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RT34 Roadtreking RV Podcast: How to Cut RV Costs Without Sacrificing Experience

| Updated Jun 19, 2023

In this episode of the Roadtreking RV Podcast, we learn from an expert how RV travel does not have to break the bank.

They don't call Marianne Edwards the Frugal RVer for nothing – after all, she's been out on her latest trip since January and has only spent about $150 on camping fees over the past five months. Most nights, she camps free.

That doesn't include other things like gas, supplies, food, etc., but still, it's pretty impressive and besides… Marianne, of the Frugal RV Travel and Boondockers Welcome blog and websites, has some great ideas about cutting costs on all of those things, too!

Boondockers Welcome - Be My Guest RV Parking
And so will you after listening to this episode, as Marianne guides us toward finding affordable adventure and fun and the wide open spaces that most RVers miss.

Among other things, Mike and Marianne talk about:

  • What's more economical – long trips or short trips?
  • What is boondocking?
  • What do you really need to boondock?
  • What is the boondocking RV lifestyle and why is it so appealing to so many?”
  • Who would NOT be suited to boondocking?
  • How do you find boondocking spots?”
  • What is the best way to save money while traveling in an RV?
  • How to boondock safely
  • What is a “Shunpiker” and why you should be one?

Also in this episode we have news and info about Walmart parking lot safety, composting toilets, Alaskan travel and advice for traveling with pets.


Complete shownotes for episode 34 of the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle podcast:

First Things First: It's a Dog's (RV) Life – How We Travel With Our Dog, Tai

Roadtreking reader Lee asks how we manage our dog Tai when traveling. Jennifer shares how we help Tai deal with some of his doggie anxieties and other accommodations made to keep the 11-year-old Norweigian Elkhound happy while RVing. We also talk about dog-unfriendly parks and how we keep tabs on Tai when he's in the RV and we are out to dinner or touring a museum.

Listener Question: What Do I Need to Know About RVing to Alaska?

Click on this pic for Roadtreking's Alaska travel tips!
Click on this pic for Roadtreking's Alaska travel tips!

Roadtreking reader Cristian from Seattle is headed to Alaska and wants information about proper preparation for the trip, especially when it comes to tires. Also, he wants info on a center screen door for his RV.

Mike notes that the Alaskan Highway is in excellent shape and no special tires are needed for summer travel. He and Jennifer share their Alaska travel experience and this link – Alaska Highway info

For anyone planning on driving to or through Alaska we recommend that your first step is to purchase The Milepost.

Also, check out Roadtreking's Alaska RV tips (Read more)

Questions: Roadtreking Fan from South Africa Asks About Propane, Composting Toilets

A Roadtreking Travel Blog fan named Peter from South Africa asks about two things: our choice of propane and composting toilets.

Regarding the composting toilets, Mike has one main thought: forget about it because they are not not nearly as convenient as makers claim. He cites lots of reasons why composting toilets are not for the average RVer.

After only two weeks, for example, the contents of the vault will still smell a fair amount like human waste. And sometimes there are “glitches” in the system. The toilet may smell, or you won't get a full two weeks out of the vault. That's on top of even more issues, such as the impact of humidity on the system, ease (or lack thereof) of installation, high costs, and more.

Questions: Should My Tires Be Wearing Out This Way?

A Roadtreking reader wonders why the tires on his ERA RV are wearing down on their edges, and if it's a common problem. Mike offers up some tips on how to handle the situation, starting with finding another repair shop to work with.


Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Mo.
Van City RV only sells Class B. RVs. Owner Ray Dwyer has been in the RV business for 44 years and is considered the dean of Class B RVs. Nobody knows more about small motorhomes that Ray and his crew. They have new and used Class B motorhomes in stock from the major manufacturers. When you fly in to buy your RV from Van City, they'll arrange to have you picked up from the airport and will reimburse you $500 toward your airfare. Then, your RV will be fully prepared for travel, complete with full tanks of fuel and propane. After a complete orientation with their staff on your new RV, you can take delivery and set out for home. Dan the Van Man gives the week's specials on the podcast.

