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Get Ready for the Most Innovative EV Travel Trailer Yet!

| Updated Apr 26, 2023

The rush to make electric vehicles has now shown up in an amazingly innovative EV travel trailer called the Lightship.

Unlike anything you've ever seen, it's a towable that propels itself, meaning you don't need a big truck to tow it.

In this episode 444 of the RV Podcast, we’ll meet two former longtime employees, Tesla employees, who left to start their own company that has developed this sleek 27-foot long trailer.

And there are lots more in this episode – handy tips about RV electrical management, the RV news of the week, hot-button RV topics from special media, and a very clever way to use the latest version of that amazing Chat GPT artificial intelligence tool to help you make short work out of planning an RV trip.

To watch the podcast's video version, with many close-up images of the Lightship, click the player below.

If you prefer an audio-only version, you can download the RV Podcast from your favorite podcast app or listen right now through the player below.

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Win a membership to find vacancies in sold-out RV Parks

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We have a great new giveaway to announce – a free membership in Campnab, a very helpful service that helps you find campsites in parks that are completely booked. Campnab scans their reservation managers – as often as every five minutes. When it finds a cancellation for parks and dates that you specify, it instantly notifies you so you can swoop in and nab a spot.

In two weeks, we'll announce a winner of the Awesome Tier (one of their highest), which scans for as many as seven parks every five minutes. It's a $270 value.

You can enter and learn more about the service at https://rvlifestyle.com/sweepstakes.

Social Media Buzz – By Wendy Bowyer

I have one word for you … SPIDERS!!!

I know we are all camping outdoors, we're in nature, but I so identified with a recent post on our RVLifestyle Facebook group from Lauren. Lauren wrote:

“YALLLLL.. SPIDERS!!! Seems Texas has the most compared to other states we've been in. I just can't with huge spiders. …..They are always creeping on walls and the ceiling…. Im over it. Any tips !!??!?!”

So far, more than 250 people have joined in the conversation.

Many are sharing their creepy spider stories.

Nina shared a picture of a crayfish hole. She said a big spider lived in it at her campsite that was so ugly, it looked like it belonged in a horror movie!

Others talked about how they kill spiders at their campsite, and others said stop because you are in THEIR home.

But Stephanie, from Georgia, was my favorite response.  She showed a picture of what I would call a big creepy spider, and she said, “This beautiful lady was about the size of my palm at our campsite 2 weeks ago. Not aggressive, not trying to attack us, not crawling on us … just going about her business. They are the best insect repellent you can have!”

Thanks for that reminder, Stephanie!

We are all looking for tips on how to save space in our rigs and that is why I just loved a post Cathy shared this week of her homemade spice rack.

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Cathy is a weekend camper who created her own spice rack by purchasing small baggies and curtain clips, and then putting those clips over a rod in her kitchen near the kitchen sink. She filled the baggies with spices – of course labeling and dating them – and voila! A cute, clever real space-saving idea!

The last thing I'd like to share is something Facebook members regularly post, and that is pictures of a great camping spot.

Patricia recently shared some pictures of places she found to camp in the Arizona state park system. These campsites had electric and water, nice restrooms and showers, large spaces, table, fire rings, and trails for $20 to $35 a night. And WOW – stunningly beautiful. 

Interview of the Week – The Lightship EV Travel Trailer

lightship ev

More than 11 percent of all American households own an RV, and the vast majority of those RV owners have towables, such as a Fifth Wheel or travel trailer. 

And it is this towable market our guests today, Ben Parker and Toby Kraus, co-founders of Lightship, are targeting with their new battery-powered, self-propelling travel trailer that is going into production next year.

Ben, Lightship's CEO, and Toby, its president, both have extensive experience working for Tesla. 

They are now transferring those skills into the RV market, creating what to us looks like a very interesting new camper that we are going to talk about today. 

 Be sure to watch or listen to the full interview through our players above. But if you'd like to see what the Lightship looks like… watch the promotion video the company made on their site: Lightship

RV News of the Week

Work Camping Jobs

Heading to a national park this summer? Be sure to double check if the park has new reservation requirements.

