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Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV

| Updated Mar 29, 2017

In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle Podcast we answer one of the most asked questions we get – what are our sleeping arrangements in the RV? We talk about how we set up our RV bed, what we use for bedding and comfort and how and where we store it.

This is a question we get in several variations a couple of times each week so in this episode, we go into great detail. And we’ll share resources on the gear we use for our RV bed.

Also this week, a very interesting interview with Charlie Adcock, the President of the Family Motorcoach Association. Charlie talks candidly about the future of this very influential organization and how to survive, the FMCA needs to reach out to other RVers, specifically those who have towables – travel trailers and fifth wheels. You’ll also want to learn about the FMCA’s Member Assist Program, which offers what I think is the most essential peace of mind an RVer can have if, while traveling, the worst happens – a heart attack, or death or being stranded on the road because of an incapacitating injury or illness.

Also in this episode, as always, RV News, traveling, tech and pet tips and a great off-the-beaten-path report.


Show Notes for Episode #133 March 29,2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:


Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV 1

When you go on a long trip and leave your sticks and bricks home, one of the worries is that there will be a power outage while you are gone. The nation’s electric grid and infrastructure is in decline and outages happen more and more. [spp-timestamp time=”8:30″]

So maybe you get home and see the clocks all blinking – a sure sign of an outage. What you don’t know is how long there was no electricity. Maybe it’s been just a few hours, but also there is a possibility it’s been for days. In this case, the food in your refrigerator have been defrosted and spoiled.

Now if you see that happened – that the frozen food is all squishy soft, the best thing to do is to throw it out right away.

But even if it’s frozen solid when you check, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. That’s because food freezes again when electricity comes back. So you can’t notice it was thawed.

This can be a major threat to your health because the food may spread salmonella and other bacteria.

The food can stay safe without power at least 4 hours, only if the fridge is left unopened. The door of the fridge should be closed as much as possible to keep the cold temperature. The food in the freezer can stay safe without power for 48 hours, but only if it is full. The food is safe in the freezer for 24 hours if it is half-full.

But if it’s re-frozen, how do you know?

Here is a trick you can use to find out how long your freezer was without any power. This way you will discover if your food may be consumed or it spent too much time being warm.

Pour some water into a cup and place it in the freezer. When there is only ice in the cup, place the coin on the top of the cup and put it back into the freezer.

Next time you come back from a long trip, take a look at the coin.

If the coin is still at the top or in the middle of the ice cubes in the cup, there was no electricity, but only for a short period, which is why the water was only partly melted.

In addition, if the coin is at the bottom of the cup, it shows that there was no electricity for a long period, which caused the water to dissolve completely and thus the coin sank to the bottom. If this is the case for your freezer, do not consume the food that is in your freezer.

That’s this week’s tip.

Do you have an RV tip or suggestion for me? 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!


Listener Mary Ellen asks about bedding in the RV and Mike and Jennifer share, in detail, how they have set up their RV and what they use to sleep on. [spp-timestamp time=”13:41″]

Resources mentioned:

We talk about our RVSuperbag

Here’s a video of it in our RV:

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’s no question about it: having a dog romping around the RV that smells “a bit ripe” is none too pleasant. Keeping your dog clean and well-groomed will pay dividends beyond simple aesthetics. It will also help to keep your dog healthy. Basic grooming involves bathing and brushing. [spp-timestamp time=”30:13″]

Just like people, dogs need regular bathing. But unlike people, dogs don’t need frequent bathing. Your dog’s breed and the environment in which it lives and plays will largely determine the optimum frequency of bathing. But once a month is a good rule-of-thumb.

Vets recommend that you do not bathe your dog more than once a week.

And this is important: You can’t use your bath soap on your dog when you give it a bath; use a shampoo that is formulated specifically for dogs.

Right along with bathing comes brushing. Most dogs love a good brush. Brushing also helps to prevent skin irritation by removing dead hair from your dog’s coat before it mats. And it gives you control over where hair is shed – in the brush instead of all over your RV!

