09 Mar

RVFTA #132 Say Hello to Highway West Vacations

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are introducing you to Highway West Vacations, a company with 12 luxury resort campgrounds spread out across the great American West.

We were first introduced to this brand when Kate Dunbar reviewed the Flying Flags RV Resort over on Campground of the Week last year. Kate raved about this place, and we knew it was worth checking out.

Well the more we learned, the more we became convinced that Highway West Vacations has it’s finger on the pulse of campground resort trends. So we invited Didiayer Snyder, Director of Marketing and Sales, onto the show to tell us more about this growing brand.

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Play
12 Jan

RVFTA #124 8 More Tips for Campground Owners

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about our top eight tips for campground owners, developed after spending hundreds of nights at campground over the last few years. We have had some fantastic experiences, but also quite a few that could have been improved.

We first covered this topic all the way back on episode #5 of RV Family Travel Atlas, over two year ago. It was definitely time to revisit the issue with fresh eyes, and chat about some of the bigger campground features that make the difference between an average camping visit and an amazing one.

Segment One: Revisiting the Original 8 Tips for Campground Owners

On our older episode titled 8 Tips for Campground Owners, we addressed the following topics:

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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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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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28 Sep

The Perfect Campsite: 10 Questions to Ask (Go RVing Blog)

 

IMG_9203We are well aware that everyone in the campground industry wants you to book your campsite online. And we are also well aware that many of you do just that.

But our longtime readers and podcast listeners know that we have one thing to say about this trend: Don’t do it.

Seriously.

Pick. Up. The. Phone.

All campgrounds are not created equal, and you would never blindly book an RV park without doing a little research and reading some reviews. So why would you blindly book a campsite, not knowing if it has the space, the views, or the location that you prefer?

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Happy campers know that not all campsites are created equal, so they do their due diligence and research before booking. Happy campers also know what makes them happy, and they book campsites that have the ambiance, amenities, and activities they want.

Want more camping nirvana in your life? Check out our latest blog post for Go RVing where we described 10 questions to ask BEFORE you book your next campsite.

You might have to work a little harder and actually talk to someone on the phone (GASP!), but when you are sitting with a view of the creek and a cocktail while your kids play within sight at the nearby playground, you’ll know it was worth it.

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See you at the campground!

Check out our other blog posts on the Scenic Route

GoRVing

09 Jun

RVFTA #92 What’s New at Camp Jellystone?

What's New At Camp Jellystone? Read More

Play
09 Feb

Tips and Resources for Finding the Perfect Campground and the Ideal Campsite

Cherry Hill RV Park

We cover a ton of information in this week’s podcast, Booking the Perfect Campground, and wanted to place all the suggestions and resources in one spot. For a full discussion of all these points, make sure you listen to the complete episode here. And of course, you can always get your fill of campground reviews on our weekly podcast Campground of the Week.

After researching, visiting, and reviewing hundreds of campgrounds over the last 6 years, we strongly believe that there is no perfect campground. One size definitely does not fit all. However, there is a perfect campground for you…with an individualized set of characteristics that will get your camp mojo humming. The key to finding RV bliss is knowing what look for and how to find it.

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04 Feb

RVFTA #74: Booking the Perfect Campground

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On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are dishing all our tips for finding the perfect campground and booking the perfect campsite. It’s trip planning season and if you want the magic to happen, better make those reservations now. We have given seminars on this topic and written articles, but this is the first time we put in all in one podcast.

And we have a giveaway to help you plan those trips! Good Sam has given us 5 copies of the Travel and Savings Guide (chock full of awesome articles, wink, wink). What do you have to do to win?

  • Head over to our forum, register, and introduce yourself on Roll Call forum thread. Three people with introductions will win copies of the Guide! Don’t fret if you have already said hey. You are in it to win it.
  • Look for a contest photo to be posted this week on Instagram. Like the photo and tag a friend who might think that RV Family Travel Atlas has got it going on.

