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Author: Mike Wendland

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Celebrating the RV Lifestyle by Mike and Jennifer Wendland. Tips, travel ideas, RV news and great interviews about the RV Lifestyle.
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Finding the best Internet for RV Nomads is a daunting task but we have the best advice for you in this episode of the RV Podcast from the two experts who know more about the topic than anyone else you can find. With the help of Chris and Cherie of Technomadia, the RV Lifestyle’s top Internet experts, we’re going to tell you what companies and what plans are the best for today’s demanding RVer. They candidly warn us what companies to stay away from and what service providers are offering the best plans. Plus we learn why 5G may not be very handy for the RV community just yet and what – and when – that new Starlink Satellite constellation will be ready for RV Nomads. We also answer your RV questions about traveling with a dog, getting satellite TV on the road and we share a great off the beaten path report from our friends the Burketts. You can listen to the podcast in the player below. The interview is about 25:00 in. And scroll down this page for shownotes and a transcript of the interview, plus links and resources about all the things we talk about. Show Notes for Episode #313 of The RV Podcast: Finding the Best Internet for RV Nomads Mike and Jennifer share their plans to head up north to the Michigan Upper Peninsula to check out the fall colors Mike and Jennifer, hosts of the RV Podcast 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 RVLifestyle.com/campingworld and you will see all the Camping word RV gear and accessories we like the most! Just use the discount code RVLIFESTYLE10. RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK U.S. Forest Service opens some national forest land in California, but wildfires remain major problem in California, Oregon, elsewhere out West Wildfires are still burning in much of the West, but some states reported improvements in both air quality and containment - good news for residents and visitors and RVers traveling through the affected areas. The U.S. Forest Service eased restrictions in nine of California's national forests. (all 18 were closed last weekend). So far three million acres have burned in some 27 wildfires. Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks remain closed because of the fires and smoke. And in Oregon, where some one million acres have burned, many state parks and federally owned land remains closed. Use a fall color predictor to help you plan your fall travels Many of us enjoy camping in the fall, and one of the things we enjoy is taking in the beauty of the fall colors. To help you plan your travel when colors are at their peak, check out this national fall color predictor. Already some states, including mountainous areas in Montana, Colorado and northern Minnesota, are peaking. Others are not far behind. Jen and I are planning to get out this week, so look for reports on what we find. Florida house for sale with attached garage built to store 37-foot RV Most of us have heard of the phase house envy - but have you ever heard of garage envy? I'm guess, after you check out this story, you may get a case of it. A newspaper article in Florida featured a house for sale that had a special garage built so the homeowners could easily store their 37-foot RV. The garage is 60 feet long, 20 feet wide and 17 feet high, and is attached to the normal garage, which is attached to a "normal" three-bedroom house. The couple, who were selling their house because they no longer RV, said the garage was perfect at the time, and apparently others agree. The Cape Coral home was only for sale for one week, and received six offers.   New Mexico state parks to allow residents to camp starting Oct. 1 New Mexico residents will be allowed to camp in most of their state parks beginning Oct. 1. Camping will remain off limits to non-state residents, with reservations canceled for out-of-state visitors through Oct. 16. New Mexico has been among the most restrictive st...
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. WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK 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 RVLifestyle.com/campingworld and you will see all the Camping word RV gear and accessories we like the most! Just use the discount code RVLIFESTYLE10. RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK 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.
You surely have heard the term moochdocking by now, a variation on the boondocking trend that is so popular with RVers these days. While boondocking is typically off-grid camping in remote areas, moochdocking is camping – usually without hookups – in people’s driveways or the back of their property. This week, we’ll learn about a new website that will help you find places to inexpensively do some moochdocking, offering still another resource for RVers who want to avoid overcrowded and overpriced campgrounds. Also, this week on Episode 311 of the RV Podcast, we have lots of RV news, your questions, and a fun and entertaining off the beaten path report from Tom and Patti Burkett. You can listen to this episode of the RV Podcast in the player below. And scroll down this page for shownotes and a transcript of the interview, plus links and resources about all the things we talk about. WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK Mike and Jennifer Wendland, hosts of the RV Podcast and the RV Lifestyle Travel Blog We hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend. Many were camping. But, according to an informal survey of campers and campground hosts, we're hearing that more RVers than normal will continue camping through the rest of the month.  Many campgrounds are filled and others report being much busier than normal. With so many still working remotely, a lot of RVers figure why not work from the road. We’re planning a fall color RV getaway to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – right after Jennifer has a tooth pulled. Ouch! 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 RVLifestyle.com/campingworld and you will see all the Camping word RV gear and accessories we like the most! Just use the discount code RVLIFESTYLE10. RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK More than 200 people were evacuated from a California campground, some with burn injuries, as a fast moving fire trapped campers More than 200 people in California trying to squeeze in a little camping over the Labor Day weekend had to be evacuated by military helicopters after a fast-moving wildfire came upon them, sending more than 20 to the hospital, at least two with critical injuries. The campers were near Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest in northcentral California. The fire started Friday night and by Saturday blocked the only exit to Mammoth Pool Reservoir, trapping the campers as fire spread on all sides. The National Guard sent helicopters in to rescue people, taking more than 200 to safety. One evacuee shot some terrifying video (click here) of what the campground looked like before he was rescued.  Wildfires have been a major problem in much of the West, and California especially is hard hit. Majority of Americans planned a road trip vacation Labor Day weekend If you decided to take a last minute road trip this weekend, turns out you were in the majority. Some 60 percent of all Americans planned to travel over the weekend, 88 percent by vehicle. Also the majority of those traveling headed out further from home than they did Memorial Day weekend. The stats come from a survey by Cars.com. The info collected was very similar to AAA reports, indicating 97 percent of all Americans were vacationing by vehicle this summer, and which corresponds to what we are hearing out there in the middle of the pandemic. Not too long ago we had YOU call in and tell us what it is like out there on the road. To hear that podcast click here. The Better Business Bureau urging RV shoppers to be aware of scams if shopping for used RV online If you are shopping for a used RV online, the Better Business Bureau has a warning: Beware of scams. As more people are shopping for an RV as a way to travel in the time of a pandemic, scammers are spotting an opportunity to make a quick dishonest buck by listing RVs for sale that do not exist.
This week we learn about the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show, scheduled Jan. 16-24. This just may be the biggest RV show in the world, drawing from the estimated 750,000 to 1 million visitors (most in RVs) who flock to the tiny desert town every January. Our guest on the RV Podcast Interview of the Week is Kimmy King, producer for the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show. Plus we have lots of RV news, tips and travel ideas, including an off the beaten path report from the Burketts. You can listen to the podcast in the player below. And scroll down this page for shownotes. The question of the week about a 4 season RV is at 19:15 in, while the interview about the 2021 Quartzsite RV show is at 26:09  RV Podcast Show Notes for Episode #310, released Sept. 2, 2020: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK Special Live Feed Friday at 3 PM ET on the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show We’re having fun doing live stream broadcasts simultaneously on all our platforms. We’ll have our next one coming up this Friday, Sept 4 at 3 PM Eastern Time and our special guest will be Kenny and Kimmy King, the producers of the giant 2021 Quartzsite RV Show. Kimmy will be our guest in the interview of the week in this episode of the RV Podcast. And in our live video stream Friday, she’ll be joined by her dad, Kenny. This will be a really fun broadcast and you will have an opportunity to ask them questions live. So if every you have had questions about boondocking in Quartzsite, about the biggest RV show in the world (that’s what their event has become) tune in live at 3 PM Friday Sept. 4 on our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group, our RV Lifestyle Facebook Page and our RV Lifestyle YouTune Channel. Fall Camping Updates We’ve had some really fun discussions on the blog lately about fall camping. Just this week we have published articles on fall camping in the UP and our five favorite RV destinations around the country to see the fall colors. You can read them and much more at rvlifestyle.com RV service issues I have an update on the status of our RV issues. The inverter failure while on battery power that I taked about last week had a very easy solution. It was a blown fuse. The fuse that blew was a 150 amp fuse between the house