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Camp Hosts Turn Their Dog’s RV Adventures into a Book!

| Updated Dec 28, 2023

Our friends, Camp Hosts Erik and Jeanne Anderson, have written a children's book on their famous dog – Hershey Pup's RV Adventures.

They also have some great tips for those interested in becoming camp hosts.

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.

Meanwhile, the BIG NEWS! for us this week is the launch of our new RV Lifestyle Community, an alternative to our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group.

We've apparently tapped into quite a chord of general dissatisfaction over the privacy issues, censorship policies, and general nastiness of Facebook. In the first few days of the launch, we've had 3,000 RV, Camping, and Outdoor Enthusiasts join our free community. We've even received some national press with a leading industry publication headlining the story of our new group this way: “New RV Community Draws Thousands Fleeing Facebook.”

We didn't start the group to protest Facebook. In fact, we're keeping our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group open for those who want to use it. But we did start this community because we wanted a friendlier, more helpful, and pleasant place to hang out online with those who shared our love of the RV Lifestyle.

And already, the tone of the content being posted in our new community is remarkably helpful and friendly, almost as if people were just waiting for such a place. Most notably, there has been none of the Facebook drama and snarkiness. It's been so refreshing to see.

How about you? Have you joined yet? Go to https://community.rvlifestyle.com and join. It's totally free. We promise never to sell or share your information with third parties and, unlike Facebook when you make a post, on our community it gets shown to everyone in the community. Facebook has some weird algorithm that only shows posts to a certain small percentage of the actual membership. 

In the RV Lifestyle Community, we have discussion groups on just about every topic you can imagine of interest to RVers and Campers. There are livestreams and chat and so many great features and resources that I can't begin to list them all. Plus, as members suggest, we will always be adding new features.

Please go check it out and if you see me on (which I am multiple times throughout the day), just chat me up. Same with Phyllis and Wendy and our team of great moderators. We're all there to welcome you and help however we can.

SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ – Wendy Bowyer

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

It was a VERY BUSY week in the RVLifestyle social media world this past week.

First, I'd like to tell you about a post Michelle shared in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group. Michelle is looking for the perfect Christmas present for her parents, who are planning an RV trip next year. Michelle said they have all the essentials, but she'd like to get them a unique gift that would still be helpful. Boy, did she ever get the suggestions!

Gail recommended a Harvest Host membership; she said it really comes in handy.

Julia suggested binoculars.

Tom suggested a collapsible aluminum table. He said he uses it everywhere they go.

Donna suggested a map of the United States so they can fill in the states they visit on their big trip with a sticker.

Tracy suggested restaurant gift cards, and Cathy suggested gas cards.

There were so many great ideas here – we're talking 700 and counting!

Next, I'd like to tell you about Henry. Henry is going to take his first road trip in the Southwest, and he said he read about internal US Border Patrol stations and wondered what everyone's experiences had been.

Now, Henry is not planning to leave the country, but he had read about Border Agents entering people's RVs with dogs, and he said he had a bad allergy to dogs and wondered how common this was. He drives a pickup truck with a bumper pull trailer.

Most people told Henry this is no big deal. You pull up, they ask your citizenship, you say US, and you get waved through.

Sometimes, they'll ask where you are traveling from or where you are traveling to. The dogs at the stops are trained to smell drugs or humans who are being trafficked, so if you are just a regular RVer out exploring the country, there is nothing to worry about.

Now, besides our community on Facebook, we also started our very own RVLifestyle Community on our own platform last week. We have more than 3,000 people there, and it is also creating quite a buzz!

Our community is designed to be a place where you do all the things you do on Facebook – plus more. It is more personable. People introduce themselves, and there is a chat feature where you can talk privately – should you so choose.

Fredrick wrote to me on this chat feature to tell me about what happened to him. Fredrick wrote: “It's amazing how this app builds community. I just got a message from the mom of our daughter's freshman year roommate – 7 years ago.” Now get this – the two families reconnected on the community's chat feature and are now planning a camping trip together for 2024. I love it! Thanks for sharing this Fredrick!

Also, in the new community, it is easier to find a post you are following. Have you ever seen a post that caught your eye on Facebook, step away for an hour or so, come back and it is gone? That doesn't happen in our new community because all the conversations go into several categories making them easy to follow and always there.

Michele posted under the Mods and DIY Tweaks category a picture of a sliding drawer to a very deep pantry cupboard. She had one of those really deep pantry cupboards almost impossible to reach, found a simple solution, shared it, and several others responded, thanking her.

Other categories we have in our new community include Troubleshooting, Campgrounds, Boondocking, Troubleshooting, Plumping, Traveling with Dogs, and so much more. It really helps keep the conversations going because it is so easy to see what is being said.

That's it from me this week. I'll see you next time in either the RV Lifestyle Facebook Group or the RVLifestyle Community.

