Skip to Content

Blood Clots and RV Travel: The Most Dangerous Risk You Never Knew Existed

| Updated Jul 13, 2023

It killed him. With no warning. Just like that, moments after arriving at a campground.

There was little to no warning, and this week, Betsy tells us how this can be prevented by taking frequent travel breaks to move around.

This is one of the most important interviews we've ever done, and Betsy walks us through this terrible tragedy and tells us much, much more. Please copy and share this episode with your fellow travelers. It is truly life-saving.

You can watch a video version of the podcast from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel below;

For an audio-only version, download this episode on your favorite podcast app or just click the player below to hear it on whatever device you are now reading this.


Audience Feedback from last week

We had considerable feedback from last week's episode about some of the topics we discussed.

Tony sent us this note about our story last week on the National Park Service requiring permits for anyone who visits a National Park and puts their video on YouTube. Says Tony:

The video issues in National Parks I feel, is an attempt for the NPS to generate additional funds. I’m pretty confident that the opposite effect will take place, but the NPS won’t realize it until they hit a financial hardship, if not a downright crisis. I’m pretty sure the YouTube videos that you have shared created the desire for my wife and I to visit Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mtn National Parks. New campers are still entering this community and thousands make plans every year for iconic vacation/camping locations, and most rely on YouTube to set their agendas.  I applaud you for “not playing the game”.  YouTubers aren’t going to suffer too much but I’m afraid the NPS will in time. Sad day. Please keep your episodes coming.  Love them. – Tony

And Wil passes along this interesting tip from our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group:

Had an interesting experience yesterday with our furnace. Woke up to what sounded like a Black Hawk helicopter over our 5th wheel. Turned out it was our furnace. I figured the motor was out and began pulling the furnace out. After removing the unit, my wife noticed a large mouse was in the squirrel cage fan. After removing the dead critter and testing the motor, all was fine. On our furnace there was a 3″ square hole that was directly over the fan. I placed a open mesh metal screen over the hole to prevent this from happening again. – Wil

RV Interview of the Week: The Hidden Dangers of Blood Clots and RV Travel

Blood clots and RV Travel killed Rick
Betsy and Rick had been married for 45 years

Our guest is Betsy Johnson, a solo female traveler in her 70’s who has been widowed since 2017.

How she became a widow is the topic of this week's RV podcast episode.

Betsy and her late husband, Rick, spent about two years RVing around the country in their Class C when Rick, who had been in good health, suffered a blood clot and died suddenly while on a camping trip in South Dakota. 

Doctors later told her the blood clot was from sitting too long while driving. 

Betsy and Rick were married for 45 years, and Betsy lost Rick in 2017. 

Today, Betsy travels with her pup Petey in a Class B Winnebago Travato
Today, Betsy travels with her pup Petey in a Class B Winnebago Travato

Today Betsy and her silky terrier Petey are still RVing, this time in a Travato. Betsy hopes by sharing what happened to Rick others will take the threat of blood clots seriously, making sure to stop frequently while out on the road. 

As she says, there's no guarantee of tomorrow.

In the interview, she details how Rick died, what she learned about blood clots, and how the FMCA membership she and Rick had for their RV travels arranged transport for her and her dog back home and then drove their RV back home, assisting her greatly in her time of distress.

Please listen to the interview with Betsy. Her advice can literally save a life.

She stresses how important it is not to drive too long at a time and that you must take regular exercise breaks, walking around the vehicle every hour or two.

betsy and her dog
Betsy now takes frequent exercise breaks with Petey as she continues to RV

She also shares some important links.

New Travel Tech – iExit

The New Travel Tech segment of the RV Podcast, drawn from the pages of – our sister blog that celebrates the many ways technology enhances the travel experience.

This week, we want to share an app aimed at Interstate Travelers.

It’s called iExit, and we’ve used it for years.

This app is great for finding out what’s at the next exit from the interstate or an exit miles down the way. It locates fuel stops, tells you the average cost per gallon, notes what restaurants and businesses are at that exit.

They call it your Roadtrip Pit Stop Finder and it helps save time and figure out where to pull off and find the services you need.

One thing we really appreciate is the way it pulls in daily fuel prices for all grades of gasoline and diesel. It compares those prices and then shows you what exits ahead have the best fuel prices.

You can also find rest areas ahead, restaurants at each exit, and hotels as well. You can even book a hotel room through the app.

It’s free for iOS and Android.  

RV News of the Week

weekly news

Great-horned owl attacks temporarily close Ontario, Canada, campground

We have all heard of an occasional aggressive bear causing a campground to temporarily close. But in Canada's Killarney Provincial Park, a campground had to close last week because of an aggressive owl.

The great-horned owl had attacked several visitors, swooping down and pecking their heads. One man suffered wounds to his scalp and forehead after the bird attacked him, dropping down silently in the middle of the night and leaving him feeling like he had been struck by a sledgehammer. 

