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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

Entries in this blog

 

Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs

It was a day of superlatives as our Roadtrek eTrek literally took us to the heights of RVing – climbing Pikes Peak. Making it even better because it was our wedding anniversary and we were spending it with family in one of the continent’s most beautiful regions. Pikes Peak surely is the most accessible big mountain on the continent, with a first rate road all the way up, despite some hairpin curves with little or no shoulder or guardrails. The only issue we had was on the descent, where at the

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Hard driving, Hells Angels and lots of pit stops

Now I know how Class A motorhome drivers live. They spend lots of time checking their mirrors, looking for places to park that are big enough to handle their length and…. visiting gas stations. As we are towing a 21-foot travel trailer behind our Roadtrek on a family caravan vacation trip to the Rockies, I’ve found towing very easy and parking not so bad as long as I don’t try pulling in to fast-food places with my 30-foot-plus length. Truthfully, I’ve quickly gotten used to towing and with 1,

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Meet our RVing family as we hit the road for the Rockies

And the Great Wendland Family Roadtreking RV Vacation is off and westbound, headed to Colorado and the American southwest in a caravan of two Roadtreks, a travel trailer and an SUV. Meet the Family Since you’ll be seeing and hearing about the six adults, two kids and three big dogs we have traveling in two Roadtrek Class B motorhomes, one Gulf Stream Travel Trailer and an SUV, I thought it might be good to introduce them to you. I should also point out that my third child, Scott, with his wife

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Understanding Data Usage and the MiFi Data Card

Staying in touch while RVing is a challenge we all face. And a key tool many of us end up acquiring is a data card that lets us set up our own Wi-Fi networks to connect our various tablets and computers to the Internet. True, many of today’s tablets and smartphones have a feature that will let you do that without the need for special card. But a special data card adds, in my view, more convenience. It can be plugged in and kept somewhere in the RV and be always charged, always ready and not pul

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Details on the Travel Trailer We’ll Tow with Our Roadtrek

Lots of you have written asking for a show and tell and some details about the travel trailer we just just purchased to take on our “Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013,” which starts Saturday. The video gives you a quick peek at what it looks like. http://youtu.be/kR7LVaLLR94 Jennifer and I love the 2012 Roadtrek eTrek. We’ve put well over 20,000 miles on it since we got it around the first of the year. But Class B motorhomes in and of themselves are not a family RV. While we could tak

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013 is about to start!

Who says small motorhomes are only made for small vacations? In an effort to prove that the small motorhome lifestyle is very conductive to large family vacations, I’ll be turning a summer road trip into an RV caravan that my family and I are calling the “Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013” It’s set to kick off Saturday, August 3, 2013. The road trip will consist of six adults, two kids and three dogs and we will travel through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, New

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

How We Roll in our RV: Tech use While on the Road

Every week we get at least one question about how we use technology while traveling. In this edition of How We Roll in our RV, you get to see the way I stay connected all the time. Updating this blog, our Facebook Page and Facebook Group, plus the newsletter, means I need a reliable connection to the Internet. I’ve written before about my tech gear and the the MiFi card I use from Verizon Wireless to create a 4G network in my Roadtrek Class B motorhome. And a few weeks ago, I added a cell phone

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RVing and Camping in Bear Country

Inevitably, if you do a lot of wilderness camping in your RV, you’re going to find yourself in bear country. It’s a sad fact of life that there are camping fatalities and injuries every year because of bear attacks and, during peak season, it's rare that at least one bear every week is not put down by game officials somewhere in North America because it strayed into a campground, usually because of irresponsible humans who left food out. When we were in Yellowstone National Park this summer, th

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RVing and My New Smartphone

I’ve switched smartphones and it’s all because of RVing. I now use the Samsung Galaxy S 4. I traded my iPhone 5 in at my local Verizon store and now am tasked with learning a new system. I feel a little guilty about it. I have been told that the iPhone I bought at 6PM EST on June 29, 2007 was the first one sold. It was part of a TV live shot I was doing and I had stood all night long, first in a long line. Working with the manager of at AT&T store, we arranged for me to be standing at the c

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

How to Unclutter your RV

We have discovered he one all important guiding principle that more than anything determines the success or failure of an RV trip: There needs to be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. When we first began our RV travels, we took everything. Sometimes two of everything. Both Jennifer and I were so paranoid that we left something behind that we overcompensated. Our little 24 foot Class B RV looked like a scene out of that Hoarders reality TV show, you know, the one where

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

An RV gathering of friends

Please do not call it a rally. There was no itinerary. No organized programs. And no nametags. We all made our own reservations and the only coordinated planning was letting the word out on our Roadtreking Facebook Group that a bunch of us were going to meet on a particular weekend at a particular campground in Michigan. It was more fun than any of us expected and a great example that great RVing times can be spontaneous and as easy as just showing up and getting together. In all 10 coaches

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

7 tips for using your Class B RV as an everyday vehicle

One of the great things about having a Class B RV like our Roadtrek eTrek is that it also can function as a second vehicle. I’ve used it to run errands, drive to and from meetings and work-related activities, church and – while Jennifer is shopping – a comfortable place to chill out while in the parking lot of the mall. I’ve also used it for what I call mini-vacations, short day trip respites of a few hours to parks, lakeshores and the like. Sometimes, I’ve put the bike rack on, drove to a big

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Stormy Kromer hats: A Yooper tradition develops a cult-like following

