Celebrating the RV Lifestyle by Mike and Jennifer Wendland. Tips, travel ideas, RV news and great interviews about the RV Lifestyle.
Don’t Drink Dirty Campground Water – How to choose an RV water filter system
Do you have an RV water filter system? You sure should.
The problem of dirty campground water is growing as so many campgrounds, state and local parks, and long-established RV resorts grow older. With so many campgrounds relying on aging wells and plumbing systems, it's more important than ever that campers filter the water they bring into their RVs.
That's the topic on Episode 432 of the RV Podcast, recorded on location from the Tampa RV Supershow.
You can watch a video version of the entire episode - including the RV News of the Week, Travel Technology Tips, and audience RV Lifestyle questions - by clicking the player below.
An audio-only version is available on your favorite podcast app or via the audio player below:
How to properly filter dirty campground water
Our guest on the podcast is Keith Bernard of Clear2O, a company that makes one of the best RV water filter systems you can find anywhere.
Keith was demonstrating his RV water filter system at the Tampa RV show and I was able to pull him away from the crowd to demonstrate what to look for in choosing an RV water filter.
Watch the video or listen to the podcast for the specifics, but Clear20 offers a two-stage RV water filter system that Jennifer and I have found has consistently given us clean, good-tasting water.
The first stage, something Clear2O calls the Dirt Guard, filters out the sediments and solids that are so prevalent in campground water supplies. It connects directly to the campground water spigot.
The second stage is a Clear2O inline filter. One end screws into the Dirt Guard. The other end is attached to the hose, and then the hose attaches to your RV's water fill connection. The inline filter removes contaminants down to a one-micron level, 70 times smaller than a human hair.
Together, the system eliminates the unpleasant sulfur taste and odor so often encountered from campground water. The chemicals it removes include lead, chlorine, and organic pollutants that often make their way into wells through groundwater contamination.
A key reason why the Clear20 RV water filter system is so effective is that it uses solid carbon blocks to clean the water instead of the more commonly found granulated carbon filters found on most RV water filters.
Regardless of what type of RV water filter system you have, Bernard urges all RVers to do the following things when hooking up to campground water.
* First, turn on the spigot and let the water flow for five to 10 seconds before hooking anything to it to remove rust or sediment that accumulates in the spigot when not in constant use.
* Second, when hooking up a filter, run the water through it for a few seconds to flush out any carbon granules near the lower end of the filter.
RV News of the Week
Want to see Yosemite's famous "firefall" this February? Make your reservation now
If you are planning to see Yosemite National Park's famous "firefall" in upcoming weeks, the time to make your reservation is now.
Each February, thousands come to look at Yosemite's Horsetail Fall...
RV living on a budget: Insider tips from top influencers
RVing can be expensive. So we asked a bunch of RV influencers to share tips on RV Living on a Budget. We also added 10 pro tips of our own, based on 11 years of RV Life.
We can't make inflation go away. But we can promise that if you follow the advice in Episode 430 of the Podcast, you will save money.
You can watch the video version of the podcast - including updates on our travels, the RV News of the Week, New Travel Technology info, and your RV Lifestyle questions - by clicking the video player below from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel.
For an audio version only, you can listen on your favorite podcast app or by clicking the player below.
Tips for RV living on a Budget from Influencers
We recorded this week's podcast from the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa, FL.
And we asked some of our influencer friends to divulge how they save money on the road.
Watch or listen to the video for the very practical tips from the likes of: Dan of the RV Life Podcast; Sherri and John from Amped to Glamp; Ashley of Peeoples and Places; Bob of 2 Veterans on the Move; and Brian of Jonesin2go.
Mike and Jennifer's Tips for RV living on a Budget
A recent survey by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) has found that 37% of American leisure travelers, representing 67 million, plan on taking an RV trip this year,
The survey also showed that finances are a driving reason for people’s plans to take an upcoming RV trip. On average, RV vacations cost 50% less than comparable hotel and plane ride trips and a third less than hotel and car ride trips, making RVing an attractive option for people looking for the freedom to travel while also controlling their travel expenses.