Another camper was out making tea at around 8 pm when the bird struck. He said he had a helmet on so he was not bleeding but it still hurt. The bird later came back and attacked him when he was in his tent. 

Owls can be territorial and they do protect their nests from perceived danger.

To learn more of the Ontario incident, click here. To read our story on some of the best things to do on the American side of Lake Ontario, click here.

Man stranded in Oregon national forest during heavy snow rescued after sending cell phone up on drone

A man who became stranded in Oregon's Willamette National Forest during heavy snow recently was rescued after he used his drone to send a text for help.

The man, his dog and a friend were leaving the national forest when they offered to pull a stranded motorist out of snow and became stuck themselves. The park does not have cell coverage so the man came up with a brilliant solution: Use the drone.

He typed a message to his wife telling her his location and situation, attached it to his drone and then sent the drone up high enough to get a signal.  His plan worked.

Rescuers came and helped him, and on the way rescued another motorist who had been stranded for several days.

To read more click here or here.

Colorado couple's Class A stolen out of their garage, dashing travel dreams

A man and his wife living in suburban Denver had their dreams crushed after their Class A RV was stolen from their garage.

The Lakewood couple said they had worked hard all their lives, saved their money, and then purchased their RV with dreams of traveling. They had recently returned from an RV trip to Florida and had many more trips planned this summer but now all those plans are gone.

The couple parked their RV in their garage and even had a security system for the garage when thieves broke in and successfully stole it. Their RV has South Dakota plates, and they are asking for the public's help in locating it. You can read the full story here.

To see our tips on RV security, click here.

Florida campground association warns many RV parks are almost full for the 2023-24 snowbird season

florida campgrounds

Many RV resorts in Florida are already fully booked for the 2023-2024 snowbird season, and others are filling up fast, according to the Florida RV Park and Campground Association.

The association issued a press release last week urging snowbirds not to delay in making reservations for next year because many of the resorts in popular locations are expected to be completely booked within the next month.

Many of the state's resorts give priority to RVers willing to commit to longer periods of time. So, if that is not your plan, best to line things up now, said Bobby Cornwell, CEO of the Florida RV Park and Campground Association.

To see our story on the 15 best Florida beach RV campgrounds, click here.

RV Question of the Week:

QUESTION: When traveling with a 5th wheel, if I pull in someplace to sleep for awhile, will it hurt anything to put our slide outs out without unhooking, or dropping the stabilizer jacks. I don't see a issue with it, but figured that I would ask more experienced people than me. – Kevin

ANSWER: You want to be level first. While you don't need to unhook but it's best to put down your front and back stabilizer jacks. The frames are not built to withstand the weight with slides open on the axles alone. You run the risk of twisting the RV body.

Many overnight places prefer that you do not put out your slides. But you may have to access your bed or galley. If that's the case, try and pick a parking spot so your slide extends over grass or an area where no one else can park.

We recommend you go Lectric for your RV Lifestyle

RV Lifestyle Partners 8

You know we love our RAD Power bikes – and have featured them for years, but we recently tested out and LOVE our new Lectric foldable ebikes. Being able to fold them up allowed us to put them in our Wonder rear garage area for a recent RV Lifestyle Gathering. You can check out our experience with them right here on our YouTube Channel.

lectric ebike

We recommend Hollywood Racks for your RV Lifestyle…

The RV Rider bike rack for RV's, motorhomes, and fifth wheels carries 2 E-Bikes (up to 80 lbs. each) on the back of an RV Motorhome, a 5th wheel, or a flat towed vehicle. A 2″ hitch is required for this rack. Special features include universal heavy-duty wheel holders for heavy load carrying capacity. These wheel holders can fit any tire up to 5″ wide and include a ratchet wheel strap. Locking frame grabbers secure the bikes in place. This bike rack is not compatible with bumper pull, travel trailers or bumper mounted hitch receivers. Enter the promo code RVLIFESTYLE to save 10%

If you want to look at everything they offer, not just the RV Rider rack — go here and explore all the options!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-03-22

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.

4 Responses to “Blood Clots and RV Travel: The Most Dangerous Risk You Never Knew Existed”

March 22, 2023at11:57 am, Roger Bohnke said:

Such an important topic. We know Betsy from several Travato meetups, but had not heard how this happened. God bless her for her courage and willingness to share this critical information. She, and you, are saving lives today.


March 23, 2023at2:20 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Betsy hoped sharing her story would help others, and we hope the same. We agree – it is an important topic. Thank you so much for this note – Team RV Lifestyle


March 22, 2023at9:20 am, Mary Brown said:

Love the new opening of your Podcast. Thanks for all of you do!


March 23, 2023at2:18 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thank you for the encouragement! Team RV Lifestyle


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top