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How NOT to Run Out of Meds on an RV Trip

| Updated Feb 27, 2024

This week on the RV Podcast:

  • How NOT to run out of meds on an RV Trip
  • Troubleshooting tips to make RV life easier on the road
  • Another state is considering giving back a state park to the native American tribe they stole it from
  • All this plus the RV News of the Week and your questions coming up in Episode #486 of the RV Podcast

You can watch the full video version from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel by clicking the player below.

If you prefer an audio-only podcast, you can hear us through your favorite podcast app or listen to the fill podcast now through the player below.

Testing out a few Class Bs

We're back in Florida for a little bit. We'll be doing some testing of a few Class Bs – yes, you read that right – Class Bs – for the next few weeks.

We're doing this in cooperation with Nick Schmidt, of Sunshine State RVs in Gainsville, FL. The project came about after we ran into Nick at last January's RV Supershow in Tampa. Nick is an old friend, going back for over a decade now. He runs one of the top Class B dealerships in the country and he remembers our roots, when we first started out.

Back then, and for the first several years of our RV lifestyle, we were strictly in Class Bs. We moved on from that to B+ vans, Class C motorhomes, and Fifth Wheels.

Nick suggested we take another look at Class Bs, so we're up on all the new production features and technology on today's B vans. We thought that sounded like a great idea. So we'll be checking out five or six of them over the next few weeks, doing short camping trips with them and seeing what's new.

We just got the first one we will be reviewing – a Coachmen Nova.

How NOT to Run Out of Meds on an RV Trip 1

That's the unit we are testing this week above. If you can look closely, you'll see Bo checking it out just inside the open door.

We'll keep you up to date on this fun project as it develops. 

Summer RV Lifestyle Gathering is Sold Out

We sold out our Summer “Groove and Gather Meetup in Amish Country with the Temptations happening June 11-14 in Shipshewana, IN, but you can still get on the waiting list – all the info is in our new Community.

And if you haven't joined us over there yet, why not give it a try? MUCH nicer than Facebook… just go the https://community.rvlifestyle.com

SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ – Wendy Bowyer

How NOT to Run Out of Meds on an RV Trip 2

Wendy Bowyer reports on the hot issues most talked about this past week on social media and our RV Lifestyle Community group.

Over in our RVLifestyle Community‘s Troubleshooting space, we asked folks to share a unique hack they've used to keep their rig functioning.

Frederick recommended two things that he said made the RV much easier to manage: The LevelMatePRO to determine the most level spot on the campsite when they drive in and then to assure they are level. He also recommended Mopeka tank sensors to monitor propane usage. Great tips!

Inca suggested creating and following checklists. A maintenance checklist has worked particularly well for her.

And Paul said he installed a 4 x 4 PVC fence post on the rear bumper to hold the stinky slinky, and there were other helpful ideas on this thread.

Then over in our Community's Traveling with Pets Space, Betsy asked if anyone ever had to get their dog a flu shot in order to board it.

Lynnette lives on the West coast and said she had never heard of a canine influenza vaccine until they were camped near Boston in 2019.

Randall said he had not heard of a canine flu shot but does remember a canine respiratory disease going around. 

And Patricia said the canine flu has been slowly spreading and if you do need to leave your dog while on the road, she found the best kennels were requiring it. Lots of good information for those RVing with their dog.

Meanwhile over in our RVLifestyle Facebook Group, Eric asked for advice about Badlands boondocking spots. He said they were planning to spend one night in July along the road boondockers call either the Wall Dispersed Area or Nomad View Dispersed. It is near the Badlands National Park in South Dakota.  He was looking for those who had experience boondocking there and wondered how hard it might be to find an open space in July.  

Well, Eric got more than 150 comments, with many people sharing gorgeous pictures of their rig in this spot. Bill was one of many who said there were so many awesome spots to overnight it seemed impossible for everything to fill up. Several said the place is great but cautioned it can be windy, and sometimes it is not easy to find a level location.

But many said the big thing to know is this place is so epic, you're going to want to stay more than one night.

