27 Mar

Making the RV Bed: Sleeping as Comfortably on the Road as You Do at Home

Jayco Whitehawk Master Bedroom

When we bought our first travel trailer, we made two big rookie mistakes:

  1. We went out and bought discount store, cheap bed-in-a-bag sheets and blankets for all our beds.
  2. We slept on the original RV mattress for over three years.

Now think about this. We had invested in a brand new, bunkhouse travel trailer in order to have the comforts of home while we were on the road and at the campground. But then for some reason, we skimped on the beds and bedding.

This makes zero sense, folks.

We just accepted that we would come home from our extended trips with achy backs and necks.

And then the light bulb went off.

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05 Feb

The Best Bang for Our Buck: Cabela’s Hooded Sweatshirts

Product Review: Cabela’s Hooded Sweatshirts

When Cabela’s reached out to us last year and asked if we would test camping gear, we honestly didn’t know a lot about their products. We did know, however, that they had a great reputation for value and quality, so we were happy to join their Pro Staff and start some testing.

Nine months later and we understand exactly why Cabela’s has earned such a devoted following among outdoor sports enthusiasts. We’ve totally hopped on the bandwagon, and have been happy to review many of their quality products on our RV Family Travel Atlas podcast.

So I decided it was time to write a review of the item that has most impressed me since we visited our first Cabela’s store back in June of 2016. It’s not the ice maker or the smoker or the cast iron starter set. It’s not the hiking backpack, life vests, or Gortex raincoats. (Although you know I love those, too!)

It’s the branded hoodies.

Seriously.

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25 Nov

RVFTA 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for the RV Enthusiast

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Photo credit: Hector Garcell

The RVFTA Holiday Gift Guide is here!!!

The RVFTA 2016 Holiday Gift Guide podcast episode is out and it is definitely bigger and better than ever. This year we broke down our guide into 5 segments: Stocking Stuffers, Just for Kids, Grownup RV Fanatics, Best of the Gear Guides, and Our Personal Wish Lists.


Listen to the episode to hear all the details about why we chose each item. Then click on the links below to order!

rvfta-2016-holiday-gift-guide

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14 Apr

RVFTA #84 Becoming a Weekend Warrior, Part Two with Fireside Provisions

Becoming A Weekend WarriorPart Two-2

On this week’s episode we are giving you even more tools to become a fierce RV Weekend Warrior. Our listeners are constantly telling us that they want to camp more. Last week on Episode #83, we gave you 7 ways you could fit in more camping with as little fuss as possible.

Well, this week we are talking about the food. It can be the most time consuming part of a quick weekend trip, but we have ways you can eat well without slaving over a camp stove. First, we will share our 5 tips for making food prep easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy on quick weekend trips.

listen on iTunes

Then we have a fantastic interview with Kip Clifton, Founder and CEO of Fireside Provisions, a food delivery service for campers like you who want to make a fast getaway on a Friday afternoon and still eat well at the campground. We are in love with this company, and can’t wait to share an awesome resource for Weekend Warriors.

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07 Apr

5 More Outdoor Gear Recommendations from the RVFTA Forum!

Outside Gear Bar Harbor Acadia

We are wrapping up our Spring Gear Guide bonanza with 5 more recommendations for the outside of your RV. On Episode #80: 2016 Spring Gear Guide Part 2, we shared all our recommendations for outdoor RV products including propane level checks, sewer hoses, outdoor rugs, and shoes.

Now it’s time to share some great stuff from our forum experts. There are over 250 posts in our Gear and Gadgets forum, and you can scroll through them all here.

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17 Mar

RVFTA #80: 2016 Spring Gear Guide, Part 2

RVFTA 2016 Spring Gear Guide, Part 2

This spring we couldn’t fit all of our gear recommendations into a single episode, so we spread it out over two weeks. If you missed Part 1 with all of our indoor RV products, you can check them out here.

On Episode #80, the Spring Gear Guide, Part 2, we are focusing on the great outdoors. From setting up a comfortable base camp to keeping your trailer safe and secure, we have a whole host of quality products that will make your RV travels even more enjoyable.

listen on iTunes

Plus, we are sharing a great interview with Elden Wood, Vice President of Marketing for Truma. This company makes the AquaGo hybrid instant water heater, which provides campers with endless hot water in their RVs.

