LTRVD0358 RV Tips


RV Tips is the focus on this week’s show. We cover quite a few including some safety tire tips.

We kick off this session of RV Tips with a short history of Camping. This is a collection of interesting facts and dates for items such as Campgrounds, Tents, Lanterns, Stoves, Cooler Chests, Air Mattress, and Sleeping Bags. Funny how the military had such a hand in equipment development.

Kathy discusses some items that should be in a campground store. This came from a discussion on the Living the RV Dream Facebook group.

Next we talk tire safety and especially as pertains to steel sidewall tires. These can explode when they have been damaged by being under inflated by as little as 20% below normal pressure. There is some really good advice here.

We also discuss how to handle your rig when a tire blows. Yes, you eventually want to stop, but first you accelerate to regain forward momentum and control. Then slow down and pull over.

Kathy discusses parking at Walmart and other big box stores over night. She also brings up the Escapees overnight parking RVer’s Good Neighbor Policy.

Next we again discuss personal safety during heavy weather conditions including tornado warnings.

LTRVD0357 Hundreds of Manatees


We viewed Hundreds of Manatees when we visited the Tampa Electric Company (TECO) Big Bend power station this week. They were in the warm water of the facility’s discharge canal. When the Gulf of Mexico’s water temperature dips below 68 degrees F, the warm blooded manatees need to find warmer water. TECO has constructed a wonderful manatee viewing area where we took the pictures that accompany this show note. Admission and parking are free. Get more information at

There are actually over a hundred animals in view of this picture.

We also visited the Hillsborough River State Park which is quite close to our current location in Zephyrhills, FL. This is an old park with many improvements done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930’s. They have a really nice campground with many spaces large enough for 40 foot rigs and a few that can accommodate 45 foot rigs. It is a really kid friendly place with a huge swimming pool (check for open dates, and rentals of canoes, bicycles and 2 and 4-person tandem pedal cars. There is lots of history there as well. There are old forts used by the army during the Indian wars against the Seminole tribes. One has been restored and is open for tours several days a week. Check it out at . We did a blog post on this park. Check it out at


We also spent some time at the Lazy Days Campground while we visited with the folks at the Full-time Families 2016 Sweetheart Soiree Rally. Check them out at We were able to meet Kimberly Travaglino, founder of this wonderful group that is an awesome support group for folks full-timing with kids and homeschooling them on the road. Kathy got to tour some of their rigs to see how they have adapted them for doing the schooling and just living with 3 or 4 or more young children. We had a good time with them and we will interview Kimberly at a later date.

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Hillsborough River State Park

Hillsborough River State Park was our destination today. It is quite near to us here in Zephyrhills. Its located between I-75 and Zephyrhills on US Route 301. We to0ok a lot of pictures, but not in the campground. We want to preserve people’s privacy.

Official Park Information
Opened in 1938, Hillsborough River State Park is one of Florida’s first state parks. This original CCC Park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River with a set of Class II rapids. The river provides opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. A canoe/kayak launch is available at parking lot #4. The concession provides canoe, bike and golf cart rentals, breakfast and lunch menus, camping and picnic supplies, and a variety of memorable souvenirs. For rates and hours of operation, please contact the Hillsborough Park Pool Side Cafe at (813) 986-3322, or via their web page. Hikers can walk over seven miles of nature trials. Note: The Wetlands Restoration Trail accommodates both bicyclists and hikers only. When the weather calls for it, visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim in the park’s ADA accessible swimming pool.

Park Amenities
Picnic areas, pavilions, several playgrounds, the Pool Side Café and Gift Shop, and an ADA-accessible, half-acre swimming pool, are located within the park. Many trails offer visitors the opportunity to experience the park’s natural beauty. A popular trail is the Rapids Nature Trail. It meanders through oak hammocks to the edge of the Hillsborough River at the point where an outcropping of limestone rocks has created rapids. This area is a popular spot for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers canoe rentals for visitor’s convenience.
Swimming pool hours of operation are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, weather permitting. Please contact the park for swimming pool informational updates at (813) 987-6771. The park offers full-facility camping and a youth/group tent campground. A primitive campsite is available via foot trail; reservations are always recommended.



