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Episode 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry

| Updated May 3, 2017

The RV industry is booming, no doubt about it. But it’s also changing and facing new challenges and opportunities.

In this week’s interview, we sit down with Jim Hammill, the CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, the corporate owners of Roadtrek Motorhomes. Jim is a straight talking, shoot from the hip guy who tells it like it is and coming up in the interview segment of the podcast, you’ll learn how the trends shaping the RV industry will impact your RV Lifestyle.

Plus lots of reader questions, some great tips, traveling with technology and a fun 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 #138 May 3, 2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

Mike and Jennifer share their whereabouts:[spp-timestamp time=”3:00″]

  • A recent visit to Arizona and an RV show devoted to nothing but small motorhomes
  • Jennifer’s mishap that left her with a broken hand
  • Their current trip to the Gulf Coast and where they stay overnight while on long drive days


Episode 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry 1

One of the fun things about visiting RV shows like the Super B small RV show that Mike and I attended this past weekend in Glendale, AZ is visiting with other RVers and sharing tips and suggestions. [spp-timestamp time=”8:11″]

So it was with one of our listeners named Jim, who came out to meet us and offered a tip about using mobile RV repair services when local RV service centers can’t squeeze you in for an appointment.

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!


  • Sharon has a question about using a crock pot with a small inverter of the type that can charge a laptop. She was specifically wondering if the Energizer Cup Inverter being offered by Verizon would work. A crock potis a slow-cooking vessel which uses a heating element. It has two settings, Low (223 watts) and High (312 watts). The Energizer inverter is only capable of a continuous power output of 180n watts, not nearly enough for a power hungry crock pot. Here’s a guide to choosing the best one for you. [spp-timestamp time=”12:34″]
  • Ron and Jan share their excitement about being new RVers [spp-timestamp time=”16:25″]

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.


Mike and I are big fans of off-leash dog parks. It keeps Bo happy, healthy and out of trouble. Not all dogs are good candidates for off leash parks. Before you take your pet to one, make sure it has been socialized well and gets along with other dogs, If so, visits to your local dog park can greatly enrich her life: [spp-timestamp time=”20:45″]

Episode 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry 2
Bo and his K9 pals Sushi and Princess at an off-leash dog park in Fort Walton Beach, FL

Here are three reasons why Pet MD says off leash parks are a wise choice for pet owners

  • Physical and mental exercise for dogs– Your dog can zoom around off-leash to her heart’s content, investigate new smells, wrestle with her dog buddies and fetch toys until she happily collapses. Many dogs are so mentally and physically exhausted by a trip to the dog park that they snooze for hours afterwards.
  • Opportunities to maintain social skillsDogs are like us, highly social animals, and many enjoy spending time with their own species. At the dog park, your dog gets practice reading a variety of other dogs’ body language and using her own communication skills, and she gets used to meeting unfamiliar dogs on a frequent basis. These valuable experiences can help guard against the development of fear and aggression problems around other dogs.
  • Fun for pet parentsDogs aren’t the only ones who enjoy dog parks. People do, too. They can exercise their dogs without much effort, socialize with other dog lovers, bond and play with their dogs, practice their off-leash training skills, and enjoy the entertaining antics of frolicking dogs.

Do you have a pet about traveling with pets. Send it to me by using the “Leave Voicemail” link at  Thanks!

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 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry 3
Jim Hammill

This week our special guest is Jim Hammill, the CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, the corporate owners of Roadtrek Motorhomes. [spp-timestamp time=”20;06″]

I got him to sit own for an interview at the recent Super B small RV show out in Arizona and we talk about how the RV industry is booming and changing. With that growth and change come new challenges and opportunities Jim is a straight talking, shoot from the hip guy who tells it like it is and coming up in the interview segment of the podcast, you’ll learn how the trends shaping the RV industry will impact your RV Lifestyle.

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=”46:43″]

The RV Consumer Demographic Profile released last week shows 8.9 million American households own a RV, a new record, up from 7.9 million in 2005.

It also showed who is buying RVs. For example:

  • The median income of RVers is $62,000.
  • About 39 percent of RVers have children under 18 at home.
  • Ownership among those 55 or old rose to 9.3 percent.​​​​​​​

The Profile, conducted by an economist at the University of Michigan, was sponsored by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. To see the RVIA release click here.

College student dies of hypothermia while out camping in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with friends. Read more

President Donald Trump issues executive order to review national monuments of 100,000 acres and larger designated by past three presidents 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 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry 4
Steve Van Dinter

Hi Mike…Hope you are enjoying your new Samsung Galaxy S8 device as much as I am. And for your listeners out there who just got one or are thinking about it…I wanted to share a few cool things to help you get the most out of it. [spp-timestamp time=”54:52″]

First, the front camera is now 8mp meaning your selfies are looking oh so much better. But did you know that you don’t have to push the button to take a photo? Just hold up your palm somewhere in the viewfinder and the phone will set a two second timer and take your pic. This helps for those of us who move a bit when we try to take a selfie.

Also as part of the camera feature is a setting called “selective focus”. This will really make your selfies or traditional photos look like a portrait. To enable this mode, swipe right on the screen after you open your camera. Choose selective focus. Now when you take a pic it’ll separate your subjects from the background and give a professional look.

Looking to take a screenshot? If you want the whole thing press your power and volume down buttons together. But let’s say you only want part of the screen and would prefer it cropped as a circle? That’s totally do-able. swipe left on the edge panel which is on the righthand side of the screen near the power button. Swipe left on the menu until you see “smart select”. Now choose rectangle or oval and select the area of the screen you’d like to copy. Easy as that!

Lastly I know a lot of your listeners take videos as they travel around the country. But sometimes we don’t want to use all of the video we took. Fortunately editing videos even with captions is now a breeze. Open up your Galaxy Apps and search for video editor. This downloads a free Samsung video editor for the S8. Now you can edit down the videos you have, add in transitions, captions, title screens and even music. Your home movies are definitely going to a new level!

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 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry 5
Patti and Tom Burkett

As Europeans moved westward across the North American continent they found a variety of artifacts left behind by earlier cultures.  Even more have been discovered in recent times.  Think petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, cave art, and totem poles.  Throughout the Midwest and stretching south to northern Alabama and Mississippi can be found a variety of earthen mounds.  Many of the most striking of these are in Ohio.  Southeastern Ohio boasts Fort Ancient and the Great Serpent Mound, and a bit farther north you can visit the Great Circle and Octagon earthworks. [spp-timestamp time=”58:50″]

The small city of Newark is home to the latter two structures, which are on the short list to be designated World Heritage Sites.  Early explorers thought these might be burial mounds and dug into them hoping for treasure and ancient bones.  We know now that they’re mostly ceremonial, built for gatherings and celebrations.  A thousand years ago the Adena and Hopewell people marked specific lunar events at this site.  Modern astronomers and astro-tourists gather here for the periodic alignments.  The next one will occur in 2024.  archaeologists and historians are unsure why these events were important to the cultures that built the mounds, but it’s clear they were.

Even if you’re not here for a lunar viewing, there’s plenty to see.  The eagle mound, in the center of the great circle, is interesting, as it the small museum on the grounds.  In nearby Granville you can see the alligator mound, protected by a traffic circle in the middle of the upscale Bryn Du subdivision.  While you’re in the area, take the time to see the site of the first lock on the Ohio & Erie Canal and tour the Hebron State Fish Hatchery.  If you’re especially lucky, your visit will coincide with one of the periodic tours of the unique floating cranberry bog on nearby Buckeye Lake.

Ohio has several other mounds to visit.  The Great Serpent, between Columbus and Cincinnati, is the largest effigy mound in the US, and features an interesting museum and an elevated viewing platform that’s perfect for photos.  Also along I-71, the Fort Ancient earthworks are interpreted by rangers who convey their vast knowledge with enthusiasm and flair.  For true mound junkies, a variety of smaller earthworks cluster in this part of the state, and most are publicly accessible.

Summer can be pretty brutal in the Buckeye state, but spring and fall are frequently delightful.  Spring arrives with abundant wildflowers and flowering trees, and fall offers autumn colors to rival New England.  Roads are less crowded and the pace more relaxed.  Canoeing and rafting are great in the spring, festivals and fairs in the fall.  There are numerous boondocking opportunities in the Wayne National Forest and along the Ohio River.  Come for the mounds and you’ll find much more to pique your interest.  We’ll be looking for you out there, maybe just over the top of the next mound, off the beaten path.

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.

Since 1917, the Steinbring family has been bringing you the best products and service within the transportation industry. The sales staff at Steinbring Motorcoach brings you decades of experience in the recreational vehicle industry and is celebrating 100 years in business and a 3rd generation family business. Along with being named a Blue Ribbon dealer by RV Business Magazine, Steinbring’s has been named a Top 50 Dealer numerous times including in 2015. Steinbring Motorcoach offers new and used Newmar Class A motorhomes as well as Roadtrek Class Bs. Also for sale are pre-owned coaches from popular brands such as Roadtrek, Winnebago, Itasca, Tiffin, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler and Monaco along with a wide selection of consignments.  Whether you are looking for a Class A, Class B, Class C, a diesel pusher, gas or a toy hauler, you’re sure to find your next RV at Steinbring’s. Along with award winning sales, Steinbring Motorcoach offers award winning service. Our service team has won the Mahlon Miller Service Excellence Award 4 times along with the Newmar Customer Service Award numerous times since 2004 and most recently in 2015. Dealer


Just one this weekend…[spp-timestamp time=”1:04:32″]

Puyallup RV Show

May 4-7

Washington State Fair Events Center

Puyallup, WA

For a complete list of RV shows 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

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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 2017-05-03

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 138: Straight Talk from Jim Hammill about the RV Industry”

May 08, 2017at6:26 pm, Onyx Joanne Henneke said:

You are totally pronouncing Puyallup wrong. Google or youtube the correct pronunciation for the next time.

July 14, 2017at9:08 pm, CaryA said:

Here’s a couple for you to try, Onyx: Togwatee (the pass between Cody, Wyoming, and Jackson Hole); Popo Agie River (near Lander, Wyoming); Gros Ventre River (comes out of the mountains to the east of Jackson Hole). No fair peeking at Google or YouTube! 🙂

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