batteries and the inverter. My service tech at Holland Motor Homes in Holland, MI said the reason why it blew is that someone put the wrong sized fuse in at the factory. It is supposed to have a 250 amp fuse. Not a 150 amp fuse. Problem solved. And my dealer even gave me a spare fuse if it should happen again. As to the Dometic three-way refrigerator door that keeps falling off there is bad news. The dealer says Dometic told themthere is a 70 day wait time for replacement parts. Since I talked about it on the podcast last week I have heard from several others who have the same problem with the door falling off. One said he grew so impatient with Dometic’s lack of service that he has replaced his fridge with a new one from a different company. We are considering the same thing. This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Camping World – America’s #1 RV Dealer For a 10% discount on purchases over $99, use the discount code RVLIFESTYLE10. RV PODCAST RV NEWS OF THE WEEK Wild fires continue to cause havoc in West, California closes 34 state parks, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Utah and more states affected Wildfires continued to devastate the West with 1.4 million acres burned, and more than 800 new wildfires between Aug. 15 and 29 in California alone. California closed at least 34 state parks because of fires, many will be closed indefinitely. Historic Little Basin Campground in California's Big Basin State Park was destroyed, with visitors evacuated in a rush last Tuesday just before the flames came through. But California is not alone. An 850-plus acre wildfire is in Yellowstone National Park, just three miles from Old Faithful. Oregon and Colorado are also especially hard hit, but fires are popping up in many western states.
The first thing RV owners learn when they start the RV Lifestyle is that if something can break… it will. The second thing is getting RV repair and service done is never an easy task. That’s one of the top reasons many RV fulltimers are coming off the road. RV repair and service is nothing like automobile service. Getting parts, warranty service and repairs can easily take weeks. Before COVID, the average wait time for RV repair or service was 21 days, according to the national RV Technical Institute in Elkhart, IN. That's the amount of time that it takes from the day you drop a unit off at a dealer to be repaired, to when you pick it back up. Since COVID, the wait has increased dramatically. Dealerships shut down, manufacturers and parts suppliers shut down. Even now, many suppliers are still basically closed, with service and warranty folks working for home. Parts and supplies are, well, in short supply. Repair facilities at dealerships are jammed, catching up on their own backlogs from the shutdown and trying to cope with slowed shipments from suppliers. Add in the crush of so many new RVers who chose the RV Lifestyle for their vacations this year and you'll understand why RV service shops have to triage their repairs, prioritizing who gets fixed first based on the severity of the problem, just as emergency room doctors have to triage those in a hospital waiting room. Sometimes, it takes weeks to even get an appointment. All too often, more weeks once the RV is in the shop. In our question of the week segment coming up a little later, we'll share some of the issues we've heard from various RVers. Even mobile RV repair technicians are experiencing delays. Instead of same-day service as they used to deliver, more often than not it's next week. Or the week after. You can listen to the podcast in the player below.  Go to about 33:30 into the podcast to learn about peer to peer RV storage. And scroll down this page for shownotes and a transcript of the interview, plus links and resources about all the things we talk about. Also this week, we'll learn about a new way to find a place to store your RV... think the equivalent of an Airbnb rental applied to storage for your RV. And we have some good news about RV shows starting again after the first of the year! This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Camping World – America’s #1 RV Dealer  Use the coupon code rvlifestyle10 for 10% off purchases over $99.Check rvlifestyle.com/campingworld to see the many RV accessories and supplies Jennifer and I use with our RV.  RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK Wildfires ravaging much of West - California, Colorado, Arizona and more Wildfires burning the West are making headlines this week, closing campgrounds and causing evacuations in many parts of California, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado to name a few. In California, at least a million acres have burned in seven days, with wildfires reaching historic size. Elsewhere Utah's Minersville Campground was evaluated over the weekend because of wildfires, Arizona officials closed at least two campgrounds because of wildfires near Saguaro National Park, and wildfires are raging across large areas in Colorado . Every year around this time we hear of wildfires in the West, but to us, this year the news seems more severe. There are more than 100 out of control wildfires being reported as we record this episode and smoke and haze can be seen from California to Kansas. Two hurricanes expected to hit the south within days of each other this week And while wildfires ravaged the West, states along the Gulf of Mexico are bracing for not one but two hurricanes to hit this week in what is being called an unprecedented event. The storms are causing campground closings and evacuations. Marco is expected to be a class one hurricane and hit Louisiana today (Monday). Laura at the time of this writing is expected to be a category 2 hurricane and is expected to hit Louisiana ...
Tired of noisy Walmarts and crowded CrackerBarrels for your overnight stops? Now you can do Overnight RV Parking at churches where it's quiet, secluded, and safe. This week in the RV podcast interview of the week, we learn all about Faithful Parking, a website that helps RVers find overnight RV parking at churches. Often those spots come with electric hookups, too. Plus we have RV News of the week, tips about getting rid of mice in an RV, and an off the beaten path report from the Burketts. You can listen to this episode of the RV Podcast on your favorite app or right below in the audio player.  The interview about Faithful Parking and RV parking at churches is about 25.32 in: Show Notes for Episode #308 Aug 19, 2020 of The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK Mike & Jennifer Wendland, hosts of the RV Podcast. In Episode 308 we talk about RV parking at churches and a website called Faithful Parking, plus the RV news of the week, getting rid of mice in an RV and an off the beaten path travel report We’re on the road, headed to Southwest Michigan to explore some out of the way campgrounds located on some great little inland lakes. We’re also planning a visit to Elkhart, IN – the RV Capital of the World – to work on a little project based on one of Jennifer’s ideas. And we’re planning an extended trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We’ll be leaving after Labor Day and the crowds head back to school and work. Fall is our favorite time of the year up there and we plan to stay until first frost in October. CLICK HERE to read an article on 10 Spectacular Campgrounds in the UP 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 with the code RVLIFESTYLE10 RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK Woman seriously injured by charging bison after getting too close to take a picture A woman was seriously injured by a bison last week after she got off her motorcycle, and approached a bison herd to photograph a mama and her calf. The woman was at Fort Custer State Park in South Dakota taking the picture when a different bison decided she was too close. The animal charged her, catching her belt on its horn, and flung her around before her pants fell off and she fell to the ground. After the animal retreated people rushed to help. The woman was flown to a hospital and had serious injuries. State park officials are reminding visitors to stay at least 100 feet away from bison. Custer State Park is one of our favorite parks to visit in the fall and the bison are part of the draw. To see our list, click here. Illegal boondockers near California's Big Sur leaving behind big mess With warm weather and totally booked campgrounds, officials near California's Big Sur have experienced problems with people illegally camping along Highway 1 over the past several weekends. More than 150 people illegally camped along Highway 1 in Monterey County last weekend, generally in turnouts. And they leave behind human waste, toilet paper, beer cans and coals from fires. Officials are closing several roads through Oct. 19 to stop the illegal boondocking. We are big fans of boondocking, but ALWAYS clean up after yourself, and check to see if boondocking is allowed before settling in for the night. For more boondocking tips click here or here. Colorado wild fire causing campground evacuations, road closures Wildfires in Colorado have burned part of the popular Chambers Lake campground. The fire was about 62 miles west of Fort Collins over the weekend and was burning primarily on Roosevelt National Forest Land. Several campgrounds in the upper Poudre Canyon have been evacuated, and some roads in the area are closed.  Federal land near some Utah national parks no longer available for lease for gas, oil exploration The Bureau of Land Management decided to take 86,000 acres in Utah off the table as potential oil and gas de...
