back from our annual winter campout at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsul JENNIFER So we’ve brought in the winter parkas and the snow boots and now we’re now packing, shorts, T-shirts and flipflops because we are headed to Tampa, Florida where we’ll be attending the annual RV Supershow there at the Florida State Fairgrounds. MIKE It’s billed as the Greatest RV Show in America and while some of the other shows may want to also lay claim to that title, the RV Supershow is huge. Every major RV manufacturer will be there, many of them introducing brand new designs for 2019. We’ll be visiting as many as we can and doing videos on the new models. JENNIFER I just looked at the press release and it says they will have over 1,500 RVs on display covering 26 acres. So there will be plenty to see! MIKE Not only new RVs but lots of RV-related accessories and products are being displayed by 450 vendors. JENNIFER The show opens to the public today, Wednesday Jan. 16 and runs through Sunday January 20. The cost of admission is $10 per Adult and each ticket good for a FREE 2nd day return! Children under 16 are FREE. MIKE We will be all over the show so if you see us, be sure and introduce yourself. But we will also be hosting a meet and greet on Saturday from about 11 AM-3PM. You can find us between those hours on Saturday and we’ll be hanging out at the Roadtrek Motorhomes display. And for those of you in different parts of the country, we invite you to tune into a special Tampa RV Show edition of our weekly Ask Us Anything live stream on YouTube. Instead of our usual Sunday night show, we will do a special 3PM Eastern Time live stream on Saturday, direct from the show. You can find us at YouTube.com/rvlifestyle JENNIFER We can’t wait for the Tampa show. But if it’s too far from you, be sure and stay tuned to the end of the podcast and look on the shownotes page for this episode as there are a great many other RV shows held all across North America this weekend and we will tell you about all of them. Just check the shownotes page at Roadtreking.com/225 and we’ll put links to each of those shows so you can get all the details you need. RV NEWS OF THE WEEK MIKE
Most of our National Parks remain open… but the partial governmental shutdown is causing some major problems across the country. In this episode of the podcast, we’ll update you on the latest. Plus, we talk about the controversial practice of wolf hunting near Yellowstone National Park. And, as always, we have your questions, comments and tips. And this week, we also have a huge list of the many RV Shows being held around the country over the next couple of weeks. WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK MIKE: We’re excited and packing for one of our favorite camping adventures of the year, our annual Winter Freeze Out gathering up at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. JENNIFER: We literally had to stop the packing to sneak into the studio here to record this episode but as soon as we’re done we’ll be back loading our RV with snow shoes, ski poles, extra boots and our warm weather clothing. MIKE: It is going to be cold up there. I just looked at the forecast and it’s going to get down to the lower single digits Fahrenheit Thursday through Sunday. The gathering officially runs Friday through Sunday but it has become so popular that many of the attendees, us included, are coming up early. We’ll actually be in the UP from Wednesday through Sunday. JENNIFER: We were worried that there wouldn’t be much snow up there because it’s been a very mild winter so far. But they got hit by a big snowstorm Monday and it is supposed to snow a couple inches just about every day this week. Of the 40 or so sites that the ark plows out for winter camping, our group has reserved about 35 of them. So we’re talking a lot of RVers. MIKE: We’ll leave there on Sunday or Monday but then we have to skedaddle south… all the way to sunny and warm Tampa Florida where we will be attending the huge RV Supershow at the Florida State Fairgrounds January 16-20. Talk about contrast: We’ll be leaving a place with a foot and a half of snow on the ground and replacing our parka with shorts and sandals in the land of palm trees! JENNIFER: The RV Supershow is one of the largest RV shows in the country and we’ll be doing several reports from there on the Roadtreking.com RV Lifestyle blog and on our Facebook Page and RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel. And we’re really excited that we’ll have a meet and greet with our followers on Saturday Jan 18 from 11AM-2PM at the Roadtrek display area at the show. It’s always fun to get to meet folks in person. MIKE: There are so many RV shows over the next few weeks. We’ll itemize a bunch of them at the end of the podcast. But RV Shows are THE best place to shop for a new RV, or to find the perfect accessories you need, JENNIFER: Let’s remind everyone on where they can find more information about the topics and stories we report in this episode. A lot of people are driving as they listen, or hiking or walking the dog or working out and can’t necessarily write down the resources we share. But they are all available in the shownotes for this episode, which can be found on the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle blog at Roadtreking.com/224. We build in links to everything we talk about here and the shownotes are like a detailed transcript. MIKE: Reminder about new phone number to call in questions and comments for the Podcast - (586) 372-6990. RV NEWS OF THE WEEK JENNIFER Plan now to see the 'Super Wolf Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse...
