RV Podcast Episode 220: Safely and securely storing your RV for the season

Is your RV in storage? Whether out in your driveway, parked around back or kept at one of those storage lots that charge a monthly fee there’s a lot more involved in safely and securely storing your RV for the season than simply locking the doors and walking away until it’s camping season again. We’ll discuss thus in the interview if the week, coming up a little later in the podcast. But we also have your RV questions, traveling technology tips and a great off the beaten path report. 

Show Notes for Episode #220 Nov 28, 2018 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

Here’s a housekeeping item. Throughout the podcast, you will often hear us say that you can find links or resources about the topics we are discussing on our shownotes. For those of you who just listen to us on an app or by download, those shownotes can be found on our RV Lifestyle travel blog. We call that blog Roadtreking and every Wednesday when we release a new podcast, we also publish shownotes for the episode. It’s not a full transcript but a very complete outline that contains those links and extra resources. To find it, just go to Roadtreking.com and then a forward slash followed by the episode number of the podcast. For example, to find the shownotes for this episode, you’d type Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-220 and that would take you directly there.

We talk about our whereabouts this week and our plans for the next few weeks.

Jennifer and I have put together a free 25-page guide you can grab of our Christmas Gift Suggestions for RVers. These are the products and accessories we like and use the most. It's absolutely free! Just go to https://roadtreking.com/christmas  and you can instantly download it. It is like a catalogue and is arranged by various topics – camping/outdoor gifts, RV technology ideas, pet gifts for RVers, RV kitchen gifts, fun gifts and more. We hope you enjoy it and feel free to share it with your RVing friends.

RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK

JENNIFER
Story highlights overuse of American national parks
An interesting article was jointly reported and published in several publications last week detailing how the national parks are being loved to death. The excellent article highlighted two-mile long bison spotting traffic jams at Yellowstone, fist fights over parking spots in the parks, and once unknown sites being overwhelmed by tourists after becoming famous on social media – as we talked on the podcast a few weeks back. The article is worth a read, and is familiar material to many of us who are out there and have witnessed much of what is described. We put a link to it in the showbites at Roadtreking-dot-com-slash-220.

MIKE
Seasoned RVers, and those who never RVed, buying motor homes and trailers to give to fire victims 
Heartbreaking stories about the devastation caused by the California wildfires has dominated the news recently, but last week there were a number of inspirational tales of strangers helping strangers. One that caught my eye was of a Denver, Colorado, man who took a week off work, bought an RV, filled it with supplies, and drove it with his 6-year-old daughter to Chico, California, to donate it to a family left homeless from the fires. And he wasn't the only one to do this. Others even made a caravan to donate campers and RVs to those left homeless by the fires.

JENNIFER
National Park Service announced its 2019 enter for free days  
If you like to plan your camping around deals, you might be interested in knowing that the 2019 five admission-free days in the U.S. National Parks was recently announced. The days are Jan. 21, April 20, Aug. 25, Sept. 28 and Nov. 11. On these days admission to the national parks is free, but other charges like tour or camping costs still apply. To read more click here.

MIKE
Florida couple who claim RV dealer sold them faulty vehicle denied request to keep lawsuit in Florida 
A story out of Florida last week is a good example of the importance of reading and understanding ALL of the fine print when buying an RV. A couple bought a three-year-old used RV at a dealership in Florida as is, with no warranty, and said within 600 miles major items broke. The couple sued the dealer for bad business practices, but in the purchase agreement the elderly couple signed, all lawsuits must be tried in Michigan, where the RV dealer was headquartered. The couple apparently did not understand this when they signed the contract, and do not have the financial means to hire a Michigan attorney and try the case so far from their home, so they filed a court request to keep the case in Florida, where they bought the vehicle. A judge denied that request. The RV dealer said they couple bought the RV as is, with no warranty, and they signed paperwork that clearly spelled out lawsuits would be tried in another state. The story is another example about the importance of the buying decision and its one reason we write a new ebook, RV Buying Secrets. It tells you how to shop for and negotiate the best deal and service for your RV. You can learn more about that at https://roadtreking.com/buy

JENNIFER
Trekking around Cuba in a camper van now possible
Cuba is one of those countries that has always captured my imagination. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed reading a story out last week from a British publication about a man who explored the island on vacation in a Fiat Ducato 3000 van. Those are European vans that, if sold in North America, would be a Class B RV. Cuba is now permitting tourists to rent them, and venture around the country camping. There are about 20 different campsites available on the island with electric hookups and boondocking is available pretty much everywhere.