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10 Mar

RVFTA #79: 2016 Spring Gear Guide, Part 1

RVFTA 2016 Spring Gear Guide, Part 1

It’s finally here! The 2016 Spring Gear Guide got so big that we split it into two episodes. This week we present Part One, sharing all of our favorite new goodies for the inside of the camper. Decorative pillows, appliances, and books…if it promises to make the RV experience a little easier, prettier, or more educational, we tracked it down over the long, cold winter.

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23 Feb

Shopping IKEA: Your Budget RV Superstore

ikea

I know when you think about stocking your RV, IKEA is not the first place that comes to mind.

But it should be.

With over 40 stores in the United States, there is probably an IKEA within driving distance of your home. And if you need to purchase products for your RV–kitchen gear, organizing tools, bed linens, and bath accessories–a day trip to IKEA should probably be on your calendar.

Growing up in a (maybe) once-a-year camping household, I witnessed a common phenomena. Whenever a new gadget arrived in the kitchen, the old one would get shuffled off to the camping bins stacked in the garage. That wobbly can opener might not have been good for daily use, but it would do just fine for that one long camping weekend in September.

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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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18 Sep

RVFTA #54: 2015 Fall Gear Guide!

RVFTA 2015 Fall Gear Guide

On Episode #54, we are sharing our favorite RV products in RVFTA’s 2015 Fall Gear Guide! Hiking, biking, cooking, eating, and playing games…we have affordable recommendations for everything you do while traveling in your RV. Have your own favorite fall gear items? Please share in the comments below! And don’t forget to enter our first GEAR GUIDE GIVEAWAY, a Camp Casual 5 Piece Kid’s Dish Set, in the sidebar Contest Hopper ———>>>>>.

Apparel

1. Keen Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe

Keens Voyageur

2. Men’s New Balance Mid Country Walkers

mens new balance mid country walkers

3. LL Bean Kids’ Fleece-Lined Camp Hoodie

ll bean fleece lined camp hoodie

Cooking and Food

4. Nutri Ninja Auto IQ

Nutri Ninja Auto IQ

5. Weber Q 1000 (Stephanie’s Pick of the Show!)

Weber Q 1000

6. Raw Spice Bar Subscription

Raw Spice Bar

7. Toas-Tite Tidbit

Toas-Tite TidBit

8. Camp Casual Kid’s 5 Piece Dish Set

Camp Casual 5 piece dish set

Bikes and Biking Gear

9. Trek Shift 1 Bike

Trek Shift 1

10. Trek Verve 1 Bike

Trek Verve 1

11. Thule RideAlong Kids’ Bike Seat

Thule RideAlong Kids Seat

12. Strider Sport 12″ Balance Bike

Strider Balance Bike

Games

13. Swish by ThinkFun

Swish by ThinkFun

14. Jumbo Checker Rug Game (Jeremy’s Pick of the Show!)

Jumbo checker game

We wish you a very happy 2015 fall camping season! If you use any of these recommendations, please drop us a line and let us know how you liked them. Also check out our 2015 Spring Gear Guide and our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide if you are looking for some additional gear ideas!

12 May

Unboxing the MyMayu Boots for Toddlers and Kids

MyMayu Boots

Our boys want out of the RV the second they wake up in the morning. We pretty much have to sit on them until campground quiet hours end at 8 am. Then BANG, the camper door slams open and the day has begun.

Anyone who camps knows that no matter how beautiful the weather, the ground is usually wet in the morning. We have struggled with this problem for years. If we put on the boys’ sneakers, then the shoes end up being wet for the day. If we let them run barefoot, their feet get filthy and need to be washed. Ugh.

The MyMayu kid’s boots are the perfect solution to this problem. They are not snow boots and they are not rain boots. They are play boots. A child can easily do any activity while wearing them that he or she might normally do, like kicking a ball, playing on the playground, or climbing on picnic tables.

Another bonus? They pack down practically flat unlike traditional rain and snow boots.

The company says that these are 3-season boots, emphasizing that they are not meant to be warm snow boots. However, if you live in a temperate region with little snow fall and mild winter temperatures, you could easily use these boots year round along with the inserts that are available for purchase.

If you live in a coastal region like we do, there is another great use for the MyMayu boots. You know when the weather is nice enough for a stroll along the water, but the temperature of the ocean is still freezing? Problem solved. Kids can explore the water’s edge while keeping their feet nice and dry.

For more information about the MyMayu play boots, watch Stephanie’s YouTube review below. Or listen to our Spring Gear Guide podcast. As always, we love to hear your feedback if you try these out. Send us an email, or take a picture and hashtag us at RVTA on Instagram.

