Episode 178: The Unwritten Rules of the RV Lifestyle

There is a certain etiquette and behavior standard that RV owners are expected to adhere to. The problem is, many of the key tenants of that etiquette are learned through experience. Many are unwritten and usually learned through trial and error. We're going to help you avoid the errors by sharing 10 of those unwritten rules of the road and how to camp.

Plus we have lots of listener questions, some great tips, a traveling tech report and an off the beaten path restaurant destination that believes if a little food is good, a lot of food is even better.

Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

Show Notes for Episode #178 Feb. 7, 2018 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:


Mike and Jennifer

We come to you this week from sunny Okaloosa Island, on Florida’s Emerald Coast, where we’ll be spending the next couple of months, except for the long list of side trips we plan up and down the Florida peninsula and across the Gulf Coast.

We both celebrate our birthdays in the week ahead. Mike’s is Thursday Feb 8, Jennifer’s Monday Feb. 12.

One of those sidetrips will be this coming weekend. Sunday, Feb. 11, we will be at the Jacksonville RV Show in Jacksonville, FL. The show is being held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center at 13611 Normandy Boulevard in Jacksonville. We’ll be hanging out with the folks at Sunshine State RVs and we’re planning to do a Facebook Live report from the show Sunday afternoon.

Another sidetrip starts February, 12. We’ll be at Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, FL for a Roadtreking gathering with lots of other RVers. We’ll be kayaking and snorkeling with the manatees, as well as taking boat tours of the area. We’ll have live reports from there next week but this gathering sold out within two ours after we announced it last summer.

This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing


We love sitting around a campfire. But, like a lot of people, we are not big fans of the smoke and mess that comes with a traditional campfire. That smoky smell permeates or clothes and even our hair and it can be quite unpleasant.

Mark Fawcett (left) and friends gathered around his portable propane firepit at our annual winter campout in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

On a recent campout in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we spent some time around Mark Fawcett’s campfire. Mark is from the Minneapolis area and he was using a portable firepit that uses propane and did an excellent job in keeping us warm while providing all the ambiance of a traditional campfire.

The name of the firepit Mark has is the Outland Firebowl Model 870 Premium Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit. It comes with a Cover & Carry Kit and measures 19-Inches in Diameter , making it easy to store in the back of an RV. And we can attest to how warm and pleasant it is to sit around.

To see it yourself, here is the direct Amazon link – amzn.to/2BZqWa8

And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

I love hearing from you!

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping


  • Alexios just bought a used Class C motorhome and wants to replace the flooring. He asks what’s best – a floating floor or a glue down?
  • Jim wants to visit our gathering in Manatee Springs next week
  • Beverly asks about bringing a printer along in an RV
  • Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..


There is a certain etiquette and behavior standard that RV owners are expected to adhere to. The problem is, many of the key tenants of that etiquette are learned through experience. Many are unwritten and usually learned through trial and error. We're going to help you avoid the errors by sharing 10 of those unwritten rules of the road and how to camp.

Here’s a video version of this report:

The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country


Steve Van Dinter

By Steve Van Dinter
Verizon Wireless

February is a month devoted to the heart in every sense. We don red throughout in support of National Heart Month and warm the hearts of those we cherish with special gifts for Valentine’s Day. And like other parts of our lives, tech now plays a role in both helping keep us healthy and also making a special night more memorable.

Looking to set the mood for a romantic night in? The Google Home Max is the perfect companion. With its built in Google Assistant, you can use it to walk you step by step through recipes of your date’s favorite meal. It’ll play your favorite love song simply by asking for it by name. And after dinner, it’ll help you watch your favorite romantic comedy. All you need to do is say, “Hey Google, play Sleepless in Seattle on the living room TV” (provided you have a Google Chromecast Ultra plugged in to your TV).

It's said that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but only if you can actually find that picture! In today's digital world, keeping track of the 1,000's of photos taken every year can be a challenge in itself. So when you snap a photo this Valentine's Day and want to cherish it, use the Lifeprint Photo and Video Printer.

In today's world it can be tough to stay connected and look good while doing it. But when you've got the Fossil Q Accomplice Hybrid, you don't have to worry. This smartwatch features Fossil's thinnest design. And because it's a smartwatch hybrid you get all of the notifications without the battery drain – in fact the watch lasts for 6 months without needing a charge!

Did you know that nearly 9 in 10 New Year's resolutions don't stick?! This year, let's change that and use motivation from the Apple Watch LTE to help! Have it walk you through a workout in the gym, or keep track of your heart rate and distance traveled while on a run. And with LTE built in, you can stream Apple Music to your bluetooth headphones and leave your phone at home!

