Kick Off Camping This Summer With Go RVing

The following blog post is a sponsored post written by Diana Chen of MVMT blog. All opinions are 100% Diana’s, but she was compensated for her content.

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is get outdoors and experience all that nature has to offer. That’s why I was ecstatic when I was invited by Go RVing to attend the RVX conference in Salt Lake City earlier this month to explore the newest models of RVs for 2019 and learn more about how RVing can fit into my – and any – lifestyle. The exhibit hall and big reveal (which I’ll share more about below) got me excited and anxious to embark on my very first RV trip this summer to a secret destination that I’ll reveal at a later date. While I walked in with a preconceived notion of what RVs look like, feel like, and the audience for whom they serve, I walked out with a completely different perspective and understanding of just how versatile, fun, and comfortable RVing can be for anyone. Hopefully my recap of the event will get you just as excited as I am to kick off camping this summer with Go RVing.

Exploring Different Types of RVs

My first impression when I walked into the RVX exhibit hall was that there are so many different kinds of RVs I never knew existed. In my mind, I had pictured all RVs as mid-sized travel trailers that hooked on to the backs of trucks. While this describes one type of RV, it certainly doesn’t describe every type.

RVs come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are so large that they can practically hold an entire football team, while others are so small that they may comfortably hold only one person. Some can be towed by small sedans, some require a larger truck to tow them, and others can be driven without an additional vehicle. Some contain minimalist features, while others contain all the amenities like fireplaces and multiple bathrooms. Some are decorated with more traditional decor, while others have a much more modern aesthetic. Some cost as much as a high end car, while others cost as much as a large house. So, as you can see, there is no single prototype for an RV, but, rather, RVs can be found in all shapes, sizes, and budgets, and customized for every taste.

Here are a few of my favorite RVs, of all different shapes and sizes, that I found at the RVX conference:

A small Boondock Edge RV that looks like a mouseA small RV shaped like a house – ALINER

If I could pick only one RV, it would be this Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser

This Cyclone toy hauler is a sheer monster of an RV


 

The Winnebago Forza, an accessible RV

 

RVs Are For Every Lifestyle

Just as RVs come in all shapes and sizes, they are built for all types of lifestyles. Whether you’re a city slicker or a rugged outdoorsman or something in between, you’ll be able to find an RV that fits your lifestyle.

Here are just a few examples of the different types of lifestyles that RVs cater to:

 

For the RVer who wants to off-road whenever and wherever she likes (this rear tire suspension system on the Black Series RVs allows you to go anywhere your heart desires)

 

For the minimalist RVer who likes to have only the bare necessities

 

For the luxury RVer who wants all the amenities (like a fireplace)

 

For the RVer that likes to grill outside

 

For the RVer who likes to tailgate with all his friends and family

 

For the RVer who likes to always feel like she’s by the sea 

The Big Reveal

The most anticipated event at RVX was The Reveal, where one RV from each of nine categories would be dubbed the “spotlight,” or winner, for 2019. My top three favorite categories were Van Life, Outdoor Adventurer, and City Escape, but I’ll include a description of each of the nine categories below.

1. Family Friendly

Family friendly RVs are spacious RVs that comfortably sleep 6-8 people. Top of the line family friendly RVs typically include plenty of convertible furniture, pass-through exterior storage, and separate areas for kids to sleep and play in while adults enjoy time to themselves.

Spotlight: Jayco Eagle HT 264 BHOK

Judge’s Choices: Forest River Vengeance 385 FK Touring Edition, Forest River Sabre Fifth Wheel, Forest River Rpod, Winnebago Outlook, Coachmen Catalina 39 RLTS

2. Outdoor Adventurer

The outdoor adventurer wants to bring all the adventure gear with them when they travel, so the perfect outdoor adventurer RV has to have the capacity to hold all that gear, without sacrificing comfort. Top of the line outdoor adventurer RVs will allow you to bring your bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, and any other gear you can’t live without on your trip and still have all the space to live and sleep comfortably.

