We answer your RV Lifestyle Questions

we-answer-your-rv-lifestyle-questions

Questions. You’ve got lots of questions. RV Lifestyle questions. And in Episode 383 of the RV Podcast, we answer them.

Our email has been piling up and we thought we’d use this podcast to answer as many of your RV Lifestyle questions as possible, tossing in a few of the pertinent comments you’ve sent our way, too.

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Transcript of our answers to your RV Lifestyle Questions

Mike Wendland:

First, we have a comment that we want to pass on.

This was sent to us by Mickey.

RV lots seem full on I-10

rv lot - your rv lifestyle questions
RV lot

“I don’t understand all the talk about it taking one to two years to get an RV in driving from Texas to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The RV sales lots are loaded now with drivable and Pull-Thru RVs. We watch you and many others all saying the same, but if I wanted to buy something, I can’t see a problem finding one from the large inventory offered today, maybe somewhere else, but along I10, the RV Lots are loaded.”

Well, Mickey, that’s great. I’m not sure whether these are new or used RVs.

Jen Wendland:

It’s very hard to get a new one. If you want to pick out the interior colors and you’ve got something in mind, you’re going to wait.

Mike Wendland:

You are definitely going to wait. The delays are still there. We just came back from the Tampa RV Supershow and every manufacturer, all say the same thing that, it’s taking months.

But what you may be seeing in many of those RV Lots are consignment RVs. In other words, people who are parking it on the lot in hopes of selling their used RVs.

Or, many of them could be RVs that are waiting for service because they can’t get the parts. The delays in the service industry are almost as bad as they are in the manufacturing end of the industry. And so you see on many of the lots where the inventory is down, they’ve got a lot of RVs sitting there, not necessarily for sale, but waiting for service.

So I don’t know, I didn’t see the lots that you saw Mickey, and it would be nice if they were new inventory.

I do think there are a lot of trailers for sale.

Jen Wendland:

Yeah. If you want a towable, it’s easier to get a towable. Easier.

Mike Wendland:

Much easier. In our travels, every time we pass an RV dealer, we look, and we don’t see a lot of new products, particularly in motorhomes out there. Some of them, there’s some Class As, they’re a little easier to find. There are a lot of Class Cs. There are a few Bs that are new, but the inventories are nowhere like they were a few years ago.

But there are used ones out there that people are selling. And a lot of those used ones are consignment deals where you’ll go to the dealer and the dealer will keep a certain amount, but he’ll show it and let you put it on his lot and handle showings if people want to go in and tour it.

Jen Wendland:

Now, if you’re thinking about Motorhomes, think about cars and trucks. When you go past a car dealership, how they have very little inventory.

Mike Wendland:

Well, that leads us to the next email. It’s also a comment.

Used RVs are selling for more than than they were new

rv lifestyle questions - Facebook Marketplace
Just a quick look on Facebook Marketplace.

Jen Wendland:

Okay. This is from Mark “commenting on your YouTube RV lifestyle channel about the challenge of buying a new RV these days. We not only want something affordable, but available, a local Leisure Travel Van owner in Southern California is asking around $210,000 for a used 2021.”

Mike Wendland:

Hey, and we should sell our Wonder!

Jen Wendland:

And we won’t have one.

Mike Wendland:

Leisure Travel Vans is one of the companies in which buying a new one takes as long as three years, some dealers will tell you. So the prices of used Leisure Travel Vans, particularly relatively new ones, like 2021 are astronomical. And I’ve not heard of one that expensive, $210,000 for a year old RV.

Jen Wendland:

That’s more than what it sold for originally.

Trucks are also hard to find

rv lifestyle questions - now we need a truck
But now I need a truck….

Mike Wendland:

Yes, it is.

That’s amazing.

But here’s a note that came from another listener.

And this is from Jeff because it isn’t just RVs that there are problems with. He says:

“I can get the fifth wheel I want today. I can get the same deal, same-day delivery. We want to get us a fifth wheel, but I need a truck to haul it. And I can’t get the new three-quarter-ton pickup I want for seven months. My dealer says, my RV dealer says, that’s just a guess. I’m sorry. My car dealer, the truck dealer says, “that’s just a guess it may take even longer to get the new truck.” What is happening here?”

