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Episode 88: RV Tips about Solar Power, Travel Trailer Towing and Life on the Road

| Updated May 18, 2016

We have a jam-packed show for you this week.

We talk about solar power, what you need to know about it and how it will enhance your RV experience. And we have travel trailer towing resources and insights into life on the road.

We’ll introduce you to a several of the people we’ve met on the road recently, including a single woman who lives in her Class B RV as she travels the country after retiring from her job as a missionary in Africa.

Plus, reader comment and questions, tech tips, a fun RV destination report and RV News of the Week. Scroll down for show note details and resources and click the player below to start listening. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.


Show Notes for Episode #88 May 18, 2016 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

This week's show was recorded at the beautiful Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, FL. That's our Roadtrek where we parked in a lot overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. We opened the rear and side doors and recorded the show right from here, enjoying the nice sea breeze and salty air.

Henderson beach boast more than 6,000 feet of natural scenic shoreline border the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Natural features of the park include sand pines, scrub oaks, and dune rosemary. Boardwalks provide access to the beach for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. Four large and two small pavilions allow for picnicking and grilling.

The view out our back door as we recorded this episode

There's great camping here. The park has 60 campsites that can accommodate either tents or RVs, with a mixture of back in and pull-through sites. The sites have water, electricity (all sites are 50 amp except campsite #28); picnic tables, ground grills and clothesline posts. Campsites do not have sewer connections; a centrally located dump station is for provided for the proper disposal of waste. Amenities include heated and air conditioned restrooms with showers, coin operated washers, dryers and vending machines. Pets are welcome at campsites. Unlike remote wilderness camping, provisions and restaurants are a short drive away.

The only downside is the spots here are usually booked a year in advance. We often to day camping, as shown above.


This week’s tip is about cooking and serving sizes. I’ve shared before that I like to prepare as many meals ahead of time as possible. That means less time spent in the RV on meal prep while Mike and Bo are having fun outside. [spp-timestamp time=”5:15″]

So we try to spend an afternoon at home before each trip planning meals and cooking them.

One easy meal is meatloaf. And when I make meatloaf, I like to bake it in a muffin and cupcake pan. The pan I use is non-stick and it has spaces to make 12 cupcakes.

But we make 12 little meat loafs. Just spn the meatloaf mixture into each hole and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.

I’ve found that each one is a perfect serving. Sometimes Mike takes two. But after baking the little meat loaf muffins, they store easily in a zip lock bag which then goes into the freezer of our Roadtrek CS Adventurous. It takes only a couple of minutes to heat them up in our RV’s microwave/convection oven.

So simple. We serve with steamed green beans and a nice salad.

Meatball muffins. Try ‘em. Mikie likes em. I bet you will too!

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


Roadtrek-e_trek-solar-panels_lrg-620x350Listener Michael asks for help on adding solar for his RV: How much does he need? We refer him Try to the Go Power! Calculator  which will recommend battery bank size for the loads you use. [spp-timestamp time=”10:05″] This is a great web tool that will help you size your system and provide you with equipment recommendations based on your specific power usage, location and season. It’s at

A coffee fanatic named Tom offers a tip [spp-timestamp time=”16:08″] on preparing great coffee while traveling using something called the Moka Pot – a stovetop expresso maker like the one you can find at this link –

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.


 Listener Howard is looking at getting a new travel trailer and wants some tips on driving and towing it. [spp-timestamp time=”23:00″]

-rv-suv-in-towThere are some great travel trailer guides at Trailer Life – See

Here’s one on choosing the right towing vehicle –

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 15 locations on the East Coast Campers Inn RV is giving away The Ultimate Camping Package! The camping package includes a: propane grill, large cooler, 2 camping chairs, a two-person lazy river tube and more. A $500 value! Go to for your chance to win.  Promo code: camping. Winner will be announced Aug 1, 2016.


Three stories for you this week: [spp-timestamp time=”31:20″]

 The worst roads in the country – Drivers say Michigan and Rhode Island lead the list! The best? North Dakota and Wyoming, according to a Gallup Report study and RV Daily News. 

This is the baby bison in the trunk of the tourist's car
This is the baby bison in the trunk of the tourist's car

Baby Bison euthanized after Yellowstone tourists out it in their car – Last week, tourists at Yellowstone National Park saw a bison calf in the park. They got worried about it being alone, put it in their trunk, and tried to take it to a park ranger to help the animal. That was exactly the wrong thing to do.

Good News at the pump: Low gas prices predicted for rest of year – Prices at the pump will be lower this summer than in recent years, experts say.

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


Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on why a Smart watch may be your next tech purchase [spp-timestamp time=”41:58″]

This podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.


nashville honky tonkMike and Jennifer just spent the weekend in Music City and have a guide to Nashville. [spp-timestamp time=”47:30″]

Here's his blog post –

They also introduce you to some of the people they met there – Cindy Larsen, a retired missionary now fulltiming in a Class B motorhome, and Chris and Mary Smith, new retirees from Colorado in the midst of a cross country trip.

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

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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
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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 2016-05-18

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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