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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

Entries in this blog

 

Apps and Websites to Help You Find the Perfect Boondocking Spot

Ah ... the Sound of Silence. There really is a sound to it, you know. On a boondocking trip deep in the Michigan woods in Ogemaw County, we heard it good. There was the crackle of our campfire. A hoot of a distant owl. The yips of a pack of coyotes somewhere far to the west. The gurgle of the Rifle River moving over a stretch of rocks just downstream from where we were camped. The whooshing sound of wind whipping through a stand of pine. And on that clear night, the sound of boondocking silen

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Total Off-grid Solar-powered RV

I came across this interesting You Tube video from a guy who calls himself “Master Luke.” It shows a 24-foot cargo trailer that he made into a totally solar-powered RV. The entire roof of the trailer is covered with solar panels - 3,130 watts worth of them. The Roadtrek eTrek we drive has a 5,000-watt inverter, a diesel generator and about 250 watts of solar power. But I reckon that we can get more practical RVing use out of our rig than he can with his. That diesel generator charges those ba

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

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

 

Carrying a kayak on a Roadtrek

I love kayaking. Except for occasional rental places I find in our travels, though, it’s pretty hard to do while Roadtreking. I’ve been tempted to get an inflatable kayak but, well, I want a real one, with a composite body. The problem, though, is how do I carry it? My friend Gary Hennes from Minnesota has solved that problem with a roof mount and a Hullavator mechanism that effortlessly lifts the kayak up to the roof of his 2006 Roadtrek RS-Adventurous. He got his from a local outfitter nea

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Amateur Radio and the RVer

Thanks to the Internet and email, text messaging and Facebook updates, it’s easy to stay in touch with friends and family while traveling. But a very active group of RVers takes such connectivity to a whole new level, out-Interneting even the Internet when it comes to being able to communicate with the world. They take their own radio stations with them. They are members of the Amateur Radio Chapter of the Family Motorcoach Association and their radio stations are ham radio transceivers that

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

If Headed to Florida, Better Learn Pickleball

Actually, amend that headline. Pickleball is everywhere. In fact, its leading proponents claim it is the fastest-growing sport in North America,.though verifying that is not easy to do. But there is no doubt that the sport, invented in 1965, is now hugely popular, particularly among retirees and in campgrounds, RV resorts, retirement communities and the like across Florida and the Sunbelt. Further, many snowbrird return to their northern homes each spring and bring their love of the game back w

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Installing amateur radio in an RV

I’ve been an amateur (ham) radio operator for decades, My call is K8ZRH and there was a time when I was obsessed with the hobby, so caught up in making contacts with every state in the nation, every country in the world, that I stayed up all hours of the night tracking DX (distant) stations, Eventually, to keep peace in my marriage, I backed off and, for the past ten years or so, have been pretty much inactive. Today, there’s an amateur radio transceiver installed in my RV. Not a CB radio, thou

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Roadtreking and the Interesting People You Meet

The RV life is so much fun because you don’t know what adventure is around the next bend. But the people you meet along the way are equally enjoyable. I don’t think Jennifer and I have yet to return from a Roadtreking trip without making some new friends. On our most recent trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we met interesting people at each stop. Up at the Historic Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor Michigan, we found ourselves sharing a campground with husband and wife Roadtrekers Dav

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Planning for the Next RV Year

Jennifer and I went to the local office supply store over the weekend and picked up a new planning calendar for 2014. It’s one of those big, poster-sized ones with the entire year laid out in neat little blocks for each day of each month. It’s erasable – a good thing with our propensity for last minute trips and change of plans – and right now, it’s blank. But we’re about to start filling it in. We’ve gone through and listed all the places we want to go, the things we want to see, the people we

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Sneak Peek at National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

The annual Recreation Vehicle Industry Association trade show in Louisville is the big one for the RV industry, providing a sneak peek at what’s new aimed at dealers and industry insiders to help them get ready for the next year. Held at the Massive Kentucky Exposition Center, this year’s 51st edition of the show opens Tuesday. But Jennifer and I got in early for a sneak peek of our own. The RVIA expects more than 8,000 attendees this week. Over 300 acres of display space will be filled by 61

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

For Your RV Bucket List: Glacier National Park

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Episode 4 of the Roadtreking Podcast – How and When to Winterize

