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Episode 128: Tiny Tick – Major Menace

| Updated Feb 22, 2017

With warmer weather, we are spending more and more time outdoors again and that means more exposure to a tiny creature that poses big problems. I’m talking about ticks, a biting, blood-sucking bug not much bigger than a pinhead. But they are nothing to take lightly. Ticks are everywhere, increasing in numbers, and spreading a serious illness called Lyme Disease.

You need to listen to our interview his week with a top expert on tick infestation and Lyme Disease, a very real threat to any RVer who spends a lot of time outdoors.

Also this weeks, lots of tips, listener questions, RV News of the Week, the RV Calendatr and an off the beaten path report

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 #128 2/22/17 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:


Episode 128: Tiny Tick – Major Menace 1We’ve talked before about a great product called Reflectix, an insulating product that comes in rolls and can be easily cut to fit inside and around your RV’s windows. Most recently, we used it on a winter camping trip in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and it did a great of keeping our Roadtrek motorhome warm by preventing the inside heat from escaping through the windows.

But you can also use Reflectix in the summer to keep your air-conditioned coolness in, and the outside heat…out!

A listener named Tom tells us the Reflectix should be applied on the outside of the window, not the inside. Don’t put inside the window because it would reflect too much heat onto the window and could damage the glass. Mount it outside, with stick on Velcro, just as Tom suggests! [spp-timestamp time=”8:45″]

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.

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!


  • Joyce has air in her water lines and wants to know how to get it out [spp-timestamp time=”12:42″]
  • Bill saw our recent Videoblog about our trip south and through Nashville and wants to know how to beat rush hour traffic in big cities [spp-timestamp time=”14:40″]
  • And Bob asks about amateur radio and RVing. [spp-timestamp time=”18:05″]

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.


What could be worse than losing your pet while on an RV trip? [spp-timestamp time=”23:26″]

Episode 128: Tiny Tick – Major Menace 2
Bo's collar with name and phone number engraved on it

It happens and it happens much too often. Our pets can be stressed and confused in new environments and be frightened by those unfamiliar surroundings.

Do you know that lack of identification means as few as 14% of pets ever find their way home after getting lost? So for starters, always have your pets wear a collar with ID. Our Bo has his name and our phone number engraved on his collar, We don’t have to worry about a metal tag getting snagged and falling off.

But there’s even a better way: Microchipping. About the size of a rice grain, a microchip is inserted under the skin in less than a second. It needs no battery and can be scanned by a vet or an animal control officer in seconds. If your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his unique ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted using the contact information on file with your pet's microchip.

The average cost to have a microchip implanted by a veterinarian is around $45, which is a one–time fee and often includes registration in a pet recovery database. The American Humane Society estimates that one in three pets will become lost at some point during their life. Having your pet microchipped provides peace of mind that your beloved companion will never wander unknown.

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 

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Tiny Tick, Major Menace

Episode 128: Tiny Tick – Major Menace 3With warmer weather, we will soon be spending more and more time outdoors again and that means more exposure to a tiny creature that poses big problems. I’m talking about ticks, a biting, blood-sucking bug not much bigger than a pinhead. [spp-timestamp time=”28:25″]

Ticks are in the spider family and there are hundreds of different kinds of ticks in the world. Many of them carry bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that cause disease in humans and/or animals.

Ticks are everywhere, increasing in numbers, and spreading a terrible illness called Lyme Disease. More than 300,000 people in the U.S. come down with Lyme Disease each year.

To help us understand just how serious the problem is, what we can do to prevent being infected, we talk to Dorothy Leland, from

Whenever you plan outdoor activities this summer, she suggests simple steps can help reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease:

  • Wear long sleeves and pants and tuck your pants inside your socks. Lightcolored clothing will make it easier to spot ticks. Don't wear open-toed shoes and sandals.
  • Use insect repellents containing .5 percent permethrin or 20 to 30 percent DEET. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
  • Walk down the center of mowed trails to avoid brushing against grass and shrubs.
  • At the end of each day, carefully inspect yourself, children and pets and remove any attached ticks. Tick bites are painless so you probably won't feel it if you're bitten. Remove attached ticks with thin-tipped tweezers by grasping them as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight up. Be careful not to squeeze the tick. It may contain infectious fluids. Clean the site with rubbing alcohol or skin disinfectant.
  • Wash and dry all clothing. Ticks can survive a wash cycle but can't withstand an hour in a hot dryer.
  • Check with your doctor and watch for early symptoms of Lyme disease.

For information on how to remove a tick, go here.

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


Three stories this week…[spp-timestamp time=”50:09″]

  • Wild gray wolf population in American southwest growing, according to new report. Read more
  • Primitive camping at Perdido Beach in northwest Florida temporarily banned because of
  • Road through Arches National Park will close at night to all traffic from March through

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 128: Tiny Tick – Major Menace 4
Steve Van Dinter

By Steve Van Dinter

Verizon Wireless

With your “always on the go lifestyle” staying connected couldn’t be more important. It’s how you share your story with listeners, keep up with family and friends, and no doubt stay on top of bills. [spp-timestamp time=”55:50″]

And I’m sure there are plenty of listeners who use their mobile connection for entertainment as well as streaming radio.

