Skip to Content

Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know

| Updated Feb 8, 2017

One of the biggest fears many RVers have is fire. Each year, RV fires cause deaths, many injuries and tens of millions of dollars in damages.

So to help us fireproof our RVs, this week we interview one of our friends, Mark Polk of Mark is a true expert on all aspects of RVs and RV safety and has critical and very practical advice for us in this episode about keeping our RVs safe from fire.

Plus we have lots of news, tips, RV information and, as always, your questions and comments about the RV lifestyle.

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 #126 Feb. 8, 2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:


Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know 1

We love to boondock. We also love to camp in the wintertime. Both types of RVing can pose challenges in staying clean. When on long boondocking trips, we try to conserve our water. In the winter, with no water in the fresh water tanks, it’s the same thing.Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know 2

We connected with our Roadtreking friend Jan Mathews on a recent winter campout and she showed us a very handy way to clean and bathe when water is in short supply.

Jan suggests cleaning cloths available in pharmacies for bedridden patients. [spp-timestamp time=”7:00″]
And be sure to send me your 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.

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 RadPower Bikes (www.RadPowerBikes.com_… an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping!


  • Jan in Tucson has a bunch of questions. She wants to know what Jennifer takes in terms of pans and silverware utensils. She asks us about storing a portable BarbeQue. We share our solution – a small Coleman two burner propane stove that cleans up easy and stores in an airtight case [spp-timestamp time=”11:20″]
  • John is coming to the Oregon eclipse gathering in August and wonders if it’s okay to bring a dog. By all means, we tell him! [spp-timestamp time=”20:40″]
  • Bill has a Roadtrek Versatile 190. He’s a trout fisherman and wonders how to stash is fishing rods. He also wonders about a small trailer for his kayaks and bikes. Mike tells him to check out to Yak-Shak Kayak Trailers – [spp-timestamp time=”22:28″]

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.


There was a very sad story we came across this week from California. A dog locked in a car died of heat exhaustion on Sunday in Palm Springs. Now no one would think it’s hot out there this time of year. The day this happened, the high only reached 70 degrees. [spp-timestamp time=”26:34″]

But you get direct sunlight even on cooler days. It can be very warm inside a vehicle. Think of it like a solar oven, basically, in your car.

Police say that dog left inside of a car for more than three hours in Palm Springs died of heat exhaustion on a 70 degree day. Police say the dog's body temperature reached 104 degrees by the time police came in contact with the owner.

The owner was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.

Here’s the warning: Experts say there can be as much as a 40- to 50-degree difference between what's outside and inside a closed up vehicle. Especially in places like California, Arizona, Florida and the south where you have a lot of sunny days that, in the winter, may be chilly. But that sunshine warms up a vehicle very quickly.

Now here’s the thing: Many RVers often leave their pets in their RVs with the air conditioning on.

But the experts don’t recommend that. And in many states, it’s illegal to do so, no matter whether the RV’s AC is on or not. Animal safety experts and vets say leaving an animal in any kind of enclosed vehicle with the air conditioning on is not a safe alternative. They say the best solution is to consider leaving your pet at home, or with a pet sitter if you are going to be away from the pet for an extended period of time.

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 


One of the biggest fears many RVers have is fire. Fire destroys thousands of RVs each year, often at a tragic cost of life. [spp-timestamp time=”32:32″]

Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know 3
Mark Polk,

If you've never seen an RV fire, you may not realize how quickly an RV can burn down to the metal frame. Having propane on board makes the prospect worse, as it will likely mean an explosion.

It’s very hard to nail down exact statistics, except to say that RV fires are much more common than they should be. The numbers of RV fires reported each year range from a low of about 1,000 to as many as 10,000, depending on the source.

Our friend Greg Gerber at RV Daily News started tracking news accounts of RV fires late last summer and his list is over 150 now…and those are just the ones that received news coverage.

So to help us fireproof our RVs, we brought on our friend Mark Polk, who, with wife, Dawn, produces professional RV how-to instruction at in the form of videos, DVD's, books and e-books on using and maintaining your Recreation Vehicle. Mark is a true expert on all aspects of RVs and RV safety and has critical and very practical advice for us in this episode about keeping our RVs safe from fire.

You can listen to the interview at

And for more info from Mark:

Subscribe to Mark’s RV Consumer Magazine:
Visit Mark’s free RV video site:
Visit Mark’s RV Blog:
Visit Mark’s RV learning Center:
Visit Mark’s You Tube Channel:
Like Mark’s RV Education 101 on Facebook:

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


We have three RV news stories this week… [spp-timestamp time=”57:58″]

  • Florida woman scammed out of $8,500 when trying to buy an RV online. Read more
  • Study shows sleeping outdoors can help people who stay up too late reset their sleep cycle. Read more
  • Legislators in Washington state consider raising ticket fines for slow drivers who stay in the left lane, instead of using it only for passing. 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

TRAVELING TECH TIP: Valentine’s Day Tech Gifts for Travelers

By Steve Van Dinter

Verizon Wireless

Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know 4
Steve Van Dinter

With less than a week to go until Valentine’s Day the pressure is on! And if you’re looking to make the day extra special, from music, to lighting and more, we’ve got you covered. [spp-timestamp time=”1:05:34″]

First off when it comes to a gift…red is always the right color…from a deep red designer Rebecca Minkoff leather slide case for the latest iPhone to the wireless PowerBeats2 headphones, you can make a tech bouquet filled with these romantically colored treats.

