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The RV Atlas Podcast
38 minutes | 8 days ago
20 Crowd Sourced Camping Hacks From the RV Atlas Group
We asked the members of the RV Atlas facebook group for the best camping hacks and man oh man did they deliver! Here are 20 of the best hacks from a thread that ended up having over 200 comments. 1. Get “Everything But the Bagel Seasoning” from Trader Joe’s Or figure out how to make your own and keep it in the camp kitchen AT ALL TIMES. Your scrambled eggs will go from Average to Extraordinary. Your scrambled eggs will become legendary like mine have. RV Atlas Facebook Member David Larson also liked “EBTB” Seasoning and wrote “we use the everything but the bagel seasoning on our avocado toast like good hipsters” Robyn Volkening then asked David “if he has ever tried Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute” because “it’s so good” 2. Make Ice Cream Cone S’mores Kristin Kyser Morrison suggests making Ice Cream Cone S’mores with mini marshmallows. She said they were a huge hit last summer. I SAID TELL ME MORE! She said, I found regular cones and cookie cones ones but she liked the regular cones better. You break up chocolate into smaller pieces and layer in that with mini marshmallows. She also added in Pecans with hers! Then you roll everything up in foil and put them in the coals of your fire. Or you could put them on top of a grate. Everything melts into the cones and they don’t leak everywhere. Kristen–I hope your family worships you like a goddess at the campground–because this is stinking brilliant. 3. Mid-Week Camping Erika Sheehan thinks that midweek camping is so much quieter than on the weekends. We couldn’t agree more. We think that Sunday to Friday morning RV vacations are the best. That kind of timing has helped us enjoy popular Yogi Bear campgrounds with fewer crowds, and even Disney’s Fort Wilderness. 4. Run Your Kids Ragged Sarah Defazio travels with a 12V 4 Wheeler and an inflatable bounce house and “all children go to bed exhausted”. Isn’t that the goal people!? If you don’t want absolute insanity at bedroom you run them ragged. This is the problem with Covid–our kids are not tired at bedtime. LET THERE BE BOUNCE HOUSES and let them BOUNCE and ride 4 wheelers all day! Kim Stephens Mowdy responded, “Thanks Totally doing this” and Sarah responded “It’s worth it.” Which makes me realize that our facebook group is a very SAFE space for parents to plot against their kids in a secure environment. Cause ain’t no 8 year olds hanging in the RV Atlas group on facebook looking for camping hacks. 5. Prep as Much Food At Home As You Can This became a MEGA part of this thread. Food prep is such a huge thing to most RV owners. People love good food at the campground but don’t want to be dicing peppers on a picnic table. Alexa Biron said “I prep as much food at home as I can. Especially for fajitas, so I can just throw them on The Blackstone at the campground.” Nicki Brown responded and asked “what is your favorite seasoning to use for the fajitas? Alexa responded back “I’m GF so I make my own seasoning. Found a recipe and I make some for home and camper. I’ll try and find the recipe” Nicki responds, no rush, ty, I’m also GF! And there is the magic of facebook! Facebook can be so ugly and awful, and it can also be a place where two GFs can find each other and exchange GF recipes and camping hacks for awesome homemade fajita seasoning. Alexa responded with the link for Easy Homemade Fajita Seasoning from whitneybond.com. https://whitneybond.com/fajita-seasoning/ 6. Tape Your Meal Plan to Fridge Jessica Rae Wiltgen wrote–“We are newbies! We’ve been out 4 times since we bought our camper last August. The one thing that makes my life easier is writing down our meal plan and taping it to the fridge. That way the 7 year old doesn’t ask me 5,000 times what’s for lunch, dinner, etc. Jessica–this is so brilliant just drop the mike and walk off the stage please! Your camping hacks are impressive for a newbie. 