09 Nov

RVFTA #167: Meet Brandon Palaniuk, 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year

When we met Brandon Palaniuk last month at the Cabela’s grand opening in Alberquerque, we immediately wanted to invite him onto the show to share his story with our listeners. Not only did Brandon Palaniuk recently win the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, he is also an amazingly nice guy who travels around in a pretty awesome toy hauler.

Inviting him on the show was a no brainer.

So we were excited to have Brandon on the podcast, but to be honest we never expected to be so inspired by his story of hard work and dedication. Brandon is a pretty young guy with a whole lot of wisdom to share, and we walked away from the interview excited to have our own boys listen to his story.

Segment One: How Does Someone Become Angler of the Year?

The world of tournament fishing is a complete mystery to us, but Brandon walked us through all the basics, from how the tournaments are organized to the points system for determining placement. While preparing for the interview, we stumbled onto a fantastic video that was produced over the course of the year, while Brandon pursued the title of Angler of the Year.

We got complete sucked in. Seriously.

Mostly we were struck by the long days, the physical demands, and the relentless focus that Brandon seemed to maintain throughout such a grueling schedule.

After watching this, you just might find yourself following the tournament schedule a little more closely in 2018…

We also got to talk to Brandon about his experiences as an RV newbie over the course of the last year. Brandon is on the road from January through September, and he decided an RV would help make that time a heck of a lot more comfortable. So far, he is thrilled with the decision to purchase a 44-foot, triple-axle Fuzion toy hauler. We chat about having a kitchen to prepare healthy food on the road, traveling with other folks in the RV, and his favorite campground experience in 2017.

Spoiler alert..it’s the 1,000 Islands/Association Island KOA.

If you want to find out even more about Brandon’s life after he puts down the fishing pole and calls it a day, check out this page on Cabela’s site with some pics of him getting up to some fun shenanigans…

Segment Two: Brandon’s Tips for Taking Your Fishing Game to the Next Level

We couldn’t have Brandon on the show without getting a little bit of fishing advice from the expert himself.

Brandon does a great job of bringing it to the masses and sharing three tips for upping your fishing game, even if you are at ‘campground lake level’ of fishing like we are.

He talks about not getting stuck in a rut with either your gear or your technique. And he also shares a great piece of wisdom that we will be passing along to our boys…

“You never fail. You only win or you learn.”

And that’s why we love Brandon Palaniuk.

We truly hope our paths cross again someday, or we will at least look forward to having him back on the show. You can find his official website here, and you can also follow him on Instagram @brandonpalaniuk like we do!

The best of luck to this guy in 2018! We will be routing for him.

Other important links mentioned in the show include…

Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall Information

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

See you at the campground!

26 Oct

RVFTA #165 RV Tailgating 101

On this week’s episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we dive into the very popular world of RV tailgating. This is an annual tradition for many RV owners, and we wanted to get a better look at what it’s all about.

So we reached out to a couple of RVFTA podcast listeners who know what they are talking about!

Kim Fitzsimmons is from Indiana, and recently enjoyed her first foray into RV tailgating by camping at the Indycar Grand Prix in Indianapolis. And Kelli Hall is a veteran tailgater who gathers with 40 of her closest family and friends every year at Ohio State University. Both ladies pitched in to give us great content (and pictures!) for our RV Tailgating episode.

Segment One: Meet Kim Fitzsimmons

We thought it would be fun to talk to someone who had just had their first tailgating experience. Kim and her family recently bought a Jayco Greyhawk Class C motorhome, and decided that they would try out tailgating in their own stomping ground of Indianapolis. She walks us through the whole experience of camping on the grounds of the Indycar Grand Prix in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Did they absolutely love it? You betcha!

Segment Two: 6 Tips for RV Tailgating Newbies

Hindsight is 20/20 and there is no better person to offer advice than a newbie who has just gone through the RV tailgating experience for the first time. Kim is excited to continue tailgating with her family, but she definitely learned a lot during her first experience and is happy to share with the RVFTA community.

Listen to hear Kim talk about planning, food prep, and setting appropriate expectations (spoiler alert: you aren’t camping at a campground, folks!).