There are two segments that center on tips for booking your campground reservations. First we talk about picking through the catalogs, apps, ratings, and reviews to find a campground that will suit your style. Then we move on to all of the questions you should ask yourself before booking your campsite.

Do you want every campground to be a #win? It’s gonna take a little work, but the payoff is worth it.

And we don’t completely ignore RV shopping because many of our listeners are right in the thick of it. On this episode, you will also hear a great interview with Jim Waters, the marketing coordinator for Lance Campers. He will share some information about the 50 year old RV company and talk about the newest, lightest Lance truck camper release for 2016. The 650 is built for a half-ton short-bed truck, so it should be of interest to anyone looking for a comfortable camper with a small footprint.

You might think that you have oodles of time to plan those summer vacations. But we know that the best campsites are selling like hotcakes. You are listening to Episode #74: Booking the Perfect Campground!

Play
02 Feb

A Case for the Campground (or, why it’s okay if you don’t plan on boondocking this year)

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If you hang out in RV social media circles, you probably have noticed the increase in boondocking, or wild camping, content. You might see an Airstream in the middle of a desert with snow-capped mountains in the distance. Or a Class C sitting at the edge of a rocky shoreline without another RV in sight. Blog posts offer GPS coordinates for remote, wooded locations, and many apps help you find isolated BLM lands on which you can park your rig.

The appeal is obvious. First of all, wild places are beautiful. RVers generally have a healthy appreciation for the natural world, so the more of it, the better. What is more romantic than having a beautiful place all to yourself? Secondly, these spots are free. For people like ourselves who want to camp as much as possible, a free campsite is a very attractive option.

And then there are the photos. In our increasingly visual social media landscape, how awesome is it to get pictures of your RV smack dab in the middle of nowhere, without the clutter of other rigs and people?

As solar energy becomes more ubiquitous, tanks become bigger, WiFi becomes stronger, and generators become cheaper, it is easier for the average RVer to enjoy the comforts of the RV lifestyle without the drag of a campground price tag.

The conversation about boondocking pops up in the RVFTA world on a regular basis. People ask us, when are you going to start boondocking? Why don’t you do it already? Don’t you think you are missing out on an amazing experience? Is what you are doing really authentic?

We have discussed this issue many times on the podcast, and in emails with our listeners. But most of the time, the question is framed in terms of what we are not doing…i.e. boondocking. But we actually look at the issue differently. Instead of believing that we are giving our kids a less authentic camping experience, we actually think we are giving them exposure to a remarkably valuable environment, and one that is difficult to find in our present day culture.

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Many people who boondock want to get away from it all, disconnect, unplug. Most of us feel this pressing need on a daily basis. We crave a break from the busyness, a bit of quiet amidst all the noise. The irony is, of course, that as we have become more connected on social media we have become less connected with our neighbors, our community members, and even our co workers.

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A recent article I read in the New York Times, Friends at Work? Not So Much, was talking about how as a culture we are underestimating the value of forming new friendships at work. When I can stay connected with my old friends on Facebook, why bother going through the hassle of getting to know Bob in the break room?

I, of course, immediately thought of the campground. In our opinion, campgrounds are not a necessary evil, a place to stay now until we can build up our courage to take our children out into the middle of nowhere. Campgrounds are actually places where a lot of things operate according to the pre-technology norms of 20 years ago. You are pretty much expected to wave and say hi to someone as they walk by. It is still considered polite to strike up friendly conversation with a stranger. And kids are constantly forming pick up games with children they met five minutes ago.

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Playdates? Not at a campground. You’ll just see a mob of kids moving from campsite to campsite. Sharing toys, making up games, and getting really dirty.

I understand the desire people have to get away from it all and find some peace and quiet. But in a way, I believe we have a little too much peace and quiet in our lives already. Too much time spent in front of screens with headphones in our ears, looking at pretty pictures that other people have posted on social media.

We don’t just love our RV. We also love and appreciate our time at public and private campgrounds, meeting  new people, having pleasant conversations, and connecting more with each other.

The pictures aren’t as pretty perhaps, but I’ve got the squeals of my happy boys as they enjoy an epic water gun war with a bunch of friends they just met. And that’s a pretty authentic experience to me.

