In the wake of the Nashville RV bombing of Christmas Day, a jittery public has been reporting parked RVs spotted on city streets, sending police to check them out.
We’ll talk about that and why now may not be a good time for RVers to leave their units unattended on city streets in this episode of the RV Podcast.
Plus, we’ll hear from RVers on their RV Travel Bucket List plans for 2021, answer your RV Lifestyle Questions and check in with our friends Patti & Tom Burkett for another interesting Off the Beaten Path report.
You can listen to the podcast in the player below. scroll down this page for shownotes, plus links and resources about all the things we talk about.
Shownotes for Episode 326 of the RV Podcast
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK
Happy New Year… this is our first Podcast of 2021.
We share info on our whereabouts and planned travel schedule.
We talked about the topics we will be covering in the podcast and current travel issues related to COVID.
This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Camping World – America’s #1 RV Dealer
The Ultimate RV Show will be featuring… US!
With so many in-person RV shows canceled for the year, many people are wondering the best way to safely buy an RV during a pandemic… But don’t worry, we’ve got a solution for you! We’re excited to share that Camping World is bringing back their Ultimate RV Show, and this time, they’re going on a National Tour from coast to coast to bring you the BIGGEST VIRTUAL RV SHOW EVER, livestreamed straight from Camping World’s social channels.
From now through March 6, tune in each week for discounts on hundreds of RVs that are shoppable right from your couch, including one hand-selected by yours trul for our son, Jeff, and his growing family.. In addition to the deals, they’ll be offering RV walk-throughs, tons of retail product specials, and even an exclusive interview with me and Jennifer about our RV adventures at 9 PM Eastern Time this Friday, January 8!
Head to UltimateRVShow.com to register for free and make sure you get reminders about our session this week—We’d hate for you to miss it! Plus, they gave us an exclusive discount code for fans of this podcast to get 10% off on CampingWorld.com this week in celebration of our Influencer Session! Use code LIFESTYLE at checkout for 10% off your online order, with no minimum.
RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Parked RVs Bring Police Response
As Mike noted, that Christmas Day incident in which a bomb detonated in downtown Nashville is causing lots of jotters by the pub;ic when people see a parked RV. As an example, a several-block area in downtown Lexington, KY, was evacuated on New Year's Eve because of a concern that a Class C RV parked there may have contained explosives.
It turned out, like several such incidents around the country, to have been a false alarm. In this case, the RV was rented by a family spending the night in an area hotel. For some reason. a bomb-sniffing dog “alerted” police explosives were in the RV, triggering the police acted out of concern of a copycat incident. It was not clear what triggered the dog, since no explosives were inside.
But it caused quite a stir. Nearby restaurants, bars, hotels, and apartments were evacuated until the incident was settled.
Louisville police bring out bomb squad after caller reports suspicious parked RV that turned out to be false alarm
There have been lots of similar calls. A day after police cleared a section of Lexington, the same exact thing happened across the state in Louisville, KY. This time police were called after someone reported a suspicious RV parked downtown on New Year's Day.
The bomb squad and K-9 units were called, traffic was stopped and a wide safety parameter around the RV was established but it, too, turned out to be a false alarm. The RV was rented by a vacationing Missouri family who said all they did was park to visit the Kentucky Science Center.
I wrote a blog post earlier this week about stealth camping and suggested that RVers may want to avoid leaving their RVs parked on the street in big city downtown areas for a few weeks until the Nashville incident fades a bit from the news.
People are still pretty jittery and there’s no reason to give them any more reason to worry.
In other RV Lifestyle news this week, America now has a new national park! Slipped inside the COVID-19 stimulus package was a provision to create the nation's 63rd national park. Called New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, the new national park and preserve sits on 70,000-plus acres in West Virginia and offers white water rafting, rock climbing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
New River Gorge, which previously was a national river, currently has no charge to enter and offers primitive camping on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is not clear as of this writing how entrance fees or camping would be impacted by this new designation, and, as always, if you decide to visit, be sure to check ahead as some things may be closed because of COVID-19 precautions.
Gasoline prices ended the year at the highest level they have been in nine months, according to AAA.
The national average for a gallon of gasoline was $2.25, a price not seen since the pandemic began in March. Some forecasters are expecting the price to drop slightly again during the first quarter of 2021, but then rise as the year progresses.
When the prices climb again we'd recommend getting an app to help you find the best fuel price when traveling. To see an article we wrote about the apps click here.
Canadian RVers are packing the campgrounds in Vancouver, British Columbia, the only part of Canada that doesn't typically have snow.
Snowbirds who typical camp in Arizona, New Mexico, even Florida, have worked their way to Vancouver where they are wintering since the border between the U.S. and Canada remains closed because of COVID-19. Some local campgrounds say it is the only bright spot in what has been a tough tourism year.
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
RV PODCAST QUESTION OF THE WEEK
From our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group:
If you got $500 to upgrade your RV what would you buy? – Nick
Tom – Suspension. Shocks. Sumo springs. Starting with shocks.
Maty Sue – A back up camera
June-n An electric fireplace.
