Skip to Content

Episode 105: How the RV Lifestyle Offers “Unsurpassed Freedom”

| Updated Sep 14, 2016

In this episode, we have lots of tips, suggestions, alerts and RV news and a special interview with a couple we first met a little over a year ago when they had just sole their sticks and bricks home and were about to embark on a life of fulltiming in their Class B Roadtrek RV.

We catch up with them this week and they describe how awesome the past year has been, a year they describe as “Unsurpassed Freedom.” If you have ever dreamed about fulltiming, you’ll for sure want to hear this interview!

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.


Show Notes for Episode #105 Sept. 14, 2016 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

We’re in Hershey, PA this week at America’s Largest RV Show. With over 1,300 new RVs on display, you’ll find every style and every model! From small campers to full-size motorhomes, there’s something for everyone! Plus, it’s the first show in the nation with 2017 products. Come out to shop and compare virtually every major manufacturer. Interest rates are low and so are the prices! [spp-timestamp time=”2:00″]

America’s Largest RV Show is set for Wednesday, September 14 through Sunday, September 18 at the Giant Center in Hershey. The show runs from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm Wednesday-Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Tickets are just $10 for adults; children 12 and under get in free. Wednesday is Senior Day: 55+ get in for half price. Thursday is Veterans Day: Half priced admission with a valid ID. You can also get a 5-day pass for $30 or a Twilight pass (after

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.


One of the fun things about meeting people at or Roadtreking gatherings around the country is touring other folk's motorhomes. Everyone has made their RV unique by adding things, arranging and organizing things just so or solving simple problems in creative ways.

For example…. Shoe clutter. [spp-timestamp time=”10:07]

You know what I mean. Dirty shoes can really mess up a motorhome. You can slip them off and leave them outside the door. But a lot of us don’t like that idea because…well… creepy, crawly things have been know to get in them Or it can rain and nothing is worse then wet shoes.

Linda Vesterdahl's shoe storage solution

At our recent Roadtreking gathering up near Tobermory in Canada, we came upon a perfect solution from our friend Linda Vesterdahl. Do you know that area right behind the sliding door on a Roadtrek RV? It’s a sort of riser, or step on the threshold leading into the motorhome that is a foot or so off the ground. That’s where Linda and husband Scot solved the shoe problem.

Linda and Scot used two plastic file containers, the kind you pick up at an office supply store. They are clear plastic rectangles with an open top and they put them right there on the threshold behind the sliding door.

Meantime, send me your tips. Just click the Leave Voicemail link on the right side of the Roadtreking-dot-com blog and you can use your computer’s built in microphone to record your message and send it directly to me. I love hearing from you.

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


 Hello Mike Wendland, Thank you for the article on the underground AC system. I've read some reports that those installed in emergency vehicles have not done well when subjected to winter weather conditions — especially when salt and other additives or added to the mix. What has your experience been? Will Tompkins [spp-timestamp time=”15:03″]

A reader and listener sends a warning about Canadian Travel n Highway 407 north of Toronto, = the world's first all-electronic open access toll highway which extends 108 kilometres east-west, just north of Toronto. [spp-timestamp time=”17:00″]

407 ETR benefits all users with a barrier-free system so anyone visiting Ontario may also use the toll-road, which is an alternative to other Ontario roads. There are no toll booths and no toll plazas to slow you down. Transponders are not required for light vehicles (see FAQ) and accounts do not have to be set-up prior to use.