RV News of the Week: Forest River Recall, More Walmart Violence, Badlands Bickering

Forest River RV Recall – Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Georgetown GT335, FR3 FR30, Pursuit 31BD, and 29SB, and 2016 Cardinal CAF3825FL and Tracer TRT270AIR and TRT3200BHT fifth wheel and travel trailers. In the affected vehicles, the screws that attach the expanding room to the sliding mechanism cable may fail allowing the room to extend unintentionally while the vehicle is in motion. (Read more)

Another Walmart Shooting – News of another shooting at a Walmart parking lot where RVs are have people once again talking about safety after a day-long standoff involving police and a gunman holed up in a motorhome at a Salem, Ore., Walmart ended in death. The store was placed on lockdown, trapping employees and customers for several hours. This happened April 24 and follows another police incident and fatal shooting at an Arizona Walmart parking lot. Now there’s a blog that tracks violence in Walmart parking lots called

Badlands Bickering – Dreams of setting up the first Native American Tribal National Park in the South Dakota Badlands have been derailed because of bureaucratic bickering and distrust between the Ogala Sioux and the Natonal Park Service (Read more)

Traveling Tech: Stargazing Apps to Make You an Instant Astronomer

Summer is right around the corner and with it plenty of stargazing opportunities. A growing number of apps make it so you don’t need a fancy, expensive telescope to get your best Galileo on. Today, an app that turns your smartphone or tablet unto a planetarium

SkyView is an easy to use smartphone or tablet app that provides an impressive look at space. Aim your camera at the skies and get a detailed display on your screen of the galaxies, stars, constellations, planets, even satellites that your device is seeing. Move your camera across the sky and your screen will change, allowing you to explore space from your backyard. Or want to find something specific, like the International Space Station? Arrows will guide you. Skyview is $1.99 and available for Android and iOS, including Apple Watch.

Learn more about it and other apps like SkyView at

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

IndyCar fans are gearing up for the big Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis this weekend. Thanks to Verizon, fans across the country can use the INDYCAR 15 app to catch all the high-speed action.

Available on Android and iOS, all INDYCAR fans (regardless of their wireless carrier) will have access to their favorite teams and drivers, views of real-time leader boards and the ability to view race schedules, results, standings, highlights and more!

But that’s not all! The app puts Verizon customers in the driver’s seat with access to exclusive content, including live in-car camera video streaming, live driver and pit crew conversations, plus INDYCAR radio broadcast streaming.

Get in the action and download the all-new INDYCAR 15 app today!

Visit for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

Off the Beaten Path: Sky Lake, From Deep in Mississippi's Delta region

Sky Lake Giant signRoadtreking's newest correspondent, Billy Cochrane, files a great report from deep in the Mississippi Delta from a place called Sky Lake. Among other lesser-known attractions? A 1,000-year-old Cyprus tree, a catfish museum, and a great quilting shop.Sky Lake tree 4


Interview: Marianne Edwards, author and founder of Boondockers Welcome and Frugal RV Travel

Marianne Edwards, Boondockers Welcome and Frugal RV Travel Guide
Marianne Edwards, Boondockers Welcome and Frugal RV Travel Guide

Boondockers Welcome - Be My Guest RV Parking Marianne Edwards, of the Boondockers Welcome website and Frugal RV Travel blog and websites, joins Roadtreking to talk about many of the ways she has learned how to cut costs without sacrificing everything RVing has to offer during the last 13 years.

We highly recommend Boondockers Welcome to our Roadtreking readers and listeners. You can safely spend the night safely and free on the property of other members. There are hundreds of spots across the country.

Get a Free Audiobook from

We also have news on how you can get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial at Audible offers over 150,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player. For listeners of the Roadtreking podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. To download your free audiobook today, go to

Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review!

Many listeners are asking how they can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your review.

Here’s how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
> From there (see photo above), you can…

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments about RV topics by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your words.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2015-05-06

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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