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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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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28 Jan

RVFTA #73: Living in RV Luxury

Living in RV Luxury blog

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, Living in RV Luxury, we are talking about Luxury options for both motorized and towable RVs.

But first in the News Roundup, we shared some important information:

  1. If you are attending the RVFTA 2016 Spring Rally, you must register at Eventbrite so we have an accurate number for our attendees!
  2. We were honored to be interviewed on Keep Your Daydream this week. Listen to hear about all the behind the scenes RVFTA stuff that we don’t normally talk about on the podcast, including some major life changes that have recently occurred round these parts.

Now onto the featured topic…

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26 Jan

Best in Show: Our 10 Favorite Rigs at the Florida RV Supershow

If you listened to RVFTA episode #72 last week, you know that we had a grand ole time at the Florida RV Supershow. On that episode we talked about the seminars, entertainment, food, and vendors. And we gave a ton of advice about navigating the thousands of RVs that are on site for one of the largest shows in America.

So now it’s time for our personal top 10 list. Our Best in Show picks from the Florida RV Supershow.

What were the criteria?

100% complete and total subjectivity.

Some of these rigs we would love to have now. Some we would love to have once our brood has flown the nest. Others would be awesome to keep around for the rare romantic getaway.

Basically, these rigs popped. So drumroll, please.

 1. The Cricket Trailer by TAXA

The Cricket Trailer

We want one of these in our driveway, and we want to do amazing things with it. The Cricket is not a funny looking tent trailer. It is an top-quality adventure wagon. We nabbed a whole interview with a TAXA rep, and can’t wait for you to hear it on the podcast.

Did we mention we want one?

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22 Jan

RVFTA #72: Live from the Florida RV Supershow!

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On this special episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the Florida RV Supershow, which may just be the most exciting RV show around.

Last week we fled the frigid temperatures of the Northeast and hightailed it to sunny Tampa, where we found an amazing array of RVs on display. And we also discovered that this RV show takes entertainment to a whole new level.

Listen to hear great interviews with manufacturer’s reps, finance experts, RV show organizers, and RV enthusiasts like yourselves who always seem to be shopping for their next rig.

And hear our 7 tips for making the most out of your trip to the Florida RV Supershow…because we know you will want to plan a visit after listening to this episode!

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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.

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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.

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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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06 Nov

RVFTA #61: Six RV Picks for 2016

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On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about six of our favorite RV Picks for 2016. After touring hundreds of campers, pouring over brochures, and peppering manufacturers reps with questions, we decided on six RVs that stand out in the crowd.

From travel trailers to fifth wheels, Class C’s to Class A’s, we are covering a variety of types AND price points. Listen to see if any of these 2016 highlights peak your interest.

Six RV Picks for 2016 Infographic

Plus we will give our best tips for unpacking the RV after a camping trip. You asked, we answered. It may not be our favorite chore, but we have figured out a few things that make it a bit easier.

You might think it is the same ole same ole out there in RV land. But we here at RVFTA found some new features that could make a big difference. This is Episode #61: Six RV Picks for 2016!

Here links and floor plans for the models discussed in this episode:

Thanks so much for listening! If you haven’t already, please head over to iTunes and take a minute to subscribe to our podcast and leave a review. We sure do appreciate it…

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25 Sep

RVFTA #55: Voices from the Hershey RV Show

Airstreams at the Hershey RV Show

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about our time at America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania where we were lucky enough to meet close to 100 of our podcast listeners.

We interviewed a bunch of them, and this week’s podcast is dedicated to sharing the stories of families just like yours who are on a quest to find that perfect RV. Listen to here about the rigs they have now, and the ones they are dreaming about for the future.

You will hear interviews with…

  • John and Heather who are upgrading from a travel trailer to a Class A.
  • Nancy and Darryl who have a hybrid trailer and are thinking about upgrading to a travel trailer.
  • Alexandra and Jeremy who just set out on their full-time adventures in a B+ motorhome.
  • Susie Q who is a chronic collector of vintage trailers.
  • Dave and Sherry who have an A-frame and are looking for something with a bit more room for their future travels.
  • Karen who is already looking to upgrade to a bigger travel trailer after buying her first RV last summer.