We stopped for icecream and sat outside by the pool. This little critter sat on the table behind us looking at our food. Sorry Charlie, no ice cream for you.


Camping at Hillsborough River State Park
Hillsborough River State Park offers RV and tent camping with electric on most of the campsites in the 112 site campground. Each site is equipped with water, a fire ring and picnic table. Each loop has restrooms with hot showers and laundry facilities. The campground offers a dump station for your convenience. Shopping for basic food items and merchandise is available at the park’s concession by the pool. Pets are welcome, but must be confined, leashed (up to six feet in length), or otherwise under the physical control at all times.
Maximum RV length = 50 ft. Hammocks are allowed to be used in certain campsites. Sites 41, 61, 110, and 111, allow one (1) hammock each, while sites 68 and 70 allow two (2) hammocks each. Set-up requires the use of straps at least 2 inches wide on trees at least 12 inches in diameter.

Camping Reservations
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through Reserve America. or call: (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.), or TDD (888) 433-0287.




LTRVD0356 Killing a Diesel Engine

Killing a Diesel Engine is the feature story on this week’s podcast. First, as always, we read some listener mail. We got a nice note from Dave Gray, founder of . This is probably the very best go-to place on trucks, trailers, matching the two, and towing safety. This site is book-marked in the towing section of our website, We also field questions about RV combo washing machines, an ARRP app to help with your medications, full-time domicile states, and how we pick topics and interviews for the show. Kathy also got some good advice about her upcoming cellphone purchase.

Killing a Diesel Engine

The next segment is all about Killing a Diesel Engine. The material was sourced from an article in a Diesel pickup truck magazine. We chronicle 10 items that if neglected can surely kill your engine, or in some cases, your truck. Routine maintenance comes into play on a number of these items as well as diesel fuel contamination issues. Improper warm-up and cool-down gets the treatment too. How about the color of your exhaust smoke? Certain colors spell doom for your engine. We even cover vehicle cleanliness and the effects of road salts and grime. Tires are also mentioned as a truck killer if improperly maintained.

Tampa Supershow wrap-up

We compare notes with an article written by Steve Savage of Mobility RV Service. We agree on almost all points. First is the trend towards darker colors on exteriors even though they tend to increase interior temperatures. Hand in hand with that is darker colors in interior cabinets and furniture, especially brown. We are not fans of interiors so dark it seems as if you are in a cave.
So many manufacturers are installing many more remote controlled shades, TV lifters, and other gadgets that you now may need a dedicated electronic controller to operate your rig. This extends to more and more fifth wheel trailers sporting fully automatic leveling jacks. Household style residential refrigerators are proliferating to the point they may become standard equipment soon. We also dish on tank-less water heaters and “open” floor plans that could almost accommodate a bowling alley. Enjoy our show!

LTRVD0355 Sugar Beet Harvest

The Annual Sugar Beet Harvest is the main subject of this week’s podcast. We have talked with many folks who have done this work and enjoyed it. We also did an interview with Cary and Sherry who are recruiters for the employment company that hires the temporary workers for the Sugar Beet Harvest. Unfortunately the audio file of that interview was lost, but we have discussed most of the material from that interview.

Reader e-mail
During our email section, we read a message from Phil Allen about a new product we will be testing that is a Kitchen Fire Suppression blanket. Check it out on Amazon here.
We also disclose that the Harvest Hosts program we discussed in an earlier podcast does have an expectation from the hosts that guests will purchase products from the host business.
We also had a question about oilfield gate guarding. Most answers are found on our webpage on this at

Sugar Beet Harvest
Our main feature this week is on the Annual Sugar Beet harvest. We describe the basics of the harvest and the types of jobs available. This is a great opportunity to make a lot of money in a short period of time. Kathy adds answers to many frequently asked questions about this very popular fall workamping job. If you are interested, go to their website at

Transitioning Health Care from home to On the Road
We finish with information from a very informative article written by Margo Armstrong in the Escapees Magazine all about making the switch from sticks and bricks healthcare to a portable On-the-Road healthcare plan. She offers much excellent advice on starting to make the transition. One issue is having an advanced medical directive and making sure someone not traveling with you should have a copy. A good example of an advanced medical directive is available at this website,