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Journalist Mike Wendland Travels North America in a Class B Motorhome

Entries in this blog

 

Dancing the Weekend Away on Mackinac Island: Where your RV Can’t Go

RVers aren’t the only ones winding down the season this time of year. So is Mackinac Island, the summer resort island located in the Straits of Mackinac at the tip of the Michigan mitt, right where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. Next weekend, the place shuts down until spring, with only a single hotel, restaurant and bar left open to serve the several hundred full-time residents and the workmen who come in during the winter to renovate, repair and restore the hotels and shops. Many shops were

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RVing to Gobbler’s Knob for Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney

Okay. Do not panic. So the groundhog saw his shadow here atop Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. The rodent, if you check the history books, has been right just 39 percent of the time since this little community in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains . But that didn’t stop tens of thousands of people from all across the U.S. from traveling here, many in RVs, like us. While the campgrounds are closed, the local Walmart welcomed them. For us in our Roadtrek eTrek Class B, wherever we stopped

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

 

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

 

Keeping the Windows Open and the Bugs Out

We’ve sure enjoyed the warm weather down along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and throughout Florida the past few weeks except for one thing: Bugs The mosquitoes are hatched down south. As are the No-See-Ums, Biting Midges and Sand Flies. They are particularly bad at night. With the warm weather, that means it can get pretty hot inside a camper van or Class B motorhome. We could have run the air conditioner. But that’s pretty loud. And it tends to make it too cold late at night. So we rolled d

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

 

The Ghostly Mystery of the Paulding Light

Every place, it seems, has its own ghosts and mysteries. So it is just north of the tiny Upper Peninsula town of Watersmeet where, for generations, people have gathered at the end of a gravel road to watch some mystery lights. The lights appear nightly, year round near a crossroads community called Paulding. The first reported sightings were back in the 1960s and various investigations have been inconclusive, though a university team from a Michigan Technological University claimed the lights w

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

RV Side Trip: Deadwood, South Dakota

If you like gambling, you’ll probably love Deadwood. If not, probably not so much. After years of passing by on the way to the Badlands or Yellowstone and seeing the signs, Jennifer and I made a recent RV sidetrip to this town on the edge of the Black Hills of South Dakota. The entire city is listed on the National Historic Register. The city aggressively promotes itself as having done a careful, accurate restoration of a historically significant western city so we figured it was worth checkin

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

 

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

 

Naples and Southwest Florida: Where it’s Always Warmer

Naples, Florida is the crown jewel of Southwest Florida, a west gulf coast town known for upscale dining and shopping, designer golf courses, awesome boating and fishing and the best weather in a state that is built around tourism and sunny skies. It’s always 10 to 20 degrees warmer here than most other places in the Sunshine State. Our destination for this trip was the Naples Motorcoach Resort on U.S. 41 just east of Collier Boulevard. Highway 41, also known as the Tamiami Trail, leads to the

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Warming Up the RV When It’s -12F Outside

My Roadtrek has been encased in ice and snow for the better part of a week now with several days of subzero temperatures. Inside, shielded from the wind with the sun helping to mitigate the extreme outdoor temperature, it was about 15 degrees. So, I got to wondering, how long will it take to warm it up, if, indeed such a thing was possible? Slipping on my boots, a parka and my fuzzy warm hat with ear flaps, I donned my Google Glass and set out to video a first-person experiment. Everythin

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Upgrading your RV to solar power

Upgrading your RV to solar power Advances in power management and solar power have made big news in the RV world of late, especially with the new eTrek and CS-Adventurous models built on the Mercedes Sprinter chasis by Roadtrek Motorhomes. New and efficient power control and management systems have put these advanced new Class B motorhomes on many a wish list [...] Roadtreking - A Journalist takes up the RV lifestyle - People and Places Encountered on the Open Road <a href="http://Roadt