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – Don't Run out of your Meds on an RV Trip

Every day, it seems, we hear from RVers who are planning long trips or considering going full time and they ask, How can I make sure I can get my medications when traveling? 

Recently we learned about a medical company that not only prescribes a year's worth of essential medications for things like heart, thyroid, or other chronic diseases, but five of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics and more. 

In the podcast, we talk at length to the owner and founder of Jase Medical, Dr. Shawn Rowland.

Here's an edited transcript of the interview:

What is Jase Medical?

Mike
Well, Dr. Sean joins us right now. It's a pleasure to have you on the program. Hey, tell us how this works. Walk us through this whole idea that you came up with and how this thing works.

Dr. Shawn Rowland
Basically, Jase Medical is a service that exists to empower people on an individual level to be better prepared medically. Unfortunately, here in the United States, we're experiencing shortages. We experience them across all different aspects of our lives, but we're also experiencing them in the medical world, whether that comes to us through access to medications or even just access to our doctor. And so we've created this process. It is a telemedicine process.

How Does this Work?

For us, the process is this you come to our website, you fill out a couple of forms that are pretty basic. As a physician, I don't need to know everything about your family history or all your surgical histories. I just need to make sure that these medications are going to be safe and appropriate for you.

So the questionnaire is really guided towards that end and it's pretty direct and basic. But you fill out that form, it might take you five minutes, maybe 10 at the most. That form goes to a physician who reviews it. And if they have questions, they'll reach out and ask you, maybe via email or text. If not, sometimes they are able to just get what they need from the form itself.

And they will then issue these prescriptions. And what they're issuing are prescriptions for things like antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, things that when you need them, you need them right away. You're traveling around, you don't know where the closest urgent care is, and you don't know where to then go get your medications from a pharmacy.

Maybe it's after hours, maybe you're in a rural area. So having these medications on hand at the time you need them is what's key here. So they write those prescriptions, they send it to one of our pharmacies. We've got a network of pharmacies that we've worked really hard to get the best pricing from.

And then the pharmacy will ship that order right out to your door. So really it's meant that you can do it from the comfort of anywhere. As long as you've got the internet with a cell phone or a computer, you can do this process in five or 10 minutes and then have these medications delivered to your door.

How Do I Use these Medications?

Mike
Let me ask you about two particular areas. One, I have the JASE case here, and that has the antibiotics. Talk about that. I assume that in the process of filling out the form, if you have an allergy to one of these, it comes up. But how good are these antibiotics for, and how do we know which one to use?

Dr. Shawn Rowland
There's a reason why they're a prescription medication. They need to be used correctly for the right illnesses. And you mentioned allergies. So that is an important part of this process, which is why it requires the doctor's involvement. They're powerful medications.

This is how I kind of started this whole process. If there was a scenario – whether it was a natural disaster, something catastrophic – I'm cut off from or I don't have access to a pharmacy anymore, what medications would I want? What kinds of things are the more common things I'm going to have as far as an illness? Things like urinary tract infections, skin infections, bite wounds, and traveler's diarrhea.

What are the more common things I might encounter in that scenario? And so I wanna have coverage for that. But then also in that kind of a scenario like that where you're truly cut off, it's catastrophic. We also wanna cover some of the most deadly things because we're gonna see diseases that we might not have been used to seeing before. Things like bio-terror, for example. So these are deadly diseases, 100 % fatal. And we wanted to create a kit that would cover from the most common to also the most deadly.

And so there's five antibiotics in that Jase kit that you held up. Those five antibiotics cover all of those things. The list really is really pretty extensive. Dozens of different infections can be covered by those medications.

How do you know which ones to use? If you're able to get ahold of a healthcare professional over the phone or however you need to and they say, man, looks like you've got a bad case of cellulitis. You've got a skin infection. Here's the antibiotic you should take. Here's how often.

Well, you say, great, I've already got it in my kit. And now I know how to take it.

If you don't have that person in front of you, maybe you can get them in some other way, phone, email. Maybe you've got a trusted friend who's a health care professional that can guide you.