It’s a New Year filled with opportunities and adventures just waiting around the next bend in the road. This week, we hear from RVers all across North America about their Bucket List Trips planned for 2019. Show Notes for Episode #223 Jan 2, 2019 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK We’re back from vacation and looking forward to a 2019 travel season * New videos resume Thursday on the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube with a look at two electronic gadgets I wouldn’t travel without, a high quality dashcam system and a cellular booster. I’ll reveal what brands I chose and just how we installed them Thursday Jan. 3. You can find our channel at https://www.youtube.com/rvlifestyle * Our Ask Us Anything Live Stream on YouTube resumes Sunday night January 6 at &PM Eastern Time. * And our RV Lifestyle Newsletter will begin its 2019 publication season Monday, January 7. * Changes? We’re considering several that we’ll be sharing down the line here about our content production every week on the many different platforms – the Roadtreking RV Travel Blog, the RV Newsletter, the RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel. What would you like us to change about the podcast in 2019? Add new segments? Too many commercials? More Q&A? Longer episodes? Shorter episodes? Let us know. I want to work smarter, giving you what you want. We share our upcoming travel plans: * Our annual winter campout at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula next week. * And our trip to the RVSupershow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Florida. We’ll be there most of the week of January 16-20 and doing a special Meet and Greet with our RV Lifestyle Community at the Roadtrek Motorhomes display area on Saturday Jan. 19 from 11AM-2PM. We have a new way to leave us voice questions, tips and comments that we can use in the podcast. We now have a special voice mail number set up. You can find a link to it on our Roadtreking.com RV Travel blog. Or if you want to jot it down now, it’s (586) 372-6990. In fact, in 2019 we want to feature your voices more on the podcast. Here’s one topic for you to consider and leave us a message about: My Most Embarrassing Newbie Mistakes. Maybe leaving tht antenna up… pulling away from a campsite with the sewer hose still in the drain… trying to back into a campsite. We’ve all been there, done that. So lets share some laughs about the subject…and maybe help a newbie today avoid the same mistakes. Use that number – (586)-372-6990. Call on your phone and tell us all the embarrassing details and we will share it on an upcoming episode. Also, of course, you can use that number to ask your RV questions, make comments and share your favorite trips. The number is on the Roadtreking RV Travel Blog on the right hand side but, again, if you want to jot it down, its (586)-372-6990. We really want to hear from you! RV NEWS OF THE WEEK Government shutdown makes a mess in National Parks As you know, the government has been partially shutdown for the past two weeks in a huge political fight. As a result, we’re seeing human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behavior in fragile areas beginning to overwhelm some of the West’s iconic national parks, as the partial government shutdown left the areas open to visitors but with little staff on duty. This has left many parks without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep parks running. Under the park service’s shutdown plan, authorities have to close any area where garbage or other problems become threats to health and safety or to wildlife.
There is no excuse anymore to overnight in your RV in crowded, brightly lit, noisy parking lots. This week, we bring back the CEO of Harvest Hosts who will tell us in the interview of the week about a huge expansion in the number of farms, wineries, fruit orchards, attractions, and now golf courses across North America that welcome members of Harvest Hosts to stay on their scenic, beautiful grounds. We’ll also have him explain how listeners to this podcast can avoid the price hike coming January 1 and even get a nice discount not available to others. Also in this podcast, also answer your RV questions, share some tech tips and bring the Burketts on for another off the beaten path report. Lots to share this week. Show Notes for Episode #222 December 12, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK MIKE This is our last podcast of the year. We’re taking our first real vacation break in almost seven years of creating RV and Travel content. Besides pausing the podcasts to enjoy some time off at this special time of the year, we’ll be taking a break on our newsletters, videos and blog posts. In fact, speaking of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle blog, we’ll be doing a redesign and giving it a slightly different look. We’ll still be checking in on social media but we’re planning a real break. The podcast will return on Jan. 2, 2019 and all our other content will also pick back up right after the New Year. JENNIFER We have a new way to leave us voice messages, besides the link on the right side of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle blog. You can call us on Google Voice. From any phone, just dial 586-372-6990 and leave a question, comment, tip or any message. We really love hearing everyone’s voices and featuring them in the podcast so we hope you will use that service. We’ll post that number in the shownotes for this episode but again, if you want to jot it down now, it’s 586-372-6990. RV NEWS OF THE WEEK MIKE Class B RV Sales Continues record setting growth Class B sales continued to enjoy year-over-year sales growth during the first 10 months of 2018, as overall retail registrations climbed 27.8% in