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Have an opinion about the campground versus boondocking? We would love to hear it! Share away in the comments below…

See you at the campground. ~Stephanie

08 Oct

RVFTA #57: Greetings from Lake Placid, New York

Greetings from Lake Placid

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, Greetings from Lake Placid, New York, we are delighted to share all the details of our recent visit to the Lake Placid region in the Adirondack Mountains. The stunning fall foliage created the perfect backdrop for experiencing outdoor adventure and a bit of Olympic history.

We start the episode by sharing eight interesting facts about the Adirondack region. With 6 million acres of protected and privately owned land, Glacier, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon National Parks could ALL fit inside this area. Listen to hear some other fascinating trivia that will pique your interest.

Then we move on to our recommended activities in the Lake Placid and Whiteface Mountain area. We review:

  • The Olympic Passport activities
  • Downtown Lake Placid
  • Hiking Mount Jo
  • The Wild Center

You can read more about these highlights in this post on the campground and activities.

Plus, we were lucky enough to interview two of the most charming campground managers of all time, Chip and Julie Grundon, who share all about the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA in Wilmington, New York.

And we walked away with Julie’s amazing recipe for Michigan Sauce. What the heck is that? You will have to listen to find out! (Or stay tuned for the blog post next week with the recipe)

You may be counting down the days until camping season comes to an end. But we here at RVFTA are seriously considering heading back to Lake Placid for a winter RV adventure.

You are listening to Episode #57: Greetings from Lake Placid, New York!

Play
05 Oct

Falling in Love with the Adirondacks at the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA

The Adirondack Park in New York State is our newest favorite place. Why?  Maybe because of its fragrant and thickly wooded forests of spruce, maple, beech, and birch.

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Maybe because of its sparkling lakes, winding rivers, and rocky streams.

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Maybe because of its charming lakefront towns such as Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

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Or maybe because the region hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980 and the sounds of supreme, almost mythological, athletic greatness still can be heard if you listen closely. “Do you believe in miracles?”  We sure do.

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The Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA is our newest favorite campground. Why? Maybe because we saw deer running through the campground during the Friday night hayride.

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Maybe because you can hike from your campsite down to the rushing waters of the Ausable River.

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Maybe because of the pancakes and hot coffee served up every morning in the warm and cozy lodge.

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Or maybe because this KOA serves as the perfect base-camp for exploring a magnificent region of our magnificent country.

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The Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA is a short, river and tree-lined drive into downtown Lake Placid, where we sampled some great food and culture, and more importantly where we started to learn about the region’s incredible Olympic history.  We highly recommend purchasing the Olympic Sites Passport which is a tremendous bargain at $35 and gives you access to the Olympic Museum, the Sports Complex, the Jumping Complex, the Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway, and more.

We headed out early one morning for the drive on the Memorial Highway up to the castle at the top of Whiteface Mountain. There were numerous scenic overlooks on the way up and we stopped at each one to take in the sweeping views of the mountains.

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The view of Lake Placid from the top, looking down on the clouds, was nothing short of stunning.

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There was ice on the sides of the mountain that morning and it was windy and cold. The boys finagled three cups of hot chocolate from the cafeteria in the castle.  We sampled the coffee, of course.

Later that morning we headed over to the Olympic Jumping Complex.  We all loved taking the ski lift and the elevator up to the jump tower and looking out at the mountains around us and down at the jump below us.  If you are not in awe of our Olympic athletes, you should be.  Standing at the top of the jump tower brought their extreme skill and bravery into sharp focus for all of us. For Theo and Max it was the highlight of the trip.

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The Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA is surrounded on all sides by endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. If you love fly fishing, then this is the place. If you love kayaking or canoeing, then this is the place.  If you love skiing or snowmobiling, then this is the place.  If you love hiking–and our family loves hiking–then this is the place.

