MEGA BACON CHEESEBURGER

Nothing beats a terrific burger. It is the easiest and most delicious food to cook while you are camping because it is packed full of carbs and meat. Add some cheese and bacon to the top and you are in burger heaven.

 

The biggest problem with burgers is that you have to cook a bunch of them all at the same time. This can be a pain at the RV campsite because some grills are not large enough to fit everything. Plus, who wants to waste time cooking burgers when you are super hungry from a day adventuring?

 

Here is the solution: Mega Bacon Cheeseburger. I had a vision while cooking burgers with my friends about turning 4 burgers into one mega burger. This massive monstrosity of meat and cheese is what was created.

 

The Mega Bacon Cheeseburger is a double-decker beef paradise with tons of cheese, mayo, bacon and meat. It can be created at any campfire or campsite that can handle its mega patties. Best part is that all these ingredients are super easy to get while traveling the road in your RV.

 

So, whether you are in your backyard or on the road, I dare you to try this Mega Bacon Cheeseburger. You will not be disappointed!

 

 

Recipe:

COOKING DETAILS

Yields: 2-4 Servings

Cook: 20 minutes

Prep: 20 minutes

 

Equipment Needed: Fire pit, cast iron skillet, spatula, wood, and fire starters.

MEGA BACON CHEESEBURGER

  • 2 lbs of Ground Beef
  • 2 Fresh Eggs
  • 1 Italian Round Bread
  • 10 slices of Colby Jack Cheese
  • 10 slices of Center Cut Bacon
  • 3 tbsp of Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp of Chipotle Powder
  • 2 tbsp of Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp of Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp of Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of Cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Butter

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

  • In a mixing bowl, add all the ground beef, eggs, chipotle powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, cinnamon, cumin and ground black Mix the beef thoroughly.
  • Next, use half of the beef to make 1/2-inch-thick burger Make sure to round out the edges and have no cracks in the patty. Do this to the other half of the ground beef till you have equal size patties.
  • Using a fire starter, build your fire and let burn until it coals (about 15-20 minutes).
  • Once fire has reached a nice medium temperature, add a cast iron pan to the grill and place your bacon on it. Cook the bacon to its desired temperature, then pull off and let
  • Using a spatula, place both burger patties over the hot part of the grill. Let cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Make sure to add cheese to patties 2-3 minutes before being done in order for it to melt. ***PS: Beware of flare ups from the burger grease! Also, use two spatulas to flip the This will help them from breaking apart.
  • Once burgers are done, pull them off and let rest. Slice the bread in two, add butter and place on grill for 1 minute to crust up.
  • Once everything is complete, lather bread with mayo on both pieces then add burgers topped with bacon. Use a wooden skewer through burger to keep in place if
  • Cut burger into 4 pieces, serve & enjoy!

 

RV BUYING GUIDE: THE RV PURCHASE PROCESS

This is third blog post in a six-part series aimed at new RV owners. The first post gave tips for choosing the right RV type. Should you buy a Class C, a Fifth Wheel, a Toy Hauler, or some other RV type? We attempted to help you answer those questions. In the second post we gave valuable tips about how to pick the perfect floorplan.  

Now it’s time to dig down deep into the RV purchasing process…

 

The first thing you need to understand is that shopping for a new RV is very different from shopping for a new car or truck. While there may be some similarities, there are many more differences. Chances are you have dozens of car dealerships, representing every major brand, within a short drive from your house.

This is not the case with RV dealerships. They can be spread out far and wide. So while you may have a local RV dealership nearby (we consider a dealer within two hours drive to be “local”), you may also need to drive a few hours to a non-local dealer to find the RV of your choice, or you may need to buy at an RV show. These are all good options, but there are some important things to consider with each.

