RV Podcast #186: What can happen when mice invade and infest an RV

In this week’s episode, a cautionary tale about what can happen when you buy a used RV that’s been sitting in one place for a long time from a dealer who seems to be less than thorough in quality control. But more than that, it’s a nightmare true story about the hidden damage that can be done to an RV by mice and what questions you should ask when buying a used RV to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Plus, an off the beaten path report, your RV questions, RV news and tips you can use. All this coming up in this episode of the RV Podcast.

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 #186 April 4, 2018 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK [2:00]

It’s April already and springtime is slowly making its way north to those still in the unseasonable cold Midwest and northern states.

We’re finishing up a nearly three month trip that has us coming to you this week from Florida.

We just had a long aster weekend visit fom two of our three adult children, their spouses and five of our eight grandkids. It was great family time here on the Emerald Coast hanging out at the beach and enjoying the sunshine.

We will hit the Road Thursday of this week and make our way back to check up on our sticks and bricks home in Michigan. But it will be a very brief visit of about three days because next week, we will head to Phoenix, Arizona, here we will be putting on a couple of seminars and hanging out at the Super B RV Show being held April 12-15 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

We’ve been reporting a lot on past podcasts about a proposal by the government to dramatically increase entry fees to National Parks. Well this week we can report that Interior Department officials are backing away from that after receiving more than 100,000 public comments from Americans nearly unanimously opposed to the idea.

In October, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed to increase peak-season entrance fees at 17 parks from $25 to $70 — the largest hike since World War II. Joshua Tree National Park in California, where the peak season starts in January, would have been the first to charge the higher rate, followed by a dozen other parks where visitation peaks in May and June. The cost of riding a motorcycle into the parks would have risen to $50, and walking or biking in would have cost $30.

But as temperatures climb and parks prepare for another season of potentially record-breaking visitation, Interior and National Park Service officials are rethinking the plan based on public comments that inundated the NPS website over an abbreviated 30-day period.

An Interior official familiar with the changes now being discussed told the Washington Post that some type of increase remains almost certain but that the dramatic hike is being reconsidered for fear that it would cause visitation to plunge, reducing sorely needed revenue at top destinations such as Yosemite in California, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Zion and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Yellowstone in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming

Here's something else that has been making the news and RV related social media. It has to do with a 63 year old San Diego woman who was missing over the Easter weekend. Elizabeth Bax was on her way to the Seattke area to visit relatives for the holiday but never showed up.

We’re happy to say she was fund and rescued near Hirz Bay, a campground off of Lake Shasta in California, which has 6,200 miles of rivers and streams. Her sister says she thinks Bax ran out of gas in her Winnebago Class C  RV and her cell phone was dead. Bax was found dehydrated but stable and was airlifted to a local hospital. Her dog Walter is also being treated.

Here’s some other things happening this week that we think will be of interest to RVers…

Pain at the pump – Gas Prices on the Rise
I saw a story this morning that fuel prices nationwide have been creeping up in recent days by about a penny a gallon and that we are now paying the highest for fuel for this time of the year since 2014. That’s according to the Automobile Club of America. Gas companies are changing over to a different summer blend. To do so, some refineries shut down, leading to the classic market principal of supply and demand. A tighter supply means they can demand more for your fuel. Demand is up as people are driving more, and crude oil prices are up $15 per barrel compared to this time last year. Every time crude oil prices rise a dollar, consumers will pay roughly 2.4 cents more per gallon, says the auto club. This week, the average price for gas is $2.67 a gallon. Diesel is near $3 a gallon in many parts of the country.

Sleepy black bear at Glacier National Park drawing viewers by the thousands

In need of something sure to make you smile? You aren't alone. People have been clicking a webcam of a black bear emerging from hibernation at Glacier National Park by the thousands. The bear is inside a hollowed out cottonwood tree, yawning, and trying to decide whether to wake up and get out.

Hey Thief: Smile, You're On Camera! RV Dealer Searching for Man Captured on Camera

Speaking of hidden cameras, a Michigan RV Dealer is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man, captured on camera, stealing a $40,000 camping trailer from its lot. It happened in Coldwater, MI at the Haylett Auto & RV Supercenter. The 35-foot travel trailer was found nearby at a Walmart, stripped. The man apparently used his pick up truck to haul the trailer out of the RV lot, all of which was captured on video.

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 [13:35]

This week, we are introduced to a microfiber cloth by our friend Patti Burkett, who says it has all sorts of uses around the RV, not the least of which is removing condensation from glass surfaces.

Patti uses Norwex cloths available in Amazon.

You can get a large pack of them in assorted sizes and colors for about $41. The microfiber cloths are antibacterial and have all sorts of uses.

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

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [18:44]

  • Newbie question. If I park my RV at home and it has a 30amp cord, how do I plug it in to a cord from my house??? Alan
  • We are looking for a place that will avoid large crowds, Spring Break and hurricane season. We've narrowed the search to northern FL and have found a few locations the Destin/Miramar area. That is the good news. The bad news so far is that none of the places we have found allow dogs on the beach. Our question to you is this…how have you been able to spend time in FL with your dogs at the beach? And, if so, where have you been able to stay? – Carol
  • I have a 26 ft class c and thinking about going smaller. The problem the class Bs do not have jacks. Appreciate your thoughts since you go to a lot of places – Hayden
  • My wife and I are considering Rad Power Bikes RadCity bikes for our RV travels but am concerned about how all those electric components will fare after continued exposure to the elements (particularly water, road salts and grime) while being transported on the hitch mounted carrier. How do you plan to mitigate the effects of those damaging elements when the weather gets foul while you are driving between camp spots? Tom

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 [30:15]

In our interview of the week segment for this episode we introduce you to our friend Ginny Evans. Ginny is a solo RVer with a lot of experience.