Happy exploring!

 

07 May

Unboxing the Toas-Tite Sandwich Grill

toas-tite product review

If you listened to our Spring Gear Guide Podcast, you know that Jeremy’s pick for best in show was the Toas-Tite. As soon as we started experimenting with this campfire cooking toy, we just couldn’t stop ourselves.

toas-tite

I’m going to admit it…we even had Toas-Tite tuna melts last night for dinner. And then there was the night we had Reubens. Oh, and the breakfast burritos…

breakfast burritos toas-tite

Trust us, this little cast aluminum treasure can be addicting.

Check out our most recent YouTube Unboxing of the Toas-Tite for all the details about this great item for the RV:

And make sure to check out our other Unboxing videos on our YouTube Channel! You might find some additional items to add to your RV shopping list.

02 May

RVFTA #33: RV Season Stock Up!!!

RV Season Stock Up

On episode #33 of RVFTA we are talking about stocking the RV for camping season. People across the country are getting their rigs ready for spring, summer, and fall and we want to talk about some items, from paper products to cleaning supplies, that you should stock up on right now. Stephanie did a write up of several of these items on the blog a few weeks back–check it out here.

rv stock up info graphic

Wanna turn heads at the campground this summer? We have some exciting news to share on the apparel front! For a limited time only (until May 13th) we are taking orders for high quality t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, and tanks! Head over to teespring.com and place your order before its too late!

We are also thrilled to announce the release of our first ebook! Our Acadia National Park Adventure Guide is available wherever ebooks are sold and you can buy it for the price of a beverage at Starbucks.

And we are excited to welcome back Brett Neilson, our western correspondent from the beautiful state of Utah. This time he is telling us about a gorgeous state park that is a favorite for his family. We also get to hear about his off the grid RV adventures on the Salt Flats of Utah.

Who won the totally awesome toas-tite sandwich grills? And how can you win the coolest flashlight ever invented? You will have to listen to find out!

All of this and so much more on Episode 33 of RV Family Travel Atlas: RV Season Stockup!!!

30 Apr

Unboxing the Spring Gear Guide: Night Stick Dual Light with Dual Magnets

Night Stick Dual Light with Dual Magnets

On podcast Episode #31, the Spring Gear Guide, we reviewed over a dozen products that we highly recommend for the RVing family.

Then we realized that even though we write about these products and talk about these products, people still want to see them in action.

Enter YouTube.

We started publishing short, simple unboxing videos last week, showing off the Camp Casual 12-piece dish set.

This week we are moving onto another product, the Night Stick Dual Light with Dual Magnets. The price point of almost $30 can seem expensive, so in this video Jeremy is reviewing the great selling features.

The Night Stick Dual Light with Dual Magnets is a traditional flashlight with the added bonus of a flood light, magnets, clip, bright orange color, and waterproof exterior.

Watch Jeremy’s YouTube review in order to see each one of these features demonstrated!

 

24 Apr

RVFTA #32: Camp Food Rules!

Camp Food rules

On Episode #32 of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are dishing on how we manage to feed our crew while traveling over 40 days a year in our RV. Listen to hear our 5 rules for Camp Food!

We love to eat, but planning, preparing, and cooking while on the road with the little guys can be a challenge. We talked about this topic during our presentations for GS Media, and it always started tons of conversations. So on this episode, you’ll discover the camp food rules that we have come up with over the last five years to keep bellies full and bodies healthy.

A sneak peak at the rules…

Eat outside whenever possible.

Eat Outside

Make pancakes breakfast a special occasion, not a regular event.Pancake breakfast

Go ahead…reward the kids for being great travelers.camp store ice cream

We also have a great interview with one of the founders of the Toas-Tite, a product we included in our Spring Gear Guide episode last week. Jan tells us all about the history behind this camp cooking gem, and shares some of her favorite Toas-Tite Recipes.

ToasTite

Fair warning, you WILL have the munchies after this segment.

And for our recommendation of the week, we are talking about a TV show that keeps Jeremy up late at night, Rollin’ on TV. If you need your fix of RV news and info in between listening to our podcast each week, this is the place to go.

One of the co-hosts of Rollin’ On TV, Evanne Schmarder, is also the awesome camp chef from RV Cooking show who always has great tips for making fresh, delicious dishes in an RV kitchen.