 

 

PURCHASING FROM A LOCAL DEALER

 

  1. Purchasing local is very convenient for shopping: Shopping at a local dealer saves you precious drive time and if they have your dream RV, may just be the ideal situation.
  2. Purchasing local is very convenient for warranty service after the sale:  Every RV needs to go in for either warranty service or basic maintenance at some point, and when the dealer is close to home a trip into the shop can be very convenient–or at least not too inconvenient!
  3. But a local dealer may not have your dream RV, or a preferred brand: Very few dealers carry every, or even most, RV brands. So, if there is a certain dream RV that tickles your fancy you may need to expand your search geographically to find it.

 

 

 

Purchasing From A Non Local Dealer

  1. Purchasing from a non-local dealer greatly expands your RV brand options: If your local dealer doesn’t carry your favorite brand don’t despair, just get ready to drive further to find it.
  2. Expanding the reach of your search may also increase your bargaining power: The more dealers you look at geographically, the more bargaining power you have when it comes to negotiating a purchase price.
  3. May not be convenient for warranty work or maintenance after the sale: This might be our most important tip–so listen up! If you do end up buying your dream RV far from home, are you prepared to drive it back for warranty work and maintenance? We strongly recommend that you call around to your local dealers to see if they will do warranty service on an RV purchased at another dealership. Having a game plan for this type of situation will save you a lot of irritation in the long run.

 

 

Purchasing at an RV Show

 

  1. RV Shows have a carnival like atmosphere making for a fun shopping experience: We love going to RV shows because they are a complete hoot! RV owners are a tribe of happy and adventurous folks–when we go to shows we feel like we are among our people and you will too!
  2. Free educational seminars prepare you for RV ownership: Many RV shows have free seminars about maintenance, RV travel, and RV culture. As a potential newbie RV owner there is so much to learn, and you can learn a whole lot of it by attending a good seminar.
  3. Many brands and floorplans to explore all in one place: While a good local dealership may carry three or four brands and dozens of floorplans, a good RV show will give you a chance to look at dozens of brands and hundreds of floorplans. A massive national RV show will enable you to look at the vast majority of RV’s in production. Bring good walking shoes!
  4. RV Show pricing is very good because many dealers are competing in one place: If you are not a big fan of heavy negotiating, but you still want a great price, an RV show may hit the sweet spot for you. RV show prices really do tend to be very competitive–dealers are competing with each other and they are motivated to move a lot of inventory in one day.
  5. But you don’t get to drive the rig home that day: You will need to pick up your RV at the dealership even if you buy it at a show. They will want to prepare the rig for you, and give you a walk through to teach you all of the RV’s systems and operating procedures.

 

 

And that is the topic of our next blog post in this series! We will give you a detailed list of items and systems to check while your dealer is giving you the walk through, so that you can be fully prepared to bring your RV home and start enjoying it!

 

 

ROADSCHOOLING

When people meet us and realize we are traveling with our kids 99% of the time they ask us, “What about school?”

 

 

When we first began our journey, we weren’t sure how long we would be on the road and they were still too young to be in school. The more we traveled we realized we really loved the freedom this lifestyle brings and would more than likely be homeschooling our children or in our case, road schooling.  We have now been road schooling since we hit the road full-time! We have been using the entire country as our classroom the last two years without even realizing it!

 

 

Many people think that homeschoolers are not very social or as society says, “socially awkward,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  We quickly learned that there are tons of people road schooling their children. What exactly is it you ask? It is homeschooling, but on the road. Basically, traveling full-time and educating your children through actual experiences versus the traditional way of textbook learning.

 

 

For us personally, our oldest has a speech delay and after we began traveling full-time his speech increased dramatically! I believe it’s because of all the nature hikes, museums, caves, beachside arts and crafts, fishing, swimming, kayaking, petting zoo, apple picking, hanging out at an actual production studio and countless other experiences we have collected over the last 2 years!

 

 

Anyone who travels can road school, it’s just a really huge mental shift for the parents! I grew up in the traditional public-school system in New York City and then I finished my last two years of high school in Pennsylvania and then went to college!  I never EVER thought in a million years I would even think about homeschooling let alone road schooling!

