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The Secret to the Perfect Camping Trip? We’ve got The Dyrt!

| Updated May 2, 2023

This week, we tell you how to plan the perfect camping trip by using the Internet's most popular camping app. It's called The Dyrt and it's adding some new features to the pro version that will revolutionize the way you find campgrounds.

Our interview guest on Episode 445 of the RV Podcast is Kevin Long, the CEO of The Dyrt and he's offering our audience a free trial of these new pro features that you'll want to snag to plan your perfect camping trip this summer.

To catch the Video Version of the RV Podcast, click the player below:

For an audio version of the podcast, you can click the player below or download it on your favorite podcast app.

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Here are the show notes for the podcast with links to the resources we share.

Social Media Buzz – with Wendy Bowyer

The Secret to the Perfect Camping Trip? We've got The Dyrt! 1

And now Wendy has some of the social media posts from our Facebook Group

Have you ever been camping somewhere, saw a really cute RV and thought, “I wonder what that looks like inside?”

Well, I know I have, and apparently, many of our RVLifestyle Facebook group members have, too!

Sara recently said, “Let's see what your RV looks like inside- I need some cute RV decor ideas!” And boy, did she ever get them! Nearly 700 comments – with pictures – and counting!

I am going to just share a few of these super cute pictures for our YouTube viewers – and if you are listening to this on a podcast, let me tell you, there are some really talented RV interior decorators out there.  We're talking color themes, accent pillows, wall hangings, and more.

And speaking of interiors, have any of you ever struggled to make your bed in your RV? It seems so often the bed is placed between two walls with no room on either side and, let me tell you, the struggle is REAL!

Recently Eric compared making his bed to an Olympic sport. He asked for RV bed making tips, and pictures from those who have conquered this, and his post has gotten nearly 400 of them- creating quite the buzz.

Some suggested Eric get a sleeping bag-sort of set up like from Beddy's or Super Bag.

Many, like Molly, use a duvet. But Lynette had my favorite idea which is getting a king-sized comforter for that RV queen-sized bed, and letting the oversized comforter cover any messiness underneath. What a great idea!

The final post I'd like to share with you is from Cyndie. She had a lost dog while camping at a state park in Texas. She shared a picture of her poor little guy on our Facebook group recently and immediately people started expressing their sympathies and working to spread the word to help her find him.

Cyndie's dog is 15 years old, and thankfully, someone found him and called her because the number was on his nametag. The poor little guy was found three feet from a river, with a serious eye injury, panting. He was so upset he wouldn't even drink water. He was missing for about 30 hours total.

We were so glad to hear he is back home, as was everyone in the group.

That's it from me this week. I'm Wendy Bowyer and I'll see you on the RV Lifestyle Facebook group.

Interview of the Week – Kevin Long, CEO

The Dyrt Perfect Camping Trip

This week we look behind the door of the Internet’s most popular camping app and some new features that will help you find more boondocking spots and snag campsites at no-vacancy campgrounds by telling up the moment a cancellation occurs. 

We can even get you a free 30-day trial of these new features, so stay tuned.

Our guest this week is Kevin Long from what is currently the most popular RV camping app out there today.

Kevin and his wife, Sarah Smith, built The Dyrt through a desire to make camping easier for everyone. 

Their camping app helps campers find whatever type of camping they enjoy – be it RV, tent, or even cabin rentals for all public and private campgrounds across the US. The Dyrt is now the #1 ranked app for camping in both the iOS and Google Play app stores. 

The idea behind the app was born from the frustration Sarah felt trying to find a decent place to camp years ago.  

Today the Dyrt has become a trusted campground resource, with a new camper visiting The Dyrt every 1 second. Last year it had more than 30 million annual camper visits and over 8 million user-generated campground reviews. 

The Dyrt is offering some new features to its pro version of the Dyrt, which is offering a free 30-day trial for our audience.

Kevin talks about them in the interview, but the most useful is a feature called The Dyrt Alerts, where they scan sold-out campgrounds and notify you if someone cancels their reservation. In June, that will be free for PRO members. 

After listening to the interview, you can get the free 30 day trial of Dyrt Pro at https://pro.thedyrt.com/rvlifestyle/

RV News of the Week

weather

1 in 5 altered camping plans because of extreme weather in the past year

One in five campers had to change their plans because of natural disasters in the last year, according to a report released by the popular camping app, The Dyrt.

