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RV Trip Planning with AI

| Updated Jun 12, 2024

This week on the RV Podcast:

  • RV Trip Planning with AI is now a reality. We’ll explain in our Interview of the Week about a powerful AI Trip Planner aimed at RVers. 
  • It’s finally a buyer’s market for those who want to purchase a new RV. Dealers are anxious and more willing to offer big discounts as their lots remain filled with unsold inventory 
  • On Mike and Jen’s Storytime segment at the end of the show, we’ll tell you all about the most embarrassing – and costly – mistake we’ve ever made while RVing.
  • Zion National Park plans to ban all large RVs from its popular eastern entrance starting in 2026 in hopes of unsnarling the park’s often massive traffic jams.
  • All this plus the RV News of the Week and your questions coming up in Episode #501 of the RV Podcast

You can watch the video version from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel by clicking the player below.

If you prefer an audio-only podcast, you can hear us through your favorite podcast app or listen now through the player below.

This has been a very busy week for us:

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  • As the podcast is released, we are with 70 of our followers at our Groove and Gather with the Temptations in the heart of Amish Country in Shipshewana. Here we are at our potluck, giving away prizes!
  • We spent the last week reviewing three small Class A RVs
  • We got Bo microchipped and another – unnecessary but required rabies vaccine – to fill out the proper forms to qualify for the confusing, controversial, and much-criticized new guidelines required by the CDC to bring a dog back to the US if you visit another country with your pet – even Canada.


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Wendy Bowyer reports on the hot issues most talked about this past week on social media and our RV Lifestyle Community group.

In the RVLifestyle Community‘s Travel, Trips & Tours Space, Cindy was looking for recommendations for campgrounds in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, anywhere between Sault Ste. Marie and the Porcupine Mountains. 

That is such a beautiful camping area and Cindy got several suggestions.

Laurie recommended Indian Lake RV Resort & Campground and the Indian Lake Campground both in Manistique. She said both were clean with very friendly people, beautiful area. And she added her favorite boondocking spot was in the UP's East Lake Hiawatha National Forest.

Kerry recommended the Aune Osborne Campground in Sault Ste. Marie. She said she had recently stayed there, got a spot right on the lake, and could see the ships coming by, and it was just sensational.

And Melissa really liked the Woodland Park Campground in Grand Marais. When she stayed there her site overlooked Lake Superior and it sounds like the location is a great place to go looking for Yooperlite rocks, which you need a good black light flashlight to find, but the lights are sold in town.

(I had to look up Yooperlite rocks to see what they are, and these have this fluorescent glow to them – very cool!)

Also in our Community, in the General RV/Camping Discussions Space, Annette needed help determining which fuel stops have DEF – that's diesel exhaust fluid – at the pump. She said on a recent trip she stopped at three different exits, thinking the truck stops would have it, but no! They did not, and it was a huge waste of time and money she didn't want to repeat. So she asked if anyone knew of any apps or had any helpful hints.

Lots of suggestions. Michael said TA Petro, Pilot Flying J and Love's always have DEF at the pumps.

Richard suggested using the Yara app which uses GPS to help you find fuel stations that have DEF as you're on the road. And it sounds like Brenda and Marc use a Truck & Travel app which enables them to do the same thing. Great tips.

Over in our RVLifestyle Facebook Group, Cara wrote: “One thing I WASN'T warned about when we decided to go full time in an RV and live by the lake – Mayflies. This is the third or fourth swarm in the last couple of months.”

Then Cara showed a picture she snapped of her beautiful Keystone Montana, slides out, taken from the back so you can see the ladder, just covered with dead mayflies. I am talking there were so many dead bugs splattered against it, it looked like it was just sprayed with mud.

It was stunning, and apparently, I wasn't the only one who felt that way because many, like Kim, wrote: “I've never seen anything like that before!”

Others knew about the mayflies far too well.

Many like Jean wrote: “Been there, done that!”

Cara's picture was taken in central Mississippi, but it sounds like mayflies are a problem in many many states. John shared a picture of his rig splattered with dead mayflies from last June taken along Lake Erie.

Many commented on this post – we're talking more than 430 – and counting.

RV Conversation of the Week – RV Trip Planning with AI

RV Trip Planning with AI Scott Lengel, the Chairman & CEO of Adventure Genie
Scott Lengel, the Chairman & CEO of Adventure Genie

One question we see often on our social media platforms is: “Why is it so hard to plan an RV trip? Can't I find someone to just plan it for me??” Today, we'd like to talk to you about a great tool that greatly simplifies trip planning and even learns from your likes – and dislikes- remembering everything from the type of campgrounds you prefer, the amount you like to drive a day, the size of your rig,  things you like to see and do, and much more.

Our guest is Scott Lengel, the Chairman & CEO of Adventure Genie, an app that helps you plan the perfect RV trip using AI. We had Scott on our program when Adventure Genie was just launching more than a year ago.

