21 Sep

What Can You Get for Your Money? Show Pricing at the Hershey RV Show 2017

On this week’s episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are looking at some select models from the 2017 Hershey RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Budget is king when shopping for an RV, so this year we decided to take a good look at the numbers and share what you can buy at a variety of different price points.

From small travel trailers to gas Class A motorhomes to luxury Class B vans, we’ll talk about our favorite picks from a range of manufacturers. Plus we’ll share MSRP and show pricing on every model, so you can get an idea of the deals that are out there right now.

Segment One: Featured Travel Trailers

Listen to episode #160 to hear more details about all of these models.

Pick #1: Forest River RPod T179

This is a great floor plan from America’s number one selling lightweight travel trailer.

MSRP: $23,541.75

Show Price: $16,500

Pick #2: Grand Design Imagine 2400BH

Want the elusive ‘under 30 feet’ bunk model with private master bedroom? This is your unicorn.

MSRP: $33,834

Show Price: $26,782

Pick #3: Jayco White Hawk 25FK

The front kitchen with huge window is the star of the show in this unit.

MSRP: $35,375

Show Price: $25,994

Segment Two: Featured Motorized Units

Listen to episode #160 to hear more details about all these models.

Pick #4: Coachmen Prism 2200 (Class C)

This floor plan makes 22 feet feel downright spacious.

MSRP: $119,155

Show Price: $87,892

Pick #5: Winnebago Vista 32YE (Gas Class A)

An affordable way to get into a Class A.

MSRP: $134,337

Show Price: $96,999

Pick #6: Airstream Atlas

Stunning luxury, design, and price point.

MSRP: $219,000

Show Price: $199,000

Other Episode Information…

Check out our Facebook Live video’s from the Hershey RV Show…

Check out the Winnebago new product launches:

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV fools!

See you at the RV Show!

Stephanie + Jeremy

 

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14 Sep

RVFTA 2017 Fall Gear Guide!

It’s that time of year again…time for us to round up and share some of the best new gear that we have been using during the 2017 camping season. Our gear guides are some of our most popular episodes, and it’s always exciting to recommend products that have brought value to our RV experience over the past year.

We have been doing gear guides in the fall and spring for the last three years, so if you’ve missed any, check them out on the blog or in the iTunes store. Looking back, we can honestly say we still regularly use so many of the products we have talked about over the years. In fact, we are seriously considering a Best of the Best Gear Guide in the near future!

Segment One: Our Fall Gear Guide Picks

In the first segment of the RVFTA 2017 Fall Gear Guide, we review about a dozen of our favorite new products this year. We’ve listed them below, and you can click on the picture or the product name to bring you to a place of purchase! A reminder that online prices change frequently, so there may be some fluctuation between the price we list and the one you find.

Pocket Hose Top Brass Bullet Expanding Hose, $44.99

Brass Hose Splitter wth 2-Way Shut off Valve, $9.99

Thetford Porta Potti 320P, $106.00

Accutire Digital Tire Pressure Gauge, $12.00

Emotion Guster 10 Kayaks, $349.99

Stanley Fatmax Rechargable Spotlight, $49.99

Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera, $449.00

Cabela’s Six-Compartment Camp Cupboard, $99.99

Dual Height, Three-Shelf Camp Cupboard, $59.99

Not in My Backyard Fabric Wearable Wristbands and Inserts, $14.99

Clear2O Water Filter Pitcher, $32.99

Camp Casual Sequoia Blanket, $89.99

Segment Two: Brett’s Picks from the Outdoor Retailer Show 

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, 129.95

Bubi Bottle, 22 oz, $26.99

JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $91.00

Stops the Sting by Mountain Mike Remedies, $6.99

Mid Land Micro Mobile GMRS Radio, $149.99

DrinkTank Keg Cap Accessory Kit, $45.00

A big thanks to our sponsors for supporting content for all our RV fools!

We will see you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

 

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07 Sep

RVFTA #158 RV Show Shopping 101

September brings cooler temperatures, back to school routines, and the official opening of RV Show Season at the Hershey RV Show in Pennsylvania. RV shows can bring amazing educational experiences and fantastic buying deals for consumers, but they can also leave some folks feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

So we decided to compile all our RV Show Shopping tips in one single episode to help you make the most of your RV show visit this year. Listen to hear our advice that will be applicable no matter where you are on your shopping journey.