Well, this is this same shortage that you see in parts and inventory causing the delay in getting RVs manufactured. It is also probably even more strenuously being felt in the automobile industry because of those chips, those microchips, that control the truck.

Jen Wendland:

It’s a mess out there.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah, it really is.

Jen Wendland:

I don’t see an end in sight, do you?

Mike Wendland:

Well, I don’t know. They keep talking about building chips. And I read that one company that had started in the US ended up having to recall a bunch of the chips because the medium that they made them with or whatever was contaminated.

But it takes a long time to build up those chip factories and then to get everything working.

The truck problem is really there, particularly on bigger trucks that you would need to haul a towable or a fifth wheel three-quarter size.

So it’s not easy to find them. We had a guy come by our meetup in Tennessee and he had a 2018. I think it was an F-350. It was a big, Heavy-Duty Ford. And he bought it used 2018. For $70,000!

How do you find undeveloped land for sale?

rv lifestyle questions - look on zillow
Then you need to find a realtor to take the next steps.

Jen Wendland:

Here’s another question: This is from Dave and Sally:

“My wife and I are full-timers but want to find a place to park for a few months at a time where it’s warm. Florida, or south Texas, can you point us to a source of information of available land for RVs that have no restrictions like the land you bought in Tennessee?”

Mike Wendland:

I have had so many people ask me, is there a directory or is there a place to go? And not that I know of, there is no central repository of places, like the Woodlands that we bought in Tennessee that is raw land, raw acreage that you can do pretty much whatever you want.

You can put your RVs in, or you can build a house, but you don’t have to do anything in any particular set period of time. There is no directory that I know of like that. What you have to do is search it out in the area you want. And the way to do that is to Google it, look for land near me, undeveloped land near me.

And then you will get a list of properties. Zillow might have some raw land that you could find or try realtor.com. You could search those areas, those sites, and the areas you want to go to.

But then you have to call a realtor. You got to somehow have them reach out to the seller and have it disclose what kind of restrictions are there in the property. We’ve heard all sorts of stories from people wanting to buy in different parts of the country, but the restrictions make it very prohibitive.

Jen Wendland:

Yeah. This is rare what we found.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah. And by the way, it’s interesting, the way they sell land down there on the Woodlands. But what they do is once a month or so, they have a day in which people make appointments and they sell it all in a day. And I guess the reason is it saves them the cost of having an office where you have people staffing it and then people call them and they come out and look at the property and you have to go out and to get somebody else to watch the office while you’re gone.

So instead they make appointments, they do some of the pre-checks on the phone. They find out what people want, they come up with a list of properties that are available. And then one particular day, you show up, you get an appointment, a couple hour appointment, you go out and look at the land and that’s the way they do it.

That’s what they did on the 12th, on Jennifer’s birthday. When we met so many of the people who had bought that day, and they’re doing it again at the Woodlands on March 19th.

And we’ll try to be there. We may be back. We have been visiting our place about every month. As we have little projects we want to get done and it’s kind of fun to go when everybody else is there. So if we can, we’ll be there on March 19th as well.

But I don’t know of any other place like that around the country. You just have to search yourself, use the internet. If you’re looking in North Carolina, North Carolina property, wherever. We’re looking in Michigan, we would like to buy some acreage in Michigan so that we could go around a little closer to our sticks and bricks house. And it’s hard, we’ve been looking since last fall.

Jen Wendland:

It sells. It’s listed and it’s gone.

Mike Wendland:

I get a mailing every morning about property in the area that we’re looking for that becomes available. And you know, there’s usually one or two a day, but by the next day, oftentimes it’s sold. So you really have to move fast.

Jen Wendland:

And we want to see it. We want to walk it, but there isn’t time to be indecisive.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah. These folks, I know they’re buying it in Tennessee. They’re going on the same day and they’re buying it. And we did that. But it’s hard to make that kind of a decision in one day. If you want to see what the land looks like, and I don’t know of any central repository of information. And if there is one, somebody send it to me and we’ll check it out. And if it looks good, we’ll let people know.

Okay. Here’s a question from, let’s see….

Jen Wendland:

From James.

Is Starlink available for RVs?

image about starlink internet for rvers - RV lifestyle questions
Not yet….

