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Episode 84: Turn Your Motorhome into a Houseboat

| Updated Apr 20, 2016

Now you can turn your motorhome into a houseboat.

I first heard about this very cool (and expensive!) invention at the Perry, GA gathering of the Family Motorcoach Association when I met the man who dreamed up and built something called the RollerBoat, a floating contraption that can certainly take your motorhome places its never been before.

Plus this week, we have lots of great questions, comments and tips from readers this week! Also a song you’ll want to hear that captures all the fun of the RV lifestyle sent in by one of our readers


First, Jennifer shares listener feedback on last week’s tip about the KAYWOS Cloth… the “Klean Anything Without Leafing a Streak” cloths we featured in Episode 83. Sue, it seems, found yet another interesting use for these cloths. Here’s her message:

Hi Mike and Jennifer – Last summer, after hearing your review on Kaywos cloths, I purchased one. These cloths are amazing!! This is the first time I've been able to have streak free windows. But… not only that… we have a Jack Russell Terrier (her name is Lizzy Lizard Licker) who loves to hunt for small rodents. Yesterday, that hunt included a long period of time under the car. When she came out, her normally white coat had a distinct greasy gray smear all along her back. Rather than give her a bath (she'll just go under the car again tomorrow), I thought I would give the Kaywos cloth a go and see what it would do. Amazing!!! It got most of that grime off her coat and saved me from having to bath her. Thanks so much for the great tip about Kaywos Cloth. Best regards and hope to see you on the road somewhere, Susan Garriques


Dirty laundry. Sometimes, it seems like it follows me everywhere. Especially on RV trips.

What to do with it?

For a couple of years, we stuffed it in plastic bags. And that, we learned the hard way is not such a good idea. The clothes get really stinky in them and even after washing, that smell can be hard to get rid of.

The solution for us is a collapsible clothes hamper. Actually, we bought a set of two of them. That’s how they come, a pack of two for $18.99 from Amazon.

We got the StorageManiac Foldable Pop-Up Mesh Hamper.

Usually, we only need one. But on long trips, the second one comes in handy.

They are made from 100 percent polyester mesh and fold down flat for easy storage. They have a sturdy steel frame that pops up to allow for lots of dirty clothes. They have easy carry handles, which makes it convenient when you take your dirty clothes to a laundrymat.

Each of these collapsible hampers holds more clothes than you carry. When popped up or open, they measure a bit over 14-inches by 17-inches. And because they are mesh, the dirty clothes don’t have an odor problem. We store the hamper in the bathroom, on a hook mounted o the side wall.

Each hamper also has side pockets, which gives ample storage space for laundry accessories, delicates, socks, and so on.

The tip of the week is brought to you by Good Sam, the world's most popular RV organization, now celebrating its 50th year.


  • JJ, a solo female traveler, wonders how Jennifer and I travel in our Class B motorhome when she barely has enough room in her 30-foot model. We share our experience
  • Harry wonders how our solar panels can possibly work when we’re parked in the shade. They do, but at a less efficient rate will operate down to approximately 20% of a sun which is a gray sky, cloudy day. Below 20%, the voltage drops off significantly and the solar module will not be able to maintain a charge into a battery or device. Keep in mind that at 20% of sunlight the power generated by the solar module will be approximately 20% of the solar modules rating.
  • Jim asks us for the name of the combination cooking appliance we take with us and use for most of our meal prep. We use the Cuisinart Griddler for grilling and most of the cooking we do, instead of a charcoal or propane grill.
  • Becky asks is a sliding screen door is available for her Roadtrek. We recommend a mesh door that fastens shut with magnets because most if not all sliding screen doors made of aluminum that we’ve seen on other models are plagued by problems.
  • And a listener named Mike tells us of a cost saving solution to keep tabs on the temperature inside his motorhome when he leaves his two Golden Retrievers alone for brief periods of time. The app he uses is called Presence.


