There are a lot of RVs out there. And there are a lot of reasons people buy them. So the RV Lifestyle takes many different forms. In this episode, we will introduce you to a wonderful group of people we spent time with this past weekend at an informal meet-up in Waco Texas. I think you’ll find it very interesting how the RV lifestyle can fulfill so many dreams and be used in so many different ways.
Plus, coming up, your RV questions, RV tips, traveling tech suggestions and a great off the beaten path report.
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 #184 March 21, 2018 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK [2:04]
We are doing this podcast from the beautiful Texas Hill Country, specifically at the Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park on the shores of Lake Buchanan.
It’s called the Canyon of the Eagles because lots of bald eagles winter here each year, fishing the warm waters of the lake. We are in a beautiful campground overlooking the lake. It’s just us and one other RV in the entire campground and but is so quiet and peaceful we keep extending our stay. What was to be a quick visit to the area is now on its fourth day!
But we’ve had a great week of traveling and have so enjoyed Texas. We spent the past weekend in Waco, Texas, a place well known to fans of the HGTV television show Fixer Upper as the home of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of the show.
It is unbelievable how the popularity of the show and Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia branded businesses have transformed Waco. They have a bakery, they renovated two old grain Silos and turned it into a design boutique and they just opened a restaurant… that has a 2 ½ hour wait to get in.
20,000 tourists a week come to Waco… Waco is the 2nd most searched zip code on realtor.com… David Ridley, who owned ne of the homes Chip and Joanna fixed up, runs a tour bus company.
This was a really, really busy weekend in Waco. Chip and Joann had their Spring celebration and they say as many as 150,000 people came from all over the country. Every hotel and RV park was supposedly booked up for 80 miles around.
We also had our expert tour guide… and we want to give a big shout to David Hunt, one of our Roadtreking followers. David lives in Waco and generously gave us a our past many of the homes featured over six seasons if the TV show.
Besides that, we toured the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.
And we had an informal meet-up on Saturday with a bunch of folks who fo0llow us who live in Texas. You’ll hear from some of them in a few minutes in our interview if the week segment on the podcast.
We love hearing from our listeners. In fact, if you heard last week’s episode, Dan Izzard, who lives in Georgetown, Texas, called in with a suggested route we travel to see bluebonnets. And That led us to the beautiful spot we are now in and will soon be talking about in our off the beaten path report.
Here are some stories in the news this week of interest to RVers…
Too many people get into the national parks for free, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week. The National Parks Services offers free or discounted entrance to active military service members, disabled people, seniors and fourth graders. Zinke said that is too many discounts, and the cost per vehicle needs to go up or instead of charging per carload, parks need to charge per person to help bring in revenue.
A couple and their two small children were in the news last week after being locked inside an outdoor lot of a Camping World RV store in Mesa, Arizona. The couple was interviewed by their local television station and said an employee showed them the outside lot, left, and before long they realized they were locked inside. The store was closed and they were stuck. They called the police and then chronicled the event in a Live Facebook post, much to the embarrassment of Camping World.
Imagine camping in one of Washington's beautiful state parks, deciding to head out to the beach for a midnight stroll and seeing … a U.S. Navy Seals invasion? An interesting story that came over the news this week covered a request from the elite fighting force to increase access to Washington State Parks for training exercises. Apparently the U.S. Navy Seals already use some state parks for mainly nighttime training drills, but are requesting permission to use more. Since they want to use public land, including some where campers visit, there is controversy..
Michigan's remote Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park boasts more than 60,000 acres of old hardwoods in the state's upper peninsula, and is apparently becoming a backpackers favorite. To cope with the growing crowds, Michigan's Department of Natural Resources is now requiring a permit to camp in remote spots and will limit how many are issued.
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
JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK [20:00]
As we’ve said before…we love campfires. But the smoke that often envelopes those gathered around a campfire? Not so much.
That’s why we’ve been really interested in the various portable propane campfire solutions, like the Outland Firebowl Model 870 Premium Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit that we talked about in a recent episode.
This week, we heard about another such solution from a listener named John.
The firepit John told us about is from a company called BiolLite. The company’s website says it has a capacity for four wood logs. If you don’t want to use it as a campfire, you can also throw in charcoal and use it as a grill. It sells for $199 but won’t be shipping until August 2018. We’ll put a link to it on the shownotes to this episode at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-184
Meanwhile, 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
LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [26:06]
A listener named Roy wants advice on finding affordable insurance for his RV
- RV America Insurance at http://rvainsurance.com/
- Geico RV insurance at https://www.geico.com
- Progressive RV Insurance at https://www.progressive.com
John wants to know the best way to do taxes online.