Spotlight: SylvanSport VAST

Judge’s Choices: Airstream Basecamp, Forest River No Boundaries, Taxa Tiger Moth, Taxa Cricket, Lance 855 Rule Maker

3. Van Life

Having lived in a city with excellent public transportation options for the past eight years, I haven’t felt a need to own a car. Thus, when I think about roadtripping with an RV, the first image I get in my mind is of an RV campervan that operates as a standalone vehicle rather than an attachment on another vehicle. Van life RVs are most popular amongst minimalist millennials, but they can also attract anyone who prefers to keep it simple.

Spotlight: ModVans CV1 Camper Van

Judge’s Choices: Winnebago Revel, Winnebago Travato Pure 3, Leisure Vans 2019 Wonder Rear Twin Bed, Coachmen Galleria 24 A

4. City Escape

For those who live in the city, the perfect RV is one that can drive just as easily in the city as it can outside of the city. Top of the line city escape RVs are not only versatile, but they also come with the same comforts and amenities that the typical city slicker is accustomed to having back home.

Spotlight: Leisure Travel’s 2020 Unity Rear Lounge

Judge’s Choices: Airstream Interstate Nineteen, Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side SE Camping Trailer, Venture Sonic, Winnebago Boldt

5. Destination Camping

The destination camper wants to be able to drive their RV to a campground and park it there for days or weeks while exploring the area. Top of the line destination camper RVs are spacious and make the RVer feel at home while parked in a new destination.

Spotlight: Forest River – Riverstone Luxury 39 RBFL

Judge’s Choices: KZ-RV Durango, Winnebago Horizon, Forest River Cedar Creek Cottage, Forest River Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL

6. Team Tailgate

The team tailgate RV is for the RVer who loves to get all their friends together for a sporting event or chauffeur their child’s sports team to away games and tournaments. Top of the line team tailgate RVs have features like multiple TVs, quality sound systems and speakers, an outdoor bar, an excellent lighting system, and for the overachievers like Heartland’s Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV: a kegerator.

Spotlight: Heartland’s Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV

Judge’s Choices: Coachmen Sportscoach 366BH, Venture RV’s Sport Trek Touring, KZ-RV Venom V Series, Lance 1975 Ultra Light Travel Trailer

7. Sustainability

Just because RVs are large in size doesn’t mean they have to have a large impact on the environment. The sustainability category focuses on RVs that strive to leave as small of a footprint as possible on the environment so that we can take care of our beautiful earth and continue to enjoy it for generations to come. Electric RVs take center stage this year and will hopefully become the industry standard one day in the near future.

Spotlight: Winnebago All Electric/Zero Emission

Judge’s Choices: Taxa 2019 Mantis, Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro, Attitude F35GSG by Eclipse, Forest River Work and Play

8. Luxury Living

One thing I love about RVs is that it makes camping and the outdoors feel more accessible to a larger demographic of people. Those who typically would shy away from anything that takes them away from their lush bathrobes and leather couches can now enjoy all the comforts of home while camping out in a luxury RV in the middle of the woods.

Spotlight: Newmar 2020 Superstar

Judge’s Choices: Stratus SR261 VRK by Venture, Entegra Coach Cornerstone, Crossroads Redwood RV, Forest River Cardinal

9. On the Horizon

The On the Horizon category focuses on new and developing technologies that have been incorporated into RV life. For example, the new Airstream Classic Smart RV contains a new technology that allows you to control your RV’s temperature and other features with a remote control, so that you can prepare your RV to be as comfortable as possible for your return.

