First – Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again

 First – Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again

This week on the podcast, we talk about getting your RV ready for travel again. For most RVers, it’s been a long wait and their RVers have been just sitting there waiting for the 2020 RV travel season.

We tell you what we do to prepare our RV and hear from Tim Marriott, our mechanic from LT Truck and Trailer in Pontiac, MI. Plus we have lots of RV news about what is open and what isn’t, where travel is allowed, plus your questions and a great off the beaten path report from the Burketts.

Show Notes for Episode #293 May 6 2020 of The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK and Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again

First - Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again 6

It wasn't long and it wasn't far and we maintained social distancing the whole time but we did get out this weekend for a nice campout in the RV, making our way from NW Florida to SW Georgia. Both states have eased travel restrictions and the stay at home orders. Just being able to go for a drive and spend a beautiful weekend in the RV chased away those quarantine blues built up over the past two months..

By no means are we all out of the coronavirus woods and many other places remain locked down, but there are regions where restrictions are easing and people are starting to venture out again. And that is Good News!

Speaking of Good News, we are very pleased to announce that our latest 7 Day Adventure Guide is now available for instant download! 

It's on the Florida Keys and Key West and we are thrilled to release it. 

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

The book is jam-packed with maps, photos, and helpful info on what to see and where to go and camp in the Keys. It joins our library of ebook guides and is the third one in Florida.

The Keys guide as a standalone is just $7. But you can bundle it at a special price with our other two Florida guides – one for the Atlantic Coast and one for the Gulf Coast.

The book is jam-packed with maps, photos, and helpful info on what to see and where to go and camp in the Keys. It joins our library of ebook guides and is the third one in Florida.

The Keys guide as a standalone is just $7. But you can bundle it at a special price with our other two Florida guides – one for the Atlantic Coast and one for the Gulf Coast.

All three Florida guides are available as a three-pack bundle for just $16.99! You can also get all eight of our 7 Day Adventure guides at a huge discount for just $39.99
 

RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK

RV industry prepares to gradually reopen manufacturing plants this week
Much of the RV industry in northern Indiana is planning to restart operations this week. Gulf Stream, Thor, Airstream, CrossRoads, Cruiser, Dutchmen, Entegra Coach, Heartland, Jayco, Keystone RV, Starcraft, and others, along with most suppliers and parts manufacturers are now reopened. The restart will be slow, with employees at many factories receiving temperature checks before entering the building, plastic shields between work stations, sanitizing between shifts, personal protective equipment worn, and more. But the bottom line is the RV industry is back in business.

 

Man airlifted from Wyoming wildlife area after being attacked by a grizzly
If you find yourself social distancing outdoors in bear country, be sure to bring bear spray and be stay alert. Bears are definitely out now, and a grizzly attacked a Wyoming man who was outdoors last weekend near the Sunlight Wildlife Habitat Management Area. Thankfully the man was able to send an SOS signal from a satellite communication device, rescuers found him and airlifted him to a hospital. He suffered severe injuries to his neck. A few years ago we interviewed an expert on bear spray. We always travel with it and recommend it. Here is a link to read more.

Public campground closed? Family heads to a private campground in Michigan and practices social distancing in their RV 
Many states, such as Michigan, are still under stay at home orders, and state parks in Michigan are closed to camping until June 21. But in many places, including Michigan,  RVers are allowed at private campgrounds as long as they are totally self-contained. While the private campground's showers and restrooms were closed, the RVers that are self-contained are welcome as long as they use their own onboard bathroom and shower facilities. That’s how it was for us in Georgia this weekend at the campground where we stayed. So check out private campgrounds if you can’t find a state park open near you.

Some state campgrounds, national parks opening 
Speaking of campgrounds opening, many states – such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas – are starting to open up, as are some national parks. The situation is changing daily. To stay up to date about campgrounds and parks near you, we recommend visiting Campendium by clicking here.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by RadPower Bikes, America's #1 e-bike brand, offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping  

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

QUESTION
From Anne – Is it Okay to travel now? Will there be a normal summer RV travel season? Will this end? We’re trying to plot out our summer and are frankly worried about everything we hear, like local anger at visiting RVers, police roadblocks, meat and food shortages, and predictions of continued shutdowns. Help us, Mike and Jennifer, we trust what you say.
ANSWER
Listen to the podcast for our full reply but basically, we do believe there will be RV travel but we do think there will be areas where it is not advisable to go.