This part of the podcast 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.  To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.

RV QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Questions we answer this week:

  • Listener Becky asks about carrying a spare Sepentine belt for her Sprinter RV. Here’s a link to the information we shared – https://roadtreking.com/jennifers-tip-carry-extra-serpentine-belt/
  • Listener Warren asks about buying an older RV and what new innovations he would be giving up
  • And we answer this email question from a reader named Michael: I have a question I hope you can confirm or point me to a reliable source. I have my Roadtrek in for service) and while there I asked about wheel alignment and the service advisor said that “with the weight of the RV, “normal Sprinter settings don't work so well”. From your video and other blogs, I never heard this. I thought I read that Roadtrek does NOT align the units as they leave the factory – that they rely on the customer to have that checked. I did check on MB Sprinter and found a order-able configuration for a GVWR of 11300, just like my rig. If that is available from MB, why wouldn't their specs work? Thanks for your consideration and thoughts!

RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

This week, we talk about storing your RV for the season.

Here’s a video of the interview:

Here’s a transcript of the interview:

Mike Wendland:         Joining us right now from National Indoor RV Centers is Jordan Kunz. Jordan is going to help us understand what's involved in storing an RV. Jordan, first of all, thank you very much for being a part of the podcast and the interview of the week this week.

Jordan Kunz:               Thank you so much. It's a pleasure. I appreciate it.

Mike Wendland:         Let me start off by talking about some of the things that people need to realize when they put their RV in storage. Now, a lot of people, they'll just keep it in the back of their lot, their driveway or maybe a neighbor's friend out in the country or maybe one of those outdoor centers. So let's talk about storing it outdoors first of all. What are some of the things they need to be sure about? You just don't want to walk away and leave that RV out there for long periods of time. Help us understand.

Jordan Kunz:               Right, yeah. So depending on where you're at in the country, some people do have to winterize it, make sure all the water, everything is drained out of it so you don't have any problems there. Here in Las Vegas, we have extreme heat so a lot of people will have to put covers on and cover the tires, disconnect batteries. There's a whole lot of work, make sure mice aren't getting in it or anything like that. So there's a decent amount that goes into making sure your RV is protected, security, 24/7 surveillance, all that fun stuff.

Mike Wendland:         So outdoors, most of the people are dealing with cold weather right about now. Of course that saps the batteries and do they need to put a charge on those batteries? Do they need to disconnect them? What do you do about that?

Jordan Kunz:               Yeah. So batteries, I mean, a lot of people, batteries should last five to six years but I think one of the common things that people replace on their RVs are batteries every one to two years, it's because there's a lot of maintenance, a lot of upkeep that goes to the batteries. If they die, you lose a lot of life from that and making sure that they're not in the cold weather, that they're warm conditions and that they're charged. If they go below a certain charge, it will kill the life of the battery.

Mike Wendland:         So if you keep your battery out in a vacant lot someplace and it's cold, I mean, I'm looking at, as I'm recording this in Michigan, the temperature's going down into the teens tonight. Out there for a long time, what should you do to your battery? If you can't plug it in, do you disconnect it then?

Jordan Kunz:               Yeah, you should disconnect it. Take it somewhere where it's going to be warm, maybe inside you own garage or inside your house or something like that to protect it. Depending on the battery, some batteries have water levels in there that you want to make sure that they stay full as well.

Mike Wendland:         Then there's the problem, we did a couple of podcastss on the problems of mice infestation, rodent infestations. How do you keep rodents out of a vehicle that's in storage?

