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RT71 Reliable communications for the RVer

| Updated Jan 20, 2016

One of the neatest things about RVing is how it complements so many other hobbies like hiking, kayaking, photography and…. amateur radio.

Yes, amateur radio, or ham radio is it is often called. There's a huge resurgence in the hobby these days with more people participating in the hobby that ever before. Joining me on this week's episode of the podcast are Sean Kutzko and Norm Fusaro from the American Radio Relay League. Both love camping and the outdoors and say it's the one sure way to have reliable communications no matter how far off the beaten path the RVer happens to be. But more than that, it is a hobby so rewarding and enjoyable that there should be a spot for it in every RV.


Complete shownotes for Episode 71 of the Roadtreking RV Travel Podcast:

I've been a ham operator since I was a teenager (K8ZRH) and now use it all the time in my RV travels. You can hear the full interview with Sean and Norm at [spp-timestamp time=”24:55″] into the podcast. In it they discuss:

  • What is amateur radio?
  • How easy is it to get licensed?
  • What can you do with amateur radio in an RV?
  • What equipment do you need and how expensive is it?

Relevant Links about amateur radio mentioned in the interview:

The American Radio Relay League

What is Ham Radio Report

National Parks on the Air

The Family Motorcoach Association Amateur Radio Chapter

Before the interview, we reported on many more topics in this week's episode.

Jennifer's Tip of the Week – The Best Way to Pack Your Clothing

In an RV, space is at a premium. And few things take up more room that suitcases packed with clothes [spp-timestamp time=”5:52″]

That’s where eBags Packing Cubes come in so handy. We heard about them from fellow RVers who sang the praises of this very affordable way to pack and carry clothes on an RV trip. Some RVers are so hooked on eBags that they even put them in a suitcase when they do traditional and  airplane travel.

ebagslgBut in an RV, they’re the hands-down best way we’ve found to pack.

I’ve done a video that shows how much you can get into an eBag. A three piece set of the packing cubes costs $19 from Amazon. They come in different colors. Mike uses blue, I use raspberry red (the closest they come to pink). They have a mesh top panel for easy identification of contents, and ventilation

We store them in the overhead bins above the bed in the Roadtrek. It keeps everything wrinkle free and compact. They let you “unpack without unpacking” –that is, you can remove the cubes to get at your stuff, but still keep things neat and tidy.

Watch the video we’ll link to in the shownotes fopr this episode to see how much you can get in one. Trust me, in an RV, or on a boat, or if you want to make your suitcase neat, these are what you need.


Listener Questions:

Heating an RV – Is carbon monoxide an issue?

Carbon Monoxide is an invisible, odorless, and deadly gas, produced by the partial combustion of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels. Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning deaths each year. [spp-timestamp time=”7:53″]

Almost all of today’s RVs come with carbon monoxide monitors. But they can, and do malfunction. Thus,  as a matter of routine, you should test the carbon monoxide detector every time you use the RV If they have batteries, replace them at least once a year, twice if the unit is exposed to extreme cold. A good tip is to change the batteries when when you change clocks for daylight savings time.

Here's a complete report I did for the blog on RVing and Carbon Monoxide –

What is the difference between a Class B RV and a B+?

B+ is a made up category. There really is only Class A, Class C & Class B sometimes they are referred to Type A, Type C & Type B. [spp-timestamp time=”10:26″]

Basically, if the RV base vehicle is a van then it is a Class B. If the RV base vehicle is a cutaway chassis then it is a Class C.

So the class B+ motorhome is a hybrid between a class B motorhome and a class C motorhome. These motorhomes are either built on a truck or van chassis. They could include a “cab-over” section, although not many now do so. They have all the same amenities that a class B motorhome has. The bath area is often a bit bigger and many B+ RVs now include walkin shower and often a closed bedroom. Some have slides.

Some units claiming to be a B+ are as long as 30 feet, which really makes them a C. Most of today's B+ motorhomes are around 24, maybe 25 feet long.

RV News of the Week

Ticks carrying Lyme Disease are now in half the states – Lyme disease cases have tripled in the United States over the last 2 decades. The disease now affects around 300,000 Americans each year. [spp-timestamp time=”21:10″]

RV Calendar of the Week

This is RV Show Season. For a complete list of the RV shows around the country, click here. To hear Mike read about the ones for Jan. 21-24, 2016, go to [spp-timestamp time=””] in the episode. [spp-timestamp time=”54:52″]


This episode of Roadtreking the RV Podcast is brought to you by:

  • Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations
  • Leisure Time RV, a family-owned dealership in central Florida. Your vacation starts at Leisure Time RV



Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-01-20

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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