 

 

Allowing my kids to learn about the world by experience rather than by only reading has been one of the neatest experiences for all of us! We all enjoy having a new and changing classroom! Mountains one day, beaches the next! Children are learners by nature and I have learned how to tune into what each of my kids enjoys and I take the opportunity to expand on that. There are many ways to road school; I personally do not believe there is a right or wrong way to do it.

 

 

We intentionally use the entire country as our classroom.  I would never speak for everyone, but we feel we do not have to make our kids step into a classroom to learn.  Our goal is to prepare our children for anything the world presents to them. They are learning about themselves and very valuable world skills at the same time.  I firmly believe that kids should be encouraged to explore what they truly love and learn how to thrive on it!

 

 

I personally hated history growing up, but the more we travel the more I realize I LOVE it the most! There is something about being in the middle of history that makes it come to life.  One of those things that you can’t truly explain, you just have to experience it.  I can tell just by my children’s expressions that they are taking it in and enjoying it just as much as I am!

 

It is important to keep in mind that each state has its own requirements for homeschooling and I highly recommend to research what your state’s requirements are.  Some states require a much stricter curriculum than others. Please make sure to research and choose which state to make your domicile state in order to enroll your child.  Florida happened to be our homebase so we decided to enroll our child with Florida Unschoolers.  After extensive research, we found this private umbrella school to be in perfect alignment of who we are and what we want for our kids.

 

Road schooling might not be for everyone, but it works perfectly for us!  We love giving our children hands-on learning experiences.  We are obsessed with bike riding, discovering the desert, the mountains, and the ocean all hands-on.  If I could truly write down Julez’s reactions as he walked under real bats (during his Batman phase) in an underground cave in Michigan, trust me I would, but it’s something, not even our video camera could truly capture.

 

 

I asked a fellow homeschooling mom for her one tip and Neva from Our Nomadic Story shared, “Do not buy into any one particular curriculum for all subjects. Pick and choose by individual subjects based on how your child learns, what interests them and what works for your lifestyle.  A bonus tip- if a curriculum isn’t working, change it; do not keep forcing it.”  I really took her advice to heart because she has successfully homeschooled her boys who are now furthering their education.

 

 

Although I am a very positive person and I would love to say it is always unicorns and rainbows in life, I know there are always “challenges.”  I decided to ask my great friend Jessica from Exploring the Local Life what her biggest obstacle has been so far in her road schooling journey? Her answer was, “The biggest obstacle we have faced is not burning out.  There are so many opportunities on the road that we have had to pick and choose carefully.  Otherwise, we would be broke and exhausted!”  This is great advice. I am newer to the road schooling world than Jessica is and I can see how it can easily become exhausting if we do not pick and choose carefully.

 

 

I will end this with a quote I love from Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”  Can you relate to this quote? I truly can!  My best way of learning is to be involved. When I am immersed in what I am learning it is very hard to forget!  It leads me back to our decision to road school our little ones because I want them to enjoy their childhood years of learning as much as humanly possible.

 

CAMPFIRE SURF AND SURF

Adventure is my middle name…

Getting out into nature and enjoying cooking in the great outdoors is how I want to live. One of the best ways to do that is by RVing! I am so excited to announce that I am teaming up with Go RVing to show how easy it is to cook delicious meals around a campfire while you are exploring nature. Whether you are in a different state or at a nearby campground, RVing doesn’t have to limit the flavor of the food that you eat. Everything I will cook will be simple, easy and delicious. So to kick it all off, I have decided to cook some Campfire Surf & Surf.

The old Surf & Turf is a classic grilling recipe. But for all you seafood lovers out there, why not substitute the heartiness of the steak with a thick piece of salmon? Top that off with some skewered shrimp and veggies. Now you are talkin’ my language!

In my Campfire Surf & Surf recipe, you will first grill up a massive chunk of wild caught salmon over the fire. Seasoned with parsley, garlic, cayenne powder and more to make sure you have a savory and tangy fish. The same seasoning will go on the shrimp as well! This will balance the flavor of the food with the same seasoning on two very different seafoods. The tenderness of the salmon really complements the robust flavor of the shrimp to make sure you get that variety that you are looking for in a combo dish like this. Lastly, you will add some charred veggies cooked on a skillet/plancha over the fire. These veggies round out the whole meal with their salty and charred flavor.

