09 Dec

RVFTA #119 Greetings from the RVIA Show in Louisville, Kentucky!

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On this week’s episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are bringing you inside the largest RV industry event of the year and talking all about the RVIA trade show in Louisville, Kentucky that took place from November 28th through December 1st.

Stephanie attended the event and toured countless RV models, interviewed manufacturers, and poured through the endless vendor displays. She walked away with lots of news to report and plenty of great RV content for future podcast episodes.

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In the first featured segment of the show, we talk about some major industry trends that Stephanie noticed while at the RVIA show. Starting with some fascinating industry statistics that were discussed during the kickoff “Outlook Breakfast”, we will walk our listeners through the all the major highlights of this event. Topics include:

  • The purpose of the RVIA
  • Event description and statistics
  • 2016 industry growth
  • Emerging market segments
  • Go RVing Experience Zones
  • Dealership Marketing in 2017
  • Manufacturers and Social Media
  • Future Content Segments on the RVFTA Podcast

We also talk about the suppliers that were in Louisville, namely:

  • Technology and the aftermarket
  • Residential finishes
  • Complexities of an RV unit
  • RV quality issues

Plus, we are so happy to interview Andy Bialorucki, the marketing director for the Thetford Corporation, which we recently welcomed as a sponsor of the RVFTA Podcast Network. We love having partners that bring value to our listener’s RV experience, and we have been using Thetford products since our very first pop up camping trip. We invited Andy on the show to talk a little bit more about the company, it’s history, and products.

[Plus…poop jokes.]

While at the RVIA show, Stephanie did a Facebook Live Chat on Toy Haulers for Go RVing. In case you missed it…

You might think that the second verse is the same as the first when it comes to 2017 RV models, but we know that there is plenty of splashy new things on the industry horizon. Take a listen to Episode #118: Greetings from the RVIA show in Louisville, Kentucky!

And during this time of the year…we will see you at the RV Show!

Thanks to our sponsors who support weekly content for all our RV fools:

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07 Dec

Spending the Holidays in Your RV: Tips and Tricks from RVFTA’s Facebook Live Chat

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Have you ever gazed longingly at your RV during the busy, stressful holiday season? The RVFTA Podcast Network and Go RVing knows that your RV is your happy place, and we believe it can help your family enjoy the holidays, or maybe even help you rediscover that joy you used to have back in the day.

Everyone’s holiday traditions are different. Some of us enjoy large family gatherings with tons of extended family. But many of us now live far away from family, or have work commitments that keep us from traveling during this time of the year. We believe your RV might be the ticket to opting out of the stress and embracing the true holiday spirit, which of course is all about the love of family and friends.

We recently hosted a Facebook Live Chat for Go RVing on surviving the holidays by embracing the fabulousness of your RV. You can watch the entire chat here:

We talk about the following topics…

The Benefits of RV travel during the holidays

Many people think of there RV only in the context of family vacations or quick weekend getaways. Thinking about how your RV can help manage the stress of holiday travel can solve a lot of problems that people face during this time of the year. We talk about the benefits of RV travel versus airline travel, transporting gifts and food, and creating family traditions independent of location.

Option #1: Driveway Surfing

You may never have thought of parking your RV in your in-laws driveway, but believe us…it’s way better than camping out in the basement. If you really enjoy visiting and staying with extended family during the holiday, but need just a little more ‘us’ space, this may be a great option for you.

Option #2: Staying at a Nearby Campground

Kinda love visiting your family, but need to get away at the end of the day? Make it a priority to find a great campground close but not too close. Enjoy spending quality time with loved ones, and then escape for some respite at a nearby campground. This is a great option if you know your kids need some down time for riding bikes and playing catch.

Option #3: Meeting Everyone in the Middle

It may be hard for your extended family to find a place to celebrate the holidays together. Maybe no one is willing to make that six-hour drive, or maybe no one has the ability to host a large gathering. Find a resort campground somewhere in the middle, where you can park your RV and other folks can stay in a cabin or alternate lodging. Some families work better on neutral ground. A campground is a fun, casual place to spend time with loved ones.

