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All about RV Caravan Tours!

| Updated Mar 26, 2024

Have you ever wondered about RV caravan tours? To find out, listen to our interview of the week with the operations head of Fantasy RV Tours.

Also this week on the RV Podcast:

  • A massive hatch of billions of creepy crawly bugs is about to invade large sections of the country. Yes, we really mean billions!
  • Love’s truck stops are greatly expanding overnight camping spots at its service centers. The company is adding electric and water hookups for weary RVers.
  • All this plus the RV News of the Week and your questions coming up in Episode 490 of the RV Podcast

You can watch the video version from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel by clicking the player below.

If you prefer an audio-only podcast, you can hear us through your favorite podcast app or listen now through the player below.

Greetings from Florida, where we have spent most of the past three months. This week, we finished a major project: reviewing five Class B models and testing them by driving and actually camping in them. 

It's been a huge project that has seen us drive thousands of miles, testing out gas and diesel engines, 2-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and 4 x4 models on three different chassis (Ram Promaster, Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter), in lengths of 20, 22 and 24 feet. 

Thanks to Nick Schmidt of Sunshine State RVs for providing us with the units to test. 

We now look forward to editing five in-depth video reviews on each model and then a sixth video that tells you our favorite features. We'll have it all ready in a few weeks and will release them one at a time over six days. As soon as we have the dates ready, we'll let you know.

If you're interested in preliminary impressions, you can find them among our posts at  https://community.rvlifestyle.com

When edited, the full series will be found on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. We invite you to subscribe to the channel so you don't miss any of our videos. We've been releasing new videos several times a week and would love to have you as a subscriber.

SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ – Wendy Bowyer

All about RV Caravan Tours! 1

Wendy Bowyer reports on the hot issues most talked about this past week on social media and our RV Lifestyle Community group.

Don't you love to see the little things RVers do to personalize their rigs? Well, In our RVLifestyle Community recently in the Mods & DIY Tweaks Space, we asked: “If you could give a new RV owner one piece of advice about customization, what would it be?”

So many gems here!

Tom suggested installing a Tire Pressure Monitoring System if you don't already have one for peace of mind.

Heidi said to pay attention to your bed. Replace it or get a memory foam topper on it because you need to get a good night's sleep.

Thomas said to add battery-operated smoke and heat alarms in each under bay and get another fire extinguisher for the rear-most part of your RV because the industry typically only has one by the front door.

Also in our Community, Kay had quite the story. On a recent camping trip Kay and her husband were both sound asleep when they awoke to this loud noise – this thud – that was so loud, she thought something was coming through the ceiling! They grabbed a flashlight to look and a large frog was caught on the screen of their Maxxair fan! They had left the fan running with the lid up, and somehow a frog got wedged in there. They shut off the fan, and tried to move him along for about an hour, but they couldn't get him over the blades. Then they decided to take the screen off, and got out a garbage bag to catch him. Instead he fell down, hopped out of the garbage bag,  hopped around their counter, and their water jug, when finally Kate's husband caught him and took him outside.

Kay said they made a rookie mistake and urged everyone to learn from them and keep the lid closed on ceiling fans at night. What a story! 

In our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group, Carol shared a decorating tip that really got people talking. Carol wanted some kind of picture above the bed in their new motorhome. She liked the comforter set she had bought, so she took a picture of the design on it and turned the picture into a lightweight canvas. She hung the canvas on the wall with command strips and shared a picture. The project was easy and inexpensive, and the colors in her bedspread – cranberry, grey and creme – matched the wall hanging perfectly and just popped!

A couple hundred people wrote to say it was so creative and a great idea.

My favorite comment was from Kim who said: “Wow! Brilliant idea! You win the internet today! Well, at least the part of the internet that deals with decorating RVs!”

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – All About RV Caravan Tours

Stacey Rabung, operations director of Fantasy RV Tours
Stacey Rabung, operations director of Fantasy RV Tours

More and more RVers are caravaning or traveling in groups as part of a guided tour. If you’ve ever wondered what it's like, our interview of the week will give you a great overview.