This is a jam-packed podcast with lots of very practical news and information. In it we talk about another anti-RV town, how and when to winterize, along with lots of practical tips on all sorts of things connected with the RV lifetyle. Last week, we had 41,697 plus downloads of the Roadtreking RV Podcast. I am overwhelmed by your support and kind words. Thank you. If you haven’t already, please subscribe via the iTunes or Stitcher links: Episode 4 of the Roadtreking Podcast – How and When to

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Dolly Towing With Our Roadtrek

Dolly Towing With Our Roadtrek We had no problems driving our 2015 Roadtrek CS Adventurous E-Trek while towing our Prius 1,900 miles to Arizona. End of story, right? Well, not exactly. Getting to that decision... Roadtreking : The RV Lifestyle Blog - Traveling North America in a small motorhome Source

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Protecting Your Sticks-and-Brick House While You’re RVing

We’ve been traveling about two weeks out of every month and a nagging worry that doesn’t go away is the safety and protection of our sticks-and-bricks house. So this past week, I just installed an alarm system on every door, every window, as well as motion detectors, water detectors, freeze monitors and carbon monoxide and fire alarms on both levels of our two-story home. All of the alarms are monitored 24 x 7 and I have a remote app for my smartphone and computer that lets me check in on what’

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Our 2014 Roadtreking Goals

Happy New Year! Like many we’ve been reflecting a lot on the places we’ve been and the people we met in 2013. We’ve even drawn up a tentative travel schedule of our planned travel destinations for the new year. But I’ve also come up with some new goals, above and beyond the specifics of where and when we’ll go. I call it my Roadtreking self improvement list. Here are the things I want to learn or do better with in 2014: 1) Stop, look and listen more – Last year was a crazy year, travel wise

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Lost in the '60s old RV travel trailer restored

John and Terry O’Brien love old travel trailers. From their Silver Springs, FL home, the New York transplants did one up in the style of the Fifties a couple of years ago. It was so unique that the Travel Channel saw it at an RV show they were covering, did a feature on it and as a result, John received an offer he couldn’t refuse. So when they saw an old beat up old 1987 16-foot Casita travel trailer in a junkyard not long afterwards, they knew it was time for another restoration project. Th

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Sprinter RV lineup joined by new Roadtrek CS Adventurous

Sprinter RV lineup joined by new Roadtrek CS Adventurous A major reason for the huge spike in Class B motorhome sales over the past year or so is the Mercedes Sprinter, a rugged and flexible van that offers RV makers all sorts of customization opportunities. Roadtrek Motorhomes is about to introduce a new full sized Sprinter model, joining its popular RS Adventurous and the new all-electric, solar powered  eTrek. For 2013, there’s a third model – the CS Adventurous… CS for Camping Series.

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

 

RV Destination: Michigan’s Buggy Bois Blanc Island

Scratch another place off my bucket list: Bois Blanc Island, in the middle of Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, half way between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower. As we were rounding the Lake Huron shoreline of the Michigan Mitt and driving through the northeastern town of Cheboygan on our Verizon Great Lakes Shoreline Tour, we saw a sign that directed us to the ferry dock. The Straits of Mackinac were right off our righthand side as we made our way north on US 23 but this ferry was not for

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

National Parks: A Photographer’s Dream

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

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

 

Inside Advanced RV’s new Ocean One Type B Motorhome

Inside Advanced RV’s new Ocean One Type B Motorhome As a sure sign that the RV industry is bouncing back, a small Cleveland-based startup has introduced a high end Mercedes Sprinter motorhome that is targeting the extreme high end of the Type B market. It’s new Ocean One model. Set up with all the extras, it will retail for around $155,ooo, easily making it the most expensive Type B I’ve seen. Luxury features include a heated floor, heated captain’s chairs, a wine cabinet, lots of fine crafte

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

My RV Has Turned Into an Igloo

This is only temporary. That’s what I keep telling myself when I look out in in my snowy Michigan driveway and instead of seeing our Roadtrek eTrek out there, we only see an igloo. Look for yourself at the accompanying photos, below. We got our first big snow over the weekend and while it indeed is looking a lot like Christmas, it just seems, well, wrong, to see the RV covered under all that white stuff. I snowblowed the driveway and then took some photos before I removed as much of the snow

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Our Most-Asked Roadtreking Question

I love getting reader mail and I do my best to answer them. But lately, as the fall RV RV shows start getting 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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

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