02 Nov

RVFTA #166: The $1,000 Used Pop Up Camper

On this episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are telling the story behind our recent purchase of a $1,000 used pop up camper.

No, we didn’t get rid of the 2017 Jayco Octane 272. We just became a two-RV family.

Why on earth did we do that? We’ll go through the whole process from deciding to get a second RV to tracking down the perfect unit to negotiating a fair price to all of our plans for the remodel.

Segment One: The Used Pop Up Camper Hunt

There are many reasons why a used pop up camper was on our radar even though we just bought a brand spankin’ new toy hauler last winter.

The Octane toy hauler makes a ton of sense for us as a family, especially considering how much time we spend in our RV and how much gear we bring on our longer trips. However, the decision to go bigger came with some tradeoffs.

Heads up: everything comes with trade offs…

We now have to store our Octane away from our house, and quick weekend trips are more of a challenge. Plus, there are many rustic public campgrounds that are simply off limits to a rig that is over 30 feet.

I (Stephanie) also have the opportunity to attend lots of girl camper events. There is no way I would tow the enormous family camper to one of those weekend campouts. That would be ridiculous for too many reasons to list.

Plus…

We decided to put our money where our mouth is. We made a big mistake 8 years ago when we spend too much money on a new pop up camper and then took a financial hit when upgrading to a travel two years later. We highly recommend that listeners think about a used pop up as an affordable and fun way to enter into the RV lifestyle.

Think of this pop up camper as a living example of us practicing what we preach: cheap, used pop up campers are awesome.

In this first segment of the podcast, we also discuss all the budget and spec parameters we placed on our hunt, including a very strict dollar limit and a total ban on Craigslist.

The search took about two months, and plenty of our lowball offers were rejected. But ultimately, we came home with a used pop up camper that hit all the checkmarks on our list. You can listen to the episode to hear all the details.

Segment Two: Penny the $1000 Used Pop Up Camper

Penny the Pop Up is a 1996 Jayco Eagle Series 8 pop up camper. You can click here to see the entire PDF brochure from Jayco for this series of pop up campers.

We were looking for something small, simple, and in fabulous condition, and Penny hit the mark in all these categories.

A little safety maintenance work was in order immediately. We brought the pop up directly to a local trailer supply shop to have her axle inspected and lubed, plus we had safety chains welded on.

Some of our plans for Penny’s refresh include:

  • Reupholstering the cushions
  • Slip covers for the beds
  • Replacing curtains
  • Laying new flooring
  • Installing a Porti Potti closet
  • Cleaning the exterior and refreshing the decals

Stay tuned for updates on all these projects. We’ll definitely be keeping our winterization blues in check by having fun with our inexpensive used pop up camper!

We also chat about how Penny got her name…and how the Octane Toy Hauler was finally named as a direct result.

Additional Information: RV News Minute and RVFTA News Roundup

Other information and links mentioned in this episode include…

Other RVFTA Pop Up Camper Episodes include…

Tips for Buying A Used Pop Up Camper with the Pop Up Princess

RV Makeover 101 with the Pop Up Princess

An Ode to the Pop Up Camper

And our second podcast episode EVER: Pros and Cons of a Pop Up Camper

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

A great, big thanks to our sponsors who support weekly content for all our RV fools…

21 Sep

What Can You Get for Your Money? Show Pricing at the Hershey RV Show 2017

On this week’s episode of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we are looking at some select models from the 2017 Hershey RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Budget is king when shopping for an RV, so this year we decided to take a good look at the numbers and share what you can buy at a variety of different price points.

From small travel trailers to gas Class A motorhomes to luxury Class B vans, we’ll talk about our favorite picks from a range of manufacturers. Plus we’ll share MSRP and show pricing on every model, so you can get an idea of the deals that are out there right now.

Segment One: Featured Travel Trailers

Listen to episode #160 to hear more details about all of these models.

Pick #1: Forest River RPod T179

This is a great floor plan from America’s number one selling lightweight travel trailer.

