It’s time for some straight talk: The RV Lifestyle is not as idyllic as you may dream it is. At times it can be quite frustrating. We surveyed our RV Podcast Community and in this episode, we’re going to tell you what bugs RVers the most and what can be done about it! Plus, we’ll talk about carrying a gun in an RV and whether it’s time to bring back CB Radio!

Show Notes for Episode #257 Aug. 28, 2019 of The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

Mike and Jennifer at the beach

MIKE

We’re coming to you this week from Okaloosa Island, on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida. This is our base for some wide-ranging travel across the Gulf States and into Southwest Georgia, where we will be catching several high school football games to watch our grandson, Matthew, Play.

JENNIFER

Yes, it is beautiful down here on the Emerald Coast. But it is also very hot and humid this time of year. The temperatures are in the 90’s and the humidity percentage pretty much matches it. The only place where you can get some relief is if you are on the beach.

MIKE

And that is exactly where we plan to be this Sunday, Sept. 1 for a meet and greet for our Fellow Travelers who are able to join us on the Gulf Islands National Seashore. We’ll meetup in the first parking lot of the National Seashore, heading west from the Navarre Beach bridge. Show up at 3PM and bring your beach chairs and whatever refreshments you want. We’ll hang out till 6PM when we do our weekly Ask Us Anything live stream on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. Once that’s over, for those who want, we’ll head to a nearby restaurant for dinner. We love doing these meet and greets as we travel and we’ll have some RV Lifestyle stickers to give away and we’ll do tours of our RV. And you can meet Bo, too!

JENNIFER

Speaking of meet and greets, we’re a little over a month away from America’s largest RV Show in Hershey, PA, and once again, Mike and I will be there. The show runs Sept. 11-15 and we will be doing a meet and greet from noon on Saturday Sept. 14. We’ll be hanging out in the Leisure Travel Vans Display area and we’ll do a special live YouTube broadcast from there about 3PM. So if you’re coming to Hershey, please come and say hello!

MIKE

For those of you on the west coast who can’t come east to Hershey, look for us at the California RV Show in Fontana, California October 4-13. We’ll be doing meet and greets there throughout the day on Saturday October 5, opening weekend of this big two week show.

JENNIFER

And while we’re talking about get togethers, maybe we should talk about one more: Our annual Winter Campout in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at the beautiful Tahquamenon Falls State Park. We just booked the dates -January 9-12, 2020. This will be the sixth year we have gathered up there to play in the snow and hang together in the beautiful UP.

MIKE

This is an informal gathering, which means you have to make your own reservations with the Michigan DNR. Go to their website at https://midnrreservations.com/. Book the dates you want (some of us are coming Thursday, some are even staying over to Monday). After you make your reservation, be sure to join our special winter campout Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1697339513886451/ and introduce yourself and tell us what site you booked. All communication, announcements, etc as we get close to the date will be done through that group.

JENNIFER

Those are just some of the events and things we have planned over the next several months. There’s also the Elkhart Open House, in Elkhart, Indiana in late September. That’s a closed event for industry members but since so many new RVs are being shown, we always try and get down there to do a couple of reports for you. Elkhart, of course, is the RV Capital of the World, where the vast majority of RVs are built and where many of the major suppliers and parts companies are located.

MIKE

Then there is Matthew’s football movie, we’ll be driving the RV back and forth to Georgia as much as we can to attend and video as many of those games as possible, all the while still finding new RV stories and videos for you and meeting many of you on the road. Yeah… we’re busy! But we love every minute of it!

RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK

MIKE
Herd of bison run by family in car, smashing into side of vehicle at Yellowstone National Park 
Yellowstone’s bison sure have been in the news this summer. This week a video went viral showing a vacationing family sitting in the car when out of nowhere a herd of bison appear, running straight at them. The family, and several other motorists, did everything right. They did not keep driving. They did not get out of the cars as they waited for the animals to pass. And pass they did: Running right in between the cars, with the horn of one of the giant animals damaging a section of the family’s car – all caught on video. No one was hurt – neither man nor beast. The worse part of the encounter? The car was a rental and the family did not pay extra for added insurance.
JENNIFER
Alaska’s governor issues disaster declaration because of destructive wildfires 