My favorite part about this dish is how easy it is to cook. All the ingredients you can find on the road at any local grocery store! Plus, they do not take up a lot of space in your RV while still giving you delicious food. Stay tuned for more recipes to come while I cook over fire in an RV!

Recipe:

COOKING DETAILS

Yields: 2-4 Servings

Cook: 30 minutes

Prep: 15 minutes

Equipment Needed: Fire pit, wooden skewers, cast iron skillet/plancha, tongs, wood, and fire starters.

CAMPFIRE SURF & SURF

  • 1 whole salmon (un-filleted)
  • 1 lb. of shrimp (no shell & de-veined)
  • 2 zucchini (diced)
  • 2 yellow squash (diced)
  • 1/2 white onion (cut into halfmoons)
  • 1 tbsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tsp of cayenne powder
  • Sea salt & black pepper (to taste)
  • Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Using a fire starter, build your fire and let burn until it coals (about 15-20 minutes).
  • While the fire is burning, skewer the shrimp & lather both the shrimp and salmon with olive oil on all sides. Season both shrimp & salmon with dried parsley, minced garlic, cayenne powder, sea salt & black pepper.

  • Once fire is hot, season skillet/plancha with olive oil and start cooking zucchini, yellow squash and onions. Let cook until nicely charred & soft (about 10 minutes).

  • While veggies are cooking, place salmon on grill skin side down. Let cook for 8 minutes per side. Cook until internal temp reads 145F. PS: You can also smoke the salmon if you prefer!

  • Lastly, place skewered shrimp on grill and let cook.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A VINTAGE TRAILER

Our 1984 triple axle Avion 34V

 

From a folding camping trailer to large fifth wheels, Brent and I have owned our share of RVs. After four years of full-time RVing, our family finally settled down and decided we needed a smaller RV for weekend camping and summer road trips. We looked at all sorts of RVs, visiting RV shows and dealerships, but finally settled on a vintage Avion, Airstream’s second cousin. We spent the summer exploring Route 66 and couldn’t have felt cooler. Literally, because the air conditioner wouldn’t stop dripping on me while I slept. Ha! Regardless, of the quirks we loved that trailer. A year later, we came across a great deal on a rare front kitchen Airstream. We had dreamed of owning an Airstream for years, so we sold the Avion and finally became part of the Airstream club. Having owned new, used (newer used RVs), and now a vintage trailer we’ve learned a few things. Many of the same things that apply to buying a late model trailer, like towing capacity of your tow vehicle, also apply to buying a vintage trailer with a few more things to consider.

 

1998 Airstream Excella 34’ FK

 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Vintage Trailer

 

Usage – How do you plan to use the vintage trailer? Weekend trips? Full-time RVing? Airbnb or guest house? Winter RVing? Most vintage RVs (Not all, our Avion was great in cold weather.) aren’t going to be suited for winter camping without significantly upgrading the insulation, a BIG job! If having more space is a priority, as it often is when full-time RVing or camping with large families, you won’t find many, if any, vintage trailers with slide outs.

 

The Princess is a fully renovated 1969 Streamline Princess Photo courtesy of Marmalade Vintage Trailers

 

 

Handyman Skills – Are you handy and do you enjoy learning that sort of work? Vintage trailers will often need more work than their newer counterparts. It really helps if you have some handyman skills or else maintenance and repair expenses can add up very quickly. Just as

important as having the skills is actually enjoying the work. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you want to! I’ve found most vintage trailer owners, including myself and my husband Brent, really enjoy the process of renovating. Of course, it’s always possible to buy a fully renovated vintage trailer.