There are a lot of RV myths out there and one big one is that you can’t boondock in a big rig. This week, we dispel that bit of fake news by introducing you to two couples who not only boondock in big RVs, but both are thriving on it! Jason and Rae Miller are known as the Getaway Couple on their blog and YouTube community and they travel and boondock regularly in a huge Fifth Wheel. Mark and Julie Bennett, who publish the RV Love channel and blog and are authors of a very popular book on RVing, boondock in a huge Class A motorhome. We hear from both couples this week as they tell you about boondocking in a big rig, what are the challenges and more importantly just how they get those giant RVs down the road and off the grid. Both couples will teach you a lot! Plus, we have RV News of the week, your RV Lifestyle questions and a great off the beaten path report from the Burketts. You can listen to this episode of the Podcast on your favorite app or right below in the audio player. The interview about how to boondock in a big rig is about 20:37 in: Show Notes for Episode #302 July 8, 2020 of The RV Podcast: How to boondock in a Big Rig RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK Oregon now charging out-of-state residents more to camp at its campgrounds The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department now adds a surcharge to out-to-state residents wanting to use its campgrounds. The surcharge works out to about a 30 percent price hike, making a full-service campsite cost $42 for out-of-state residents (compared to the previous $33). Cost of a tent site will increase to $23 from $19 a night. The state hopes to raise $500,000 from the new fees to make up for lost revenue from when the campgrounds were closed earlier this year because of COVID-19. It also hopes to encourage people to stay closer to home. The surcharge will be applied to new reservations and first-come, first-served campers and will remain in place for the rest of this year. June RV and towable camper sales break the record Well, most of the numbers are in, and now it is official: More Americans than ever are giving the RV Lifestyle a try. The RV industry recorded the best sales month EVER last June, with a 16.5% increase over last year’s 41,699 total. And that doesn't even include numbers from the states of Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon and Vermont. Americans are really buying RVs and towables. The numbers support what we have been hearing for months. More and more people are camping as a result of COVID-19. To see more of what we've reported about camping changes this year click here. Peak viewing of the Perseid meteor showers will be Tuesday and Wednesday- don't miss it! The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak this week, and if you can get outside to watch, you don't want to miss it! Up to 100 shooting stars can be seen per hour during its peak. It should be visible all this week. A good strategy is to look up as late in the evening as possible, but before moon rises. The Perseid meteor show is visible every year when the earth drifts through a debris cloud left from a comet. To learn more click here or here.  To learn more about photographing the night sky, click here.  Vandals spray painting campers, campground signs with messages of "COVID-19" and "Go home" in British Columbia We saw reports last week out of British Columbia of people vandalizing camping trailers with the words "no camping" and "COVID-10". About two weeks ago a story was in the news from North Island Campground where someone spray painted "Go home" on a campground sign. In the latest report, the camping trailer targeted was not even being used. The border between Canada and America is closed for non-essential travel, like camping, and while it is possible to "sneak" in, we wanted to remind you again that not every community wants out-of-owners visitors.  In this summer of pandemic camping, remember to check ahead
A lot of RVers are asking these days: How to find a campsite despite the crowds? The national news media has been filled with stories in recent weeks claiming that campgrounds are bursting at the seams across the country as people are taking up camping and RVing because they are afraid to take traditional vacations or stay in hotels, fly airplanes or deal with crowds in amusement parks and resorts. Believe it! This week in Episode 306 of the RV Podcast, we hear from real campers who tell us whether those gloom and doom stories are true. Yes, it’s summer, and campgrounds are always a bit crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. But this year, it’s way worse. That’s coming up in this week’s episode of the Podcast, as well as your RV questions and comments, RV News of the week, and a great off the beaten path report from the Burketts. Show Notes for Episode #306 August 5, 2020 of The RV Podcast: RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK Fewer Walmart stores permitting RVers to overnight in parking lot If you have been a RV fellow traveler for long, chances are you spent the night at a Walmart parking lot at least once. But finding a Walmart that allows RVers to sleep in their parking lot is getting harder.. Currently only 58 percent of the nation's Walmart stores allow campers to stay compared to 78 percent in 2010. Spending the night in a parking lot has been super popular with many RVers over the years. They get a free, easy place to overnight when they are on a road trip and do not need a full campground experience. Typically overnighters buy something from the Walmart and are gone first thing in the morning, so the store benefits, too. But the problem is more and more campers are not practicing basic etiquette. They are staying for more than one night, they are leaving their trash even sometimes human waste or dirty water behind. Homeless people are also using lots. The result is more and more Walmarts are banning the practice, often forced to do so by new zoning rules enacted by local governments. It’s another example on how a bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. Rangers at Zion National Park ask for help finding vandals who painted rocks blue Speaking of bad apples. I have a story about a really rotten apple. This is the type of story that makes my blood boil. Vandals at Zion National Park painted a large section of the sandstones in the northeast section of the park blue. Rangers are now asking the public's help in finding who did this. Bold blue squares and miscellaneous shapes - some three feet by three feet in size - are on the rock formations south of Wildcat Trailhead in the Kolob Terrace area. The area is believed to have painted around July 8. Officials say they are not sure they can remove the paint, and doing so will be costly. Family decides to move in an RV and homeschool from the road because of COVID-19 We've been reporting for years about road schooling (click here or  here), and for months about the rise in RV newbies and some challenges out there because of COVID-19 (click here). So, when we saw this story of a family that combines both, we had to share. The Tennessee family apparently decided to cope with the in-person schooling challenges COVID-19 caused by buying a large RV bus built on a Greyhound chassis, selling their possessions, and hitting the road. The family of seven plans to homeschool their five children while traveling the country, all while self-containing as best as possible and working remotely from the road. Man shoots himself in the leg at Rocky Mountain National Park after gun in his backpack accidentally fires A man visiting Rocky Mountain National Park accidentally shot himself in the leg with his own gun. The man had put a loaded gun into his backpack. When he took off his backpack and put it on a rock at Emerald Lake, the gun accidentally fired a round with the bullet lodging in his leg. Other visitors helped, providing first aid,
This week in the RV Podcast, we hear what RV travel during COVID is like. RVers from across North America candidly share their experiences, what was open, what was closed, how welcome they were, and what it’s like trying to do the RV Lifestyle in these challenging times.  This week in our interview of the week segment we turned to our RV Lifestyle social media followers for their insight into RV travel during COVID as they encountered restrictions and shutdowns in various locations. There is lots of RV-related news to report. RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK Congress passes Great American Outdoor Act which is expected to send much-needed money for national park maintenance Congress passed the Great American Outdoor Act last week, sending it to President Donald Trump's desk where he is expected to sign it. The bill will provide $900 million a year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It will also provide up to $6.5 billion over five years to help pay for the many maintenance needs of the nation's national parks. Look for more details out this week, when it is expected to be signed into law.  Campfire-caused wildfires on the rise in several places throughout country In several parts of the country, officials are reporting more campfire-caused wildfires than normal. In Maine, there has been a 170 percent increase in campfire-related wildfires this year compared to 2019. A campfire is also suspected as the cause of a wildfire near Clayton Beach in Washington's Larrabee State Park last week. And some places, like the Tahoe National Forest, are seeing an increase in illegal campfires causing officials to say they are responding to the second highest number of campfire-caused fires ever recorded. Too many people risking injury by jumping into posted Yellowstone waters, officials warn Yellowstone National Park urged visitors last week to stay out of the water. Apparently more people than normal are ignoring posted signs at Yellowstone and swimming in water where swimming is clearly prohibited. Park officials are reminding visitors the signs are there for a reason. Some Yellowstone water is boiling - in 2016 a man is believed to have literally dissolved after trying to soak in a prohibited thermal area. And in other places the water is extremely frigid - a literal snow melt. Other times people are told not to go in because the water is infested with organisms that will make them sick. As always, if the sign says stay out - we advise you to stay out.  West Virginia police arrest two men connected to international RV theft ring West Virginia police arrested two men involved in an international RV theft ring last week. The men were arrested for stealing two stolen camping trailers. Police also found two other stolen camping trailers abandoned by their drivers. The thieves are part of an international crime ring that steals RVs and campers in southeastern states then ships them to Mexico and other foreign countries. In this summer of pandemic camping, remember to check ahead We have an update on what is open and what is closed. As of today, July 29, 2020, 91 percent of the campsites listed by Campendium are now open, with New Mexico remaining the only state park campground system closed. But according to Campendium, which is doing an excellent job keeping track of things, many other popular spots throughout the country remain closed because of COVID-19. Theodore Roosevelt National Park campgrounds are closed, for instance, as are Point Reyes National Seashore campsites, Mount Rainer National Park campgrounds, Navajo Nation Tribal Parks and many other spots. As always this year, things are fluid. We recommend checking before heading out and be sure to listen to our interview of the week coming up in which you will hear from numerous RVers exactly what RV travel during COVID is like. This part of the podcast is brought to you by RadPower Bikes, America's #1 e-bike brand,