Option #4: Opting Out

Maybe you have tried over and over again to enjoy the holidays with your extended family, but it just hasn’t worked. If you find yourself surviving the season instead of enjoying the peace and love of the holiday spirit, perhaps it’s time for a change. Consider Opting Out of the stress, and embracing real family quality time by celebrating in your RV with your immediate family and maybe even some friends. We have done this for two years running, and can’t say how glad we are that we finally made the decision to do things our own way.

Make it Special

Just because you are doing things a little differently, that doesn’t mean you have to ditch the traditions altogether. Decorate your RV with a smaller tree and lots of lights, create a beautiful holiday table, and make tweaks to your traditional holiday menu to make it campground friendly. You can check out our Thanksgiving at the Campground menu here, and suggestions for a beautiful ‘unbreakable table’ here.

We also did an entire podcast on spending Holidays at the Campground or in your RV:

Don’t be afraid to change things up for the holidays this year. We know that RV owners value quality family time, and using the RV during the holiday season can make that a priority again.

No matter where you are spending your holidays this season, we hope they are merry and bright!

See you at the campground,

Stephanie + Jeremy

06 Dec

5 Reasons Seasonal Camping Might Be Right For You!

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We got a ton of response after our recent podcast episode on Seasonal Camping, featuring the awesome Jon and Heather Anderson, who signed up for their own seasonal campsite two years ago and absolutely love it.

So we want to make ourselves perfectly clear…if you are thinking about a seasonal spot for next year, NOW is the time to book. If you wait to search for your own perfect getaway until next spring, it might just be too late.

Seasonal camping is when you reserve one campsite for an extended period of time, and you are free to come and go at your own convenience. Seasonal camping rates and schedules vary greatly from one campground to another, so you will have to do a bit of research to find one that suits your family.

Why would any self respecting RV travelers choose to reserve a single campsite at a single campground for an entire year?

Here are five reasons why seasonal camping might be a perfect fit, even if you have an unstoppable urge for adventure…

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01 Dec

RVFTA #117 Dispatches from an RV Newbie

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We couldn’t be more excited about our episode this week, Dispatches from an RV Newbie.

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Our absolute favorite type of email to receive is from our listeners who have finally made the leap and bought their first RV. They tell us about how they found our podcast, all the rigs that they looked at, how they narrowed down their choices, and of course, all the fun adventures they have planned for the future.

These emails really do make us feel awesome about producing this weekly podcast.

So this fall we decided to reach out to one of those listeners who sent us an email last January, and see how that first season went for the family. Neil Potter was incredibly generous and agreed to come on the show, tell us about his story, and offer some tips for the RV newbie.

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25 Nov

RVFTA 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for the RV Enthusiast

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Photo credit: Hector Garcell

The RVFTA Holiday Gift Guide is here!!!

The RVFTA 2016 Holiday Gift Guide podcast episode is out and it is definitely bigger and better than ever. This year we broke down our guide into 5 segments: Stocking Stuffers, Just for Kids, Grownup RV Fanatics, Best of the Gear Guides, and Our Personal Wish Lists.


Listen to the episode to hear all the details about why we chose each item. Then click on the links below to order!

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22 Nov

Shopping for the RV Enthusiast: RVFTA Holiday Gift Guides from the Past

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Are you excited about the 2016 RVFTA Holiday Gift Guide???? We certainly are!

The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide podcast will be released this Friday, November 25th and it is jam packed with something for everyone on your list. But in the meantime, we thought we would give a shout out to our Holiday Gift Guides from 2014 and 2015. Looking back at these products, there are so many items that we still love and use all the time.

In fact, we will be talking about some of our all-star favorites on this year’s episode!

So want to get a jump start on the giving? Check these posts out…

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20 Nov

Thanksgiving at the Campground: Corn Casserole, InstaPot Mashed Potatoes, and Apple Slaw

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In this series of blog posts, I am sharing my family recipes for enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at the campground. There are so many ways to bring festive holiday cheer on the road, and this year I am focusing on dishes that offer those classic Thanksgiving flavors, but can be made mostly in advance and with minimal fuss.

