Episode 82: How to always find the right campsite

The RV community is on the move. Spring vacations, returning snowbirds and the new travel season is making many think about where to camp, where to overnight and how to get just the right spot. So this week, we talk to the guy who literally wrote the app on all that, Adam Longfellow from AllStays, the Net’s most respected RV and camping website and app.

AllStays just came on as one of our Roadtreking RV Podcast sponsors. But as I’ve gotten to know Adam, I realized how much helpful information he personally has to share with us all. So I asked him to come on this week and offer up some tips for finding just the right spot to spend the night in our RV. You’ll find his suggestions below in the off The Beaten Path report section.

That’s just one part of a jam-packed podcast for you this week!

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Show Notes for Episode #82 April 6, 2016 of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

JENNIFER’S TIP OF THE WEEK – The portable chairs we take

One of the most asked questions we get has to do with the portable chairs we carry around with us in our RV for outside seating.

We carry four of them.

Two of them are the Pico Telescoping Directors Chair. They were the very first accessories we bought for our Roadtrek when we were just starting out in 2012. Mike selected them because of how small they are. Each chair folds down to size of a laptop. They are made of breathable nylon mesh and polyester fabric and have scratch free nylon-coated feet. And they have a beverage holder and a side pocket.

chairsThey set up and become regular-sized outdoor arm chairs. They are probably the first thing we bring out when we set up camp. And, yes, they are surprisingly comfortable.

We know a lot of fellow Roadterkers have also bought them after seeing ours, so we are obviously not alone in liking these chairs, despite the fact that, at about $100 each, they are certainly on the expensive side. The high cost is no doubt because of the way they telescope down so small.

There are two more chairs we also now carry in our RV.

They are Zero Gravity Reclining chairs, typically sold for around pools and patios.Mike and I call them out “look at the sky chairs” because they let you recline way back.

They take up quite a bit of room. We are able to fit them in the back of our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL but on our other RVs, they would have been too big.

But they fit just fine in our current Roadtrek and we wouldn’t think of heading out anywhere without bringing these chairs as well. You can get two of the models we have from Amazon for $98.

But check Walmart as we’ve seen them on sale from time to time for considerably less.

The tip of the week is brought to you by Good Sam, the world’s most popular RV organization, now celebrating its 50th year.

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

We answer listener questions and hear feedback about:

  • Using the Canary wi-fi security camera in an RV with a Jet pack data card
  • A woman’s enthusiasm that she will soon be fulltiming in an RV with her dog
  • A video showing our solar panels atop our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL
  • Finding a dog friendly beach in Florida
  • Whether it’s necessary to tow a car with a Class B motorhome for mobility

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Woman warns of Craig’s List RV scam

Yellowstone National Park busy opening roads for new season

Oregon Police trying to solve mystery of body found inside a burned RV

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

TRAVELING TECH TIP: How to use your iPad as a second monitor

This week’s tip comes from a listener named Andy, from Chattanooga. Andy is a work camper who will be working and living on the road for the next year or so, He was very used to using two monitors at hoe. But how can he do that in the RV? Andy found a great app called Duet that he shares with us that lets you turn your iPad into a second screen for your laptop.

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 –  How to find the right camping spot

An interview with Adam Longfellow, of AllStays, who shares tips of finding the best sites to stop. Places like:

  • County Parks
  • Trail Heads
  • State Forests
  • Commercial campgrounds

We also talk about personal security. Here’s his notes:

1. WHAT TYPE OF CAMPING DO YOU WANT?

Know what kind of site you are looking for, either what makes you happy or what services you might need. Do you reserve or enjoy your journey as you go?

adam-walnut-natm

Adam Longfellow of AllStays

A full service RV Park with lots of amenities and higher cost like KOA and private RV parks.

Or will a county park, state park or forest camp do? Or even a piece of land?
If you want to go free, it could be a store parking lot, a truck stop or boondocking.

No matter what my plans are, I like to look at the map and find a couple of real paid campgrounds within possible range.

Those are my back up plans in case other options fall through or I need services.

I really like county and city parks and public lands near small towns that I might want to visit or explore or maybe they have a good restaurant I wanted to try.

– They might be in a location you can walk around town. They might be just a handful of sites in a park and a playground. Great for families.
– But if they are close to town yet in remote areas, say less than 10 miles from a small town, I find they can become party spots on weekend nights. This has surprised me a few times at 10pm on a Friday night. These are best for Sunday-Thursday.

Walmarts, based on a consistent pattern of user reports, are more likely to have teens, loud music and parking lot races on weekend nights.

A true campground is often a safe weekend choice but then you have more people, they are possibly full and possibly higher rates.
2. ONCE IN A LOCATION/CAMPGROUND, CONSIDER THIS:

Choose your priorities

Close to restroom, trail or water?
– High traffic. People and animals will then be passing through your site.
– Avoid sites by trash, dumps, right off turns and speed bumps because people hit the gas.
– It’s a further walk to “stuff” but I like to be off a ways
3. DISPERSED CAMPING FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Picking a open spot

Find a site that is flat and raised up if anywhere near a river or source of water.
You don’t want to float away and that has happened too often lately.

Bugs and animals are more likely by the water.

4. SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Look at the trees. Try to avoid parking near rough looking ones. You don’t want a widow-maker to make an attempt on your RV.

Out in the open means more wind and weather.

I like to be out of the wind unless there are bugs. Wind can keep the bugs down.
Most wind comes from the west so keep that in mind when parking.
I like the sun to shine in certain windows in the morning if possible so I look at the direction of a site.
I will also consider how my windows face and the light that is given off at night. Do I want to be invisible in the dark or attract attention?

I once was deep in a Oregon forest and found the state park was still closed beyond a opening day in April. So I saw a summer camp nearby, all closed up for months, sticks still in drive way.
I parked my RV in their dirt lot for the night but angled it so my night lights would not be seen from anyone going to or from the state park.

 

This part of the podcast is brought to you by AllStays – the Internets #1 RV and camping app since 2010

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