the period. Statistical Surveys Inc. reported that Winnebago Industries Inc. led the segment through October with a 39.6% market share followed by Erwin Hymer Group North America (29.3%) and Thor Industries Inc. (10.9%). JENNIFER Officials discuss ways to 'haze' Yellowstone National Park's wolves after beloved wolf legally killed by hunter Last week we told you about the legal shooting of a beloved Yellowstone National Park wolf which had wandered just outside the park's entrance and was shot during hunting season. The death grieved both park and wildlife officials who are now working on developing a way to 'haze' the wolves so they are less accustomed to humans.The Yellowstone wolves are used to humans watching them from a distance which makes them an easy hit for hunters looking for a trophy kill, officials said. To read more click here. Others are petitioning for a a buffer zone around Yellowstone, so hunters can't shoot the animals just outside the entrance, like what happened in this case. To read more click here. MIKE
This week we hear from a favorite, Chef MJ… Mary Jane Curry, who has been writing up RV Recipes for our RV Lifestyle Blog for several years now and has just published a delightful cookbook aimed squarely at RVers called “Small Kitchen Big Flavors.” Chef MJ is our interview of the week and she has five great RV kitchen and cooking tips to share with us. Plus, you’ll get first notice here of an awesome event this spring where you can learn from Chef MJ in person. But also, in this episode, RV news, RV tips, a great off the beaten path report and much more. But first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride, Jennifer. Show Notes for Episode #221 Dec. 5, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK We’re working on videos We’re planning a break… to take the first time off in seven years… the last two weeks of the year. We talk about our free Christmas gift-buying guide… https://roadtreking.com/christmas And we also talk about the members-only benefits available free through our RV Community at https://roadtreking.com/community RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK MIKE Man and dog climb tree to escape angry herd of buffalo, and broadcast whole thing on Facebook live Have you ever been out west, out for a hike, and come across some wild buffalo that are not too happy to see you? Well, in a story I saw last week, apparently a man was hiking on Antelope Island near Salt Lake City, Utah, with his German Shepard when a herd of buffalo decided to go aggressively come toward him. The man did what many do these days, decided to record the whole thing on Facebook Live. As the buffalo started following him he noticed their tails were up - a sign of aggression - and they were grunting menacingly. He walked faster and faster and then tried to climb a tree as he called for help. His story has a happy ending, after a parks official came to help. Officials believe the herd mistook the dog as a predator. JENNIFER RV shipments to dealers down 11 percent, though sales are up 4.63 percent You may have heard that Elkhart, Indiana, home to the RV manufacturing industry, is closely watched for signs of how the economy is doing. Several stories out last week analyzed what the third slip in RV shipments in a row means not just for the RV industry, but for the whole country. The RV Industry Association reported wholesale shipments to dealers dropped 11 percent for its third period, yet RV sales in the U.S. and Canada are up 4.63 percent. What is not clear is if the third drop in shipments is because dealers had ordered too much inventory, or if rising interest rates, tariffs and the contentious the political climate is adding up to mean something else. MIKE Manatees ares heading to Florida's inland hot water springs The manatees are back! Florida's Blue Springs State Park report that the manatees are back in large numbers as cold temperatures have hit the Sunshine State driving the gentle giants inland to Florida's warm springs. A story out last week about this made me think of a camping trip Jennifer and I took at the Blue Springs State Park a few years back to see the manatees. (see our report
Is your RV in storage? Whether out in your driveway, parked around back or kept at one of those storage lots that charge a monthly fee there’s a lot more involved in safely and securely storing your RV for the season than simply locking the doors and walking away until it’s camping season again. We’ll discuss thus in the interview if the week, coming up a little later in the podcast. But we also have your RV questions, traveling technology tips and a great off the beaten path report. Show Notes for Episode #220 Nov 28, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK Here’s a housekeeping item. Throughout the podcast, you will often hear us say that you can find links or resources about the topics we are discussing on our shownotes. For those of you who just listen to us on an app or by download, those shownotes can be found on our RV Lifestyle travel blog. We call that blog Roadtreking and every Wednesday when we release a new podcast, we also publish shownotes for the episode. It’s not a full transcript but a very complete outline that contains those links and extra resources. To find it, just go to Roadtreking.com and then a forward slash followed by the episode number of the podcast. For example, to find the shownotes for this episode, you’d type Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-220 and that would take you directly there. We talk about our whereabouts this week and our plans for the next few weeks. Jennifer and I have put together a free 25-page guide you can grab of our Christmas Gift Suggestions for RVers. These are the products and accessories we like and use the most. It's absolutely free! Just go to https://roadtreking.com/christmas and you can instantly download it. It is like a catalogue and is arranged by various topics - camping/outdoor gifts, RV technology ideas, pet gifts for RVers, RV kitchen gifts, fun gifts and more. We hope you enjoy it and feel free to share it with your RVing friends. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK JENNIFER Story highlights overuse of American national parks An interesting article was jointly reported and published in several publications last week detailing how the national parks are being loved to death. The excellent article highlighted two-mile long bison spotting traffic jams at Yellowstone, fist fights over parking spots in the parks, and once unknown sites being overwhelmed by tourists after becoming famous on social media - as we talked on the podcast a few weeks back. The article is worth a read, and is familiar material to many of us who are out there and have witnessed much of what is described. We put a link to it in the showbites at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-220. MIKE Seasoned RVers, and those who never RVed, buying motor homes and trailers to give to fire victims Heartbreaking stories about the devastation caused by the California wildfires has dominated the news recently, but last week there were a number of inspirational tales of strangers helping strangers. One that caught my eye was of a Denver, Colorado, man who took a week off work, bought an RV, filled it with supplies, and drove it with his 6-year-old daughter to Chico, California, to donate it to a family left homeless from the fires.
One of the topics that we are asked about a lot has to do with insurance. How do you select the right insurance for your RV? If you make a mistake, you can overpay, or be under insured. There are so many variables that when it comes to choosing RV insurance, you need to know as much as possible, to make sure you're getting the best deal and the best coverage. This week in our interview of the week, we're going to dig into just that. Plus, as always, your RV questions, RV News of the week, Jennifer’s Tip, Traveling Technology suggestions and an off the beaten path report. Show Notes for Episode #219 Nov. 21, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK We’re back home in Michigan for the holidays. Next event is our winter campout in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We are taking Bo up camping at Tahquamenon January 11-13th. We have a tradition of five years of doing this and Bo insists on a snow vacation before we head south. Anyway, we have reserved site 177. Openings are filling up fast for that weekend. We can't make later dates because of other official commitments later that month. But if you also want to head up there, you need to reserve your own spot with the Michigan DNR at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, at the Lower Falls Hemlock campground. Here's the website: https://www.midnrreservations.com/TAHQUAMENONFALLSSTATEPARK If you do, let us know you're coming and request to join our special Facebook Grpup that we have set up for this event at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1697339513886451/ We’re celebrating the RV Podcast being the Number One Podcast in the list of the Top 15 podcasts released by by Feedspot, a respected web service that rates logs, news websites, Youtube Channels, podcasts, magazines, RSS feeds and Social Sites accounts worldwide. We were chosen, said Feedspot, “from thousands of RV Podcasts on the web using search and social metrics…because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.” The judging was by Feedspot's editorial team and expert reviewers and based on, among other things, our influence, popularity, quality and consistency of posts. That's pretty exciting and we wanted to share that with you, who, after all, make it possible by listening and reading us! See https://blog.feedspot.com/rv_podcasts/ The second exciting announcement is that we have released a new book called RV Buying Secrets, that demystifies the RV buying experience in a 70-plus page guide that will give you a step-by-step process to buy a new or used RV at a fair price. If you've spent any amount of time researching RVs, you'll know that the RV buying process can be completely overwhelming and confusing.There are so many different models and manufacturers to choose from, floor plans, amenities and everything in between. That's why we wrote the guide, to give prospective buyers an exact plan to follow, a plan that lays out the exact steps to take from an idea of the RV Lifestyle to you driving home in the perfect RV for you. You can learn more about it at https://roadtreking.com/buy
This week we update you with some inside information on the 2019 Sprinter van, probably the most popular chassis used by Class B RVs. They’ve been in short supply for almost two years now and we’ll learn this week that a new Sprinter factory in South Carolina is about to change that. Plus, lots of RV news, tips and reports. WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK Show Notes for Episode #218 Nov. 14, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast MIKE We’re coming to you this week from Okaloosa Island on the Florida Panhandle’s Emerald Coast where we’ve been enjoying some time at our condo. JENNIFER Mike’s been doing a lot of writing, video editing and tinkering with our new 2018 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL, adding some accessories and personalizing it for his tech gear. I’ve been cleaning our condo down here, doing a little redecorating and visiting friends. MIKE We’re set to travel back to cold and snowy Michigan over the weekend. I’ll have to winterize the RV before we hit