We decided to tackle nearby Mount Jo on our last full day, and it was wonderful.  Our AMC Guidebook called it an easy hike, but clearly the author didn’t do it with children.  Stephanie had Wesley on her back, which made the trail quite a challenge. But Max and Theo were in good spirits and practically raced up the mountain.  They love a hike with lots of rocks and water…this one didn’t disappoint.

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The “Short Trail” up and the “Long Trail” down were both lovely–like something out of a book of poetry by Wordsworth or Coleridge.  The summit view of Heart Lake surrounded by increasingly magnificent fall foliage was worth every single step.

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After a brief snack the boys got on their hands and knees and howled like wolves as the sun began to set.  It was getting late. We needed to double-time it down the mountain, and we did.

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We come home exhausted that night–but deeply satisfied.  Our time at the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain KOA was coming to an end. But our newfound love for the history, culture, and geography of the Adirondack Park was just beginning.

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29 Aug

RVFTA #50: Naughty Behavior at the Campground

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the naughty behaviors that can sometimes pop up when traveling with kids.

Nobody’s perfect and when environment, schedules, daily activities, and food are different, things are bound to get a little out of hand.

We will explore some of the hotspots we have identified and small tweaks that can make a big difference. Four areas that many parents seem to struggle with are…

  • Car Rides
  • Activities
  • Bedtime
  • Sweet Treats

Plus, we are reviewing a campground in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Sugar Ridge RV Park, where we whittled away the last days of summer vacation. Listen to hear the skinny on our latest New England campground discovery.

And we are reviewing Season 2 of Big Time RV on the Travel Channel this week. RV shows have become a bit more mainstream and this is one of our recent favorites.

You may have perfect angels that fly through campground trips with an aura of sweetness and light. But here at RVFTA, we have enough material to dedicate a whole podcast to this topic. Thanks for listening to Episode #50: Naughty Behavior at the Campground!

We are delighted to have Go RVing as our RVFTA sponsor. Listen for a message from them just a bit later in our show. To find your AWAY head over to gorving.com/rvfta.

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Play
22 Aug

RVFTA #49: Why is KOA Rebranding?

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the rebranding initiative of KOA campgrounds, the largest franchise system of campgrounds in America.

Most campers have heard of KOA, and many have strong opinions. This week we will talk about the KOA franchise and more specifically, its new rebranding campaign that identifies campgrounds as Journey, Holiday, or Resort.

We will explain what each designation means and give some examples from our own travels. Hear about our time at…

And although we have partnered with KOA on their Greater Outdoors Blog and on sponsored trips, this podcast is not sponsored in any way. This is our exploration of a topic that we believe is very relevant for many of our listeners and readers.

We also invited Toby O’Rourke, the Senior Vice President of Marketing at KOA, onto the show to give you all the inside scoop on this rebranding effort. Listen to hear why KOA embarked on this project and some of the company’s plans for the future.

Plus, a serious *serious* scoop that will be of high interest to our East Coast listeners!

You may swear by KOA or maybe you have never even looked behind that yellow sign. Either way, you’ll want the serious campground intel we are gathering on Episode #49: Why is KOA Rebranding?

We are delighted to have Go RVing as our RVFTA sponsor. Listen for a message from them just a bit later in our show. To find your AWAY head over to gorving.com/rvfta.

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Play
07 Aug

RVFTA #47: Fancy Camping with Kate Dunbar

Fancy Camping with Kate Dunbar

RVFTA Fall Rally Announcement on this episode! October 23rd and 24th at the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA in the Great State of Pennsylvania…Reserve Now!

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the trend of fancy camping that is all the rage these days. Decked out vintage campers, cushioned outdoor seating, and sequins throw pillows are popping up more and more around campgrounds.

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Plus, campsites with patio furniture, pavers, and decorative landscaping are increasing in popularity.

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We are NOT such fancy campers ourselves, so we invited Kate Dunbar of Kate’s Curious Kitchen to come on the show and give us the rundown on glamping. In addition to owning a vintage trailer and an Airstream, Kate is also a professional chef.

Basically she has more style than we could ever dream of.