On the music side…there’s the JBL Flip 3 speaker, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom and Bose SoundLink II giving you great Bluetooth options with amazing sound…and a bonus they also come in red. When it comes to speakers you can slip into your purse for a night out there’s also the Altec Lansing Mini H20.

When you’re looking to set the mood, you don’t want harsh white lights. Instead opt for the Hue Lightstrip Plus. These discreet LED strips can be tucked into many places – under counters, behind stereos, along the edge of your walls – a glow in 3 million shades of beautiful color! Plus pair with apps like Hue disco and have the lights synced to music or try an app called Hue Manic and let your lights pulse with the glow of candlelight.

Finally, of course there are some great Valentine’s apps and here are a few from our friends at Digital Trends.

One of the best of the bunch is an app called Between. It lets you share texts, voice messages and calendars with your loved one and creates an archive of your relationship. Guys, it also lets you know how long you’ve know your partner so you’ll never miss that special occasion again!

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.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT –  Tiny attractions across the nation

By Tom and Patt Burkett

Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know 5
Patti and Tom Burkett

You’ve undoubtedly seen at least a few of the “biggest” things our backroads have to offer.  Maybe it’s the popcorn ball in Sac City, Iowa.  Or the lobster in Islamorada, Florida.  Or the 4000 pound Paul Bunyan in Bangor, Maine.  You might not have noticed that our national byways also offer a wide array of “smallest”things. [spp-timestamp time=”1:08:40″]

Some of these are scale models.  The venerable Roadside America model near Shartlesville, PA has been amazing travelers for nearly a century.  Cross Island Chapel in Oneida, New York is a church that will seat exactly two worshipers, and Mill End Park in Portland, Oregon has one tree and four square feet of flowers and grass.

One of our favorite small things is Tiny Town, which sits a bit west of Denver on US 285 in the town of Morrison, Colorado.  George Turner began building this attraction in 1915 for the enjoyment of his daughter.  Ten years later the town had grown to more than 125 buildings and saw more than 20,000 visitors a year.  For a few years, it rivaled Pike’s Peak as Colorado’s number one tourist attraction.  Then Tiny Town fell on hard times.  A series of floods, a fire, rerouting of US 285, and several changes of ownership left it basically in ruins in 1983.

Episode 126: RV fire safety info you need to know 6
Tiny Town

Then a real estate group adopted Tiny Town.  In a fundraiser for the Denver Children’s Museum, they leased lots in the town to anyone who was willing to build a house to the original specifications, following a strict building code.  The lots sold out almost immediately.  Businesses clamored for the chance to be included, so the town added a business district.  Local Colorado shops (no chain stores allowed) built replica models of their own stores to populate the new real estate.  Two ride-on model railroads were added to the grounds.

Since then, Tiny Town has grown.  The hillside above it sorts a mining camp and mine operation.  There are Native American settlements and encampments.  Lakes and forests surround the settlements, and the town has parks and civic features.  New neighborhoods have been added, as have new businesses.  Each new addition conforms to a specific time period, and only unique or historical commercial structures are allowed.  Recently, several of Turner’s original buildings were discovered in a barn nearby.  They’ve been restored and added to the town as the neighborhood of Turnerville.

Visit Tiny Town.  Climb onboard behind the genuine scale model steam locomotive.  It burns as much as 140 pounds of coal every day, and boils off more than 100 gallons of water.  Ride the train in and out among the neighborhoods and environs.  You’ll even get to see some things that can’t be seen by visitors on foot.  Walk around and take a close look at the intricate and historically accurate models.  Sit under the trees and enjoy a picnic.  Not too far west on 285 you can turn off to the Buffalo Creek camping area in the Pike National Forest for dispersed sites and a campground.

Big or small, you’ll find it all if you get off the interstate and keep your eyes open.  You might even see us, Tom & Patti Burkett, somewhere out there, off the beaten path.

Here’s some links for more info:

Tiny Town

Camping at Buffalo Creek in the Pike National Forest


We have nine RV shows for you this weekend around North America… [spp-timestamp time=”1:12;24″]

Jacksonville RV Show
February 9-12
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Jacksonville, FL

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show 
February 9-12
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN

Salem Spring RV Show
February 9-12
Oregon Sate Fairgrounds
Salem, OR

Seattle RV Show
February 9-12
CenturyLink Field Event Center
Seattle, WA

Ottawa RV Expo & Sale
February 9-12
EY Centre
Ottawa, ON, Canada

San Antonio Boat & Travel Trailer Show
February 9-12
San Antonio, TX

Montana RV, Boat & Powersports Show
February 10-12
Four Seasons Arena
Great Falls, MT

Columbus RV Show
February 10-12
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, OH

Richmond Camping RV Expo
February 10-12
Richmond Int’l. Raceway Complex
Richmond, VA

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 2017-02-08

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