And if you don't have that what you're left with is this book that we've written. The book contains all the medications that are included and is written in layman's terms,

OK, you've got these symptoms. Say you just got bitten by a dog or a cat. What do I do? You flip to the section on bites. It's going to tell you to go to this medication, take it this often, and look for these signs of infection. And then maybe there are times when it's not appropriate to take the antibiotic. And then you'd be encouraged not to.

So that's how you know what to take and when to take it. You mentioned allergies just a brief mention on that process through the telemedicine process that happens all the time people will mention, hey doc I'm allergic to penicillin. Well one of the medications in that kit that you're holding up is a penicillin derivative it's called amoxicillin.

And so if you're allergic to that medication, the doctor will determine number one, is it a real allergy? And number two, if it is, let's swap it out.

So we'll swap it out for something like the box you're holding out, which is azithromycin. That azithromycin covers a lot of the same things. It's a Z -Pak. A lot of people have heard of that. Covers a lot of the same things as amoxicillin. And so they'll give you an extra Z -Pak or maybe make a different substitution.

But at the end of the day, it's custom-tailored to be safe for you along with those instructions. And from that kit, you can add on, I think we're up to 34 additional medications that you can add to that basic kit of five antibiotics.

Mike
Now this has lots of implications, of course, to RVers who often are gone for a long period of time and indeed are in remote areas. Sometimes you're far removed from places where you can quickly get to an urgent care center. These meds just seem like a no-brainer to have in your kit.

But you have some other things that I think are really important. One of the most common questions we get from our audience is, I'm on the road full time, or I'm gone for the next seven months. What's the easiest way to have enough of my medications on hand? You also have a procedure where you can get them for long term. Explain that for us.

What is the Jase Case Daily Service?

Dr. Shawn Rowland
Yeah, so we've been talking about the JASE Case service or product. That is those emergency-type medications. The other half of the company is our JACE daily service. The JASE daily is just what it sounds like. These are medications that you may take on a daily basis or on a regular basis. And so what we do is we offer, as long as you meet certain criteria where our physicians can feel comfortable providing a long-term supply.

And what that is is basically a year supply of your blood pressure medication, of your thyroid medication, whatever that condition is, they'll provide a full year supply.

And so there's a couple of, you know, stipulations to that. They want to make sure that this is, it's not a new condition. This is something you've had for some, some time. It's something that you've had a dose that's been stable at. And they know you've got regular follow-ups with your doctor.

And so in that case, then yeah, you go on the service, you list the meds that you're taking and the ones you're interested in getting a supply of. It's the same process. It goes to a doctor who reviews it, goes to the pharmacy, and you get that 365-day supply.

Now, and this is probably a question, we'll just deal with it now. As far as the cost and how you can pay for this, because we're doing this extended supply, whether that's the 365-day supply of JASE daily or supply of medications like our JASE case where you're not actually, you don't actually have the urinary tract infection. You're not seeing the doctor right there with symptoms.

So these are things that insurance is not going to cover. So this is a cash system. And that's why I went back to how hard we've negotiated with the pharmacies to get this pricing where this still is an affordable thing. And it turns out you can get a year's supply of a lot of these medications for a pretty reasonable rate.

Now, there are certain brand-name medications that might be on that list that are going to be pretty expensive, but for the most part, they're all generic medications that the majority of us consume on a daily basis, and they're very accessible price-wise.

Anything Not Available?

Mike
What medications can't you get a year's supply of?

Dr. Shawn Rowland
We don't deal with any controlled substances. And there's just hard and fast rules when it comes to the DEA, when people who are taking narcotic medications, medications like hormone replacement and your ADHD kind of medications, those we are unable to offer in the service. But we do have about 700 we provide, with more added all the time.

Mike
What about insulin, for example?

Dr. Shawn Rowland
Yeah, so stay tuned. We're very close on being able to offer the full range of various injectable insulins. That's been a lot more complicated. It has to be shipped refrigerated and there's temperature control that has to happen.

