PODCAST: RVFTA’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

We’ve recommended a ton of fantastic RV gear over the years, so it’s always hard to narrow down our choices for fellow camping enthusiasts. On this special podcast produced exclusively for Go RVing, we picked some of our very favorite gifts.

We have broken it down into three different categories: Gifts for the Lively Little Campers, Jeremy’s Picks, and Stephanie’s Picks. If you want to find even more great gift ideas, check out our other Holiday Gift guide podcasts available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or at rvfamilytravelatlas.com.

Gifts for the Lively Little Campers

Trivial Pursuit National Parks Edition ($20)

This trivia game is great for long car rides with energetic kids. 600 questions come on cards stored in a hard sided case with a secure carabiner latch. This latch will keep the cards from exploding into a spontaneous game of 52 card pick up. Trivial Pursuit is a great way to pass the time in the car and build your knowledge of national parks. It’s entertaining and challenging for kids and adults alike.

National Parks Monopoly Edition ($40)

This is a perfect game to keep you entertained through the long winter months especially if you, like us, have to winterize your RV. Monopoly is one our kids’ favorite family games, and even our four year old can play along with a little help from his brothers. The board features 22 of the most popular and scenic national parks. An additional game feature has players match animals to the parks they inhabit. Parents will appreciate the optional 60-minute game speed play rules.

Motorola Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkies ($90)

We have been using these walkie talkies for years at the campground, and they have never let us down. Kids love to use these with their siblings and friends. The secret is that they are really more of a present for parents. We can keep in touch with our boys when they are riding their bikes or walking to the playground, even if we are in a remote environment with no cell service. The range is great, and we love that we can lock in the settings so the kids can’t change channels.

Nebo Poppy Lantern and Spotlight ($20)

Flashlights go with camping as much as the requisite marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. Let’s face it: making smoke sabers in the campfire with flashlights is a right of passage for RV kids. We love this Nebu Poppy because it combines a lantern with a spotlight, making it perfect for finding your way to the bathhouse or reading in bed at night. This product combines functional with fun..the perfect match for an RV-themed gift.

Stephanie’s Picks

Camp Casual Throws ($80)

If you really, really love someone, then get them one of these blankets. There is simply no cozier item on the face of the planet. Our boys walk around the house with these wrapped around their bodies. We have the Sequoia Throw for our RV master bed. One snuggle with these throw blankets and you will be hooked.

Beddy’s ($200)

Use code RVFAMILY for 20% off!

Nothing gets the heart rate up like making RV beds, and some people brag about the calories burned during this activity. RV beds are not only notoriously difficult to make, they also are tough to keep neat and tidy. Beddy’s bed sets are like one giant fitted sheet that easily wrap around the RV mattress. A zipper runs around the bedding set just like a sleeping bag, but way more stylish. If you know someone who stresses while making the RV bed, this would make the perfect gift!

Stainless Steel Wine Glasses ($25)

No self-respecting oenophile should be drinking wine at the campground out of red solo cups. In fact, any sort of plastic cup just doesn’t seem to cut it. However, glass isn’t a good match for RV travel for a lot of different reasons. Enter the stainless steel wine glass. We added these to our camping collection last year and they are one of our favorite RV items of all time. Practical and fashionable equals gift perfection.

Family Camping Sign ($50-$100)

Creative Designs 77 

Black River Wood Shop

Take a stroll around the campground and you will quickly notice that personalized camping signs are a favorite accessory for RVers. We bought our family camping sign just weeks after we came home with our first pop up camper. Etsy has a wide variety of shops with adorable sign options, all customizable with your family’s names, hometown, and even pets’ names. We particularly like the colorful, fun signs from the Creative Designs 77 Etsy shop and the rustic, outdoorsy options from the Black River Wood Shop.

Jeremy’s Picks

Nebo Slyde King Flashlight ($40)

It’s tough for someone with a world-famous flashlight collection to pick a favorite, but if you shined a spotlight in his eyes, Jeremy might pick the Nebo Slyde King. It’s made of high-quality aluminum and is water and impact resistant. Use it as a standard flashlight or slide it open to reveal a work light. Jeremy particularly loves that it’s USB rechargeable and has a magnetic base for when you need to be hands free.

