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.


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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20 Jul

RVFTA #151 The Rise of the Park Model

Say goodbye to the yesterday’s manufactured home! Today’s seasonal-centric campgrounds are often comfortable and well-appointed RV resorts, filled with residential park models that are packed with creature comforts at affordable price points. Seasonal camping has become more popular than ever. So after you have pulled the trigger on that perfect campground retreat, a park model may not be too far in the future.

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas we are going to take a closer look at this growing segment of RV sales.  Our special guest is Amy Duthie, senior director of product development for Jayco. We invited Amy onto the podcast to educate us about her “Bungalow” line of park models, and this segment of the industry in general. (To learn even more about Amy, click here!)

Amy will answer questions about:

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22 Dec

RVFTA #121 Saying Hello to Our Jayco Octane Superlite Toy Hauler

RV Family Travel Atlas Podcast Episode #121:

Saying Hello to Our Jayco Octane Superlite Toy Hauler

On the last episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we said goodbye to our beloved Jayco White Hawk Travel Trailer, which has taken us on countless adventures over the last 5 years. We gave a complete review of the quad bunkhouse travel trailer, talking about what features worked perfectly for our family of five, and what features drove us absolutely bonkers.

On this episode we are talking about the new rig, a Jayco Octane Superlite 272. This is a toy hauler model, and if you have been following along with the RVFTA podcast, you know we think this is the new family travel trailer. Here is the link to the 360-degree tour available on the Jayco website. You can follow along while listening to the episode if you wish.

First, we talk about why we decided to get a toy hauler as our next RV. We discuss other models we looked at, and share how we finally made our decision and settled on the Octane SL 272.

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15 Dec

RVFTA #120 Saying Goodbye to Our Jayco White Hawk Travel Trailer


Podcast Episode #120:

Saying Goodbye to Our Jayco White Hawk Travel Trailer

Well, the day is finally here. After 5 years, dozens of epic adventures, and hundreds of camping nights, we are finally saying goodbye to our Jayco White Hawk SQB Travel Trailer and trading her in for another rig.

We had a fantastic experience with this trailer, and we are only trading it in because we are entering a new season of RVing with bigger boys and bigger toys.

Read More

29 Sep

RVFTA #108 Say Hello to the Jayco Hummingbird!


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

Read More

18 Aug

RVFTA #102 Greetings from the RV Capital of the World!


On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are heading to the RV Capital of the World: Elkhart County, Indiana. We recently had the opportunity to spend some time visiting the region where 1 out of every 2 RVs is manufactured.

If you are an RV enthusiast, this is a fun stop to put on a travel itinerary. We will talk about the RV/MH Hall of Fame, factory tours, and Amish country treats. We will also talk about some camping options that are available in the area.

Read More

17 Dec

RVFTA #67: Pros and Cons of A Toy Hauler

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are unpacking the pros and cons of a Toy Hauler. Toy Haulers have been around for a while, but they have grown in popularity over the last couple of years.

If you have been shopping for Toy Haulers recently, you may have noticed that they have received a facelift, acquiring residential finishes along with patio decks and tailgating kitchens.

Pros and Cons of a Toy Hauler blog-2

Listen to hear an interview with Mike Aplin, product manager for the Toy Hauler line at Jayco. Mike will tell us all about his Toy Haulers: what he’s designing these days and who is buying the product.

Then we will hash it all out. Why might a Toy Hauler be the perfect option for us? What features give us pause? Might there be one in our near future?

You might think the Toy Hauler is an option for Nascar drivers and bikers. But we here at RVFTA have been considering this type of RV for our own merry band of pirates. You are listening to Episode #67: Pros and Cons of a Toy Hauler.

28 Feb

RVFTA #24: An Ode to the Pop Up Camper

We are really excited about this week’s podcast episode! Our featured segment is an ode to the pop up camper. One of our listeners, Nick, wrote in to tell us exactly why the pop up camper is a PERFECT choice for many families. Nick’s 5 arguments in defense of the pop up were so spot on, we just had to build a podcast around them.

pop up camper allentown KOA

We started out our RV journey 5 years ago by buying a pop up camper, but made the same mistake that many first time buyers do…we paid far too much and then when we wanted to upgrade to a travel trailer, we were under water. So the pop up wasn’t a long term fit for our family, but it may be for yours. Nick’s list is a perfect checklist for our listeners who are trying to decide what to buy. If you want to hear more of our thoughts on the pop up camper you can listen to one of our earliest podcasts, Pros and Cons of a Pop Up Camper.