MSRP: $23,541.75

Show Price: $16,500

Pick #2: Grand Design Imagine 2400BH

Want the elusive ‘under 30 feet’ bunk model with private master bedroom? This is your unicorn.

MSRP: $33,834

Show Price: $26,782

Pick #3: Jayco White Hawk 25FK

The front kitchen with huge window is the star of the show in this unit.

MSRP: $35,375

Show Price: $25,994

Segment Two: Featured Motorized Units

Listen to episode #160 to hear more details about all these models.

Pick #4: Coachmen Prism 2200 (Class C)

This floor plan makes 22 feet feel downright spacious.

MSRP: $119,155

Show Price: $87,892

Pick #5: Winnebago Vista 32YE (Gas Class A)

An affordable way to get into a Class A.

MSRP: $134,337

Show Price: $96,999

Pick #6: Airstream Atlas

Stunning luxury, design, and price point.

MSRP: $219,000

Show Price: $199,000

Other Episode Information…

Check out our Facebook Live video’s from the Hershey RV Show…

Check out the Winnebago new product launches:

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RV fools!

See you at the RV Show!

Stephanie + Jeremy

 

07 Sep

RVFTA #158 RV Show Shopping 101

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

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

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

Segment One: General RV Show Tips

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

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

Segment Two: Different Types of Shoppers

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

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

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

Segment Three: RVFTA News Roundup

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

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

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

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



See you at the RV Show!

Stephanie + Jeremy

01 Sep

RVFTA #157 The New RV Learning Curve

Our longtime listeners know that we bought a new RV last winter and made the big leap from a bunkhouse travel trailer to a toy hauler. Well, we spent a few dozen nights camping in it already, and we’re ready to share some of our initial impressions.

If you want to check out our reflections on our previous White Hawk travel trailer, and listen to our expectations for the Octane SL 272, you can tune in to episode #120 Saying Goodby to our Jayco White Hawk Travel Trailer and episode #121 Saying Hello to our Jayco Octane Superlite Toy Hauler. If you would like a visual of our RV floor plan, check out the details here.

Segment One: The New RV Blues

We are being super honest here and sharing some experiences that caught us by surprise. The cold, hard truth? Our last travel trailer was awesome, gave us no major problems, and was completely customized to our family’s storage and travel needs. It came as somewhat of a shock to realize that the excitement of buying a new RV was somewhat tempered by the work involved in learning the new systems and organizing the new space.

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31 Jul

Which RV is Right For Me: RVFTA Quick Guide

If you are shopping for your first (or next!) RV, the good news is that there are a ton of great choices out there right now. However, the number of options can be quite overwhelming.

On this special episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, developed exclusively for Go RVing, we are helping you find your perfect RV, starting with a break down of each RV ‘type’.

From towables to motorized units, we will describe each major type of RV, plus give some of the reasons it may or may not be the right fit for you.

We wrap up the episode by adding a few of our own tips for smart RV shopping.

You can take a look at the pictures below while listening to get a better idea of the RV features that we discuss. We also highly recommend checking out Go RVing’s Compare RVs page, where you can learn more about each RV type and also get some personalized feedback using the Find My RV tool.

 

 

We believe the perfect RV is out there just waiting for you to bring it on some amazing adventures. But for now, enjoy the shopping part of your RV journey!

And soon enough, we’ll see you at the campground.

Stephanie + Jeremy

Pop Up Camper

Hybrid Travel Trailer

Conventional Travel Trailer

Fifth Wheel

Class B

Class C

Class A

25 May

RVFTA #143 Tips for Buying a Used Pop Up Camper with the Pop Up Princess

Photos courtesy of The Pop Up Princess

For many folks buying a used pop up camper is the easiest and most affordable way to jump into the RV lifestyle. There are many reasons why a pop up camper is a great way to get your feet wet, since they are so easy to tow and super easy to store.

However, the process of shopping for a used pop up camper can be a bit overwhelming. Inexperienced shoppers often make mistakes that end up costing a ton of money and a ton of time.