UE Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker ($80)

Most RVs come with exterior bluetooth speakers, but most of the time we don’t want to broadcast our music to the entire campground. The UE Wonderboom speakers are compact, lightweight, and waterproof. We use them by the grill when cooking, at the picnic table while eating, and around the campfire at night. The cute colors are just an added bonus.

Cabela’s Roughneck Flannel-Lined Stonewash Canvas Shirt ($40)

Can a man camp without a flannel-lined canvas shirt? Well, Jeremy certainly can’t. It’s hard to find an option that is warm and comfortable without being too bulky. This is his favorite wardrobe addition in a long time. Jeremy is no fashionista, but this shirt makes him act like one.

See America Prints ($25-$70)

We have bought our own fair share of these See America prints over the years, but they are also one of our favorite gifts to give friends and family that love to travel. If there is a national park or historic monument that your loved ones visited this year, a framed picture from See America will bring back those wonderful memories for years to come.

Picking out the perfect gifts for your friends and family is part of the joy of the holiday season. We always like to remember, however, that the holiday spirit is really about spending time and creating memories with the people you love.

Just like RVing.

A very, very happy holiday season from our family to yours. See you at the campground in 2018.

Stephanie and Jeremy

7 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT AN RV BY NOW

I never thought I would be such an RV advocate. Heck, I never thought I would live in one full-time. Traveling the country in a Winnebago wasn’t on my bucket list.

However, the past few years RVing have enabled Heath and I to travel all over America, live incredibly cheap so we could pay off more than $15k of student debt, and attain a crash course education in “how to live in a small space with your spouse 101” (lesson #239: learn to forgive your husband when he accidently locks you in the shower for 30 minutes).

Like most people, I didn’t dream of growing up and living in a motorhome. Yet it’s literally been the vehicle that has allowed us to cross so many adventures off our bucket list and live an incredible life.

If you are someone who isn’t sure whether the RV lifestyle is for you, I wanted to share 7 reasons why you should’ve bought an RV by now.

  1. You love the outdoors.

 

 Photo cred: Joe Hendricks

When your ideal getaway involves a state park, a campfire, and s’mores, you know that RV life would suit you perfectly.

Our favorite part of full-time RVing is the chance to spend more time outside, whether we’re hiking, kayaking, or just taking a nap in the hammock. Best of all, this keeps us more active and healthier on the road.

Read More

20 TIPS FOR NEW RVERS FROM 20 YEARS OF GO RVING

Our 20th Anniversary celebration continues! Written by Go RVing fans, check out our top 20 tips for first time RVers.

Have any additional tips? Leave a comment below!

RV on the road

 

  1. “Whatever you can afford, doesn’t matter if you’re towing a pop up tent camper or driving a diesel motorhome or anything in between. Load up your family, or your friends and head out. Nothing is like RVing with friends or family and enjoying the amazing things this beautiful country has to offer with your home with you.” – Dave R.
  2. “The first time, go within 45 miles of home and preferably near a store. Keep a list of items you run out of so that you will be well stocked for the next trip.” –Christine K.
  3. “Just go! Don’t be one of those people who lets their trailer sit on the side of their house…that’s just sad.” – Valerie H.
  4. “Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination, that counts. Stop and smell the roses– they are NOT on the Interstates.” – Rhonda K.
  5. “Get a system in place. Everyone has a job, from chocking wheels to opening cabinets to making sure nothing will fall out. We also use walkie talkies for communication upon arrival.” – Jennifer E.
  6. “Stay flexible. Don’t lock yourself into a schedule if possible. Stop if something unplanned interests you. You never know when you will be back that way and returning later will always be more expensive than stopping now.” –William T.
  7. “Don’t be afraid to ask fellow RVers questions. Most are very helpful and happy to share their experiences!” – Crystal L.
  8. “Keep the RV dealer’s number handy! On your first trip go somewhere with full hook ups. Our first RV trip we had no idea what we were doing.” – Chris C.
  9. “Drive slow, always check your tire pressure, and top off the propane!” – ScenicRouteTravelers 
  10. “Always remember that in a trailer the black battery cable is the hot lead, which goes against everything we grew up knowing about car batteries…black was always ground!” – David T.
  11. “Make sure you are handy and remember to have money saved for regular maintenance and unexpected repairs.” – Joe D.
  12. “Make yourself a checklist for setting up and breaking down.” – Jeannette S.
  13. “Take a spare long sleeve shirt, short sleeve, summer/winter pjs, a raincoat and a jacket. Leave them in the RV. You will never be able to predict the weather on an outing, so always be ready to be dressed right. Leave them in the RV all year ‘round.” – Karen C.
  14. “Get a camping diary. They usually have a “form” to fill out about the campground and a space to write notes, likes and dislikes, spots to try for next time, etc. Very useful for planning to come back to the same place.” – Jeff G.
  15. “Renting before you buy is a great idea. If you buy, do all you can to buy new/next to new from a dealership.” – Cynthia Z.
  16. “Take extra time flushing your grey and black water tanks. 10 more minutes spent is hours and $$ saved later. The most glamorous part of RVing!!” – Jeff G.
  17. “Practice driving with the RV. When you first get it, take the RV to an empty parking lot. Practice making turns and backing up. Take some cones (like the ones they use for soccer practice) and set them up as if it was a curb at an intersection. Be sure you can make left and right turns around the cones without hitting them. Also set them up and learn to back up without hitting the cones.” – Chuck R.
  18. “Plug in and set up before you Go RVing and learn about everything then 😉” – Liz S.
  19. “Kitchen appliances! If you’re camping at Thanksgiving time and don’t want to be a slave to the camper kitchen, buy a turkey breast and bring a crockpot! Then, you have time to go look at fall foliage while your juicy, tender turkey is cooking! Also, bring a waffle iron! It cooks in minutes and there are other things you can make in it on the go like an omelette or waffle iron cinnamon rolls!” – Kristi P.
  20. “Take your time, and slow down. Unlocking the joy of RVing can cause you to try to do too much too fast. You never know when the force will grab you.” – Soulful RV Family

