07 Sep

RVFTA #158 RV Show Shopping 101

September brings cooler temperatures, back to school routines, and the official opening of RV Show Season at the Hershey RV Show in Pennsylvania. RV shows can bring amazing educational experiences and fantastic buying deals for consumers, but they can also leave some folks feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

So we decided to compile all our RV Show Shopping tips in one single episode to help you make the most of your RV show visit this year. Listen to hear our advice that will be applicable no matter where you are on your shopping journey.

To download a RV research and recording sheet created by RVFTA listener Heather Anderson, click here.

Segment One: General RV Show Tips

In this segment we did into the basics for all of the larger RV shows. We have seen even the most seasoned RVers overwhelmed when confronted with acres of rigs and no clear game plan. We chat about…

  • Planning ahead
  • Being prepared
  • Creating goals and objectives
  • Talking to the right people
  • And much, much more

Segment Two: Different Types of Shoppers

In the second segment, we talk about the different types of shoppers at RV shows and offer our best tips for making the most out of your visit no matter where you are in your RV journey. We break it down into the following categories…

  • Dreamers and Newbies
  • Ready for the upgrade
  • Ready to buy

Your time at an RV show will look dramatically different depending on which category you fit into. We’ve got a RV pep talk for everyone!

Segment Three: RVFTA News Roundup

Our own RV Show season kicks off at the Hershey RV Show, where we will be hanging out at the Jayco display during the following times:

  • Thursday, September 14th, 5-6 pm
  • Friday & Saturday, September 15-16th, 2-3:30 pm

Plus, we will be at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa from January 17th-21st. Mark your calendars and join us!!! You can find more info here.

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



See you at the RV Show!

Stephanie + Jeremy

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25 Aug

RVFTA #156 Greetings from the Jayco Dealer Homecoming in Nashville, Tennessee!

On this week’s podcast episode, we are talking about our recent trip to the Jayco Dealer Homecoming that took place in Nashville, Tennessee. This is a dealer exclusive annual event where dealers get to check out what’s new for 2018.

Jayco was kind enough to let us get a sneak peak behind the scenes, and we share all the exciting innovations we saw in the towable and motorized divisions. Plus, we managed to squeeze in a little bit of sight seeing and a lot of eating during our short visit. You’ll have to take a listen to hear our very thorough discussion of heat levels at Hattie Bs Hot Chicken…

ALL of the 2018 models can be found on the Jayco website, so make sure you head over there to look for additional info, floor plans, and specs. You can also check out our Instagram feed to see short videos and photo collections. Plus, we took over Jayco’s IG account during our visit, so scroll through their feed for more pics!

Segment One: Towables

There are a LOT of changes in many of the towable lines for the 2018 model year. We were able to spend some time with all five product managers (many of whom you have heard on the show in the past) walking through the rigs and getting an in depth look at their latest innovations and design tweaks.

Jay Feathers and White Hawks

After introducing the Hummingbird, John Fisher got to work completely rethinking the Jay Feather and White Hawk line, and we discuss the exterior and interior changes that will be well received by folks interested in more linear design trends. Listen to hear our thoughts on the new automotive-bonded front window option, the Jay Feather 7 22BHM, and the White Hawk 31BH.

Jay Flights

The newest addition to the Jay Flight travel trailer lineup is the 28BHS. This will be a very welcome addition for families in the market for bunks. Two exterior doors, a rear bathroom, and an L-shaped kitchen create a great interior layout.

Eagle

The Eagle line is on fire right now, and we had a great time chatting with Chris Barth, who was recently on our podcast for our Pros and Cons of a Fifth Wheel episode. Listen to hear more details about the Eagle 25.5REOK, a couple’s coach under 30 feet.

North Point

We are seeing these at campgrounds EVERYWHERE right now, so it was great to meet Matt Fisher and get a true understanding about why this model has been gaining so much traction with RVers. If you have been looking for truly on-point design, Matt stepped up to the plate, taking out the traditional finishes and shooting for a clean, linear look. From the stovetop grate to the handle pulls and square, stainless bathroom sinks, this RV is not your grandparents’ coach.