To download a RV research and recording sheet created by RVFTA listener Heather Anderson, click here.

Segment One: General RV Show Tips

In this segment we did into the basics for all of the larger RV shows. We have seen even the most seasoned RVers overwhelmed when confronted with acres of rigs and no clear game plan. We chat about…

  • Planning ahead
  • Being prepared
  • Creating goals and objectives
  • Talking to the right people
  • And much, much more

Segment Two: Different Types of Shoppers

In the second segment, we talk about the different types of shoppers at RV shows and offer our best tips for making the most out of your visit no matter where you are in your RV journey. We break it down into the following categories…

  • Dreamers and Newbies
  • Ready for the upgrade
  • Ready to buy

Your time at an RV show will look dramatically different depending on which category you fit into. We’ve got a RV pep talk for everyone!

Segment Three: RVFTA News Roundup

Our own RV Show season kicks off at the Hershey RV Show, where we will be hanging out at the Jayco display during the following times:

  • Thursday, September 14th, 5-6 pm
  • Friday & Saturday, September 15-16th, 2-3:30 pm

Plus, we will be at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa from January 17th-21st. Mark your calendars and join us!!! You can find more info here.

A big thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all you RV fools…



See you at the RV Show!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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01 Sep

RVFTA #157 The New RV Learning Curve

Our longtime listeners know that we bought a new RV last winter and made the big leap from a bunkhouse travel trailer to a toy hauler. Well, we spent a few dozen nights camping in it already, and we’re ready to share some of our initial impressions.

If you want to check out our reflections on our previous White Hawk travel trailer, and listen to our expectations for the Octane SL 272, you can tune in to episode #120 Saying Goodby to our Jayco White Hawk Travel Trailer and episode #121 Saying Hello to our Jayco Octane Superlite Toy Hauler. If you would like a visual of our RV floor plan, check out the details here.

Segment One: The New RV Blues

We are being super honest here and sharing some experiences that caught us by surprise. The cold, hard truth? Our last travel trailer was awesome, gave us no major problems, and was completely customized to our family’s storage and travel needs. It came as somewhat of a shock to realize that the excitement of buying a new RV was somewhat tempered by the work involved in learning the new systems and organizing the new space.

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25 Aug

RVFTA #156 Greetings from the Jayco Dealer Homecoming in Nashville, Tennessee!

On this week’s podcast episode, we are talking about our recent trip to the Jayco Dealer Homecoming that took place in Nashville, Tennessee. This is a dealer exclusive annual event where dealers get to check out what’s new for 2018.

Jayco was kind enough to let us get a sneak peak behind the scenes, and we share all the exciting innovations we saw in the towable and motorized divisions. Plus, we managed to squeeze in a little bit of sight seeing and a lot of eating during our short visit. You’ll have to take a listen to hear our very thorough discussion of heat levels at Hattie Bs Hot Chicken…

ALL of the 2018 models can be found on the Jayco website, so make sure you head over there to look for additional info, floor plans, and specs. You can also check out our Instagram feed to see short videos and photo collections. Plus, we took over Jayco’s IG account during our visit, so scroll through their feed for more pics!

Segment One: Towables

There are a LOT of changes in many of the towable lines for the 2018 model year. We were able to spend some time with all five product managers (many of whom you have heard on the show in the past) walking through the rigs and getting an in depth look at their latest innovations and design tweaks.

Jay Feathers and White Hawks

After introducing the Hummingbird, John Fisher got to work completely rethinking the Jay Feather and White Hawk line, and we discuss the exterior and interior changes that will be well received by folks interested in more linear design trends. Listen to hear our thoughts on the new automotive-bonded front window option, the Jay Feather 7 22BHM, and the White Hawk 31BH.

Jay Flights

The newest addition to the Jay Flight travel trailer lineup is the 28BHS. This will be a very welcome addition for families in the market for bunks. Two exterior doors, a rear bathroom, and an L-shaped kitchen create a great interior layout.