TIPS FOR FIRST TIME RVERS

The best tips for first time RVers – scroll down to get your free printable packing list!

 

 

 

We went on our first RV trip – with two little kids – and survived to tell the tale!  Not only did we survive, but we had such a great time that I want to tell you all about it so you can have the same experience.

This trip was our “Lancaster redemption” trip.  When we started our bathroom remodel, we went out to Lancaster for a weekend trip and we got SO SICK.  It was terrible.  My poor kids remembered that as our family vacation, and it was so sad!  We decided to try it one more time, but this time with a fun new twist.

 

 

We had a true adventure and rented an RV from Outdoorsy. By going through this website, we were able to rent from someone who owned an RV.  He ended up being the sweetest man, and we had a great time getting to know his family while he showed my husband how to work the RV.

 

 

Our kids quickly made themselves at home! They were SO excited to see all of the fun features the RV had, and they loved their bunk beds.  Isaac kept saying, “it’s like Daddy is driving a house!”  It was adorable!

 

 

We learned a lot through this experience, so I wanted to share my best tips with you!

Tips for first time RVers:

  • Admit you’re new
    • We found that the RV community was so helpful. The people at the campground were super willing to help when we told them that this was our first time, and so were the other RVers that were camping around us.
    • Don’t be prideful! Admit you’re new and that you may need help, and people will be more than willing to help you if you’re willing to listen.
  • Take your time
    • A big part of the RV experience is the actual drive – so enjoy the ride! Take the scenic route, explore roads that look interesting…you can deviate from your original plan, and it’s OK!
  • Find a good campground
    • We were so fortunate to find a great campground for our trip. It bordered on a working Amish farm, and the horses came to greet us every morning.  It had a playground and swimming pool for our kids, which was just perfect.
    • Do some research and find a campground that’s really good for the needs of you and your travel companions.
  • Be prepared
    • It’s really helpful to read a lot of tips and tricks from people who have been doing this a LOT longer than you have! One of my favorite resources was the GoRVing.com website.  It’s filled with great information and really helpful resources.
    • RVing requires a lot of planning ahead of time, and it’s best to be over-prepared! I made up a list of essentials you’ll need to pack. Download your free printable packing checklist here.
    • Enjoy! Things won’t always go according to plan, and that’s OK! Be flexible, enjoy the journey, and take the path less traveled.

 

I have to say, traveling in the RV has given my family some of our best memories.  This trip helped us spend time together and see parts of Lancaster that we wouldn’t have seen before.  And at the end of the day, RVing is less about the destination, and all about the journey together.

Go RVing was a great resource for us as we prepared for our trip, and I know they will be helpful for you too!  Make sure you check them out here to find out more about renting or buying RVs.

Thank you

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

WHICH RV IS RIGHT FOR ME

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 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