Mike Wendland:

From James, I’m sorry. I couldn’t find it. James says:

“We are wondering if we can install the Starlink system from Space X in our RV for remote work, we need fast and reliable service.” And this sounds perfect for us. Can you tell me how to get it installed in our Class A Motorhome?

You can’t, not yet.

Jen Wendland:

Someday.

Mike Wendland:

Someday. Yeah. The Starlink system, of course, that’s Elon Musk and SpaceX, and they have this, they call it a constellation of low orbiting earth satellites that provide very fast internet service.

Many parts of the country can now get the terrestrial version of it. In other words, where you have a dish, a permanent dish on a permanent location, their hope was to test it on mobile use for vehicles, including RVs that has not happened to our knowledge yet.

Hopefully this year we’ll see those first tests go and then maybe they’ll make it available for RVs. But for those who work on the road, having that kind of reliable and high-speed service is going to be a game changer for the remote working segment of our population. But SpaceX isn’t available right now for RVs.

How many showers can you take from an RV fresh water tank

Jen Wendland:

Okay, this email is from Mark:

“I have a question about your freshwater tank. If you have normal use with cooking and stuff like that, how many showers do you get up before the tank fills up?” I know this is subjective, but just as a gauge, what’s a ballpark number?”

Well, we’ve got a 33 and a half gallon tank, and normally we stay out about six days? What do you think?

Mike Wendland:

Well, I think we get about six to eight showers.

Jen Wendland:

These aren’t like the Navy showers where you turn it on and turn it off. And so they’re nice showers, but they’re not like 10 minutes long.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah. Not like at home, where you can stay in for a half hour. For example, when we were boondocking in our land this past week, we showered both days. So that’s four showers with the two nights four showers. And I think the tank was maybe 25, 30% full.

Jen Wendland:

Yeah. And there were even dishes.

Are Roadtrek’s “three little windows” real?

Mike Wendland:

Yep. Okay. This email is from Julie and she says:

“Please settle a bet for us: Are the three little windows on a Roadtrek real?” “

Jen Wendland:

They were when Roadtrek first came out.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah. And the old Chevy versions that they had, they were real windows.

Jen Wendland:

Cute little windows.

Mike Wendland:

Yep.

Jen Wendland:

But alas, with time, the three windows have become three decals.

Mike Wendland:

Yep. They’re decals. And there’s a funny story I heard from one of the executives at Roadtrek years ago after they started putting those decals on. And he was talking about one of the dealers they had, who was trying to pull a fast one and get paid for a fake warranty claim. And the dealer had called the warranty department at Roadtrek. This is going back six or eight years ago.

And he said, “yeah, I got that unit through. I saved some Goodwill with the customers. Because there was a really bad leak around those three little windows up on the top.”

And the company executive said a leak in the windows, huh? He said, “Yep, we fixed it. We didn’t want to send it back to the factory, so we fixed it and we got them back down the road, and we want to put a warranty claim through on it.”

And the executive said, “Well, that’s very interesting.” Because if you really went up and looked at them, you’d see that those aren’t windows, those are just decals.”

And I assume that place was no longer a dealer for them.

Jen Wendland:

They got to be careful who you buy from.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah.

Mike Wendland:

But they were so popular and Roadtrek people always would show three fingers when you pass somebody with the three windows, but they kept that nostalgia. But now they’re a decal. So there you go.

Are RV show prices a good deal?

photo of mike and jennifer at rv show
Jennifer and Mike

Jen Wendland:

All right. This question is from Paul. “How can we find out about RV shows and are the same prices we see at those shows really better than we can get at the dealership?”

Mike Wendland:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jen Wendland:

I would say yes.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah.

Jen Wendland:

They don’t want to haul them home.

Mike Wendland:

On a couple of different levels. One, they do discount pretty good. And if you just look at the videos on our YouTube RV lifestyle channel, you see from the Tampa RV show, you see the suggested retail and what they were selling at the show. And there were some pretty good discounts at all of them, all different kinds already.

But I think the biggest benefit was that there was a little sign with that saying immediate delivery. So those were actual inventory units that they were selling at Tampa and I assume at other RV shows. So you have to be familiar with it before you buy. You have to do some research ahead of time. But in general, I think you’ll find those are pretty good prices.