Rising COVID fears and RV Travel uncertainty are causing RVers to stay closer to home and be much more cautious in their plans for the rest of the summer and into fall. As the nation once again finds COVID rates dramatically rising, RVers are wondering what to do with summer travel plans. "Should we stay or should we go?"  is a question we've been asked a lot this past week. So in this 304th episode of the RV Podcast, we're going to talk about that. We’ll share our feelings and hear from a bunch of you who responded to our request to call and share your opinion. Plus, we have lots of RV questions this week, plenty of RV News, and a great off the beaten path RV report from the Burketts. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK Officials say no reported COVID-19 cases at Yosemite, but then they discover it in human sewage In this time of pandemic camping, there was an intriguing story this week out of California that caught our attention. Yosemite National Park is open to visitors, regular testing of employees and residents shows no one has tested positive for COVID-19, and no visitors have reported back as positive. Seems a safe place to go, right? Well, apparently a company that is checking human raw sewage for the virus found COVID-19 in the waste. The company estimated between June 30 and July 6, about 170 infected people were at the El Portal stop, while just a few were at Wawona. The science is still developing, and being outside and away from crowds is still considered a relatively safe activity, but this adds to our belief that using the facilities in your RV is still the safest thing to do. Black bear bites woman, child, in Yellowstone backcountry then eats their food A black bear bit a woman and a child at Yellowstone National Park last week after entering a campsite shared by five backpackers in search of food. The woman and child were outside their tents and the bear walked right up to them, bit them, then went to their food which was under a storage pole but not yet hung up. When rangers arrived, the bear was still eating the campers' food, so the bear was killed. The bear bit the woman in her arm and head and bit the child's hand. Both received bruises and minor cuts. Rangers, again, urged visitors to carry bear spray. Here is an article we did on how to camp safely in bear country - we've shared it before, but believe it is worth sharing again. Woman chased by a bison at Yellowstone trips, falls, plays dead and survives encounter without injury Speaking of Yellowstone, did you see the video of the woman who was being charged by a bison, tripped and fell, played dead, and survived the encounter without a scratch? Apparently, the woman and another person got too close to the wild creature so it charged. The woman tripped and fell when running and once down, she played dead. The charging bison came to an abrupt stop spent a few seconds sniffing the woman – who lay there motionless -  and then ambled away. The woman then got up, apparently unharmed. It was all caught on cellphone video and as is clear, too many people were too close to the bison.  Click here to see. Man transforms jet engine into camping trailer We've all seen pictures, and may even have, a do-it-yourself van transformed into a camper. But have you ever heard of anyone transforming a jet engine into a camping traile? A British man did just that. He bought a decommissioned VC10 jet engine from a scrap yard and started tinkering. The engine is 13 feet long. He flattened the bottom so it could attach to a chassis, then meticulously went about taking things apart and building them back up while installing a sink, twin burners, cabinets, and a lounge-dining area that coverts to beds. The story and pictures can be seen here. Because of corona virus, the man and his family have not gone camping in it yet but hope to soon.   In this summer of pandemic camping, remember to check ahead New Mexico state parks campgrounds are the only ones ...
With travel restrictions looming again, here's our best take on what RV travel looks like for the rest of the year. As COVID-19 raises its ugly head again with more infections and hospitalizations, things that once were opening are closing again. This week on the RV Podcast Episode 303, we offer straight talk about what the rest of the year may look like for RVers. Plus we have an interview about an interesting place where RVers can go to get their RVs renovated called RV Renovation Camp. We also have lots of RV News, tips, an off the beaten path report from the Burketts, and much more all coming up in Episode 303 of the RV Podcast. Show Notes for Episode #303 July 15, 2020 of The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK We’re still in Michigan and will likely stay here through fall. And while we think there will be lots of opportunities for short trips in and around the Great Lakes Region, long-distance, cross-country travel for us has been put on hold as the nation tries to figure out what to do as COVID-19 infection rates have shot upwards again.  What had been an encouraging downwards trend in early summer, has now been reversed to where we are now seeing record infection rates in many places, more hospitalizations, and rising deaths. In other words, just when you thought it was okay to start traveling again, we’re seeing the virus rapidly spreading and many states contemplating shutdowns again. So let's talk about what RV travel looks like for the rest of the year: In our opinion, it’s not good. Just today, Elkhart Open House, the mega event put on every fall by the RV manufacturers to jumpstart business for dealers and suppliers, was canceled for this year. That event has probably become the most important venue for the RV industry and canceling it shows just how serious the industry sees the new spike in invections. We don’t have a crystal ball. We’re not privy to any inside information. But since the end of February, the newsman in me has kept careful track of what is happening with this horrible illness and I think there are several things happening that will adversely affect the RV Lifestyle. Hopefully, what’s unfolding and developing now will not result in total nationwide shutdowns like most of us experienced in March and April. But I don’t think there is any doubt that it's getting worse rather than better. Will you still be able to travel in your RV? Yes, I think so, certainly more than you were able to this past spring but, sadly, I fear, not as much as you perhaps would like to. Here are seven things that I think will  shape what RV travel looks like for the rest of the year There will be more campgrounds, state parks, and national parks either closing to out of state campers, shutting down entirely, or limiting the number of visitors. We have some examples of that happening even now coming up in the News of the week segment but expect more quarantines and in some places, like California, parts of Texas and other states, to be more severely impacted by COVID and actively tell visitors that they are not welcome the rest of the summer and ell into the fall. What campgrounds that remain open will be more crowded. That’s a given. With all the new RVers out there, camping space is already at a premium in many places. If campgrounds now open start closing again, those that are still open will be putting out the “no vacancy” signs a lot sooner than normal. RV manufacturers will once again have to wrestle with the decision to shut down their assembly lines to stop the spread of the virus. Same with RV parts manufacturers. If shutdowns happen the ripple effect will immediately be felt through all segments of the industry. It may be booming now because so many people bought new RVs for much-needed vacations once the economy started to reopen in May and June. But if the COVID rates keep rising – as most health experts predict – the industry is going to be hit with a...
In this jampacked 302nd Episode of the RV Podcast: We’ll learn about a handy RV toll road pass. We’ll also share the most important questions you should ask when taking possession of a new RV and we’ll report the RV News of the week during these very challenging times. Here’s a player to the audio version of this RV Podcast episode. You can also listen to the RV Podcast on your favorite podcast app.  A full article with links, transcripts, photos, and other resources follows: Show Notes for Episode #302 July 8, 2020 of The RV Podcast WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK   Mike and Jennifer Hi Fellow Travelers and welcome to Episode 302 of the RV Podcast. And we have a lot of ground to cover this week. So I want to remind you that you can follow a text version of this podcast, with all the links and resources we share, on our shownotes page on our RV Lifestyle Travel Blog at rvlifestyle.com/302.. just go there.rvlifestyle.com/302 and you’ll find a full outline and transcript. First off, let me welcome back my lifelong traveling companion, the bride of my youth and my cohost.. .Jennifer. We share the latest… Jen is on the mend, though still has to watch talking too much so she doesn’t cough We were tested and we do not have COVID-19. We learned that doctors are seeing a spike in blood pressure problems they blame on the COVID disruptions – the Three S’s of too much Salt, too much Stress and not enough Sleep. We are taking time setting up the new RV Travel plans are still up in the air as renewed shutdowns, cancellations and hints of travel restrictions are once again bringing disruption to everyone’s RV Lifestyle On a positive note, we are very excited to report that we finally have our RV Lifestyle OFFICIAL Pinterest account up and running! For those of you who LOVE Pinterest - please Follow us and Share our posts about the RV Lifestyle. You can find us at https://www.pinterest.com/rvlifestylemike/ AND we are starting to create Pinterest-ready images over on our blog so when you Pin from our site the images are BIG and beautiful. Thank you for supporting a fun way for people to find us and what we have to offer RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK Woman gored by Yellowstone bison after getting too close for a picture A woman was gored by a bison at Yellowstone National Park last week after she got too close to the massive animal while taking its picture. The woman, from California, was tossed 10-15 feet in the air, and when she stood, was attacked again. She was taking the picture near her Bridge Bay Campground campsite, and ended up being flown to a hospital for treatment. The woman was reportedly within 10 feet of the animal, causing it to feel threatened. When a wild bison feels threatened it will snort, paw the ground, bob its head, lift its tail. Rangers recommend visitors stay at least 25 feet away. California RV Show the latest big show to cancel because of COVID-19 The California RV Show is the latest casualty of COVID-19 cancelations, with organizers announcing several days ago that the show, which typically runs in early October, is off. The California RV Show is one of our favorites, attracting about 45,000 visitors. Click here to see our review of last year's show and why it is so important to the industry and consumers.. Woman taking pictures at Grand Canyon slips, falls to her death An Arizona woman fell to her death at the Grand Canyon last weekend. The woman, 59, was off trail, when she slipped and fell 100 feet while taking pictures. The woman was near Mather Point.  Three people hospitalized with severe injuries after their campfire exploded Three people were hospitalized with severe burns, including a 7-year-old, after their campfire exploded last Saturday night in Ontario, Canada. Apparently a propane cylinder was buried in their campfire pit, and it exploded when a campfire was set, causing severe injuries to those around it.
