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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

Entries in this blog

 

Yes, You Can Happily Boondock at 21 Below!

We just hit the road after a long weekend boondocking in our Roadtrek eTrek in the wilderness of northeast Minnesota, spending the weekend in it miles from civilization when the overnight temperature dropped to -21F/-29C. Call us Ice Station eTrek. Those frigid temperatures in the woods were the ambient, real temperature. But we had a very stiff northwestern wind that not only swirled up snow drifts all around s but made for wind chill readings of -50F/-45C. We could not have been more comfor

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Yellowstone: At the top of every RV Bucket List

Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park, a national treasure and a must visit for every RVer. A place so big it lies in part of two states, Montana and Wyoming. We just finished our second trip to Yellowstone in less than a year. I was warned before the first that the place will get in your blood and you will keep coming back, again and again. http://youtu.be/e7iUKCJY95Q So if you haven’t been there yet, I pass along the same warning. It’s that spectacular for those who lo

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Yellowstone Supervolcano is Not About to Blow, Says Park Service

Well, at least it’s not going to erupt anytime soon. Probably. This has been a strange year at Yellowstone National Park, which indeed sits atop a supervolcano. Two months ago, extreme heat from the thermal features below caused oil to bubble on a road surface and damage a 3.3-mile loop road that takes visitors past White Dome Geyser, Great Fountain Geyser and Firehole Lake. A couple months before that, some yahoo posted a video on YouTube purportedly showing bison in the park supposedly evac

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Yellowstone supervolcano is not about to blow, says park service

Yellowstone supervolcano is not about to blow, says park service Well, at least it’s not going to erupt anytime soon. Probably. This has been a strange year at Yellowstone National Park, which indeed sits atop a supervolcano. Two months ago,... Roadtreking : The RV Lifestyle Blog - Traveling North America in a small motorhome Source

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Wolf Creek Pass and the Roadtrek eTrek

I have a whole new appreciation for my Roadtrek eTrek. It not only allows us to boondock, or dry camp, for days on end, it can haul us up some of the steepest mountains in Southwest Colorado… while hauling a travel trailer. Our little family caravan made our way south from Colorado Springs in some pretty dicey driving conditions. Heavy downpours, fog, slippery roads and high altitude. But it wasn’t until we hit US 160 near Wolf Creek Pass when I put the eTrek to the hauling test. Some 37 Miles

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Winterizing an RV: The Easy Way

I know we’ve talked a lot about winterizing over the past few weeks. But here’s one more report, this one documenting my do-it-yourself winterizing of my Roadtrek eTrek. For the past two years, I’ve paid over $100 to have it winterized by RV service dealers. From the blog and our Facebook page, readers have told me that it’s no big deal and it it is something that even an unhandy handyman like me can do. So this year, I decided to see take their advice and do my own winterizing. I’ve rea

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Winterized again: I love my RV's Webasto heater

I am a huge fan of the Webasto Dual Top RHA 100 diesel-powered combined air and water heater for the Roadtrek eTrek and, as an option, on other Roadtrek models. In terms of heat, it both heats up the inside of the coach and provides hot domestic water. The entire unit fits under the vehicle chassis, saving precious space inside. A small fuel line runs under the coach from the Mercedes engine up front to the Dual Top, mounted under the rear of the vehicle. Heat is pushed out through two air out

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Winter in the UP: It's for the dogs

MARQUETTE, MI – Winter in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is not for warm weather sissies. In the town of Marquette, hard on the shore of Lake Superior, nearly 149 inches of snow falls each winter. That works out to nearly 12 and-a-half feet of snow. Up here, from late October to mid April, snowmobiles are seemingly as common as trucks. But all that snow also enables another form of transportation: Dog sleds. Each February, Marquette hosts one of the nation's premier dog sled races, the UP200, a

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why We Like Boondocking Deep in the Woods

One question we get a lot when we talk about our love of being off the beaten path and away from everyone is, “Why? What do you do there.” This is as good a time as ever to try and answer that because, as I type, we are very deep in the woods, in the middle of the Pigeon River Country State Forest Area at the very top of the Michigan Lower Peninsula mitt, a 105,049-acre area so vast it rambles across Otsego, Cheboygan, and Montmorency Counties. This is one of our top five favorite places to g

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why we like boondocking deep in the woods

Why we like boondocking deep in the woods One question we get a lot when we talk about our love of being off the beaten path and away from everyone is, “Why? What do you do there.” This... Roadtreking : The RV Lifestyle Blog - Traveling North America in a small motorhome Source

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why we chose a Type B motorhome for our RV needs

When we share our love of RVing in our 22-foot Type B Roadtrek with friends and relatives, probably the most common question we get is why a Type B? Why not one of those giant Type A motorhomes? Well, no offense to Type A or Type C owners but we're really hooked on Type B RVing for one basic reason: Convenience. We can go anywhere in our Type B and when we do, everything we have is with us. That’s why I put together this little video, which was shot across the country during our travels this

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why We Boondock

It sounds like it’s raining. But it’s not. It’s the sound of acorns dropping from the oak trees all around us as we boondock in the middle of the woods overlooking the Rifle River in northern Michigan’s Ogemaw County. This is not a particularly pretty time of the year. The beautiful fall leaves have turned brown and now cover the ground. Only the oaks, with their shriveled up leaves and their dropping acorns, still have a covering. Squirrels are running all over gathering the bounty. Deer, too

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why we boondock

Why we boondock It sounds like it’s raining. But it’s not. It’s the sound of acorns dropping from the oak trees all around us as we boondock in the middle of the woods... Roadtreking : The RV Lifestyle Blog - Traveling North America in a small motorhome Source

