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Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security

| Updated Oct 18, 2017

In this episode of the RV Podcast we’ll talk to an expert on how to fulltime RV on $1,500 a month, even less if you follow some of the tips you’ll hear on our interview of the week segment…coming up.

Also in this episode, lots of practical, how-to RV tips and advice, your questions and our answers, RV news of the week and an off the beaten path report for your RV travels.

Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.


Show Notes for Episode #162 October 18.2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”1:45″]

Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security 1
Mike and Jennifer Wendland

We’re still down on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida’s panhandle and because we’ve heard from a number of you who would like to meet us, we’re going to try something – a meet and greet afternoon next Sunday, October 22. We’re going to meet on Navarre Beach, at the entrance of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Now because of the recent Hurricane Nate, the national seashore drive is closed just west of Navarre Beach. But the meet spot we picked is just to the left, or east of the bridge leading from Highway 98 and the mainland to Navarre Beach. Jennifer and I will be there from 2PM on and whoever shows up, shows up. Bring some beach chairs and refreshments and we’ll hang out for the afternoon on one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Just look for our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 and come by and say hello. If there are any updates it, we’ll post a notice on our Roadtreking Facebook Group and Our Roadtreking Facebook Page so check there for the latest.

We’re excited to see fuel prices dropping once again…especially east of the Mississippi. A new survey from AAA says that the national gas price average has dropped two cents on the week to $2.47, states east of the Mississippi are paying as much as eight cents less at the start of this week. While gas prices are more expensive than a year ago, the past five weeks of sustained weekly declines indicate that demand may be leveling out alongside refineries and pipelines returning to pre-hurricane operations. In September, Hurricane Harvey drove gas prices to the highest price of the year – $2.67. That was a 32-cent increase inside of 12 days. Now nearly seven weeks post hurricane, gas prices have shown steady decline dropping a total of 20 cents since September 11, 2017

We’re really excited about the phenomenal growth of our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. We are now getting almost 1 million video views EACH month. We continue to put two videos up each week, as well as regular live reports, and we thank you for subscribing to the channel.

This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”11:45″]

One of the reasons we so enjoy doing meet and greets like the one we’re planning for Florida this week, or attending RV gatherings and rallies around the country is the opportunity it presents to pick up valuable suggestions and tips from other RVers.

In North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, we met the Emby family, who shared with us how they pack and organize for RV trips using Ikea bags.

Thanks Embry family! We will definitely pick up some of those Ikea bags.

And for all of you listening today, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

I love hearing from you!

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”16:37″]

A listener asks us how we level our Class B RV in when setting up camp. We share our procedures and also talk about the leveling blocks we sometimes use under the wheels. We use the Tri-Lynx 00015 Lynx Levelers. They go together like Legos and fit under whichever tires need to be raised. They come in a 10 Pack, so you have plenty for even RVs with dual wheels. A lot of readers also recommend the Andersen Hitches Camper Leveler. These are curved. You just drive up on them till level and then chock the wheels. They cost $62. And cost $28

Another listener wants to know where she can but an alcohol based two-burner campstove. These are most often used in boats by live aboard sailors, though sometimes RVers reluctant to use propane, prefer them for safety reasons.. They tend to be costly. The one we would suggest is the Dometic Origo 4100.  It is fueled by denatured alcohol, making it very safe. They work without pressure, are quiet and take up little galley space. The Origo 4100CB comes with a cutting board. Simply pour denatured alcohol into Origo's stainless-steel canister where fuel is absorbed and bound in a non-flammable wool material. The stove draws alcohol from storage to surface, which means there is no dangerous pressure involved. Fuel Capacity: 1 qt. 8-1/2 oz. (1. 2 liters) per canister. Average Cooking Capacity: 6-8 hours

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to

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.

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”26:52″]

Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security 2
Jerry Minchey

How’d you like to quit your job and fulltime in your RV? Or maybe you’ve retired and just have social security to live on. Is that enough to live a fulltime life in your RV on the road? Our guest this week in our interview segment is Jerry Minchey, a frugal expert who says yes…it is.

But first, Jerry says, before you quit that job or sell the house, you better count the cost. Literally…and figuratively!