This week on the RV Podcast, we give you inside tips on how to sell your RV. Don't get low balled from a dealer that offers to buy it or take it in as a trade-in. Sell it yourself! We did and the process couldn't have gone more smoothly. And in the process, we learned a lot that literally saved us tens of thousands of dollars when it came time to sell our RV so we could buy a new one. This week in Episode 301 of the RV Podcast, we share our personal experience in selling our RV (we did so just last week), introduce you to the couple who bought it, hear from a dealer and learn from an expert at RV Trader how to sell your RV and get the most for your used RVs. Here's a player to the audio version of this RV Podcast episode on how to sell your RV. You can also listen to the RV Podcast on your favorite podcast app.  A full article with links, transcripts, photos, and other resources follows: BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT HOW TO SELL YOUR RV...TWO PROGRAMMING NOTES First a couple of RV Podcast programming notes. I (MIKE) am doing this episode solo this week as Jennifer, my lifelong traveling and the bride of my youth, is feeling a bit under the weather this week and thus, won’t be able to handle her normal co-hosting duties. We’re hoping she’s back next week feeling much better. Secondly, from popular demand, we’re rearranging the order of the various segments of the RV Podcast. We’ll move our Interview of the Week segment up towards the top of each episode, to more quickly get to the key theme of each podcast. The other regular sections will follow the interview. RV PODCAST INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK - How to sell your RV And this week, that theme is how to sell your RV... yourself, instead if trading it in or selling it outright to an RV dealer. As regular listeners know, Jennifer and I bought a brand-new RV last week - a 2021 Wonder Rear Twin Model from Leisure Travel Vans. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be talking a lot about why we changed RVs, why we chose the Ford Transit vs the Mercedes Sprinter chassis and showing videos and photos and doing a full review and walkthrough on the RVLifestyle.com travel blog. We have so much content about that new Wonder to show you that it will take lots of articles and videos. But this week on the RV Podcast and in this article on the RVLifestyle.com travel blog, we talk about how to sell your RV yourself, which we just did with the 2019 Leisure Travel Vans Unity FXa that we have owned for the past year and a half. We change RVs a lot. I want to know as much as possible how the different models handle. Their strengths and weaknesses, so I can speak from experience in our videos and blog articles. There were lots of reasons why we chose the Wonder on the Ford Transit chassis and I have a whole article coming out on that in a could of days. Beware of being low-balled! But obviously, to buy a new one, we had to sell our old one. We thought of simply trading it in at a dealer or selling it to them outright. Many advertise that they are desperate for used RVs and are paying "premium rates" or "top dollar for your trade." When I checked with a couple of dealers who advertise that, it didn’t take long to realize that top dollar to a dealer was not reflective of what our  RV is really worth. The dealers quite simply low balled us. They offered wholesale prices. In our case, almost $30,000 LESS than what we actually sold it for ourselves. Dealers make big money on trade-ins. By low, sell high. You can’t blame them.  But you also can blame us in saying no way. Tip #1 on how to sell your RV - Do your research There is no Kelly Blue Book prices for RVs. But there is something called the NADA RV Guide which stands for the National Automotive Dealers Association. But the NADA Guides – which cover automobiles, motorcycles, boats, classic cars, manufactured homes and RVs – is actually owned by JD Power. They just bought the use of the NADA logo and name for marketing purpos...
This week on the RV Podcast, we share our Top 10 RV Rules for Couples who want to get along in a motorhome! In honor of this being the 300th episode of the RV Podcast, we will share our Top 10 Rules for RV Couples who want to get along in the confined space of an RV. The advice is timeless, especially with so many newcomers coming to the RV world. We also have lots of important RV news this week, plus your RV questions, RV tips, and a fun off the beaten path report from the Burketts. Show Notes for Episode #300 June 24, 2020 of The RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER WENDLAND ARE UP TO THIS WEEK We are back in Michigan! We got back late Friday, just in time for Father’s Day weekend. After six months on the road, I confess it’s nice to be back in our official state of domicile for a few days! On Wednesday, we are scheduled to pick up our brand new RV - a 2021 Leisure Trave Vans Wonder. We'll be videoing and blogging about the big day and our first camping trips. No matter how many times we get a new RV, we can hardly sleep we get so excited. So say tuned. We can't wait to get the keys!  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   RV NEWS OF THE WEEK Senate passes bill that will send billions to national parks for much-needed maintenance, improvements Last week the U.S. Senate passed the "Great American Outdoors Act," a bill described as the most far-reaching conservation law in 40 years, that is expected to send millions of dollars from offshore oil drilling to pay for campgrounds, city parks, trails and more in all 50 states. The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to repair roads, restrooms, trails and campgrounds at the national parks. And it would guarantee $900 million a year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill now heads to the House, where quick passage is expected, President Donald Trump has said he will sign it into law. We will be following this as it looks like great news for America's national parks. Borders between U.S., Canada and Mexico to remain closed for another month to nonessential travel - at least Campers hoping to head to Canada or Mexico anytime soon learned last week that they will have to wait another month after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended the border closure to July 21 because of COVID-19. Borders are closed to nonessential travel, which is what camping is considered, and have been so for months. The order was supposed to lift in June but was extended last week as each nation seeks to limit the spread of the virus. We wrote about how seriously Canadians are taking this last week (click here) and urge you to follow the law, knowing that one day borders will open again. Just yesterday Fellow Traveler Rick Eles sent us a link to a big story on the Canadian Television network explaining how angry Canadians, spotting license pastes from the US at Canadian national parks like Banff, were calling in the Mounties!  And they’ve been writing tickets – at least seven last week – that carry a $1,200 fine. Two women face jail time, fines and ban from Yellowstone for going off-trail and damaging thermal zone Two women who went off trail and damaged the delicate thermal zone at Yellowstone National Park were sentenced last week to jail time, ordered to pay fines, and banned from re-entering the park for two years. The women, from Philadelphia, damaged orange bacteria mats at Opal Pool in the Midway Geyser Basin when they illegally decided to walk off-trail. These mats are made of heat-loving bacteria that give the thermal beds their color and are a primary attraction to the area. To see some pictures of the beauty of Yellowstone, check out this oldie but goodie post we did here. Nine states still report closed or restricted campgrounds, the rest are now open
By Tom & Patti Burkett RV Podcast Off the Beaten Path Reporters This spring our rhubarb plant went out of control.  It sprouted three huge flowering stalks which bent from their own weight and then grew sideways and then up again reminding us of nothing so much as Audrey 2 from the Little Shop of Horrors.  “Feed me!” we imagined her saying as we passed close by.   So Patti got out the clippers and lopped off her offending parts, then most of the leaves (from which she mad rhubarb pudding cake, one of my favorites) and now the plant looks tame indeed. There really are, though, as I’m sure you know, meat-eating plants out there off the beaten path!  The Burketts audio version of this article can be heard on Episode 299 of the RV Podcast. Click the player below and fast forward to about 48:27 to hear them:  Most of the carnivorous plants subsist on insects, but they do score an occasional worm, small frog, or even an unwary lizard.  You go, plants!  These carnivorous plants are specialized for growing in low nitrogen soil.  Inasmuch as nitrogen is a primary plant nutrient, what the soil lacks is gathered from the surrounding area by attractive nectar and aromas.  You can find pitcher plants in any bog around North America, tucked among the sphagnum moss and lady’s slippers. Off the Beaten Path to the world of flesh-eating plants The Burketts take us off the beaten path in this RV Podcast report about man-eating plants But if you want to get a good look at the stars of the meat-eating plant world, you’ll have to head off the beaten path to the Carolinas on the east coast or California and Oregon in the west.   The Cape Fear area of North Carolina is in the heart of flytrap country, and it was here that Stanley Rehder grew up, first helping his grandmother sell flowers from her yard to visitors on their way to a nearby cemetery and, later, at his father’s wholesale and retail florist business.  He earned a degree in horticulture from NC State University. Stanley fell in love with carnivorous plants and spent his career studying and promoting them.  