Welcome to the Thanksgiving 2019 episode of the RV Podcast, released on Thanksgiving Eve, one of the busiest travel days for ALL Americans – not just RVers – and a time to be with friends and family. Us, too!

We just drove back to Michigan to be with family for Thanksgiving like so many this time of the year, there are more to-dos than there are hours in the day.

And for that reason, this will be an abbreviated version of the podcast because we know many of you have other things to do this week than tune into our typical hour long podcast. Because after Thanksgiving is Black Friday weekend, the busiest shopping days of the year.

So, this week, we’re going to respect your schedule and ours and make this a brief one.

Speaking of Black Friday, just a quick mention here that we’re having a 40% off sale of our various RV Lifestyle digital guides. It is only good to Dec. 1, but if you’re listening to this episode close to its release date of Nov. 27, 2019,  go to: https://shop.rvlifestyle.com/collections/digital-guides and from now until Sunday, Dec 1st, you can get 40% off any of our premium guides using the discount code: BFTAKE40.

Our first stop this week when we got back to Michigan was the town of Holland, on the west side of the state where we had our RV winterized. We shot a visit of the process and we’ll release that this weekend on our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. We’ve done a lot of different winterization videos over the years on the different ways various RVs we have owned are winterized but this was the first time we winterized our Leisure Travel Vans Unity FX model so we thought we’d add it to the channel as well.

While the general process is pretty much the same for all RVs there are always some differences. Things are located in different parts. Plumbing knobs have to be turned just so. Filters removed. Things like that. So while I think the video will be helpful to all RV owners, we though we’d show what’s involved in winterizing our Leisure Travel Vans unit.

I used to always feel bad when it was time to winterize because for so many, it means the end of camping until spring. But not us. We camp year-round on our RV, even in the snow. Besides, we’ll be back to warm temperatures down south again right after the New Year winter campout up at Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. So then it will be time to do another video ion how to de-winterize our RV.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dish Outdoors, which lets RVers pay as they go and watch HD satellite television from wherever they are camped with easy to set up gear made with the RVer in mind. Just go to https://rvlifestyle.com/dish for details on the service and special deal just for listeners of this podcast.

RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK

President Trump to send national park rangers to patrol Mexico-U.S. border after Democrats refuse to provide funding for more border agents 

National Park rangers will be patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration and drug traffickers under a new order by President Donald Trump. Trump made the order after the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives refused to fund his border security plan. Trump says the extra manpower is needed to respond to a record number of illegal migrants. But Democrats criticized Trump for taking national park rangers away from national parks, which are already underfunded.

New York state campgrounds set new record in visitors for 2019  

A new record for campground attendance was set for New York state campgrounds in 2019. The announcement was made by Governor Andrew Cuomo last weekend, citing 680,533 campground visitors in 2019 compared to 663,953 in 2018. Jen and I were among those campground visitors New York’s upstate area and found it absolutely beautiful. To see a recap of our travels, click here.

Skip Black Friday shopping and have an outdoor adventure on #OptOutside Friday 

Have you seen the hashtag #OptOutside yet? Many state parks throughout the country are offering free admission Nov. 29, providing a Green alternative to Black Friday shopping. Sponsored by retailer REI co-op, the goal of the day is to get people outside taking a walk, cleaning up a green space, or doing some other outdoor activity versas being inside buying things. REI is closed Nov. 29, yet still paying its employees. And it is encouraging others to get outside, too. We love the idea of enjoying the fresh air and having an adventure, and saw hikes and special events at parks and locations throughout the country – too numerous to list. Here is a few of what one state has planned, and here is the REI site that has a few more spots – but not the complete list.

Black Friday sales to offer discounts for some iconic national park lodges

Speaking of Black Friday, for those of you who like national parks but prefer to stay in a lodge, you may be interested in a story we saw about Black Friday sales on lodge stays at Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yellowstone and Zion national parks. Xanterra, the company which which operates many of the lodges for the park service, will offer sales on the room prices this Friday and Monday for those who book for certain times of the year.

Montana latest state considering raising some state fees to better reflect actual costs

Montana is the latest state seeking public input about raising its campground, dumping, state park entrance and other fees.  The new fees would raise the cost of dumping from $4 to $5, entrance fees to state parks would rise, as would the cost of some tours, and camp wood. The fees would bring in an estimated $200,000 in new revenue to help Montana run its state park system. For more info click here

This part of the podcast is brought to you by RadPower Bikes, America’s #1 e-bike brand, offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Via our Voicemail Number at 586-372-6990

QUESTION: Hi Mike, this is Davis from Davis Tandy and Buster. So I have the question on automatic generator starter. I was really watching Dean the other night and having seen this before the automatic generator is actually these can be linked to your thermostat and even set it up not just for low voltage on your batteries. But also for the thermostat preparing to kick on to work the air conditioner. So I think that allows you to get away with either no inverter or small inverter something much smaller than be required to run a air conditioner. Anyway, I was wondering if you could investigate that for me cuz I’m thinking about installing something like that next year. I’d like to see some information on it first. Appreciate it. Really. Enjoy your videos. Thank you. Bye.