Toy Haulers

Lastly, there was lots of new things to check out in the world of toy haulers, including the new exterior designs on the Octane line and the introduction of an entirely new line called the Talon. Listen to hear us talk about the Octane T32H.

Segment Two: Motorized

In the motorized category, Jayco is determined to meet the demand for two things: updated interior design and smaller Class Cs. We were happy to see the first results of this effort and talk about two big model debuts…

Melbourne Prestige

The Melbourne Prestige is a small C that has the sleek European design that so many folks are looking for in the small motorhome segment. The woven, vinyl floor is stylish and pragmatic. The large window on the front cap makes the space feel open and airy.

Red Hawk SE 22C

We are head over heals in love with this new model as it introduces a great motorized floor plan that is under 30 feet AND affordably priced. In fact, you could probably buy one of these for the same price as a Ford Lariat. You could sleep a couple of kids on the over-cab bed. And if you are super adventurous, a third kid could sleep on the dinette.

Segment Three: Nashville, Tennessee

We squeezed in a little bit of site seeing during our brief stay, so listen to hear our thoughts on the Grand Ole Opry, Martins BBQ, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, The Frothy Monkey, and the Johnny Cash Museum. Oh, and Jeremy breaks into the 21st century with his first Uber ride…

Thanks so much to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for our RV and camping fools!

 

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09 Jan

Counting Down to the 2017 Florida RV Supershow, January 18th-22nd

The snow is covering the ground here in the northeast, so we are counting down the days to when we head south to Tampa for the 2017 Florida RV SuperShow taking place from January 18th-22nd.

This is simply our favorite RV show all year because not only are there huge numbers of RVs (over 1,400), there are also over 450 vendors and tons of live entertainment. This year we are bringing the boys with us, and we know they will have a great time as well.

SuperShow Accomodations

We are camping on the Florida Fairgrounds with the Super Rally, which is completely sold out at this point. If you are also camping with the rally, make sure to say hi during morning donuts and coffee. You can count on us being at the donut tent early and often.

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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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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? 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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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…

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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22 Sep

RVFTA #107 Support the Tents for Troops RV Loaner Program

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Donate to the RVFTA Supports Tents for Troops RV Loaner Program here!

Please help us purchase an RV so that our active military and their families can camp for free!!!

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are celebrating the 2nd birthday of the podcast we started recording at our dining room table in September of 2014. Some people might call it an anniversary, but this is our baby so we are lighting candles and blowing up balloons.

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And we are announcing the most exciting project that we have ever undertaken in the history of RV Family Travel Atlas. Tents for Troops is a charitable organization that seeks to provide camping opportunities for enlisted military members. They have a new initiative called the RV Loaner Program, and we want to help get it off the ground. So we are raising $10,000 to buy an RV that will be permanently available to active military and their families.

We need your help! Please visit the Go Fund Me page that has been set up for this fantastic cause. Let’s join together as a camping community and support Tents for Troops!

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20 Sep

Hershey RV Show: RVFTA Wrap Up

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We had such a blast at the Hershey RV Show that took place last week. Not only is this one of the biggest RV shows in the whole country, it is also the first place that the public gets a peak at many of the new 2017 models and floor plans.

Manufacturers get to gauge public response to their 2017 lineup, and dealers get an idea of selling momentum for the upcoming RV show season. There is also plenty of opportunity to score a deal on a 2016  model that is still hanging around.

The bottom line? Attendance was higher than ever, and the industry was thrilled with sales.

Many people complain that the RV industry is too ‘cookie-cutter’ or ‘cut-n-paste.’ That was not what we saw at the Hershey show. This is a good year for innovation, and we saw plenty of RVs that were breaking the mold, or offering creative answers to consumer demand.

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08 Aug

The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning with Flo’s Road Trip and the Progressive RV

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We have lived in New Jersey our entire life, and most years we talk about attending the Balloon Festival and then, for one reason or another, something comes up and we are unable to make it.