Eagle

The Eagle line is on fire right now, and we had a great time chatting with Chris Barth, who was recently on our podcast for our Pros and Cons of a Fifth Wheel episode. Listen to hear more details about the Eagle 25.5REOK, a couple’s coach under 30 feet.

North Point

We are seeing these at campgrounds EVERYWHERE right now, so it was great to meet Matt Fisher and get a true understanding about why this model has been gaining so much traction with RVers. If you have been looking for truly on-point design, Matt stepped up to the plate, taking out the traditional finishes and shooting for a clean, linear look. From the stovetop grate to the handle pulls and square, stainless bathroom sinks, this RV is not your grandparents’ coach.

Toy Haulers

Lastly, there was lots of new things to check out in the world of toy haulers, including the new exterior designs on the Octane line and the introduction of an entirely new line called the Talon. Listen to hear us talk about the Octane T32H.

Segment Two: Motorized

In the motorized category, Jayco is determined to meet the demand for two things: updated interior design and smaller Class Cs. We were happy to see the first results of this effort and talk about two big model debuts…

Melbourne Prestige

The Melbourne Prestige is a small C that has the sleek European design that so many folks are looking for in the small motorhome segment. The woven, vinyl floor is stylish and pragmatic. The large window on the front cap makes the space feel open and airy.

Red Hawk SE 22C

We are head over heals in love with this new model as it introduces a great motorized floor plan that is under 30 feet AND affordably priced. In fact, you could probably buy one of these for the same price as a Ford Lariat. You could sleep a couple of kids on the over-cab bed. And if you are super adventurous, a third kid could sleep on the dinette.

Segment Three: Nashville, Tennessee

We squeezed in a little bit of site seeing during our brief stay, so listen to hear our thoughts on the Grand Ole Opry, Martins BBQ, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, The Frothy Monkey, and the Johnny Cash Museum. Oh, and Jeremy breaks into the 21st century with his first Uber ride…

Thanks so much to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for our RV and camping fools!

 

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16 Aug

RVFTA #155 Greetings from the Redwoods National and State Parks in California!

The Redwoods have such a mythical, magical beauty and most people would place them high on the RV travel bucket list. Personally, we’ve been dreaming about hugging a Redwood tree for as long as memory serves. Well, we finally got our chance to visit, and this week’s podcast is all about the highlights and recommendations from our time spend in the Redwoods National and State Parks.

This podcast episode is paired with Campground of the Week #94, and our complete review of the Crescent City/ Redwoods KOA can be heard on that podcast.

Segment One: Learning about the Redwoods

We are nerdy teachers who love to RV, so we have some great recommendations for you if you would like to bone up on your tree facts before a visit. We also share the resources that helped us out the most during our stay.

Segment Two: Hiking in the Redwoods

We hiked almost every day during our stay, and in this segment we talk about our favorites. Listen to hear our learning curve on appropriate clothing and foot wear, timing, and where to eat that picnic lunch.

  • The Hiouchi Trail to Stout Grove
  • Ladybird Johnson Grove Trail

Segment Three: The Coast

After oohing and aahing over the trees for a couple of days, we appreciated the variety of scenery found along the coast in Redwoods National Park. In fact, some of our favorite experience were in the coastal areas of the Redwoods.

  • Yurok Trail to Hidden Beach
  • Fern Canyon
  • Crescent City

If the Redwoods are on your RV destination bucket list, make sure you take a listen to RVFTA episode #155: Greetings from Redwoods National and State Parks!

A big thanks to our sponsors who support weekly content for all our RV fools…

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See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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08 Aug

RVFTA #154 Greetings from the Oregon Coast

We spent almost a month touring Washington, Oregon, and northern California, and on this podcast episode we are bringing you all the highlights and recommendations from our magical stay along the southern Oregon Coast.

We camped at the Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort, just south of Coos Bay and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This is a paired podcast episode, so to hear a complete review of the campground, check out our Campground of the Week…

Segment One: Hikes, Lighthouses, and Beaches

During our stay, we explored the southern part of the Oregon Coast from the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area down to the Bandon. We spend the majority of our time in the Coos Bay/Charleston area, and if you want to escape the crowds and enjoy some of the best coastal scenery out there, this is a great place to go.