ANSWER: We checked into this with Dean Corrigal of Leisure Travel Vans and here’s the scoop on your question, Davis:

On the 2020 model year Unity’s,  when you order the optional L.P. generator you get Auto Generator Start (AGS) which allows you to:

1) Set the A/C temperature in the motor home, once the temperature inside of the motorhome goes above the desired temperature, the generator will automatically come on and cool down the motorhome back to the desired temperature. 

2) The AGS can also be set for low battery voltage, so if the “House” batteries get too low the generator will automatically come on and charge up the “House” batteries.   

AGS is an Onan part and can be bought form any Onan/Cummings dealer. 

You may still want have an inverter to run electrical inside of the motorhome at night, when you are not allowed to have your generator running during quiet time. You need at least a 2,000 watt inverter for your microwave.

Do you have a question you’d like us to answer, or a comment on the things we’re discussing. If so, we invite you to leave us that question or comment on the special voicemail number we have for the podcast – it’s 586-372-6990.  If you are driving and can’t write it down right now, just go to the RV Lifestyle travel blog at rvlifestyle.com and scroll down the page. You’ll see that number prominently posted on the blog.

This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Battle Born Batteries, maker of quality, safe and reliable lithium batteries that can be installed in just about every RV. Get in touch with Battle Born to find out what lithium batteries and an upgraded energy management system can add to your RV Lifestyle. Check them out at https://rvlifestyle.com/lithium

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

At this time of the program we usually interview someone from the RV community about various RV Lifestyle topics.

But this week in honor of Thanksgiving, we thought we’d take a few minutes to tell you some of the things related to our travels this past year that we are most thankful for.

We’re thankful for all the wonderful things we saw as we traveled across North America visiting so many beautiful areas. I think of two parks in particular – Dead Horse Canyon in the area around Moab, Utah, and Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area on the Atlantic Ocean north of Daytona Beach.

We’re thankful to Harvest Hosts and all the wineries, farms and attractions we stayed at free this year. It’s hard to pick a favorite but the Alpaca Farm in New Mexico, the Alligator Ranch in Mississippi and the Heron Hill winery in New York’s Finger Lakes area top the list.

We are thankful for the 2019 Leisure Travel Vans Unity FX we bought in March. Since then we have driven almost 21,000 wonderful miles and it has been near flawless, with not a single major issue at all, despite driving it long and hard on many times as we moved across North America.

Along those same lines, we’re thankful for Ryan and Mike Elias, Dean Corrigal and Don Klassen of Leisure Travel Vans and our various sponsors like Nick and Craig from Sunshine State RVs, Ty Collins of Rad Power Bikes, Sean and Denis from Battle Born Batteries and all the folks from Dish Outdoors. Without our sponsors, there would be no podcast and we are so grateful for their support and encouragement over the last year,

And then there are our own team members here at RV Lifestyle, people like Josh Whitford, Dalton Divine and Anthony Rome who handle our marketing and digital products; Wendy Bowyer who puts together our weekly newsletter; Chris Cowley who does graphics and helps with video editing; Andrew Dietrich, who helps with writing and our RV Lifestyle travel blog; and Phyllis Khare, who runs our social media.

Speaking of which, we want to give a thankful shoutout to our Facebook Moderators Mary Jane Curry, Jennifer Fawcett, Lisa Gruner, Dan Hallinan, Joe Campbell and Tony Mags.

And then there are our content creators on the blog, Tom and Patti Burkett, Campskunk and Chef MJ Curry who does those awesome RV Recipes each week.

In our travels, we have met so many other RVers who have become dear friends. It’s impossible to name them all but among those we are so thankful for are people like Joe and Joanne Raetano, Jeff and Deb Spencer, Les and Kathy Shanteau, Pam and Bill Roberts, Doug and Glenda MacClendon, Ari and Jessi Adler, Bob Zagami and John DiPietro,  Mark and Dawn Polk.

And so many, many more, including all those Fellow. RV Lifestyle Travelers we meet at the various RV shows around the country.

Then there are those in the RV Industry who have impacted our lives and to whom we are very grateful for. People like Jason Kimbrel of LaMesa RV. Mike and Marcia Neuendorfer of Advanced RV, Karyn Torcoletti of Roadtrek, Troy Beckel of Tiffin Motorhomes, Mike Snell of Thor Motorhomes, Mark Koep of Campground Views, and other You Tube influencers like Mark and Julie of RV Love, Marc and Tricia of Keep Your Daydream, Kyle & Olivia of Drivin’ and Vibin. Mark and Cheri of Technomadia and James and Stephanie of the Fit RV.

So many people. So many places this past year. We’re so thankful for it all. But most of all, dear listeners, we are thankful for you. That you choose to literally put us in your ears each week. Thank you. And it is our prayer that you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving this year. We hope to meet you out on the road in 2020.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new  motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country