It was such a pleasure getting to know these podcast listeners a little bit better. Hearing about other experiences is so helpful for anyone out there shopping for that first RV or looking for that next perfect camper.

We also give a brief analysis of our thoughts about the RV show.  We’ll discuss 2016 models more specially on a future podcast episode, but this week we highlight…

  • Luxury in the new fifth wheel RVs.
  • Design in the new retro and ‘vintage’ models.
  • Same ole’, same ole’ in the Class C units.
  • Highlights from the Grand Design and Airstream manufacturers.

You may SAY the rig you have is perfectly suitable. But we here are RVFTA know there is a little bit of the obsessive RV shopper in all of us. You are listening to Episode #55: Voices from the Hershey RV Show!

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23 Sep

Greetings from the Hershey RV Show!

Over 52,000 people attended the 2015 Hershey RV Show, smashing last year’s record by over 13 percent.  Of course, RV Family Travel Atlas was there also,  attending as special guests of Progressive at the super fun and interactive Progressive RV.  We had a blast meeting and greeting close to 100 of our smart and attractive podcast listeners…and helping them win some great Progressive schwag, such as t-shirts, sun shades, and A-Flo-ha bobble-head dolls.

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Our podcast listeners were able to test their golf skills at Flo’s 19th Hole…

Flos 19th hole

Take Flotos on a Hershey-themed green screen…

Stephanie on Green Screen

And test their luck at the Progressive slot machine, which was totally rigged to give everyone a prize…

Flo's Slot Machine

RV aficionados could also sign up for Progressive’s Insiders Guide and leave recommendations for campgrounds, restaurants, and attractions around the country.

And did we mention that there were also some RVs for sale at America’s Largest RV Show?

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Well, there were. Over 33 football fields worth of them.  Two of our dear podcast listeners, Bill and Karen, walked over 13 miles on Friday and pretty much saw every RV on display.

Many podcast listeners stopped by to tell us that they enjoyed our special Six Quick Tips for Enjoying America’s Largest RV Show podcast and that they particularity appreciated our tip to talk to the manufacturer’s representative when seeking information about a rig.  That feedback was great to hear!

We are also very pleased to report that several of our listeners went home as owners of shiny new RV’s.

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Our overall impressions of the show?  The selection was incredible and almost every RV under the sun was there.  This was especially helpful for guests who were exploring options before narrowing down their picks.

We personally gravitate towards the new and unusual, and also anything with retro styling.  And while there were many RVs that fell into those categories, there were many more that demonstrated familiar patterns and designs. Of particular note? The RV industry does seem to be very focused on luxury this year. This was particularly evident in the fifth wheel and motorhome models that we toured.

Nevertheless, the industry is still producing RVs that appeal to all different lifestyles and budgets. It’s hard to imagine that over 52,000 people would have shown up and gone shopping if that wasn’t the case.

Welcome to the start of 2015-2016 RV show season…happy shopping!

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We partnered with Progressive for America’s Largest RV Show, but these thoughts and ideas are our own.

15 Sep

6 Quick Tips for Enjoying America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, PA

America’s Largest RV Show is rolling into Hershey, Pennsylvania this coming Wednesday through Sunday, September 16th-20th.  What should you expect to find there? Over 33 football fields of RV’s, many of which are brandy new 2016 models.  The PRVCA promises that “virtually every manufacturer and model” will be there. RV Family Travel Atlas will be there, too.

But more on that later.

First we wanted to give you six quick tips to help you get the most out of the show.

1. Know before you go…

With over a thousand RVs on display, shopping can get overwhelming. Do some advance research and narrow down your options.  Do you want a fifth wheel or a travel trailer? A Class A or a Class C? Brand X or Brand Y? Try to know before you go. Shoppers who show up clueless can end up with some seriously expensive buyer’s remorse.

2.  Search by manufacturer and talk to the manufacturers…

The good folks that run the Hershey show do shoppers a favor by grouping manufacturers together.  If you are looking for a rig made by brand X then they will all be in one place.  Sounds like common sense, right? Well, most RV shows place the various dealers of brand X all over the floor.