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.

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
Battle Born's motto is Get out there, Stay out there. And that's their mission, to provide RV and marine batteries made with the highest 

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

For most RVers, it’s been a long wait and their RVers have been just sitting there waiting for the 2020 RV travel season. This week on the podcast, we talk about getting your RV ready for travel again.

We tell you what we do to prepare our RV and hear from Tim Marriott, our mechanic from LT Truck and Trailer in Pontiac, MI.

Here's a video version of the original report, showing our previous RV. Even though we have a new RV, the tips remain the same.

For most RVers, it’s been a long wait and their RVers have been just sitting there waiting for the 2020 RV travel season. This week on the podcast, we talk about getting your RV ready for travel again.

We tell you what we do to prepare our RV and hear from Tim Marriott, our mechanic from LT Truck and Trailer in Pontiac, MI.

The interview of the week 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   

By Tom & Patti Burkett

First - Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again 7The late winter and early spring, when the waterfowl are migrating along the Atlantic Flyway, is a great time to visit this beautiful and little-known parcel of national lands.  

Tucked right in the armpit of the Florida panhandle, Saint Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge boasts miles of trails along ponds and dikes, an auto tour, and a beautiful lighthouse on the coast.  We spent quite a while exploring this area of the state, not too far from the Emerald Coast where Mike and Jennifer like to hang out.  First - Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again 8

Our home base was the county-owned Newport Campground just outside the entrance to the refuge on US highway 98. The first day we visited was a bit blustery and cold, with overcast skies and the refuge nearly deserted.  It was late morning and the tide was an hour short of low.  The roadside ditches were sprinkled with alligators large and small, and the ponds were full of waterfowl.  

We saw egrets and herons, as you might expect, but also a flock of glossy ibis and, in a large raft of snow geese, a much more unusual blue goose.  There were also a variety of migrant songbirds flitting through the mangrove and slash pine trees.  The refuge is actively involved in the recovery of the red-cockaded woodpecker and is one of the best places to see this rare bird.

First - Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again 9The main road starts at the visitor center, where an observation deck overlooks a pond and marsh.  A steady stream of birds passes through, and a list of sightings is kept for the entire refuge.  There are several exhibits worth looking at, and a small but well-stocked bookstore.  From there the main road runs several miles out to the lighthouse, with numerous pullouts at viewing areas and trailheads.  

Interestingly, our second visit was on a sunny day, again about an hour before low tide, and there were many fewer birds and alligators.

The Newport campground is small but attractive, with lots of mature trees and a fairly new bathhouse.  Sites offer water and electric.  We got in without a reservation but were told that’s unusual.  Walking the campground loop in the afternoon, another guest asked if we were going to family supper, then had to explain to us what family dinner is.  

First - Getting Your RV Ready for Travel Again 10Just across the St. Marks River from the campground is a bar/restaurant called Outz’s Too.  One night each week they serve a set menu for $4.  It’s a full meal with iced tea and dessert.  How could we pass that up?  Tonight it was baked ham, sweet potatoes, butter beans, and strawberry shortcake. Not far away, in the town of St. Marks is the San Marcos de Apalache fort (or what’s left of it) and a visitor center with an interesting movie about the history of the area.  

The movie itself is worth the stop, and the fort has a nice view out over the bay and a great spot for a picnic.  This is fishing country, both for recreational anglers and commercial boats, so there’s no lack of something fresh to eat from the ocean. We stopped at Mineral Springs Seafood in Panacea, where what’s on offer comes off their own boat every morning.  We’d heard that there was an amazing fish dip here called Hot Mess.  “Small or large?” said the man at the counter.  

When I looked indecisive, he went on.  “You can get small if you want, but you’re gonna be mad at yourself if you do.”  Too right!  Made with smoked mullet, smoked salmon, smoked tuna, and candied jalapeños, it may not sound great, but it was just the thing to keep us hunting the cabinets for more crackers until it was gone and we were far away, headed for who knows what new discovery, out here off the beaten path.

Getting Your RV Ready

Are you getting your RV ready for travel? Here's a quick link to one of our adventures before the shutdown to inspire you. 

getting your rv ready for travel
Driving 38 miles off the main road to Flamingo Campground in the Everglades

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Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

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