And finally if you are getting out and about more, you'll want to keep that phone protected. And with the Case-Mate Waterfall Case you'll glitter and shimmer every time you pull it out.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT – Tony’s Restaurant, Birch Run, MI [57:14]

By Tom and Patti Burkett

One of the pleasures, and occasional challenges, of traveling away from the main routes is finding a good local restaurant.  Forty years ago, around the time we got married, Patti gave me a copy of the first edition of Jane & Michael Stern’s book Roadfood.  It’s a listing, with a few details, of great, mostly inexpensive food joints within a few miles of our country’s most traveled interstates.  The book went through numerous editions, each one thicker than the last, until it finally became a website.  We’ve had the pleasure of adding to the collection several times over the years, and one of our favorite contributions is a diner in Birch Run, Michigan, just off interstate 75.

Whenever we travel to the upper peninsula, as we did recently for the Roadtrek winter freezeout, we pull off for a meal.  It’s always best if it’s breakfast, and on this trip we spent the night in the parking lot of the nearby Meijer store.  The Meijer parking lot is quiet, the staff is friendly, and the doors are open 24 hours.  And Tony’s is just a few hundred yards down the road.  The menu looks like a tabloid newspaper, and you’re encouraged to take it with you.  Tony’s has a lot of tasty offerings, but they’re best known for bacon.  Ridiculous amounts of bacon.  Their BLT has a pound of fried meat, and I don’t know anyone who can get their mouth around it.

Tony's BLT has over a pound of bacon!

We asked for a cheese omelet and an order of bacon to share.  The omelet is made with at least a dozen eggs and a half pound of cheese, and comes with two thick slabs of toasted Italian bread, made in-house every day.  Loaves of it are offered for sale at the counter, and it goes out the door by the sackful.  Looking forward to a weekend of visiting, we also brought in a half gallon thermos.  They filled it with coffee without batting an eye, and at no charge.  We took most of the bacon away in a carry out box, ate two more meals off it, and served it with biscuits to the early risers in the campground on Sunday morning.  There’s still a little of it in the fridge.

Tony’s has been in business for nearly seventy years here.  They serve eleven thousand pound of bacon a week.  That’s right, five and a half tons.  That same amount of hash browns will hit the plates in a weekend.  Their desserts are as legendary as their bacon, with slices of pie that weigh in at a pound and a half, and a banana split that can serve a table of eight.  And just in case, they give you a handful of candy on your way out the door—wouldn’t want you to leave hungry.

Patti and the dozen-egg omelet with a little bacon on the side

Roadfood finds are great fun.  They give you something to look forward to when traveling in a particular part of the country.  Like the throwed rolls at Lambert’s in Sikeston, Missouri or the foot high pie at the Crystal Cafe in South Sioux City, Nebraska, Tony’s lives up to its legend at every visit.  And just like that granddad catfish lurking in the bottom of every farm pond, you know there’s another one out there waiting to be discovered.  We’ll happily keep looking, and we’ll look for you, too, asking for just one more cup of coffee, at a booth in the corner, somewhere off the beaten path.

This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

RV Shows this weekend [1:02:43] 

Detroit Camper & RV Show

February 7-11

Suburban Showcase Collection

Novi, MI

Houston RV Show

February 7-11

Reliant Center

Houston, TX

Colorado Springs RV & Outdoor Show

February 8-10

Altered Reality Event Center

Colorado Springs, CO

Edmonton RV Expo & Sale

February 8-11

Edmonton Expo Centre

Edmonton, Alberta

Erie RV Show Powersports &  Camping

February 8-11

Bayfront Convention Center

Erie, PA

Jacksonville RV Show

February 8-11

Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Jacksonville, FL

La Crosse Boat, Sports, Travel, RV & Hunting Show

February 8-11

La Crosse Center

La Crosse, WI

Oregon State Salem Spring RV Show

February 8-11

Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

Salem, OR

Seattle RV Show

February 8-11

Quest Field & Event Center

Seattle, WA

Arkansas RV Show

February 9-11

Statehouse Convention Center

Little Rock, AR

Cedar Rapids Sportshow

February 9-11

Hawkeye Downs Expo Center

Cedar Rapids, IA

Lawton RV, Boat & Outdoor Leisure Show

February 9-11

Commanche County Fairgrounds

Lawton, OK

Midessa Boat, RV, Sport & Gun Show

February 9-11

Ector County Coliseum

Odessa, TX

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV Vacation & Camping Show

February 9-11

Minneapolis Convention Center

Minneapolis, MN

Montana RV & Boat Show

February 9-11

Four Seasons Arena

Great Falls, MT

Ottawa RV Expo & Sale

February 9-11

EY Centre

Ottawa, ON

Richmond Camping RV Expo

February 9-11

Richmond International Raceway

Richmond, VA

St. Cloud Sportsmen's Boat, Camping & Vacation Show

Feb. 9-11

St. Cloud Civic Center

St. Cloud, MN

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