People always ask us how you find the RV shows. If you read our newsletter that we send out every Monday and you can subscribe right from right here on RVlifestyle.com. There are lots of little links to how to sign up for our free newsletter – even at the very bottom of this post!

Every Monday we send it out and we put at the end of it, a list of all of the RV shows around the country that are coming up that weekend, and for several weeks ahead. So you can plan accordingly, but we list those shows, but we love RV shows.

Jen Wendland:

We do. They’re fun.

What RV problems have we had?

rv lifestyle questions
Back in the day – Our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL ready for the ProAir installation team in Elkhart

Mike Wendland:

Yeah. They are. All right, this is one that comes from Kevin. It says:

“We never hear you talk about maintenance or repair issues with your different RVs. Have you ever had your RV in the shop for long periods of time? What problems have you had?”

Well, we’ve been lucky. We’ve never have had to have it someplace overnight. Haven’t we? I’m trying to think that.

Jen Wendland:

We’ve been extremely fortunate. Now when we first started out, we had prototypes.

Mike Wendland:

Oh. And some of the early Roadtreks that we had, yes.

Jen Wendland:

Yeah, that was a little more complicated.

Mike Wendland:

This was right when lithium battery systems were first coming out and wiring between the lithium and the inverters and all that stuff. Couple of times I would go up and spend the night there and I’d work on it for two days. But all the RVs we bought, we’ve never had anything other than that. And that was like experimental, so I don’t really count that.

Jen Wendland:

Yeah. I don’t really count that either. And with the Leisure Travel Vans, that’s half the reason that we went with Leisures because they had a good reputation.

Mike Wendland:

We’ve had no problems.

Jen Wendland:

Just some little things that go wrong.

Mike Wendland:

And little things we’re taking it in this week to fix. Well, two things. One, one of my equalizer jacks, the leveling jacks. We mentioned this a long time ago, three or four weeks ago when we were driving down the road, a chunk of concrete, broke off and bounced down the road and it came underneath, and it took one of my jacks and it made it crooked. It didn’t break, it just kind of loosened. So they straighten that out. And then our door, the side door needs some adjusting. Yeah, these things are driving down the road. It’s like a-

Jen Wendland:

… a perpetual earthquake.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah. Think of that.

Jen Wendland:

And think about your roads wherever you live. I used to think it was just Michigan that had bad roads, but now that we’re out there, there’s a lot of bad roads out there.

Mike Wendland:

All right, what else we got?

Jen’s favorite and not-so-favorite things about the RV Lifestyle

We answer your RV Lifestyle Questions 1
Jennifer keeps a travel journal.

Jen Wendland:

Okay. This is from Kendall. “I’d like to hear from Jennifer. What’s your favorite thing about RV and what’s your least favorite?”

Mike Wendland:

I’d like to hear this too.

Jen Wendland:

Oh, my favorite thing I think dreaming and thinking about a trip, you think how much fun it’s going to be, where you want to go, and what you’re going to see along the way.

Mike Wendland:

The possibilities.

Jen Wendland:

The adventure of it. I like to dream about how much fun it’s going to be to get away and to do that. I get restless if I’m home too long and the bad part is it goes right with it is packing, trying to think of everything you need and not taking too much, but just the right amount.

And planning meals, I like to do that. I’m doing that much more now thinking, okay, what are we going to eat this day, this day, this day.

And then of course the flip side, when you get home, you have to unpack all of that. But then usually we’ve got our system down now, soon as we get home, we like to get home, not too late, we just bring everything in.

And I’ve been known to have a couple of loads of laundry done before we go to bed, and I have to vacuum the dog hair. But as soon as I get the RV clean and ready to go again, I’m ready to go. And I never put that off. That gets done just a couple of days after we get home because it’s just too much work after cleaning the thing and packing. I want it clean and ready to go. Plus you never know who’s going to stop by and want to see it.

Why are so many RV infleuncers coming off the road?

Photo of Mike and Jennifer, hosts of the RV Podcast - RV lifestyle questions
Mike and Jennifer, hosts of the RV Podcast

Mike Wendland:

One more question. And this is from Rick:

“Why are so many RV influencers like you and Jennifer coming off the road these days?” No we’re not coming off the road, but I think it means other influencers. “I know you guys have been doing this for 10 years now and I mean this with all due respect, but you are no longer spring chickens.”

Jen Wendland:

True.