the road because the weather forecast says we can expect freezing temperatures from Nashville on. JENNIFER Remember the Wooly Caterpillars and the animals in Kansas? When we were there a month ago for one of our Roadtreking gatherings, the cowboys we met on the cattle ranch we were visiting said the animals were developing much thicker than normal winter coats much earlier than normal and the wooly caterpillars had thick black bands. MIKE Yup. According to folklore, the amount of black on the woolly bear in autumn varies proportionately with the severity of the coming winter in the locality where the caterpillar is found. JENNIFER I read this morning that it was snowing in Amarillo TX and I see posts on our Roadtreking Group on Facebook shows a lot of people have been experiencing very cold weather this past week. There are a lot of snow pictures there. MIKE At the same time, California has been devastated by the deadliest wildfires in history. So many lives have been lost, homes and property destroyed. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by those fires. We’ve heard from several of our Roadtreking friends this week that they have their RVs packed and ready to flee in case those fires head their way. JENNIFER Giant plumes of smoke can be seen on satellite images rising from the West Coast and then getting picked up by the Jetstream and carried east. As we record this podcast, some weather experts were predicting that some of that smoke could be detected as far east as New England today. So sad. MIKE As far as our RV Lifestyle goes, this has been a particularly busy week. I haven’t said a lot about this but I’ve been working hard on a new book which deals with a subject that we are asked a lot about: Buying an RV. I’m pretty excited about this book which will be published this week. It is jam packed with practical buying advice that I think can literally save you thousands of dollars and prevent lots of headaches or buyers resource as you shop for an eventually purchase a new or used RV. We will announce this book first to those who have signed up for our RV Lifestyle newsletter. If you are already part of that community, look for an email soon about availability. And if you have not yet subscribed, now’s a chance to do so. Just go to https://roadtreking.com/newsletter You can become a part of our community there for free. And when you do, you’ll get lots of perks and special discounts for RV services and products. JENNIFER How big is that Roadtreking community now? MIKE Between all our various platforms and social media,
It’s no secret that across North America, many towns and cities are becoming increasingly anti-RV, prohibiting overnight camping anywhere except in RV campgrounds, which often charge an arm and a leg for what can often be pretty dismal campsites. Our interview of the week tells us how we can avoid such places and find lots of great overnight RV camping sites, oftentimes for free or very minimal costs. Also this week in Episode 217, your RV questions, some great RV tips and another excellent off the beaten path report from the Burketts. Show Notes for Episode #217 November 7, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK MIKE This week we’re coming to you from our new RV, camped in the Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida. JENNIFER We're attending a gathering organized by our friend Paul "Pogo" Pogorzelski, who loves Disney and tossed some dates out last spring and found 50 or so others who agreed that Fort Wilderness would be a great place to gather in early November. MIKE We are loving our new Roadtrek! It rolled out of the factory Friday and made its way straight to our Michigan driveway, where we packed it up and immediately took off for Florida. Friday and Saturday nights, we needed to run the heater. Tonight, in Florida, the air conditioning is on. It's performed flawlessly so far and we can't wait to show it to you. JENNIFER As soon as we finish the Disney World video and we get a little more familiar with all the bells and whistles on this unit, we will be doing a complete video reveal and tour. But let me say that in almost seven years of doing the RV Lifestyle now in five different Class B Roadtreks, this Roadtrek has impressed us the most in every away way possible. And we've only been in it for three days! MIKE We've asked our various social media followers to help us name this new unit and we'll probably choose one for the video reveal. If you have a good idea, send it in! This part of the program is brought to you by AllStays Pro, the best tool for RVers looking for places to camp. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK MIKE Pictures of amazing locations shared on social media can draw millions of visitors, and unintended consequences An interesting story I saw YouTube last week about the affect social media is having on various unique but previously little-known locations around the country was fascinating. As people take pictures of gorgeous places on public land they often share the picture on places like Instagram and Facebook. Those posts typically include location coordinates. So then more people visit the spot, more pictures posted, and more people decided to visit. The result is some unique spots around the country are becoming inundated with tourists before the parking lots are made, before the trails laid out, and before the bathrooms are installed, causing significant environmental damage and a slew of unforeseen troubles. We’ll put a link to this interesting story in the shownotes at Roadtreking.com/217. JENNIFER Couple who fell to deaths at Yosemite National Park were taking selfie, brother said Speaking of social media, last week in this newsletter we reported on a couple who were found dead at Yosemite Nation...