Of course we couldn’t resist walking down memory lane and revisiting our top 5 pop up camper memories. Although our pop up caused us a lot of trouble, it was also the thing that introduced us to this amazing RV lifestyle. We are forever grateful for joy and adventure it introduced to our young family.

Speaking of pop ups, we were inspired to review the first Maine campground that we ever visited with our young boys. Camden Hills State Park is an absolute treasure and worth a visit no matter what kind of rig you are towing. You can read our original campground review here, and you can visit some of our other Midcoast Maine posts if you need a little bit of traveling inspiration:


Camden Hills



We are also sharing our second walkthrough with a Jayco representative from the Atlantic City RV Show. Megan Hiland took us on a tour of a 2015 Greyhawk Class C motorhome and almost convinced us to ditch our White Hawk and jump into a coach.

All of this…and so much more on Episode 24 of RV Family Travel Atlas: An Ode to the Pop Up Camper!

21 Feb

RVFTA #23: Meet the Girl Campers!

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas we interview Go RVing blogger, girl camper, and all around charm school graduate Janine Pettit. She is a girl camping ambassador and world class storyteller who is “incapable of being boring.” Listen to hear how Janine hooked up with Sisters on the Fly, her favorite campground, and her biggest camping fail ever. We would sit around a campfire with this lovely lady any night of the year!

We are also talking about some of the interesting people that we met at the Atlantic City RV Show: from our podcast listeners, to RV safety experts, to representatives from Jayco’s headquarters in Middlebury, Indiana, we made the rounds and made new friends.

And we convinced the nicest RV rep in America, Tom Wylie, to give us a walk-through tour of the 2015 Jayco White Hawk 28DSBH. After talking to Tom we kinda wanna upgrade to a new 2015. It was pretty sweet!

Don’t forget to check out our interview on this week’s episode of Roadtreking, a podcast by journalist Mike Wendland. We chatted with Mike about why we do what we do with our children and some of our recommendations for taking kids and grandkids on the road.

And we are hanging out as guest bloggers over the Camp Jellystone blog! Our post this week is about fun activities in the Luray, Virginia area. Next up? The perfect day in Shenandoah National Park.

All of this and so much more on episode 23 of RV Family Travel Atlas: Meet the Girl Campers.


27 Jun

A Perfect Day on Cape Cod Bay (First Encounter Beach, Eastham)

Cape Cod, where have you been all of our lives?  It’s hard to believe that we have never had the pleasure of walking your windswept beaches, bicycling along your wooded paths, and swimming in your sparkling bay.  But it’s our fault Cape Cod.  The Siren Song of the South has called us away for too many summers.  So it’s time to make up for lost time.  The Lively Little Campers apologize for neglecting you for so long.  Will you still welcome us into your sunburnt arms?


Today we headed over to First Encounter Beach in Eastham–and it was near heaven.  This historic beach is called First Encounter because its sandy shore was where the Pilgrims first set eyes on Native Americans.  We arrived near high tide and set up a slightly less historical camp in the sand.



And we played for a while as we like to do.  After lunch the sun warmed up and the wind died down.  So we headed into Cape Cod Bay for a surprisingly comfortable swim.



As the tide dropped and the sea grass emerged from underwater the bay began to show off its most brilliant summer colors.  Cape Cod, I almost felt as if you were showing off just for us! Welcoming us into your waters as if we were long lost friends.




Cape Cod, once you made us feel so warm and welcome we decided to tear down fort kayak and go for a paddle, or two, or three.  Everyone but Wes had a chance to man or woman the oars.





The bay sounded like it was singing all day long.  And it felt so good to be skimming across your water and kicking up your sand. It was not just another day at the beach.  At dead low tide we put the kayak aside and soaked up all of your salty beauty.


So thank you First Encounter Beach.  Thank you Cape Cod Bay.  Thank you family.  Life can occasionally delight us with perfect days. Today was one of them.






16 Jun

Celebrating Mom and Supporting KOA’s Care Camps

This article originally appeared in the Jayco Journal.

When you own an RV, planning your next family adventure is always part of the fun.  But should you go somewhere new or return to a place that you love? Our family has camped in eight different states, and we hope to travel to all fifty.  So whenever we hit the road with our White Hawk, we usually prefer exploring new destinations. However, there are certain campgrounds that call us back again and again.  The Philadelphia/West Chester KOA is one of those special places.  It is the home of our family’s favorite camping tradition.  Here’s why:


1. It is a perfect place to spend Mother’s Day weekend. This KOA, which is owned and operated by Gary and Lori Levesque, is a wonderful setting for spending quality time together while celebrating Mom.  They have a shady playground, an open field for sports, a gem mining station, and a miniature golf course.  But most importantly, the idyllic Brandywine River meanders across the southwest side of the property.  This river is perfect for fishing with little kids or for taking mom on a long Mother’s Day canoe ride.  The banks of this historic river are filled with red-winged blackbirds and American golden finches, and the water is usually crystal clear and perfect for a brisk swim.  The Philadelphia/West Chester KOA is close enough for a weekend getaway–but once we dip our oars into the Brandywine we feel like we are a world away from home.


