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RV Podcast 312: RV Stories from Real RVers living the RV Lifestyle

| Updated Sep 16, 2020

This week in the RV Podcast Interview of the Week, we’ll hear from a group of RVers who will share their individual RV stories about how they got into the RV Lifestyle, what challenges they’ve had, and what the RV Lifestyle is really like.

These are REAL RV stories from REAL RVers, unedited and I think you’ll find them very encouraging. Inspirational even. Whether you are a newbie RVer, someone just dreaming about getting an RV, or an experienced RVer for many years, I know you’re going to really enjoy these stories… coming up in just a few minutes.

Also this week, we share lots of RV News of the week, answer your RV Lifestyle questions, and listen to another great off the beaten path report from Tom & Patti Burkett.

You can listen to the podcast in the player below. And scroll down this page for shownotes that include links and resources about all the things we talk about.



photo of Mike and Jennifer Wendland, hosts of the RV Podcast
Mike and Jennifer Wendland, hosts of the RV Podcast

First, on the personal side, we want you to know that Jennifer and I have just launched special RV Lifestyle Supporter Communities on Facebook and on YouTube as a way for us to become more community-supported (instead of advertising-driven), to connect with you better, and to sharpen the focus of all our platforms to meet more of your needs.

We won't change anything in the content we deliver each week. We'll continue to produce all that content as before, all free. These new members-only support communities are in addition to all the regular content we create each week.

This new effort to build community support is a way for you to contribute to the channel and help support our work… And for us to give something extra back to you. 

I realize, being a supporter is not for everyone. Not everyone has the means to do so. This won’t change a thing for you, we'll still do all the content you’re used to seeing from us, still free. But for those who do choose to support us, it will enable us to do more with our content and you’ll get some cool rewards in the process. 

You’ll get members-only perks,  badges, and emojis that only supporters get that show up in our livestreams so we can give your questions priority answers and shoutouts. In addition, there will be discounts on RV products and services, member-only meetups around the country, and exclusive content in the form of members-only posts, photos and videos.

CLICK HERE to learn about our YouTube Members-Only Community

CLICK HERE to learn about our Facebook Members-Only Community

This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Camping World – America’s #1 RV Dealer Listeners of the Podcast can get 10% off all purchases over $99. Just go to and you will see all the Camping word RV gear and accessories we like the most! Just use the discount code RVLIFESTYLE10.


Raging wildfires lead California to close of ALL national forest land and 30 state parks
All national forests are closed in California totaling more than 20 million acres because of the unprecedented fires devastating the state. About 30 state parks, including the Big Sur area along Highway 1, are also closed because of fire risks. With so many fires burning out of control in California, and much of the West for that matter, you may want to get an app to help you monitor police and fire activity for safety reasons. To learn more click here.

Oregon officials also close national and state lands to camping, outdoor use, due to fires and smoke
Oregon is another state facing devastating wildfires roaring all across the state. More than a million acres are burning, with many reported deaths. Not surprisingly, state and federal officials are also closing campgrounds and parks. Much of the land operated by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S Department of Agriculture, forestry, state parks, and national parks are either closed or camping is banned.  This includes Crater Lake National Park, Siuslaw National Forest and more. 

Idaho officials concerned more inexperienced campers are negatively impacting forests
More Americans are definitely camping this year, and some states are beginning to analyze what that means to its forests. In Idaho, for instance, a report found five times as many people as normal camping in the Payette National Forest, with many new campers unaware of proper camping etiquette. The report said these campers were improperly disposing of human waste, not properly putting out their campfires, and not cleaning up their trash when they leave. To help all of us remember proper boondocking etiquette, thought I'd share this link from an interview we did on our podcast on this very topic not too long ago.

State Park in Michigan's Upper Peninusla reporting staggering number of search and rescues of newbies
This increase in new, and relatively inexperienced campers, is something we are hearing about all around the country. In Michigan's Upper Peninsula Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (one of our favorites, click here to see why), state workers are reporting an alarming number of search and rescues. Inexperienced campers and hikers are coming to the beautiful but rugged wilderness unprepared – leading to an astonishing number of calls for help. In just 10 weeks ending on Labor Day, the park has conducted 30 search and rescues, compared to six for the ENTIRE year of 2019. The vast majority of these calls are from inexperienced people coming outdoors because of COVID-19. Click here for tips on what everyone should know before hitting the trails.

Bear found scavenging on man's body in Great Smoky Mountain National Park; bear killed, investigation ongoing
Rangers at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park euthanized a bear found scavenging on a man's body. The man was apparently camping in a remote area of the park and died. Whether his death was caused by the bear was not clear as of this report. When backpackers came across the bear on the man, and saw the man's empty tent, they left to find a place with cell coverage and called for help. The bear was still on the man when rangers arrived hours later. The campsite, number 82, is closed and will remain so for some time as officials investigate the very horrible incident. Apparently, there had been reports of bears attacking humans in this part of the park in years past.