Segment Three: Kelli Hall’s Top 3 RV Tailgating Recipes

Kelli gave us a TON of great tailgating advice, and to be honest we plan on having her on the show for our next tailgating episode (don’t tell her…it’s a surprise). Even though we couldn’t make it out to Ohio State to join the party, Kelli agreed to share some of her favorite RV tailgating recipes. Kim and Kelli both emphasized the need to prep ahead and keep the food simple.

We think that’s awesome advice for tailgating and regular ole camping.

You can get the full recipes for Easy Golden Meatballs, Mark’s Taco Salad, and Sweet Sausage & Peppers here.

A huge thanks to Kim and Kelli for helping us create our RV Tailgating 101 episode. It was so much fun to learn more about this great RVing activity. We can’t wait to join a tailgating party in real life.

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

See you at the tailgate!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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

 

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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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!

10 May

RVFTA #141 To Blog or Not to Blog: The RV Traveler’s Conundrum

On this episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast episode, we are taking a cue from our listeners and talking about a question that we get asked all the time: Should I start my own travel blog to document my RV journey?

There is no easy answer to that question, but since we have gotten so much joy out of our own blog over the last seven years, we decided to tackle the issue in a podcast episode.

Not everything about blogging is easy or enjoyable, which is why many people who start blogs throw their hands up in frustration after just a short while. Having a good understanding of the challenges and rewards of travel blogging might help you make a decision about whether or not you should launch a blog before you hit the road for your RV adventures this season.

Segment One: The Pros, The Cons, and The Myths

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27 Apr

RVFTA #139 RVFTA Goes Tent Camping with Cabela’s

On this episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are talking about our recent adventures in tent camping. Cabela’s just debuted an entire line of redesigned tents and we got to try a few of them out.

It has been at least ten years since we set up a tent, and this was a brand new experience for our boys, so listen to hear how we fared at the campground.

Segment One: The Tent Camping Experience

In the first segment, we chat about our prior tent camping experience, the aspects that we felt confident about, and the things that made us nervous. We also talk about how the boys felt about leaving behind the new toy hauler. Spoiler alert…they were not thrilled about the idea.

Well, their attitude changed pretty quickly once the tents were set up. These tents are nothing like the ones we grew up with, and the gear took comfort camping to a whole new level.

Our main takeaways:

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16 Feb

RVFTA #129 Greetings from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida

RVFTA #129: Greetings from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Florida

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about our recent trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Harry Potter is a pretty big deal in our family right now, so we decided to cheat on Mickey and spend a day exploring Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

We will walk you through planning your trip to Universal Studios, plus discuss some strategies for enjoying a theme park known for long lines and expensive ticket prices.

Segment One: Planning and Preparation

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02 Feb

RVFTA #127 Greetings from the 2017 Florida RV SuperShow!

On this podcast episode we are reporting back from the Florida RV SuperShow, our very favorite RV show of the year. Two weeks ago, we fled the frigid temperatures of the northeast and hightailed it to sunny Tampa, where we enjoyed touring an amazing variety of RVs and shopping for camping accessories.

We also were lucky to meet tons of podcast listeners and enjoy the talented and quirky entertainment that visitors always find at the SuperShow.

Segment One

On this episode, we will chat about some of the podcast listeners that we spoke with, and share their unique and diverse RVing experience. We are still continually surprised at the wide variety of listeners this podcast has, and we will introduce you to the stories of young couples with Aliners, moms with Class As, and retired folks living the life in Class Bs.

Segment Two

Then in the second segment, we compiled a list of things we learned about RVers from hanging out at the Florida RV SuperShow. In many ways this RV show is more like a festival, and we thought a lot of wonderful aspects of RV culture were evident during our visit. We came up with 6 things we can say for sure after the show:

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05 Jan

RVFTA #123 Kick Those RV Winterization Blues, 2017

On this RV Family Travel Atlas Podcast episode, we are back with more tips on how to treat (if not cure!) those winterization blues. Thousands of RVs across the country have been winterized and covered for the long, cold months ahead, so we came up with a brand new list of all the things you can do instead of crying quietly in your camper.

From books to projects to getting cozy in the traditional Danish style, we have something to keep you busy no matter how much you hate Mr. Jack Frost.


Segment One: 2016 Recap and Getting Hyggelig

In the first show segment, we have a quick recap of our favorite timeless tips from the Winterization Blues, 2016 podcast episode. If you missed it last year, you can check it out here:

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29 Dec

RVFTA #122 Top Travel Highlights of 2016

Episode #122: Top Travel Highlights of 2016

Special Announcement: Beginning January 6th, we will be hosting RVFTA Live, an interactive Facebook Live Chat on Friday afternoons, 3 pm ET. See you there!

