RT42 Podcast: How to Choose the Right RV for You!

Small house, big yard.

It’s one of our favorite sayings here at Roadtreking and for good reason: It perfectly sums up what we love most about our RV lifestyle.

“Small house,” of course, refers to our Type B (small) motorhome and the “big yard” is, well, wherever we want it to be. The whole of North America.

That’s why we know a Type B is the perfect kind of motorhome for us.

In this episode of Roadtreking, however, we go beyond a cool slogan to delve into specifics about what we took into consideration when getting into RVing. Among other things, we talk about:

  • The flexibility in travel offered by a smaller RV
  • The maneuverability/ease of driving
  • If Type B’s are more fuel efficient (hint: they are)
  • How a Type B can be parked and used when NOT on the road
  • What style of RVer would most likely find a Type B suitable
  • The benefits of setting up camp when traveling in a Type B
  • Who shouldn’t get a Type B

Also in this episode, Roadtreking also brings you news about the busy summer travel season, the latest on gas prices, shark attacks on the rise at a popular RV destination, travel tech tips and more!

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Show Notes for Episode #42 July 1, 2015, of Roadtreking – The RV Lifestyle Podcast:

First Things First: On the Way to Maine

The show begins with Jennifer joining Mike to talk about their next RVing adventure to the East Coast. [2:37]

Listener Question: How Can I Use the Internet While Full-Time RVing?

Listener Brittany wants to know how she can keep in touch with her friends, family and rest of the world using the Internet while full-time RVing. Mike and Jennifer share how they do it with specifics about the equipment they have tested and plan to test. [3:42]

Listener Question: Am I Seeing More Blown Tire Treads On The Road?

Listener Boyce asks about finding a seemingly excessive amount of blown truck-trailer treads in the Louisville, Kentucky area. Mike and Jennifer share info on the serious highway danger that Mike has written about before here: http://roadtreking.com/blown-truck-tires-serous-highway-hazard/

Keep in mind that debris littering the highways and interstates of  North America causes over 25,000 accidents and at least 100 deaths each year in the United States and Canada. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that blown tire pieces are the number one road debris.

Tire safety experts say this is the worst time of year, when high temperatures cause the most stress on tires.

That means – aside from the fact not much seems to be done to curtail the problem of all this debris cluttering our roads – you need to be careful out there and stay alert. [8:50]

Listener Question: How Well is Your Redesigned AC Working?

Listener Kevin asks about the performance of Mike and Jennifer’s RV air conditioner – specifically, how well it is working. The AC on their Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL is not on the roof as in most RVs, but has been moved underneath the vehicle. Mike and Jennifer share their experience. [12:50]

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, Mo.
Van City RV only sells Class B. RVs. Owner Ray Dwyer has been in the RV business for 44 years and is considered the dean of Class B RVs. Nobody knows more about small motorhomes that Ray and his crew. They have new and used Class B motorhomes in stock from the major manufacturers. When you fly in to buy your RV from Van City, they’ll arrange to have you picked up from the airport and will reimburse you $500 toward your airfare. Then, your RV will be fully prepared for travel, complete with full tanks of fuel and propane. After a complete orientation with their staff on your new RV, you can take delivery and set out for home. Dan the Van Man gives the week’s specials on the podcast.

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RV News of the Week: On the Rise – Park Attendance, Shark Attacks, and RV Rentals

Big Things Expected at National Parks This Weekend: Attendance at National Parks is way up this year – as much as 20 percent at some parks – and that’s before the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend. In response, officials at some parks like Grand Canyon are already warning about traffic and crowds, where travelers can expect the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to reach capacity by 10 a.m. [16:21]

Gas Prices Contributing to Increase in Road Travel :Auto club AAA estimates 41.9 million Americans will travel during the weekend. (Read more) [18:27]

Sharks Attacking Along the East Coast: Six people have already been bitten by sharks along the North Carolina coast this summer, including some along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore near Waves, N.C., a popular area for RVers. (Read more) [19:25]

RV Rentals are Up: The Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association reports that RV rentals are up as much as 50 percent this year. To find an RV dealer that rents, check out: http://www.rvda.org/RVDA/Find_A_Dealer/RV_Rentals_On_The_Rise.aspx [21:36]

To rent a Class B, look at the Roadtrek Motorhomes site at http://www.roadtrek.com/locators/

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

The Alde hydronic system brings many features and benefits not found with any other product.

