One of the great joys of traveling North America in an RV is the way it connects you to history and the people and places that have shaped us. So it was for us when we came to a historic site along the famed Natchez Trace where American explorer, soldier, and public administrator Meriwether Lewis – best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with William Clark – met his death on October 11, 1809 under highly suspicious circumstances.
He was 35 years old at the time,
Roadtrekers love to take photos. And while our styles, skills and the things we like to photograph may vary, one thing I bet all of us like to get are images of a sunset.
I’ve used these awkward days of spring before the warm weather travel season really gets under way to organize the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the past two years and 50,000 miles of roadtteking across North America.
The photos could be better. But even my ineptitude is smoothed over by the awesome beauty of a sunset,
It’s easy to see why American Indians and the early settlers called the area of southwestern South Dakota the Badlands.
They are dry, unbearably hot in the summer, rugged, isolated and - in the days before modern transportation – extremely difficult to navigate.
But while it may be an inhospitable place to live, these days the Badlands make for a very good visit by RV.
Jennifer and I try to spend time here each year. You could say we’ve gotten hooked on the Badlands.
The Badlands National P
If you are a regular reader, you know Jennifer and I love to RV across Michigan’s pristine Upper Peninsula – the UP – where big towns simply aren’t, and the scenery is jaw-dropping gorgeous with lots of forests, lakes and streams and, of course, the Big Lake, Superior, which some say is the coldest, deepest fresh water lake in the world.
Superior borders the UP to the north. The south coast of the UP is bordered by Lakes Michigan and Huron.
We visit the every time we can, in all seasons. If yo
We’ve shared this on our Facebook group but thanks to a reader’s suggestion, I thought I’d better post it here on the Roadtreking blog as well: Roadtrek has made it easy for owners of its various models to keep up with the best operating practices and learn exactly how their motorhomes work by putting new revised editions of its owners manual online.
They can be accessed directly from the company website at http://www.roadtrek.com/manuals.aspx.
The manuals, in convenient .pdf form for easy pri
I’m often asked about the favorite things we’ve done in our Roadtrek eTrek. At the top of my list is mountain climbing.
We used it to drive to the top of Pikes Peak, some 14,114 feet high.
It’s a long haul up and when we entered the road that would take us to the top off Highway 24 west of Colorado Springs, we had to have the ranger help us drive around a barrier meant to keep larger vehicles from attempting the climb. At first, they tried to wave us off. Then they saw that our Roadtrek RV was
Colorado has so many great spots to visit but one you just do not want to miss is the Garden of the Gods Park near Colorado Springs. We’ve been there twice, once in the winter and once in the summer. Both trips were excellent and made us determined to come back again and again.
The red-colored sandstone formations tower as high as 300 feet and walking trails lead right up to them.
The Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark that has been exciting tourists since the mi
Question: What’s the difference between a flashlight and an illumination tool?
Answer: About $70. Or more.
And some pretty powerful lights.
One piece of gear all RVers have is a flashlight. Usually several. I most often relay on a small headlamp that I picked up at REI. It lets me have hands-free use when I arrive at a campsite after dark and need some illumination to set up.
But we also have a couple of regular flashlights in our motorhome.
They are nothing like the “illumination tools” m
If you like peace and quiet and lots of elbow room where you camp, you will not want to be on RV Row at the Kentucky Derby.
But if a non-stop party is what you’re looking for, then the private parking lot right next to Churchill Downs is where you’ll want to be Kentucky Derby week.
The parking lot is owned by Fred Stair and he rents RV spaces out for the Thursday-Sunday Derby weekend as the Captain’s Derby Parking, even providing water, a dump station and limited electricity. Cost is $650 for
I’ve spent much of the past two months using my spare time to study photography, though online courses, books and some classroom work. I also, gulp, bought a professional grade camera and have been learning its ins and out, too. All this in preparation for our RV visits to various National Parks across the country.
This year, I’m going to concentrate even more out there on photography, spurred on by the annual photo contest sponsored by the National Park Foundation.
The photo accompanying this
In this episode of our How We Roll in our RV series, we answer reader questions about taking care of our home while we’re off RVing and how we like the Roadtrek eTrek.
The first question came from Roger Bohnke who asks:
Q: Maybe a question for your How We Roll series… Mike and Jen, I’ve been wondering how you take care of your house while you two are on all these wonderful long trips? Do you live in a townhouse or condo you can just lock up and walk away from? We want to travel a lot when we r
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” soun
I love getting reader mail and I do my best to answer them. But lately, as a new RV season gets underway and lots of people are thinking about purchasing a motorhome and more new people are discovering this blog, the questions are somewhat the same. So I thought I’d share here the answer to the one question we get asked the most.
Q: What would you and your wife do differently in buying an RV now that you've been doing this for a while?
A: The short answer is … nothing. We now have about 60,000
I’m at the Roadtrek factory in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada for the next two weeks shooting and producing a film to be called The Making of a Roadtrek.