This part of the RV 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  


This question comes from Lynn, one of the 42,000 members of our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group.

She writes:

QUESTION: We recently purchased a 2018 34’ Keystone Alpine. We retired this past December, but are not FT as yet. You all on this great site have been so incredibly helpful with advice and ideas. Can I ask for some more? I need ideas on how to better organize our kitchen. How do you store pots & pans? Glasses? Foods? Flatware, Etc? I’m usually super-organized here at home, but I need many more ideas before we take off on our month-long cross-country trip early next month. I’ve already bought museum putty, Command hooks, 3 curtain-type rods to help hold things in place, unbreakable wine and drink glasses, a new cookware set, and a few big bins, etc. I’d really appreciate more ideas and advice! Many thanks!!!

ANSWER – As Lynn noted, she already bought museum putty, sometimes called museum wax. And there was lots of discussion about that. In case you don’t know what museum putty is, it is a removable and reusable adhesive putty used by museums, and others, to secure valuable objects like vases, especially in earthquake zones.

Since an RV going down the road generates enough rattles, bumps, and sways to equal a 4.0 earthquake, the same principle holds true. Put some museum putty on the bottom of anything you will be leaving out on the countertop, like small appliances, the paper towel holder, and other things you don’t want rattling around and following off the counter as you drive.

RV Podcast 312: RV Stories from Real RVers living the RV Lifestyle 1
Quakehold – Museum putty as described in the RV Podcast

The product we use is called Quakehold and it costs around $10 for a 13-ounce container on Amazon. We’ll put a link to it on our RV gear page at

If you want a direct link to this product, go to

One of the things we so appreciate from our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group members is how willing they are to share their knowledge and help out a newbie. And help they did!

Lynn’s question brought 71 different answers from our other members. Here’s a sampling:

From Lois: Good luck. It really is a trial and error type thing. What works for some won’t work for others. I use a non-skid shelf liner for dishes and glasses. Buy LOTS of non-skid. Not only do you want it on all shelf surfaces, but also small strips between pans, etc

From Nora: We recently purchased an new ourselves! And in our 1st trip I found that while traveling, some refrigerator stuff including the baking soda fell and spilled. This week I went to Ikea and purchased white bins for the fridge. Their storage items are fantastic and at a reasonable price as well as light.

From Sarah: I use squares of felt (8x10ish) to put between pans and plates to keep things for rubbing. Nesting bowls are handy. Ikea has nice containers with lids for spices, or whatever. I put things in containers then I can reach up and slide out the whole thing to find what I need.

From Katherine: My 2 favorite rules: 1) Less is more- don’t pack your cabinets so full that there is no room for a souvenir. I find that when I open a lightly packed cabinet that my mind is peaceful and the RV FEELS spacious. 2) There is always a Walmart. Very few necessities can’t be purchased at Walmart or ordered online. We pack in quantity things like a specific gluten-free bread or prescription dog food. Things that may be difficult to find in distant cities.

From Marlese: I would try to find little trays, or cut down some cereal boxes or something to corral all the little bottles/container on your shelves. Also, flip the shelves themselves over, so the lip is up; that will help contain things and keep them from coming forward.

From Jean: I store pots and pans in the oven with towels between them. I ball up bath towels and push them in my pantry to keep things in place. I put childproof locks on my cabinets and doors to keep them closed in transit.

From Nancy: I got magazine holders from the Dollar Tree and put my plates and lids in them. They take up vertical rather than horizontal space that way and it's easier to find what you want. I also use one for my plastic wrap, aluminum foil and baggies.

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 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

RV PODCAST INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK- RV Stories about the RV Lifestyle

As we mentioned up top, we have a special RV Lifestyle Supporters Group on Facebook and on YouTube and, it is a place where Jennifer and I can interact more with our followers.

We were on there the other day chatting and one of our supporters, Andrew, suggested we that everyone share their RV stories about how got into the RV Lifestyle.

That RV stories topic always results in great backstories and so I asked those on our supporter’s group to share their how they ended up in an RV, what challenges they’ve had and what the RV Lifestyle is really like.

These are REAL RV stories from REAL RVers, and I think you’ll find them very encouraging, inspirational even. Whether you are a newbie RVer, someone just dreaming about getting an RV, or an experienced RVer from many years, I know you’re going to really enjoy these RV stories.