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She has also has great tips on dressing up the inside and outside of your trailer, and making fabulous meals on the road. Check out her recommendation for a dutch oven cooking blog, Mark’s Black Pot.

Our fancy camping agenda includes discussion of…

  • easy and stylish RV modifications
  • accessories and decor
  • food and meal preparation
  • deluxe campsites

We may set up a couple of camp chairs and call it a day. But you might want to elevate your campground style.

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If so,  you are listening to the right show. This is episode #47: Fancy Camping with Kate Dunbar!

We are delighted to welcome back Go RVing as our RVFTA sponsor. Check out their events page to see what experiential events they have coming up in the next few months.

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Play
26 Jun

RVFTA #41: Campground Smackdown, Public Vs. Private

campground smack down

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are diving into the controversial topic of public versus private campgrounds.

Some people swear by their state parks; some people won’t go anywhere without full hook ups and a waterslide. We will share some of our listeners’ thoughts and a few of our own on the range of campgrounds available out there.

In our featured discussion, we focus on five major differences between public and private campgrounds. This is a real old fashioned smack down, so after talking about each category, we will in fact declare a winner.

Here are the categories for our debate:

1. Price Point
2. Amenities
3. Site Size
4. Natural Beauty
5. Making/Canceling Reservations

Which will emerge as the winner of the great public versus private campground smackdown? You will have to listen to find out!

Also listen to hear tons of our listeners’ and readers’ comments about this debate. It might get a little rowdy, folks, but don’t worry…at the end of the day, we are really just one, big, happy camping family.

And we wrap up episode #41 with a great interview with Greg Gerber, editor of RV Daily Report and Let’s RV. Greg shares his take on some of the newest trends developing in the RV Industry. Listen to hear his thoughts on motor coaches and travel trailers, retirees and millennials.

All of this, and so much more, on Episode 41 of RV Family Travel Atlas, Campground Smackdown: Public vs. Private.

Play
29 May

RVFTA #37: Greetings from Camp Jellystone!

Camp Jellystone Yogi Bear

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are taking an in-depth look at the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts franchise. There are over 80 of these campgrounds across the US, and they are a great option for many RVing families.

Camp Jellystone Yogi Bear

We will talk about the activities and amenities that are available at many Jellystone Parks. From pools and water slides to hay rides and jump pilows, some of these parks are super tricked out for the kids.

However, every Jellystone franchise park is independently operated, so it is important to do your research before making a reservation. The company’s internal ratings system can help you choose the right campground for your family vacation, and we will discuss the ins and outs of navigating the reviews.

For our campground review this week, we will talk about our recent visit to Yogi at Shangri-La, a Jellystone campground in Milton, Pennsylvania. The enclosed play area, pool, playground, and arcade could have kept our boys entertained for the entire weekend. Add in hayrides with the bears, dance parties, and wild water fights…kid nirvana!

This campground has so many of the activities and amenities that make Jellystones family friendly. But there is a huge variety of sites, so listen to our podcast review for recommendations on finding your perfect campground.

And we couldn’t resist throwing in a review of the Yogi Bear classic cartoon box set and the more recent Yogi Bear feature film. These DVDs are fun to watch before, during, and after your visit to a Jellystone. The best part is that the adults and the kids can enjoy them together.

Yogi Bear Show Cartoon

To read about more of our Jellystone camping experiences, check out our articles about our time at the Jellystone Luray, an amazing campground resort in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

And keep an eye on those pic-a-nic baskets, folks.

Play
16 May

RVFTA #35: Beach Camping!

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about Beach Camping. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people are thinking about trying it out. We will discuss all the pros and cons of beach camping along with our tips for making it an enjoyable RV experience.

Plus, we will share our favorite places to beach camp up and down the East Coast along with some listener recommendations. Who is ready for sun, sand and relaxation? We certainly are, and you might find yourself booking that beach camping getaway by the end of this episode.

Tips for Beach Camping Zen

Beach camping can be tough. Many times the campsites are exposed and offer very little shade. The sand and wind drives some campers crazy. What is the secret to having a great time in spite of being a bit more exposed to the elements?