Do you ever get confused trying to remember which national parks now require timed entry reservations, which don't, which have new parking sticker requirements, and more?

We do, too! That's why we wanted to share this story we found in USA Today. It is a nice summary of what you need to know about several popular parks that now have new requirements, many of which we have been reporting on individually here.

For example, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park now requires a  parking pass for everyone who plans to stop for 15 minutes or more.

And at Arches, you need a $2 timed entrance reservation up until Oct. 31. Glacier has many new reservations, including timed vehicle entry tickets to access Going-to-the-Sun Road, the North Fork, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the summer, all with varying dates.

Maybe the best plan for those desiring to visit a national park this summer is to aim for a less visited one. Here is our story on the 9 Best National Parks for RVing in Solitude.

National Parks Service reports visits to the nation's parks up 5 percent in 2022

Speaking of national parks, the National Parks Service reported about 312 million recreational visits in 2022, that's up 5 percent from 2021.

The National Parks Service has been tracking park visits since 1904. While overall visits are up in 2022, they are not as high as they were pre-COVID in 2019, when they were about 327.5 million.

A trend in 2022, according to the National Park Service, is more visitors branched out to less visited parks. To see the full report, click here.

This is something we have long suggested. To see our story on less visited national parks worth a visit, click here.

Major flooding expected this week in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa along the Mississippi River

Flooding is causing closures at several campgrounds, state parks, bridges, and more along the northern part of the Mississippi River.

Minnesota's Fort Snelling State Park is closed indefinitely because of flooding (see story here) and Iowa's Buffalo Shores Campground, also on the Mississippi River, is closed (see story here). 

The Mississippi River is flooding because the warmer weather is melting massive amounts of snow. States particularly hard hit include Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, with some predicting major flooding this week – with the Mississippi River reaching its highest water level in 20 years.

It seems there have been many reports in recent months of extreme weather conditions, be it heavy snow, strong winds, tornadoes, and now flooding. For some reminders of what to do in dangerous weather, see our story here.

Police ask for help locating stolen Flagstaff Super Lite trailer; $5,000 reward

Pennsylvania state police are asking for the public's help identifying a $60,000 trailer stolen from the Best Choice Trailers & RVs in Irwin.

Thieves broke through the dealer's fence at night, backed in with a 2500 black Dodge truck, hooked up the trailer there and sped off, the whole thing captured on video.

The stolen trailer is Flagstaff Super Lite that had been sold, the owners coming to pick it up the next day.

A $5,000 reward has been offered. To learn more click here. To check out a security system you can get for your RV, see our story here.

Group ranks Wyoming as the best state to camp

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New Mexico came in third.

Ever wonder what is the country's best state for camping? According to a new study, it is Wyoming.

The study ranked states after analyzing 10 factors ranging from campsites relative to a state's population, number of national parks and landmarks relative to the state's area, gas prices, number of hiking trails and more. 

The study found Wyoming had the highest number of RV parks, highest number of paid or free campsites relative to the state's population, and third highest number of hiking trails. Montana was close behind in second, with New Mexico in third place.

To see the story, click here. To see our list of 7 Day Adventure Guides to help you plan the ultimate camping adventure, click here

RV Tip of the Week from Brenda of Queen Bee RV – Electric Monitoring Systems

surge protector

Time now for the RV Tip of the Week from certified RV Inspector Brenda of Queen Bee RV

Brenda’s focus is on educating RVers on how to care for their RVs – especially women RVers – and she is a regular contributor to the podcast, sharing her expertise with our entire audience.

Why the EMS/Surge protector is one of the most important investments for your RV

You might have heard that a surge protector is an important piece of equipment to have for the RV experience. It’s not only important, I suggest it’s a must-have when it comes to protecting your investment and safety.

These devices are the first line of defense against unpredictable campground power issues. Power surges are what most RVers think about when dealing with those issues and another one that you might not be aware of is called a brownout or low voltage. These can cause an increase in amperage and subsequently potential damage to wiring and appliances.

