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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

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KOA re-brands itself according to facilities and amenities

One of the biggest surprises we had last year in our travels was with KOA – Kampgrounds of America. On our trip west and then on other meanderings over the season, we had the opportunity of staying at about a dozen KOA campgrounds across the U.S. They were all good experiences, to be sure, but we couldn’t help but notice some big differences between the properties. And so today, when we see that KOA has re-branded itself by deciding to classify each of their more than 400 properties according

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

How to Dress for Warmth on Winter RV Trips

We’re in northeastern Wisconsin and Minnesota in the midst of what the news media says is the coldest stretch of prolonged frigid temperatures to hit the continental U.S. in a century and yet, everywhere I go around here, the locals seem to shrug it all off and continue with their winter activities of snow shoeing, cross country skiing, hockey playing, hiking, ice fishing and dog sled racing. They seem to actually embrace the cold in an area where the snow is three feet deep and the snow drifts

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Mammoth Cave National Park is a perfect RV destination

In central Kentucky, the Mammoth Cave National Park is not only a geological wonder that is unequaled in scope, it is also a great getaway for a long RV weekend, with a terrific campground, beautiful scenery and bike paths through a heavily forested area of gently rolling hills and the lush Green River valley. Located 15 minutes off I-65 at Cave City Exit (Exit 53) or Park City (Exit 48), the park encompasses 53,000 acres. But it is the 400 miles of caves beneath the surface that make it so dra

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Yellowstone Supervolcano is Not About to Blow, Says Park Service

Well, at least it’s not going to erupt anytime soon. Probably. This has been a strange year at Yellowstone National Park, which indeed sits atop a supervolcano. Two months ago, extreme heat from the thermal features below caused oil to bubble on a road surface and damage a 3.3-mile loop road that takes visitors past White Dome Geyser, Great Fountain Geyser and Firehole Lake. A couple months before that, some yahoo posted a video on YouTube purportedly showing bison in the park supposedly evac

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Spritzing up your RV with Lavender at the Tumalo Lavender Farm

Lavender. Just the word brings olfactory recall, doesn’t it? Such a pleasant smell, such a pleasant flower. While we were RVing in the Pacific Northwest, I saw a notice in a local publication about a lavender farm that invited visitors. Before Mike could say “where are we headed today?”, I had the GPS programmed. The Tumalo Lavender Farm is located just outside of Bend, Ore., and is a 10-acre garden filled with the sweet fragrance of 10,000 mature plants, all grown organically, pollinated by s

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

 

When an RV trip comes to an end

Is there anything more exciting about leaving on an RV Trip? Anticipation fuels each mile. Excitement about what lies ahead runs high. The sights are new, the day’s drive full of expectation. Conversely, is there anything more mind-numbing than the drive back home? Been there, done that syndrome kicks in. The vacation is over. There are so many miles to go on a road we’ve traveled before. On return from many a previous trip, Jennifer and I would resolve ourself just to drive. To get home as fa

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Potholes: Worst Year Rver

It’s not just the snow and ice that have been setting records in northern states and provinces this winter: So have potholes. Before setting off on a long trip south yesterday, I stopped by my local tire shop to check the air in my Roadtrek eTrek’s tires. While doing so, I noted how busy the place was. The guy behind the counter beckoned me to take a peek in the garage, where a huge pile of rims were taking up a corner of the workspace. “Potholes,” he said. “We’ve never seen so much damage,” h

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Great Lakes Shoreline Tour – Southwest Michigan

Of all the eight states that touch the Great Lakes , Michigan – with 2,147 miles – has the most coastline. So as we rounded the bottom of Lake Michigan from the Indiana border and made our way into Southwest Michigan on the last leg of out 10-segment adventure, there was a sense of déjà vu about it all. Around us were beautiful blue waters, sand dunes, lush green agricultural fields and even a wine trail, much like we have seen to different degrees on all of the lake shorelines we’ve visited ov

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

 

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

 

The Nav-6: SUV/Minivan/RV and more

The Nav-6: SUV/Minivan/RV and more Of all the different Roadtrek models out there, one of the most distinctive is the new NAV-6, an SUV that can be used as an RV. It’s really category-defying. A luxury SUV on the Nissan 2500 frame, it is expertly tricked out by Roadtrek with a built in kitchenette, complete with microwave, refrigerator, TV and sink with hot and cold running water. The NAV-6 has a roof that rises to make it big enough to walk around in without bumping your head. It’s also able

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Using Apps to Track and Share Your RV Travel

Summer travel and vacation is upon us and as many of us hit the road, we’re sharing our travel with friends and families. Many of you know I also am a techology correspondent for the 215 NBC-TV Newschannel affiliate stations across the country. I do a weekly “PC MIke” Tech feature for the network and, these days, I am usually doing it from the back of my Roadtrek Etrek as we travel the country. In this week’s report, I featured three apps and Internet services that can map and track your trave