He appeared on “Good Morning, America”, and "That’s Incredible,” and was interviewed by Barbara Walters on the “Today” show, always with plant in hand to explain its unique features.   He found a boggy off the beaten path area behind a local elementary school and began to transplant and culture his favorite specimens.   When Rehder passed away in 2012, the area was designated as a preserve in his name. When you’re driving US 17 (one of our favorite off the beaten path broads) along the East coast, turn off on Independence Boulevard in Wilmington, North Carolina and drive a few blocks south to the Piney Ridge Nature Preserve.   A paved path and boardwalk will take you back into the garden, where a surprising variety of plants grow in the bog, and some are cultivated in planters right on the boardwalk so visitors can have an up-close and personal look.   Carolina Beach State Park, a few miles south, also has a flytrap trail that winds through a bog with many pitcher plants and bladderworts.  Off the beaten path carnivorous plants out west There's another off the beaten path spot to observe more meat-eating plants just north of Florence, Oregon. Look for the Darlingtonia wayside stop, where a paved trail will take you into a bog where you can see the cobra plant, which looks just like its namesake, waving above the peat.   Stanley, the flytrap man we talked about above, may be gone, but thanks to his effort and foresight, we can all have a look at some rare and beautiful (if just a touch scary) plants, out here.... off the beaten path. Subscribe to the RV Podcast on your favorite app downloaded from the app store. New episodes come out every week! Get more off the beaten path RV travel ideas, tips, news, and perks! Each Monday we publish our RV Lifestyle Newsletter, where we share weekly articles about RV travel that inspire and inform.
We love our RV air conditioner…except when it’s really hot and we’re boondocking or moochdocking and we don’t have enough RV battery power to run it. That's where SoftStartRV comes in. This week on the RV Podcast we dig deeply into RV battery and power management challenges faced by those who enjoy off-the-grid boondocking or moochdocking (camping in the driveways of friends and relatives) and want to run their RV air conditioner. Our guest in the RV Podcast interview segment is a top RV electrical expert who breaks down our power needs and tells us about a way we can run those RV air conditioners under low power with a device called SoftStartRV. Plus, we have RV news of the week… we answer a question on why we’re getting a new Rv in a couple of weeks ...and Tom and Patti Burkett stop by with a great off the beaten path report. RV PODCAST UPDATE ON WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK Mike & Jennifer Wendland, hosts of the RV Podcast..this week we talk about RV battery issues, a product called SoftStartRV and boondocking and moochdocking This episode comes from the road… We’re in Jacksonville, FL, staying at Hanna Park on the Atlantic, just east of town. We share what we’re doing here and look forward to our travel to Michigan next week and, at the end of the month, our purchase of a new RV… the 2021 Wonder by Leisure Travel Vans, built on the new Ford Transit chassis. We’ll share the reasons we’re making the switch when we answer one of our listener questions coming up in a few minutes, RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK If traveling to Alaska, expect to take COVID-19 test If you are thinking of visiting Alaska this summer, the state now requires a COVID-19 test before t]raveling around the state. The new rules took effect Saturday. The COVID-19 test is required within 72 hours before flying into Alaska. But, if you are unable to do that for some reason, or you are driving there, you will need to quarantine at your own expense for 14 days once you arrive or take a COVID-19 test at the airport and quarantine until the results are back. You may not quarantine in an RV, and you may not go out for groceries or anything other than medical care during this time. We recently interviewed someone about ways to get your RV to Alaska while the Canadian border is closed (click here) and wanted to share this, too. For the complete list of Alaska rules, click here. President Trump and the first lady hitting the road in an RV? Well, that's what he said At a press conference last weekend about the economy starting to rebound after COVID-19, President Donald Trump said he might get an RV, and head to upstate NY with the first lady. While that off-the-cuff comment may have drawn the headlines, we have to reiterate it again - LOTS of newbies are buying and renting RVs right now. They are making travel plans to camp because of COVID-19 safety concerns about airplanes, cruises, and hotel rooms. To see more about why many say this is the year of the RV, click here.   Here is a new one: Man buys an Airstream trailer for studio office during quarantine Speaking of newbies, we saw a story last week out of California about a man in the Silicon Valley who bought a 22-foot Airstream trailer for his office. He parked it in his yard,and set it up to be his office with a souped up conference table. The trailer, on a 30-year-loan, costs $370 a month, is a deductible business expense, and he can sell it when he is done. This is the first time we have seen a story of someone buying a camper for zoom calls, but in these times, we see how it makes sense! More campgrounds continue to open, but check before you go  Again, more and more states are starting to permit camping. California is expected to start opening campgrounds June 12, Wisconsin state parks are open today, June 10, Oregon opened more campgrounds yesterday, June 9 ,while other states, like Michigan, remain closed for a few more weeks.  As always,
Your summer RV Trip faces unprecedented challenges this year. We’re still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Camping and non-essential travel is restricted in many places. Dangerous riots have erupted across America in every major city and in many smaller ones. The Canadian border is closed. There are safety concerns, financial concerns, and seemingly a new crisis every day. This week in the RV Podcast, we talk about those summer RV trip challenges and how you can make your RV travel as safe and satisfying as possible, given the very unusual circumstances under which we now find ourselves in the summer of 2020. Hello everyone and welcome to episode 297 of the RV Podcast. We have a lot to talk about this week. We have RV news, your questions, an interview about how you can get around those summer RV trip challenges, and get your RV to Alaska by ship, plus RV tips and suggestions. Shownotes for Episode #297 June 3, 2020 of The RV Podcast: RV Podcast: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK This is Mike and Jen at Bryce Canyon National Park...one of their favorite summer RV trip destinations What tumultuous times we live in. Last week, as we finally started to move out of the national lockdowns from the coronavirus pandemic, we were saying who could have seen such a terrible thing. This week, we look at the wave of terrible riots and violence sweeping the country in the wake of the protests over police brutality and the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and we say who could have seen such destruction and pain. This podcast is about the RV lifestyle but we certainly have to acknowledge the terrible times we are living through. Jennifer and I are people of faith and optimistic by nature and we know many of you Fellow Travelers are the same and join us in prayer for our nation. None of us know what is next. But at the same time, we believe we can move forward when it comes to summer RV trip plans but we have to do so recognizing the challenges we face. This will be a summer like no other we have expected. As this episode of the RV Podcast releases, we’re still in Florida on Okaloosa Island. We’re planning a getaway camping trip next weekend and then, the week after, barring the unexpected – which is certainly happening a lot this year – we plan to leave Florida after almost six months and head to our home in Michigan. We have lots of RV travel plans for late June and July and beyond but if we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that those plans have to be flexible. RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK - Summer RV Trip challenges Judge denies request to lift mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors as court challenge works way through courts As we talk here on the RV Podcast about summer RV trip challenges, let’s start in Maine, where a federal judge has upheld the governor of Maine's requirement that all out-of-state visitors be quarantined for 14 days when entering the state. Two campgrounds were among several small businesses that filed a federal lawsuit saying the quarantine is unconstitutional for discriminating against out-of-towners. The governor permits Maine residents to go camping, but out-of-towners must be quarantined for 14 days before they can travel about. The small businesses, heavily dependent upon tourism, said this order was hurting them financially and sought a preliminary injunction to lift the order as their lawsuit works its way through the legal process. While the injunction was not granted, the case is still in the early stages. We'll keep you informed when we hear more. One in four Americans interested in doing some sort of RV camping trip in next year, according to report That’s just one of the summer RV trip challenges this year. But despite the many concerns, one in four Americans plan to take some sort of RV trip in the next 12 months according to a survey released last week from the RV Industry Association.