The highlights of our stay included:

Listen to hear all the details of our hike along the Oregon Coast Trail and the fantastic views of Simpson Reef and Cape Arago. You can also find more information (and a great map!) about lighthouses along the Oregon Coast at the Oregon State Parks website.

Segment Two: Regional Activities

The locals in this area did a fantastic job at guiding us to the best gems in the area. We arrived with little on the agenda besides clocking in some serious beach time, and everyday ended up being a great adventure on account of recommendations we received from camp workers and local business owners. Our favorite past times included…

Segment Three: Seriously Good Eats

The good news is that if you are staying at the Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort, you don’t have to go far for an AMAZING seafood meal. The Coos Bay Crab Co. is located right on site at the campground and offers delicious fish and chips, crab, and clam chowder bread bowls.

Other great dining options include…

This was a very special stop on our trip, and we know that we will remember the magical stay in the glamping tent forever. On this episode, we also chat about some other important family moments, including our struggles to hike with a toddler and traveling without the RV kitchen. Tune in to hear the good, the bad, and the downright ridiculous.

A big thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping and RV fools…

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We will see you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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02 Aug

RVFTA #153 Greetings from Mount St. Helens in Washington

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are bringing you the next travel installment from our epic Pacific Northwest adventure. On this leg of our trip, we stayed at the Silver Cove RV Resort which was the perfect basecamp for exploring Mount St. Helens.

You can listen to the entire Mount St. Helens episode here…

And you can check out our complete review of Silver Cove RV Resort here…

Segment One: Crash Course on Mount St. Helens

Sure, you remember that Mount St. Helens is a volcano somewhere in Washington that erupted back when hair was big and jeans were acid washed. But we are going to be completely honest–we were shocked by how much we didn’t know about this volcanic eruption that happened in our lifetime.

So in the first segment, we are giving you a crash course on the “most economically destructive event in US history.” You’ll have to listen for the other nine interesting facts…

Segment Two: Exploring the West Side

There was far more to do in the area around Mount St. Helens than we initially realized. In fact, we assumed this would be one of those day trips where you drive up, take a few pics, and go find some lunch.

Couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In this segment we talk about…

  • Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in Silver Lake
  • The Forest Learning Center
  • The Hummocks Trail Hike
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory

Plus, all this hiking and learning is exhausting, so you are going to want to perk up by eating at the Fire Mountain Grill on your way back down the mountain!

Segment Three: Exploring the South Side

Our boys saw Jack and Colton explore the Ape Caves on their favorite show, Rock the Park. So we knew this was on their must-do list during our visit. It was worth the drive for sure, considering they say the caves were the VERY BEST THING on our entire trip. In this segment we chat about…

  • Lower Cave
  • Upper Cave
  • Area Reservoirs with day use beaches and water access
  • Lone Fir Cafe

Thanks so much to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV fools…

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31 Jul

Which RV is Right For Me: RVFTA Quick Guide

If you are shopping for your first (or next!) RV, the good news is that there are a ton of great choices out there right now. However, the number of options can be quite overwhelming.

On this special episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, developed exclusively for Go RVing, we are helping you find your perfect RV, starting with a break down of each RV ‘type’.

From towables to motorized units, we will describe each major type of RV, plus give some of the reasons it may or may not be the right fit for you.

We wrap up the episode by adding a few of our own tips for smart RV shopping.

You can take a look at the pictures below while listening to get a better idea of the RV features that we discuss. We also highly recommend checking out Go RVing’s Compare RVs page, where you can learn more about each RV type and also get some personalized feedback using the Find My RV tool.

 

 

We believe the perfect RV is out there just waiting for you to bring it on some amazing adventures. But for now, enjoy the shopping part of your RV journey!

And soon enough, we’ll see you at the campground.

Stephanie + Jeremy

Pop Up Camper

Hybrid Travel Trailer

Conventional Travel Trailer

Fifth Wheel

Class B

Class C

Class A

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26 Jul

RVFTA #152 Greetings from Olympic National Park in Washington

Let’s get the important information out of the way first: Olympic National Park is knock-your-socks-off beautiful and has shot to the top of our list for favorite NPS sites. We still love you, Acadia…but you may have slipped to #2.