If you have important questions about a certain model we also strongly recommend that you ask a manufacturer’s representative for help instead of a salesman. They will be much more knowledgable and less pressuring. The manufacturers rep is an expert about his or her brand. The salesperson may be responsible for selling 10 different brands at his or her home dealership.

3. Don’t be pressured into making a major financial decision…

We are big believers in walking away from a purchase if you don’t think things are going your way. RV show prices are very good, but don’t think that you can only get “the show price” once a year at Hershey.  There are tons of shows throughout the winter, and if you know your stuff you should be able to get that show price at the dealership after the show is over.  Just remember that it is your money and you are in control.

4. Bring your own water, snacks, and maybe even lunch…

Food options at an RV show are going to be limited, somewhat expensive, and for the most part, unhealthy. Consider bringing your own favorite snacks and even packing lunch. You will also be doing lots of walking so bring your own water.  Put the money you save towards a shiny new rig.

5. Attend a great seminar (or two, or three)…

Your admission fee also includes free access to over 25 great seminars. RV Safety guru Walter Cannon is going to be at the show and everyone should be required to attend his seminars on “RV Weight and Tire Safety” and “Properly Matching Trucks to Fifth Wheels/Trailers.”  When it comes to RV safety, Walter is a master teacher.

Looking for travel inspiration from a tried and true road warrior whose been everywhere and seen everything?  Check out one of John Holod’s visually stunning seminars on Route 66, Alaska, or the Rocky Mountains.

6. Stop by the Progressive RV and say hello to RVFTA!

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We are thrilled to be special guests on “Flo’s Road Trip.”  We will be hanging out at the Progressive RV located right outside the entrance to the Giant Center. Why should you stop by and say hello? Because RV shopping at a show can get stressful…but “Flo’s Road Trip” is just plain fun.

We would also love to meet you and help you navigate the show! While you’re hanging with us, you can also win some cool prizes at Flo’s 19th Hole and have a “Floto” taken on a green screen with a scenic backdrop.

We love RV shows almost as much as we love our readers and podcast listeners. We couldn’t be more excited to be working for Progressive during the Hershey show–and we couldn’t be more excited to meet some of you!

Hope to see you at the show!

We’ve partnered with Progressive for America’s Largest RV Show, but these thoughts and ideas are our own. See you at the show!

14 Sep

RVFTA #53 Special Episode: Tips for Enjoying the Hershey RV Show

6 quick tips for exploring America's Largest RV Show

This is a special episode of RV Family Travel Atlas with 6 tips for enjoying America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We will be hanging out at the Progressive RV at the Hershey RV Show from September 16-20, located in front of the Giants Center entrance. Stop by to play some games, win some swag, and tell us how your RV shopping is shaping up.

And before you show up, listen to our 6 Tips for Enjoying America’s Largest RV Show…hope to see you there!

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10 Mar

Teardrop Campers, Jumping Jacks, A-frames and other RV Showstoppers

During our speaking engagement at the Colorado RV Sports, Boat & Travel Show, we spent a lot of time window shopping and taking the pulse of the crowd.  It quickly became clear that the smallest trailers were the biggest showstoppers–particularly the teardrop campers.  We heard many “oohs” and “ahhs” and had a hard time getting pictures of the trailers without dozens of people in the way. So without further ado, here are our eight favorite small campers–including four fabulous teardrops that made us want to ditch the kids and hitch up for a second honeymoon.

 For more info about all of these units, check out Episode #25 of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast.

Teardrop Campers

T@G Max by Little Guy Worldwide (163 inches, 995 LBS)

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The T@G was basically a super-stylish and amenity-filled bed on wheels with rear kitchen.  If you’re looking to get off the ground and cook in a dedicated kitchen with hook ups–then this may be the right teardrop for you.

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T@B S by Little Guy Worldwide (182 inches, 1670 LBS)

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Looking for more than just a bed on wheels?  With a U-Shaped dinette, indoor kitchen and wet bath, the T@B S is one teardrop that won’t give you anything to cry about.  No worries about cooking in the rain either–this kitchen is totally enclosed.