The Economy is placing a squeeze on all aspects of life, including camping. But we all need to get away. A recent survey by Campspot found 69 percent of those surveyed plan to camp somewhere new in 2023, and 53 percent said their camping trip budget will be less than $500.
Another story we recently saw said during hard financial times, people go camping more than ever. They need to get away.
So to help you keep camping, here are our 10 Tips to cut costs so you can keep RVing in 2023. We elaborate on them more in the podcast, but here's the Cliff notes version:
1. Choose a location with costs in mind – Look into the costs of a destination before leaving home and choose places where you can find free or low cost fun for everyone.
2. Set a budget – Determine how much you have to spend, then break it down to how much for gas, campground costs, food (restaurants AND groceries),
13 Pro Tips for Attending an RV Show
We've lost count of how many RV shows we've attended. So, here are our expert tips for attending an RV show, whether this is your first RV show or your hundredth...
Jennifer and I love attending RV shows. We visit and report from many of the biggest and best RV shows every year, and smaller shows, too. It's a great way for us to stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in the RV community to share with our RV Lifestyle community.
We also attend RV shows because we really enjoy them! We always run into fellow RVers we've met on the road, and it's a great place to make new friends, too.
The RV Show season starts in January and runs through late May. After summer break, it picks up again in September and runs until almost Thanksgiving. To see a complete month-by-month RV Show Schedule, see our calendar at https://rvlifestyle.com/rv-show-list/
On Episode 429 of the RV Podcast, we talk to Dave Kelly, the executive director of the Florida RV Trade Association, sponsors of the massive Florida RV Supershow that takes place every January in Tampa.
To see a video version of the episode, click the player below.
For an audio version, you can listen to the RV Podcast on your favorite podcast app or click the audio player below.
RV shows need not be intimidating!
I know the thought of milling through a crowded convention center and parking lot can seem overwhelming to some. After all, it's not uncommon to have to wait in lines to enter new models or have to squeeze through to see new RV products.
But the crowds aren't always that bad. Plus, there's a great deal you can do to prepare for an RV show before you arrive and before every day you attend.
I will share those tips with you so you can make the most of attending an RV show.
13 Pro Tips for Attending an RV Show This Year
The following RV show tips will help whether you're attending large RV shows known nationwide or local shows nearby. It doesn't matter the size of the show or your purpose for visiting; they will help you have the best visit possible.
Of course, if you attend some of the larger shows, like the Hershey America's Largest RV Show, Florida RV SuperShow, or the FMCA Convention and RV Expo, these tips turn into must-do's!
Be sure to check out our updated RV Show List. And if you know of an RV show we missed, let us know so we can add it!
1. Bring a Pen or Marker
I know the days of writing things down are dying, but a pen or marker will really come in handy. Most RV dealers and vendor booths hand out flyers or brochures. So, it's helpful to be able to write notes on them as you speak with the representative.
The writing utensil will also come in handy with Tip #3 below.
2. Arrive Early
Arrive as soon as you can check-in.
RV Travel Difficulties Predicted for 2023
Big RV Travel Difficulties are being predicted for 2023 by real RVers, with many saying they will either sharply curtail their travels or stop entirely.
That's this week's main topic in Episode 425 of the RV Podcast, based on a question we posed on our RV Lifestyle Facebook Page that garnered over 500 answers in less than 24 hours.
You can watch the video version of the podcast in the box below.
If you prefer the traditional audio version, it's available on all the podcast apps or by clicking the player below.
Real RVers listed the major RV Travel Difficulties
The responses were many and varied, but five specific issues really stood out and accounted for the vast majority of answers we got to the fill-in-the-blank question we posted that read: “The Biggest Challenge for RV travel in 2023 will be _____.”
With over 500 responses in less than 24 hours, it's clear the RV Travel Difficulties expected in 2023 are real hot-button issues for real RVers.
We took all those responses and gathered the most mentions into five categories, with one in particular the clear runaway #1 concern.
The Top Five RV Travel Difficulties
* High Fuel Prices - That category accounted for 44.6% of the 500 responses we received – 223 mentions in all. Although high diesel prices were cited most often, many were also very concerned about gasoline prices. Many of the respondents said they were drastically curtailing their RV travel in 2023. Some were quitting the RV Lifestyle completely. Many noted that their costs for fuel had doubled last year over what they typically spent a year of RV travel.