We visited Olympic National Park on the first stop of our 25-day Pacific Northwest adventure, and it was a pretty epic way to kick off the trip. On this RVFTA podcast episode, we devote the entire episode to sharing all the hiking, boating, and eating recommendations from our visit.

This is one of our paired podcast travel episodes, so to hear a complete review of the campground we stayed at during our visit, Elwah Dam RV Park, listen to Episode #91 of our Campground of the Week Podcast.

Segment One: Planning Your Stay

Olympic National Park is not one of the easiest NPS sites to visit mostly on account of its size. Many National Parks have ‘loop roads’ or ‘scenic drives’ that can give day visitor’s a quick glimpse of the park highlights. Not so with Olympic. The most popular areas of the park are quite dispersed, so planning your stay will involve a bit more research and strategy.

In the first segment of this episode, we give our tips for navigating the park including picking a location for your basecamp. We chose Port Angeles, but there are other spots that may be a better fit for you.

We also chat about…

  • Various Visitor Centers
  • Areas of the Park: Coast, Rainforest, and Alpine regions
  • Planning an itinerary

And we wrap up the segment by sharing the resources that ended up being our favorites, including…

  • Moon Guide Pacific Northwest Trip by Allison Williams
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Olympic National Park, Falcon Guides by Eric Molvar
  • Olympic National Park: A Natural History by Tim McNulty {Jeremy’s Nerd Pick}

Segment Two: Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge

We decided to use the Port Angeles area as our basecamp and were very happy with the choice. It placed us in close proximity to Hurricane Ridge, Sol Duc Falls, Crescent Lake, and the Port Angeles downtown area, which offered fun eating and shopping options.

We highly recommend beginning at the main Visitor Center here and chatting with a ranger about your visit. Skip the movie, which unfortunately offers little to no useful or interesting information about the park. You can also stretch your legs by enjoying two short but lovely hikes that leave right from the center: Living Forest Trail (.4) and Peabody Creek Trail (.5).

The Hurricane Hill trail ended up being our favorite hike of the entire trip. About three miles round trip, this ridge hike offers magnificent views for the entire length of the trail. In our opinion, this is a must-do when visiting Olympic National Park.

Our favorite food and drink joints were…

  • Little Devil’s Lunchbox
  • Next Door Gastropub
  • Easy Street Coffee and Tea House
  • BADA NW Coffee Shop
  • Country Aire Natural Foods

And some fun shopping options include…

  • Swains General Store
  • Lefties Team Store

Segment Three: Lake Crescent and Sol Duc Falls

Sol Duc Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park. We did the Sol Duc Falls hike, and had a great time splashing in the smaller falls that you cross on the trail. We combined the hike with a visit to the Sol Duc Hot Springs, which was a HUGE hit with our kids. Beware…the hot springs really just look like pools/hot tubs and they do smell like sulfur. But nonetheless, it was a highlight for our boys who begged to go back every day during our visit.

Other great waterfalls nearby:

  • Marymere Falls
  • Madison Falls

There are a few places to rent boats on Crescent Lake. We felt the most scenic was at the Lake Crescent Log Cabin Resort, which has paddle boat, kayak, SUP, and canoe rentals at reasonable prices. There are lovely Adirondack chairs positioned along the waterfront, and you can buy ice cream and beer in the store to enjoy outside. Our boys took very quick dips in the chilly, but pristine, lake.

Our favorite food picks from nearby:

  • Blackberry Cafe
  • Granny’s Cafe

Segment Four: Ruby Beach and the Hoh Rainforest

Since we stayed near Port Angeles, both Ruby Beach and Hoh Rainforest were a long drive (1.5-2 hours). Based on local recommendations, we decided to combine the two stops and visited Ruby Beach in the morning and then headed out to Hoh Rainforest in the afternoon. You will want to check the tides before planning your day, as the coastal areas are best visited during low tide. Rangers at the visitor centers have tide charts for reference.

At the Hoh Rainforest, there are two loop trails with trail heads right at the Visitor Center: Hall of Moses (.8 miles) and Spruce Nature Trail (1.2 miles). These trails are an awesome way to experience the wonder of the temperate rain forest.

On the way back to basecamp, we ate dinner at Taqueria Santa Ana, a very authentic Mexico joint with delicious food and NO bells and whistles.