Jordan Kunz:               That's the trick in itself, as far as keeping rodents out, I think that's kind of more luck than anything else. You can put traps around it, but you don't want to attract them with the traps as well and so that's just kind of my experience is luck. So you want to make sure that you're keeping a good eye on it. Making sure, looking for nests, stuff like that, and making sure you don't have any signs that you can, so to speak, see and clean up.

Mike Wendland:         Yeah. They don't need a lot of room to get into an RV. It's pretty simple. Any little hole, they can come in through the engine compartment. I've seen unbelievable damage pictures. The one common denominator is almost all of those are either stored in a field someplace and you do call those things field mice for a reason. They live in the field. So they're looking to get out of the cold. Then they can do such damage. So I guess you need to check those holes and then also make sure that you check your RV frequently, right?

Jordan Kunz:               Yeah. Check it out, look for nests, look for holes. Start it, make sure it's running so they didn't chew through any wires or anything like that. But then that goes back to the batteries. If you got to go back and start it periodically, then you got to haul the battery back, hook it up, connect it, make sure it's holding the charge and check everything out.

Mike Wendland:         So I guess what I'm hearing you say is you don't just leave your RV someplace. You got to do a little bit of maintenance and work and check on it. Which takes us to the other type of storage, which is what you guys do. You have four National Indoor RV Centers around the country. Where are they Jordan? Tell me why we would want to use one of those? What do you offer?

Jordan Kunz:               So we're located in Dallas, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona. I think one of the biggest reasons is the fact that it is specifically indoor. So weather, we are climate controlled as far as heaters in there, so you don't have to worry about the winterization depending on which area we're at. We have swamp coolers or AC units in there to help it keep cool during the summer months if your RV in storage during the summer. We do take] control as far as pests. We have traps all throughout our building, making sure that we're always keeping an eye out because we always have staff on there 24/7 keeping an eye out on everything for you.

Mike Wendland:         What do you do about the-

Jordan Kunz:               We also have … Sorry, what was that?

Mike Wendland:         What do you do about the batteries when it's stored indoor?

Jordan Kunz:               Yeah. When we do our indoor storage, we have 24/7 electrical hookups to all of our spaces, either a 30 amp or a 50 amp breaker depending on what your RV needs are. So with us, you don't have to worry about disconnecting it, hauling it back to the house, making sure it's staying warm. We will plug it in and even periodically check the water levels inside the batteries to make sure that they're always staying cool. It can prolong the life of the batter to where it should last.

Mike Wendland:         Now, when talked a little while ago, one of the things that I think our audience should[know, you're opening up a new center in Las Vegas and a new center in Phoenix in the new year and offered the people who follow the RV podcast a special break. What is that special break?

Jordan Kunz:               Yeah. So those that are listening and hearing, type in the code that we'll give you. It will give you the first three months free when you sign up with a year lease with us.

Mike Wendland:         That's a pretty good deal. Let me give everybody that link right now, that link is roadtreking.com/storage, We'll put it on the video and we'll put it in the show notes for the podcast. So three months free and that's in Phoenix and Las Vegas, correct?

Jordan Kunz:               Correct. Yeah, if they go to the Phoenix location or the Las Vegas location we can give them that deal.

Mike Wendland:         How big are these facilities? How big are the RVs? What are roughly the monthly costs for putting an RV in storage?

Jordan Kunz:               Yeah, so our Vegas facility is 216,000 square feet. We can fit roughly 300 RVs in there, plus or minus. We'll take any length of RV, class A, class B, class C, full trailers, fifth wheels. We'll take anything in there. Then our Phoenix location is slightly smaller, it will be closer to around 200 RVs in there, plus or minus and so.

Mike Wendland:         What are the rough costs? They may vary. I don't know if they vary between markets but rough idea of what would it cost?

Jordan Kunz:               So usually, so in our Dallas location, our Atlanta location, we're charging $12.75 a foot. We do offer, since in our Vegas location and our Phoenix location are newer, we're offering free enrollment where people can get down to $10 per foot and that includes the electrical and a whole lot of other things that we have on site.