This year we were invited by Progressive to hang out at Flo’s RV, so we finally experienced this awesome event that has taken place for 34 years in our own backyard. And even though the weekend was interrupted by some pretty turbulent weather, we can say for sure that we will be returning in the future.

There is no shortage of festivals during the summer months, but now we know why this one gets rave reviews year after year. First of all, balloons.

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23 Jun

RVFTA #94 Greetings from the Pismo Vintage Trailer Rally featuring Kate Dunbar

Greetings from the Pismo Vintage Trailer Rally

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are taking you to the Pismo Vintage Trailer Rally, an awesome RV eye candy event held every year in Pismo Beach California. We enlisted our California correspondent Kate Dunbar, a vintage trailer enthusiast, to scope out the scene for RVFTA, and Kate will be sharing her top 5 vintage trailer picks from the whole show.

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10 Apr

Celebrating a Birthday at the Campground With Friends…and Bad Weather?

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We used to scoff at camping close to home and would never have celebrated a birthday or holiday at the campground.  But things have changed.  Last year we realized that we could camp close to home and still get the kids to their baseball games (read about it here).  This year we realized that we could camp close to home and have a slam dunk birthday party with family and friends. When the campground calls us, we must go! Even when other responsibilities are calling our names.

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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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26 Jan

Best in Show: Our 10 Favorite Rigs at the Florida RV Supershow

If you listened to RVFTA episode #72 last week, you know that we had a grand ole time at the Florida RV Supershow. On that episode we talked about the seminars, entertainment, food, and vendors. And we gave a ton of advice about navigating the thousands of RVs that are on site for one of the largest shows in America.

So now it’s time for our personal top 10 list. Our Best in Show picks from the Florida RV Supershow.

What were the criteria?

100% complete and total subjectivity.

Some of these rigs we would love to have now. Some we would love to have once our brood has flown the nest. Others would be awesome to keep around for the rare romantic getaway.

Basically, these rigs popped. So drumroll, please.

 1. The Cricket Trailer by TAXA

The Cricket Trailer

We want one of these in our driveway, and we want to do amazing things with it. The Cricket is not a funny looking tent trailer. It is an top-quality adventure wagon. We nabbed a whole interview with a TAXA rep, and can’t wait for you to hear it on the podcast.

Did we mention we want one?

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22 Jan

RVFTA #72: Live from the Florida RV Supershow!

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On this special episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the Florida RV Supershow, which may just be the most exciting RV show around.

Last week we fled the frigid temperatures of the Northeast and hightailed it to sunny Tampa, where we found an amazing array of RVs on display. And we also discovered that this RV show takes entertainment to a whole new level.

Listen to hear great interviews with manufacturer’s reps, finance experts, RV show organizers, and RV enthusiasts like yourselves who always seem to be shopping for their next rig.

And hear our 7 tips for making the most out of your trip to the Florida RV Supershow…because we know you will want to plan a visit after listening to this episode!

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12 Jan

RVFTA is Ready for the Florida RV SuperShow! How About You?

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The 31st annual Florida RV SuperShow kicks off tomorrow morning at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida.  The RVFTA team is super duper excited to be recording a special podcast all about the show. We will be interviewing consumers, dealers, and seminar presenters to give you a 360 degree view of what this wild and crazy show is all about.

We will also be hosting a meet and greet with our friends, traveling buddies, and “Campground of the Week” correspondents Keith and Tia Sims from Soulful RV Family! Please stop by and say hello to all four of us on Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 3pm at the Florida RV Trade Association Tent. We always love to meet our podcast listeners and hear about your RV shopping adventures!

We also recommend that you take a break from all of that walking to check out a few of the great seminars that are offered.  The seminar schedule at the SuperShow looks awesome this year and we can’t wait to attend a few of them ourselves.

But that’s not all! The Florida RV SuperShow has a reputation for being one of the liveliest RV shows on the planet, and that’s partly because of the live entertainment that is included in your ticket price! Daily performances include a famous bagpipe band, and barbershop quartets, magicians, and jugglers.

We are so excited to be attending the show and we really, truly hope to see you there!

Best-Jeremy and Stephanie