RV Podcast #281: A reality check about the fulltime RV life

 RV Podcast #281: A reality check about the fulltime RV life

It’s time for a reality check about fulltime RV Living. This week you’ll meet Kevin and Laura of Chapter3Travels.com, who have been fulltime RVers for nearly five years now and are known for telling it as it is. We’ll have a great discussion and talk candidly about why so many fulltimers come off the road, not lasting nearly as long as they had hoped.

Plus, we have lots of RV News, your questions and a great off the beaten path report from the Burketts.

Here are the shownotes:

But first, my lifelong traveling companion and my bride, Jennifer… who just happens to be celebrating her birthday today! Happy birthday, my dear!

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

This photo of Jen posing on top of the RV is meant as a spoof… as explained in the elsewhere in the podcast. It was shot las week in Arizona

We are still celebrating a major event! We reached 100,000 subscribers for our our RV Lifestyle Channel!

As that grows, our next goal is to reach 10,000 Subscribers to our Instagram page – @rvlifestylemike

We’re home in Michigan after a great trip to Arizona. 

Next week, we take off for Florida where we are finalizing research and photography for our next two 7 Day Adventure Guides, one to Florida’s East Coast, anther devoted just to the Keys. Those two will join our already published Florida 7 Day Adventure Guide to Florida’s Gulf Coast. Florida is such a popular RV destination that we feel we need three guides to cover it all and we hit the road next week to finish up the next two books, which should come out the first of the next month.

That’s one reason we love doing these 7 Day Adventure Guides as eBooks. They can be published so much faster than traditional books and they can easily be updated without long printing delays. We have six of them now available covering various regions of the county. You can find them at rvlifestyle.com/books.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Dish Outdoors, which lets RVers pay as they go and watch HD satellite television from wherever they are camped with easy to set up gear made with the RVer in mind. Just go to https://rvlifestyle.com/dish for details on the service and special deal just for listeners of this podcast.

RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK

Katmai National Park considering permit system to protect visitors- and bears
Alaska's Katmai National Park is taking comments on a proposed rule to require permits for those seeking to wander about the Brooks River Corridor, a popular place for watching the famous brown bears. The permits are in response to a growing concern about the numbers of visitors getting too close to the bears. The park is worried the bears will lose their fear of people, and wants to avoid having to put a bear down. The park is also considering expanding its camping to up to 14 days and permitting e-bikes. To learn more about Katmai's bears, check out interview we did with a ranger here.

Oregon set new record in number of campers staying at state parks in 2019
Oregon state parks set record in number of campers last year. The state has experienced incredible growth in camping for about a decade, but last year it reported 2.93 million camper nights at its 56 state campgrounds setting a new record. The trend of more campers is also showing up on federally managed lands in Oregon.

Smoking near playgrounds at Pennsylvania's state parks now illegal
If you are planning to camp at any of Pennsylvania's state parks this year, and you smoke or vape, better listen up. The state has a new law that prohibits smoking within 30 feet of a playground and that includes 135 locations in the state's 121 parks. Signs will go up, detailing the new rule, by Memorial Day.

Campers rescued from North Carolina campground after heavy rains trapped them on site  
Eight people and three dogs were rescued from their campground at Dan River Campground in North Carolina after rushing waters swept through their site. The flooding happened when heavy rains swept through the area over the weekend. 

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   

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

From our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group:

I’m New to RVing. Question: if we encounter snow covered roads in a freak snowstorm, will a 26 ft class c handle it ok? – Kathy

Read all the answers at https://www.facebook.com/groups/roadtreking/permalink/1498512036974437/

From our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel

You have a 3-way fridge. Would you prefer a 12 volt compressor fridge? That would give more capacity and eliminate the need to start the night before. It also means less need to level rig, fewer propane refills and less fire risk. Modern batteries and solar systems should easily handle the load. The Norcold ones also have a “night ” setting that decreases nocturnal power draw, assuming you are not opening fridge at night. I am frankly puzzled by some manufacturers that are clinging to propane fridges, even in high-end coaches. – Richard

Frankly, we have had no problems with our fridge, which is a three-way Dometic absorption refrigerator that runs on LP, 120volt and 12 volt all in one. While a compressor fridge would work with lots of batteries and solar and sunshine, dry camping, or boondocking, could be a problem. If you run out of battery power – no fridge.   An electric fridge like that can be a problem as well if you if you have an electrical failure in the motorhome, breaker box, charger, powercord, fuse. That means no fridge. A three-way fridge runs three ways. For me to lose cooling or not to have my fridge work means I would need all three power sources to fail (LP. 120V and 12V).   A simple three-way fridge works, works for all types of RVing – Dry camping, electric serviced campgrounds, boondocking, daytripping, you name it. It works in the cold, it works in the heat. And modern absorption RV refrigerators no longer have problems working when you are not perfectly level like the older models did.