2. We love supporting KOA’s Care Camps charity.  Mother’s Day weekend always coincides with KOA’s Care Camps weekend.  Four years ago we came for the free night of camping, but now we return to support this inspiring charity.  Each spring participating KOA campgrounds and their campers raise money to “send children with cancer to medically supervised camps where they have a great time in the great outdoors.”  Pretty easy to get behind that cause, right?  It was for us.  The Care Camps charity began in 1984 when donations for six camps totaled $7,100.  This year $800,000 was raised to support 52 different camps across the country.  The Levesques helped raise money by, among other things, selling Care Camps t-shirts and throwing an ice cream social with live music at their Liberty Lodge.  We did our part by polishing off some of that tasty ice cream and leaving with a bag full of new t-shirts.  This charitable aspect of our family tradition gives us an opportunity to teach our boys that they can help others and have fun doing it.


3. Longwood Gardens is a hop, a skip, and a jump away.  You could spend the entire weekend right on the grounds of this delightful KOA, but then you would miss Longwood Gardens, which is a short drive away from the campground and makes for a perfect day trip. It is the former home of Pierre S. DuPont, and is truly one of our country’s great horticultural treasures. The highlight for us is always the magical Indoor Children’s Garden.  Our boys love to get wet in one of the many kid-friendly fountains and then run through the bamboo maze and bang on the xylophones at the music station.  Mom and Dad have wizened up over the years and now we make sure to bring towels and extra clothes for the kids.  When a camping destination becomes a family tradition you are given the opportunity to perfect your approach–and we definitely have more fun each year during Care Camps weekend.


4. It’s a great place to bring family and friends.  We are big believers in sharing the joy of RVing with our friends and extended family, and we also believe in letting our favorite family traditions grow and change.  The Philadelphia/West Chester KOA is one of those super friendly campgrounds that has a very welcoming atmosphere.  So this year we brought Max and Theo’s godmother along and she contributed to the trip in spades.  When our twins found out that she was coming, they told her that she would have to be on best behavior while at the campground.  I’m happy to report that she was.  She made sausages for dinner, read the boys books before bedtime, and started up a baseball game right in front of our campsite.  She threw all strikes.  We definitely plan on saving her a bunk for next year’s trip.


Are you hoping to start a new family camping tradition?  If so, find a campground that your family will love returning to for generations to come.  Why not try a KOA during Care Camps weekend?  Your family will help raise money for a worthy cause and you’ll get to celebrate Mom, everyone’s favorite camper.  Take her out for an invigorating hike and a canoe ride on a sparkling river.  Instead of buying her a bouquet, surround her with gardens of beautiful flowers.  She won’t miss brunch a bit.






02 Jun

Our First Taste of Summer in the Skylands: Camp Taylor, Northwest NJ

When the Lively Little Campers Go RVing in our home state of New Jersey we either go South to Cape May for the beach and boardwalk or North to the Skylands Region for mountains and deep woods.  We closed out last season at  Seashore Campsites in our beloved Cape May so we decided to head back to Camp Taylor in the Skylands Region for our most recent family adventure.  Camp Taylor promises the “genuine outdoor experience” and it delivers on that promise in a major way.  The campground consists of 400 acres of lush and lovely woods that are adjacent to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Appalachian Trail.  If you live in New Jersey and want to escape the insanity of the everyday, I can think of no better place.


Our water/electric site (#70) was large and private and a quiet stream wound its way through the campground just behind our White Hawk.  The water was clear and cold and the boys spent time playing in it every morning before we headed out for each day’s activities.  It also made for a great spot to drink your morning coffee and try to remember your favorite quotes from Emerson and Thoreau.  On Saturday morning a large deer darted past our campsite and across the stream before disappearing into the thick, green woods.

Our sites were also located near a pretty pond complete with a small beach and swimming area.  Unfortunately, there was no fishing allowed.  It would have been a perfect spot to relax and cast a line.



Thankfully, our camping buddies brought us to a secret spot nearby that was stocked with sunfish and bass.  All of the kids caught something there and they had a blast.  Sorry.  I can’t tell you where this spot is.  It’s on private property and we were blindfolded on the way in and made to learn a secret handshake and swear a secret oath.