Other functions that the electrical management devices can do include checking for reverse polarity, open ground, and open neutral.  Reverse polarity is something that can result in a condition which can be dangerous to humans and pets.

Most all of these devices are a type of surge protectorate at the very least. Some are less expensive and have fewer functions. Some have multiple functions with higher price tags.  

Fun fact:  We have come to use the EMS letters to describe all of the larger/multi-function devices, however, that is actually the model name for one of the Progressive Industry products.

Note:  you get what you pay for!

The higher end devices are continuously monitoring for a load of issues and not simply shutting down power in case of a surge.

They come in 50 amp and 30 amp service options.

Best practices:  turn the breaker off at the pedestal, plug your device in, turn the breaker back on, and allow the test to begin. This might take a minute or two to run through its process. When the device has determined that conditions are safe, it will allow power to flow to the RV.  

Also, make sure there is a tight connection between your cord and the device. You might even choose to leave the cord and your device connected even when in storage.

Hope this information was helpful and I’ll see you on the next episode.

App of the Week – ChatGPT

Time now for the RV App of the Week segment, taken from the pages of NewTravelTech.com – our sister blog that celebrates the many ways technology enhances the travel experience.

This week's app is about ChatGPT, that artificial intelligence tool that everyone has been talking about lately. 

As one of our RV Lifestyle Facebook members has noted, it has some very helpful RV trip-planning features you can use.

All you need to know is how to ask Chat GPT to respond.

Member Rob B figured that out for us and he wrote a really helpful ChatGPT script to plan a cross-country trip.

Rob B posted:

I started going thru my normal process of opening up RV Trip planner…putting in my starting / ending points and hours I want to drive etc….I dont know why I didn't think of it sooner, but I used ChatGTP and had my route planned out in about 5 mins, and also had it give me a list of parks in each area.

It saved me hours of work.

But this prompt will get you the basics.

“Act as an expert travel planner and travel consultant

Please provide a detailed driving itinerary from [Starting Point] to [Ending point].

I want to drive between [Min Miles per day] and [Max Miles per day] miles each time I drive.

Assume that I drive [MPH] miles per hour.

At each stop, give me a list of [RV Parks] RV parks with their website URL, their address and phone number, the number of stars based on google reviews and the approximate cost per night.

Present the information for each stop in a table format.”

And this is how it looks:

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RV Question of the Week

QUESTION: Any suggestions on how to get our condo HOA to allow one of the newer Class B models that is non-descript and doesn't look like a recreational vehicle? – Kevin

ANSWER: Most HOAs do allow you to bring the RV there in your own driveway to load and unload. But after that, they don't want it parked there.

Now you have a Class B. Also known as a campervan. You certainly have a better chance than owners of big motorhomes or towable fifth wheels and trailers to bend or change the rules for you.

Here are a few ideas: First, talk to your neighbors and if they have no objections, get them to sign a letter of support. Then talk to the condo board. Present those letters to them and show photos or drive the van to a meeting so they can see that it looks just like a van. 

Before you do, remove all labels and anything that identifies it as a campervan. If it has an awning, consider removing it. An awning is a dead giveaway that it is an RV.

Then, see if you have a place where you can park your van out of sight, such as as the backyard or behind the building. 

This wont help you if you live in a condo, but we have heard of some RVers who live in residential single-family home neighborhoods covered by an HOA who have expanded their existing garage or built a new one that can house the RV and keep it out of sight.

Present all this to the board.

If all this fails, you may want to consider consulting an attorney familiar with condominium and HOA law to make a more official case to the board. 

Good luck!

Where are you RVing next?

Explore Arizona with our RV Adventure Guide

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We start our Arizona adventure guide at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then move west in a slow semi-circle to hit all of the highlights, including Sedona, Lake Havasu, Quartzsite, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Apache Junction, and Saguaro National Forest.

Throughout this guide, we explore incredible rocky vistas, historical and mystical sites, inspiring scenic byways, charming Southwest towns, national and state parks galore with wonderful wildlife. No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something to awe and inspire you in Arizona.


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If you want to look at everything they offer, not just the RV Rider rack — go here and explore all the options!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-04-26

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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