Thinking about buying at RV? Hold up. Don’t do it until you follow our advice. What advice is that? Simple: Try before you buy. Unless you are an experienced RVer and know – from experience – just what you want, RV newbies should try out an RV for a couple of days to make sure it fits their needs and lifestyle. In our interview f the week coming up in a few minutes, we introduce you to Outdoorsy, a company that specializes in helping people find RVs to rent. Also this week, RV news, especially about the dangers of taking selfies in daredevil locations; RV tips, your RV questions and a great off the beaten path report from the Burketts that all who love Mexican chips and salsa will appreciate. Show Notes for Episode #216 Oct. 31, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK We talk about: * Our plans to head to Florida this week and Pogo’s Happy Campers Gathering at Walt Disney World * The dilemma of whether we bring Bo or leave him back in Michigan with our daughter * Using our RV all year around * Our winter camping trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - We are taking Bo up camping at Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula January 11-13th. This is not an "official" gathering but an informal one. We have a tradition of five years of doing this and Bo insists on a snow vacation before we head south. Anyway, we have reserved site 177. If you also want to head up there, you need to reserve your own spot with the Michigan DNR at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, at the Lower Falls Hemlock campground. Here's the website: https://www.midnrreservations.com/TAHQUAMENONFALLSSTATEPARK If you do reserve a spot, then join our winter campout group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1697339513886451/and let us know there that you're coming and what spot you reserve. This part of the program is brought to you by AllStays Pro, the best tool for RVers looking for places to camp. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK JENNIFER Park rangers investigate deaths of couple who plunged off Taft Point at Yosemite National Park Another sad story about people slipping and falling to their deaths at a national park - this time it happened in Yosemite National Park. They were a couple who had a travel blog, citizens of India who were living in the US. Their blog has been taken down but previous posts had a lot of photos of them in precarious places and the woman wrote that they were fans of “daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL???” Ironically, she then added: “Is our life just worth one photo?” The National Park Service is investigating how the pair fell. Their bodies were discovered Thursday about 800 feet below Taft Point. Taft Point is the same place we told you about in last week's newsletter where a photographer took a stunning picture of a proposal. Again, just how this couple died has not been determined. But the tragedy is a good reminder that many of the most breath-taking locations in our parks do not have safety rails. There is an inherent risk in getting too close to the edge. While we do not know yet if this couple had a camera, let's use this sad story as a reminder to be careful because no photograph is worth dying over. MIKE
RV Podcast 215 Is your Rv ready for winter? It’s that time of year again. Cold weather and temperatures near freezing remind us that winter is fast approaching and those in northern climates soon need to winterize their RVs. So we tell you in this episode everything you need to do to protect your RV’s plumbing. And Jennifer has a great tip about mouse-proofing your RV, too, to keep rodents out while it sits in storage. Plus lots of listener questions, traveling technology tips and an great off the beaten path report. Show Notes for Episode #215 Oct. 24, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK MIKE Here we are just a week before Halloween and if the calendar isn’t enough of a reminder, the cool outdoor temperatures are making it obvious that change is in the air. At the dogpark with Bo every morning, we’re wearing our winter jackets, hats and even gloves. So, as we said in the intro, it’s time to winterize if our RV is exposed to the elements in cold climates. Though I must say the best winterizing tip I have heard was from a snowbird buddy from Minnesota telling me the way he winterizes is he takes his RV to Florida every year about this time and doesn’t return until April! JENNIFER Speaking of snowbirds, this is the time of the first wave in the annual snowbird migration from the north to Florida and the Southwest. I’ve seen figures estimating the number of snowbird RVers as high as three million! Their migration really has two stages. The first always begins around Halloween. The second big one comes right after Christmas, because a lot of RVers like to stay home with family before heading south for warm weather. Snowbirders leaving in the next week or so can probably avoid winterizing. Those waiting until Christmas should not leave their RVs unprotected without antifreeze until then or they risk damaging their plumbing system. That shouldn’t need to be stated but there are always some who like to take than chance. MIKE As we said, we are a week before Halloween. And in the camping world, Halloween is a he event. Most big RV parks and even many state parks are booked solid every weekend all during October. The parks have weekend trick or treat nights and costume parades and RVers are encouraged to decorate their rigs. We always like visiting RV parks this time of the year. We will be doing so this week and we’ll share some photos of what we see this coming Sunday night on the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. That will be on our Ask Us Anything live broadcast at 7PM Eastern. We do a live show every week at that time and we thought it would be fun this coming week to share our photos of what we see. And if you are out there at an RV park and have decorated for Halloween. Send us a photo and we’ll include it in our live broadcast. You can reach us at email@example.com JENNIFER We really enjoy doing that live show on the RV Lifestyle Channel each week. It’s the next best thing to being around a campground with good friends. I am really amazed at what an online community we have developed around those Ask Us Anything broadcasts. People can make comments and type in questions in real time and we can then display the questions on screen and answer them. It’s a highlight of our week. This part of the program is brought to you by AllStays Pro, the best tool for RVers looking for places to camp. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK MIKE
