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Episode 90: Save Money Buying your RV and Earn Money Driving it

| Updated Jun 1, 2016

In this week’s episode, we report on how Roadtrek's CEO is personally getting involved to help customers save money and we learn of a Uber-like app that will pay RVers to make deliveries across the country

Plus RV travel suggestions, audience questions, tech tips and an off the beaten path report.

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 #90 June 1, 2016 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”6:20″]

My tip this week is about being prepared for emergency repairs while on the road. I share it because of an experience last week. We were in hot and humid Florida and navigating stop and go heavy traffic around Destin, which was getting very crowded with vacationers flocking to the area’s beaches for the big Memorial Day holiday.

Anyway, while stuck in traffic, an emergency warning light appeared telling us to pull over and shut down the engine because the coolant was overheating. We did so Mike popped the hood to check on the antifreeze. The level was just fine and as he was scratching his head, he looked around and found that the serpentine belt had shredded and fallen off the pulleys it winds around. The serpentine belt is a single continuous belt used to drive multiple devices in our Roadtrek, such as an alternator, the vehicle air conditioning compressor and the engine generator.

Now that’s not a life and death issue. After the engine cooled down, we drove to our campground. But we obviously needed to put a new belt on.

Here’s where the being prepared part comes in. We had a replacement belt with us. I was so proud of Mike that he had one because trying to find the right one that would fit our Roadtrek would have been very challenging on a holiday weekend.

A friend came by the campground and installed the new one in just a few minutes, showing Mike how to do it.

Our Roadtrek will have about 50,000 miles on it after our next trip and we’ve driven it long and hard. So it was time to replace the belt. Doubtless our auto mechanic would have done so at our next service visit.

But our belt gave up the ghost before he could get to it. Having that replacement belt with us saved a lot of time.

So my tip is find out what size and type of serpentine belt your RV has. Almost all have such a belt and you’ll find the size typically in the manual that came with your vehicle. Or ask your mechanic to get you one and carry it with you.

Same with fuses, by the way. Today’s RVs have lots of fuses of all kinds. Stop by an auto supply store and get a bunch of them. Anyone can change a fuse.

Be prepared! It’s just a smart thing to do!

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


  • Charles asks about outside tables that attach to a motorhome. [spp-timestamp time=”16:00″]

There are all sorts of tables that can be useful when you go camping. Portability is an important consideration, but so are size and functionality. Camping World has tables, accessories, and gadgets that will make dining and meal prep fun and easy.

When space is at a premium, you want a table that can be attached to your camper or RV. Pick one that can be placed in a hitch or on your steering wheel. Tables which fold flat or which can be used at different heights are also great and can be used for prep or eating. Portable kitchens give you a place to wash dishes, chop ingredients, and store gear. You can even pick up a small table which will attach to your camping chair so you can snack in comfort. Check Camping World. They have a bunch –

  • Ryan inquires about heavily wooded campgrounds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [spp-timestamp time=”17:39″]

Just about all of them are heavily wooded! Here’s a link to my five favorite camping spots in Michigan’s UP –

Our favorite spots are along Lake Superior in the national forest campgrounds on the lakeshore. The lakeshore’s federal campgrounds are rustic and do not have electric, telephone, water, or sewer hookups. Typically there is no cell phone reception. The campgrounds have generator-free zones.

First choice for us is always the Twelvemile Beach Campground, about 12 miles west of Grand Marais off Alger County Road H-58. The campground’s 37 sites are located on a sandy bluff above Lake Superior’s Twelvemile Beach. The entrance road winds through a picturesque stand of white birch. Twelvemile Beach Campground also features a 2.0 mile self-guiding interpretive trail. This place fills up most summer nights so arrive mid morning.
We also like the two Hurricane River campgrounds, the Upper and Lower. They are located off Alger County road H-58 three miles east of Twelvemile Beach campground where the Hurricane River flows into Lake Superior. Eleven campsites are available in the lower campground loop, and ten in the upper loop. A level 1.5 mile walk on the North Country Trail east from the lower campground leads past shipwreck remnants to the historic Au Sable Light Station.
If you need hookups, try Muskallonge Lake State Park. located 15 miles east of Grand Marais on H-58; 28 miles northwest of Newberry in Luce County. The 217-acre park is situated between the shores of Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake and the area is well known for its forests, lakes, and streams. The park has 170 modern campsites that feature electricity and two shower and toilet buildings.
Further west, there are the Porcupine Mountains. The Porkies, as the locals call them, are a group of small mountains spanning the northwestern Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, near the shore of Lake Superior.
The Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park consists of over 60,000 acres and s contain the largest tract of old-growth hardwood forests west of the Adirondacks and is home to black bear, deer, wolves, river otters and even moose, as well as rare woodland plants that depend on the old-growth forest habitat that abounds here. Our favorite spot is the Presque Isle River Campground, on the western end of the park.
It has 50 sites and about half are generator free. This is quiet. You can sometimes hear wolves howl at night and most of your neighbors are in tents, campers or small RVs.
And one more. Along Lake Michigan at the sounthern coast of the UP. It’s the Hog Island Point State Forest Campground.
This charming but little known hideaway campground, nestled into the cedars and hardwoods of a small peninsula that juts into a pretty little Lake Michigan bay just US-2, about 35 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. There are 59 rustic sites and because of the name, perhaps, and the lack of hookups, we found almost 20 of them vacant.
The one we took, site 43, was right on the rocky shoreline and we slept with the sounds of gentle waves lapping out our back window.The camping fee is $11 a night. There is no cell service here. Zero bars.
To get here, just drive 35 miles west from St. Ignace and the Mackinac Bridge until you see the sign for the campground

  • Beth is an avid kayaker who carries as many as three kayaks in a Class B RV. She slides them in the back door and shares how she does it. [spp-timestamp time=”26:50″]

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.