Allen- Fill my fridge with beer
Leslie – I would replace my screen on the sliding door and have $50 left.
Heather – I’d put gas in the tank.
Pamela – Better insulation around my one slim slide
Harold – I would prepay a sitter to stay in my place with the 4 grandkids and my wife and I would head to the southwest.
Michelle – Replace couch with 2 recliners
Jackie- Solar or change some wasted space to extra storage.
Scott – Tow bar.
Billie – A new inverter
Toim – Solar Panels
Melissa – A Wireless booster
Derek – Compost toilet. Ditch the black water tank
Have your voice featured on the RV Podcast – Call Us!
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.
RV PODCAST INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – 2021 RV BUCKET LIST
It’s been a tradition on the RV Podcast that every year, we spend some time during our first podcast sharing what’s on everyone’s bucket list for the coming year.
A year ago, at the start of 2020, there were a lot of folks who had a lot of great bucket list plans. No one a year ago saw COVID coming. But come it did and since march, most of those great bucket list plans were cancelled.
People still RV’s… in fact RV camping boomed. But most of the long-term big trips went by the wayside. People tended to stay fairly close to home.
So here we are in 2021. Vaccines against COVID have been developed and rapidly beoing made available and there is hope that 2021 will start to return to normal about the time summer and the camping season again arrives.
So where do people want to go. We asked our audience to share their bucket list plans. Here’s a sampling:
You can listen to the podcast in the player below. Move the player slider to about XXXX in to hear the bucketlist plans.
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
A year ago, about this time, we were loading up the RV.
One of our daughters has a mid-January birthday, and we were going to celebrate with her at the start of a cold-weather trip to the south.
Little did we know that the timing meant we’d be among the few travelers to get in a substantial trip in 2020. Over the past twelve moths we’ve reported on a number of the things we discovered, and there are a few more to come.
I like to name our trips, mostly because I usually compile a photo book about each one, and I need to name the book. That particular trip was named Edges of America 1. We have a goal to travel the entire border of the USA over the next few years, and that was the first installment of that project.
Almost as soon as we started thinking about edges, though, we realized that there are a lot more kinds of edges to include, and that we’ve been exploring them for some time.
Economic and cultural edges, political and social edges, and the edges between the natural and the human-made world.
Edges are where the stories are, often, so they’re good places to explore.
Take, for example, the people of Hog Island, a barrier island off the coast of Virginia.
Barrier Islands are always being reshaped by storms, and after several generations, the residents of this one were forced to vacate.
A number of them floated their homes to the nearby Virginia shore and built a new neighborhood near the water. Now climate change brings rising water, and they’ll soon be thinking again about what to do.
In Charleston, we took a tour focused on Gullah culture, and one of the features was the iron fences that surround many of the city’s homes and buildings, some of which include beautiful figures worked into the metal.
The most notable of these were made by Phillip Simmons, who died about ten years ago. We visited his shop, where a nephew continues the work. No fancy artist’s studio here. It’s a tin-sided open garage behind a four-room house.
Much of the work is leaning up against a wall or laying in the leaves on the lawn. Creations that can be seen in the Smithsonian and gracing grand cathedrals and lavish homes, emerging from raw iron and fire here where shirtless, sweaty men swing hammers in a shed on the edge of a genteel Southern city.
In Florida, we encountered a different sort of edge. Where saltwater meets freshwater, and where the heat of the Earth’s crust meets the cooler temperature of the surface, we found some of the strangest creatures that inhabit the sea, manatees!
Marine mammals that swim into Florida’s freshwater springs for the warm water flowing out, these slow-moving, seaweed munching giants were once mistaken for mermaids.
Nowadays they not only live at the hydrogeological edge of our world but suffer from the fast-moving boats that we humans use to navigate the same interface.
After boarding a plane in Orlando, we were deposited a bit later on the island of Puerto Rico.
This cultural edge has its own kind of sharpness. There’s a sense here that things are always on a precipice. Life is improving since the last hurricane, but everyone knows the next one is coming.
The international bustle of Old San Juan with its cruise ships is contrasted with the purely indigenous rhythms and street festivals of Loiza, where dancers flourish their skirts to the drumbeats of bomba y plena music.
Right now things are pretty good, at least here. Tomorrow there could be a catastrophe, political or meteorological. The Puertoriquenos seem prepared to deal with it all, whatever it may be. That same sense of resignation mixed with contentment is common in edge places.
Finding people in their day to day life, settling into the local rhythm, and fitting in, as best we can, gives us great satisfaction.
If they don’t feel like you’re one of them, at least the local folks take less notice of us and we get a better sense of what the place, and living in it, is like.
It’s a bit of work, and it takes patience, but it has rewards you might care to tap into. No matter where you are, if you move a bit closer to the available edges, you’ll find yourself off the beaten path.
RV PODCAST CALENDAR OF EVENTS
- January 13-27, 2021 The 2021 Florida RV Supershow, Florida Fairgrounds, Tampa, FL
- January 16-24, 2021 The Quartzsite Sport, Vacation and RV Show, Quartzsite, AZ
- February 11-14, 2021 Jacksonville RV MegaShow, Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Jacksonville, FL
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