Is your RV overweight? Are you overweight? In this week’s podcast we talk to our friends James and Stef from The Fit RV about the importance of weighing your RV to make sure it is not overweight, and thus unsafe for the road. Too many RV manufacturers send their RVs out dangerously close to the weight limits, something many RVers are unaware of when they start loading their gear and themselves into it. And it’s too easy for life on the road to cause us to become overweight, too. You’ll find much of interest with his great RVing couple in our interview of the week. Plus, RV Tips from Jennifer, your RV questions, traveling technology tools for the RVer and a great ff the beaten path report from the Burketts… all this coming up in Episode 214 of the RV Podcast. Show Notes for Episode #214 Oct. 17, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK MIKE We’re back in our sticks and bricks house in Michigan to catch our breath between trips. It’s been pretty much non-stop travel, from California to Pennsylvania with many stops between since early summer and we have had a ball. But it’s nice to have a little break JENNIFER We just returned from an absolutely fabulous trip to Kansas, specifically the Flying W Ranch, located on 7,000 acres of tallgrass prairie. It was another one of our Roadtreking gatherings – the eighth of the year – and this one was on a working cattle ranch. We had Roadtrekers from all across the country show up. We camped boondock-style right next to a horse corral and we were so busy. We hiked, took a lot of awesome photos, star gazed under that big prairie sky, learned all about the cowboy culture and actually joined in on some of the ranch activities. MIKE The absolute highlight of those activities was the cattledrive. We mounted up on horses and accompanied the real cowboys out onto the pasture for a longhorn cattle drive. It was an unforgettable experience and so much fun. We were right in the middle of the herd and I can’t wait to put together the video of the experience. JENNIFER The other highlight was the tallgrass prairie itself. You know Kansas is a place that most people go through. On their way to or from some other place. But believe us, it very much belongs on your bucket list. When Mike gets the video uploaded to our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube you can see for yourself but the prairie is so stunningly beautiful that even my husband’s excellent video skills can’t capture it all. It needs to be seen firsthand. The tall grass prairie used to cover a huge section of North America,170 million acres from Ohio to the Rockies and Mexico to Canada. Today only 4% remains and that’s mostly in the Flinthills region of Kansas where we were. The U.S. Park Service has established the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve there and it’s well worth a visit. MIKE As our gathering broke up Monday, there was a light covering of snow on the ground. The first hard freezes and heavy frosts of the year hit many of the northern and midwestern states this week. Out in Kansas, the cowboys at the ranch told us that they are expecting a much harder than normal winter this year. They said extra thick coats on the horses and cattle are already showing up, which is much earlier than normal. And the Woolly Bear Caterpillars they are seeing are showing much longer black bands than the rust colored bands. The more black showing on the caterpillar, supposedly the more severe the winter will be. The cowboys believe it and say the winter will be tough. JENNIFER Speaking of winter and cold weather,
The RV Lifestyle means different things to different people. This week, we’ll hear from a collection of RVers we just met at the ongoing California RV Show about the many different ways they use and enjoy their RVs and what part of the lifestyle they enjoy the most. Plus lots of RV News, RV Tips and a great off the beaten path report. Show Notes for Episode #213 Oct. 19, 2018 of Roadtreking - The RV Podcast WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK MIKE We've been on the west coast the past few days meeting folks and hanging out at the huge California RV Show in Pomona. It’s our first time attending this annual fall show, which in every way rivals the September RV Show in Hershey and the January Tampa, Florida RV Supershow in size and vendors. It’s hard to say which is the biggest but lets just say you can walk a lot of miles at Pomona and still not see everything! JENNIFER. This is the third RV show we’ve attended in as many weeks. First was Hershey, then the RV Open House in Elkhart and now the California Show. If we had to take our impressions on all three of these shows and identify the one or two big trends we saw, we’d have to say all the industry momentum seems to be focused these days on boondocking and smaller RVs like teardrops and Class B campervans. The industry’s clear emphasis is on drawing younger people into the RV Lifestyle and they are trying to do that with smaller more