Embrace the RV. One thing we do is get up and enjoy the beach early, take a siesta in the AC during the midday heat, then go back to the beach again in the late afternoon.

Bring along extra swim suits, towels, and clothes. There will be many outfit changes during the day so you should be prepared!

Call the campground to see if there are sites with shade. Avoid booking online to make sure you get the best campsite for your family.

Bring lots of beach toys and equipment. We spend a lot more time at the campground when we are beach camping and it is important for us to have sand toys, paddle ball, wiffle ball, body boards, and bikes.

Always keep a tub of water by the RV. Make sure those lively little campers know how to rinse their feet before going into the camper to avoid tracking in sand!

Embrace the relaxation. When we are beach camping, we embrace the long days of swimming, playing, and bike riding. This is a chance to truly unwind and let the outside world fade away.

Our Favorite Beach Camping Locations

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Here is a list of the campgrounds we mention and recommend in this episode:

Huntington Beach State Park, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach State Carolina, South Carolina

Camp Hatteras, North Carolina

Cape Hatteras KOA, North Carolina

Ocean Waves Campground, North Carolina

Assateague Island State Park, Maryland

Seashore Campsites, Cape May, New Jersey

Holly Shores, Cape May, New Jersey

Atlantic Oaks, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort, MidCoast Maine

Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA, Maine

Listener Recommendations

Erica from Florida recommends Grayton Beach State Park in Grayton Beach, Florida AND the Burley Travoy Urban Bike Trailer that helps them carry all their gear down to the beach!

Grayton Beach State Park

Bike Trailer

Beth recommends Long Key State Park in the Florida Keys.

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And Misty recommends Fort Pickens Campground in Florida.

Thanks to all of our listeners who wrote in about their favorite beach camping locations. Keep the recommendations coming…you can post your favorite beach camping photos to our Facebook page and we will share them on our page!

Enjoy Episode #35 of RV Family Travel Atlas: Beach Camping! And see you at the campground!

Play
13 Apr

Is Summer Calling Your Name? 8 Great Reasons to Camp at the Myrtle Beach KOA

Pull Through Campsite Myrtle Beach KOA

Are you looking for a beach getaway this summer?  Or would you prefer a wooded retreat where you can relax while the kids run free?  Why not have both at the Myrtle Beach KOA?

It took our family awhile to find this magical spot, but now that we have we will go back again and again.  We just returned from our second straight spring break at this unique camping destination and are already talking about heading back in July.  We suspect if you take your next family vacation here, it might be the beginning of a family tradition.  Here are eight reasons why.

1. A Wooded Retreat in the Heart of the City

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Myrtle Beach is big and bold and busy, but the Myrtle Beach KOA is quiet, and fun, and family friendly.  The campground is located right in the heart of the city, but it feels like it’s miles away.  It has all the perfect elements for a family vacation.  Your days can be filled with adventurous activities like zip lining and kayaking, and your nights can be filled with walks on the beach and quiet campfires.

2. Steps from the Beach and Boardwalk

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You can walk right from the campground to a huge miniature golf course less than a block away.  Stroll just one more block and you’ll find yourself at the beach.  Not up for walking?  Just hop on the campground’s beach shuttle and let the staff know when to pick you up.  They will be there waiting. The wild and zany boardwalk with rides, water parks, and go carts is just a few more blocks north.

3. A Jumping Pillow with a View

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As parents with three young children, we spend a lot of our campground time at playgrounds and jumping pillows. So we appreciate a nice view every now and then.  The setting of the jumping pillow at the Myrtle Beach KOA is like something out of a storybook.  Just an FYI–mom and dad did more than just watch the boys on the pillow. We hopped on too.  We don’t believe in the fountain of youth–but this comes pretty darn close.

4.  A Tale of Two Pools (and a Splash Pad)

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After working up a sweat at the jumping pillow, we recommend heading over to one of the two pools or the splash pad.  There is plenty of comfortable seating–so set up camp and jump right in like Max did! On second thought, you might want to use the ladder or stairs.  Not everyone has superpowers like he does, but how you enter the pool doesn’t really matter as long as you get wet!