Out-of-Province users, including those from the U.S.A., who choose to use 407 ETR are responsible for all tolls, fees and interest under the Highway 407 Act. At the end of each monthly billing cycle, the all-electronic system calculates all tolls, fees and interest and a bill is sent in Canadian dollars, due upon mailing

Here’s the warning from our reader:

Hi Mike I heard this week's podcast on traveling in and out of Canada. I just want to let you listeners know. Beware of the of 407 toll road. We traveled on 407 this past summer. Since there is no toll booths they rely on cameras and they send you a bill off your license plate. If your total weight is above 5,000 kilograms which is most RV's, you will be charged at the heavy vehicle class. We traveled on the 407 twice for a total of 7.4 kilometers and were charged $112.09. This can be a budget breaker. They charged a $50.00 camera charge each trip. Now if you are under the 5,000 kilograms, the camera rate is $4.05 per trip. Stay off the 407 and continue on the 401. Dick, frim Owosso, MI, traveling in a 003 Four Winds fifth wheel

From Doug and Mary… We were so disappointed that our plans were changed on the way to Tobermory. Not sure if Yan shared with you but we stopped about half way there for a short camping trip at Letchworth State Park. Doug had a heart attack just and we ended up at Strong Memorial Hospital. We are hoping to be discharged tomorrow. We have only had our van since November and are loving the freedom it gives us. We were anxious to learn from others and see the park. The pictures are so beautiful. Never thought about getting an ambulance to the campground it was about 25 minutes away. They had to take Doug out the back doors to put him on the stretcher. It was another 40 minutes to reach the hospital. God has answered many prayers. The staff here has been excellent. The nurses helped me find a cab that I could share the ride and pay 1/2 the cost to drive 1hr back to the campground. The camp police picked me up and took me to the campsite. The hospital is huge and have allowed us to park our van in the employee parking lot. This morning it was wonderful to walk out and get cleaned up, fix breakfast and grab some things to take back in the hospital. We read your list of how wonderful to travel with your van and this situation is another reason. We plan to be at gate Hershey show on 9/14 will you be there then? Hershey is about 35 minutes from home and would love to meet you and Jennifer. Looking forward to more pictures from Tobermory. Doug and Mary [spp-timestamp time=”20:10″]

From Gloria… I have read your information. I have a question….I'm looking to get a smaller RV soon and in the process of doing my research on the best unit to suit my needs. I see there is a show in Hershey PA coming up soon. Is this a good place to go to compare the various models of Class B Rvs? just want to see the various options and compare Roadtreks on Chevrolet chassis versus the Mercedes Agile SS. I would appreciate any help you could provide. I live in Ohio and it appears this is one of the closer shows; however, I do not want to make the trip if it is not worthwhile. Thank you. Gloria [spp-timestamp time=”23:02″]

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.


How to Find Places for your Dog to Stay While Traveling [spp-timestamp time=”28:00″]

Many people are traveling this time of year, but accommodating our dogs can be frustrating. There are places like National Parks where our canine companions are just not welcome. There are times when family or work obligations make it difficult to bring our dog. For RVers – 67% of who travel with pets – this can be quite a challenge.

Fortunately,  a number of website and apps make it easy to accommodate our furry friends and family members while on the road.

I’ve collected quite a list over our years of RVing. Here are the ones I like the bext.

BringFido helps travelers find pet-friendly hotels and attractions like dog parks, doggie beaches – even restaurants where canines are welcome. The app allows for in-depth research on pet polices so users know if they can bring big dogs, or more than one and BringFido includes a rating system so owners can see what others think of it. It’s free foriOS.

DogVacay is for dog owners who can’t take their dogs, yet aren’t crazy about the idea of a kennel. Pets stay in the home of a loving sitter. The ap llists more than 25,000 dog sitters in the U.S. and Canada. Reservations come with pet insurance and even daily photo or video updates of how things are going. The app is free for iOS and Android. Jennifer and I have used this service in distant cities a couple of times and our dog loved it. The photo above show a family that accommodated our dog Tai in Memphis a couple of years ago that I found through GogVacay.

Finally, the website, which is – hands down – the best resource I’ve found for RVers who travel with their pets.

One of the reasons I like GoPetFriendly so much is because Amy Burkert and her Husband Rod are fulltime RVers themselves, traveling North America in a Class A and documenting thousands of places friendly t pets. Their site is an encyclopedia of travel advice for RVers looking for pet friendly places.

Amy and Rod have traveled over 80,000 miles over the past five years with their two dogs, Buster and Ty. And she has lots of great advice for our listeners about traveling with your four-legged friends.