You can also check out my posts on Turkey and Stuffing Sandwiches and Pumpkin Bread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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18 Nov

RVFTA #115 Greetings from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we have a complete guide to enjoying one of our favorite RV destinations–Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We first visited this area in spring of 2014, and since then we have found ourselves returning again and again.

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Make sure you also listen to Campground of the Week episode #55 to hear our review of the Myrtle Beach KOA, our favorite place to stay when visiting this area.

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Sure, Myrtle Beach has plenty of tourist attractions along the famous Grand Strand, but we have also discovered a world of outdoor adventure and natural beauty. We make time to enjoy both during our visits.

Another reason why Myrtle Beach is such a remarkable RV destination is that you can visit year round. We have been in spring, summer, and fall and though the summer was a bit warm for our taste, we still had a blast every time.

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We split the episode into three distinct segments: On the Strand, Off the Strand, and Good Eats in Myrtle Beach. We will talk about our favorite attractions in each category, and we picked our top places to eat when we visit.

Here are the links to all the attractions, activities, and restaurants mentioned in the episode..

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16 Nov

Thanksgiving at the Campground: Turkey Sandwiches with Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce on Brioche Buns

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There are so many ways to make a great Thanksgiving dinner at the campground. This year, my goal was to create a menu that is simple and made mostly in advance, but still features all the tastes of a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

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Turkey Sandwiches with Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce

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For years, I prepared a ‘leftovers’ meal on the Friday after Thanksgiving to bring to my grandmother who lived a few hours away. I piled rolls high with sliced turkey, stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce. I also added a little horseradish cream to my own sandwich, but that’s just because I like everything to have a little kick. You won’t find my young boys buying into that flavor profile.

So how do you put Thanksgiving dinner on a bun with only about 60 minutes worth of prep time in the kitchen? Here are my steps…

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15 Nov

Thanksgiving at the Campground: Pumpkin Bread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

img_7813 In this series of blog posts, I’m sharing my personal recipes for simple menu items that can be made ahead of a holiday RV trip, but still hit all of the classic holiday tastes that we crave in a Thanksgiving meal.

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Pumpkin Bread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I first started making these cupcakes when we would visit my grandmother on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Everyone already had their fair share of pie on Thursday, so I wanted to bring something festive but different. So I turned my mother’s classic pumpkin bread into a cupcake and topped it with cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts. These turned out to be one of my grandmother’s favorite desserts, and I think of her every time I make them.

This recipe traditionally makes 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, which translates into about 2 dozen cupcakes. To be honest, I usually make one loaf of bread and 1 dozen cupcakes. To be even more honest, the bread makes a yummy breakfast option as well…

Pumpkin Bread Cupcakes

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10 Nov

RVFTA #114 Holidays at the Campground

hol On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are gearing up for the season by talking about holidays at the campground. We spent last Thanksgiving in our RV and just can’t wait to do it again this year. Listen to hear why this might be a great option for your family.

And set a reminder for our next Go RVing Facebook Chat on November 17th at 4 pm Central Time all about RVing and the Holidays!!! We had so much fun doing a live Facebook event this past August and we can’t wait for round 2!

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If you want to read a bit more about our first foray into holiday camping, check out this post from last year. Stephanie wrote it after spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home in 2015. It was definitely different…but it was also exhilarating!

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04 Nov

RVFTA #113 Casita Dean and the Invasion of the Egg People

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On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are diving into the fascinating and quirky world of molded fiberglass travel trailers, otherwise known as egg campers. These RVs have their very own cult following, so we went to the source and invited a Casita owner onto the show to dish on the drama of researching, buying, and camping in a fiberglass trailer.


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Dean May, and his wife Laura, bought a 2005 Casita 17′ Freedom Deluxe travel trailer just last year. They are recent empty nesters looking forward to retirement in about 10 years. A few years ago, they never imagined themselves as RV owners, but that all changed with one fateful group text between Dean and his brothers and brothers-in-law. In this episode, we will learn the story behind their egg camper purchase, and the journey to finding the perfect tow vehicle to haul it.