Wildfires burning in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula led the governor there to issue a disaster declaration last weekend. More than 50 homes, plus numerous businesses – including campgrounds – and other buildings have been destroyed. The fires are burning later in season than normal and are particularly severe because of the drought conditions there. 
MIKE
Canada announces new national park in Northwest Territories  
Canada has a new national park called Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories. The park is 14,000 square kilometers – that is roughly 5,400 square miles – and by the looks of pictures in news reports out last week, it’s stunningly beautiful. The park is Canada’s 47th national park, and it falls within the territory of the Kaitcho Dene First Nations, and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation. Parks Canada will co-manage the national park with first nations. The Canadian government pledged to invest $40 million over the first 12 years in infrastructure including roads and campgrounds, and then $3.4 million per year thereafter.  
JENNIFER
A woman visiting Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park was watching a video on how to find diamonds, then looked down and found 3.72 carat yellow one
Finally, here’s my favorite story of the week: Miranda Hollingshead was hot and tired during an extended family outing last week to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, a couple of hours away from her Bogata, Tex., home. There was dirt everywhere, but no gemstones in sight. So as others in her group continued the dusty hunt on Aug. 16, she found shade and did what comes naturally to 20-somethings who need guidance: turned to YouTube.“I searched ‘Crater of Diamonds how to find a diamond,’” Hollingshead. “That’s all I wanted to know — how do I find diamonds here?” The park in Murfreesboro, Ark., is known for the 40 kinds of rocks and minerals visitors can hunt for and take home. As Hollingshead watched the video about dry-sifting techniques, she ran her hands through the rocks on the ground. She felt something pop over her finger and looked down to see what it was. It was a 3.72-carat yellow diamond. She hasn’t had the stone appraised, and she hasn’t decided what to do with it yet. But she’s leaning toward taking her mom’s advice and getting it cut into two separate diamonds to pass on to her daughter and son, who are now 3 and 4. “I mean, anyone can use the money,” said Miranda. “but not everyone can tell their kids, ‘Hey, that ring you’re about to give to whoever you’re going to get engaged to, or the ring you got engaged with, your mom found that,’” she says. 

This part of the podcast 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

  • Sharon asks about the indoor/outdoor wireless thermometer we use in our RV

             ANSWER: It’s the La Crosse Technology C85845 Color Wireless Forecast Station… $39.95 on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2ZoIAE4

  • Chris and his wife in Pennsylvania asks about carrying a firearm in their RV

            ANSWER: This is a very controversial topic and there are very strong feelings on both sides of this issue. But Chris’ question is one I get very often and while I always try t avoid getting into political or emotional discussions here, it is a legitimate topic so let me try to answer it as objectively as possible without advocating either side.

I’ve seen one source that claims 40% of RVers in the US carry firearms in their RV. Federal Law says that you don’t need a permit to to move a firearm across state lines in a vehicle.   

Now these federal rules are just for crossing state lines.  Within the state, you have to follow the state’s laws for gun storage in a vehicle. And there’s a huge amount of variance in gun laws between states. 

In addition to state and federal laws, some counties and municipalities have laws governing firearms.  This is more common for urban centers than rural areas, but you should still always check local laws to ensure that you can comply with them.

It’s also important to remember that state and federal parks, forests, etc. generally have additional laws on top of the regular state and federal laws.  And yes, they are laws.  Unlike private campgrounds, the rules on government land are legally enforceable and can lead to fines or even jail time.
Now, these rules are mostly applying to RVers who do not have a concealed carry license. If you are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, then you may carry your firearm within reach of you in the state where you are licensed or another state that may reciprocally honor your permit. If you are planning to carry a concealed weapon across state lines, it is advisable to check what the law says for each individual state. While many state concealed weapon permits have reciprocity in some states, in others they do not.
You can see a list of available state laws here – http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws.aspx.
For a list of what states honor reciprocal concealed carry permits check here – http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/USStatesThatHonorMyPermit.pdf
Now, as to your question about whether your RV is considered a vehicle or your home when you are parked, here’s the best answer I can provide, based on research including an excellent article on this published by Allstays:
If you can drive your RV right now, it’s a vehicle. If you can start the engine and pull away it’s a vehicle and the laws are the same as a car. Without a valid or reciprocal concealed carry permit in the state you are in, you must keep your firearm unloaded, locked and stored in an outside compartment.
However, if your RV is fixed or attached so you can’t just drive away, laws have stated that you can be called a residence or a home. This means you are in a campground hooked up to water, sewer, electric and any others. You are no longer mobile without a bit of time to unhook all the stuff we RVers hook up, you do not have to have it locked and out away.
Please do not construe all this has my endorsement