efficient units that are able to do off grid and sometimes off road camping. MIKE I agree with that assessment. I think the question we were asked more than any other one over the weekend had to do with boondocking. And not necessarily by young people. Campers of all sorts, especially babyboomers expressed frustration over trying to book space in commercial campgrounds and state parks. So many RVs have been sold in recent years and there are so many new RVers out there that tit is getting harder and harder to book a spot at a commercial or state park type campground without making reservations long in advance. So RVers are increasingly looking towards boondocking. Which is just why we wrote our new book, the Beginner's Guide to Boondocking . Sales have been amazing, and we so appreciate the kind words we heard from many at the show who have already read it. But in three days of doing meet and greets out there, we heard so many people talk about wanting to give boondocking a try. We were also asked a lot where Bo was and we explained that we left him back home because we had to fly out to California because there just was not enough time for us to drive in our RV between all the shows we had to attend and our next event, which gets underway tomorrow. That event is another one of our Roadtreking gatherings, the eighth of the year. It’s on the prairie in the Flinthills region of Kansas on the Flying W Ranch. The Flying W is a working cattle ranch and we will be camped there in our RVs and participating in all sorts of things, including a longhorn cattle drive, a photography tour and something I am really looking forward to, a night star gazing party with an astronomer. It should be an awesome time. JENNIFER As this podcast is being released the Panhandle region of Florida is being affected by Hurricane Michael. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the affected areas. This looks like a major storm and it hits home for us…literally. As many of you know we have a condo on Okaloosa Island near Destin which is right in the thick of it all. We have been relying on friends, including Roadtrekers Les and Kathy Shanteau, who we want to give a big shout out to.
One of the things we RVers invariably ask ourselves at some point is, "How long will I be able to keep on doing this?" Well this week, in our interview of the week, we're going to hear from an RVer who says, "As long as you're moving, you're never too old." Plus, a report on 5G, the blazingly fast new mobile Internet network launching this week and what it means to RVers. Plus lots of your questions, RV News and tips and another wonderful off the beaten path report from the Burketts. Show Notes for Episode #Oct. 3, 2018 The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK MIKE Can you believe it’s October already! JENNIFER One of my favorite times of the year for the RV Lifestyle. I love fall camping! MIKE We’re headed to California this week and the 66th annual California RV Show at the LA Fairplex in Pomona. Although Hershey calls it’s September show the World’s Largest RV Show and Tampa’s RV Supershow in Florida every January says it is bigger yet, there are many who think the California show is really the biggest. Big it is, too. The show covers over one million square feet of displays and includes a large exhibitor tent featuring countless accessories and aftermarket products to personalize RVs, plus 40 informative seminars on a variety of RV-related subjects. JENNIFER There’s lots of convenient parking and easy access to the show is assured with three entrance gates. There will also be three food courts for hungry show goers, and entertainment for everyone from free Ferris wheel rides, meet and greet celebrities, music and an amazing archer. The show runs from Oct. 5 through 14, 2018 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Gate 9. Show hours are 10AM until 6PM daily. There are supposed to be 1,300 new 2019 models on display and a bunch more 2018s and earlier, so just in terms of space and the sheer number of RVs on site, this show promises to be every bit as big as Hershey, if not more. MIKE We will be doing meet and greets both Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend, October 6th and 7th. You can find us at the Roadtrek Display and the Mike Thomson dealership space there. For those of you in different parts of the country, we will be doing our regular Sunday night Ask Us Anything YouTube live broadcast from the California RV Show at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern this Sunday night. JENNIFER We are really looking forward to attending this show and meeting folks. Adult admission to the show is $15; kids 17 and under are free. There’s lots of RV Parking available. You can save $2 by purchasing tickets online at californiarvshow.org This promises to be a lot of fun, we’ve wanted to get out to California for this show for years. MIKE Something else we are really excited about is the publication of our book, “A Beginner’s Guide to Boondocking.” We thank you for all those early buyers who have been sending us such kind reviews but it really was a labor of love. We’re asked all the time how do I start out boondocking so we sat down and did a guide, covering everything on managing power use while camping off the grid, to meal prep, handling water needs while boondocking and much more. JENNIFER I think what people will like the most is our suggestions on how to find the perfect boondocking spot, whether just as an overnight stop, or a place to really get away from it all deep in the woods for a few days. We also address the safety issue and candidly talk about what it’s like to be off the grid, both the challenges and the benefits. MIKE We have special introductory pricing on it that will expire in a couple days, but if you want to learn more about it,