The RV Lifestyle and camping looks different than it does before the lockdown but on this episode of the RV Podcast we have lots of news about the RV Lifestyle resuming. People are out and about in their RVs, and we’re going to report on the RV Podcast about what’s open for camping, what’s not and how RVers are finally setting out once again after a very active Memorial Day weekend that saw many campers getting out there for the first time in months. We’ll have the latest…plus RV tips, an off the beaten path trip idea and an in-depth look at Care Camps, one of the most inspirational places on earth and one that shares the joy and excitement of camping with those who need it the most. All that and much, much more in this, episode 296 of the RV Podcast. Click the player below to listen. Show Notes for Episode #296 May 27, 2020 of The RV Podcast: Mike & Jennifer Wendland, hosts of the RV Podcast RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK Rocky Mountain National Park seeking approval to limit visitors to those who reserve a time Let's start with what potentially may be one of the most controversial changes to the way we visit National Parks that have ever been considered. Rocky Mountain National Park has proposed having all park visitors sign up in advance for a time to enter the park in a move to promote social distancing. If approved, the advanced sign up is estimated to reduce visitors by 40 percent, and hopefully eliminate confusion visitors may feel wondering if they will get in on a particular day or not. This will likely be tried by other National Parks as they almost all are exploring different ways to limit the number of daily visitors. We predict this will be approved, by the National Parks Service and will most likely go into effect over the summer. Experts rank COVID-19 infection risk by activities, including camping As states begin to open up from COVID-19 restrictions (some more quickly than others), we're faced with a new list of considerations. Is it safe to swim? Hike on a busy trail? And what about camping? We found a report by NPR this weekend that runs these questions by experts and we're pleased to report that the risk of catching COVID-19 from a camping trip is low. (click here to see the details.)  Border closure between Canada and the USA extended, hints of significant changes should it reopen this travel season If you are hoping to cross the Canada/ USA border for a camping trip - or a road trip to Alaska - anytime in the immediate future, we have some bad news. The ban on non-essential travel between the two nations was extended to June 21 last week. And we’re also hearing from several sources that if the border does open for nonessential travel in late June, there might be new requirements for all who enter Canada - such as quarantines for some travelers. This is being watched closely by US RVers who want to visit places like the Canadian Rockies or pass through Canada on the way north to Alaska. And of course, many Canadians plan RV visits to the US. There is a tremendous amount of confusion about this right now and lots of pressure on the two governments to open up. We’ll keep you informed. More campgrounds continue to open, but check before you go  As we noted, lots of RVers went camping this past weekend. Several stories out over the weekend told of campgrounds with closed showers, campsites being filled with every other site left open. Mist private campgrounds were open, some state parks were only open to in-state residents and some state parks, like Michigan, remain totally closed. But the good news is that in most places, you could find open places to camp and more are opening u each day.  As always, if you are heading out, we can't stress enough, check ahead to see what is open. Every state is different and Campendium is keeping daily updates you can access by clicking here. Bison at Yellowstone National Park charges, injures woman who got too close
RV sales are booming these days like we haven’t seen in years.  But knowing the ins and outs RV financing and RV loans can be a daunting task. With the economy taking a big hit because of COVID-19, you may have heard interest rates are at an all-time low. That may be true for home mortgages but it sure isn’t for RV financing rates for RV loans. So, this week in our interview of the week segment (scroll down), we talk to an expert on getting  RV loans and RV financing. We’ll talk about what’s involved in getting new RV loans and how existing RV loans can be refinanced to save you big money. Plus, we have lots of RV news, tips, questions, and an off the beaten path report for you… all coming up in Episode 295 of the RV Podcast. Click the play button below to hear this episode of the RV Podcast. The interview about RV Financing and RV loans is about 20:25 into the podcast.   Here's the RV Podcast Show Notes for Episode #295, released on  May 20, 2020  WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK There’s lots of news this week about the different parts of the country opening up. Many states are now well into phased reopenings, with non-essential travel being allowed again and state and national parks and campgrounds once again being opened. One piece of bad news, though, has to do with RV travel to and from the US and Canada. The border remains closed. Officials announced yesterday that it will stay shut to all no essential travel at least until June 21. That is a long time. It’s been shut since March and a lot of RVers on both sides of the border are naturally very disappointed. Down here along the panhandle of Florida, the area known as the Emerald Coast because of the blue-green color of the water, things are very close to the normal we had back in early March. Most businesses are open, limited to 50% of their capacity. And while social distancing is the new norm, people are acting responsibly. The private RV parks are open. Hotels are open and busy and short-term rentals of condos for vacations are once again allowed We plan to stay down here for another few weeks. And yes, we will continue our Friday night virtual campfire and Happy Hour at 7 PM Friday nights on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel. These are in addition to our Sunday night Ask Us Anything live streams as well. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK KOA campgrounds see reservations rise and expect the trend to continue Interesting story out of Forbes last week with Kampgrounds of America. The network of privately owned campgrounds in the United States and Canada reports that bookings started to outpace cancellations in mid-April so much that today reservations for July and August are only 15 percent below last year's numbers. KOA conducted its own research and found 4 in 10 campers are still planning to take their planned trips this summer, and leisure travelers who camp, and had plans canceled, are planning to replace original plans with a camping trip.As crowds soon return to national parks, rangers concerned about the impact on wildlife Rangers preparing to reopen parts of the national parks are expressing concern about the safety of wildlife when people return. Animals throughout the national park system have relaxed as people have vanished, venturing into places they wouldn't normally dare go. At Joshua Tree National Park a ranger discovered an endangered tortoise sunning himself in the middle of what is normally the park's busiest road. Yellowstone's elk - which can get quite testy after their babies are born - are able to not worry about people getting too close. And at Yosemite, bear have been spotted in meadows near California’s Yosemite Valley Visitor Center - not to mention the many parks spotting coyotes and other animals in their parking lots.  Americans expected to stay home for kick-off of summer, AAA not issuing travel report This Friday is Memorial Day weekend, what many consider the official kick-off for summer.
Curious about Harvest Hosts? Here's our ultimate Harvest Host review featuring a podcast interview and videos of what you can expect at a Harvest Host location. By now, everyone's heard of Harvest Hosts, that awesome membership service that lets RVers stay overnight for free at leading wineries, farms, golf courses, and tourist attractions. But it's time for a Harvest Hosts Review in which we tell you - from our first-hand experience and an interview with Joel Holland, the CEO of Harvest Hosts - just what to expect. Click this link and use the code HHFriends15 for 15% off the $79 membership:  https://rvlifestyle.com/hh Joel was our special guest in Episode 294 or the RV Podcast. He gives us a Harvest Host Review from his perspective, talking about new locations, what hosts are open during the COVID-19 restrictions, and why Harvest Hosts has become so popular with RVers. RV Podcast Harvest Host Review from RV Podcast Episode 294 Here's the podcast episode with the  Harvest Host review featuring Joel... just click the arrow to listen right now on your computer or smartphone, or download it for later review. You can also hear it on your favorite podcast app or player like iTunes, Stitcher, TunedIn or Spotify. Joel's interview is about 17:24 in. But we invite you to listen to the entire podcast from start to finish. Then, Jennifer and I want to share our own Harvest Hosts review, showing you from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel videos exactly what to expect. Harvest Host Review videos Here's the first Harvest Host review video we did. Honestly, Harvest Hosts locations are our favorite place to stay.  It's a membership site that offers free overnight camping all across North America. How does it work? Check out this Harvest Host review video to see some of the unique places we visited.   0 Comments in moderatio Here is another Harvest Hosts review video we did that shows you three more spots.  Okay, now the good news. Of you listened to the podcast, you've heard the CEO and seen our videos of what to expect with our Harvest Host Review videos. Now here is the best part: We can save you money! If you join with our link - you get 15% off so you'll pay just $63/year for your annual membership.  Using this link and the discount code: HHFriends15 you save get 15% off Harvest Hosts annual membership of $79. This is a still photo from one of our Harvest Host review videos taken in the Finger Lakes region of New York. We were camping at the Heron Hill winery as Harvest Host guests Harvest Host locations across North America We covered much more in this podcast besides the Harvest Hosts review. Here's the rest of what we talked about: WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK The RV Lifestyle can be quite daunting, especially when you are just starting out. We've heard from a lot of new RVers over these past several weeks during the lockdown, especially women who will be traveling with husbands of significant others, seeking some newbie advice. Some of those women aren't quite as enthusiastic about the RV Lifestyle as their traveling companion, It's not that they don't want to RV. They just have some basic questions and are seeking advice on how to adjust and handle things as they start traveling in their RV. So this week, Jennifer has put a lot of time and effort into writing a very detailed article on our RV Lifestyle blog, offering up helpful advice to RV women newbies. It's filled with lots of tips, links to how-to videos, and other resources. We think this free article will greatly ease those newbie jitters as it answers many of those basic beginning questions women have. Men will find helpful info in this article, too, But this one is clearly aimed at women. I plan to do a similar article aimed at men for next week.  To read Jennifer's article offering Helpful NewbIe RV Advice: Just for Women, CLICK HERE. RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK
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Comments (5)