From record flooding at Yellowstone National Park to record snowfall in California and the Pacific Northwest to flooding happening now along the northern Mississippi River and in California, extreme weather has affected many campers.

Mudslides, strong winds, tornadoes …. it has been quite a year. In fact, the number of cancellations has roughly tripled when compared to 2019 numbers, the report shows.

To read more click here. To see our story with tips on how to prepare for extreme weather, click here.

Team practicing water rescues in Zion National Park interrupted to do real-life rescue; saves a woman's life 

Rescuers saved a woman from drowning in the Virgin River at Zion National Park last weekend. The woman, a 25-year-old from Canada, had entered the famous river and was not able to get out on her own.

Other park visitors heard her cries for help and saw her holding on to a log. A rescue team was actually in the park practicing how to rescue people from swift waters when the call came in, so they were able to quickly go to the area and save her. 

When the team arrived the woman was not responsive and did not have a pulse. But paramedics administered CPR and were able to revive her and helicopter her to a hospital.

Zion is mentioned as a must-see spot in our Southern Utah RV 7-Day Adventure Guide, which you can see here.

Family seeks public's help finding their beloved dog Lucy after she broke free from their campsite

A New York family who lost their dog while camping in North Carolina are hoping the public can help them find their pet who has been missing for four weeks.

The golden retriever named Lucy broke loose from her leash when the family was at Carowinds Camp Wilderness, a campground near Charlotte, North Carolina. 

The family, from the Buffalo area, has two dogs and said the camping trip was going great until someone at the campground started shooting off fireworks. That scared Lucy, and she broke free and took off. 

The family brought in trackers, made posters, and are now trying to get the word out nationally in case another camper may have found Lucy and took her home. They are offering a $1,000 reward. To read more click here.

RV Industry reports wholesale shipment drop of 51 percent overall from February 2023 to last year

The RV Industry Association released its February shipments report that shows wholesale shipments are down 51 percent between February 2023 and February 2022. 

The biggest drop is in travel trailers – 16,109 in February 2023 compared to 38,522 in February 2022 (a 58.2% decline). Following closely behind are fifth wheels, with 16,109 shipped in February 2023 compared to 38,522 last year (a 45% decline).

The decline was less dramatic with other types of RVs. The drop for Class Cs was 10.6%, Class Bs (camper vans) was 15.2% and Class As was 27.2%.

Typically travel trailer sales are most sensitive to downturns in the economy, making it not surprising that this category had the highest decline in wholesale shipments as most continue to struggle with rising inflation, high-interest rates, and an overall economic downturn.

To see the numbers for yourself, click here.

Texas getting its 90th state park

Texas is getting a new state park, called Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, its 90th, officials announced last week.

The park is in Strawn, a 600-person town about 75 miles west of Fort Worth. The nearly 5,000-acre parcel has bluebonnets, prickly pear cactuses, oak and juniper trees, and a lake. It will have a soft opening this year and be fully operational in about two years. 

The state park is expected to have 60 campsites when completed. 

To learn more, click here. To see our story from a few years back when we visited the Texas bluebonnets (we highly recommend it!), click here.

RV Tip of the Week – All about your RV's Propane system

certified RV Inspector Brenda of Queen Bee RV

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.

Here’s Brenda.. The RV Queen Bee… with this week’s RV Tip.

Dispelling myths and overcoming fears surrounding the RV propane

What is your number one question or concern when it comes to using the RV propane system? I’ve conducted this survey frequently at my all-women camping events and the responses range from:  fear of fire or an explosion, fear of carbon monoxide poisoning, wanting to know how to light the oven, and an overall lack of understanding about how the system works. Some RVers simply don’t use the propane or take it off the rig altogether.

This is one of my favorite subjects because I, too, was fearful of lighting my own oven when I first started RVing.  Now that I have researched it thoroughly and teach this class repeatedly at my women’s RV owner training workshops, I have come to realize it is a safe and efficient fuel source with loads of safety features in place to give us peace of mind.  Let’s go over some now.

It is suggested to get an annual professional pressure leak drop test performed by a Certified Inspector, Technician or a propane certified specialist to confirm the integrity of the entire system.