This is a project I’ve wanted to do for two years and, with the company’s blessings, I am now be documenting the creation of a Roadtrek.
We began filming Tuesday morning as a brand-new but stripped-down Mercedes Sprinter was driven into the factory for what will be about a 10-day build. The model I am following through the assembly process will b
I’m about to check off a couple more items from our RV travel bucket list, trips that will take us coast to coast on a summer travel schedule that will have us going from Cape Cod to the Oregon coast, with numerous stops and detours along the way.
The Cape Cod trip is from June 8-11th as we attend a sold-out Roadtrek International chapter rally of the Family Motorcoach Association that will be held in Brewster, MA. Jennifer and I will meet and visit with over 100 other Roadtrek owners, sharing
The just-concluded Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., a week after Canada’ Victoria Day, means that summer has begun – even though the official start is still a couple of weeks later. And Roadtrekers were out and about over the last weekend so we did another one of our “One Day in the Life of a Roadtrek” photo shoots.
The rules were simple: Take a picture of your Roadtrek wherever you happened to be at sunset local time. Then email it to me.
We got a great assortment this year from all over Nor
The story of the American bison is one of the most sad and captivating episodes in U.S. history. Once thought to be limitless in number – an estimated 50 million ranged across North America before European settlement – they were hunted to near extinction in the late 1800’s. Greed by hunters and a calculated political effort to eliminate the food and main staple of the American Indian tribes were the reasons.
From 50 million, the senseless slaughter left about 100 animals in the wild in the late
RVers heading to Canada via Port Huron, MI and the Blue Water Bridge may want to budget a few hours so pull off the freeway and take in the sights of this very busy port city.
On a nice sunny day, the drive and park along the busy St. Clair River offers parking nose first, right smack dab on the riverbank. A Type B RV fits perfectly and the view of the fast-moving river is mesmerizing.
The river is one of the busiest water routes in the Great Lakes, connecting Lake Huron just north of the Blue
As we’ve traveled across North America, visiting wilderness areas and National Parks, one park consistently came up at the top of the list of must-visit places suggested by fellow RVers: Glacier National Park in far northwestern Montana.
Now that we’ve been there and spent most of a week exploring this dramatic and spectacular park, we know why.
But our adventure here didn’t start out well. We visited in mid-August, after school had started in much of the country. We thought the crowds would
The surveys show well over 75% of all RVrs travel with dogs. In fact, many said because they want to take their pets with them is one of the major reasons they bought an RV in the first place.
Jennifer and I are the same. We enjoy the company of our Norwegian Elkhound, Tai, and bring him with us on most of our trips.
But there are times while we’re on the road that Tai doesn’t quite fit in.
Take the long trip west that we’re now on.
Tai will be great for most of it. But the first part, a we
If any of you have been to the Roadtrek factory in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada for a tour, you would have an idea of what it takes to build a Roadtrek, how busy the manufacturing floor is and how passionate everyone there is about the product.
For those who have not been able to make the trip (and we highly recommend that you do), we are happy to present a video tour for you on what it takes to build the #1 selling Class B Motorhome in North America.
Jennifer and I spent two weeks in Kitch
I confess to being a bit of a snob about the east. My journalist days often took me up and down the eastern seaboard, mostly to big cities where crime, decay, overcrowded neighborhoods and a general malaise of discontent seemed to be the chief characteristic of the people and places.
Such is the danger of journalism. Seeing bad news makes you skeptical. Seeing too much bad news makes you a cynic. And being cynical is not a good way to live.
So it’s good to visit the east now in an RV, where we
We’re about to set off on a 3,500-mile trip that will take us farther than if we drove across country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. And although we till visit eight states, we will never really leave the Midwest.
We’ll be driving much of the U.S. shorelines that touches the five Great Lakes.
I’ve wanted to do this trip for years.
ow, thanks to Verizon Wireless and in partnership with Pure Michigan, we’re about to set off, starting from the Lake Ontario shoreline near Otswego, NY, and the
“Not all those who wander are lost."
-- J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings.
We love that quote because we love to meander, to take roads less traveled, off the Interstate. And as we are starting our Great Lakes Shoreline Tour that will take us 3,500 miles across eight states along the shorelines of all five Great Lakes, we are reminded again about the absolute joy of slow exploration.
We’ve tried to explain it to non-RV people. Their eyes sort of glaze over. But you understand, don’t
Buying an RV is perhaps the second biggest purchase most of us will make next to our house. In some cases, with kids grown and newly retired from our jobs, it becomes our house as more and more people embrace the fulltiming style of a life on wheels.
And these days, Type B RVs seem to be at the top of the motorhome popularity chart. Many who bought larger Type A or C motorhomes are downsizing, or “rightsizing,,” as some call it, for the more mobile and maneuverable Type B-style campervan motorh