Mark Cousino

love that idea about renting

Jan 11th
Reply

RV Road Trip Around the World

You 2 together put out on a consistent basis the BEST RVing podcasts, and YouTube videos, for the newbee (myself) as well as for the experienced RVer who wants to know what is up in RVing today. Thank you both for a great job (you have the only podcast that I consistently have listened to over the last couple of years, and each time I think maybe this week I will miss it, once I read the subject title, I find that I just have to listen to your show. Even your sponsors are good, as a new RVer, and veteran, who recently had my back injured doing my job and so now have become handicapped in terms of walking or standing, I will definitely be getting myself the foldaway electrically powered/assisted bicycle advertised during your podcast, so as to be able to get around camp, and even tourist spots. Not only is the manufacturer the one that you speak of as sponsoring your podcast show, but you reviewed their bikes in one of your YouTube videos which was extremely helpful (I recommend all your listeners consider going to view that video by going to your channel!) So thank you there again, for making me aware that these products exist, and actually by the same allowing me to enjoy RVing, otherwise practically impossible for me! Happy and Safe travels to you both! God bless!

Apr 5th
Reply

12am

This is not how to get an "rv education"

Sep 26th
Reply

12am

this show needs some serious work. it's really not all that good.

Sep 26th
Reply

Amy Adson

Mike. love the podcast...heard the lady's question about the older travel trailer and power..if you wanted to there is another podcast or group.. girl camper, is the name who have alot of the older trailers, they might could help the lady figure something out

Aug 1st
Reply
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