Our special guest is Stacey Rabung, operations director of Fantasy RV Tours, one of the oldest and most popular organized guided RV Tours. 

Fantasy RV Tours organizes and runs RV caravans all across the world.

Summary of the Interview

Stacey Rabung from Fantasy RV Tours joins Mike Wendland to discuss guided RV tours. They cover the locations of the tours, the benefits of guided tours, and the assistance provided by the tour company. 

Stacey explains that guided tours are like taking a cruise on land in your own RV, with the company providing the itinerary, reservations, and activities. 

She also mentions the need for additional health insurance for overseas tours. The conversation touches on the number of participants in caravans and rallies, RV restrictions, and the reasons why people choose guided tours. 

Stacey emphasizes the convenience of having reservations made in advance and the inclusion of meals and excursions. The flexibility of traveling together and the role of the tail gunner in assisting guests with breakdowns are also discussed.

Takeaways

  • Guided RV tours provide a convenient and worry-free way to explore various locations.
  • Additional health insurance is necessary for overseas tours as US policies do not cover medical expenses in other countries.
  • Caravans and rallies typically have a limited number of participants, ensuring a more intimate experience.
  • Guided tours offer flexibility in travel arrangements, allowing participants to travel at their own pace.
  • Tail gunners play a crucial role in providing assistance and support to guests in case of breakdowns.

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK

All about RV Caravan Tours! 2

Billions of cicadas expected this spring in rare, double brood that some are calling the ‘cicadas apocalypse'

Have you heard about the BILLIONS of cicadas coming this spring that is expected to be so bad, some are calling the cicadas apocalypse?

If not, you soon will!

For the first time in 221 years, a rare double brood of these 1-1.5 inch red-eyed winged bugs will emerge from underground in parts of the midwest and southeast at basically the same time.

Brood XIX will emerge in 14 states for the first time in 13 years, and Brood XIII will emerge in five states for the first time in 17 years. 

The result? For the first time since Thomas Jefferson was president, parts of the country are going to be covered with cicadas crawling on your RV, splattered on your windshield, and definitely impacting your camping experience.

The bugs are expected to be worse from mid-May until late June. (Their life span is 4-6 weeks). And the state to be hardest hit is Illinois. And when they die, the stink is expected to be substantial.

If you are camping in heavily infected cicadas area, you may want to prepare now. Here is a story we did last year on bug splatter – hope it helps!

Love's Travel Stops to open 31 more locations catering to RVers this year

Love's Travel Stops, long a popular place for gas and munchies, is reaching out more and more to RVers with overnight spots – and more.

Currently the company has 57 locations that cater to RVers, and another 31 more planned to open by the end of 2024.

These stops have 30 and 50-amp electrical service, water, sewer or a dump station and WI-FI. And increasingly we are finding they offer a dog park, laundry, showers, propane, a restaurant and more.

We even heard the company is planning to open a luxury RV resort in Montana near Yellowstone National Park next month that will have a basketball court, communal fire pit, picnic tables, dog park, showers, and a laundry facility.

There is definitely a demand among RVers for a quick, safe, inexpensive place to overnight on long road trips. Have you stayed in one? What did you think?

Michigan considers giving state residents a head start in reserving campsites

Michiganders may soon get a 2-week head start on reserving campsites in state parks or forests under a bill introduced last week in the Michigan House.

Michigan is a popular destination for campers and many campsites fill within minutes of reservations opening, making it hard to get a spot during the summer, particularly in popular parks.

Under a bill introduced in the state House, residents would get a two-week head start on reserving a campsite before reservations open to those living out of state. The author of the bill said that since state residents pay for the parks with their taxes, they should get first dibs.

Florida recently enacted a similar law, giving its residents a one-month advance window to make camping reservations. And we have noticed more and more states starting to charge two different prices to campers – one for residents and another for non-residents.

