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RT53: What You Need to Know To Be An RVing Snowbird

| Updated Sep 16, 2015

With the peak summer travel season behind us, thoughts for many begin to turn toward snowbird season.

But RVing for an extended period so far from home during the long winter months isn't all sun and sand, especially if you don't prepare properly. Take it from Tim and Carol Mallon, the couple from Canada behind the Snowbird Tails from the Trail blog at

Tim and Carol Mallon
Tim and Carol Mallon

The duo knows how to snowbird right and join Roadtreking's Mike Wendland for episode 53 of the Roadtreking podcast to give you everything you need to know about being an RVing snowbird. Among other things, they discuss:

  • How to mark out a route for snowbirding
  • How to set a snowbirding budget
  • How boondocking can save money
  • Stretching your food budget by eating local and fresh food
  • Why preparing your own food is not only financially sound but is good for you
  • You should treat yourselves to night out and a movie
  • Take advantage of local museums and parks
  • Spend your first season finding the region of the country you like the best

Also in this episode, we have all the regular features including listener feedback and questions, Jennifer's Tip of the Week, an amazing RV bucket destination, and a lot more.


Show Notes for Episode #53 Sept. 16, 2015 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

First Things First: Checking in from Florida's Emerald Coast

Mike and Jennifer Wendland kick off the show talking about their busy week that COULD include a trip to America's Largest RV Show – or Jennifer sitting in a courthouse. They also talk about how a pothole slowed them down during their most recent trip. [spp-timestamp time=”2:42″]

Jennifer's Tip of the Week: Go Gear Pop-up Trash Can

Jennifer's Tip of the Week this week centers on one of the least expensive, yet most handy accessories an RV can have: a pop-up trash bag. For just $9 on Amazon ( you will get the perfect trash bag made of nylon and easily washable. We put it behind the driver's seat and find it's a perfect spot for it. [spp-timestamp time=”10:09″]

Listener Question: What Can You Tell Me About Alternative RV Power Systems?

A listener named Julian from Iowa asks about alternative RV power systems, specifically, the Tesla Powerwall, a residential home system that charges using power generated from energy collected and stored by solar panels or taken from the old-fashioned electricity grid during off-peak hours (when rates are lower). Mike offers that RV technology is more complicated and has already moved far beyond the Tesla system. He further refers to a Roadtreking podcast from earlier this year on the subject of unplugged RVing at: [spp-timestamp time=”11:59″]

Listener Feedback: Geocaching and RVing is Great!

geocacheJulian also shares his enthusiasm for geocaching, which was the subject of a recent Roadtreking blog post that can be found at

Listener Question: Vandals Broke My Roadtrek Window. How Can I Fix It?

A listener named Carol shares that someone vandalized her Roadtrek Popular 210 RV and broke out a window. She needs help repairing it and Mike offers some suggestions, including possibly heading to her local dealers, Intermountain RV Sales in Colorado Springs, Colorado at [spp-timestamp time=”17:54″]

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Mo.
Van City RV only sells Class B. RVs. They've been in the RV business for 45 years and nobody knows more about small motorhomes that the Van City  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: U.S. National Park Attendance Way Up, Space Heater Dangers, Hershey RV Show

National Park Attendance Way Up in 2015: The number of people visiting U.S. National Parks is way up in 2015 – to the tune of 5 million more compared with last year (Read more) [spp-timestamp time=”22:35″]

Space Heater Danger: A recent story about a space heater at the root of an RV fire serves as an unfortunate reminder of their dangers heading into cooler temps. (Read more) [spp-timestamp time=”24:46″]

America's Largest RV Show Opens: The show has opened in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and runs through Sept. 20. Roadtreking did a recent podcast about the event that you definitely need to check out at: [spp-timestamp time=”26:09″]

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde, the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV.

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat – providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40 percent over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.

Thingamajig of the Week: Backing Up Data Using Cloud Services

Paul Ulreich, Verizon's Uber User, joins the show to talk about the importance of backing up data (such as contacts) to the cloud. Verizon offers details about its cloud services here:  [spp-timestamp time=”29:32″]

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

‘Tis the season for new iPhone devices! Verizon will offer iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the most advanced iPhones ever, beginning on September 25. Pre-orders have already begun at or by calling 1-800-2-JOIN IN (1-800-256-4646).

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus bring a powerful new dimension to iPhone’s revolutionary Multi-Touch interface with 3D Touch, which senses how deeply you press the display, and Live Photos, which brings still images to life. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are designed from the strongest glass on any smartphone and come in gorgeous metallic finishes that now include rose gold.

You can also get a trade-in value of $100 for an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s, $200 for an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c, $300 for an iPhone 5s, $350 for an iPhone 6 and $400 for an iPhone 6 Plus when purchasing a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. Your trade-in must be in good working condition – and trade-in value is provided through a Verizon gift card. This trade-in promotion is available through October 15.

So why is Verizon the better choice when purchasing the new iPhones? Because it’s simple with the Device Payment option. You choose the phone you want, you pay it off over 24 months and then it’s yours to own.

For additional iPhone details, please visit

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

RV Bucket Destination: Camp Gulf on Florida's Emerald Coast

Site 805 looking at our view
Site 805 looking at our view

This week's RV bucket destination is Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast near Destin, Florida. You can read Mike's post for Roadtreking about the locations at: [spp-timestamp time=”34:09″]

Interview: Tim and Carol Mallon, Snowbird Extraordinaires

This week Tim and Carol Mallon join the Roadtreking podcast to discuss being snowbirds. Check out their website at [spp-timestamp time=”41:17″]

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 2015-09-16

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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