  • We had a great voicemail left us from Wayne & Jane Schubert of Hahndorf, Australia

that has really got me thinking about how RVers can better communicate with each other on the road. Wayne and Jane’s message shows how they use CB radio down under…but stick around, because after they share their experience, we’re going to have a discussion about how maybe it’s time for RVers to revive use of CB here in North America.

            ANSWER: We think it’s time that RVers add a CB radio to their rig. We plan to do one soon, and discuss what us involved and how Channel 13 is the unofficial Channel in North America for RVers.

  • Here’s a question that came in by e-mail from a Fellow Traveler named David in Ohio:

Mike, love everything you do. My wife and I are in our early 50’s and looking for a B+ or small C.   We are thinking of using some of the rental companies to help offset the cost.  What do we need to know about renting out our RV ? Thanks a bunch.  Keep the posts coming.  If you ever need a list of things to see in Ohio Amish country let me know.  Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, Ohio is a must.  

            ANSWER: This was a very timely question as we have been working very hard on an entire course about this very topic! If you are looking to rent out your RV to make some extra cash or to help cover some of your monthly payment, this course will be exactly what you need. It’ll cover all of the ins and outs of renting your RV from how to find clients, protect your investment and make it as easy as possible. We’re very close to launching it.

Click this link below to get notified when the Rent Your RV course launches – https://mailchi.mp/rvlifestyle/rental-course

This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Battle Born Batteries, maker of quality, safe and reliable lithium batteries that can be installed in just about every RV. Get in touch with Battle Born to find out what lithium batteries and an upgraded energy management system can add to your RV Lifestyle. Check them out at https://rvlifestyle.com/lithium

Do you have a question you’d like us to answer, or a comment on the things we’re discussing. If so, we invite you to leave us that question or comment on the special voicemail number we have for the podcast – it’s 586-372-6990.  If you are driving and can’t write it down right now, just go to the RV Lifestyle travel blog at rvlifestyle.com and scroll down the page. You’ll see that number prominently posted on the blog.

RV TOPIC OF THE WEEK:

As we said at the start of this podcast, the RV Lifestyle is not as idyllic as you may dream it is. At times it can be quite frustrating. We surveyed our RV Podcast Community and in this episode, we’re going to tell you what bugs RVers the most and what can be done about it! And then, over the following weeks, we’ll try and address as many of these topics as we can.

Let’s start with one if the most common ones, as phoned by a listener named Robert:

Hi Mike and Jennifer. My name is Robert and I’m in Virginia and I listened to your podcast week. We picked up the show about two years ago. And at this point I’m still a dreamer, but you had asked about a big frustration that folks have with the lifestyle and mine is sort of pre lifestyle. But the challenge I have is that I’d love to get into the lifestyle but I have two other dependents that depend on me for insurance because they’re under age 26 and they’ve been on my insurance and I’m only fifty nine years old. I am emotionally ready for retirement. But because of the financial constraints of health insurance to me that really is the biggest challenge that I face being able to stop working full-time be able to purchase an RV and hit the road which I’ve been dreaming about that for many years so that I have to say is my biggest frustration. Biggest challenge is just being able to afford health care and having other people depend on my health care coverage to take care of them. So thanks for all the information every week. I really appreciated. I’ve learned so much as a dreamer and I can’t wait one day to be out there on the road.

Wow. We feel your pain, Robert.

In our survey – which drew nearly 500 responses – waiting for retirement was one of the top frustrations, cited by 47 respondents. Others expressed it in somewhat different terms.

JENNIFER

Here are some of the phrases people used:

·      we still work
·      having two kids and a job and limited vacations
·      so much to see, so little time
·      still having a fulltime job. (multiple responses)
·      No time. Work is the curse of the camping class.
·      Finding the time and scheduling multiple people’s vacation time so we can go.
·      Having enough time off from work to go
·      Finding enough time….LIFE gets in the way! 
·      Not getting to go enough (multiple responses
·      Finding time away from work & everyday life
·      Getting the time away from work to get out and go!
·      My trips are limited by having to return for work. 
·      Not enough weekends!!
·      Job is in the way!