On this episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are reflecting back on our travel highlights of 2016. We spent over 70 nights in the RV, enjoying beaches and mountains, national parks and bustling cities. It was incredibly difficult to narrow down our top picks.

But we managed.

Segment One

In the first segment, we talk about the highlights that we both included on our lists (Links lead to other podcast episodes and blog posts with more details about activities and experiences):

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07 Dec

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

holidays in the RV

Have you ever gazed longingly at your RV during the busy, stressful holiday season? We know 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…

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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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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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25 Aug

RVFTA #103 Greetings from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Greetings from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and telling you all about the amazing Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the great state of Michigan.

Voted one of America’s most beautiful places by Good Morning America, this truly is a magical destination that demonstrates why the National Parks might be our country’s greatest idea ever. We will talk about the best drives, hikes, swims, and even shopping in the Sleeping Bear Dunes park.

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This episode goes along with two different Campground of the Week episodes: #41 about Holiday Park in Traverse City and #42 about the Platte River Campground in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Both are amazing places to stay while visiting the region. We cover completely different activities and food options in the different episodes, so be sure to listen to all three if you are planning a visit of your own in the future!

Subcribe to Campground of the Week here…

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04 Aug

#NPS100: Yellowstone National Park with Kerri Cox

#NPS100Yellowstone National Park

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are so excited to be joined by Kerri Cox of TravelswithBirdy.com.

Kerri and her family took Birdy (their Jayco travel trailer) on another epic road trip this summer, celebrating the National Park Service centennial. One of the trip’s highlights was Yellowstone National Park, where they were able to appreciate first hand why this place is basically on everyone’s bucket list.

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08 Mar

What are You Waiting For? The Scary Leap to RV Ownership

Myrtle Beach Ziplining

I’ve refrained from writing this post for a long time because, contrary to what my husband and kids might tell you, I really do not like telling people what to do. And I hate writing posts that inevitably lead to the each to his own reactions, comments, and feedback. I respect that everyone has their own set of circumstances and reasoning behind life decisions.

But still.

We receive so many emails and messages on social media from people who are saying a version of the following:

I wish we could own an RV. One day we will get an RV. We are on the five-year plan. We are on the seven-year plan. When we retire, we look forward to buying our first RV.  Etc, etc.

And then the story of Driving Miss Norma went ripping around the internet over the last couple of weeks. I had two thoughts:

  1. That is amazing that Norma is living her life to the fullest.
  2. I don’t want to wait until I am 90 to have the time of my life.

In almost every single case, people who tell us they are waiting to get an RV cite financial reasons. It is not in the budget right now. They don’t want a payment. They are saving up.  On the surface, these statements seem completely reasonable and even downright responsible. In fact, I presented them all to my husband over the course of buying our first pop up.

However.

The arguments don’t really fly. Why?

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04 Mar

RVFTA #78: Camping with Family and Friends

Camping with Family and Friends

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about Camping with Family and Friends. RVs make it much easier to share vacations with loved ones since communal campfire areas and private family spaces would seem to be the perfect combination.

However, things can turn sour if everyone is not on the same page with planning, food, and activities. Listen to hear our top 5 tips for Camping with Family and Friends.

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31 Dec

RVFTA #69 Top 12 Travel Highlights of 2015

Top 12 Travel Highlights of 2015

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are sharing our top 12 RV Travel Highlights of 2015. And as an added bonus, we have lots of listener highlights to share as well!

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But before we get into that…we have our first big announcements of 2016! We will be attending the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa, Florida from January 13-17th. Stay tuned for more details about a scheduled meet and greet.

In 2015, we spent over 70 nights in the RV, staying in both public and private campgrounds, sometimes tucked away in the woods, other times sprawled out on souped-up patio sites.

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We hiked and biked and kayaked and swam. We rode roller coasters, ziplines, water taxis and ski lifts. It was almost impossible to narrow our picks down to just 12, but we managed.

dollywood roller coaster

deep creek

You might think that New Year’s is all about the resolutions. But we here at RVFTA believe in looking back and celebrating the best moments in our lives.

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You are listening to Episode #69: Top 12 Travel Highlights of 2015!