The Michigan bill still has many steps before it becomes law, but we will follow it for you. 

Meanwhile, have you camped in Michigan? We have two e-Books to show you what to see, what to do and where to camp that you can check out here.

Rabid raccoon bikes man hiking near campground at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

A man hiking in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area near the Valley View Campground was bit recently by a rabid raccoon, leading to a warning about staying away from wildlife.

Rabies is a disease that kills both animals and people and is transmitted through salvia, like by a bite.

Rabid animals often lose their fear of people, seem confused, and can be aggressive for no reason. They also may drool, or seem tame. 

The park is urging visitors to stay away from all wild animals and to make sure their pets are up-to-date on the rabies vaccine.

If you are camping with your dog, we have written the Ultimate free Resource Guide you can access here.

RV QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

No More Mold! RV Awning Maintenance Tips From a Pro

QUESTION: We recently replaced our awning. It seemed fine for most of the 2k trip we were on. I didn't notice anything. I put it out to dry when we got home. Now when we bring our powered awning in the front side rolls up fine, tight, but the back side has 3-4 inches of slack left. Has anyone encountered this? Fix? – Jeff

ANSWER: Jeff posted that question on our new RV Lifestyle Community. Brad Claridge, an RV Mobile Tech from Tennessee, posted the following. “It sounds like your awning has slipped to one side on the roller and will need to be re-aligned. There should be one screw on each end that goes through the plastic guide into the roller; they keep the material from shifting.” That is a great help from Brad, who happens to be my neighbor at our RV property in Tennessee and his answer to Jeff’s question is just another example of how helpful our community has become. If you haven't yet joined, we invite you to do so at community.rvlifestyle.com

QUESTION: Just returning from our first trip class C Thor 24 ft.  I was wondering how hard it would be to tow a car behind this or should I do flatbed towing? Lynn

ANSWER: This is another question that was first posted on our RV Lifestyle Community. The consensus is flat towing is the easiest and best. Members Bob and Roxy said they tow a Jeep Gladiator behind their 27-foot Class C motorhome and you don't even know it's back there. Ken, who has flat-towed behind two Class A RVs,  noted that a flat-towed vehicle is narrower than the motorhome, so it follows wherever you fit.  Sharp turns are the only time you’ll see it in your mirrors.  And, Beth, a veteran RVer who also flat tows, says it’s much easier than with a trailer or dolly. 

To all of that, I would add my agreement. But I will say that not every car or truck can be flat towed. 

To be sure a vehicle is appropriate for flat towing, consult the owner's manual. Nearly every car manufacturer specifies in the towing or recreational towing section whether it can be towed with all four wheels on the ground, whether it requires a trailer, or whether it needs to be towed with two wheels lifted off the ground on a dolly.

The most popular vehicle to flat tow is the Jeep Wrangler. It’s been that way for decades. A big reason is because the Wrangler’s weight is around 3,000 pounds so it's not too much of a strain and it's great for off roading.. The next most popular, as Bob and Roxy use, is the Jeep Gladiator. Other popular “toads” or “dinghys” as they’re called, are the Honda CRV and the Ford Ranger.

The website eTrailer maintains a great list of the best vehicles to flat tow behind an RV at https://www.etrailer.com/faq-best-vehicles-to-flat-tow-behind-rv.aspx#list 

We're OVER 11,500 members in our NEW Community!

All about RV Caravan Tours! 3

We have a Space for all sorts of things you want to know as an RVer, including Travel Planning, Electrical, Plumbing, Traveling with Pets, Gear, and more.

You can join each Space individually and only see what's being discussed in just that Space. Or you can see everything in the main Feed.

You can watch livestreams that are focused on one Space or another – like we recently did for Internet on the Road!

It's a calm, well-organized, friendly space to meet other RVers who might be traveling near you!

Join us https://community.rvlifestyle.com

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-03-27

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.

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