 

Photo courtesy of Marmalade Vintage Trailers

 

Campgrounds – It might come as a surprise, but not all campgrounds are vintage RV friendly. There are campgrounds that place age restrictions on the type of RV they will allow. Others place restrictions on length limits and many vintage trailers are on the shorter side. We once stayed at a campground and our friends came to camp with us in their adorable little vintage trailer. Unbeknownst to us, the campground had a length rule and our friends weren’t allowed to camp there! (It worked out because we were camping in a huge fifth wheel at the time, so they just stayed with us. It was cozy but great fun!) If you visit specific campgrounds regularly, you will want to make sure they don’t have any of these types of restrictions in place before purchasing a vintage trailer.

 

Before and After of a 1963 Shasta Compact Photo Courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Scope of Work – It’s really important to carefully and fully consider the scope of the work before buying a vintage trailer. Vintage trailer renovations run the gamut from shell off renovations

(where the camper is stripped of everything and the shell, the walls and roof, is lifted to work on the chassis) to simpler repairs like replacing worn awnings. You’ll want to take a full inventory of what might need work. Some things to consider are: leaks, water damage, electrical system, water lines, water pumps, heaters, toilets, showers, sinks, air conditioners, axles, floors and subfloors, tires, body condition, the frame, tires, windows (vintage windows can be hard to find), appliances, propane line, awnings, and a clear title. We called about many vintage trailers that were inexpensive and looked good in pictures only to find out the title was salvaged or it didn’t have a title at all!

 

Be Prepared to Walk Away – It’s really easy to get emotionally attached to the idea of a vintage trailer (Trust me, I know!) without full consideration of the amount of work involved. Take an inspection checklist and take your time going over the trailer from top to bottom and front to back. Be sure to ask the owner lots of questions and if the answers don’t add up then be prepared to walk away.

 

1957 Airstream Bubble Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Be Patient – Along the lines of being prepared to walk away, it’s important to be patient. Finding a vintage trailer is more difficult and time consuming than going to your nearest RV dealer. It will take searching at multiple sources like RV Trader, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. You may have to look at many trailers before you find the right one. Personally, we prefer to buy vintage trailers that have had fewer owners. We bought our Airstream from the original owners who had retired and were no longer RVing. They took the time to explain all the quirks of the

trailer and pointed out all the things that they knew needed repairs. This is an ideal situation but not always possible. Don’t give up! If something doesn’t feel right, don’t worry there will always be another one!

 

Be Prepared for Surprises – So you’ve found your perfect trailer, inspected it thoroughly, and you pulled it home to start working on it. Don’t be surprised if you pull up the carpet only to find a section of soft or rotting subfloor or you realize you forget to check the stove and it doesn’t work. It happens. There is a good chance you will miss something when checking the trailer out. It’s okay, almost everything is repairable. Just prepare yourself for surprise repairs ahead of time and you can roll with it.

 

Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Budget – Once you find a prospective vintage trailer make a list of all the things that are important to you in order of importance. Start with the non-negotiable components like axels and wheels and work your way to down to the cosmetics like curtains. It’s likely you won’t need to do everything on the list but it’s a good starting point to have. Visit sites like Ebay and Vintage Trailer Supply to get an idea what these renovations or repairs will cost and make a budget.

 

Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Community – One of the best parts of owning a vintage RV, other than enjoying the charm and history, is the instant community. There are many clubs, meet ups, and rallies for vintage trailer owners. There are even dedicated groups and clubs for specific makes of vintage trailers. These groups tend to be really welcoming and enthusiastic. It’s definitely a perk to owning a vintage trailer. (Note: There are meet-ups and clubs for nearly all major brands of late model RVs as well!)

 

Photo courtesy of Riverside RV

  

After some contemplation, you may have decided a true vintage trailer and the potential work that comes with it is not for you. Perhaps you really just want the peace of mind that comes with a warranty? If it’s the vintage charm you are after and not the possible surprises then you might want consider one of the new trailers that look vintage like the Retro from Riverside RV. It’s got charm and modern convenience.

 

What about you! Have you ever bought or considered buying a vintage trailer? Any advice to share?