And the insulin goes from cheap to extremely expensive and dealing with this, these amounts is something that the pharmacies hadn't had to deal with before. And so we've worked out this problem and really any day now we'll have a solution for insulin.

Mike
So the way to find out about all this is obviously to go to the website through https://rvlifestyle.com/JaseCase And by the way, I think we also have a $10 discount that we can offer people as an affiliate, as a user of this stuff ourselves.

Last Question: You mentioned the shortages and the demand issues. The world is a pretty chaotic place. How does this fit into all of the uncertainty that we face out here? Does it make sense for people to get a 12-month supply? The drugs aren't going to lose their effectiveness?

Dr. Shawn Rowland
You hit on two things there. One was just the availability and what we foresee happening in the future. And the other you just touched on the end there has to do with expiration dates. How long are these good for?

So let's just get that one out of the way really quickly. In the case of the antibiotic medications in the JACE case, those are specific medications in that list have all been extensively studied by the government.

Turns out that you get really across the board with these antibiotics, a minimum of five years before you really see any degradation in quality and effectiveness. But actually, it extends beyond that to as much as 15 plus years as long as they're stored properly.

And that just means that they're kept in a cool, dry environment. Now, traveling around, it can be hard to always do that. Maybe you've got them in your truck, your RV, and you've parked somewhere and it gets really warm. Heat can diminish the life here. You're not going to get that five plus years. Humidity can do the same thing. So cool and dry is the key.

If not, then you're probably left to the expiration date that it normally comes with, which is typically about a year from the time you receive the medications.

Now for the other ones, you know, you got a year supply of those are medications that hopefully you're taking daily and then you still get your refills. Maybe they still come to your home. You're getting those three-month refills. You've arranged to continue to get regular refills. So you always maintain a fresh supply if you're able to use that stock in a rotating way.

Now to touch on that first part of your question, what's going on with shortages?

What about Shortages?

This is something I really need to be worried about. You know, I'm a physician. I'm not a salesman. It's not something that comes naturally to me. But here I am at the forefront representing this company telling people, hey, you need to look at this product. I honestly believe that it's, this is not a question of if (shortages) are going to happen, it's when.

And the reason I say that is because I've already seen it so many times. I've seen it in my own private practice, working at hospitals where we didn't have access to really important medications. I hear about it every day from patients who go to the pharmacy to pick up a medication and they're told either it's not coming or to wait a day or two or three.

When you're taking an antibiotic because you're sick with an infection, you can't wait a day, let alone two or three. So I've seen it.

And then there's this: The FDA maintains a shortage list. It used to have maybe a couple, maybe 10 or 20 medications on there. It's now up to 200 plus. Sometimes, it tips over into the 300-plus medications that are in shortage on any given day.

We have no production capacity for generic medications in the United States. Zero. And that 95 % of what we consume every day is a generic medication. All of it comes from China. Some come from India; some come from other countries. But even the other countries, for the most part, are getting a key ingredient or what we call the active pharmaceutical ingredient from China.

So the whole system is just ripe for disruption anywhere along the chain from A to Z, whether it's the factory in China, the ingredients they're getting from that the FDA doesn't even know where they come from. So they can't source these things to find alternatives.

So I'll just leave it at that, which is that there's a historical precedent. I've experienced it. It's not going to get better because we haven't done anything to back this up. We're not opening plants here in the United States. We're not opening them anywhere. There's not a lot of money to be made in generic medications. No one's really incentivized to do it from a monetary perspective. And so the problem's just getting worse and worse. And it's not just us. It's the entire world.

We get emails from all over the world from people in the same situation. So if and when something does happen, we're in line with the entire world and we're all holding our hands out to places like China and India, hoping that they're going to fill the orders.

And so for me, you know, that's just not a position I want to be in. I don't want to be waiting for someone, whether it's the government, whether it's a foreign country. I want to have, I want to be empowered. I want to have those things, those medications for myself, for my family so that I'm not dependent.

Thanks for being our guests and for educating us on the need to be prepared.

Dr. Shawn Rowland
Anytime. Thanks for the privilege of being here. I really appreciate it.

