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Episode 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities

| Updated Apr 19, 2017

In this episode we meet a couple who have been RVing for 40 years! They started in a popup and now have a Class B RV and they share how RVing has allowed them to enhance and enjoy other interests and hobbies, like discovering antiques, old cars, trains, planes and all things mechanical.

Also this week, lots of reader comments and questions, traveling technology tips and a special off the beaten path report about an amazing natural phenomenon you need to see.

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 #136 April 19,2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

What Mike and Jennifer are up to this week: [spp-timestamp time=”2:04″]

  • Mike is awaiting the arrival of the brand new Samsung Galaxy 8 Plus smartphone, coming this week. He’s also been working on the RV Podcast and Blog You Tube channel – You can sign up at:
  • Jennifer is working on a video on how to keep the cushions in the RV from sliding off while driving, turning corners, etc.
  • Next week, we’re heading to Arizona, Phoenix area for The Super B RV Show

April 26-30 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Jennifer and Mike will be there! Come meet them, ask questions. Roadtrek will also be conducting seminars. And there will be representatives on hand form all of the major Class B motorhome manufacturers.


Episode 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities 1
Kiki in her Onesie

I get so many of my tips from friends we meet on the road, in campgrounds at our Roadtreking gatherings. So it was not long ago when we met our friend Kiki around a campfire. She was wearing a Onesie. You know what a Onesie is… its those one piece jumpsuit-like coveralls that we buy toddlers and infants to keep them all warm and cozy. Well, Kiki was indeed that, in an adult Onesie… perfect for hanging around a campfire. [spp-timestamp time=”5:50″]

Kiki got hers from a local store in northern Michigan. But you can also find a wide variety of them in all different sizes on Amazon.

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!


Jan is a new RVer and wonders why the monitors inside her RV are so bright and how they can be dimmed so the panel lights are not as jarring at night. [spp-timestamp time=”10:41″]

Arvid has an alternative to the Lynx Leveling blocks many of us use for our RVs. The curved device he suggests is the Anderson Hitches 3604 x 2 2 Pack Camper Leveler and chock set. I warn you, it’s expensive. $82 on Amazon. A cheaper alternative for just $17 is the Camco Yellow Tri-Leveler. The Tri-Leveler features a gradient of three levels for simple, customizable leveling up to 3-7/8-inch. [spp-timestamp time=”17:06″]

Craig wants to know of a good exterior wax for his RV. We suggest Turtle Wax paste, available in most stores. Here’s a handy article we found that recommends other waxes, all of which is fine –[spp-timestamp time=”20:20″]

Laura was interested in Campskunk’s planned RV trip to Europe, which we talked about in Episode 135 of the RV Podcast. She shared how years ago she and her husband took advantage of a unique way to buy a new RV in Europe from Volkswagon and then ship it back here as a used vehicle. She wonders if, now that Roadtrek is owned by the German-based Hymer group, whether it will be possible to do such a program under Hymer. [spp-timestamp time=”22:10″]

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.


One question a lot of dog owners have is how much water do they need? [spp-timestamp time=”26:36″]

You may be surprised to now that your dog should drink about as much as a human is supposed to drink, namely about ½ t 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight each day. So a healthy 65-pound Labrador Retriever should be drinking between about 33 and 65 ounces, or about ¼ to ½ gallon of water daily.

To determine if your dog may need more water, lift some skin at the back of her neck and let it go. If your dog is well hydrated, the skin will fall quickly back into place. The skin of a dehydrated dog will fall more slowly and form sort of a tent. Another method is to check your dog’s gums. Moist, slick gums indicate a good level of hydration; dry or sticky gums mean your pet’s body needs more water.

One important note here: The amount of water your dog drinks can be an indicator of an underlying illness. Dogs with pancreatitis or parvovirus, tend suddenly not drink much water, but a brewing bladder infection, or other types of infection can cause excessive thirst and water consumption. So if your pet is drinking less or more water than normal, you should have her checked by your veterinarian to rule out an underlying condition.

What about cats?

A normal cat's daily water requirement ranges from 5 to 10 fluid ounces per day. Cats eating canned food will receive much of their needs from its food, since canned food is about 70 to 80 percent water. In contrast, dry food is only 7 to 10 percent water.

So… whether a dog or a cat…lets keep our pets well hydrated, especially as the weather is starting to warm up and they can easily overheat.

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 , Retailers and Pet Shops across the USA


Episode 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities 2
The Richardsons

Our guests today are John and Nancy Richardson, an RVing couple we have met several times in our travels around the country attending various gatherings. [spp-timestamp time=”30:32″]

The Richardson’s have been RVing for four decades now. They’ve been everywhere. And they have a lot of things to share, from doing your old maintenance – which John does – to their unique traveling style and how it enriches their various hobbies and special interests.