All of this, and so much more on Episode #32 of RV Family Travel Atlas, Camp Food Rules!
[contesthopper contest=”4864″]

22 Apr

Unboxing the Spring Gear Guide: Camp Casual 12-Piece Dish Set

Camp Casual 12-piece dish set

So sometimes we feel that writing about products and talking about products just doesn’t quite satisfy our audience. You all want to see the gear we are recommending, right?

So in walks the RV Family Travel Atlas YouTube channel. Yup, it now exists…so head on over and check us out.

We are going to keep it pretty simple: unboxing the products that we review on our blog and podcast, showing how we use gear at the campground, and demonstrating our simple tips and tricks for practical things like cooking and organizing the RV.

We decided to start out by unboxing a product that we reviewed months ago on our podcast. We fell in love with the Camp Casual 12-piece dish set because it is such a practical AND fun item, adding a lot of style into the world of hum drum RV products.

We ran a giveaway contest and the response from our listeners revealed that tons of other people feel the same way about these dishes from Camp Casual. The company promises that there are more products to come, and we will keep you posted.

So without further ado, here is our unboxing of the Camp Casual 12-piece dish set. Stay tuned for the next product from our RV Family Travel Atlas Spring Gear Guide.


 

18 Apr

RVFTA #31: The Spring Gear Guide

Spring Gear Guide

It is here…The RV Family Travel Atlas Spring Gear Guide!

On Episode #31 of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are reviewing our favorite products for the Spring camping season. As always, we are bringing you our picks for useful and affordable gear for RV and family travel.

We have something for everyone, the kids and the adults, the moms and the dads, those that like to cook and those that like to eat. Rain gear, bags, boots, dutch ovens, and bug spray. There is definitely something on this list that will make your camping season a little more pleasant.

And, Boy Oh Boy, the giveaways. Starting this week and continuing through the next month, we will be offering our listeners the chance to win the best in show.

This week’s giveaway is an amazing product, the Extend-A-Line Clothes Dryer, which clips easily to an RV ladder and offers lots of hanging space for wet towels and bathing suits and rash guards.  Enter to win on Facebook, Instagram, or by entering your email into the contest hopper at the end of this post.

Here are pictures and links to all of the products mentioned on our Spring Gear Guide. Let us know if you try any of these products. We would love to hear your feedback. And hashtag your gear pictures #RVFTA on Instagram. We want to see these products in action!

[contesthopper contest=”4784″]

 

Stansport Non-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven $56.00

pDSP1-18345585p275w

 

Toas Tite Grill $29.99

 

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Camp Casual 12 Piece Dish Set $49.99

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Krups Coffee Grinder $29.99

5012468_5

 L.L. Bean Trail Model Rain Gear starting at $49.95

images

 

My Mayu Toddler Play Boots $39.99

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Camping World Collapsible Container $9.97

Camping World

 

 

Extend-A-Line Clothes Dryer $84.99

Extend-A-Line

 

Keen Emerson Bag (Cross Hatch)$49.95

Keen emerson bag cross hatch

Nightstick Nightlight $32.00

NSP-2422R_DownTheBore

 

Estwing Leather Sportsman’s Axe $32.00

AO_leather_axe

 

 

Off Botanicals Plant Based Insect Repellant $10.50

OFF!_Repels_290x705

Spot It! On the Road and Gone Camping $12.00

6126+R1tBAL._SY450_

15 Apr

Keeping Fresh and Clean: 3 Products to Stock in the RV

Products to Stock in the RV

I have learned over the last two years that it really is worth it to stock the RV as much as possible for the entire season. I used to go through a toiletry and cleaning supply checklist before each and every trip, hauling shampoo, paper towels, and diapers out to the camper the night before leaving.

Mostly this is because I’m not a spender. I resisted the big stock up shopping trip, preferring to add extra work for myself each and every time we traveled. Well, I’ve wised up a bit, and now I know the items I can buy at the beginning of the season in March that will last through to winterization sometime in November. Here are three of my favorite products that you will ALWAYS find in my RV.

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Cleaning Products

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

Things tend to get a little dirty when you are camping with kids. This doesn’t bother me as long as I have our favorite cleaning products on hand. At home, I tend to use a lot of lemon juice, vinegar, and essential oils. But in the small space of the RV, I love the subtle and soothing scents of the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products. Honeysuckle is my current favorite, and Radish and Lemon Verbena have made appearances during previous camping seasons.

