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Episode 122 – What you need to know before buying a used RV

| Updated Jan 11, 2017

It’s RV shopping season and for a lot of shoppers, finding used RVs can be a daunting experience, especially for the high demand Class B campervan style motorhomes. But once you locate one, how do you make sure you are getting a good deal? What are the things that need to be carefully checked out? What red flag warning signs should you look for? That’s what we talk about this week in our interview of the week.

Plus your RV questions, RV tips involving travel, technology and your pets, news of the week and a great off the beaten path report all coming up in this episode of The RV Lifestyle Podcast.


Complete shownotes for Episode 122 of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast

Episode 122 - What you need to know before buying a used RV 1JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

This is the time of year when people are shopping and buying their RVs. That means they are also buying the things they need for that RV, like pots and pans and plates and silverware. [spp-timestamp time=”7:40″]

When I meet new RVers, one of the first questions I usually get is how much of all that do need to bring and store in the RV?

The answer is not as much as you may think.

How much entertaining do you plan to do? By that, I mean how often will you have people in your RV for dinner or lunch?

Mike and I travel with four placesettings. That’s it. Just four. Same with glasses and cutlery. By the way, we often of paper plates and disposable cups, especially on winter campouts. Why make more work and spend all your time washing dishes?

As far as pots and pans goes. That depends on your cooking style and how much food preparation you plan to do. We grill out as much as possible. All I have in our RV is a fry pan and a sauce pan. Now if you love Italian cooking, you’ll need something for pasta. You may want to steam your veggies and will need something for that. But our style is fast and easy. We prepare and freeze meals in advance that just need to be thawed.

Or, as I said, we cook out on a grill.

Again, we all have different RVing styles. Ours is keep it simple…less is always best and do whatever we can to make cleanup as easy as possible. After all, RVing is supposed to be a break from the routine.

How about you?

I’m interested in hearing about your RV style and tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave 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.

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.


Terri asks about getting a better cellular signal inside her RV. Mike suggests a cellphone booster.  [spp-timestamp time=”12:09″] The one Mike uses is the the  Professional Grade weBoost Drive 4G-X + RV Trucker Essentials Kit – 470510-RV. It comes with a big external antenna. It is most powerful in-vehicle booster certified in the US and Canada and enhances 4G LTE, as well as 3G and 2G network signals, up to 32x. That is probably overkill for most RVers at more than $500. Wilson makes much more affordable ones for single devices starting at around $100.

Phil asks Mike and Jen about the gravity chair/loungers they take with them in their Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL. [spp-timestamp time=”15:52″] The brand we use is the Best Choice brand. They are available on Amazon at $64.99 for a set of two. When we bought them we found them at a Kmart in Missouri on sale for about the same price.

And listener Debbie reacts to last week’s travel suggestion for fans of the Sheriff Longmire novels and TV show and plans for Longmire Days in Wyoming this summer. The dates haven’t been set yet but should be in June or early July. [spp-timestamp time=”19:46″]

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 122 - What you need to know before buying a used RV 2
sage in his soft crate

When you travel with pets, they need to be protected just as you are. That means you really don’t want them roaming around inside the RV while you are underway. [spp-timestamp time=”24:00″]

Pet safety experts recommend a soft protective crate. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.

Make sure you secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop.

We saw a great one used by Roadtreker Colleen Schneider… whose lab Sage rides in the Precision Pet Soft Sided Crate. They come in different sizes and can handle pets up to 90 pounds.

Colleen says Sage loves the crate and gets excited whenever they get it out. They use it only wjhen traveling in their RV and it fits behind the driver and passenger seats of their Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL, facing the sliding door. The crate has openings on three sides and besides being a safe place for Sage to be while driving, it keeps that pesky dog hair in one place.

Now if you decide to forgo the crate, we’ve seen others who keep their pets in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle. We found a whole bunch of pet safety harnesses with seat belt latches on Amazon that are made just for such purposes. We’ll put a link with the shownotes for this episode at forward slash 122.

That’s this week’s traveling with pets tip. If you have one to share, use the “Leave Voicemail” link at to record a message to us.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dozers Dental Chews, an all natural and healthy treat your dog will love. Available direct through Amazon


Episode 122 - What you need to know before buying a used RV 3
Nick Schmidt, Sunshine State RVs

It’s RV shopping season… For a lot of shoppers, finding used RVs can be a daunting experience, especially for the high demand Class B campervan style motorhomes. But once you locate one, how do you make sure you are getting a good deal? What are the things that need to be carefully checked out? What red flag warning signs should you look for? That’s what we talk about this week in our interview of the week. [spp-timestamp time=”30:00″]

Our guest is Nick Schmidt of Sunshine State RV. Jennifer Bo and I traveled to Gainesville, Florida this week to meet with Nick, who carries one of the largest inventories of used Class B RVs in North America.