Our 5-day trip to Olympic National Park was truly phenomenal, and we are thrilled to share our best tips for visiting this natural treasure. Listen to the episode to hear complete details on all the above destinations, hikes, and restaurants! And don’t forget to check out Campground of the Week to hear our review of Elwah Dam RV Park in Port Angeles, Washington.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV fools…

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20 Jul

RVFTA #151 The Rise of the Park Model

Say goodbye to the yesterday’s manufactured home! Today’s seasonal-centric campgrounds are often comfortable and well-appointed RV resorts, filled with residential park models that are packed with creature comforts at affordable price points. Seasonal camping has become more popular than ever. So after you have pulled the trigger on that perfect campground retreat, a park model may not be too far in the future.

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas we are going to take a closer look at this growing segment of RV sales.  Our special guest is Amy Duthie, senior director of product development for Jayco. We invited Amy onto the podcast to educate us about her “Bungalow” line of park models, and this segment of the industry in general. (To learn even more about Amy, click here!)

Amy will answer questions about:

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13 Jul

RVFTA #150: Tents for Troops and the Healing Power of the Campground

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas , we are sharing an update on RVFTA’s fundraising initiative for the Tents for Troops RV Loaner Program. Last fall we announced our goal of raising 10,000 dollars to purchase a travel trailer which would be permanently housed at a campground and available exclusively to active duty military. Check out that podcast episode for more details about the charity and our RVFTA podcast network initiative!

Well, you all came through!!!! On account of the generosity of RVFTA listeners, we can now announce the awesome details of this charitable project. Listen to this week’s show to hear about the rig being purchased and the campground where it will be located.

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06 Jul

Episode #149 Pros and Cons of a Fifth Wheel

It’s been a long time coming, but now its finally here! Our EXTRA HUGE Pros and Cons of a Fifth Wheel episode! If you have ever wondered if a fabulous fiver might be right for your family, then this episode is for you.

We will talk about the best aspects of the fifth wheel, such as:

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29 Jun

RVFTA #148 Smokin’ and Grillin’ 101 With Casita Dean!

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas we are taking you to summer school and diving into the yummy world of smokin’ and grillin’. This is truly one of America’s greatest pastimes, and the way many of us feed our families in the summer both at home and on the road.

So we invited Campground of the Week correspondent (and international egg camping superstar) Casita Dean May onto the show to coach us through the process of smokin’ and grillin’ in the backyard and at the campground. He’ll tell us about ALL of the basic gear and cookbooks we need, the most important steps in the process, and then–most important of all–his favorite recipes.

Gear:

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22 Jun

RVFTA #147 Planning a Trip to the Pacific Northwest

We can’t wait to end the day with this view at the Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort in Oregon! We are only days away from our bucket-list trip to the Pacific Northwest that will include visits to 3 states, 5 campgrounds, and at least 5 national and state parks. On this week’s podcast episode, we wanted to share details about the planning that went into this very special adventure.

Segment One: The Trip Details

Our sticks and bricks home is in New Jersey, and we decided NOT to haul our RV all the way across the country to visit the Pacific Northwest. We’ll discuss some of the reasons for this decision as well as the resulting pros and cons . In this segment, we’ll also give a sneak peak at the campgrounds, cities, and parks we’ll be visiting.

Segment Two: The Trip Planning

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15 Jun

RVFTA #146 RV Road Trip Tips 2017

It’s that time of year, and many folks are hitting the road for the summer travel season. On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about some ways to stay happy and healthy while getting from point A to point B.

We could all use some fresh ideas to make the journey a little better, so we have compiled tips for staying safe and having a bit more fun, even if you are a prisoner to your kids’ 99th round of 21 Questions.

You might want to throw on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and try to teleport to the next destination, but we want you to know that the journey really can be a great part of the adventure. So here are some fresh ideas for enjoying the ride…

Segment One: Staying Safe

It’s way more fun to talk about trip planning than safety, but the bottom line is that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Take these precautions to make sure you arrive safe and sound at your epic destination…

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08 Jun

RVFTA #145 Craft Beer 101 with Scott Elias

On this week’s episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are taking you to school and diving into the trending world of craft brewing. There are more and more location-based craft breweries, which offer a great chance to experience regional culture during an RV vacation.