- TurboTax at https://www.turbotax.com
- LibertyTax at https://www.libertytax.com
- The IRS itself has a free service for those making less than $66,000 – https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free
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..
INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – What’s your RV Lifestyle? [33:35]
We love meeting other RVers on the road and recently during a trip to Texas, we had an informal meetup with a bunch of folks who follow our reports.
We thought you’d enjoy meeting some of them, too, as they share just what the RV Lifestyle means to them.
This group comes from all walks of life, all have different reasons they chose the RV lifestyle and all were just a joy to be around.
If you’d like to see a video version of this interview, head offer to our RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube at http://rvlifestylechannel.com
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
TRAVELING TECH TIP [48:18]
By Steve Van Dinter
Spring is here (according to the calendar, anyway!) and as the trees bud and flowers begin to bloom, you’re going to want to capture the world around you. Fortunately, tech makes it easier than ever before! Today I wanted to give you some tips to take those photos to a new level.
First let’s talk about the Samsung Galaxy S9 – With this phone you can become a photography pro: manually adjust shutter speeds, set exposure levels, select filters and more using Pro Mode. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) compensates for your movement to give you clear, crisp photos. And if you’re shooting in low light, you’re going to be quite pleased with the results.
When you’re ready to take your photos to a new dimension, you’re going to want to check out the Samsung Gear 360 This pocket–sized camera shoots immersive 360–degree scenes at quadruple the resolution of standard HD, so your videos have more detail in every direction. With Verizon's super fast 4G LTE network, you can easily share your videos on YouTube and Facebook bringing your friends and family along for the journey.
If you’re planning to take a lot of photos or videos, space on your device could become a concern. That’s why you may want to download the Google Photos app. It’s free for Android and iOS and includes unlimited storage of your photos! Not a bad deal…plus you can easily search for old photos by location, date and even the person that appears in the picture.
Sometimes you actually want to physically hold a photo, right? And that’s where the Polaroid Insta-Share Printer Moto Mod comes in. Take a picture and print a 2×3” photo right from your phone – all it takes is a click of a button when you have a Polaroid mod attached to your Motorola phone. You can even customize your favorite photos by picking the combination of filters, borders and designs that suit your mood.
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 – The Texas Bluebonnet Trail and the Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park [51:26]
We’re on the Bluebonnet trail in Texas. And as we said at the top of the program, we’re staying at The Canyon of the Eagles nature park. It is privately owned resort offering pet friendly lodge style cabins, a full service high end restaurant and lots of amenities. There are two primitive campgrounds ($25 a night), a group camping area and a full service RV park) $45 a night). It's located about 16 miles from Burnet, the nearest town, a friendly little place which proudly proclaims itself to be the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.
We arrived about 10 days before the peak bluebonnet time but they are blooming fast and even during our short stay we found them popping up all along the winding road that leads to the park and, indeed, even on our campsite. Bluebonnets are the official state flower of Texas.
They are so named because of the shape of the pedals on the flower, which resembled the bonnets worn by pioneer women to shield them to the sun. Texas historian Jack MacGuire says the bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland or the tulip is to Holland.
They are worth a springtime visit as they blanket the countryside around here. The south central Texas hill country is where they grow the best. Thanks to the highway beautification efforts of former first lady Lady Bird Johnson who encouraged the planting of native plants along Texas highways after she left the White House, they can be found statewide.
We planned to just pay a quick visit to this region and then move on.
But then we were struck by the silence. And the beauty. The 25-site campground where we are staying was all but deserted. Just us, Jim the astronomer, and a couple of other RVers. For $45 you get full hookups and – from many of the sites – great views of Lake Buchanan, a 40-mile long lake formed by the construction of Buchanan Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. (For a full account of this destination, go to: http://roadtreking.com/bluebonnets-and-the-canyon-of-the-eagles-in-the-texas-hill-country)
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 [58:58]
Before we get started with this weekend’s events. Here’s a heads up for those of you in the southwest. Jennifer and I will be meeting and greeting folks at the Super B RV show in Phoenix. The show runs Phoenix April 12-15, a Thursday through Sunday. Please out it on your schedule and come say hello! It’s at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale and is run by LaMesa RV. This is only for Class B and small motorhomes and well over 100 will be in display.
Minneapolis Convention Center
Centre de Foires ExpoCite
Quebec, QC (Canada)
Tuscon Convention Center
New Hampshire Sportsplex
Grand Traverse County Civic Center
Traverse City, MI
BOS Convention Center
Crete Civic Center
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