Nick shared with us the things buyers need to know when selecting a previously owned RV, whether they buy from a dealer or a private individual.

Nick mentions getting an inspection before buying a used RV.

Here are some organizations that do just that:

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


Two stories in the RV news this week, both related to exotic animals…[spp-timestamp time=”50:40″]

  • Trail camera in southern Arizona's Huachuca Mountains confirms new wild jaguar sighting.Read more
  • ​​​​​​​Bicyclist captures video of Burmese python and alligator fighting just off the trail at Big Cypress National Preserve in southern Florida.Read more

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 122 - What you need to know before buying a used RV 4
Steve Van Dinter

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports – Protecting your phone from frigid temps [spp-timestamp time=”59:55″]

Recent blasts of bitter cold and snow are reminding all of us that winter isn’t leaving any time soon. And while we have hats and gloves to keep our bodies warm, did you know your smartphone needs a little extra love when it’s cold as well?

In fact, the farther the temperature drops below freezing the more you need to be concerned about it.

You may have noticed your phone taking a little longer when it’s cold out, or your battery doesn’t seem to last quite as long. That’s not an illusion.

For best results, never leave your phone in a car overnight if temperatures are plummeting. And if you do happen to leave your device outside for a long period of time and can afford to wait before using it, it’s a good idea to let it warm up to room temperature before you turn it on and start using it. That will maximize your battery life.

If you happen to be outside in the cold for a long time and still need to use your phone you may want to invest in an insulated phone case. Or move your phone to an inside pocket of your coat where it will absorb the most body heat.

Finally if you’re traveling along treacherous roads, make sure you are packing a car charger or bringing along an extra power pack. This could be a lifesaver if you were to be stuck on the side of the road.

With this week’s traveling technology tip, I’m Steve Van Dinter from Verizon.

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.


By Tom and Patti Burkett [spp-timestamp time=”1:00:35″]

Episode 122 - What you need to know before buying a used RV 5
Patti and Tom Burkett

Well, we really enjoyed hearing everyone’s 2017 travel plans last week, and the mention of Kentucky’s moonbow.  This amazing phenomenon is most impressive on a full moon night in the winter.  As you can imagine, getting a clear night on the full moon, in Kentucky, in the winter is quite a crap shoot, so seeing it is a real treat!  If you go, take a chair and arrive early.  Cumberland State Resort Park is a bit of a drive off interstate 75.  If you’re making the trip, stop in Corbin at Harlan Sanders’ original restaurant to see the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Anyway, hearing about the moonbow reminded us of another stellar Kentucky adventure.  We’ve often spent time at the Big South Fork on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee.  The Green River, which runs through the park, is great for swimming, fishing, and paddling.  Theres a restored mining settlement, an excellent interactive historical display, and an annual festival that celebrates mountain culture with first-rate music and storytelling.  You can also climb around on a huge old coal tipple and see how it worked.

Not too far away from the Big South Fork is Pickett State Park and Forest.  Pickett is tranquil and quiet, and it’s home to Hazard Cave.  In the late spring and early summer, you can take a hike to the cave at dusk, arriving at dark, and step inside to see some amazing animals.  The cave seems to sparkle with the stars of a night sky thanks to thousands of battle larvae commonly called glow worms.  Unlike stars and fireflies, they don’t flash, but glow steadily.  Call the park for updates near the time.  There are ranger-led walks, but if your schedule doesn’t match you can also go on your own.  Be sure to have a flashlight or headlamp for the walk back along the trail in the dark.

Glow worms are found in only a handful of places around the world.  Many folks spend lots of money to visit the famous Waitomo Glowworm caves in New Zealand.  While the caves in Kentucky aren’t quite as spectacular, they’re a lot easier to get to, and you can camp within walking distance.  Kentucky cave worms are one of several phenomena that only occur at a certain time of the year, so we keep a travel calendar with such events scheduled to recur annually.  When we’re planning a trip, we consult the calendar and try to make our route match one or more of the time-limited attractions.  Patti and I begin our new year travels next weekend, and we’ll be looking for you somewhere, out there, off the beaten path.


Here's this weekend's shows around the country… [spp-timestamp time=”1:04:19″]

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.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2017-01-11

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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