* Campgrounds - The second biggest concern had to do with campgrounds, with 32.4% of our respondents – 162 out of 500 – saying they were either unable to get reservations at a campground or the prices had increased so much that campground overcrowding and expenses were major issues and would affect how often they travel in their RV over the coming year.
* Inflation in General - Almost 9% cited inflation in general as a deterrent to their normal RV travel plans. They noted increases in food, clothing, repairs, parts, and virtually every other part of travel.
* RV Repair Challenges - The difficulties in getting RV repairs done in a timely fashion was seen as a significant issue for 2023 by 7.8% of our respondents.
* Bad Roads - 6.4% said bad roads were their most significant challenge in RV travel. They complained that road conditions everywhere seem to be getting worse, and those bad roads damage their RVs and cause stress.
There were several other RV travel difficulties mentioned, like too many rude campers, bad quality from RV manufacturers, high interest rates, bad or slow Internet speeds making remote work from the RV difficult, and not enough EV charging stations, suggesting to us that some RVers were bringing along EVs as toads, a topic we’ll have to do more investigation of sometime.
Bonus - Read the following for more info:
* A Sad Series of Unforeseen RV Travel Problems
Christmas in an RV
Wed, 21 Dec 2022 11:23:00 +0000
A lot of people are spending Christmas in an RV, either moochdocking with friends and family or hunkered down in a campground or Snowbird resort in a warm climate. Ever wondered what it's like and what they do? That's what we talk about in Episode 427 of the RV Podcast, sharing suggested activities, tours and ways your RV can contribute to the Holiday fun, even if you are not camping. Plus, of course, we have the RV News of the Week and your questions about the RV Lifestyle.
A lot of people are spending Christmas in an RV, either moochdocking with friends and family or hunkered down in a campground or Snowbird resort in a warm climate. Ever wondered wh
How to Be a Camp Host: Super Helpful Advice
If you've ever wondered how to be a camp host, you've come to the right place. We're going to tell you how to find camp host jobs, how and when to apply, and what makes the job so rewarding.
In Episode 426 of the RV Podcast, we talk to Erik and Jeanne Anderson, full-time RVers who are about to spend six months as camp hosts on the east coast. Erik and Jeanne - and Hershey pup, their charming little Cavalier King Charles spaniel - have visited all 48 states in their RV and share with us the research that has led them to their new jobs as camp hosts.
But there's so much more in this episode, including RV News, your Questions and Answers about the RV Lifestyle, and lots of links and resources about valuable camping and RV travel information.
To see the video version of the Podcast on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel, click the video player below.
For an audio-only version of the RV Podcast, you can listen on your favorite podcast app or click the player below.
Welcome to this episode of the RV Podcast
Christmas is almost here. Can you believe it? Where has 2022 gone?
December is the slowest month of the year for RV travel. Jen and I usually spend the month at our sticks and bricks home in Michigan and use this month for our annual medical and dental checkups. But with our new 10 acres in Southwestern Michigan, we've found ourselves camping several nights so far this month on the property.
There's been cold and snow, but we've managed to be snug and warm in the RVs. We expect to camp there at least one night this week, too.
We also have one more trip to Elkhart, IN, that we plan on making this coming week to get a sneak peek and video of some new RV models that will be introduced next month at the big Tampa, FL RV show. But after that, we plan to slow down and enjoy the Holiday season for a couple of weeks with family and friends.
Comments from our RV Lifestyle Community
Before we get to the Interview of the week on How to Be a Camp Host, we want to pass along this very powerful comment from one of our followers, a retired police officer named Ed.
Ed talks about a serious issue - excessive highway speed by RVers:
Hi Mike and Jennifer...
I am a recently retired highway patrolman and as a law enforcement officer, I saw more than my share of accidents and many involving RVs.
Now as an RVer myself, I see so many other RVers driving way too fast. Never should you drive over 70. In fact, my advice is between 60 and 65.
Yes, you will be passed.