You can brush your dog as frequently as you feel is needed, but the longer your dog’s hair, the more frequently you’ll need to brush. Very longhaired dogs may need it daily, while shorthaired dogs may need it only monthly.

Always brush outward from the skin – never toward the skin from the ends of the hair. And misting your dog’s coat with a grooming spray will help the brush glide smoothly through any snags and mats.

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  and sold at Home Goods Stores across their 600 store chain.


Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV 2
Charlie Adcock

The Family Motorcoach Association is America’s premier organization for RV travel by motorhome, well over 50 years old. Their rallies and gatherings and the benefits that come with membership are the best in the industry and there are scores of FMCA chapters that regularly meet and gather together, too. [spp-timestamp time=”34:30″]

But as other forms of RVs have come into the marketplace, membership has taken a nose dive And now, to save itself, there’s a new proposal that will be up for a vote this summer that, for the first time, would change the membership requirements of the Family Motorcoach Association and open it up to those who own other RV types, like travel trailers and fifth wheels.

It’s perhaps the biggest change in the organization’s history and our guest this week is FMCA President Charlie Adcock, who explains the proposal and also shares details about one of the groups top benefits, a program called FMCAssist that provides amazing peace of mind should the worst happen while on an RV trip.

Meanwhile, the next major gathering of the FMCA will be its 96th International Convention July 12-15, 2017 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN. Mike and Jennifer will be there and conduct a couple of seminars on their style of RV travel. Come meet them!

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 this week: [spp-timestamp time=”52:55″]

  • Major fight brewing over fate of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument – Read More
  • Killer Bees Attack Residents of Arizona RV Park – 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


By Steve Van Dinter
Verizon Wireless

Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV 3
Steve Van Dinter

Whether it’s spring break or summer vacation, no doubt you and your listeners are thinking about that next road trip. And if you’re gassing up the family truckster, this year I’ve got one new gadget you’re going to want to bring along – HumX by Verizon. [spp-timestamp time=”1:01:45″]

This is a family road trip game-changer. Why’s that? Well for starters, HumX turns your whole vehicle into a wifi hotspot for up to ten connected devices. Now the whole family can be online at once – from tablets to gaming consoles – you’re covered.

In addition, it comes with peace of mind on several fronts. First, should your car break down on the side of the road or you get into an accident, you have free roadside assistance and crash detection. In addition, if you’re like me and sometimes forget exactly where you parked it’s not a big deal. That’s because you pull up the Hum app on your phone and can see the exact parking stall your vehicle is at.

If you let your teens drive the vehicle as well, you can use the app to see in real-time where the vehicle is, what speed it’s going and where it’s headed. Not to mention you can set speed limits and geographic boundaries to ensure they only go where they say they’re going…and do so safely.

And speaking of safety, each trip you take you are given a safety score…1-100 where one is the least safe and 100 is the safest drive. It’s based on how often you speed, touch your phone, how hard you brake and how fast you corner or accelerate.

That magic again is all brought to you by HumX. You can learn more at And if you don’t need all of the features and just want to see your safety score while driving you can do so with the free Hum application found on both the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

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

Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV 4
Patti and Tom Burkett

Boston and Cape Cod certainly have their attractions–think lobster, beaches, history—but Massachusetts doesn’t end at the shore.  Head west into the mountains, and there’s a completely different landscape to explore.  Aside from the transportation hubs and the occasional college town, the villages are tiny, picturesque, and sometimes, fading away.  Not so the berg of Shelburne Falls, nestled along the Deerfield River. [spp-timestamp time=”1:04:30″]

Massachusetts Route 2 winds its way through some of the most picturesque scenery we’ve seen, much of it along the river valley, but now and then scaling a mountain ridge for a spectacular view.  Get off I-91 at exit 26 (Greenfield) and head west for about 30 minutes and you’ll see the turnoff for Shelburne Falls.  The sign says glacial potholes, ½ mile.  You may know what glacial potholes are.  We did not.  The smallest are the size of a bowler hat, and the largest bigger than a football field in diameter.  Shelburne Falls has the largest concentration of them in the world.