We've been watching this start-up ever since and thought we'd bring Scott back to catch up on all things Adventure Genie.

You can watch the interview above or use the closed captioning button on the audio player to read the interview.

RV News of the Week

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The Wall Street Journal says it’s now a Buyer’s Market for RVs

This summer is the best time in a long time to buy an RV, says the Wall Street Journal. Noting high interest rates and excessive inventory—both new and used—the newspaper says consumers have way more negotiating power than they’ve had in almost a decade. 

The story cited Thor Industries, the world’s largest RV manufacturer. Thor's fiscal third quarter sales were down by 40%, and earnings per share were down by two-thirds. 

We’ve seen this played out as we travel and visit RV dealerships. Their lots are filled with unsold 2024 models. The 2025s are in a few months, so there’s a lot of deal-making going on.

The same holds true for those looking to buy a used vehicle. The Wall Street Journal noted that the number of used units listed for sale on is more than twice as high as during the period of peak demand during the COVID boom a couple of years ago.

Gas prices lower and expected to drop more

Now here is some great news! Gas and diesel prices are down again, falling eight cents in a week to a nationwide average of $3.48. That’s the largest weekly drop of the year. Diesel prices are about the same or even cheaper. I paid $3.29 for diesel in Southwest Michigan on Saturday.

And the experts are predicting it’s going to get even better, with many states seeing unleaded regular going for UNDER $3 a gallon in the coming weeks.

Why? What year is this? It’s 2024. It’s a presidential election year. And high gas prices are a bread and butter issue with the voters. There’s enough reasons to be disgruntled and you can be sure elected officials are putting a lot of pressure on oil producers, oil companies and the states to keep fuel prices down.

You think I’m being too cynical? Well withhold your judgment. Watch them go right back up after November. And yes, while seasonal blends do have some effect on pricing, politics has a bigger one.

So enjoy those lower fuel costs this summer. I’m sure not going to complain. 

Zion to ban certain RVs starting in 2026

Zion National Park has long been plagued by too many vehicles, massive traffic jams and not nearly enough parking. They’ve tried lots of things. Timed entry. Permits, More busses. Now they have a new idea: Dont let RVs in.

Starting in 2026,  Zion will no longer permit large vehicles like campers and buses to travel through the east entrance of the park.

Vehicles taller than 11 feet and 4 inches and wider than 7 feet and 10 inches will have to travel around the park to the west entrance, adding up to an hour of transit time. Any vehicles longer than 35 feet and 9 inches will also be forced to drive around. 

The new plan is designed to make the road safer, especially through the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel.

That tunnel was designed more than 100 years ago. At the time of its development, vehicles were much smaller than they are today, allowing them to safely make passage. Through time, vehicle sizes have grown to be incompatible with the tunnel size.

Park officials say those tunnel escorts happen about 50 times per day and create massive traffic jams. By keeping big RVs out of there, park officials are hoping the congestion will ease.

RV Questions of the Week

QUESTION: We’re on a long trip west and we stopped for some photos along the way and I was shocked how bad I looked. Granted, showers have been a couple days apart and sleep has been not the best. Traveling can be hard. But I looked terrible in the photos. How does Jennifer stay looking so good all the time? I know your travel schedule is even more hectic. So… beauty tip time, Jennifer! How do I look fresh and reasonably good when the road is taking its toll? Please share your secrets! – Darcy

ANSWER: Jen shares her tips in the audio and video players above.

QUESTION: Most of the 110 outlets in our trailer are not working. We’re plugged into shore power. None of the breakers or fuses are blown. What do I check?

ANSWER: Go through the trailer and look for an outlet that little sticker saying it is a GFCI protected outlet. That stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt. That is required on locations where an outlet could be exposed to water, like a sink, or outside on the side of the trailer, or even in a storage bin. What has probably happened is one of those GFCI outlets have tripped. Look for one that has a little reset button. Most of those GFCI outlets have a bunch of other outlets connected to them. Click the reset button. I bet they will all work now. Why did it trip? Something could have bumped it. Too many things could have been plugged into the outlet. It could have sensed moisture. Usually, a reset will fix it. But if it keeps tripping, you beter have your rig checked by an electrician.


This week, we tell the story of when Mike broke the rear window on truck while backing up their new fifth wheel after ignoring Jennifer’s offer to help with backing up…

Here's a video they did at the time:

We're OVER 13,500 members in our NEW Community!

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We have a Space for all sorts of things you want to know as an RVer, including Boondocking, Travel Planning, Electrical, Plumbing, Traveling with Pets, Gear, and more.

You can join each Space individually and only see what's being discussed in just that Space. Or you can see everything in the main Feed.

You can watch livestreams that are focused on one Space or another – like we recently did for Internet on the Road!

It's a calm, well-organized, friendly space to meet other RVers who might be traveling near you!

Join us

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-06-12

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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