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Episode 152: What every camper needs to know before heading out on the trails!

| Updated Aug 9, 2017

One activity every RVer loves to take part in is hiking. Whether it’s a long day trip, a short hour long loop or a half-day picnic hike, exploring the wilderness by foot is one of the joys of camping and our mobile lifestyle. But staying safe needs to be a top priority on any hike and in this week’s podcast, we’ll hear important advice from an expert hiker… coming up in our interview of the week.

But we also have your questions, comments, RV News and lots of RV tips. Plus a great off the beaten path report.


Show Notes for Episode #152 Aug.9 2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

Episode 152: What every camper needs to know before heading out on the trails! 1WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO:

  • ­We discuss the latest long range weather forecast, which predicts unseasonably chilly August temperatures for the eastern two-thirds of the US with 60F lows lasting up to TWO WEEKS. Experts say a southward dip in the jet stream is causing the cooling effect. This pattern will continue into the second week of August with below-average temperatures affecting much of the East Coast, Midwest, and some of the South. The Weather Channel reported that Sunday morning saw record breaking lows in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.
  • School has begun across many parts of the country this week… the south… also far west. That means less crowded campgrounds and an ease in congestion around national parks.
  • The August 21 total eclipse is coming fast. Listen to episode 132 of the podcast for detailed info. On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. You’ll be able to see stars! To learn where to see it best and how to safely view it, go to the Great American Eclipse website

This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing


Here’s a dilemma every RVer has… what to do with wet towels? One of the nice things about traveling and meeting so many of our listeners on the road is seeing how they solve such everyday problems.

So it was with our friend Jeff Curry, who showed us his creative solution to the wet towel issue.

Episode 152: What every camper needs to know before heading out on the trails! 2
Jeff Curry's DIY Towel Rack

Jeff took bungee cords, two S hooks and a piece of PVC pipe to make a portable towel rack.

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 ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping


  • Josh is about to become a fulltime RVer and has a suggestion on Kayaks from a company called Oru Kayak– foldable kayaks that are perfect for storing in a small RV
  • Chris talks about what to expect when traveling between Canada and the US in an RV
  • And a listener named Virgil sent us an email asking us to talk about how we select a route for our RV trips.

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 activity every RVer loves to take part in is hiking. Whether it’s a long day trip, a short hour long loop or a half-day picnic hike, exploring the wilderness by foot is one of the joys of camping and our mobile lifestyle. But staying safe needs to be a top priority on any hike and in this week’s podcast, we’ll hear important advice from an expert hiker Douglas Scott of the Wilderness Society.

That’s him on the featured photo at the top of this post! Scott is a nationally recognized outdoors writer, with works appearing in publications all over the country. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, his passion for the wilderness spills into everything he does. He is a trail runner, avid hiker and guidebook author, sharing his experiences with like-minded modern adventurers hoping to get to know their own backyards a little better.

And to underscore the importance of hiking safety, check out the story in our news of the week section down below about a woman hiker who died of heat exhaustion while hiking the Grand Canyon last week.

Resources mentioned by Douglas Scott:

Douglas Scott’s tips –

His blog:

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…

  • An RV owner who crashed into a toll booth in San Francisco may be billed as much as $10,000 for damage. Read more
  • Many government agencies running out of senior national park passes and having to issue vouchers because of rush to buy one before price jumps. Read more
  • Texas mom hiking with kids in Grand Canyon believed to have died of heat exhaustion. 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 152: What every camper needs to know before heading out on the trails! 3
Steve Van Dinter

Recently at our meet up in Grand Rapids, we had a number of questions come up about how best to use to a Chromecast Ultra to meet your entertainment needs while on the road.

First…for those who need a bit of a refresher, a Chromecast Ultra is a hockey-puck looking device that has an HDMI cable that plugs into the back of your TV. When connected to a wifi network – be it via a hotspot on your phone or jetpack – it allows you to stream or “cast” any video or pictures from your phone, laptop or tablet to your TV.

This means content like HBO Go for those Game of Thrones viewers, or Netflix or even streaming video from your local news stations back home can be easily viewed while on the road.

You can even move the Chromecast Ultra easily between your home TV and RV TV. Just make sure your wifi network’s name and password matches that of your mobile one.

Then once plugged in look for the blue cast icon in apps like Netflix, HBO Go, and others. Or if your app isn’t supported, you can cast anything that’s on your device’s screen to the TV by clicking on the Google Home app and then clicking on menu and cast screen/audio.

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 152: What every camper needs to know before heading out on the trails! 4
Patti and Tom Burkett

There are some places in this wide country of ours where there are no big roads, and no one ever really goes except the people who live there.  Here’s description of one of them: an oozing mass of water, mud, snakes, wolves, wildcats, biting flies, and clouds of gnats and mosquitoes forty miles long and a hundred or more wide.  Water stands stagnant on the ground, waist deep, until it evaporates in the summer or turns into mud and muck in the winter.  The undergrowth is absolutely impenetrable.  While some travelers are given to hyperbole, this is a fairly objective description of the great black swamp in northwestern Ohio, sometimes called the dismal swamp.
Families and explorers headed westward detoured around it until, gradually, it was diked and drained to create extraordinarily rich farmland.  Today it grows strawberries, fruit trees, and produce that would make central California farmers blue with envy.  It’s also home to a large settlement of Amish craftspeople, and these make up much of the workforce at Sauder industries in the little town of Archbold.  Sauder makes those flat packed, some assembly required bookshelves and TV carts and entertainment centers that predated Ikea.
Still very much a going concern with hundreds of workers, Sauder continues to provide furniture for churches, schools, college dorm rooms, and yard sales.  Also in Archbold is Sauder Village, a living history museum and farm that recreates life at the turn of the twentieth century.  Costumed interpreters share stories of life on the Ohio frontier, the struggle to keep the fields drained, and the pleasures of days on the farm.
There’s a church, an ice cream shop, and several craftspeople working in their shops.  All the ones you’re expect are there, as well as some that you don't see at other museums—a cooper, a broom maker, a tinsmith, and an encampment of Native Americans napping flint and making rope from natural fibers.  Walk over to the farm and you might enjoy a local farm market, a chance to pet the baby animals, a stroll through the herb garden, or a turn behind the mule-drawn plow.
Drive a bit south to Wapakoneta (there’s a town name that’s fun to say) and you can visit Jim Bowsher’s Temple of Tolerance.  Jim bought up some vacant land behind the houses in his neighborhood and he and his brother began building rock structures.  From simple to grand, each structure has a story.  So do many of the rocks, which have been collected from notable locations.  Call ahead and you might get Jim to give you a tour himself, a real treat.
If you’re here at the end of the summer, head over to tiny Venedocia on Labor Day weekend for the annual Gymanfa Ganu.  This tradition was brought to the region by the Welsh coalminers that emigrated here in the 1800s.  Under the direction of a guest choral conductor, and usually with the assistance of a well-known Welsh soloist, singers gather to belt out an evening’s worth of hymns in unaccompanied four-part harmony.  Sing in Welsh or English as you like.
It’s a little easier to get around than it was two hundred years ago, but it’s not much more populated.  Despite that, there are dozens of things to see and do in this little corner of the Midwest.  Come explore on your own.  Whether you like history, classic cars, art, natural beauty, or delicious pizza cooked in a six hundred degree oven, it’s quite possible you’ll run into us, Patti & Tom Burkett, somewhere around here, 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 Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2017-08-09

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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