I interviewed Amy on a podcast episode a couple of months ago. You can hear it at 

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 


Three stories this week…[spp-timestamp time=”34:03″]

Winnebago Recalls Motorhomes for Loose Electrical Wire

Major Road Closure at Yellowstone National Park

Erwin Hymer and Roadtrek debut new models at Hershey RV Show

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=”44:03″]

I’m sure as you’ve traveled across the country this summer there were scenic vistas you took in where pictures just couldn’t do it justice.

Imagine being able to record that scene whether still frame or in video form and then letting people experience it as you did.

New technology like the Samsung Gear 360 allow for just that.

This futuristic looking orb pairs easily to your Samsung device and allows you to record nearly 4K video and 30mp pictures in full 360 using the device’s buttons or controlled remotely via your Samsung phone.

Once posted to Facebook or YouTube people can interact with the video by simply turning their phones to see a new direction…or on a computer they can use the arrow keys to look in any direction.

It also means when paired with something like a Gear VR headset, your friends and family can fully experience your vacation, a scenic view, or family event like a wedding or graduation as if they were there!

And at a price of just $349, recording and sharing 360 video is now easier than ever.

More information is available at or stop by and play with one for yourself at any Verizon store.

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


Tom and Patti Burkett tells us about a true off the beaten path road – US 50 [spp-timestamp time=”46:27″]

By Tom and Patti Burkett


Few RVers are familiar with US 50, except maybe for the stretch through Nevada called “The Loneliest Road in America.” Stretching from Ocean City Maryland to Sacramento, California, this 1920s highway crosses a lot of rural territory and passes through very few cities.  Long road, few cities.  Hmmm. Sounds like a recipe for a good trip.

Last Saturday, to celebrate Labor Day weekend, we spent a long day on US 50 through the heart of the Midwest.  Sunrise found us in Hillsboro, Ohio, staring at the largest horseshoe crab on the continent.  Who would think to find such a thing in rural Ohio, but there it was.  Rescued from a bankrupt maritime museum in Baltimore, it now sits in the front yard of a man who couldn’t pass it up.  Sixty people can gather under its shell, and have done for weddings and other celebrations.

We headed west, through Cincinnati where we stopped for lunch supplies at Jungle Jim’s International Market, saw a gasoline sign graveyard, walked across America’s longest covered bridge (in Indiana, of course), but bent our way steadily westward so as not to miss the one stop that was the point of the day’s drive.

Bill Larkin grew up in the country outside the little town of Loogootee Indiana and spent his career as a computer programmer for the US military.  When he retired, he bought an odd looking round house out in the middle of nowhere near his childhood home and planted a lot of flowers.  It got to the point, he said, where I was watering flower beds eight hours a day and I just didn’t think I could keep it up.  So he gave up gardening and began building birdhouses instead.

Bill was sitting out on his deck and jumped up to greet us when we pulled into the drive.  Come on in! he said, and proceeded to show us through his immaculately clean house, where nearly two thousand birdhouses, large and small, hung from the ceilings and walls.  We stepped out onto the deck overlooking a small ravine.  Across a hundred and eighty degrees of view were birdhouses, and ceramic birds, and painted stones, thousands of them.

Bill paints each of the birdhouses himself, and builds most of them.  “I painted fifty this morning,” he told us.  We enjoyed a long conversation about his work at the nearby military base, his grandchildren, and how he came to create this amazing display.  And we left with two birdhouses.  Bill gives them away—to everyone who comes to visit.  “Nothing for sale here,” he says, “I just want to make people happy.”  So get happy, friends, go see Bill and his birdhouses. Six thousand and counting.

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


Recent fulltimers Yvonne and Michael Maddox tell us about how the R Lifestyle offers them “Unsurpassed Freedom” [spp-timestamp time=”53:07″]

Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review!

Many listeners are asking how they can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your review.

Here’s how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
> From there (see photo above), you can…

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments about RV topics by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your words.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-09-14

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.

Comments are closed.

Back to top