So we invited Campground of the Week correspondent Scott Elias onto the show to coach us through the process of finding and enjoying amazing craft beer. He helps us sort out the difference between an IPA and a Belgian beer, plus offers some great resources for keeping track of those favorite pints once we find them.

Segment One: The Basics of Craft Beer

This is basically the everything you want to know but are too embarrassed to ask segment. We are never embarrassed to ask the most basic questions, and luckily Scott is very patient and has great answers. We discuss..

  • IPAs
  • Belgians
  • Pilsners and Lagers
  • Porters and Stouts
  • Wheats
  • Sours

Then Scott gives some really good advice for figuring out what you like and what time of the year you might want to drink it.

Segment Two: The Basics of the Craft Brewery

We all want to have a great experience when visiting a brewery, but to be honest it can be a bit overwhelming if you consider yourself a craft beer novice. Scott give us actionable advice for making a trip to the brewery a success, like downloading the app Untappd, which can help you keep track of the beers you like and also get recommendations from other users.

Scott also shares some of his favorite breweries from around the country.

Segment Three: Recommendations from the RVFTA Community

We asked our RVFTA craft beer fans for their favorite recommendations, and boy did they come through. Check out the post with all of these great brewery and campground picks from the real experts by heading over to our RVFTA Facebook group.

A big thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV fools…

See you at the campground!

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07 Jun

9 Great Father’s Day Gifts for the Camping and RVing Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, Jeremy joined Janine Pettit over on episode #87 of the Girl Camper podcast to discuss great gifts for the camping Mister Sister. Listen to the podcast below to hear Jeremy describe each product in detail, and find links to all the products below…

Petzel Tikka 200 Lumens headlamp, 29.99 with Rechargable battery, $22 and Noctilight Case, $19.99

Check out Jeremy’s demo here…

Grand Trunk Hammock, $69.99 

Estwing Camper’s Axe, $32

The Ultimate Hikers Gear Guide by Andrew Skurka, $12

Cabela’s XPG Hiking Socks for Men, 14.99

 

National Park Posters by Robert Decker, $30

Polar Cap Equalizer Cooler, $199-$399

Rigid 4.5 ShopVac 5.0 Horsepower Wet/Dry Vac, $99

Stanley FatMax rechargeable spotlight, $50

 

What are you planning on getting for the Mister Sister in your life? Don’t worry…we’ll keep your secret.

And to all those dads out there that take their kids camping: good work, guys!

See you at the campground!

31 May

RVFTA #144 What’s New at Camp Jellystone, 2017?

One of our favorite annual family camping experiences is visiting a variety of Yogi Bear’s Camp Jellystone Parks. Jellystone campgrounds have cornered the market on family fun, and we want to share some of the things that we think they are doing right.

It’s important to realize that Jellystone Camp Resorts are individually-owned franchises, so the activities and amenities vary from park to park. In this podcast episode we are specifically talking about the features of the very best ones we have visited.

5 Things Jellystone Campgrounds are Getting Right

We visited our first Jellystone Park about 5 years ago, and had an amazing family vacation at the Luray Jellystone in Virginia. Since then, we have seen the franchise grow and many of the campgrounds invest in resort-like amenities. Jellystone knows it’s customer and is doing all the right things to make family camping a more fun experience for the young and, ahem, not so young.

So what are some of our favorite things trending within the Jellystone system?

  1. Planned Group Recreation–kids love good old fashioned summer camp activities like relay races and water balloon fights. Jellystone Parks are putting more organized sports recreation on the activities calendar and we love it.
  2. Limiting Additional Add On Expenses–we think the trend is toward including more, not less, in the cost of your campsite. We hate being nickel and dimed on paying for extra activities within a campground, especially after you have paid a premium cost for your site. Many of the Jellystones are including mini golf, paddle boats, pedal carts, and water slides with your stay. This is how we think it should be.
  3. Upping the game for teens and tweens– Jellystone Parks are paying attention to the teen and tween crowd, adding large water features, zip lines, ninja training courses, and teen-only laser tag. These are the types of thing your big kid will beg to do over and over again.
  4. Customer service training— We are continually impressed by the young staffers at many Jellystones Parks. These teenagers and college students are friendly and engaging, bringing just the right amount of ‘cool’ to rule enforcement. They are everything you want in a camp counselor, so we know they are being trained well by management.
  5. Upgrading the campsite experience–Many ‘resort campgrounds’ put a ton of money into amenities, but scrimp on site maintenance and landscaping. Jellystone Parks are developing resort-style campsites with concrete pads, upgraded fire pits, and space to spread out.