In fact, the average smartphone user is seeing their data usage grow about 60 percent a year! Think about that!

That’s why I’m excited to tell you that if you’re done with data limits, Verizon has the plan for you! Last week we announced Verizon Unlimited, the unlimited plan you want on the network you deserve. It couldn’t be more simple – unlimited calling, texting and data – just $80 for a single line or $45/line for a family of four.

The plan also comes with 10GB of free 4G LTE hotspot – after that it’s unlimited at 3G speeds. And if you roam into Canada or Mexico – no worries. Calling and texting are still free and you can use up to 500MB of 4G data per day there without charge. After that it’s unlimited at 2G speeds the rest of the day.

One other thing I’d like to clarify – Verizon will not throttle you on this plan. There’s been some confusion. What happens is if you have already used 22 GB on a particular line during your current billing cycle AND you are on a cell site that is congested at that moment, your download may be temporarily queued behind other Verizon customers. This may result in slightly slower download speeds for a period of time, maybe as long as stopping at a traffic light, or as long as being caught in rush hour traffic. But once congestion on the particular cell site clears up, you will go back to 4G LTE speeds – even if you have used more than 22 GB.

More information is at

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 –  Texas Ghost Towns [spp-timestamp time=”58:43″]

Episode 128: Tiny Tick – Major Menace 5
Patti and Tom Burkett

By Tom and Patti Burkett

Big Bend in Texas is not one of our most visited national parks but it’s certainly not off the beaten path.  Even though this area of the Southwest is extraordinarily dry and rocky, it’s not without its rewards for the sharp-eyed and patient traveler.  Half an hour west of the park you’ll find a ghost town called Lajitas.  During its heyday it was home to many of the miners that worked the cinnabar mines in the area.  This town, however, is known for it’s most famous resident, Clay Henry, who was elected mayor in 1986.

Clay Henry grew up at the Lajitas trading post while the town was a bit more lively than it is today.  In his youth he developed a taste for beer, and by the time of his election often drank more than a case a day.  When he disagreed with a constituent he was more likely to knock the person down than engage in conversation, and he was notoriously silent on the issues of the day.  NAFTA? Who cares?  Immigration reform?  Not my problem.  Whatever the problem, the solution was always another beer.  Clay Henry was a wildly popular mayor, re-elected six times.  Clay Henry was also a goat. A billy goat.  Horns and all.

At the ripe old age of 23, Clay Henry was killed by his son in what many call a battle for political succession, but like another famous Texas family, the son could not quite match the father in matters of state or (in this case) beer consumption.  Lajitas today is no more than a cemetery filled with unmarked graves, but Clay Henry lives on.

Ride a few miles down the road to the ghost town of Terlingua (host to the world famous chili cookoff) and look for the Starlight Theater Restaurant.  This old building was once the entertainment center for the mining crews.  Now it’s a rollicking Western bar and restaurant with local entertainment and local food.  On weekend nights it’s probably not all that different than it was in mining days.  When we were there it was full of mountain bikers who were fully enjoying a night off the trail.

But back to Clay Henry.  In the far end of the restaurant is a stage, and both walls are covered with the work of local artists, for sale a reasonable prices.  The works range from predictable to startling, and the proceeds are often going to support a good local cause, like restoring the Terlingua church or running a summer art camp for local kids.  Tucked up in a corner of the stage, wearing his signature top hat, longneck in mouth, is the legendary goat.  Some kind local craftsperson has rendered him timeless.

Terlingua is an interesting town.  Though it’s called a ghost town, and there are many abandoned structures, there are also several thriving businesses and more than a few new homes with more being built.  If the history interests you, the book Terlingua Teacher tells a lively and personable tale.  The town is also a photographer’s dream, both before and after dark.

If two ghost towns aren’t enough, nearby you can visit Big Bend State Park (not the national park) and see the abandoned set where seven Western films and a number of music videos have been filmed.  Only the cantina remains, but it’s a beautiful drive to a beautiful setting.  And if you want a little late night excitement, drive to Marfa and look for the Marfa mystery lights.  We’re Patti and Tom Burkett, and we’ll look for you out there, somewhere, off the beaten path.


Four shows this coming weekend as the RV show season starts to wind down…[spp-timestamp time=”1:02″35″]

Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show
February 17-26
Indiana State Fairgrounds
Indianapolis, IN

Good Sam RV Super Show 
February 23-26
Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix, AZ

Harrisburg RV and Camping Show
February 23-26
PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center
Harrisburg, PA

Maryland RV Show
February 24-26
Maryland State Fairgrounds
Timonium, MD

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 2017-02-22

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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