You can also perform your own DIY test as many times as you want throughout the season. This can be done by using dish soap, kid’s bubbles or the spray that you can buy on-line. Swab or spray the solution at any of the connections you can visibly see on the propane lines, around the tank and regulator area, etc. If bubbles appear, there is possibly a leak and it needs to be checked by a qualified technician before use.

Consumers can also utilize a propane sniffer. These devices are reasonably priced and easy to use, however, they are not foolproof. It is recommended to use them indoors as outdoor use can be affected by wind. The sniffer is simply another checklist item for the individual RV owner to perform between professional testing.

Confirm that your fire extinguisher is not older than 10 years from the manufacture date, fully charged, and located near the exit door – not in a cargo bin or drawer!

You have several detectors in the RV:  smoke, CO (carbon monoxide) and LP. These all have various battery sources, so make sure that yours are fresh and/or charged. The LP is always hard-wired to the coach battery and it’s imperative that this stays charged while the RV and propane system are in use. The detectors are recommended to be replaced at the 5-7 year mark and you can find the manufacture date on the backside of most models.

Let’s dispel some misunderstandings about the propane system that I frequently hear. One question is whether or not propane is continuing to flow even if the flame goes out on the various appliances. There are a couple of safety features to address this concern.

First, the propane appliances like the furnace, water heater and refrigerator will all attempt to ignite for a total of three times. If it is unsuccessful after three tries, a signal will be sent for the gas valve to close, shutting off the flow of propane. To reset, simply reset the appliance and try again.

The other feature is called a flame sensor. If the propane flame were to go out, there is a sensor that will detect this and would also close the gas valve to stop the flow of propane.

Another misunderstanding is whether or not there are carbon monoxide fumes flowing about inside the RV while using the furnace. The answer:  in a properly operating system, combustion for those three major appliances mentioned all take place near/on the exterior of the RV. Combustion is where the carbon monoxide fumes are occurring and those will be vented to the exterior.

Note:  there is one appliance where combustion does take place on the interior of the RV and that is the cooktop and stove. Use your overhead vent fan or crack and window while cooking with propane.

App of the Week – Weather on the Way

The Secret to the Perfect Camping Trip? We've got The Dyrt! 2

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 called Weather on the Way and it is an iOS-only app that provides real-time weather updates and forecasts en route. 

You can set your driving route and it will forecast what lies ahead. So, it’s ideal for road trippers!

It is compatible with CarPlay, which is becoming more and more desirable these days. There’s room for improvement with its CarPlay usability, but it’s a relatively new app compared to others. So, improvements will surely soon follow.

The free version works well for occasional road trips. If you travel for work or pleasure often, it may be worth upgrading to Pro. You can get Pro Monthly for $4.99 or unlock all Pro features for life with Pro Lifetime at $84.99.Available only in the Apple App Store. Google Play has a similar weather called  Highway Weather that shows some promise.

RV Question of the Week

QUESTION: I am considering RV full time. I am struggling with whether I should keep the house or sell the house. Is it worth to keep the house as “home base”? Why? Thanks – Laura

ANSWER: Our advice: Don’t sell until you have camped and lived in the RV for extended time for at least a year. Rent it out for six months or a year. That way it will bring in some income. But the fulltime RV life is not for everyone and before you sell your sticks and bricks home, make sure you still want to be a fulltime RVer by actually living in it.

Where to next?

New ebook from Mike and Jennifer Wendland – the Natchez Trace

The Secret to the Perfect Camping Trip? We've got The Dyrt! 3

The Natchez Trace Parkway will capture your imagination, soothe your jangled travel nerves, open your mind and inspire you with the history that unfolded along its 444 miles.

Each of the 7 Days of the ebook has:

  • Suggested Mileposts to explore
  • Places to Eat in each area of the 7 sections
  • Campground descriptions and links
  • Links to all the special places and information
  • Links to videos that show more in detail
  • and a lot of highlighted information for each section

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a printed, hard copy guide.

Whether you want to follow the footsteps of explorers, discover natural beauty, or visit historic sites, the Trace has something to grab your attention and leave you eager to see what’s at the next milepost.

You can see why this is one of our favorite US routes to explore. We’ve traveled it a half dozen times!


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Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-05-03

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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