5 Fun Facts about Yogi Bear and Jellystone Parks

Where did these Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp Resorts come from anyway? We dug into some historical Americana, and learned more about the history of Yogi Bear and his namesake campgrounds. Did you know…

  1. Yogi made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in the Huckleberry Hound Show, and didn’t get his own show until 1961.
  2. Yogi’s personality and mannerisms are said to be based on Art Carney’s Ed Norton character on The Honeymooners.
  3. Yogi Berra sued Hannah Barbera for defamation, but later dropped his suit when the studio claimed the name similarity was merely a coincidence.
  4. Animation historians link Yogi Bear and his antics to social unrest in the 60’s. They say Yogi represents a figure bucking against what society expects from him.
  5. Doug Haag, the founder of the first Jellystone Park, also considered Paul Bunyan, Pocahontas, and Robin Hood as recognizable figures to brand his campground around. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out how he landed on Yogi Bear…

What’s New with Camp Jellystone?

Michele Wisher, the Vice President of Promotions and Marketing for Leisure Systems, had a lot of news to share on this podcast episode. And as a mom of three, she spend a lot of time giving tips on how to save some dough. Here are links to the promotions and deals that we discussed:

  1. S’more Deals
  2. Yogi Rewards
  3. 2017 Great American CampOut 
  4. Jellystone Park Tiny Home RV Tour

More Jellystone Content

Want to hear more abut the Yogi experience? We paired this episode with a Campground of the Week review of our recent stay at the Hagerstown Jellystone in Maryland. Check out Campground of the Week episode #83 to hear all the details about this amazing park.

You can also check out Jellystone podcast episodes from years past…

A big thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping and RV fools:

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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25 May

RVFTA #143 Tips for Buying a Used Pop Up Camper with the Pop Up Princess

Photos courtesy of The Pop Up Princess

For many folks buying a used pop up camper is the easiest and most affordable way to jump into the RV lifestyle. There are many reasons why a pop up camper is a great way to get your feet wet, since they are so easy to tow and super easy to store.

However, the process of shopping for a used pop up camper can be a bit overwhelming. Inexperienced shoppers often make mistakes that end up costing a ton of money and a ton of time.

Lucky for us the Pop Up Princess came onto the podcast to guide us through the exciting but daunting experience of searching for the perfect used pop up camper. Larissa Richardson has seen a ton of pop up camper remodels, and she knows what she is talking about.

The Hunt for a Used Pop Up Camper

In the first segment, Larissa talks about all the things you need to research and decide before shopping for a used pop up camper. Important points include:

  • Current tow capacity
  • desired features
  • budget
  • deal breakers

Inspecting a Used Pop Up Camper before Purchase

In the second segment, Larissa walks us through her amazing checklist of all the things you should inspect before purchasing a used pop up camper. Seriously, everyone should be armed with this PDF checklist before going to check a rig out. We discuss:

  • roof
  • flooring
  • lift systems
  • canvas
  • electric
  • appliances
  • AND MORE!!!

Words of Experience

Folks who have been following the RVFTA story for a while know that we started out with a pop up camper and made a lot of very common mistakes in our RV journey. In the last segment of the show, we discuss some of our best advice for making sure you don’t wind up with a camper (or tow vehicle!) that doesn’t suit your family or your budget.

We still believe that a used pop up camper is an amazing way to begin your family’s RV adventure. If fact, our number one piece of advice to people sitting on the fence is to find an inexpensive used pop up camper and just give it a try. Even if you HATE it (which you won’t) you will probably be able to sell the camper at the end of the season for at least what you paid.

To see more of our advice on pop up campers, check out:

You can also visit our RVFTA Facebook Group, where lots of friendly folks will answer any questions you have about looking for that perfect pop up camper.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RVing fools:

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