Mike Wendland:

Yeah. It is. “How much longer do you two plan to keep doing this and how have you been able to stay traveling so long without burning out?”

Good question.

Jen Wendland:

As long as we have the health to travel and the finances that we are able to afford to travel, the price of gas, and all the expenses that go with traveling. And I think that you have to be flexible. When the world shuts down, okay, how are we going to travel? You’re going to travel locally.

You just have to be flexible and able to do whatever’s happening. I love traveling. I can be happy with things that other people might find boring. I find people interesting when we meet different people, I love people that we meet. I love the things that we see.

Some people just like big cities. I like small towns, I find it all interesting. You always learn when you’re out there. When we found that corn farmer that produces popcorn for the world, you never know.

Mike Wendland:

In the Sandhills of Nebraska, it was the popcorn capital of the world. And we interviewed this guy.

This guy was so interesting. He had farms in South Africa, South America, France.

And of course in Nebraska. He was like this popcorn king and we just walked on his farm and he took us out, showed us all about popcorn. He was such a fascinating guy.

I think that why we haven’t burned out is because we both just love meeting people. We are curious, we’re extremely curious. We believe in serendipity. We’ll let’s try this. And that’s one of the reasons we have bought this property in Tennessee and may do so again in Michigan to develop up into our own little private RV spots.

For example, you know how hard it is to find an open campground without getting reservations months in advance. So having our own place that we can develop and make into a place to go. It’s just really fun to do this. So having projects and things you’re interested in.

Jen Wendland:

We are indeed curious.

Remember the Jell-O Museum? And there are some of the places that we have gone to, there’s very little that we don’t find interesting.

Mike Wendland:

We saw a sign that said the Jell-O Museum. We said the Jell-O Museum? Let’s go!

Jen Wendland:

There’s a story with everything.

Mike Wendland:

And it was.

Rick also asked the question “Why are so many RV influencers coming off the road?”

And yeah, a lot of them are. I think the ones that are coming off the road seem to be full-timers. We have never been full-timers, we’re half to three-quarter timers. It seems like we’re full-timers. But we regularly touch base with our home in Michigan or our home in Florida. I think if we were full-timers confined to a small little RV all the time, we would end up with what we call decision fatigue.

Jen Wendland:

You have so many decisions you have to make.

Your dog gets sick, where are you taking the dog, where should do buy groceries? Oh, I bought groceries there. I should have bought it over here. You are constantly making decisions.

Mike Wendland:

Can’t get in this RV. We got bad neighbors here in this RV park. What do we do there? Yeah.

Jen Wendland:

Maybe we have more decisions than other people because we’ve always had a very full schedule. When we’re going from here to here, to there, we don’t sit in one spot for six months.

Mike Wendland:

That’s our change goal this year. We’re going to try and stay in different places longer this year. But anyway, there are a lot of influencers that are tired of the road. And I think some of them are just doing this for a season, let’s get it out of our system. And then we’ll settle down. We’ll have kids for some of the younger influencers and we’ll get a house. That decision fatigue is a big thing for a lot of them.

Jen Wendland:

And I think they’re thinking they are going to make a whole bunch of money doing this.

Mike Wendland:

And most don’t, I would bet there are 500 influencer couples out there now. When we started, there were only a few of us. And we are not spring chickens as Rick tactfully said.

Jen Wendland:

You know, I think what sticks with me is we went on this one gathering and there was one couple there that they pulled up their rig, they got out their chairs and they sat there and I thought they’re not doing anything, they’re just sitting there. And now as the years have gone by, I admire them. They’re not sitting home. They want to get out, they will do what they can do.

Mike Wendland:

And they have done all those things before they’ve done the hiking and the kayaking. But they’re still enjoying the travel.

Jen Wendland:

And meeting people and being part of the adventure. We all do what we can do, no matter what your limitation is.

Mike Wendland:

Yep. So, no, we are staying out there for we love it. And we’ll keep doing it.

Jen Wendland:

As long as we can.

Mike Wendland:

All right. I think we probably answered way too many questions, and if you stayed with this whole thing and listened to us all, thank you.

We appreciate your patience with us.

Have more questions?

You are always welcome to post them over on our Facebook Group to get your questions about the RV Lifestyle answered.

Let’s go somewhere!

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