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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

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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

 

Shakedown cruise: Getting used to my new RV

We were deep in the piney woods of Southwest Georgia, a half mile off a red dirt road, parked in a small clearing not far from our deer blind. It was the last weekend of Georgia’s months-long deer season and Matthew, who just took up hunting as any good Southern boy does, had invited me down. Since we were heading to the big Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa Jan.16-21, the hunting trip made for a perfect stopover. We were seriously boondocking. There was no power or sewer hookups, no cable TV, n

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Florida RV Supershow sets the tone for 2013 RVing

The RV promotion industry may argue over bragging rights to what is the biggest show of the year but if you poll both dealers and fans, it becomes pretty clear that in terms of influence, size and excitement, the annual Florida RV Supershow this week at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa is the one that sets the tone for the entire RV year. The sponsoring Florida RV Trade Association proudly claim this show is not just the nation’s biggest – it’s the best. This is the show in which RV owne

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

 

A look at the different interiors of 2013 model Sprinter RVs

With the Mercedes Sprinter chassis still driving the big spike in Type B motorhome sales, RV manufacturers are continuing to innovate in design and options as they get ready for the 2013 RV season. At the big Florida RV Supershow in Tampa this January, most of the North America big Type B makers were showing off their new models front and center. We thought it would be helpful to take a look at the interiors of the leading Type B Sprinters. As you’ll see, despite the same space, there are big

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Stroller Dogs: RVers love their dogs

Stroller Dogs: RVers love their dogs Find a group of RVers and you’ll find dogs. And you won’t have to look too hard to find some very pampered pooches. Long after many RVers have raised their own families, many are back pushing strollers. This time, instead of their own babies or grandkids, they’re pushing strollers with their new babies – dogs. RV shows draw huge crowds. From the inside exhibition space to the outdoor displays, it can get very congested at times and if you are accompanied

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Great West Vans Revamps 2013 Legend Lineup under New Ownership

Great West Vans Revamps 2013 Legend Lineup under New Ownership Canadian Type B RV maker Great West Vans was bought out last year by one of their suppliers and the new owner, Dave DeBraga, has big plans for the company’s Legend brand of Mercedes Sprinter models. DeBraga, the owner and new President of Great West Vans, was all over the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa in January, meeting customers and sharing his excitement for the luxury Legend series of Sprinters sold by the company, now based in

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Our favorite features on 2013 model Type B motorhomes

Our favorite features on 2013 model Type B motorhomes We spent most of the past week touring the 2013 edition of the Florida RV Supershow, arguably the nation’s biggest and best RV shows. Some 1,100 RVs spread out over 16 acres were on display this year from just about every RV manufacturer in North America. Since we concentrate our coverage on small motorhomes and Type B coaches in particular, we had lots of time to inspect the 2013 models from the leading Type B manufacturers. Jennifer and

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Time to re-winterize

Time to re-winterize It got down to 21 degrees as we spent the night in Kentucky on the way back to Michigan from a brief January visit to Florida and some southern states. Guess it’s time to find some pink stuff and re-winterize. Sigh. That warmer weather down south sure was nice. Tai loved being out in the cold night air with the gusto that only a double coated Norwegian Elkhound can exhibit. I had trouble getting him to come inside for the night. We slept comfortably in our Roadtrek eTre

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

 

New Class C motorhome insulated for all season use

The bitter cold of the north keeps many RVers from using their motorhomes all year round. For many, their coaches sit in driveways, winterized and waiting for the thaw. I plan on taking my Class B to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in mid-February. I’ll probably go alone as my wife doesn’t like the idea of having to forgo showers while using it in the winter. While you can use it in the winter, you have to carry bottled water. And if you use the toilet, you have to”chase” it with antifreeze. No dou

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

 

Fulltime RVing in a Class B motorhome: Campskunk's story

There are fulltime RVers and then there is Campskunk. Most fulltimers travel in Type A motorhomes or Fifth Wheels. They also tow a car. And though their RVs are as long as many a subdivision house, they are still a rare breed, disposing of only what they can put in storage or pack in their 36, 40 or 43 foot long RV. They’re generally celebrated by the RV community, looked up to and envied for their independence and vagabond freedom. But imagine doing it in a 22-foot long Class B campervan. Tha

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RV Repair and Maintenance Manual 4th Edition

RV Repair and Maintenance Manual 4th Edition The book that has been an RV industry standard for over 15 years. Find out what you need to know about the maintenance of appliances, accessories and procedures in easy-to-understand-and-apply layman’s terms. Whether you’re a seasoned or shade-tree mechanic or you rely on a professional RV service center, knowing how your rig works and how to keep it in tip-top shape gives you the upper hand and many miles of trouble free RV travel. Get yours for $22