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why Small Motorhomes are Leading the RV Industry Sales Boom

Type Bs and Cs, the smaller versions of the rapidly growing motorhome market, are leading the way in the dramatic turnaround in the RV industry thanks to the ever growing number of Baby Boomer retirees used to active, mobile lifestyles. I’ve spent much of the past week here at the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s annual trade show in Louisville, Ky., talking to leading recreational vehicle industry experts, trade association officials, manufacturers and dealers and all agreed that sa

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why Roadtreking is Better Than Air Travel

I hate flying. In my past life as a journalist, I was frequently in the air, flying here or there for this story or that. I grew to dread air travel. But now that I travel in an RV, I hate flying even more. I write this from Albany, GA, where we are visiting family. It’s a quick visit, to watch the grandsons play football and to attend grandparent’s day at the youngest one’s school. We’re flying on gift tickets, down here just for the weekend and then back to Michigan. This is the first air

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Why Colorado is such a great RV destination

If you like driving your RV, drive it in Colorado. Look at the photos. Around every corner is another great, sweeping vista. Today, we drove about 80 miles from Mesa Verde National park in the far southwest corner up Highway 145 to the Matterhorn Campground in the San Juan Mountains a dozen or so miles south of Telluride. From the semi-arid canyon country to alpine forests, the drive couldn’t be prettier. Even towing that new AmerLite Travel Trailer I bought from American RV in Grand Rapids,

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Who says there aren't deals out there?

Who says there aren’t deals out there? I don’t usually write about the good deals I come across out there but a new listing on the American RV site caught my eye. It’s for a brand new 2012 Roadtrek 190 Popular. New, it has a MSRP of $95,725. Used, it has a NADA price of $87,680. American RV in Grand Rapids, MI is selling this brand new model at $76,990. That’s more than a pretty good deal: A brand new 190 that is more that $10,000 below the NADA used price! The bargain pricing confirms som

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Where Do You Park Your RV?

The snow is gone and the 5-foot-high banks that formed a wall along the driver’s side of our Roadtrek eTrek has melted away. As I look at it sitting there on it’s special little apron in the driveway, I can almost hear it calling: “Take me someplace fun. Now.” When I snapped this photo yesterday, it got me wondering how and where most of you keep your RVs when at home. Most of the bigger Type C and Type A’s, of course, need to have lots of room, and that usually entails a storage facility. Bu

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

When You Become Ill in an RV

It ain’t pretty. But it isn’t as bad as I though it would be, either. I knew something was wrong as soon as I got up that morning. I was queezy feeling and very chilled. Yet the sun was shining and it was already in the 70′s outside. We had arrived in Naples, FL the afternoon before. We ate dinner at a local restaurant and, 12 hours later, I could feel that dinner still sitting in my belly like a brick. I’m not sure whether it was food poisoning or the stomach flu or if there is really a diff

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

When it comes to Bison at Yellowstone, Don't be Stupid!

There's nothing like the sight of one of Yellowstone National Park's magnificent bison to slow traffic. These shaggy giants seem oblivious to the traffic. They cross the road where they want. They go where they want. The National Park Service says humans need to stay far away from bison. But they don't. People, in quest of a photo, get very stupid. As you can see on , people are stupid. Every year, someone gets hurt. Sometimes very badly. Bison can kill.For these animals will charge. They u

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

When is It Too Cold to RV?

I am beginning to have some serious doubts about the wisdom of taking our Roadtrek eTrek to the wilderness of Northern Minnesota next week to report on a dog sled marathon from Duluth to the Canadian border. The long term weather forecast predicts lows of -20F/-28C along the Northern Shore of Lake Superior, where we would be boondocking with no outside power. I had really looked forward to this but it seems foolhardy to do camp out under such extreme cold. We handled -5F/-20C last year in Febru

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

When an RV trip comes to an end

Is there anything more exciting about leaving on an RV Trip? Anticipation fuels each mile. Excitement about what lies ahead runs high. The sights are new, the day’s drive full of expectation. Conversely, is there anything more mind-numbing than the drive back home? Been there, done that syndrome kicks in. The vacation is over. There are so many miles to go on a road we’ve traveled before. On return from many a previous trip, Jennifer and I would resolve ourself just to drive. To get home as fa

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

What RVers Need to Know: Weather Lingo

All the winter storm advisories, alerts, watches and warnings that we’ve had lately can be confusing. The National Weather Service does a great job of disseminating weather predictions but sometimes it can be hard to know just what is what. So, for your future reference, here’s a weather lingo tutorial. Weather watches A watch means conditions are right for dangerous weather. In other words, a “watch” means watch out for what the weather could do, be ready to act. For events that come and

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

What Offseason?

We just came back from our latest trip, a 1,000 mile journey that took us to northeastern Pennsylvania and back. We had spent exactly one day at our Michigan home before leaving for that trip, returning from a 2,000 mile journey up to the north shore of Lake Superior the week before. We leave in about 10 days for Mississippi, the Gulf Coast and Florida. In fact, since the so-called RV season ended in October, we’re averaging two long trips a month. That’s about what we do during the summer.

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

What goes into an RV paint job?

One of the things that so distinguishes an RV is its appearance and especially, the beauty of its paint job. All the manufacturers are working very hard to make their units stand out. To see what goes into painting an RV, we visited the Kitchener, Ontario, Canada factory of Roadtrek Motorhomes, the largest and best-sellingType B motothome manufacturer in North America. There, we are able to follow a unit through the painting process and video it all. It begins as the van is bought into the sand

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

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