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Episode 94: Battling the heat, dodging a tornado and other tales from the road

| Updated Jun 29, 2016

In this episode of Roadtreking the RV Podcast we meet a newbie RVer named Shane Pena, whose first journey was one to remember, a cross-country trip that saw him having to outrun a tornado, among other adventures. Jennifer and I tell of our experience last week battling 103 degree heat without air conditioning as we travel with our dog, Bo. And we have lots of traveling tips, RV news and a fun 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 #94, June 29, 2016 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:


As we’ve been traveling around this summer, I’ve started asking the folks we meet at campgrounds and while boondocking to tell me one of their favorite tips, something they have discovered to make thngs a little easier or more efficient.

Andrea's coozi ankle protectors

Well, during our Smoky Mountains gathering last week we were all noting that, camped in the woods like we were, there were lots of bugs and mosquitos. Andrea Barker, who was camped a coupe spots down from us, said she had particularly been bothered by bugs that were biting her ankles.

But she said she solved that problem…using something intended for something else. Her bug fighting tip has to do with those Coozis people use to keep beer or cans of soft drink cold.

You can hear her tip at [spp-timestamp time=”8:26″]

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


Listener Bill asks for Mikes recommendation for a surge protector. [spp-timestamp time=”13:40″]

RVing newbies Nick and Jeanette wanted to know how they can find out the tire inflation they need for their RV. [spp-timestamp time=”19:01″]

  •    Mike says read the recommended tire inflation tag inside the driver’s side post.

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.


Why you need a Dash Cam

Mike explains at [spp-timestamp time=”23:44″].Here’s a link to the info Mike shared on why RVers will want to use a dash cam –

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 

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: [spp-timestamp time=”30:30″]

RV Care-A-Vanners build homes for Habitat for Humanity

RVs in Marin County CA prompting community outrage

Dutchman buys Closed Evergreen plan in Elkhart

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=”37:42″]

Verizon's Steve Van Dinter reports on three gadgets that travelers can use to keep track of pets, property and help you control what’s going on back at your sticks and bricks house.

Summer is a busy time of year for everyone. And sometimes that means forgetting where you’ve placed a much-needed item or losing touch with what’s at home when you’re on the road.

Verizon has some great summer gadgets that are all under $100 that can bring about priceless piece of mind.

First up Tile – this is a small Bluetooth chip that lets you find your missing key chain, golf bag, back pack, wallet or purse. Using an app on your smartphone you just click on what you’re trying to find and it will play a tune loudly. Or, if your smartphone is what's missing, press any of your tiles to ring your phone, even if the ringer is off. That is just $69.99.

Next up…Belkin WeMo Insight Switch.  This is a small connected home device that looks like a regular outlet – but when connected to your home Wi-Fi can turn your lights or home electronics on or off, measure how much energy your electronics are using and even be set to turn on after dark for extra home security…all via an app. Belkin WeMo Insight Switch costs just $59.99

Finally Nest Protect. This keeps your pets safe while you’re away for short getaways. You can get alerts on your smartphone or tablet if carbon monoxide or smoke is detected – or if the batteries are running low. The Nest Protect has an industrial grade sensor, that differentiate between slow and fast-burning fires and its alarm can be silenced from your mobile device. Nest Protect runs just $99.99.

All of these devices are available at your nearest verizon store or

This 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 – [spp-timestamp time=”41:45″]

Jim reports on the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Jim says:

I just returned from the Roadtrek get- together in The Smoky’s.  I wanted to talk a bit about a great out of the way Hike we did. We led 7 or 8 or our RT friends on a short trip to a little know area called The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.  You may recall a poem called ‘Trees’ by Joyce Kilmer that starts ‘I Think that I shall never see….. a poem lovely as a tree’.

This memorial forest was named in his honor. He was a poet, as well as an infrantry man that was killed in action in WW I.  The forest is located in Southwest North Carolina near Robbinsville.  It’s a beautiful mountain area and is where they film the TV show called ‘MoonShiners’ and as well as several major movies..

The forest reserve is about 4000 acres of virgin forest.  The only way to see this Memorial Forest is on foot.  The forest area has a great 2 mile ‘figure- eight’  hike.  The hike is through the old growth forest which is a journey back in time.  This section of forest has never logged and is a virgin forest. The Forest has many  very-large trees, some 10  in diameter which is about 30’  in circumference. Most of the large trees are Tulip Poplars.   The path crosses many small streams and wanders through the magnificent forest. We all had our cameras, and it was a photographers delight. You may have seen our photos posted on the Roadtrek Group Face Book forum.

The drive to the trail head was a gorgeous one thru the mountains just south of the Great Smoky Mountains NP. There was even a small shop on the side of the road that had dozens of wood carvings, and the local wood carver was even on site working on an ornate walking stick. It was pretty cool.

At the trail-head there is no visitor center, however, there is a nice memorial to Joyce Kilmer at the center of the figure 8 hike.

There were 10-12 parking sports at the trail head and we had 3 Roadtreks parked in a row. There are also a couple of picnic tables at the trail head, so after we all took a 2 hour photography hike we had an impromptu lunch. We popped out a grill from one of our Roadtrek, and cooked hot dogs with all the fixin’s.   pulled condiments, snacks and sides from each of our Roadtreks .   A great end to a great hike.

By The way,  for those of you that tow a motorcycle with your Roadtrek, there is great motorcycle drive a few miles away. It’s the famous  Trail of the Dragon with 318  curves over just 11 miles.

I don’t think I’ll try that in our Roadtrek

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

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Shane Pena [spp-timestamp time=”48:49″]

Every RVer has a story, Men RV newbie Shane Pena, who just made his first trip in his brand new motorhome – a 5,000 mile roundtrip. It was his very first time in an RV. Shane shares his experience in this week’s featured interview, which includes outrunning a tornado in Texas.

You can listen to Shane at

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-06-29

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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