What makes these cleaning products perfect for the RV? A couple of things. First of all, the all-purpose cleaner comes in a concentrate. So if I buy one refillable spray bottle and a bottle of concentrate, I have enough cleaner for an entire camping season. I love anything I can stock once in the Spring and forget about it for a year. The next selling point is that I can buy all my products in one scent—hand soap, dish soap, counter spray, laundry detergent, etc. It is lovely not to have strong, competing fragrances going head to head in a small space.

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil

Baby Head-To-Toe Wash & Shampoo

Shea Moisture Baby Shampoo

This product may be labeled as baby shampoo, but I have yet to find a body wash that I like better. I use this organic, all-natural product as both body wash and shampoo for my three boys. The subtle, gender neutral scent means that the adults are happy to use it also.

Why does SheaMoisture get so many RV Brownie Points? Anyone who knows the size of an RV tub also knows that you can only keep so many products in the there at one time. Bar soap is messy and always winds up on the floor. This shampoo and body wash can be used by all five members in my family AND sits nicely on one of the three little shelves of the RV shower stall. It’s a keeper.

Dollar Shave Club Razors and Shaving Products

Dollar Shave Club Products

When Jeremy first signed up for this monthly razor delivery club, I looked away and rolled my eyes. Now I am hooked on it also. For a reasonable monthly fee, you get new razors blades and whatever additional products you choose delivered straight to your home. Forget about standing in the store trying to remember which brand you have at home. And the quality far outstrips anything you pick up at the big box stores.

So why does the Dollar Shave Club fit perfectly into the RV lifestyle? This company has a great tagline: Don’t Pay the Pink Razor Tax. Exactly. Why should I use a different razor brand than Jeremy (usually of lower quality)? With the monthly delivery, we can easily stock the camper with enough razor blades for both of us, and it becomes another toiletry item that I have completely checked off of my list for the season.

Stocking and maintaining the RV during the camping season can definitely take some effort. Anything that makes it just a little bit easier deserves a whole lot of credit. These three products are champs in my book. What products get your RV seal of approval?

03 Dec

RV Family Travel Atlas Holiday Gift Guide: What Was on that List???

In Episode 10 of RV Family Travel Atlas, we gave our recommendations for 12 great holiday gifts. Here is a list, with links, to all of the products that we reviewed. Listen to the podcast for the complete lowdown on each item!

For the Kids…

1. Globe For Kids Illuminated Earth Globe: Our boys’ favorite camper nightlight…

glow in the dark globe

2. SpinaroosOne bin of these blocks will keep kids of all ages happy!

Spinneroos

3. Spot It! A Card Game that is great for a rainy day or a little down time after dinner.

Spot It!

4. Kids’ Sprout 12 Day Pack from LL Bean: Perfect for drinks and snacks!

Sprout Backpacks

5. Micro Kickboard Scooter: The best quality scooter money can buy!

minikick

6. Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man and The Three Ninja Pigs: Our favorite campfire read alouds…

three ninja pigs

Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man

For the Adults…

7. Darn Tough Socks: The only socks we hike in…

Darn Tough Socks

8. Fireside Friend: Jeremy’s favorite I Wanna Be a Lumberjack toy!

Fireside Friend

9. eBags Brand Packing Cubes: Perfect for keeping the RV neat and tidy (ahem)…

Ebags packing cubes

10. Camp Comfort Recliner: Worth the extra money for high quality zero-gravity chairs!

camp chairs

11. Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Camera: If you want to take pictures around water, there is no better option!

Lumix camera

12. Frenzy and Malibu 2 Ocean Kayaks: Worth every penny for paddling time with the kids!

kayak

There you have it…our list of affordable items that adds tons of value to the time we spend traveling with our kids. Remember to listen to the podcast for more information on all of these products.

Anything you would add? We would love to hear what you would put on your list!

Happy Holidays!

Stephanie + Jeremy

RV Family Travel Atlas

22 Nov

RV Family Travel Atlas: Holiday Gift Guide

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, it’s all about the products! We are featuring 12 items–6 for the kids, and 6 for the adults–that we have used and loved over the last year. With gifts from ten dollars to a few hundred, we have something that will fit everyone’s budget.

We also have an awesome giveaway for one of the items on the list…listen to learn more.

Thank you for the THOUSANDS of downloads on iTunes. If you are listening and enjoying our podcast, please take a minute to write us a review. Think of it as a holiday gift to us!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours.