Episode 160: How to save on fuel costs and get better mileage with your RV

 Episode 160: How to save on fuel costs and get better mileage with your RV

Probably the top question motorhome owners are asked is “what do you get for mileage?” Although gas prices are dropping again, the big spike they had after the hurricanes this summer reminds all of us that one of the biggest expenses our RV lifestyle has to deal with is fuel prices. So, how can we lower those costs and get the best mileage possible? To help us with that our interview of the week features our friend Mark Polk of RVEducation101 who will share some very practical tips that are all but guaranteed to increase your mileage and save you money.

Also this week, lots of your email questions, RV news, tips 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 #160 Oct 3, 2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”2:47″]

Mike and Jennifer on the Vanderbilt House roof

This episode is recorded from our camping spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina after a great four days attending the Overland East Expo held on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

We shared what we learned there, explaining what overlanding is and how it relates to boondocking. We also share the results of our first real world test of the Kymeta satellite Internet system we are testing out.

Mike photographing a gargoyle

We also talked about our tours of the Biltmore Estate and the Vanderbilt house, including a rooftop tour to look at the gargoyles.

And we talk about what a great month October is for RVers.

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

 JENNIFER’S TIP OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”14:19″]

One of the things many of us do when we’re stopped for the night is spin the front passenger’s seat around so that instead of facing forward, it faces the back part of the coach, making for a way to relax, to create a conversation area or to use the front table if we decide to set that up.

Pam Bowen with her feet on the yoga block

But for some of us, the way that seat is angled makes sitting there a bit uncomfortable.

At the Overland East gathering this past weekend, we met Pam Bowen. Pam knew we would be there was on the alert to share her tip about dealing with the seat. It is so simple. What Pam does is use a Yoga Block – one of those foam square shaped little blocks that you find yoga practitioners use – as a foot rest.

Presto! Instant comfort.

You can find the Yoga blocks everywhere. Pam got hers at Walmart. You can also find it in on the master list of products and handy services that we talk about on the podcast at roadtreking.com/gear Since we just added it, you’ll need to scroll down to the end of the list to find it.

Meanwhile,  be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. 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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”18:46″]

We just bought a Roadtrek Zion SRT. Its small with very little counter space in the bathroom & kitchen. What do you use for hand wash & dispensers & how do you store them when you’re rolling? Leslie

What is the name of the reflective bubble wrap you talked about? Terry

My husband and I are looking at purchasing our first rv, a roadtrek. The undermount air conditioner seems quieter than the roof mount. Is there a reason one would want the roof mount? Kristen

Thinking about purchasing a Roadtrek CS XL.  Wondering if you have trouble parking it in town or parking lots with the extra length? Kathrine

Planning on getting a used Roadtrek next spring and am wiring a new garage for electric hookup. What size power source would you recommend? Greg

Do I need a cover for my RV? It will sit in my driveway at the back of the house all winter. I live in Minnesota and it won’t be unusual for it to be covered with up to two feet of snow fromDecember through February. David

I am curious whether you are still using the Jetpack and weBoost combo for connectivity or not. We are researching for our class B and not sure why we wouldn’t just use the “Personal Hotspot” on our iPhone 6’s (Verizon) as our connectivity point, coupled with a weBoost Drive 4G-X RV for added signal strength. What are your thoughts, sir? Thanks! Via YouTube

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to roadtreking.com/gear

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.

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – How to save on fuel costs and get better mileage with your RV [spp-timestamp time=”31:44″]

Mark Polk, RVEducation101.com

Probably the top question motorhome owners are asked is “what do you get for mileage?”

Although gas prices are dropping again, the big spike they had after the hurricanes this summer reminds all of us that one of the biggest expenses our RV lifestyle has to deal with is fuel prices. So, how can we lower those costs and get the best mileage possible?

To help us with that our interview of the week features our friend Mark Polk of RVEducation101 who will share some very practical tips that are all but guaranteed to increase your mileage and save you money.