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Driving the Sprinter RV in Extreme Cold

What a winter this has been. The arctic vortex or whatever we call the cold air that has been making repeated appearances throughout the Upper Midwest has kept many an RVer housebound before the fireplace. Not us. We’re about to head up to Northern Minnesota along the Lake Superior northern shore where the temperature is expected to be -26F/-32C. I wrote about it earlier when the bitter cold forecast was causing our plans to waver. Many of you offered advice. Most said don’t go. Some said head

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Making of a Roadtrek: The Movie

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

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 Into the Heart of the Arctic Vortex in Michigan’s UP

I’m not going to lie to you. We didn’t sleep in the Roadtrek eTrek last night. We spent the night in a motel in Escanaba, at the far western end of the Lower Peninsula’s northern Lake Michigan shoreline. I suppose if I looked around long enough I would have found a place to camp. But all the state and federal forests where we normally boondock up here in the UP were all but inaccessible because of unplowed roads. Somebody told me there was an Indian casino a dozen miles out of town but they we

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Shhh! Michigan’s Sunrise Side is the Best-kept Secret of the Great Lakes

Michigan’s Sunrise Side is one of the best-kept secrets in the Great Lakes. The state’s west coast Lake Michigan PR machine has done a better job of promoting the beaches and trendy little communities there while the Lake Huron coast along the state’s east coast has stayed purposefully low-keyed. And that has been just fine with the locals and the sharp-eyed tourists who love the area. That means there are no traffic jams. Prices for food, lodging and the like are usually more affordable than

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Halloween RV Campouts

The month of October has surprisingly become huge for RV campgrounds, resorts and parks around the U.S. thanks to Halloween. Maybe because for many in the northern states, its a chance to do one more trip before the RV has to be winterized and put in storage. Instead of just one night – Oct. 31 – many parks dedicate the entire two or three weekends before Halloween to the big event. We visited a campground near us this past weekend – Addison Oaks Park in Addison Twp., about 45 miles north of

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Okeechobee – A Texas Cow Town in the Middle of Florida

I didn’t know what to expect when I pulled into Okeechobee, Fla., but I can defiately say that I didn’t expect it to remind me of West Texas, right down to the city calling itself ”Cow Town.” But this is a western style town in the middle of the sunshine state, it’s dry and windy and surrounded by wide open spaces and lots and lots of cows. Rodeos are a big deal here and the name of the best local restaurant tells you what the local culture revolves around. It’s simply called “The Cowboy.” In

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RVers' Health Risk: Sitting Disease

If you’re like me and the pounds have been hard to get off lately, maybe you have sitting disease. Yes, there really is such an disease. And it’s reached epidemic proportions, linked to all sorts of other ailments, the first and foremost of which is obesity. Blame it on our sedentary lifestyle. Our desk-bound working days. Our computer and Internet use. TV watching But the fact is, the average American these days sits — at a desk, in the car or RV, on a couch – eight to 10 hours every day. Sit

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

An RVing Trip to the Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon

I think I have become a big fan of winter RVing. And dog sled races. Last year, we reported on the Michigan UP 200 dog sled race. Our friend and fellow Roadtreker Gary Hennes met us up there and told us about the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Duluth, which is the longest such sled dog race in the Lower 48 states. And so we went this year. We boondocked overnight in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere and I volunteered and worked on the communications team, using my amateur rad

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Adding Points of Interest to your GPS

RVers love their GPS units. Can you imagine traveling without one? But do you know that many of today’s most popular units can be customized to show the special places you are most interested in? Called POIs – short for Points of Interest – there are so many lists of them available now that downloading them to your GPS unit can make travel much more efficient and convenient. You need to have a stand alone GPS unit that can connect to your computer to be able to download POIs. Tom Tom, Magel

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Great Lakes Shoreline Tour: Lakes Ontario and Erie

I always knew I was lucky to live in Michigan, the very heart of the Great Lakes. But until I started this drive along the shoreline of all five Great Lakes, I didn’t realize how fortunate I truly am to call this area home. I also didn’t realize how interconnected they are. From a hydrological standpoint, they are all intermingled and pretty much part of one system. The water that passes the rocky northern Superior shore in Minnesota eventually makes its way to the sandy bluffs of Lake Ontario

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

How We Roll: Working Out on the Road

Jennifer has one requirement as we travel: We find a place to work out. She’s a fitness instructor by occupation, though lately, because of our near-fulltime traveling schedule, she’s had to cut back on the classes she teaches. But that doesn’t mean she cuts back on her fitness goals. We're on a very hectic Great Lakes Shoreline Tour that we’re doing for Verizon Wireles, so finding time to pull over and find a gym hasn’t happened as much as she’d like. I can usually tell when I better get her

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

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