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Episode 101: The 10 Ways RV Travel Has Spoiled Us

| Updated Aug 17, 2016

In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast, we talk about how RV Travel in our motorhome has spoiled us, especially when it comes to automobile travel. Ten reasons immediately come to mind.

Plus, we have reader questions about emptying RV waste water tanks, a tip on a way to sanitize and clean them, traveling tech info, RV news of the week and a great off the beaten path report. Click the player to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details and resources and click the player below to start listening. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.


We’ve just driven about 1,000 miles in an automobile instead of our RV.

And we can’t believe how much we disliked it.

Traveling by motorhome has spoiled us.

The trip, from our Michigan home to Atlanta, was unplanned and very quick, made necessary by a family medical emergency. Because we were going to be in downtown Atlanta around the Grady Memorial Hospital medical complex, we only had parking garage space available. Same with the downtown hotel where our other family members were staying: There was only underground parking available.

Our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL motorhome was too tall to bring.

So we drove. By car.

First, let me say that the medical emergency passed and had an excellent outcome. We had hundreds of people praying, many connected to me from Facebook and many part of our Roadtreking Facebook Group. The Roadtreking community support was so comforting.

But the drive down and back in our personal vehicle was anything but comforting and made us really miss the motorhome.

To that end, Jennifer and I have identified 10 ways Motorhome Travel has spoiled us. Here’s what we missed: [spp-timestamp time=”5:50″]

jenandmike driving

  1. The high seats in the motorhome – We love sitting up high, over the road, with a huge panoramic windshield that lets us see the road, traffic, the conditions around us from a position much higher than that in our car. We feel more “on top of things” in the motorhome, better able to see road conditions and traffic and anticipate corrective moves when needed.
  2. The refrigerator – In the motorhome, the fridge is always on, always cool and we have lots of water, snacks, fruit and refreshments on hand. A great road snack is sliced apples and cheese. I suppose we could have packed a cooler for the car. But the fridge in the RV is much more convenient.
  3. The bathroom – Have you stopped at gasoline station rest rooms or interstate rest areas lately? Most all leave something to be desired in the cleanliness department. Our own bathroom in the RV is clean. Always.
  4. The kitchen – Eating on the road while driving in a car almost invariably means fast food or lots of online searching and review checking to find nice places to eat on route. In our motorhome, we can quickly prepare anything – breakfast, lunch, dinner. We just pull over and eat off our own plates, with our own utensils and always, the food we prepare ourselves in the RV is cleaner, healthier and better tasting than what we’d find at a roadside diner or fast food joint.
  5. Being in control – This is a real intangible. But it provides a great sense of security. We are not dependent on anything other than fuel as we travel. We are self-contained. Everything we need is with us. This has to truly be one of the nicest things about RV travel.
  6. Closets – We have plenty of extra clothes with us in the RV. If the weather turns suddenly cooler, we can go to the closet and replace shorts and T-shirts with long pants and sweaters. We have extra shoes on board the RV. Raincoats, jackets, hats and gloves. We are ready for most anything Mother Nature delivers. For a trip by automobile, where you have to pack everything in suitcases, it’s difficult to be prepared for different weather conditions.
  7. A bed – I cannot begin to say how nice it is while traveling long distances to pull over and lay down in the motorhome’s bed for a quick roadside nap. On this recent trip down to Georgia, we were challenged by torrential rains. We had to pull over three times and wait a half hour or so each time for storms to pass. It’s very hard to nap in a car. In our Roadtrek, with the patter of rain on the roof, a rain delay makes for a wonderful nap. How we missed being able to do that on this trip!
  8. Big side mirrors – I’m talking here about the mirrors outside the driver and passenger windows. The motorhome side mirrors are big and cover a very wide area. We feel we really can see what is around us and behind us in the motorhome. The mirrors on our automobile are much smaller.   Was not nearly as comfortable making lane changes as I would have been in the RV.
  9. Being able to stand up and stretch – Our motorhome lets me walk around and stand up. I can move around and stretch out (while Jennifer is driving, of course!). We felt cramped and a bit claustrophobic in the car.
  10. Our Home on Wheels – Put all of the above reasons together and that’s what our RV clearly is: Our Home on Wheels. It has all the comforts of home because it is That’s really what we missed when we traveled by our car.

This part of the podcast brought to you by RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Mention Roadtreking and take $75 off your purchase price.


If you are like us, you have drawers full of T-shirts you’ve collected over the years from your various travels. Most are seldom or ever worn, yet you’ve hung on to them all because they represent nice memories. But all they are really doing is gathering dust.

quiltHere’s an idea: Make a quilt from them. [spp-timestamp time=”20:07″]

If you’re handy at such things, by all means do it yourself. I’m not. That’s why a service like Project Repat is so appealing.

Project Repat is a company that turns t-shirts into quilts or pillows. Just send in your t-shirts or sweatshirts and they will turn it into a personalized, unique quilt or pillow within a couple short weeks.

Project Repat quilts and pillows are fun to use for RV Travel t-shirts and sweatshirts collected over the years that would otherwise sit in a drawer, or by anyone cleaning out the closet who can’t bear to part with nostalgic t-shirts

They charge $75 for a basic lap quilt. They make them in various sizes up to king, depending on how many t-shirts you send them. Each t-shirt is typically cut down to a 12 by 12 or 14 by 14 panel, with fleece lining sewn in.