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The only other minor disappointment at Camp Taylor was the almost complete lack of a playground.  We totally loved the “genuine outdoor experience” and will return again at some point soon–but our little campers could have used some swings and slides for mornings and evenings at the campground.

But who really needs a playground or a fishing pond when you can dance with the wolves?  Camp Taylor is also the home of the Lakota Wolf Preserve–which you can hike up to for an educational tour right from your campsite.  You can also hear the wolves howling at night as you sit around your campfire.



The area around Camp Taylor is filled with great options for outdoors adventure. We hiked and fished and swam.  It was a long and lovely weekend, and it gave us that first taste of summer that always leaves you wanting more.



13 May

Big News, Folks: The Lively Little Campers Are Writing for the Jayco Journal!

The Lively Little Campers just spent another beautiful Mother’s Day weekend at the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA, where we enjoyed some annual family traditions and also discovered some new regional treasures.

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For those of you following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you got a sneak peak at the fun we had during our fourth stay in this beautiful area.

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Normally we would be telling you all about it in our blog posts this week. But this time, we have to keep some things under wraps.  Why, you may ask?

Well, let us tell you…

We are so excited to announce that we will be sharing our story of this past weekend on the Jayco Journal! For those of you not in the know, Jayco is the nation’s largest family-owned and operated manufacturer of RVs. They have just launched a new website, and we are thrilled to be contributing content to their blog.

We bought our White Hawk two years ago and have spent 75 nights camping in it. We absolutely love it, and we also love Jayco’s Brand Promise, Generations of Family Fun. You can check out this video on YouTube to learn more about it. If you want the whole story, the longer version is (of course) our personal favorite. After watching it, you will definitely want to get on the road and create new and exciting memories with your own family.

Our first article on the Jayco Journal will be posted toward the end of May. We will be sharing a bit more about how we became a Jayco family, along with articles on building family traditions and finding great family activities no matter where you are traveling. Follow the Journal throughout the month of June to read all of our articles.

And remember to subscribe to our eNewsletter. In addition to receiving a weekly email with great tips for family travel, you will also get the first announcement when our stories are up on the Jayco Journal.

And as always, thanks for joining us on this amazing adventure!

16 Mar

My Airstream Daydream: I Heart Stephanie But Does She Heart Me?

About a month ago we headed south on the Parkway to destroy some White House subs and attend the Atlantic City RV show.  It was freezing cold outside–so the combo of classic roadfood and indoor motorhome window shopping made for a great day.  We strolled up and down the aisles and checked out some ridiculously sweet Class A’s and Class C’s.

Theo really liked this one.  I still can’t figure out why…


He also really liked this 40 foot Class A…


But he was shocked when I told him the price.  The poor kid doesn’t even get an allowance yet…


While Theo was fascinated by the big rigs I was seduced by the glitzy, glittery glamour of the sensationally silver Airstreams.  So I stepped into one.  And was immediately overwhelmed by a memory from somewhere deep in my camping subconscious.



Stephanie and I went on our first tent camping trip to Assateague Island about twenty years ago.  We had just started dating.  We had both been there separately, and loved it dearly, but had never been there together.  So we did what most teenagers would have done. We invited all of our friends.  About four of them said yes immediately.  But on the night of departure three of them cancelled.  So that left Stephanie and I heading south on an oh so romantic camping trip…with my buddy Chris riding shotgun.

The trip started out disastrously.  We arrived on a late summer evening to discover that the campground was totally full.  They didn’t take reservations back then.  We were totally bummed.  So we drove around the Ocean City area until we found a campground with an open site.  By the time we found one it was late and we were cranky.  Stephanie was especially cranky.  To make things worse, I had no idea how to set up my new tent.  While Chris and I wrestled with it in the dark, Stephanie paced, cursed, and wondered aloud why I hadn’t practiced opening it at home.  On a more profound level she was probably wondering how she ever ended up camping with two such nincompoops.  Eventually we all fell asleep in the tent with me in the middle.

Sometime after midnight I woke to the sound of Chris’s roaring, cacophonous, coyote-like laughter.  It sounded like he was laughing into a megaphone.  Why?  Because I had rolled over in my sleep and wrapped my arm around him like he was my security blanket, my favorite childhood teddy, and my momma on a stormy night all rolled up into one.  While Chris woke up the entire campground, I rolled over, put my arm around Stephanie, and immediately fell back to sleep.  It had been a long day.