Lucky for us the Pop Up Princess came onto the podcast to guide us through the exciting but daunting experience of searching for the perfect used pop up camper. Larissa Richardson has seen a ton of pop up camper remodels, and she knows what she is talking about.

The Hunt for a Used Pop Up Camper

In the first segment, Larissa talks about all the things you need to research and decide before shopping for a used pop up camper. Important points include:

  • Current tow capacity
  • desired features
  • budget
  • deal breakers

Inspecting a Used Pop Up Camper before Purchase

In the second segment, Larissa walks us through her amazing checklist of all the things you should inspect before purchasing a used pop up camper. Seriously, everyone should be armed with this PDF checklist before going to check a rig out. We discuss:

  • roof
  • flooring
  • lift systems
  • canvas
  • electric
  • appliances
  • AND MORE!!!

Words of Experience

Folks who have been following the RVFTA story for a while know that we started out with a pop up camper and made a lot of very common mistakes in our RV journey. In the last segment of the show, we discuss some of our best advice for making sure you don’t wind up with a camper (or tow vehicle!) that doesn’t suit your family or your budget.

We still believe that a used pop up camper is an amazing way to begin your family’s RV adventure. If fact, our number one piece of advice to people sitting on the fence is to find an inexpensive used pop up camper and just give it a try. Even if you HATE it (which you won’t) you will probably be able to sell the camper at the end of the season for at least what you paid.

To see more of our advice on pop up campers, check out:

You can also visit our RVFTA Facebook Group, where lots of friendly folks will answer any questions you have about looking for that perfect pop up camper.

Thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our RVing fools:

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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23 Feb

RVFTA #130 Pros and Cons of the Class B RV

On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about Class B motorhomes, one of the fastest growing segments of the RV industry. The small foot print might scare away a lot of buyers, but driving comfort and flexibility are huge draws.

Segment One: Pros and Cons of the Class B RV

In Segment One, we talk about the pros and cons of the Class B that you might want to consider if you are in the market for a small motorhome. Here are some of the issues we discuss.

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19 Jan

RVFTA #125 Towable vs. Motorized with Josh the RV Nerd

 

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas we reigniting the age old debate about which is better, motorized or towable! And while it may be different for every family we have some general tips and principals to consider before you plunk down your hard earned cash!

We decided to invite Joshua Winters (aka Josh the RV Nerd) back onto the show for this topic after we watched his great You Tube video on the same topic.

In Segment One we talk to Josh about his families dealership and their own stock and experience with towables and motorized. Josh breaks down his best selling units for us and talks about why they lean hard towards stocking towable.

In Segment Two Josh walks us through his tips to consider before deciding on towable vs. motorized:

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09 Jan

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

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

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

SuperShow Accomodations

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

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15 Dec

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

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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.

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01 Dec

RVFTA #117 Dispatches from an RV Newbie

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We couldn’t be more excited about our episode this week, Dispatches from an RV Newbie.

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Our absolute favorite type of email to receive is from our listeners who have finally made the leap and bought their first RV. They tell us about how they found our podcast, all the rigs that they looked at, how they narrowed down their choices, and of course, all the fun adventures they have planned for the future.

These emails really do make us feel awesome about producing this weekly podcast.

So this fall we decided to reach out to one of those listeners who sent us an email last January, and see how that first season went for the family. Neil Potter was incredibly generous and agreed to come on the show, tell us about his story, and offer some tips for the RV newbie.

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04 Nov

RVFTA #113 Casita Dean and the Invasion of the Egg People

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On this episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are diving into the fascinating and quirky world of molded fiberglass travel trailers, otherwise known as egg campers. These RVs have their very own cult following, so we went to the source and invited a Casita owner onto the show to dish on the drama of researching, buying, and camping in a fiberglass trailer.