  1. Silent Radiant Heat – providing a warm even natural heated interior. Great for pets. (And Humans)
  2. Increased Interior Space by combining two systems in one.
  3. Efficiency. The whole system draws less than 1 amp on 12V DC and will extend the life of your propane roughly 40% over forced air.
  4. Heating on Electric or Gas.
  5. Multiple Options and Amenities: Towel Warmers, Floor Heat, Tank Heating, 4 Season Camping, Engine Heat, Driver Comfort,
  6. Modern Programable Color Touch Screen Thermostat and Interface
  7. Minimal Side-Wall Penetration. Small combined intake and exhaust eliminate big cut outs and sidewall congestion.
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Traveling Tech: Send Texts Without WiFi Access or Data Plan Using These Bluetooth-based Apps

Most tech devices these days are Bluetooth-enabled, but what many may not know is that feature can be used to send free texts, photos, and videos – without the need for a data plan or even available WiFi network.

Jott is one of the hottest and most popular Bluetooth-based messaging apps, especially with students because of its feature that allows users to find other Jott users in school networks. It has the ability to automatically delete messages after a set time and to be alerted if someone has taken a screenshot of a message you sent. The app is free for Android and iOS and can be used with iPods, too.

Lynk is another Bluetooth-based messaging app getting noticed these days, due in large part to its ability to find and message others nearby who are using Lynk, making it especially useful in places like professional business settings. Users who connect can then send messages to each other immediately using Bluetooth. It also allows messaging via traditional methods, so you don’t need to be in close proximity to others to use Lynk. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Air Chat is another useful Bluetooth-based messaging app that finds others nearby who also are using Air Chat Air Chat is for iOS only. [25:27]

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

Whether traveling for business or for pleasure, many of us depend on our smartphones to stay connected. With the ability to browse the Web, check email, share photos, update social media statuses and more, wireless technology has enhanced our capacity to communicate with friends, family and colleagues from anywhere in the world.

While convenient, these tasks can use a significant amount of data and charges can quickly add up—especially when traveling abroad.

Use these tips from Verizon, to avoid costly international data charges when working wirelessly overseas.

  • Purchase an international data plan. Verizon offers a wide variety of options to fit your needs—and your budget!
  • Evaluate your previous monthly billing statements to estimate how much data you’ll need to purchase for the duration of your trip.
  • Factor in how long you’ll be traveling to determine how much international data coverage you’ll need.
  • Ensure the country you’re visiting is covered by the plan.

With coverage in more than 200 countries, it’s no wonder why Verizon has been recognized for having the “Best Service in the World” four times in a row.

If you’ll be taking a trip abroad, be sure to work with a Verizon representative to find an International Data plan that fits your needs! Got to www.verizonwireless.com/international before you travel to check rates and plans.

Visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

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Maine Topic: Off-The-Beaten-Path in the Pine Tree State

Two Roadtreking listeners – Bob O’Connor and Claire Wilson – check in with separate reports to offer great off the beaten path suggestions for our next destination – Maine. [30:34]

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This part of the podcast is brought to you by Leisure Time RV, serving central Florida and the Internet from Winter Garden, Fla..

Now is the time to check out the NEW ZION at Leisure Time RV:

  1. Front wheel drive w 280HP, V-6 fuel-efficient engine;
  2. Has stability program including: Wind assist; Sway assist; Drift compensation; Also has electronic stability control & Hill start Assist;
  3. 5-Passenger seating (including driver);
  4. Open center aisle for storage of larger items and has twin queen bed;
  5. Sleek exterior aerodynamic design;
  6. Galley features 5 cu ft Refrigerator;
  7. Interior permanent bathroom with outside shower;
  8. Power steps for driver, passenger and side entry;
  9. Solid surface countertop in galley;
  10. Leisure Time RV has them in stock NOW!- Come see our Elegant White and Platinum Silver Units.