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Henry Ford's 1937 House Car

This could be the first Type B motorhome ever Henry Fords 1937 House Car. They supposedly only build a handful of these each year. This one is on a 1937 Ford Pickup frame and was found in a private garage in Minnesota in the summer of 2001 with only 19,000 miles on it. A collector named Graham Thickins restored it to original and drivable condition. Check out this story by Thickins to see lots of photos and get the details but it had an all wood lined interior with a metal skin wrapped aro

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Perfect RV take-along: An inflatable kayak

http://youtu.be/ikwYoAmuQQk I love kayaking. But with a Class B campervan-style RV, there just isn’t enough storage room to take one along. At least that’s what I thought until I discovered the Sea Eagle inflatable Kayak. Facebook friends on our Roadtreking page alerted me to it and I’m planning to order one before spring. The one I’m looking at is the SeaEagle 330. It weighs just 26 lbs. and packs down small enough to fit in the “basement” of my Roadtrek Sprinter van, the storage space under

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Prime time for RV shows -- There's more than just RVs

We're in the midst of prime time for RV shows. Starting in January and running until early March, dozens of RV shows are staged in cities across the country. Jennifer and I have attended a slew of them this year as we, along with tens of thousands of other RVers, await warmer weather. One thing you can expect to find at just about any RV show – besides motorhomes, travel-trailers, fifth-wheels and lots of salespeople to haggle with -- are exhibitors like campground operators, RV accessory make

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Tarry gunk still evident on Gulf beaches

Tarry gunk still evident on Gulf beaches More than two and a half years after the disastrous Deepwater oil spill by BP, tarry, gunky deposits of what appears to be dried oil are still all too evident on stretches of Northwest Florida gulfshore beaches. “This is atrocious,” reports RT Campskunk, a fulltiming RVer in a Roadtrek 190 from St. George Island, Florida. “It’s just a shame. These were the best beaches in the country. I was used to tar on the beaches out in Texas and Louisiana where all

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

A winter trip: Up to the UP

http://youtu.be/tTDWY2plCBs It's a long way to Michigan's UP -- 450 miles from my house north of Detroit to Marquette, our destination for the big UP200 dog sled race this weekend. For me, besides the fun of this big event – a qualifier race for Alaska’s famed Idiatrod – it was also a chance to test out the new Roadtrek eTrek in the winter. One thing we learned. Plan on extra time at rest stops. Once people see the eTrek, they ask questions. And want a tour. At the Linwood Rest Stop, two broth

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

 

RVing in the wintertime

We’re just back from a 1,100 mile RV trip that took us across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – in the wintertime. We headquartered our trip in Marquette, where we got a chance to take in all the excitement around the annual UP200 dog sled race, one of the nation’s premier such events, a qualifying race for Alaska’s famed Iditarod. I wrote about that the other day. We really fell in love with Marquette, a city of about 21,000 in the north central UP, right on the shores of Lake Superior. The town

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Tahquamenon Falls camping in the wintertime

http://youtu.be/5A4VtXUCStA The hardest thing about finding a spot to camp in the wintertime in the north is finding an open campground. As we toured Michigan's beautiful snow covered Upper Peninsula in mid-February looking for a place to spend the night, all we found were Wal-Mart and Indian casino parking lots. Sorry, but those kind of environments are not our idea of camping. All the regular campgrounds we passed were closed and unplowed. The unplowed part is a big deal. Because on the leve

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Being prepared to help in a roadside emergency

A horrific, fiery crash along I-65 in Kentucky that claimed six lives has focused new attention on the need to be able to break through automotive safety glass to rescue people trapped in smashed cars. The six people who died were in an SUV from Marion, Wis., traveling north near Glendale. The vehicle caught fire after it was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. Lynn and Roger Brucker, from Dayton, Ohio, were driving home in their Roadtrek van when the crash occurred behind them. They had slowed b

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RVing in Hawaii

RVing in Hawaii RVing is a huge pastime across the U.S. in 49 of the 50 states. The one exception is perhaps the most beautiful state: Hawaii. There just is not a big RV presence there. One exception is Al Waterson, a popular entertainer, singer and actor who tools around the island of Oahu in a 1995 Roadtrek 190 Versatile Class B [...] Roadtreking - A Journalist takes up the RV lifestyle - People and Places Encountered on the Open Road <a href="http://Roadtreking.com/rving-in-hawaii/?u

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

How We Roll: Where we store stuff

There’s never enough room. That’s the first thing about RVing we all think when we start RVing, isn’t it? But there really is. No matter what size RV we have, we all want to bring too much stuff.armoire Once we discover that, it’s a little easier to pack the essentials. Still, some times, you need a little more storage space. That’s why we recently replaced one of the two back seats with a custom sized armoire. It is a perfect match with the rest of the wooden cabinets inside our Roadtrek eTr

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

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