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01 Nov

4 Steps to a Better Cup of Campground Coffee (Lifelanes Progressive Blog)

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Coffee and camping seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. They are both absolute staples in our RV, at least.
We have been through a lot of changes in our coffee making equipment since we starting RVing six years ago, but one thing always remains the same: every morning at the campground must start with a steaming mug of java.

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One of our most popular podcasts ever was Camp Coffee 101, and our listeners keep asking us when we are doing Camp Coffee 102.

It’s coming…we promise!

But in the meantime, if you need your camp coffee education fix, we wrote a post for the Progressive Lifelanes blog on 4 Steps to a better cup of coffee. We want you to check all four of these boxes before we start bringing you the more advanced stuff in the near future.

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Want some other great coffee content? Our awesome forum members have weighed in on what they use when at the campground. And you can revisit Stephanie’s musings on what happens when the love of your life starts drinking coffee for the first time in his life…at the age of 35!

We will also be sharing some new coffee brewing gear on the upcoming RVFTA Holiday Gift Guide. And here’s a hint…Jeremy might be ready to ditch that French Press that has been traveling with us for the last two years. Stay tuned for the all the details and the drama. Believe us, cleaning out that French Press does count as drama.

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And if you are completely good to go with brewing your camp coffee, but just want a sweet new mug to put it in…use our coupon code RVFTA2 for 15% off of Camp Casual’s adorable mugs. Or you can do the responsible thing, and start your holiday shopping early!

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See you at the campground,

Stephanie

27 Oct

RVFTA #112 RV Winterization 101 with Quality Mobile RV

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On this episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are talking about the most unpopular topic for RV enthusiasts: winterization. Some of you down there in the sun belt might be doing the happy dance right now, but many of us are closing up the camper and shutting down the travel until next spring.

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We here at RVFTA want to make sure you do it right. So we are sharing our tips for safely storing the RV through the perils of winter weather. Check out our article for the Progressive Lifelanes blog to see all our tips for shutting down the RV and making sure you don’t get any surprises when you open up again in the spring!

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Plus we invited our maintenance experts Julie and Lazlo Sears of Quality Mobile RV in Mansfield, Texas. They are going to walk us through the process of winterizing the right way. Here at RVFTA, we know that anyone can find the directions for anything on the internet, but we believe strongly  in listening to and learning from the experts.

Julie and Lazlo run an RV mobile repair business, and take the education of their customers very seriously. Lucky for us, they also have created resources that we can use as well! Here is the winterization video that goes hand in hand with our interview on this episode:

To check out more of their RV maintenance videos, download the RV Tube app available for iOS and Android devices. You can also find Quality Mobile RV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Other topics mentioned in the News Roundup include:

You might think you can squeeze in a few more camping trips before putting on the cover, but we know that time is ticking for many of our listeners in the US and Canada. Cozy up and enjoy Episode 112: RV Winterization with Quality Mobile RV

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

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25 Oct

Go RVing and RVFTA Satellite Media Tour: Video Footage!

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Back in July, Jeremy and I had the pleasure of doing a Satellite Media Tour to publicize the release of our book, The Idiot’s Guide to RV Vacations. Go RVing was kind enough to host the event, and we broadcast from the amazing resort campground Normandy Farms in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

For those of you who aren’t quite sure what a Satellite Media Tour is (like us before we did one!!!), it’s basically like an old fashioned book tour meets speed dating.

News organizations from all over the country signed up for slots to interview us during their morning programs. We appeared on over 20 stations across the country in a period of about 4 hours…without even leaving the campground. Amazingly enough, it went off without a hitch.

We can’t thank Go RVing enough for handling all the logistics that went into making this happen. Everyone we worked with was amazingly kind and patient even though we had zero television experience. They produced this clip video of the event, and we wanted to share since many of you were bummed you didn’t get to see us on live television that morning.

In the video we mention that Go RVing is a great resource for newbies looking to purchase their first RV. We really believe this. We used the site ourselves back when we were shopping for our first pop up, and still recommend it to our listeners and readers.