Main Topic: Why a Small Motorhome May Be for YOU

The RV life offers a lot of choices. From travel trailers, to fifth wheels to motorhomes, there is a vehicle to suit every style. And when it comes to motorhomes, there are essentially three choices – a big Type A (as long as 40+ feet, usually with multiple slides), a Type C (less than 30 but tall and wide, sometimes with slides) and a Type B, often called a camper van and anywhere from 20-25-feet or so in length.

You may know them as Class A, C, and B. The industry thought the term “Class” sounded to elitist so switched to the word “Type” instead. But either modifier is correct.

Type Bs are probably the hottest selling segment of the motorized RV market these days.

But is a Type B right for you? After more than two years of Type B travel and nearly 100,000 miles climbing mountains, visiting seashores, National Parks and wilderness areas all over North America, I have identified 10 reasons a Type B RV may be right for you. Jennfier and Mike Wendland talk about why a Type B is best for them:

  • A Type B RV can go where pretty much where a car can go – A Type B is meant for getting you easily to wherever you want to go, be it a fast food parking lot off the freeway or a remote boondocking spot in the middle of a national forest or BLM lands far off the commercial grid. It is maneuverable and easy to drive yet has all the comforts of home. Which figures, because it is your home.
  • A Type B RV is for those who like to tour – The bigger motorhomes are just that: Big. Very big. You need to be careful turning corners, changing lanes, going under things and once you get off the interstates, you will get the same looks a slow moving tractor does on a two lane in rural country. A Type B shares the road well with all vehicles, accelerates well, turns easily and doesn’t take up three car lengths of roadway.
  • A Type B RV actually gets good fuel economy – My first Type B got 22 miles to a gallon. The curren Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL we drive still averages 17-18 mpg. At today’s fuel prices, the fuel savings a B offers over  the bigger motorhomes out there are considerable.
  • A Type B RV can run errands as a second vehicle at home – I often use our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL as a second vehicle. Jennifer has our car. I drive the Roadtrek. Simple as can be.
  • A Type B RV can stay parked in your driveway in most places – Neighborhood and home owner associations frown on Type A and Type Cs being parked in driveways. There’s not nearly the problem with Type Bs. I don’t have to store my RV in a lot, paying stiff monthly fees. Mine is right in my driveway, ready to take me across town or the country anytime I want.
  • A Type B RV simplifies the traveling life – It is so easy to go in a Type B. You learn very quickly that you do not need nearly the “stuff” you thought you’d need. You take what you need and are surprised to discover that, other than food, a few changes of clothing and some elementary camping gear, you travel light. And that just feels so right. Free and easy down the road you’ll go. Seriously, I think of my RV every time I hear that Dierks Bentley song. “A pair of boots and a sack of clothes, free and easy down the road I go. Hangin’  memories on the high line poles, free and easy down the road I go.” Oops. Sorry about that.
  • A Type B RV is for doers, not sitters – Nothing against Type A or Type C RVers but it’s been my experience that Type B owners are folks who don’t like sitting in one place very long. They are very active hikers, bikers, explorers and they tend to exemplify the slogan on the T-shirts and sweatshirts sold on the Roadtreking Store: Yeah, we have a small house. But we have a big yard. Type B RVers spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • A Type B RV doesn’t require a lot of set-up and take down – It’s so easy to park in a camping spot. Even if you have to back in. Hooking up takes three minutes, tops. Same with unplugging and leaving. Leveling is seldom a problem. If it is, move a few feet. Try that in a Type A.
  • A Type B RV is great for day trips and special events – Driving to visit relatives, attending a grandkid’s soccer game or parking along a parade route, there’s nothing like having your own bathroom on board, a fridge and microwave for snacks, or a place to charge computers, smartphones, camera batteries and the like. Because it drives so easy, it’s handy and easy to take non-camping outings.
  • A Type B RV can serve as a guest bedroom in your driveway – Plug in an extension cord and your Type B can serve as a spare bedroom for guests, giving them – and you – privacy. I know of some Type B owners who use it as a dressing room while attending weddings or as a place to nap cranky kids. Because most Type Bs also have generators or coach batteries to provide power, the Type B is also a great refuge in a storm when the grid supplying your neighborhood is interrupted. [41:57]

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Many listeners are asking how they can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your review.

Here’s how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
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Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

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