Mike Wendland:         I suppose your seasons out there are kind of different. In Vegas, of course people don't use their RVs as much in the summer.

Jordan Kunz:               Correct, yeah.

Mike Wendland:         As they do in the North and the Midwest and some of those states. All right, so that link I will give everybody again. It's  roadtreking.com/storage and three months free if you go for a 12-month lease in either Phoenix or in Las Vegas and that's a pretty good area all around. You've got a lot of RV'ers there. Jordan, you mentioned that it's climate controlled. What other things? It's a fairly significant cost, a monthly storage fee. But help me understand why I might want to do that instead of leaving it in the field?

Jordan Kunz:               Good question. I'll kind of go over all things that you get when you store with us. Because you're absolutely right. When you look at our price compared to another storage facility, it's not the same. The difference will be the fact that we do have a valet service. So a lot of people don't really like parking it. When you go to those outdoor storage facilities, they're always kind of push them nice and close together. With us, we will valet the RV for you. So, we'll park it, plug it in, check it. Another really nice thing with us is when you're ready to pick up your RV, you give us a call, let us know what time you want it to be ready and what will happen is one of our RV tech will go through, check and prep your RV for you. So they'll go through all the tires, make sure the tires are filled up to the correct levels, that there's no cracking, no dry spots, no flat spots.

                                    They'll do the same thing for your batteries, making sure your batteries are in good condition. You can then request fresh water tanks to be filled, refrigerators to be turned on, because that, I mean, that takes a while. If it's been in storage and you want to get on the road, it's going to take you a few hours to get your RV checked and prepped and we'll do all that for you for free regardless of how often you take it out. Then we do have dump stations on site, propane fill up on site and then also a full service team on site that can do any maintenance that you would need when you get back from the trip.

Mike Wendland:         One of the things that makes this pretty attractive besides all of that work that saved is knowing that if there's a hail storm, your RV is protected. I've seen what hail can do particularly out in Texas and down south. Oh my goodness. I can see where that would be a lot of peace of mind knowing that it's in a secure indoor facility. The other neat thing, I would wonder if there's a better insurance rate people can get too because it's under a little more care than being out in the open.

Jordan Kunz:               Yeah. We always recommend people talk to their insurance, whoever they have their insurance through to let them know that it is protected and it's out of the weather and any weather damage, sun damage, anything like that. Hail damage as you mentioned is … You're not going to experience any of that.

Mike Wendland:         So I appreciate you being with us. I think the takeaways for everybody who's listening to this is one, if you are storing your RV outside, in a field or in somebody's lot or in their backyard, you got to go check on it, make sure the mice aren't getting in and you also want to make sure your batteries are being maintained or turned off or pulled out. So watch over it. Don't just leave it there because you don't want to start it off in the spring and then suddenly find nothing's working. If you're near Vegas or if you're near Phoenix, you can get three months free from National Indoor RV Centers. Again, go to roadtreking.com/storage. It will take you right to the National Indoor RV Centers special place for this. Our guest has been Jordan Kunz. Jordan, thanks for being on the podcast.

Jordan Kunz:               Thank you so much, Mike. It's been a pleasure.

Mike Wendland:         Best of luck to you guys as you open up those two new facilities in Phoenix and in Las Vegas. Great to have you on the show.

Jordan Kunz:               Thank you very much.

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

By Andy Choi

 Verizon Wireless

On the heels of feeling thankful for family, friends, and everything that keeps us smiling, perhaps you're in the mood to splurge a bit on your tech-focused loved ones this holiday season. With that in mind, let's break down a few great ideas as you treat friends, family, perhaps yourself with one of Verizon's premium tech gifts. 

Let's start with the Bose SoundSport Free – Lightweight wireless earbuds that won't trip you up or slow you down. You can definitely take these sweatproof buds to the gym — they'll work as hard as you do, as the Soundsport Free manages music and takes your calls, all with that crisp, high-quality sound you expect from Bose.

Staying on the fitness track, how about the Fitbit Versa – The perfect fitness companion for recording workouts, heart rate zones, sleep patterns and much more. Get access to up to 300 of your favorite tunes, enjoy apps that keep you accountable, and receive personalized insights about your fitness journey. It's a smartwatch designed to help you reach your goals.