Spotlight: Airstream Classic Smart RV

Judge’s Choices: Keystone Fuzion 427 FW w/Onboarding Weighting System, Keystone Raptor 356 w/Pneumatic Suspension, Winnebago All Electric Zero Emission, Winnebago Micro Mini Fifth Wheel 2405 RG

Not only was the RVX reveal an educational experience for someone like me who didn’t know much about RVs before attending, but it was also an inspiring experience that has already gotten me counting down the days until my RV trip this summer. Whether you’re a serious camper or have never experienced RV life before, why not partake in Go RVing’s Kickoff to Camping Season and see where your summer adventures take you?

RAINY DAY RV ACTIVITIES

It’s early morning and you’re tucked into your warm and comfy RV bed when you begin to hear it . . . *Plink……Plink…………….Plink* — it’s the sound of Mother Nature’s gift of rain showers dancing on the roof of your beloved RV.  Be it a brief passing of rain, or a torrential downpour– you can either embrace the rain, gear up and head on out – or you could cozy up inside your RV and enjoy some rainy day activities that seem to be even more comforting when it’s pouring rain.

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A TRIP TO THE EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

What is the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions Disney World? Most people would say Mickey Mouse, Magic Kingdom and loads of kids with their parents in tow. Oh, and let’s not forget about strollers! Yes, I will admit that I love taking the whole family to Disney World.

And, I fall into all of those categories with my kids and their meltdowns from the overstimulation of a huge theme park. It is certainly one of my favorite places to go for a fabulous family vacation. Now what if I told you that there are a couple of months out of the year when Disney World can be a fabulous destination for adults, with or without kids?

Now I have your attention.

I decided to take the family down to Orlando for yet another Disney vacation, but this time it was all about the adults.  Sure, the kids came along for the ride, but this was not for them. Some might find that to be a bit selfish. However, sometimes mama and papa bear have to have some fun, too.

Personally, I think that it is good for our kids to know that even though we love to bless them with fun experiences, we are people too. Parents deserve to have a little fun.

So instead of the usual trip to Magic Kingdom and the like, we decided to hit Epcot for the International Food and Wine Festival 2017. I have become such a foodie over the past 5 years that I was excited to see what goodies I would find at the Food and Wine Festival. Not only does Epcot do a fantastic job of offering a glorious variety of culinary delights from around the globe, but they offer wine pairings for their dishes, too.

There was one small wrinkle in my plan. My husband is a traditional meat and potatoes kind of guy but my recent decision to partake in a plant-based diet would limit the variety of dishes that I would be able to consume.  I even had to ask myself if I would be able to eat anything other than a salad.

Once again, Disney World did not disappoint!

First thing is first! This mama bear will always find a way to entertain her little cubs, so we registered the boys for a scavenger hunt. Now that the boys were sufficiently entertained and distracted, it was time for us to begin eating our way around this culinary Epcot world.

One place that is only available to eat at during the Food and Wine Festival is their Africa region. There I was able to thoroughly enjoy the spicy Ethiopian red lentil stew with vegan yogurt and quinoa. This dish had me wishing that I had some take home containers in my bag.

Due to my dietary restrictions I have learned, albeit the hard way, that it is always best to do a little menu research prior to heading out to eat. To my delight, Epcot had a couple of vegan/vegetarian options at each food spot around the park.

If you plan to visit the Epcot Food and Wine Festival it is best to go in the middle of the work-week and plan to arrive as close to opening as you can. I failed to adhere to my own advice and went on the weekend. It was packed with tourists as well as local Floridians taking advantage of the weekend to get their grub on.

Nonetheless, this event is a must for adults who wish to visit the most magical theme park destination in the world.  The festival offers so many options to parents taking a break from the traditional Disney experience. If you plan ahead, you can book your spot to participate in cooking demonstrations and seminars led by well-known chefs and television personalities. That said; plan your visit well ahead of time.

As for our family, we will be back! The kids had a great time and they were happy to see that mom and dad had a magical time, too.

TOP 20 RVER MEMORIES OF 2017

Our 20th Anniversary celebration continues! Written by Go RVing fans, check out our top 20 RVer memories of 2017.

Have any additional memories? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!

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