Mike
Again, for more info on the Jase Case or how to NOT run out of Meds on an RV trip, go to https://rvlifestyle.com/JaseCase and use RVLIFESTYLE10 for $10 off!

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK

How NOT to Run Out of Meds on an RV Trip 3

Visits to national park sites up 4 percent in 2023

Visits to the more than 400 sites the National Park Service oversees were up by 4% in 2023 from 2022, which works out to about 13 million more visits.

A total of 325.5 million recreation visits were recorded in 2023, with the record set in 2016 at 330.97 million.

So what were the top spots? The top 5 include The Blue Ridge Parkway, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, and the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

The NPS also broke down the top most visited national parks.

That list, in order, includes the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park.

If crowds aren't your thing, check out our story on the 9 best national parks for RVing in solitude here.

Illinois may return state park to Potawatomi Nation who say the land was illegally taken from them nearly 200 years ago

An Illinois state park may soon be returned to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, who say the land was stolen from them illegally by the federal government in the 1830s.

A bill was introduced in the Illinois House to right historic wrongs over the Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area, which totals about 1,500 acres, and is named after Chief Shabbona, also spelled Shab-eh-nay.

The state park includes some 150 campsites, over eight miles of hiking trails, fishing and boating.

The park is on land that belonged to the Chief, who left briefly to visit family in Kansas in the 1830s, and when he returned, this land had been illegally auctioned off and sold to settlers.

We thought this bill was interesting, especially as it follows a recent move in Minnesota to give one of its state parks to a local Indian nation, which we told you about recently here.

Two children walking near their California campground die in tragic accident

Two children who were camping in a California campground on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management died last week after falling into rushing water near the Shasta Dam.

The children were hiking when a landslide happened, dragging them into the water below, where they died from injuries.

One of the children was a California police corporal's 8-year-old son, and the other child has not yet been identified. Police believe they were walking off trail.

Landslides are unusual in this part of California, but the area had recently received rain.

New Mexico considering raising park and camping fees, charging non-state residents more

New Mexico is considering raising its camping, boating, and entrance fees at all 35 of its state parks.

Camping fees haven't risen since 1998, and boating fees are the same since 1984. Park officials say they need to raise them to better cover today's costs.

Under the proposal, camping fees would rise from $10 to $20 a night for a resident, $30 for a non-resident; electric service from $4 to $10 a night; water service from $0 to $10 a night; and sewer from $4 to $10 a night.

Those who want to use a dump station only would pay $10. Park entrance fees would be waived for state residents but rise from $5 to $10 for everyone else. Also, the New Mexico State Park annual camping pass would be eliminated. 

New Mexico is a beautiful state, one we've camped in many times. Hereis a story we did on the annual camping pass they are now considering eliminating.

RV QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

How NOT to Run Out of Meds on an RV Trip 4

QUESTION: I was Pouring dish water down the toilet and dropped a fork down the toilet. Unable to see it and need to know how to get it before it causes a problem. – Janice

ANSWER: When I do something like that people always say I shouldn't feel too bad because lots of others have made the same mistake. So that’s what I’ll say to you, Janice. There is no guarantee this will work, but this is what I’ve heard works.

Fill up the black tank to 75-80% and empty it. Then put a hose in the flush valve and use it to fill it up again and flush again. The fork is either going to flow out with the pressure into the sewer or it will lodge perpendicular to the valve.

If you have a clear plastic end on the hose that goes in the sewer, maybe you’ll see the fork as it is swept along. If not, see if the black tank valve opens and closes. If it doesn't, then chances are the fork lodged in the valve.

If so, you can use some tongs or a wire coat hanger to dislodge it into the hose. If none of these work, well, try it all again. The key is to get a lot of water flowing out that hose.

But, if after a couple of black tanks emptying, you still aren't sure the fork is out, don’t worry about it. It’s not going to do any serious damage.

The only issue may be if it somehow lodges in that back tank gate valve, and that you can fix with some tongs or a coat hanger as described above. 

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-02-28

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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