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Dean May, and his wife Laura, bought a 2005 Casita 17′ Freedom Deluxe travel trailer just last year. They are recent empty nesters looking forward to retirement in about 10 years. A few years ago, they never imagined themselves as RV owners, but that all changed with one fateful group text between Dean and his brothers and brothers-in-law. In this episode, we will learn the story behind their egg camper purchase, and the journey to finding the perfect tow vehicle to haul it.

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29 Sep

RVFTA #108 Say Hello to the Jayco Hummingbird!

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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.

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20 Sep

Hershey RV Show: RVFTA Wrap Up

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

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

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

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

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18 Sep

Hershey RV Show: RVFTA Takeaway

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We are at the 2016 Hershey RV Show, and are releasing four extra special podcasts over the course of the show, featuring some of the new and exciting RV’s that are being rolled out for the upcoming show.

All of these podcasts are sponsored by our friends at Progressive Insurance, and we are thrilled they sent us to the show to gather great RV intel for our listeners and readers. To learn more, you can visit them at Progressive.com/rv or call 1-800-Progressive.

On our fourth and final special edition podcast, we are sharing our takeaways from the Hershey RV Show. After chatting with hundreds of shoppers and manufacturers’ reps, and looking through hundreds of RVs, we saw some themes emerge. There is a lot to look forward to during the 2017 RV Shopping season and we can’t wait to cover it!

The four major takeaways that we discuss on this episode are…

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17 Sep

Hershey RV Show: RV’s for the Larger Family

 

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We are here at the 2016 Hershey RV Show, and are releasing four extra special podcasts over the course of the show, featuring some of the new and exciting RV’s that are being rolled out for the upcoming season.

All of these podcasts are sponsored by our friends at Progressive, and we are thrilled they sent us to the show to gather great RV intel for our listeners and readers. To learn more, you can visit them at Progressive.com/rv or call 1-800-Progressive!

On this third “almost live” Hershey podcast episode we are discussing some great floor plan options for larger families.  After we had our third child we quickly realized that our RV options had shrunk dramatically because so many floorpans are designed for families of four. So for those of you that have three or more lively little campers–this one’s for you!

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16 Sep

Hershey RV Show: The Bling is the Thing!

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We are here at the 2016 Hershey RV Show, and are releasing  four extra special podcasts over the course of the show, featuring some of the new and exciting RV’s that are being rolled out for the upcoming season.

All of these podcasts are sponsored by our friends at Progressive, and we are thrilled they sent us to the show to gather great RV intel for our listeners and readers. To learn more, you can visit them at Progressive.com/rv or call 1-800-Progressive!

On this second Hershey podcast episode we are discussing some of the blingiest class A diesel pushers at the Hershey RV Show. For those who are looking for the high-end luxury motorhome, here are three models that stood out as best in show.

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15 Sep

Hershey RV Show: Tiny Trailers

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We are here at the 2016 Hershey RV Show, and will be releasing four extra special podcasts over the course of the show, featuring some of the new and exciting RVs that are being rolled out for the upcoming season.

All of these podcasts are sponsoring by our friends at Progressive, and we are thrilled they sent us to the show to gather great RV intel for our listeners and readers. To learn more, you can visit them at Progressive.com/rv or call 1-800-Progressive!

On this first Hershey RV Show podcast episode, we are discussing the latest tiny trailers to roll into town. Light weight trailers are all the range these days, as many consumers are looking for something that they can tow with the family SUV, yet want something spacious, comfortable, and hard-sided.

There are four models that are causing a splash in 2017: Jayco’s Hummingbird, Little Guy Worldwide’s Serro Scotty, Airstream’s Basecamp, and Hymer’s Touring. On this episode, we give a quick rundown of all four–offering an overview of the floorplans and pricing, as well as our general impressions. Is this the tiny trailer you have been looking for all your life? Tune in to find out!

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07 Jul

RVFTA #96 Meet the RV Walk Through Guru

Meet the RV Walk Through Guru

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking to the king of the RV walk through on YouTube, Joshua Winters from Haylett RV in the great state of Michigan. His YouTube channel is our first stop anytime we want to get the skinny on a new RV without even leaving the house.

listen on iTunes

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