But that experience was no match for the nightmare situation she encountered when she bought a used RV half way across the country…only to find that instead if the great bargain she thought she was getting, she instead was buying an RV that had been inFested by mice who did a tremendous amount of damage that you would not believe.

This is Ginny's van. The mouse damage was all inside.

This is a cautionary tale about what can happen when you buy a used RV that’s been sitting in one place for a long time from a dealer who seems to be less than thorough in quality control. But more than that, it’s a nightmare true story about the hidden damage that can be done to an RV by mice and what questions you should ask when buying a used RV to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

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: It’s Baseball time again! [52:26]

By Steve Van Dinter
Verizon Wireless

Steve Van Dinter

Despite the late season blast of winter weather, spring baseball season is upon us! Today I wanted to talk about the tech you can have on hand to take your game to the next level.

For instance, with the new Samsung Galaxy S9+, you can capture and share even the fastest pitch or swing in super slow motion. The device’s revolutionary new camera also lets you take incredible photos in low-light situations (like a night game).

Can’t make it to the game? Google’s Daydream View coupled with virtual reality games like Home Run Derby will put you at home plate in the big leagues.

Whether you're in the stands or the front lawn, the JBL Free wireless in-ear headphones make it easy to listen to the game, while keeping your hands free for important things like peanuts and Cracker Jacks (or mowing your lawn!).

Have more than one team you want to keep track of? The Fitbit Versa will display score updates from across the league right on your wrist. Not to mention it'll give you credit for the steps you took to go pick up a hot dog at the concessions stand!

Lastly, are you getting in the game yourself? Reviewing your swing is easy when you have the Under Armour Connect Magnetic Mount. Snap the Magnetic Mount onto your phone case and attach it to the batting cage while recording a video to give you a perspective of what you’re doing right and what you may need to focus on.

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 –  Gila Cliff Dwellings [55:16]

By Tom and Patti Burkett

Patti and Tom Burkett

We were traveling the Trail of the Mountain Spirits in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico.  After a night at Gila Hot Springs Campground, a fun and rustic spot along the Gila River, we drove a few miles north to the visitor center for the Gila Cliff Dwellings.  This site is in the National Forest, and is jointly administered by the Park Service and the Forest Service.  Unlike the ruins at Mesa Verde, these are largely un-excavated and receive relatively few visitors.  In the couple of hours we spent there, we saw about a dozen others.  The visitor center had some interesting displays of artifacts, but the real action was out on the trails.

The ruin itself has forty-six rooms spread over five caves.  It was discovered in 1878 by a man from Silver City who’d organized a quick prospecting trip in order to get out of jury duty.  After improving the access to the site, he built a resort at the hot springs and began providing guided trips.  Shortly thereafter, the discovery of mummified remains in the caves piqued the interest of both scientists and the general public.

Nowadays, you get to the caves by a footpath that climbs ramps and stairs about 200 feet over the course of a half mile and deposits visitors on ledge from which ladders and stairs rise into the caves themselves.  One of the things we really enjoyed here was the access.  We were able to walk through almost all the rooms and imagine what the life might have been like for the mostly nomadic people who settled here a thousand years ago to learn how to grow crops.

 

The caves were staffed by a very knowledgeable young man who was able to answer all our questions.  At the foot of the trail we spoke with a young woman, a trained archaeologist, who was also a volunteer at the site.  Just before we left, while visiting the museum, we finally encountered the only ranger at the park, who told us he’d just arrived onsite a few weeks earlier.  We’ve seen this at many parks, where most of the work is done by volunteers.  A good use of resources, to be sure, but it seems the park staffs are getting smaller and smaller as visitor numbers increase.  Hardly any of the desert parks we visited on this trip were offering ranger programs, even though it was their busy season.

After the caves, we continued along the Trail of The Mountain Spirits, making our way south on New Mexico 15 through the mountain wilderness.  The Roadtrek gave us an advantage on the twisty, narrow roads from which the views were spectacular.  All along the way were attractive small Forest Service campgrounds, any one of which we’d have been happy to spend some time visiting.  You’d enjoy them too, we’ll wager, so come on along one of these days, and we’ll look for you in the Gila Wilderness, 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 [1:00:32]

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 put 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 125 will be in display.

RV shows this weekend

Colorado Springs RV & Travel Expo

April 5-7

Colorado Springs Event Center

Colorado Springs, CO

 

BC Interior RV  Show

April 6-8

​​​​​​​Penticton Trade & Convention Centre

Penticton, BC (Canada)

 

Kitchener RV Show and Sale

April 6-8

Kitchener Memorial Auditorium

Kitchener, ON (Canada)

 

UP Boat, Sport & RV Show

April 6-8

Superior Dome

Marquette, MI

 

Vacationland RV & Camping Show

April 7-8

Norway Savings Bank Arena

Auburn, Maine

 

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