And finally the GoPro HERO7 – Take this camera on every adventure, whether it’s snorkeling, parasailing or jet skiing. The GoPro HERO7 will capture your every move with hyper smooth video stabilization. And when your fingers are busy, you can easily control the camera via voice as well.

So whether it's an extra special Secret Santa or a holiday pick-me-up for a close loved one, these gift ideas are sure to make a splash this holiday season. With this week's traveling technology tip,

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   

Patti and Tom Burkett

By Tom and Patti Burkett

We recently spent several days exploring in Canada’s Quebec Province.  We saw only a small fraction of it, but what we did see assures us there’s lots more to do here.  Down along the border with the USA is the Circuit Du Paysan, an agricultural trail with farms, shops, and outlets serving up first class products.  Down in that region, too, is the country that inspired the landscapes in  Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books.  If you love a good mystery read, try Still Life, the first of a dozen in the series.

Quebec City was our ultimate goal on this trip.  It’s a beautiful place, full of history and charm.  Also, definitely not off the beaten path.  One of the things that is, unless you’re a local, is an island in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River less than a half hour out of town.  Follow signs from the city for the Île D’Orleans.  After a short drive you’ll cross the only bridge onto the island, a two-lane span that can be backed up on a beautiful day.  Canada’s Route 368 crosses the bridge and rings the island.

The first thing you notice is the agricultural nature of the island.  Five minutes from where the bridge landed we were in farm country.  Lines of cars putted along behind tractors, farm stands offered fresh produce.  Small towns sported the kinds of things farmers and country people need, as well as a boutique or antique shop or artist studio or gallery.  About twenty miles long and a mile or so wide, the island has four of these little towns and a few smaller settlements.

While waiting for the tram in Quebec City, I chatted with a man in line who encouraged us to visit the island.  “Go to the chocolaterie,” he said, “and get the chocolate dipped ice cream cone.  It’s like a party in your mouth.”  Indeed it was.  A thick layer of high quality chocolate robed the soft serve, so that even on a warm day the melting ice cream simply puddled in a chocolate cup, waiting to be slurped up.  To gild the lily, the shop offered an equally delicious maple flavored dip.

Along the road circling the island we found wineries, orchards, and fruit stands.  Fall strawberries were in season and a bowl of them graced our breakfast table the next day.  Little parks and quays sticking out into the river appeared at regular intervals.  A bakery provided fresh croissants to go with the strawberries, and beautiful old churches and barns popped up here and there.

The winery of Saint-Petronille, set at the top of a long grassy hillside running down to the Saint Lawrence, offered a spectacular view of the Montmorency Falls across the water and, farther down the coast, the impressive Cathedral of Sainte Anne de Belpre.  Ice cream had left us with no room for lunch at the al fresco restaurant, but we did try wine tasting and left with a sample of their wares.

Were this the USA, we suspect, this island, so convenient to the city, would be condominiums and mini-malls from shore to shore.  Here in Quebec, it’s twenty square miles of farms, producing high quality produce for the restaurants and markets of Quebec City.  Charming and efficient, it is a reminder of how most communities used to get their food from just down the road.  Come take a look, and have a taste, out here off the beaten path.

Off the Beaten Path is brought to you by Harvest Hosts http://roadtreking.com/harvesthosts, a membership site that provides truly unique overnight stops at wineries, farms and attractions. 

If you haven’t joined Harvest Hosts now is the time. January 1st the price will increase to $79 per year (up from the current $49), but only for new members. So anyone who is signed up before Jan 1 gets locked into the current rate, which is only $49/year. But as a listener to this podcast, you can beat even that price. Get yourself Grandfathered into the lower price!!! If you want a 10% discount, sign up through https://roadtreking.com/harvesthosts . Harvest Hosts gives our followers a very special price. But you have to use that link. Please share. Again, to get that 10% discount you must use the special address roadtreking.com/harvesthosts. 

Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review!

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

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