Skip to Content

Episode 118: Get Ready for Self-Driving RVs

| Updated Dec 14, 2016

An autonomous or self-driving RV may be in your future. And not that far off, either. That’s what we learn this week from Joel Adams, Director of Engineering and Innovation for the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, who talks with us about self-driving RV’s and what that will mean for the typical RVer.

Plus we offer up winter tips for clearing off the snow and ice from your windshield, answer your RV questions, gave RV news of the week and Christmas tech gift ideas under $100

Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.


Show Notes for Episode #118 December 14, 2016 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:


Episode 118: Get Ready for Self-Driving RVs 1Well, it is almost officially winter. And for those in all but the warmest southern states, it can be a real chore to get all the ice and frost and snow off your windshield before heading out in the morning. Keeping the snow and ice off your windshield in the first place makes getting on the road that much easier.

So I have a bunch of tips, collected from our Roadtreking Facebook Group and gathered from our own experience and that of our friends. [spp-timestamp time=”10:14″]

Tip #1:

Use an old set of car floor mats to cover your car's windshield in the evening and you won't have any ice or snow to scrape in the morning. Carpet remnants also work. Others use clear plastic shower curtains or old table cloths or old bed sheets. You just put it across your windshield, covering wiper blades so they don’t freeze. Open one front door and put it inside the vehicle; and then stretch it and do the same on the other side. In the morning, just slide them off the windshield and have clear vision with no scraping and defrosting.

Tip #2:

Spray a 3 to 1 solution of water and vinegar on your vehicle's windows the night before. It keeps them ice proof. It is necessary to dilute the vinegar lest it harm your windshield wipers or the rubber around the windows If it is really cold, like in the single digits, vinegar may not be as effective as rubbing alcohol. You need to prepare a solution by mixing two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water.

Tip #3:    

To keep your windshield wipers from freezing to the windshield overnight, pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice build up on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.

Tip #4:

If you forgot to do these things the night before and you come out to find a frozen windshield, try this: Fill a small spray bottle with windshield washer solvent. When your windshield is iced over spray beginning at the top of the windshield and work down towards the midway point. This starts a melting process and the top area will loosen up by time you get to the other side of your car.

Tip #5

Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Although drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away rain, sleet and snow, many wait to replace them until they need them the most. You should change your wiper blades every six months. or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility.  Edit When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility. And the worst thing you can do with your wipers is to use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, either use an ice scraper or use your defroster to melt snow and ice

So there you go, winter tips for your RV or your car.

Be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Send Voicemail” link at Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

If I use your tip in the podcast, we’ll send you a free Roadtreking hat!

I love hearing from you!

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by T RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes.


A listener is traveling after Christmas from Denver to Florida is planning to travel from Denver to Florida and asks for winter travel tips and ideas on how to make the trip more comfortable [spp-timestamp time=”16:05″]

And a listener is interested in after market screens for her RV [spp-timestamp time=”21:55″]

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.


Episode 118: Get Ready for Self-Driving RVs 2
Joel Adams, Director of Engineering and Innovation, and Charlie Rossi, Innovation Engineer, working on an autonomous RV at the Erwin Hymer of North America plant in Kitchener, Ontario

An interview with Joel Adams, Director of Engineering and Innovation for the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, talks with us about self-driving RV’s and what that will mean for the typical RVer. [spp-timestamp time=”26:35″]

The Erwin Hymer Group on North America, makers of Roadtrek Motorhomes and other RV models under the Hymer brand, will be testing an autonomous Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van as part of a joint project between the province of Ontario and the University of Waterloo. As such it is the first RV manufacturer in the world with a government permit for testing automated vehicles.

Adams reveals the timeline for the project, just how a self-driving RV would work and what it means to the RV lifestyle.

The interview of the week is brought to you by, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country [spp-timestamp time=”43:31″]


Three big RV-related stories this week: [spp-timestamp time=”47:20″]

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


Episode 118: Get Ready for Self-Driving RVs 3
Steve Van Dinter

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on Great Holiday Gifts for Under $100 [spp-timestamp time=”57:50″]

We’re coming up on the home stretch before Santa’s big day and now the pressure is on to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

You don’t have to break the bank to put a smile on someone’s face and each of today’s ideas come in under $100.

First up is Google Daydream View. This makes a great gift for anyone on your list and brings the immersive world of virtual reality to their home. And the remote control takes gaming in VR to a whole new level. Keep in mind, you do need a Google Pixel or Motorola Z Droid smartphone as well.

Next, if you’ve ever dreamed of flying your own plane or have a child fascinated by flight then the Mambo Mini Drone is worth a look. This small and easy to fly drone is controlled via a free app on your iOS or Android device. In addition to just flying around it also comes with a mini cannon allowing you to make a game out of it.

For the audiophile on your list, the Powerbeats by Dr. Dre headphones are lightweight, durable, sweatproof option bringing great quality.

And finally, who couldn’t use more portable power?! If that sounds like the person on your list, then you’ll want to check out the Mophie Powerstation plus 6000 With this battery you can leave your cords behind, that’s because it comes packing charging tips for both Android and iOS devices. It has enough juice to power up your smartphone about two times over.

Hope these ideas help you cross at least a few people off your list.

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.


Here;s the schedule for the first two weeks in January: [spp-timestamp time=”1:00:28″]

Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show 
January 5-7
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO

Greenville RV Show
January 6-8
TD Convention Center
Greenville, SC

Knoxville RV Show
January 6-8
Sevierville Convention Center
Sevierville, TN

Wisconsin RV Show
January 6-8
Wisconsin Center
Milwaukee, WI

Houston Boat, Sport & Travel Show
January 6-15
NRG Center
Houston, TX

Indy RV Expo
January 7-15
Indiana State Fairgrounds
Indianapolis, IN

Pittsburgh RV Show
January 7-15
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Pittsburgh, PA

Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show
January 11-15
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show
January 12-15
DeVos Place
Grand Rapids, MI

Mid-America RV Show
January 12-15
Bartle Hall
Kansas City, MO

56th Annual RV & Campgrounds Show
January 13-15
Allentown Fairgrounds
Allentown, PA

Greater Chicago RV Show
January 13-15
Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
Schaumburg, IL

Valley RV & Camping Show
January 13-15
Century Center
South Bend, IN

Washington RV Show
January 13-15
Dulles Expo Center
Chantilly, VA

Boston RV & Camping Expo
January 13-16
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Boston, MA

For a complete list of RV shows this weekend and for the rest of the year, click here.

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 2016-12-14

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