Mark’s Resources:





The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: [spp-timestamp time=”52:50″]

Some concerned by RV Industry lobbying to privatize campgrounds, other services on public land

Custer State Park reports another successful buffalo round up

Massive rockfall at Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan kills one visitor, injures another

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

TRAVELING TECH TIP – Verizon’s New and Improved Family Base [spp-timestamp time=”59:18″]

By Steve Van Dinter
Verizon Wireless

Steve Van Dinter

Now with the kids back in school, there’s homework, sports practice and other demands pulling at their lives. That sure puts a premium on family time! To help you make the most of it, Verizon has something called FamilyBase.

With this tool, you now have control over your child’s devices, who they’re texting, who they’re calling, how much data they use and most importantly when they’re using those devices. That means if you want to restrict data use – both wifi and cellular –  during dinner time or late at night, you can!

In addition, for younger kids, Family Base lets you block access to inappropriate websites or apps so someone is always watching out for them, even if you’re not able to.

Family base is available for just $4.99 a month no matter how many lines you have, is easy for parents to use and is compatible with all Android and iOS devices. You can learn more at vzw.com/familybase

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 – Beer and bacon [spp-timestamp time=”1:01:19″]

By Patti Burkett

Sometimes, I have to admit, it can be exhausting traveling with Tom. He’s relentless in his pursuit of things to see and do. Every time we go on a trip he spends weeks preparing an itinerary. He looks at dozens of websites and books, and the google map he comes up with looks like a pincushion. Then he goes into his notes. He has newspaper clippings going back I don’t know how long–about things we might do some day.  Emails from other travelers, blog posts, and a shelf full of maps and brochures from parks and tourist bureaus across the country.

And it doesn’t stop when we get in the RV. We’re constantly looking at roadside signs and searching things on the internet.  Just yesterday, on I-94 we passed an exit sign for Home On The Range. Off we went, to discover a remote prairie ranch for the rehabilitation of troubled youth.

We were headed for Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and as we approached Medora, the little town at the entrance to the park, I heard the inevitable words, “Hey, what about this. . .”  This, as it turns out, was the Medora Beer and Bacon fundraiser. Though it was a bit pricey for us, at $20 a ticket, we bought a couple.

It was a perfect day. As we drove down the hill to the campground, we saw a bison grazing next to someone’s tent. The air was warm, the breeze was steady, and the Little Missouri river chattered past the campsites. We chose the best one, stopped at the visitor center, and headed on over to the chamber of commerce, where we picked up a map. Strolling this picturesque western town on a perfect night was magical. At each business on the map there was a beer to sample, many of them local. There were sixteen different beers.  And there was bacon. Lots of bacon.

Stop one offered a local porter paired with ice cream. Ice cream topped with homemade chocolate cream sauce and crumbled bacon. There was bacon taffy, bacon dip, bacon meatballs, and bacon maple donuts.  Our path matched that of some other folks, so we struck up conversation and heard about living in the oil boom towns of the Bakken shale.

Myron Schweitzer, owner of the Farmhouse Café, said his first year had been pretty good, and he was glad he’d chosen to move here. Medora is wall to wall people during the summer, but the proprietor of Hidden Springs Java told us about living in this tourist town during the off season, when locals stop by for soup and a sandwich and there’s plenty of time to catch up on the books.

Almost every town has a website, and they’re often treasure troves of information. Take the time to look, and you may find the firefighters fish fry, the jalapeño festival, or the school’s annual local history scavenger hunt. There’s a good chance we’ll be there too, Patti and Tom Burkett, scouting out something happening today, 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.

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND [spp-timestamp time=”1:06:50″]

28th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show
October 4-8
Suburban Collection Showplace
Novi, MI

Tacoma Fall RV Show
October 5-8
Tacoma Dome
Tacoma, WA

California RV Show
October 6-15
Los Angeles Fairplex
Pomona, CA

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Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.