And you may feel you want to go faster. But don’t. Especially if you are towing. We tow a 35-foot fifth wheel and I never drove more than 62. I put the speed control on at that and leave it at that.
I do that because of my experience as a cop and how I personally saw more times than I care to remember how excessive speed in RVs can result in catastrophic accidents.
Consider this a public service announcement from someone who knows.
How to Be a Campground Host - Erik and Jeanne Anderson interview
Erik and Jeanne Anderson - and Hershey the Pup - tell us How to Be a Camp Host
Erik and Jeanne Anderson, along with their dog, Hersey Pup, have spent the past two and a half years RVing throughout all of ...
Owning RV Land – Our One-Year Anniversary
It’s our first anniversary of owning RV Land in Tennessee and we are amazed at the progress we’ve made in developing it.
We’re also pleasantly surprised by how much we’ve come to love the land and the Mid-Tennessee community of Linden. Our five acres are in a development called The Woodlands of Buffalo River just outside Linden and not far from the beautiful and wild Buffalo River.
So in Episode 424 of the RV Podcast, we thought it would be fun and informative to give you an overview on what our first year of owning RV land in Tennessee has been like and answer some of the more common questions we get.
You can watch the video version of the podcast on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel below.
You can listen to an audio-only version on your favorite podcast app or by clicking the player below:
Owning RV Land in Tennessee: How it started
Our property at the Woodlands at Buffalo Rover
It started as a story. In the late summer of 2021, we heard about a large parcel of Middle Tennessee that was being sold to RVers for camping or building or whatever they wanted to do with it. These were big parcels - starting at five acres and going up from there into hundred-acre-plus properties.
This was unusual. While individual lots have been sold in campgrounds and RV resorts for decades, finding virtually unrestricted large land parcels with no hard and fast land use rules about having to build a permanent structure or prohibiting people from long-term camping was extremely rare,
So we went down for a look. Here's a link to the first story we did on owning RV land on that first visit.
They were selling, at the time, the first phase of the development, something like 1,500 acres. We borrowed an ATV and drove all over the land.
We were really impressed. The land was beautiful and wooded, with access to nearby rivers and lakes, and it is just 90 minutes west of Nashville in a recreationally rich area known as “Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”
We literally sold ourselves on it.
Our own story sold us!
The sunrise view from our private RV spot in the Tennessee woods
Little did we expect that the result of that story would result in us owning RV land! But it did. We loved the area. It was wild and remote, yet very accessible. Back at our Michigan home, I published the first blog post and pretty much immediately called the developer, asking if we could come back down and look for land ourselves.
The truth was, like many RVers in these post-pandemic days, we had become fed up with not being able to get a campsite or, if we did, finding the campground so crowded that it was very hard to enjoy a wilderness camping experience anymore.
If we owned RV land, we reasoned, we'd always have a spot to go to any time we wanted.
Right after Thanksgiving, we were back down.
From our research on the story and studying maps back home, we narrowed our search down to four different parcels and inspected each of them. In all, we spent three days on-site, walking all over each parcel.
We liked all of the four properties we looked at. But it was a five-acre parcel marked as site 25 that stood out the most. We asked and got permission to spend the night on it in our RV.
That was the one we decided on. It fronted the road and is bordered on both sides by a series of small ravines called hollers b...
Trailer Tire Talk - Thanks!
Thank you for your “fair and balanced” discussion of trailer tires. Thank you for referring to the phrase “china bombs” as derogatory. It is. Yes, most trailer tires are made in China. Most of those tires are just fine. I have towed over 30,000 miles in 6.5 years on two sets of tires made in China. I purchased them from my local tire store/mechanic that recommended them. I always keep them covered when not traveling. I always check the psi before leaving home and leaving the campground and I added a TPMS this past year. I replace my tires at about 4 years and they look brand new when I replace them. Maintenance and replacement due to age are very important.
Love your podcast and videos!
Thanks for your episode on dogs, travel and the parvo spread in summer 2022.
I look forward to the new episode each week, but I’d like to hear more about Bo’s outdoor adventures and less of the tips & tech stuff. Most of us nature-loving road warriors have a canine sidekick.