 

MIKE

So…what are ways people can enjoy the RV Lifestyle BEFORE they retire?

JENNIFER

Time and waiting for retirement was just one of a number of different frustrations we heard about. Others included…

  • mechanical problems and RV build quality
  • finding places to service the Rv in a timely fashion
  • dirty, overcrowded campgrounds
  • no vacancies at campgrounds
  • poor cellular service and Internet access
  • too many places that are not friendly for pets
  • overcoming health problems
  • loneliness
  • not enough storage space in the rv
  • storing and packing the right food
  • finding the right rv
  • waiting too long to get delivery of a new rv
  • …and many more

MIKE

We will be working hard on the RV Lifestyle blog, this podcast and even some of our YouTube videos to discuss these issues and try and find ways to make them less frustrating.

But we’d love to get your input, Fellow Travelers. Send us your frustrations or ideas and comments. Either by email or by using our Voicemail Number at 586-372-6990.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new  motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT   

Patti and Tom Burkett

By Tom & Patti Burkett

Anyone who’s listened to these reports knows we have a fondness for cheese, so it was no surprise that, just after crossing the border into Canada, we pulled up at the front door of the Fritz Kaiser fromagerie after seeing a sign for it.  As expected, a banquet of delights filled the display case, and it was with regret we left with only a few wrapped bundles.  

Walking out the door, we noticed a large sign in a park across the street.  Circuit du Paysan, it proclaimed, and we walked across to have a look.  It was a large map showing the locations of many small businesses, mostly agricultural, of which Fritz Kaiser was one.  Back into the shop we went, and got a bit of history, a pep talk, and a nice large map to take along in the car.

Canada has several of these circuits aimed at promoting food producers, and we were told this is the best one.  It parallels the US-Canada border just over the line into Quebec, and we had entered at the eastern end, driving north from Burlington, Vermont.  Northern Vermont and, apparently, southern Quebec are wild about garlic.  Every farm market we stopped at during our travels in this part of the world had at least one, and often several, garlic vendors.  The garlics were sold by the bulb or by the clove.  

Some of the more prized varieties went for seven or eight dollars a bulb, making the individual cloves about a dollar apiece.  As we drove west along the route, we stopped at a roadside garlic stand and bought some.  The owner spoke no English, but our halting French allowed us to discover that this farm made all its annual income from the sale of garlic alone—bulbs and pastes, prepared vinegars and spreads, sold at this stand, online, and to local restaurants and food manufacturers.  Talk about a niche product!

On along the road we went, traveling at the posted speed of 50 kilometers per hour (about 30 miles per hour), a nice sedate speed to enjoy all the wooded and agricultural landscapes we were passing through.  We passed several orchards and ciders, all closed at this late afternoon hour, before we came to one that was open, the Ciderie Philion.  Anton, the enthusiastic owner and orchardist, insisted we sample all of his seven or eight varieties of cider.  The best by far was the last he offered, and I asked for a couple of bottles.  “Désolé,” he said.  “I’m so sorry, but this is a new product and the labels have not yet arrived from the print shop.  I’m not allowed to sell it without proper labeling, so you’ll just have to come back in a few days if this is what you want.”

The circuit wound through small towns and across rolling fields, sprinkled with pubs, beautiful old inns, bed and breakfasts, more orchards, berry fields, and wineries.  One of these was open and we pulled off to park under a pear tree loaded with fruit.  The shop was a small building and was locked when we tried the door.  As we were heading back to the RV, a woman came hurrying across the grass to usher us into the tasting room.  She told us she and her husband had bought the small vineyard a few years ago when they retired, and that neighbors came in to help with the harvest and the pressing of the grapes.  We bought some rosé wine.  Sadly, when we opened it a few months later at a dinner get-together, it had gone bad.

It was a delightful day of driving, tasting, and talking, and we highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys food and drink and a chance to try out your French chatting skills.  These agricultural circuits are popping up in more places.  We’ve seen them in South Dakota, New York, and North Carolina, so keep your eyes open and your taste buds prepared as you make your way along the roads that take you off the beaten path.

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