02 Mar

RVFTA #131 Who is Ready to Go RVing?

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about current RV buyers. The RV industry has been breaking sales records for the last few years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. We have all heard that the average RV buyer is getting younger, and perhaps more adventurous.

But seriously, who is buying all these RVs?

We decided to go to the source, and reached out to the RVIA, which recently commissioned Nielsen to complete a study of current owners and potential RV buyers. Karen Redfern, Senior Director of Marketing Communications returns to the show to talk about what the RVIA plans to do with all this great data they collected.

Segment One

In the first segment, we discuss the data gathered about current RV owners, many of whom are researching or shopping for their next rig. We chat about:

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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

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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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…

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.

Outside Gear Bar Harbor Acadia

See you at the campground!

Check out our other blog posts on the Scenic Route

GoRVing

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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18 Feb

RVFTA #76: Camp Photography 101

Camp Photography 101 blog

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, Camp Photography 101, we are talking about upping your photography game. We have gone from a point and click family to one that carts around lenses and tripods.

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29 Dec

The Wall Street Journal’s Take on the RV Industry. Right, or Wrong?

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The Wall Street Journal recently published a feature about the state of the RV industry that was interesting, and very much worth reading, but somewhat flawed in its perspective.

RV Sales Revive, but Without Frills (WSJ, Dec. 23, 2015)

The article’s first sentence declares that “Americans are buying recreational vehicles at the fastest rate in more than a decade.” Then the author, James R. Hagerty, quickly pivots and writes that “Unfortunately for RV makers, many are hitting the road in smaller, less expensive models.” I find his use of the word “unfortunately” to be unfortunate.

For which RV makers is this unfortunate? After all, not every RV maker is building large, expensive, class A diesel pushers.  Trust me on this, there are plenty of manufacturers who are mighty happy that Americans are buying “smaller, less expensive models.”  One of the hottest companies in the industry right now is called Little Guy Worldwide. Hagerty is also only totally right about the “less expensive” part. If you’ve been to a campground lately you’ve probably seen plenty of towables over 30 feet–and yes–most of them are inexpensive when compared to motorhomes–but not much smaller.

Hagerty’s feature consistantly implies that the RV Industry’s breathtaking comeback is deeply flawed because its customers want light and cheap.  I concede that the comeback has not been as great for those companies who focus on luxury and luxury only, but for the rest of the industry, life is good. They are not reluctantly making lighter and cheaper rigs, they are building them with complete intentionality.  This is the comeback that they planned, not the flawed comeback that the Wall Street Journal sees.

During the recession the major RV manufacturers intentionally sought to build smaller and lighter units that could be towed by the family SUV or minivan. And guess what? Those units are selling like hotcakes. When the general public thinks about RV’s they often think about blinged out motorhomes. But 90 percent of RV’s sold are towable units, many of which cost less than $20,000.

So why else are Americans gravitating towards smaller and cheaper rigs?  Because an increasing number of younger people are buying RV’s, and they are buying what they can afford–not what the Wall Street Journal wants them to be able to afford.  Many younger buyers (think millennials) also want to keep things simple and keep their footprints smaller. More power to them.

I am POSITIVE that the RV industry is thrilled about the decreasing age of RV ownership. In fact, they are doing the happy dance.  Have you seen a Go RVing commercial on television or social media? These ads are very deliberately courting younger buyers–and the RV industry knows that they are going to purchase smaller rigs.  However, the article implies that many older buyers are also making the decision to go smaller and lighter. If this is the case, then most of the industry is certainly making up those lost margins with increased volume. The RV manufacturers are playing the long game–and they are winning.

But it seems to me like everyone is winning right now.  Consumers have a wide variety of models to choose from and they are competitively priced. Manufacturers have more customers than they have had in a decade, and those customers are younger, and will probably make more total RV purchases in their lives than previous generations.

But who is the biggest winner in this new golden age of RVing? It might just be the campground industry.  All of those shiny new RV’s are going to be heading  to America’s campgrounds in record numbers next summer. Best make your reservations now.

What are your thoughts about this Wall Street Journal article on the RV Industry? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.  

                                                                                                                    Best-Jeremy

 

 

 

10 Dec

RVFTA #66: Greetings from the National RV Trade Show

 

National RV Trade Show

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are giving our listeners the scoop on the 2015 National RV Trade Show hosted by the RVIA last week in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Just what is this show all about? Kevin Broom, Director of Media Relations for the RVIA will fill you in.

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17 Jul

RVFTA #44: Greetings from the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the second stop on our Great Smoky Mountains summer tour. We left North Carolina and headed over to the Tennessee side of our country’s most visited national park. Listen to hear about the drives, hikes, and attractions that we discovered in the busiest, most popular part of the park.

The podcast includes information on:

  • Cades Cove
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
  • Trillium Gap Trail
  • Grotto Falls
  • Chimneys Picnic Area
  • Clingmans Dome

You will also hear a complete review of the Townsend KOA and an interview with the manager, Mark Chipperfield. Find out why this might be the perfect spot for you if you are looking for a quiet area not too far away from the hustle and bustle of Gattlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

For more images of this campground, check out our blog post from last week, which also includes the details of many area activities.

In case you missed it, last week’s episode was all about the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take a listen to episode #43 and read this blog post for the scoop on Cherokee.

And in our most exciting news of the week, we are welcoming Go RVing as our first RVFTA sponsor. We think they are the perfect partner, since their mission is educating people about the phenomenal benefits of the RV lifestyle. We are talking about their Compare RVs tool on this episode and want YOU to go over, try it out, and tell us what RV you SHOULD have by emailing us, visiting us on Facebook, or leaving a comment below!

We will try to mediate any marital disputes that arise.

We are on the RVFTA summer road trip and you are listening to Episode #44: Greetings from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee!

 

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12 Jun

RVFTA #39: To Rally Or Not To Rally?

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On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the good ole fashioned RV Rally. These are wildly popular among some segments of the RVing population…but with Gen Xers and the Millenials? Not so much.

Well, we hosted our first rally a couple of weeks ago and everyone had a wonderful time. It got us thinking…will the younger generation of RVers reinvent the rally to suit a different style of travel and socializing? We will talk about our experience at the RVFTA rally and how it changed our thinking on this topic.

Lake in Wood Campground hosted the #RVFTA rally a few weeks ago, and you couldn’t find a better place for group camping. We give a complete campground review of this amazing resort location.

lake in wood campground

And Stephanie got to hang out at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY last week with a bunch of Sisters on the Fly and their vintage travel trailers.

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vintage trailer inside

They’ve got this whole group camping thing down to a science and we asked a few of them to share why rallies are so meaningful to them. Listen to hear Susie Q from Be Back Soon Love Mom, and Janine Pettit’s camping sister Carol share their thoughts on rallying.

country living panel

Plus, Stephanie flies solo for an interview with Courtney Robey, Marketing Communications Manager at GoRving. Listen to hear all about their new media campaigns and experiential projects designed to reach a younger generation of RVer.

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All of this and so much more on Episode 39 of RV Family Travel Atlas: To Rally or Not to Rally?

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