Now all we need to do is write that next book. We’re on it…

20 Oct

RVFTA #111 Seasonal Camping 101 with Jon and Heather Anderson

seasonal-camping-101On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about seasonal camping with some experienced experts, Jon and Heather Anderson. We first met Jon and Heather at the Hershey RV show in 2015 when they purchased their Class A Winnebago Brave. Since then, we have been impressed with how much time and research they put into all their RV decisions.

So we invited them onto the show to teach us the ins and outs of seasonal camping. Why did they decide to take the plunge? Are they happy with their choice? And perhaps most importantly…how much does this cost???
listen-on-itunes-hoverIn the first segment, Jon and Heather walk us through their journey from buying a travel trailer to investing in a seasonal campsite. Then in the second segment, they share five tips for finding the perfect seasonal campground for your family.

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14 Oct

RVFTA #110 Say Hello to Winnebago Towables

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On this podcast episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are taking our listeners back to Middlebury, Indiana and talking to Mark Gerber, the Director of Marketing for Winnebago Towables. Mark gave our family an awesome tour of the factory during our visit, and then sat down to chat about what’s in the future for this iconic RV manufacturer.

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Plus, we know many of our listeners heard the news last week that Winnebago acquired Grand Design, the 5-year old RV manufacturer that has caused quite a splash in the industry over a very short period of time (you can read the press release here). So we called Sam Jefson, Public Relations Specialist at Winnebago, and talked about why Grand Design was such a good fit for an iconic RV company, and what kinds of products we might expect in the future.

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13 Oct

Got 48 Hours and an RV? Visit Fancy Gap, Virginia! (Destination Inspiration for Go RVing)

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One of our most popular podcast episodes ever was about camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Last summer we originally planned a stay in Fancy Gap, Virginia largely because we needed a place to rest on our way down to the Great Smoky Mountains.

We were shocked when Fancy Gap became one of our favorite stops that summer. The Fancy Gap KOA was a peaceful and sleepy retreat, just a few tenths of a mile from the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We enjoyed driving along one of America’s most popular scenic byways, and we loved watching live music at the Blue Ridge Music Center.

Plus, our visit to Mount Airy–the childhood home of Andy Griffith and inspiration for the Andy Griffith Show–could not have been amore delightful way to spend a day sightseeing with our boys. After pork chop sandwiches at Snappy Lunch, haircuts at Floyd’s Barber Shop, and a tour of the town in the back of a police car our kids were obsessed with all things Andy Griffith.

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And they are still watching the TV show in regular rotation.

Go RVing has a special section of their website called Destination Inspiration, where you can find out how to make the most out of 48 hours in some amazing locations around the country. We were thrilled to write one about Fancy Gap, Virginia and the surrounding area.

You can read our step-by-step guide here on Go RVings Destination Inspiration. And then tell us where you love to go when you have an RV and 48 hours to kill…

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And you can also check out the podcast we recorded about the area last summer…RVFTA Episode #42 Greetings from the Blue Ridge Parkway!

07 Oct

RVFTA #109 Ladies’ Day Out at Cabela’s with Kate Dunbar

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On this week’s episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are talking about Ladies Day Out, a bi annual event hosted by Cabela’s which celebrates women in the outdoors.

Our Texas Correspondent Kate Dunbar participated this past week at her local Cabela’s store, and she is here to tell us all about it. Kate describes the event from soup to nuts, and gives examples of all the outdoor organizations and learning opportunities.

Kate also spent the weekend boon docking in the Cabela’s parking lot in her super sweet Airstream. She learned a ton from the experience and is ready to pass along some lessons.

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29 Sep

RVFTA #108 Say Hello to the Jayco Hummingbird!

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On this week’s episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are talking about one of the latest tiny trailers to explode onto the RV scene, The Hummingbird by Jayco. Since it became available just months ago, the Hummingbird has sold more units than anyone at Jayco ever expected. We sat down with the product designer, John Fisher and talked about why this small RV is getting such a big response.

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