5. Large Pull Through Sites

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We love the large, staggered,  and semi-private pull through sites.  There was plenty of room for the truck, our 33 foot travel trailer and a play area for the boys.  The sites allowed for socializing with neighbors, but we didn’t feel like we were invading their privacy. Myrtle Beach has many private campgrounds–but you would be hard pressed to find such large shaded sites at any of them.  You would have to head to one of South Carolina’s lovely state parks to find so much wiggle room.

6. Quiet Paved Roads for Scooting and Playing

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The roads at the Myrtle Beach KOA are long and paved.  They are also one way streets with little traffic and safe and conscientious drivers.  Our boys loved to ride their scooters and run up and down the rows–and we felt comfortable letting them.  The best campgrounds we find on our travels allow our children to spread their wings in a safe environment.  Here, Wesley gets ready to take flight.

7. Helpful and Friendly Yellow Shirts

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Let’s keep this simple:  Nicest. Campground. Staff. Ever.

8. Sharing Music, Food, and Fun with Friends

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Strong management, friendly staff, and a beautiful setting adds up to a welcoming and comfortable campground culture. This in turn adds up to a lot of happy campers.  Happy campers who want to meet new people and spend time with old friends.  Happy campers who want to share meals together around a picnic table and break out the corn hole. Happy campers who want to open up their banjo cases and start plucking some Doc Watson or Ralph Stanley as the sun comes down on another day.

Now if you camp at the Myrtle Beach KOA we can’t guarantee that Toby will still be there filling up the evening air with the summery sounds of live bluegrass. But we can guarantee that you’ll meet some great new people.  They’ll probably even ask you to pull up a chair and stay for a while. And you will be happy to oblige.

***

We have been customers of the Myrtle Beach KOA before, and we will be again.  This trip, however, was sponsored by Kampgrounds of America.  Our opinions are always our own. For more information about this campground check out this week’s RVFTA podcast for free in the iTunes store or on our blog.  We interview the general manager, Jeremiah Drew, along with some very happy campers.

Stay tuned for two more great posts about outdoor activities and crazy boardwalk fun right near the campground!

07 Feb

RVFTA #21 Camp Coffee 101

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the art of making great camp coffee.  A morning ritual for so many of us at the campground, there are plenty of opinions about brewing a perfect cup! But we decided to call in an expert for his advice on compact equipment (perfect for camping on or off the grid) and brewing techniques.

Mike Ayars from Turnstile Coffee Roasters in Belmar, NJ invited your co-hosts to his shop for an informative session about what makes specialty coffee so special.  He also walked us through the pros and cons of the French press, the pour over, and the Aeropress.  We wrap up the segment by testing out equipment and sampling fresh roasted coffee–and man oh man was it goooooood!  Turnstile has also generously offered to give away two gift boxes that each contain a trio of coffees from the three major coffee producing regions of the world–enter in the sidebar!

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Here are links to the equipment that we talk about on the show:

Grind

Hario Skerton Hand Mill

Brew

Bodum Chambord French Press 4 Cup

Hario Buono Kettle

Hario V60 Dripper

If you want to read some of our thoughts on camp coffee from over the years, you can visit this post on Jeremy’s great discovery in Cape Cod or this post on Stephanie’s history of coffee.

We also have a great interview with the owners of Inn Town Campground in Nevada City, California which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016. The beautiful location and energetic young proprietors definitely caught our attention.  Their property is deeply wooded and filled with towering pine trees, but only a short walk to downtown.  We can’t wait to visit the finished product!

We also announce our new guest blogging gig for Camp Jellystone, and talk about the seminars that we will be giving at the Atlantic City RV Show next weekend.

All of this, and so much more, on Episode 21 of RV Family Travel Atlas: Camp Coffee 101!

 

 

 

Play
15 Nov

Win a 2-Night Stay at the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA!

Read about why we love this campground so much…and then enter to win your own weekend getaway!

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