You can listen to the interview section of the RV podcast in the player below. Scroll forward in the player to about 25:00 in to hear the interview


Again, these the RVers you just heard sharing their RV stories are members of our RV Lifestyle Supporter’s Group. We have it for both our Facebook followers and our YouTube followers.

These new Supporter’s Groups are helping us to become more community-supported (instead of advertising-driven), to connect with you better, and to sharpen the focus of all our platforms to meet more of your needs.

This new effort to build community support is a way for you to contribute to the channel and help support our work… And for us to give something extra back to you. Members get special perks and rewards.

You can find links to them both where you can learn more on the shownotes page for this episode at

CLICK HERE to learn about our YouTube Members-Only Community

CLICK HERE to learn about our Facebook Members-Only Community

The interview of the week is brought to you by, where every new motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country


Tom & Patti Burkett of the Rv Podcast
The RV Podcast off the beaten path reporters Tom & Patti Burkett


Lots of places in North America have logging history, and much of it is both heroic and sad.  Just this week we were listening to one of our favorite music services, Folk Alley radio, and heard a song performed by Kate and Anna McGarigle called the Log Drivers’ Waltz.  Especially in the northern part of the continent, logs were often cut in the winter, when snow and ice made moving them through the forests easier.

They were piled along the rivers and when the snow melted in the Spring and the rivers began to run, the logs were floated down the river to ports or mills.  Log drivers rode the great rafts of logs, guiding them through rapids and narrow stretches to keep them from piling up, some as recently as the 1970s.  

As you might imagine, being a log driver required great nimbleness, and the song lyric pays homage to that, saying “he goes birling down and down white water, That’s where the log driver learns to step lightly, Yes, birling down and down white water, The log driver's waltz pleases girls completely.”

a sawmill as heard about on the rv podcast
The Cypress Sawmill

Of course, the work was incredibly dangerous.  Lumberjacks were well paid in the 1800s, and log drivers made twice as much, at today’s rates, perhaps over a hundred thousand dollars a year.  In 1845, on the Ottawa River alone, more than 80 drivers were killed or maimed by the unpredictable movement of the log rafts.

There are a number of good logging museums around the continent, where a visitor can see the equipment and housing used by these itinerant workers.  An excellent one is in Algonquin Provincial Park, which has a restored logging settlement and displays a range of gear from early logging days to more modern times.  

RV Podcast 312: RV Stories from Real RVers living the RV Lifestyle 2
Patti next to one of the early chain saws used in lumber camps

A fascinating part of the display is the series of shallow, human-made ponds on which small tugboats pushed rafts of logs toward the river.  You can climb around on one of the boats there.

Each museum is a bit different, but they share many things in common (think axes, chainsaws, boots, and wood stoves).  The one in Newberry, Michigan (near the winter freeze out location at Tahquamenon Falls) features a cookhouse where you can get a gut-busting lumberjack breakfast and see a camp built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  

At the Mount Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum, you can see a wide range of steam-powered locomotives and take a trip behind one of them.  If you call in advance, you can even arrange to ride on the locomotive with the engineer.  In Stearns, Kentucky, you can also ride an excursion train, into the Big South Fork National Recreation Area and learn about how logging and coal mining grew up together in the region.

RV Podcast 312: RV Stories from Real RVers living the RV Lifestyle 3
A Wedell-Williams racer

One of our favorites, though, is in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. We like it because it’s so unexpected.  Frank and Harry Willams were brothers hereabouts, in the early 1900s.  Frank was a cypress lumber baron and built the largest cypress sawmill in the world.  Harry joined forces with Jimmie Wedell and founded Wedell-Williams Aviation, pioneers in air transport and racing.  

Hence, the Wedell-Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum.  One side of the building is a brightly-lit pristine home to several beautiful classic airplanes.  The other side is an earthy and well-designed trip through the logging history of the region.

You can find a different kind of logging museum in the small town of Samoa, California.  This one is in the redwood forests of the Pacific Coast, but it focuses on cooking.  As you might imagine, the cook was a very important part of a logging camp and was often bragged about by the loggers, who took into account the quality of a camp’s food as well as the pay when choosing whom to work for.  

The Samoa Cookhouse Logging Museum is one of the oldest restaurants in the state, and the only (as far as we know) camp cookhouse in the West.  You can get a hearty meal here while looking through decades of camp kitchen history.

Logging has a checkered history, to be sure when it comes to the environment, but there’s no denying it was one of the industries that drove the development of the nations of North America.  So come on out and enjoy the trees -there are still plenty of them—and while you do, listen around the campfire for the stories of the legendary loggers of a bygone century, tales of Saginaw Joe, Sawtooth Slim, and even Paul Bunyan, out here off the beaten path.



Mike Wendland

Published on 2020-09-16

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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