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Episode 80: The things RVers wish someone told them BEFORE they started RVing

| Updated Mar 23, 2016

This week’s podcast shares the things RVers wish someone told them BEFORE they started RVing. We have interviews from the recent Family Motorcoach Association Family Reunion rally in Perry GA. We talked to a whole bunch of RVers… couples, solos, fulltimers and weekend warriors, asking them to share the most important things they’ve learned from their life on the road.


Complete shownotes for Episode 80 of the Rpadtreking RV Podcast:


This week, my Tip of the Week comes from a listener who followed one of my tips from a few weeks ago. I ran into her at the just-concluded Family Motorcoach Association rally down in Perry, GA. When she showed me what she had, I just knew you’d want to know all about it too. Nadine Parker who shares a way to easily clean up a slow cooker, or a crock pot, by using slow cooker liners that go inside the crock pot. [spp-timestamp time=”8:34″]

We found some on Amazon, made by Reynolds, the same people who make aluminum foil. These liners are made of heat resistant nylon and designed to make slow cooker cleanup fast and easy. They are safe and BPA free.

You can get four packs of four each or 16 total liners for about $11.


  • First up, some info from listener Jim of interest to RVers heading through western Indiana. A new stretch of I-69 is now open between Bloomington through Evansville. Good news for those heading south or for returning snowbirds on the way back home. [spp-timestamp time=”12:52″]
  • Listener Tom wants to know about the Quisinart Griddler that Jennifer and I use for cooking in our RV. He is especially interested in using it for baking.  [spp-timestamp time=”14:23″]

While we love the Griddler, it is not for baking At least if it is, we are not sure how you’d do it. We got ours to replace the George Foreman grill we used to have. It broke when it fell off an uneven surface that Mike was resting it on while cooking a late meal one evening. That’s another story. But we love the Griddler. It works as a contact grill, a panini press, a full grill, a full griddle and half grill/half griddle. You can cook eggs, burgers, all kinds of steak, poultry, fish, pancakes, bacon. It’s very easy to clean and we use ours in our RV and at home. We’ll put a link to the Cuisinart Griddler on the shownotes page for this episode for those interested in checking it out.

But again, as far as using it for traditional baking, I’m not sure how that would work. That’s what we use the convection oven/ microwave for.

  • Reed asks about the air conditioner we have on our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL. [spp-timestamp time=”16:38″]

Ours in mounted on the back and underneath the vehicle instead of the usual roof mounted AC that most RVs have. He watched the recent video tour of it we put on the blog and wanted to know how noisy it is compared to others. We give him a full rundown but, bottom line, it’s still noisy.

  • And a listener called in to ask about installing a burglar alarm on her RV. Someone tried to break into her RV and, although they didn’t get in, she wants a loud alarm to sound if it happens again. [spp-timestamp time=”20:25″]

We talk about the Canary system we have on our unit. It’s a burglar alarm and it is also a live camera that shows video and plays audio of what’s happening inside the RV, as well as a temperature monitor showing this inside temperature. We like it because is the dog is there, we can see what’s happening and also make sure the AC is working. It also has a loud alarm. Ours works with an app over a Wi-Fi system Here’s a video we did about it.

But in her case, I’d recommend the system we have at home – SimpliSafe. It is so easy to install, works really well and has motion detection alarms, glass breaking alarms, window and door sensors. You install it yourself…. It’s very easy… and you can easily transfer it to another RV. It has a very loud 105-decibel alarm siren, too. It costs $259. The home system s monitored 24 x7 but in an RV, you just want an alarm. So check that out.

Or you could just go to a regular car alarm company. I warn you, though, some of those hard wred alarm systems have what are called parasitic drain issues, meaning they will drain down your RV battery if you keep it connected and on when in storage. So try Canary – that costs $200 – if you like or, for the best protection, look into SimpliSafe, which costs $259.

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.

