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011 Roadtreking RV Podcast: “E-Treknology” and the Best Kept Secret of the RV World

| Updated Dec 3, 2014

Day two of coverage from the 2014 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. looks at “E-Treknology” and the way it is revolutionizing RV travel.  Plus, we expose the biggest secret in the RV world — how Park units are becoming a hot new trend of “camping without a camper.”

Jennifer and I are in Louisville and in our continuing coverage of the National RV Trade show, we interview a slew of experts for inside info on the trends that will be shaping your RV travel for months to come

Here are the shownotes from Episode 11 of Roadtreking the Podcast:


After answering a reader question about credit card security while on the road, they tap into the latest in RV trends by interviewing Bill Sheffer, of the Michigan Association of Recreational Vehicles and Campsites, one of the largest and mst influential such groups in the county. Sheffer tells us:

  • Why RV sales are continuing to boom
  • The latest trends he's seeing in RV demographics
  • Why so-called “Park Units” may be the next big trend in RVs.
The control console on the Roadtrek TS Adventurous is one example of "E-Treknology"
The control console on the Roadtrek TS Adventurous is one example of “E-Treknology”

My next interview is with Yan Seiner, a Roadtreking Reporter on the RV Travel blog and an engineer at Roadtrek Motorhomes.

Yan explain how “E-Treknology “is finding its way into the Class B small motorhome market, the evolution of electronic and green energy systems first introduced in Roadtrek's Etrek model two years ago.

Seiner explains:

  • How power management systems in modern motorhomes now involve sophisticated systems like solor power, engine generators and on-board high tech monitoring systems.
  • How an iPad or Android tablet or a smartphone can now remotely control and monitor critical RV energy, lighting, security and comfort featur

And finally, I interview RV industry veterans Bob Zagami… John DiPietro RV Insights, who discuss:

  • The use of Park models for extended stay camping, sometimes called Destination Camping

    A Park model offers 400 square feet of living. It's classified as an RV because it was on wheels. Lots of different companies are now selling them and campgrounds are setting up special areas for them

  • How you can get two of them for price of a used motorhome, one for up north in the summer, one in the south for wintertime
  • Why RVing is experiencing a huge resurgence because it connects people to places and each other
  • Younger families are rapidly becoming a major demographic
  • Cabin and “yurt” rentals are the biggest income producers for many campgrounds these days, “camping without a camper.”

We'll be back with another bonus episode of the podcast tomorrow as Day Three of the National RV Trade Show ends.
Many of you ask how you can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I'd sure appreciate it if you'd subscribe and leave me your review.

Here's how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast
How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
> From there (see photo above), you can…

1) Subscribe

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3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2014-12-03

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

9 Responses to “011 Roadtreking RV Podcast: “E-Treknology” and the Best Kept Secret of the RV World”

December 03, 2014at9:49 pm, Robert Blits said:

Hi Mike,

Listened to the first two podcasts from Louisville and thank you for giving us an inside look at this industry show.

I am somewhat puzzled however on the “E-Treknology Options” that are so prominently displayed in the lead photo for this second podcast. I thought we would hear or get an explanation of what the information on the photo actually means to us consumers.

What is “20,000 Watts of Lithium Storage” and what does this mean for me in an RV and how does this differ from the 4 coach batteries that were supplied with the current E-trek option?

What is 650 watts of solar power vs the singly panel we got with the E-trek solar package that was an option on the 2014 CS Adventurous and other Roadtrek models?

How does the operation of a 5000 Watt Inverter provide that a 2500 Watt inverter may not provide?

What does the “Proprietary Monitoring System” monitor and how does it inform the user of what is going on?

Perhaps all this is too much for a podcast but since the lead photo displayed this information I thought the podcast would include at least the new lithium battery discussion.


December 10, 2014at11:22 am, Eric Udell said:

I was hoping for a little more detail on the “E-Treknology”, since I’m pretty sure that the geeky out there are the first ones to be in on this new technology.
Also, I find it pretty worrying that the sticker for the “E-Treknology Options” has what looks to be two major errors.

1. Watts by themselves are not a useful measure of battery capacity, so 20,000 Watts of batteries doesn’t really tell me much. Did they mean 20,000 Watt hours of storage? Because that would be nice, but probably prohibitively expensive.

2. 350 Watts of engine generator also seems unlikely, particularly when the standard alternator on the MB chassis can put out nearly 2800 Watts. Perhaps they meant 3500 Watts?

Whatever they meant, two such glaring errors on the details sticker at a trade show isn’t a good sign, literally or figuratively.

December 10, 2014at11:29 am, Mike Wendland said:

That is a photo I took of the display card on the windshield of one of the units… I am told the card should have said 3500 watts from the engine generator.

December 10, 2014at11:33 am, Eric Udell said:

Can you inquire about the batteries?

December 10, 2014at11:39 am, Mike Wendland said:

it is 20,000 battery watt hours…using some fancy proprietary tech not ready for public disclosure

December 10, 2014at11:48 am, Yan Seiner said:

Yes, there were some typos in the placard…

We use Watt-Hours rather than Amp-Hours since the various systems on board use different voltages. So if you know that your TV/DVD combo uses 100 watts, and your batteries store 20,000 watt-hours, you can run watch 200 hours of movies, and you don’t need to convert between amps at 12 VDC, 24VDC, and 110VAC.

And if you’ve even rolled out new technology for a trade show, you know that you you’re pushing deadlines to the last minute. So a few errors do slip through now and then. We were more concerned with having the systems work than in getting the placard right. 🙂

December 10, 2014at11:50 am, Eric Udell said:

Thanks, Yan. 20Kwh is a lot of stored power. Is that total storage or usable storage?

December 10, 2014at11:52 am, Yan Seiner said:

We have test rigs out in the wild answering that question right now.

And it’s Wh, not KWh. If we could pack 20,000 KWh we would really be way out there. 🙂

May 08, 2015at3:00 pm, Eric Udell said:

20,000 wh = 20Kwh.

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