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

See the Movie! The Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013

Two-and-a-half weeks of the Great Roadtreking Family Vacation of 2013 in two-and-a-half minutes – that’s the just-finished movie version (see below) that highlights the recent Roadtreking caravan that was our family vacation to Colorado this summer. We traveled in four vehicles: My Roadtrek eTrek pulling a 21-foot travel trailer, followed by a Roadtrek SS driven by my son and, following us all, my daughter and her family in an SUV. We made a great circle tour of Colorado. Here are some of the

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

More RV Lessons from the Road

Since I released the post on the 10 lessons we’ve learned in our 75,000 miles of RV travel, several readers have asked for another installment. So here it is. This one, though, has 12 things we’ve learned from the road. 1) GPS units are all unreliable – If you rely totally on GPS to get you somewhere, sooner or later you’re going to miss your mark and be lost. In my role as a tech reporter for NBC affiliates, I’ve tried them all – Garmin, Magellan, TomTom, Rand McNally, the GPS apps, Google, V

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Gadget preview: My new Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition camera

I use a lot of cameras while we travel North America in our Roadtrek RV. One of my favorites is the GoPro Hero, a very tiny high def camera that I can mount to the side of my vehicle, wear on a bike hemet or attach to just about anything. The folks who make the camera just released some free editing software called GoPro Studio. I couldn’t resist downloading it last night and throwing in a few of our driving shots from this summer. The music comes with the template you download, so no complaint

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

The Making of a Roadtrek: The Movie

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,... Roadtreking : The RV Lifestyle Blog - Traveling North America in a small motorhome Source

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

 

RV Halloween Weekends Draw Big Crowds

The active RV season in the north is on limited time as the cold weather approaches, but before many of the RVs are put to bed or in storage, many RV parks around the country are hosting special Halloween get-togethers and site decorating contests. And the parks are filling up. At the Addison Oaks County park near our Michigan home, where we walk our dog several times a week, the Halloween weekend turns into quite a spectacle, with contests, trick-or-treating and prizes for the best-decorated

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Mesa Verde National Park – Great for Boondocking

The Morefield Campground at Mesa Verde National Park is nestled into a scenic canyon some four and a half miles off US 160 from the park entrance. With 267 sites, it seldom fills up. That’s because all but 15 are for dry camping only and of the 15 with full hookups, none accomodate RVs over 45 feet in length. The Class A congestion that turns so many other campgrounds into “tinominium “complexes is refreshingly absent here. Each site has lots of space between its neighbors and native Gambel oak

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

 

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

 

Cool App for RVers: Voyzee

Taking “selfies” and sharing photos and videos with our smartphones is worldwide phenomenon these days and there are lots of apps available to help you take them and share them. But one in particular stands out to me for RV use. It’s called Voyzee and as you can see in the accompanying video, it lets you select your photos and videos, edit them together, add music as a soundtrack and titles to your images. You can even do your own voiceovers. Then, you share it on social media. You can do all

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

Our RV Life: Discovering the Beauty Beneath the Blur

All my life as a journalist- for more than three decades – I’ve been on deadline. The presses would roll, the red light on the studio camera would blink on and, that was it. I had to be ready. Done. No more time. So the clock ruled my days. I was single-mindedly focused on finishing, getting to press time or air time. Then, I could breathe a little… and get ready for the next day. It was a wild, crazy, fun, frustrating and high-adrenaline occupation and I wouldn’t have traded it for the worl

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

 

There's a dusting of snow on my RV

There’s a dusting of snow on my RV The first accumulating snow of the season fell last night near my Michigan home and as I look out at my motorhome sitting on the driveway, I swear I hear it calling me to get out of town and get warm. Alas, as I look out, that’s all I can do. Look. I’m standing with the support of a walker. Five days ago, I had a total knee replacement. I picked this time for the surgery specifically because it is the least busy time for RVing. Although the first wave of sno

Roadtrekingmike

Roadtrekingmike

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