The tip of the week is brought to you by Good Sam, the world's most popular RV organization, now celebrating its 50th year.


A listener named Kelly wants Mike’s opinion on the Pantech 4g LTE Tablet versus the iPad or Kindle Fire. [spp-timestamp time=”23:40″]

AT&T has been steadily growing the number of 4G LTE devices they offer and one of the more recent 4G LTE tablets is this $299 8-inch tablet, the Pantech Element. It’s about a hundred bucks cheaper than the new iPad mini 4. The big claim to fame in our book is it is waterproof! But the cons outweigh that in our book. Incompatible with some apps. No hotspot functionality. Here’s a link to a PC Magazine review of this unit.

We had a couple of questions abut emptying the waste water tanks:

One listener thinks the Roadtrek macerator pump takes too long and wonders about the reliability of the indicator lights that supposedly show when it is full. [spp-timestamp time=”26:09″]

And another listener asks about using a composting toilet and whether she will have to empty her waste tanks every other day as she currently encounters. [spp-timestamp time=”26:20″]

Listener Kevin explains how and why we should track our fuel expenses. [spp-timestamp time=”32:40″]

And listener Sue is planning to visit Yellowstone and wants to make sure she doesn’t lose her spot when she drives off in her Class B from one of those first come, first served camping sites. [spp-timestamp time=”36:37″]

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.


Maintaining your Waste Water Tank with The GEO method – Listen to the description of this at [spp-timestamp time=”41:11″]

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 15 locations on the East Coast 


Floods Cause $50 million in damage to Louisiana RV Dealer – Dixie RV [spp-timestamp time=”46:55″]

Road Construction Will Close Arches National Park's Campground For Most Of 2017 [spp-timestamp time=”48:45″]

Monkey escapes from RV, scares Walmart shoppers [spp-timestamp time=”49:20″]

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV


Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports: [spp-timestamp time=”53:00″]

With back to school season in full swing, many parents are stuck with the perennial dilemma of driving their students to and from school or letting them walk to school on their own.

But how do you know if they made it there safely and if you’re not at home when they return, how do you know they came right back?

Thanks to technology it’s easy.

There’s a great gadget out called My Gizmo Pal 2 by Verizon.

This cool looking wearable brings parents peace of mind by providing automatic alerts when their child enters or leaves specific geofenced areas like school, home or a friend’s house.

In addition, should a child go somewhere they’re not supposed to, parents automatically are alerted to that as well. You can even check in live at any time to see where your child is at…and their unique icon appears on the map allowing you to track multiple children at once.

Kids enjoy Gizmopal because it allows them to call one of four predetermined contacts at any time…like parents when they’re ready to be picked up from a friend’s house or practice.

GizmoPal has customizable stickers and is also rugged and waterproof so you don’t ever have to worry about it.

You can find GizmoPal 2 at your local Verizon store or at

This podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.


By Tom and Patti Burkett [spp-timestamp time=”54:36″]

We’d like to tell our fellow roadtrekers about a monster we encountered on our recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina.  Charleston is full of bloody history, lowcountry folklore, and pirate tales, so finding such a thing here is maybe not a surprise.

John’s Island, a bit south and west of the city, is home to one of the largest trees in the USA—the Angel Oak.  It’s a southern live oak tree with a canopy that extends over most of an acre.  This tree was already huge when the Revolutionary war started.  Its longest branch is 187 feet, and five adults can barely reach around it.

It’s said that the name comes from the angel ghosts of slaves who gather in its branches on moonless nights, but actually, the land it’s on was owned for many years by the Angel family and called Angel Farm.  Nowadays it belongs to the city of Charleston and operates as a free city park, host to nature talks and occasional parties.

Many of the branches of the tree support patches of epiphytic ferns that dry up and turn brown when water is scarce.  When it rains, they become lush and green.  It’s no surprise they’re called resurrection ferns.

We visited on a wet morning after a rainstorm and the tree was covered with them.  Photo opportunities a-plenty, but for a reason we couldn’t discover, tripods are not allowed, so bring a steady hand.

As you travel around the country, you can visit other big and famous trees, and maybe you have.  There are the Evangeline Oaks in St. Martinsville, Louisiana, where the lovers in Longfellow’s poem met, and the Survivor Tree in Oklahoma

City, veteran of the bombing of the Murrah Building there.  The Hangman’s Elm in Manhattan’s Washington Park is over 300 years old, and the Big Tree (catchy name, right?) on Goose Island in Texas has been there for more than a thousand years.

Sure, the General Sherman sequoia in California is impressive, and worth as many visits as you can make, and the bristlecone pines of Utah’s Great Basin may be 4000 years old, but there are lots of arboreal superstars scattered across the country.  Visit Charleston.  Eat shrimp and grits. Buy a Gullah basket. Take pictures of Rainbow Row.  Then head out to spend some time with the serene majesty of the Angel Oak.  You’ll be glad you did.  Happy travels!

This part of the podcast is brought to you by AllStays – the Internets #1 RV and camping app since 2010

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-08-17

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.

One Response to “Episode 101: The 10 Ways RV Travel Has Spoiled Us”

August 22, 2016at6:19 pm, Lynda G said:

If possible….I think I would have traveled to the medical emergency in the RoadTrek, parked at Walmart (or some other large shopping area) and taken a cab to the hospital and the hotel where family were staying.

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