Jerry Minchey is the author of several books about the RVing lifestyle and retirement living. He lives full time in his 34-foot Class A motorhome. He has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA from the University of Suth Carolina, and management degree from Harvard Business School. He has worked for NASA and worked for many years as a computer design engineer. He holds five patents, and has a private pilot license. He is the founder and editor of the website,

Here’s a link to his many books of interest to RVers –

The interview of the week is brought to you by, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK: [spp-timestamp time=”44:47″]

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=”51:32″]

By Steve Van Dinter
Verizon Wireless

Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security 3
Steve Van Dinter

For many teens, getting your driver’s license is a time for celebration. However for parents, it can lead to clock-watching and worrying. And for good reason: according to the National Safety Council, nearly half of all teens are likely to be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school.

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) – a great time to strike up a conversation on this important topic.

For instance:

  •         Set rules and expectations with your teen driver. A parent-teen agreement is ideal for outlining rules, privileges and consequences for both parties.
  •         Restrict driving with young passengers. A single young passenger can increase a teen driver's fatal crash risk by 44%.
  •         Practice with your teen for at least 30 minutes each week.
  •         Become a role model for your teen. Let them know it's OK to put the phone away or disconnect from in-car infotainment systems and drive distraction free.

Additionally, parents can look to technology like hum to keep a virtual eye on their teen when he or she is behind the wheel. Once installed, hum will show mom or dad where the vehicle is in real-time and will send alerts when it exceeds a speed limit set by the parent. In addition, hum offers additional peace of mind through navigation, roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics, a mechanics’ hotline and emergency assistance. You can learn more at

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 [spp-timestamp time=”54:41″]

By Tom and Patti Burkett

Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security 4
Patti and Tom Burkett

We see a lot of folks with the North America map on the side of the RV, and we’ve visited with friends and acquaintances at camping get-togethers enough to know that making collections of travel memorabilia is a common pastime.  We ourselves collect national park magnets (only from parks in which we’ve actually camped) to put on the front of the fridge at our stick and bricks house.  They remind us both of where we’ve been, and of the fact it’s soon time to get out on the road again.

Better than that, though, we’ve come across a few collectibles that are more intangible in the hand but sharper in the mind.  One of the latter recently saw us in Iowa Falls, Iowa at sunrise to capture a few photos of a tall wooden sculpture on the bluffs overlooking the river.

Peter “Wolf” Toth was born in Hungary and emigrated to the United States as a young man.  He settled in Akron, Ohio and received an art degree from Akron University.  He completed his first Whispering Giants sculpture in 1972, carved into the stone of a cliff overlooking La Jolla, California.  Toth studied and admired the Native Americans, both for their devotion to the Earth and for their tenacity.  Wishing to honor and bring attention to their mis-treatment, he chose to make them the focus of his lifetime work.

Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security 5After selecting a location, he secures a native log or standing tree about ten feet in diameter.  He next spends time with the Native Americans of the area, learning from them about their history and lore, and looking at historic and contemporary photos and paintings.  Sometimes it’s agreed he’ll carve the likeness of a specific historical figure, like Chief Grey Lock, who can be seen in Burlington, Vermont.

More often, Toth visualizes a face that incorporates the lines and features of many individuals.  Says he, “I look at the log until I can see the Indian inside it, then I start carving.  His work is mostly done with hammer and chisel, and takes two to three months to complete.  The town provides him room and board, and he donates the completed sculpture in return.Episode162: How to fulltime RV on your Social Security 6

There are seventy-four sculptures in the series, with at least one in each of the fifty states, and in several Canadian  provinces.  We’ve had the pleasure of seeing several, and gladly drive out of the way to collect another.  Most recently we communed with heads in Paducah, Kentucky and Red Lodge, Montana, as well as the one in Iowa Falls.  Toth lives in Florida and creates small sculptures for sale, the proceeds from which support his ongoing work on the Whispering Giants.  In addition to creating new pieces, he restores and repairs earlier pieces that need attention.

Pick something that interests or intrigues you – giant balls of twine, ethnic pastries, esoteric breeds of cattle, regional dance styles, accents and dialects, or local folktales.  Let it guide your travel, if just a bit.  Gather some stories and tell them here.  We’d love to hear them.  Meanwhile, you just might run across us, Patti & Tom Burkett, somewhere off the beaten path.

For More Information:

This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

RV SHOW SCHEDULE FOR THIS COMING WEEKEND [spp-timestamp time=”1:02:03″]

Panhandle RV Show
October 19-22
Emerald Coast Convention Center
Fort Walton Beach, FL

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2017-10-18

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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