When we woke up the next morning and started packing my Pontiac LeMans we realized that everyone was staring at us.  We also noticed that the campground was a total dump.  We hightailed it out of there and lined up for a campsite back at Assateague–and, thank God, we got one.  While we were setting up our tent again (a bit more quickly this time) I noticed a married couple on the site next to us sitting under the awning of a beautiful, silver, super-sexy Airstream Travel Trailer. They were sipping cocktails and looking so relaxed. So sleek. So happy. Like a Viagra commercial.  And there I was, struggling with my tent again, and getting ready to spend another romantic night with Stephanie–and Chris.

I had a profound realization at that moment.  I already knew that I wanted to spend my life with Stephanie.  But I didn’t know that I wanted to spend my life RVing with her.  I wanted us to be that couple one day.  We would buy an Airstream and see America.

Well, three kids later the Airstream hasn’t happened.  But the RVing has–in spades. You see, Airstreams are not really the best option for campers with kids.  And that’s okay.  I love our Jayco Travel Trailer.  I love Max, Theo, and Wes.  And I love Stephanie.  I have really found my bliss.  As we were checking out that Airstream at the Atlantic City RV Show I asked Stephanie if she remembered that first camping trip with Chris.  She said “yes.”  I asked her if she could picture us traveling the backroads of America one day towing a sweet Airstream like this one?  She said “well, maybe…”  I was completely flummoxed.  Why the heck not?  Because, according to her, and I quote,  “you have to really love each other to travel in an Airstream.”


Feeling a bit hurt I asked her what she meant.  “There’s not a lot of room in here,” she replied.  I looked around at the relatively cramped quarters of the Airstream and understood her perfectly.

Some marriages are meant for slide outs.  And bunk houses.  And that’s just fine with me.




20 Feb

Thinking About Buying a Pop-Up Camper? Consider This…

Stephanie and I often joke that buying our first pop up camper was the best and worst decision that we ever made.  When we say that we really mean that entering into the RVing lifestyle was a profoundly awesome decision for our family–but we bought the wrong pop up camper.  We bought a shiny new unit with all of the bells and whistles for over ten thousand dollars–when we probably should have bought a used one for two or three thousand dollars.  Don’t get me wrong–our camper had a bathroom, stereo, air conditioner, large slide out, hot water heater, kitchenette etc, etc, etc, and in many ways it was pretty awesome.


CanonPhotoDump 1009

So what was the problem?  Well, we loved RVing so much that we started to camp a lot, and we started to take longer and longer trips.  After spending 16 days in Vermont and Maine on a four stop trip we realized that all of the setting up and breaking down was eating up a lot of precious vacation time.  Eventually, we decided to sell the pop up camper and buy a travel trailer.  Unfortunately, we owed more on the camper than it was worth. This is common when you buy an RV with a long term loan and sell it too quickly.  Just like with an auto loan, those early payments are mostly interest–and RV values depreciate more quickly than car and truck values.  Live and learn, right?


So that’s why I wished we bought a used one–so that we would have been better prepared for the highly desired upgrade two years later.  You see, an awful lot of RVers start out with a pop camper, fall in love with camping and traveling, and move up into larger units–and that’s why it’s wise to start with a used unit and pay cash–not because you won’t use the camper, but because you will, and you may want to upgrade very quickly.

Two of our friends, who have become our close camping buddies, took this approach when they purchased their first pop up camper.  They found a used unit, in great shape, at a great price.  They also fell in love with RVing, but when they eventually sold their little Jayco pop up after almost two years they actually made a profit.  So, I would recommend that you buy a used unit, or a less expensive one than we bought.  But, as you can see, the memories we made in our first camper were absolutely priceless.


When I was young my grandfather often told me that he did not spend enough time with his children when they were growing up–and he told me not to make the same mistake.  Well, I can confidently say that I am not making that mistake. I think that our decision to purchase a pop up, and then a travel trailer, has played a major role in bringing our family close together over the past four years.

So the best advice I can give you is this: if your thinking about buying a pop up camper but having some doubts, put them aside and buy one.  Here are ten great reasons to take the plunge:

1. Campgrounds are much cheaper than hotels.

2. Campgrounds usually have more family-friendly activities than hotels.

3.  You save tons of money by making your own meals instead of eating out in restaurants.

4. You can put your kids to bed and hang out around a campfire instead of setting up a mini bar in the hotel bathroom.

5.  Sleeping in a pop up camper on a cool fall night is heaven itself.

6.  Your bed is your bed.  A stranger did not sleep in it the night before, and the night before that, and the night before that.  You get the point.

7. Closer and easier access to nature: hiking, swimming, canoeing–all of God’s creation is waiting outside your door.

8.  It is acceptable for children to run around and scream at a campground–at a hotel? Not so much.

9.  If I can figure out how to back the darn thing up, then you can too…

10.  You will meet other campers.  And campers are happy people.  You will be happy, too.