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T@B CS-S by Little Guy Worldwide (180 inches, 1760 LBS)

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Prefer the cute as a button outdoor kitchen but still want the comfort of the U-Shaped dinette and wet bath?  Have no fear, the CS-S is here!  We ultimately liked this T@B best on account of that awesome kitchen and because it provides extra seating on the inside.

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Basecamp Teardrop by Colorado Teardrops (156 inches, 858 LBS)

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Looking for a lower-priced teardrop camper with all of the style but fewer amenities?  Prefer a DIY camp kitchen anyway?  Then check out the Basecamp model from Colorado Teardrops.  Add the bargain-priced solar package to head off the grid for your next great adventure.

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Other Small Trailers

Jumping Jack Jump-Up Tent Trailer (12 Feet, 1245 LBS)

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This multi-purpose trailer is not a pop-up.  It’s a jump up!  Store your ATV’s or kayaks on top and easily unload them at the campground.  Then set this bad boy up in seconds for a comfortable and spacious above ground tent for dry camping in the wild.  Back at home you can quickly turn the Jumping Jack into a utility trailer–perfect for yard work or trips to the recycling center.

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Aliner Classic A-frame (18 Feet, 1850 LBS)

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We have always admired these Aliner a-frames from a distance and now we know why.  They are light, sturdy, and comfortable. With available dormers on select models they are also surprisingly spacious.  Cassette potties and wet baths are available in select models.

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Camp Lite 11-FK Hybrid (11 Foot Box, 1,800 LBS)

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We were immediately attracted by the bold coloring and surprisingly spacious interior of this Camp Lite hybrid.  Because of its aluminum build the manufacturers promise “no rust” and “no rot.”  Because of its stylish looks we promise that it will turn heads at the campground–and man oh man is it lite!

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Arctic Fox 811 Truck Camper (16’8 Feet, 2873 LBS)

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Are truck campers just for hunters and fishermen who like to camp off the grid?  Not when they are as spacious and comfortable as the Arctic Fox 811!  Stephanie had never stepped inside a truck camper before–and she was completely impressed.  The kitchen was larger than kitchens in travel trailers twice its length–and the bedroom looked cozy and comfortable.

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We had such a great time browsing through these units at the Colorado RV Show.  The variety was dazzling–and possibly overwhelming to the first-time buyer.  We can’t wait to spot these sporty and lightweight trailers in a more natural environment…the campground!

 

 

 

 

07 Mar

RVFTA #25: Hello, Cutie! (We Heart Tiny Trailers)

From teardrops to truck campers our featured segment this week is all about the tiny trailer.

We were hanging out at the Colorado RV Show last weekend and couldn’t believe the crowds that gathered around all the small campers. With beds and bathrooms and indoor and outdoor kitchens, these mini RVs can pack a lot of punch.

In this episode, we talk about our eight favorite little cuties from the show (links to each below). Although a tiny trailer doesn’t work for our family right now, it was easy to understand the appeal of traveling lightweight and small.

We also have the second interview in our RV Park Entrepreneurs series.   A little while ago we noticed a trend of young families opening up campgrounds in hip urban areas. On this episode we are talking to Todd Spencer who, along with his wife Dawna, is about to open Sentinel Peak RV Park in Tucson, Arizona. By the end of this interview, a visit to Tucson will be high on your list.

And in case you missed our first interview in the series with Inntown Campground in Nevada City, California, check out RVFTA Episode #21 to catch up!

Stay tuned for a blog post this week with pictures and video clips of all these tiny trailers. If you happen to own a small camper, we would love to hear from you. Brand, quality, pros and cons…send us an email and we will share during our mailbag segment next week!

The Teardrop Cuties:

T@G Max

T@B B@sic S

T@B B@sic CS-S

Basecamp Teardrop

A Variety of Cuties:

Jumping Jack Jump-Up Tent Trailers

ALiner Classic

Camp Lite 11-FK

Arctic Fox 811

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the new blog, Campfire Travelers. Podcast listeners Mandy and Jason came to meet us at the Denver Show and are the definition of enthusiastic family travelers. They are pumping out travel blog content like mad, so head on over and drop them a comment.

All of this…and so much more on Episode 25 of RV Family Travel Atlas: Hello, Cutie! (We Heart Tiny Trailers).

 

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