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=”40:27″]

  • National Park advocates say $12 billion needed for park maintenance ranging from neglected roads to sewage issues to broken water lines and more. Read more
  • Virginia woman converts RV to a hair salon on wheels. Read more
  • Yellowstone National Park euthanized often-photographed white wolf after hikers find her with unknown injuries. 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 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities 3
Steve Van Dinter

By Steve Van Dinter

Verizon Wireless

In today’s power-hungry world, the thought of running out of juice for any of our gadgets is enough to send shivers down your spine. [spp-timestamp time=”47:18″]

And it’s not just maximizing battery life we worry about…it’s also remembering to bring along the right chargers and wondering if there will be enough outlets to cover them all.

That’s why to save some sanity when I travel, I bring along a power inverter like the Energizer Cup Inverter. What I like about this inverter is it plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter then sits snugly in a cup holder so it’s not moving about. Then on the top you have 4 USB ports and 1 standard AC outlet – yes that means you can plug in a laptop in addition to 4 smartphones!

Also, while we’re talking about power, if you have a Mophie Charge Force case for your phone, you’re going to want to pick up the Charge Force Vent Mount. This mount plugs into your vehicle’s power port and hangs on your vents. Your phone magnetically attaches to it and begins charging wirelessly! Use it in portrait or landscape mode for easy Google Maps viewing and never worry about draining your phone’s battery because it’s charging the whole time it’s mounted.

So what does saving all this power get you – more battery for more selfies! Take your selfie game to the next level with a PopSocket. These ultra-portable accessories stick to the back of your phone giving you more stability when holding your smartphone or tablet. Pop it out and set your phone on a table to use it as a kickstand when watching a video or wrap your headphones around it for easy storage. With their reusable adhesive and wide selection, switch them out anytime you’re looking for a different pop of color.

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 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities 4
Patti and Tom Burkett

One of nature’s most unusual spectacles is on offer during the month of June, and it’s a good idea to plan ahead if you want to see it.  Many folks think the Great Smoky Mountains are the only place to see synchronous fireflies, but they can be found in several other places as well. There are more than a dozen species of fireflies, and three are known to show this unusual behavior. [spp-timestamp time=”49:42″]

Fireflies start life as eggs, and live for two years in the soil and under the bark of trees before emerging in their winged form.  Once they begin to fly, they never eat again, and groups of twenty to several hundred will all flash together, creating a genuine spectacle for those willing to stand around the woods or fields in the dark on a June night.

Our favorite place to see them is the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania.  The local town of Kellettville, in Forest County, hosts an annual festival featuring guided walks and expert talks, but for the few weeks the bugs are active you can just walk out and look at them.  Nor do you have to walk far.   Stake out a site at the Kellettville Campground in the National Forest, and walk onto the bridge over Tionesta Creek.  Watch the fireflies put on a show.  Of course, you can walk down along the creek and get into the middle of it all if you like.  There are dispersed campsites available too.

Episode 136: How the RV Lifestyle Enhances Your Favorite Interests and Activities 5

Another place you can watch synchronous fireflies is in Congaree National Park.  This little known park is near Columbia, in the interior of South Carolina.  It’s full of huge, beautiful old growth trees, and we’ll give you a complete description one of these days.  Meanwhile, know that flashing season is about a month sooner than in Pennsylvania, and sometimes starts as early as the middle of May.  Congaree has a lot of wetland areas and is notorious for mosquitoes, so be prepared in case they’re about.  They do tend to abate as it gets darker, and this park has some of the darkest skies in the state.

The operation in the Smokies is a bit more organized, with a lottery for passes to the Sugarlands parking area on firefly nights.  The dates are being announced on April 27, and the lottery for spots begins on April 28.  Early June is the window for the Smokies outbreak, and can vary by as much as two weeks.  Check the park website for updates.  And if you love fireflies, think about making a stop to see their cousins, the glowworms.  They can be seen seasonally at Hazard Cave in Tennessee, and at Dismals Canyon in northwest Alabama.

Some things simply can’t be captured with a camera, and this is one of them.  Early summer air redolent with new growth and rich with moisture, the buzz of nighttime insects and frogs, a sky full of stars, and the excitement of the hushed crowd around you all contribute to an incomparable experience.  Go see for yourself.  We’re Patti & Tom Burkett, and we’ll look for you, out there, somewhere in the dark, off the beaten path.

Resources on where to see the flies:

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.


Two shows on the calendar this week… [spp-timestamp time=”55:45″]

22nd Annual Super Saver Show
April 21-23
Century Link-Lee Sports Complex
Ft. Myers, FL

The Super B RV Show
April 26-30
University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, AZ
Jennifer and Mike will be there! Come meet them, ask questions. Roadtrek will also be conducting seminars.

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

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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…

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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 2017-04-19

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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