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

Erik and Jeanne Anderson and their dog, Hershey, have been RVing full time for more than three years, traveling to 48 states and 6 Canadian provinces. 

Last summer, Erik and Jeanne were camp hosts for the first time at Killens Pond State Park in Felton, Delaware, and Erik and Jeanne just wrote a book called “Hershey Pup Discovers New England's State Birds & Flowers” which they hope to be the first a series of young readers books centered around Hershey Pup's RV Adventures.

Erik and Jeanne are regulars in our RVLifestyle Facebook group and there is much to catch up on about their famous Hershey Pup and their tips for those interested in being camp hosts.

You can learn more about them on their Hershey Pup Website at https://hersheypupadventures.com/

Listen or watch the interview in the players above or on your favorite podcast app.

News of the Week

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About 115.2 million Americans expected to travel this Christmas season, most by road

This is our last podcast for the year 2023, and we have to share with you a little good news at the gas pump.

The price of gasoline is pretty much the same as last year – it is not expected to cost more. It’s still pretty high, but really, staying the same is good news because everything else does seem to cost more, doesn’t it?

Right now, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline in the country is $3.08, and the price of a gallon of diesel is $4.03.

As always, West Coast states have the highest gas prices, with Hawaii at $4.70 per gallon and California at $4.62 per gallon.

States with the lowest gas prices are generally in the south, with Texas at $2.55 per gallon and Mississippi and Oklahoma at $2.62 per gallon.

Yellowstone National park opens for winter season: Only problem? There's very little snow

Yellowstone National Park officially kicked off its winter season last Friday, which runs until mid-March.

That means visitors can enter the park's north, southeast, and west entrances with approved commercial snowmobile and snow coach companies.

But, snowfall has been sparse so far this season meaning snowmobiling and other winter activities are going to need to be modified.

Are you planning a trip to Yellowstone in 2024? 

It is one of Jen and my favorite parks, so we wrote a 7-Day Adventure Guide for Yellowstone with tips on what to see, where to camp, and more. To see it click here.

Lost RVer found in Arizona after spending two nights with dog in frigid temperatures

A 62-year-old RVer who got lost in the frigid Arizona forest was found last week, and is going to be ok.

The woman and her husband were camping in their motorhome about 120 miles northwest of Phoenix when she took her dog for a walk, and got lost. 

The woman did not have her cell phone with her and spent about 72 hours alone in the forest with her dog, Mia, before rescuers found her. She said it was extremely cold, and she and her pup snuggled at night to try to stay warm.

She said she was so thankful to the rescue team of 50 people who searched – and found her, and the whole ordeal was something she never wants to experience again.

To see our story on Safety Gadgets to help you be prepared in all situations, click here.

Alabama city ends popular “RV City” during Mardi Gras

The city of Mobile, Alabama, is ending what is affectionately known as “RV City” on an empty lot under an expressway during Mardi Gras in 2024.

For two decades, the city lot under the I-10 Bridge was rented to RVers during Mardi Gras, and staying there had become a family tradition for many,

Now the city says the 115 RVers who rented space on the lot last year will need to make other plans because the parking area is a construction zone for a new bridge, and a parking lot for cruise traffic.

In past years RVers could pay $450 to rent a spot during the entire Mardi Gras season; now those days are gone as the city of Mobile does not plan to bring the RVers back after construction, and has no other potential lots for them to rent.

Visiting the south during Mardi Gras in your RV can be a lot of fun.

RV APP OF THE WEEK – Drive Weather

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Winter officially arrives this week, and that means snow and ice and dicey weather conditions.

We really like the app called Drive Weather. It provides a personalized weather forecast for your drive based on WHERE you will be and WHEN you will be there. Enter your route & departure time, and weather data populates on the map, showing potentially hazardous conditions.

The app illustrates the National Weather Service's forecast, showing drivers the weather along their route and when they're expected to be at each point. In under 60 seconds, you can know what the weather forecast calls for and when to expect it on your route and have a safer journey. The app allows comparison of different routes, creating stops, interactively changing departure times, and other features that help plan road trips around the weather.

The basic version is $1.99 a month, and you can get a three-day trial. The pro version has lots more features and costs $2 more a month. The pro version has a two-day free trial. We did a little post about this app on our sister blog NewTravelTech.com.

RV QUESTION OF THE WEEK

QUESTION: I am hearing from a couple of folks that RV Toilet Paper is not required, regular household TP breaks down just fine. Truth or fiction – Peter

ANSWER: Mostly fiction. Yes, if used fairly sparingly it does break down. You need to use lots of water with every flush. You also need to regularly empty your black tank. RV TP breaks down easier. The RV toilet manufacturers all recommend using single ply RV TP.  Most RVers don't use nearly enough water and don't empty properly, which means filling the tank with water at least 3/4 and then emptying. We use RV TP.  I can't say it's ever been an issue. But to each his own.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-12-20

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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