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. Check them out at https://rvlifestyle.com/lithium

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

Like many of you, Jennifer and I love to follow the adventures of other RVers. One of our favorite RV Lifestyle blogs is called Chapter3travels.com, written by Kevin and Laura, a young couple who have been fulltime RVers for about five years now. They write with humor and total honesty, chronicling the good and bad about life on the road.

They are our guests for this week’s Interview of the Week and, among other things, they sound a wakeup call about some of the realities of RV living that may not be apparent if all you do is watch those glamorous and sometimes unrealistic photos posted on Instagram. Plus, we talk about when it may be time to come off the road.

Here is a video version of the interview:

To visit their website, Chapter 3 Travels, CLICK HERE

To read Laura’s post on the silly Instagram photos, CLICK HERE

To read her post about how full time RV travel wears you down, CLICK HERE

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   

The Burketts

By Tom & Patti Burkett

If you’ve ever crossed a bridge or a causeway of the saltgrass marshes of the Mid-Atlantic coast, you’ll have seen the network of waterways that crisscross them.  At low tide you can often see masses of oysters (or at least oyster shells) poking up out of them, and high tide or low you’ll see pelicans skimming the grass tops and bone white egrets scattered among the green.  These marshes play an outsize role in coastal ecology, providing spawning grounds for many marine creatures and a protected area for young to mature.

One of the ways you can enjoy some time along the marsh is to go crabbing.  Forget about the fact that you might well come home with a bucketful of the best eating along the shore, it’s both fun and relaxing.  You need a little bit of gear, some bait, and a few facts about crab behavior to be successful at this pastime.  First, find a good stout stick, about as thick as your thumb and eight inches long.  Wind onto it thirty feet or so of good cotton cord.  At the business end you’ll have to tie a triangular fishing weight, one of those ones that look like the great pyramid of Giza cast in lead miniature. 

You’ll need a net, too, with a long handle.  You can use a high quality fish landing net if you have one, but any bait store or tourist shop along the coast will sell you a perfectly adequate cheap one for less than ten bucks.  Remember, you’re not doing battle with a toothsome shark, you’re just impeding the progress of a crab long enough to get him into your bucket.  Crabs are scavengers, so any numbers of things will work pretty well as bait, but the hands down favorite is chicken necks.  They’re cheap, and since most people don’t use them in cooking, plentiful.  Tie the neck on your line a few inches upstream of the sinker, and you’re ready to go!

Some people go crabbing successfully on the beach, others along tidal inlets or even off low bridges.  Our favorite spot is at the end of one of the many little access roads that lead to the edge of the tidal marsh, especially on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina.  These makeshift driveways are the access used by folks going into the marsh by boat to fish, photograph, collect oysters, or just enjoy a paddle through the green quiet.  You’ll usually have any spot you pick to yourself.  Bring along a chair, because unless you’re working multiple lines, crabbing is a leisurely affair.

Now you need to know a bit about crabs to have the best chance of catching them.  Crabs are most active, searching for food, for an hour or two before and after high tide.  Consult the tide table for your location and stake out a spot.  Toss your baited line out into the middle of the water and begin to pull it in, an inch or so at a time (I told you it was leisurely).  You want to move the crab to the edge of the water, but not pull the line so quickly the crab is scared off.  When it comes into view from your position, scoop it up with your net.  There are rules for crabbing—no crabs smaller than a hand’s with across the shell, and females with eggs must be released back into the water.  Other than that, catch and eat your fill.

The sea of Spartina grass that makes up these coastal marshes is a wonder in many ways.  It harbors and supports many birds and animals, and it buffers the shore from the onslaught of storms and hurricanes.  It purifies runoff water and provides nutrients for oysters, clams, and mussels.  It whispers in the wind.  Spend some time in its company and you won’t be disappointed.  It’s one of the many overlooked natural pleasures out here, off the beaten path.

RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

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