We’re not much for shopping, but this little town lured us in, first with the fudge and ice cream shop across the street, then with the old textile mill converted to an artist co-op.  In the mill we found the extraordinary glass sculpture of local artist Josh Simpson.  Simpson is best know for making glass planets, intricate with apparent life on the surface, ranging from an inch in diameter to the one hundred pound wonder he created for the Smithsonian Institution.  A film in the gallery tells about the special equipment invented to make it and the several local glass artists who came together to help.

Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV 5Crossing the river is the bridge of flowers.  This abandoned vehicle bridge has been planted with a lavish garden along both sides, and foot traffic crosses amid the flowers and flowering trees with the river rushing below.  It’s closed in the winter, but beautiful for three seasons.  There are several good eateries in town, at least one with a dining room hanging over the river, and several venues that feature live local music.  Charlie King and Bill Harley, bit well-known folk artists, live locally and can sometimes be heard performing.

If you visit in the late winter, the local sugar shacks will be in full operation.  This is the heart of maple syrup country.  Several of the operations offer pancake breakfasts, and it’s an experience to walk through the steam of the boiling sap and sit down to a hot plate of flapjacks covered with syrup that’s just minutes old.  The sugar shacks are hubs for local produce as well, offering free-range meats, local cheeses, preserves, and fresh bakery goods.

Not too far down the road is the Montague Book Mill, a used book store with the motto “Books You Don’t Need In A Place You Can’t Find”  Grab a cup of coffee from the little café downstairs, find a spot in the sun on one of the many couches scattered around, and spend a day reading whatever tickles your fancy from the endless shelves.  Just outside the back door is an equally enjoyable used music store called Turn It Up!

This is a winter ski area and a summer resort area, so you’ll find tourist prices in effect year round.  Local campgrounds are a bit tight, but there are two lovely camping areas at Mohawk Trail State Forest, perched on a mountainside and convenient to all the attractions of the area.  There are also several nice pulloffs along the river, which may or may not be good for overnight parking.  There were no signs posted.  Visit western Massachusetts, in any season, and you won’t be disappointed.  We’re Patti & Tom Burkett and we’ll look for you out there, somewhere, off the beaten

This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in suburban Minneapolis built on quality motohomes and excellent pricing and service.


It’s the end of the spring RV show season. Only one show on the calendar this weekend: [spp-timestamp time=”01:11:25″]

Evergreen Spring RV Show
March 31-April 2
Evergreen State Fairgrounds
Monroe, WA​​​​​​

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 2017-03-29

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.

2 Responses to “Episode 133: Everything You Wanted to Know About How We Sleep in our RV”

April 03, 2017at11:18 am, Voice12345 said:

The coin in the bowl has some drawbacks. If you have a frost-free freezer your ice can “melt” or “evaporate” due to the frost-free feature. It’s better to find a small covered jar and fill it 1/2 way with water (drop some food coloring in for a better look). Lay the container on its side and freeze it. Stand it up when you leave. If melting has occurred, the liquid will now be on the bottom instead of along the side. But being covered, it won’t be affected by your frost-free feature. I use this in the camper as well because I’m more likely to experience fridge/freezer issues in my old rig. Great podcast though! Thanks for the great info!

March 30, 2017at7:14 pm, DJ said:

Wow, for the price of those RVSuperbags, I can buy a pair of rectangular winter sleeping bags plus a pair of summer bags with a couple of liners and still have money left over. With sleeping bag liners there is also no fumbling with velcro sheets. Quick, simple, and they stuff down to a super small size. Not sure what the appeal of those Superbags are over simple sleeping bags. If you want to sleep together, you can zip your twins together or get the queen size North Face Dolomite Double 20 sleeping bag for $150.

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