RV BASIC TRAINING [spp-timestamp time=”31:44″]

It can all be so overwhelming for newcomers. But once you reach the campground, you’ve arrived! Getting setup is a breeze. But still, there are some basic things that need to be done right – the first time.

Here are two good guides for setting up camp, no matter what kinds of RV you have.

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 for your chance to win.  Promo code: camping. Winner will be announced Aug 1, 2016.


 Here’s an interesting way to make a little extra cash as you travel in your RV, maybe paying for the fuel you use and sometimes a bit more. [spp-timestamp time=”40:06″]

It’s with an app called Roadie.

It seems particularly handy for RVers.

Roadie is a peer-to-peer delivery service allows individuals to make extra money on trips they are already taking by delivering packages to the next city or even another state. Whether from Phoenix to LA, Las Vegas to Seattle, New York City to Washington DC – this new platform connects road trippers with those who need an affordable and safe delivery service.

Most local Gigs (delivery jobs) will pay between $8 and $50, and long distance Gigs with oversized items can pay up to $400. Not only is Roadie a great way to recoup gas and travel costs, but drivers can write off mileage on their taxes for places they were driving anyway! Roadie also offers a number of benefits for drivers including free roadside assistance and a free coffee and a waffle at any Waffle House in the country.

Roadie is an app-based shipping community that launched in the Southeast in January 2015, and became available in all 50 states in March 2015.

By tapping into the more than one billion square feet of excess capacity in passenger vehicles already on the road, Roadie is bringing disruptive innovation to the $90 billion shipping industry, similar to what Airbnb and Uber have brought to lodging and transportation.  The service connects people with stuff to send with drivers heading in the right direction. Roadie’s model enables efficient, low cost delivery for senders and rewards drivers for trips they were already taking. It’s quickly becoming the go-to delivery solution for large, awkward or delicate items.

Roadie delivers what people need right to their door, same-day, next day, and even on weekends. Both the sender and receiver can track deliveries in real-time via smartphone and goods are protected up to $10,000 through UPS Capital®.

Roadie has over 260,000 downloads and about 20,000 drivers nationwide.

The Roadie app is available for download in the iTunes Store and on Google Play. To learn more about the world’s first neighbor-to-neighbor shipping network, visit

Roadie Driver FAQs:

Roadtrek CEO offers to personally make deals, wants to personally sell 100 RVs [spp-timestamp time=”42:52″]

Here’s what Jim Hammill, the President of Roadtrek, posted on our Facebook Group:

 Company is getting big. And I was thinking that my people need a lesson in sales. In human relations.

I'm going to personally sell 100 retail vans. How do I do that and stay married?

I'm thinking of having an online Roadtreking sale/ show until the end of May (Now moved to June 5, 2016). I make myself available. You want to buy a unit, you tell me what you want. I find you the unit, and you can have me be the guy who does the numbers. Your closest dealer gets the transaction, and takes care of delivery? I will get a salesperson to handle the paper.

I have some sweetheart deals out there, and I'm in the mood to take care of my Roadtreking family. I don't care where you are, and I don't care who says they can do better. If they can….well, they are probably fibbing.

So, what can I do to earn your business today? Are you a veteran? Let me honour you.

Are you a second time or third time or fourth time buyer? Let me honour you.

Are you kinda ticked off at sales techniques and stalled in your process? Let me help you.

Let's get you out in the air and live this fantastic lifestyle.

And help me show my salespeople how easy it is to be honest, and nice, and knowledgeable and succeed.

All the transactions I do btw, gets a special gift from my wife. She's a gem.

Want to find out what it is?

Buy a Roadtrek. I'm here , and Im available.

My email for this is Tell me what you want. And oh, btw, I never do this and never will again

Hammill told me that, after five days, he had 73 buyers working their way through the buying process.  “Many people are getting things no one else can give them except me.  (Jim.),” he said.  “It's fun. “ 

The deadline is June 5th.

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: [spp-timestamp time=”46:58″]

With Memorial Day serving as the unofficial start of summer, it’s time to hit the road andsee the best of what the United States has to offer.

By using the right apps, you can be sure to get the most of your road trips.

I use these apps to help me find interesting stories as Jennifer and I travel. So I thought I’d offer them up for you, too.

Roadside America helps users find all of the oddities across the United States and Canada, from giant twine balls to other off-the-wall attractions like the Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas. Search for attractions nearby, where headed – even by theme. The Roadside America app delivers a short description, address, and directions. The app is $2.99 for iOS with in-app purchases available to expand capabilities.

History Here is an app for travel developed by History channel. You can learn about history from just about any location, whether near home or venturing to someplace new. History Here also can send notifications when users are close to historical points. Locations are displayed in zoomable, map-based view or a scrolling list. The app is free for iOS and Android.

WhatWasThere detects where users are and shows any historic photos captured nearby, then plots them on a map. Switch the app to camera mode for what the app developers call “an augmented reality experience.” Users who want more detail about the photos can open the info screen for more. The app is free for iOS.

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 Amarillo RV Museum [spp-timestamp time=”53:18″]

This Off the Beaten Path report comes from Roger and Lynn Brucker.

Route 66 crosses the Texas Panhandle, and the best known city is Amarillo. The premier RV museum in the Southwest is here, Jack Sisemore’s RV Museum located at Jack Sisemore Traveland, an RV dealer, 4341 Canyon E-Way, Amarillo, TX 79110. The museum is free with hours from 8 to 5 weekdays and Saturday. The museum is in its own building behind the welcome sign. On exhibit are about 20 RVs, including six motorhomes. The RV Museum in Elkhart, IN may have drawn inspiration from the Texas collection.

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
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
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Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

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 2016-06-01

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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