All three have a great fly and drive program. They'll pick you up from the airport and will reimburse you $500 toward your airfare. Then, your RV will be fully prepared for travel, complete with full tanks of fuel and propane.


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

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat – providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.


RVers have so many tasks to remember, cleaning, maintenance, packing. So there has to be a high tech way to manage and remember all those chores, right? Right. [spp-timestamp time=”34:16″]

I found three apps that can be very easily adapted for your various RV tasks, choses and things you need to do on the road and in camp

The first one I recommend is called Cleaning Checklist and it is a simple and straightforward app to write down and manage whatever tasks you want to complete. You can mark off items as they are completed. The best thing about Cleaning Checklist is how easy it is to add new items. The app is 99 cents and available for iOS.

Home Routines is great for the same things and a few more. The app let you assign tasks into zones, making it easy to focus on specific areas at the same time- like a packing zone, a pre drive zone, a camp set up zone, a maintainence zone. The app is focused around areas of a house, but just think RV instead of house and you’ll see its usefulness. To keep you on track, you can set it up to get reminder notifications. Mark off tasks completed on checklists, which reset automatically. The app is $4.99 for iOS.

For you Android users, the best app I’ve found for you is called Smart Task Manager Pro. Cost is $4.70 for this app. Does it all and can be customizable for whatever lists and tasks you want.

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.

Getting ready to hit the road? Then consider picking up a portable battery pack from Verizon so you can keep your smart devices charged.

There’s nothing worse than getting the dreaded “low battery” alert when you’re relying on your smartphone to get directions, stream music, take photos and post updates to social media.

These devices will eliminate the fear of battery failure and keep your devices powered during your excursions.

  • The LifeProof FRĒ Power case was made for adventure. It acts as a portable charger and keeps your phone protected from mishaps, including water damage and cracks. It also features Auto-Stop Charging. Once your phone reaches 100%, it stops charging to preserve power for later.
  • Themophie Powerstation 3X may look like a traditional portable charger on the outside, but it features Priority+ charging. So, when you need to recharge your battery pack and phone at the same time, the Powerstation will prioritize by charging your phone first and then recharge the battery pack. It also has dual USB ports so you can charge two devices simultaneously.

Visit your local Verizon retailer to check out other smartphone accessories and portable chargers.

And, don’t forget to visit for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.


RV shows around the country coming up soon [spp-timestamp time=”39:39″]

  • Progressive Insurance Northwest Sportshow – March 30-April 3, 2016
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN (USA)
  • Great Rockies Sport, RV & Boat Show
April 1-3
 – Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT
  • Northwest Michigan Camper & RV Show
April 1-3
 -Grand Traverse Civic Center
Traverse City, MI
  • Acadiana RV & Camping Show
April 8-10
 – Cajun Field
Lafayette, LA

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT – The Great Lakes Shoreline

This is a great trip… almost 3,500 miles if you follow the entire US shoreline. [spp-timestamp time=”41:30″]

The significance of the Great Lakes is staggering. According to the Great Lakes Information Network, an informational clearinghouse on the Great Lakes group supported by U.S. and Canadian governmental agencies and various civic-minded organizations, the five lakes contain:

  • One-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water (only the polar ice caps and Lake Baikal in Siberia contain more); 95 percent of the U.S. supply; 84 percent of the surface water supply in North America. Spread evenly across the continental U.S., the Great Lakes would submerge the country under about 9.5 feet of water.
  • More than 94,000 square mile of water (larger than the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire combined, or about 23 percent of the province of Ontario). About 295,000 square miles in the watershed (the area where all the rivers and streams drain into the lakes).
  • The Great Lakes shoreline is equal to almost 44 percent of the circumference of the earth, and Michigan’s Great Lakes coast totals 3,288 mi more coastline than any state but Alaska.

Tips from RVers

Here's our interview with folks at the Family Motorcoach Association gathering answering the question: What to w=you wish an RVer told you BEFORE YOU started RVing? [spp-timestamp time=”43:25″]

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-03-23

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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