You can turn your Motorhome into a Houseboat with the RollerBoatI first heard about this very cool (and expensive!) invention at the Perry, GA gathering of the Family Motorcoach Association when I met the man who dreamed up and built the RollerBoat something that can certainly take your motorhome places its never been before. The RollerBoat is a new amphibious RV concept and while you may not be able to afford to buy one yourself, you probably will someday soon be able to rent one for a week or so. I interview David Lee, the president and inventor, who explains how you can cruise around a lake or river in your Motorhome on a small barge that can handle and float they heaviest of RVs.

Other RV News this week:

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


Sometimes, it’s nice to know where everybody is. Especially on RV trips and especially when traveling with other RVers.

That’s where all these tracking apps come in so handy.

I have three to share with you this week… all are aimed at parents and keeping track of their children to see that they are where they should be. But they can just as easily be applied to RV travel, letting friends and family have a way of seeing where you are…or where others are in your caravan.

  • Footprints is an app that allows you to see where someone is at any given time. The app runs in the background and uses a device’s global positioning satellite (GPS) for instant location info. You can also set up so-called geofences, such as a major highway or a certain area, and get an alert if the other party leaves where he or she is supposed to be. The app is free for iOS with premium services available for purchase.
  • Family Tracker allows users to set up a tracking system for multiple users and is particularly well suited for RVers. As long as the other people have their phones and have agreed to set up a Family Tracker system, users can see where everyone is at any time by taking advantage of GPS information provided by a phone. Users can even send messages to each other through Family Tracker. The app is $3.99 for iOS and $4.99 for Android with in-app purchases available to expand capabilities.
  • The Lassy Project app aims to build a community network of family, friends and neighbors who look out for each other. Participants opt-in and create a profile. If someone can’t be located or is missing, a message to relevant recipients is sent – showing picture along with a real-time map that includes coordinates of a last know locations.

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 –  The Historic Trails West

If you’d like to retrace those trails, contact the National Parks Service and ask for their historic trail guides. They have excellent auto touring route maps and booklets that will take you along the same routes the pioneers traveled.

Here’s one for the Oregon Trail –

Here’s one for the Lewis and Clark Trail –

Here’s my blog post on our adventure, with photos –

This part of the podcast is brought to you by AllStays – the Internets #1 RV and camping app since 2010

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – “Wake Me Up to Drive”

This is a great song sent in my Podcast Listener Kevin Brown, whose bluegrass band, “Swift Creek” has a new CD out called “Magnolia” with this song the leadoff track for the whole collection.

“Magnolia” is available on all the usual online music outlets, and folks who want to learn more about the album and the band can go to, or follow Swift Creek Band on Facebook.

Here are the lyrics:

Wake Me Up To Drive

The exits on the interstate all look the same

That’s the reason we avoid ‘em if we can

And the Applebees are Chilis by a different name

That’s the reason why they ain’t part of our plan

Well off the beaten path, too tired to do the math

“Take a load off Fannie” sings The Band


Wake me up to drive, let me share the load

Got a lot of miles to burn ‘fore we make it down the road

As the afternoon grows dim, and the evening comes alive

If you feel yourself starting to fade

Wake me up to drive

With every passing mile we hope to prove we’re not

Judged by the mere sum total of our things

But we’re humble in the presence of an awesome God

And we’re thankful for the wheels that give us wings

Got miles of open space, a smile upon your face

“Runnin’ on empty”, Jackson sings



Everybody walkin’ round, phones face up

And heads held down

Wanna feel the pavement ‘neath my wheels

That man standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona

I know exactly how he feels

Sometimes we feel a pawn in some mysterious game

But we barely even wonder ‘bout the cost

And the Applebees are Hooters by a different name

And we rarely stop to think of what was lost

But give me moonlit nights, catchin’ all the lights

“Highways jammed with broken heroes” sings The Boss


Words & Music Kevin L. Brown

                                                                                    All Rights Reserved


Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-04-20

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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