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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

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Heading to Canada? Spend Time in Port Huron, Mich.

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Roadtreking Sunsets around North America

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Checking Off the RV Travel Bucket List

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Video project: The Making of a Roadtrek

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Our Most-asked Roadtreking Question

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The 10 Reasons why a Type B RV May Be Right for You

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

How We Roll in Our RV: Taking Care of Your Home While on the Road Traveling

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

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

 

To Plant a Garden, or Not

Jennifer and I love watching things grow, planting them, tending to them and then – with our vegetable garden – picking them when they are fresh and ripe and enjoying them. We’ve planted a garden for many ears but the last two years, because of our travel schedule, we’ve returned home from RV trips to find it mostly shriveled up from lack of water or, unpicked, gone to seed. Nevertheless, there we were this week, getting the vegetable beds ready again, hoeing, weeding, improving the soil and p

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

A visit to the Very Rowdy RV Row at the Kentucky Derby

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Review: XtremeBeam Illumination Tools

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Must Visit in Colorado: Garden of the Gods

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Climbing Pikes Peak in an RV

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Mike’s Top 5 Places to Visit in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Roadtrek User Manuals Just a Click Away

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RV Must-Do Trip: The Badlands of South Dakota

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

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Roadtreking Sunsets and an Urge to Hit the Road

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,

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis along the Natchez Trace

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,

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

 

How to Sanitize Your RV Fresh Water Tanks

Yuck. Nothing tastes worse that the first sip of water through a just de-winterized RV’s plumbing system on the first trip of the year. That’s why it is important to sanitize that fresh water tank. And for that, there are lots of different approaches. Everybody seems to have their favorite way of sanitizing the fresh water system. Roadtrek Motorhomes has a suggested way, though. Here it is, lifted from the instruction manual for the eTrek we use. There are similar instructions for all Roadtrek

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Five Tips to Find a Good RV Mechanic

I’m lucky. To tend to the mechanical work on my Roadtrek eTrek on the Sprinter chassis, I have two great technicians: Daryl and Josh. Plus Eric, a great service manager who always manages to squeeze me in. I was just in the other day after a check engine light came on. Wouldn’t you know, it was one of those erratic issues. When I drove it into Hoekstra Transportation in Troy, MI, I felt somewhat sheepish. The warning light had something to do with a sensor that we had replaced about 20,000 mile

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

 

Critter Signs Along the Way While RVing

Over the last week, I’ve been organizing the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the past few years and noticed that I have a pretty good collection of animal crossing signs. Like a lot of people, I love seeing wildlife while Roadtreking. Somehow, I started taking photos of them as we traveled. From there, well, it sort of evolved into all sorts of signs about critters … of all sorts. Since I had them all organized, I thought I’d put them together in this little slide show. I know. taking ph

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RVing's Dirty Little Secret: Filthy Campgrounds

People wonder why we prefer boondocking over campgrounds. Here’s why: Too many campgrounds are dirty. Not all. But way too many. In the bathrooms, there are almost always spiders, bugs, things in the toilets and stalls that disgust you, broken windows, mold, rusty pipes, grimy sinks. In Mississippi earlier this year, one of the showers I used this year had a cracked floor. When you stepped on it, blank gunk seeped out around your feet. In Missouri, a long broken and unrepaired window had the

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

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