I’m a sucker for hats. Ball caps, cowboy hats, straw hats, watch caps and lately, Stormy Kromer hats. We picked up our first Stormy Kromer hats while doing some winter camping last February in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Seemed like every Yooper we saw was wearing one. So Jennifer and I both got one, me a rakish black, Jennifer’s a demure grey with pink trim. As we returned from that trip but kept wearing our hats, we met lots of other people who either had one, knew someone who had one or

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Cool Modifications to a Roadtrek: Screens and Cabinets

We RVers love to share modifications we’ve done to our vehicles to make they fit our personal style. So it is with delight that a share a series of photos that show some very unique customizations done by blog reader Alan Shafer from Rockford, Mich., to his Roadtrek 2006 RS Adventurous. His photos are included. Here is his account: As you can see by the pics, it had four captain’s chairs. I removed the rear chairs and started from there. I have detailed pics of the whole process. The good t

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Howling for Wolves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

One of the reasons so many RVers love Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is because of all the wildlife. And in recent years, the chance, albeit slim, of seeing a wolf has been at least a possibility that has made the place pretty exciting. For the introduction of the grey wolf into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is one of the greatest wildlife management success stories in generations. Where there were none just a couple of decades ago, there are now around 700. On calm, clear nights, hearing the howls of

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Adding a Cell Phone Booster for my on-the-road RVing

One of the challenges of being on the road so much and doing a blog like this is being reliably connected to the Internet in a whole bunch of different places. I’ve been a huge fan of the Verizon Mi-Fi card and the network’s strong nationwide footprint of 4G connectivity. It very reliably gives me near broadband speed as I travel. Sending video gobbles up a lot of bandwidth and almost all the videos I do for this blog were sent via the Verizon network. But lately, I’ve been going to some reall

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Bighorn Medicine Wheel

On top of the Bighorn Range in Wyoming is Medicine Mountain, desolate and nearly 10,000 feet high and only reachable during the warm summer months. And on top of it lies a mysterious and ancient Native American medicine wheel that precisely predicts certain astronomical events. This is not a casual walk. It is 1 1/2 miles from the parking lot to the medicine wheel. And 1 1/2 miles back down to the parking lot again. That’s a three-mile roundtrip hike, at altitude. The wind blows continually and

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Battle of the Bugs in Michigan’s UP

I have a serious bone to pick with whoever calls Michigan’s Upper Peninsula a paradise. Not this trip. This RV adventure was a battle of the bugs. And while it looks pretty out the window of the motor coach, venture outside and you are fair game for swarms of insects that see you as smorgasbord. The mosquitoes and biting black and stable flies of the Lake Superior region are the worst they’ve been in years. Locals blame it on the unusually wet spring and summer we’ve had this year. http://you

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Beartooth Highway – RV Heaven

The Beartooth Highway is one of the more spectacular drives you can take when touring in your RV out West, comparable to the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. It’s a 1930s WPA project that opened access to the Yellowstone region from the northeast, and an impressive engineering accomplishment. Fortunately for us, it’s still in good repair and easily traversable by all but the most anemic RVs – there are probably a few gas Class As that shouldn’t attempt it, but the rest of us can

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The wildflowers of Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is one of our most favorite places to RV in all of North America. It draws us back and its sheer size and beauty is breathtaking. We couldn’t resist sharing the wildflowers with you. I don’t know the names of them. But I do know they are stunningly beautiful. I think you’ll agree. As macro as the place is, it is also meant to be seen on the micro level, close up. So it was on our most recent trip, which just happened to correspond to the height of the spring wildflo

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

 

A Day in the Life of a Roadtrek

On June 22, 2013 – at sunset local time from coast to coast, across the U.S., into Canada, as far north as Alaska – 19 different Roadtrek owners took a photo of their Roadtrek. Some were parked at campgrounds. Others in their driveway. Some drove to a special setting near their hometowns. I was at a rodeo in Cody, WY with mine. The point was to get a photo of our Roadtrek motorhomes at sunset, wherever we were. We’re thinking about doing this sort of thing a couple of times a year. Maybe for

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

An RV Trip to Devils Tower

If you thought you saw Devils Tower in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you haven’t seen Devils Tower. It’s much more impressive, even without the Hollywood special effects aliens. We made our way to the Devils Tower National Monument from Gillette, WY, about 55 miles away. It’s a great drive through lush and wide open Wyoming rangeland and prairie. There are two RV parks there, one from the National Parks Service, one from KOA. Both offer spectacular views of Devils Tower. But w

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Photos: What it’s like at a big RV Rally

RV rallys can be small or spectacularly huge. FMA's 88th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Gillette Wyoming, in June 2013 was one of the big ones. There were more than 2,300 coaches, 5,000-plus RVers and several hundred other vendors, dealers and exhibitors. Gillette’s massive 1,100-acre CAM-PLEX exhibition center was jammed with motorhomes literally as far as you could see in any direction. Big rallies like this are not for everyone. Camping spaces are cramped, with rigs parked just a f

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Another reason we RV: The sheer joy of driving

“Not all those who wander are lost,” so wrote J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings. It is so true when it comes to RVing. We love to meander, to take roads less traveled, off the Interstate. But even the Interstates are fun, especially out of urban areas. As Jennifer and I made our way west this week to attend the Family Motor Coach rally in Gillette, Wyo., we realized something about our wanderings: We love to drive. That is so weird for me to write because when I commuted to and from

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

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