7. Use Veggie and Fruit Trays To Make Snacking Healthy and Easy I love this idea from Michelle Harless, and after reading it I realized I did the same thing recently to make an easy fuss free dinner during the pandemic. Michelle wrote, “I take Veggie and fruit trays to make snacking healthy and easy. I just set them out and they devour them. I also try to prep as much food as I can by having all the food cut up and put in plastic containers . Then I just pull them out and put them on the grill. If I can pre-cook it and just reheat in microwave I’ll do that too. Less cooking for me and more camping time. Carlie Abercrombie added, “if you cut up apples..put them in a big bowl of salt water as you slice them. Rinse them when you are done and they won’t turn brown. We cut up a big bag before a trip and have them to snack on throughout.” She added, “We also pre-scramble eggs and store them in water bottles/old condiment bottles . Shake em up and squirt/pour directly onto the griddle.” We love that some healthy camping hacks made into the thread in our facebook group! 8. No Cooking on Arrival Night Numerous RV Atlas group members said NO COOKING ON ARRIVAL NIGHT. Amanda Reid summed it up nicely, “No cooking on arrival night! Grab some ready made subs from the local deli or heat up some Sloppy Joes, or have pizza delivered to the campground. Hangry is never a good way to start a trip!!” Jessica Munn Ansbach responded, “Totally Agree–subs always on night one.” Amanda also mentioned dividing up meals with a camping buddy–this is definitely one of our favorite camping hacks. 9. Bring Separate “Campfire Clothes” Allison Bowen Jacoby brings campfire clothes that are just for the campfire. Her family wears them around the fire and then they go in a bag so the trailer doesn’t smell like smoke when they wake up in the morning. I have done a JEREMY version of this. I have a hoody and sweats just for long evening campfires and I keep them in the front storage bin each night. I used to sit around the campfire for hours then come into the RV at night and Stephanie did not like that smell! This is one of my personal favorite camping hacks. 10. Pack “Go Bags” for the Kids Amy Sharts packs GO BAGS for the kids, “she writes, “we have them for the car, restaurant, quick outings etc. all ready to roll with activities, snacks, hand sanitizer, masks” They save so much time. AMY–I want one of your GO BAGS! 11. Bring A Large Nylon Frisbee Kim Fitzsimmons recommends bringing a large nylon Frisbee. Why? Because its great to fan the fire with and fun to play with. No worry if it hits the side of the RV! 12. Bring Your Own Portable Hot Tub Jennifer Hrebik writes “A few years ago while clamping for a week along with several friends we brought along our Coleman Inflatable hot tub and set it up behind our site overlooking the lake. A Pop Up Canopy kept the rain out and allowed some privacy. 13. Keep an Updatable RV Inventory List Kitty White posted that she “keeps an open RV inventory list on the notes APP on her phone so she can add things that need to be restocked before the next trip. Her family also debriefs on the drive home about what went well and what they would like to do differently next time. Items we forgot and new things needed. We have a great packing list for free right here! 14. Make Epic S’More Pies Douglas Young writes, “S’mores?! I Don’t Think So. Bring a legendary toast-tite pie iron, use cinnamon swirl bread, cinnamon sugar, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips to make the most epic s’more pie of your life. 15. Order Instacart Groceries For The Week Ahead On the Way Home Cheryl Wine “uses instacart to order her groceries for the week on Sunday morning.” Sometimes she orders them on the drive home. She gets them delivered about an hour after they get home. We get enough time to unpack before they arrive. 16. Create a Kaper Chart for Kids and Adults Leslie Becker ‘loves to make a Kaper Chart so everyone knows their job–set the table, clear the table, get drinks, dry the dishes, etc This way no one feels like they are doing it all! It is great for trips with kids, but even better with adults. I have camped with friends who want to assist but can’t quite figure out how to do so! A Kaper chart takes care of that! 17. Book Sunday Night So You Can Stay All Day Heather Dean Brewer “almost always books Sunday night when they do weekend or even one night camping trips so we can stay as late as we want on Sunday. That extra night allows us a full day of camping fun!! The Brewers do a lot of state parks, so this is a minimal cost and they recoup it by making dinner Sunday night at the campground instead of ordering dinner out on the way home or when the get home late. 18. Book The Night Before Your Arrival Conversely, Cathy Lynn Moore and her crew are early morning people, so they book the night before their arrival so they can check in early and enjoy a whole day at the campground! 19. Bring Pre-Made Salad Kits to the Campground Jessica Dunleavy likes to get the salad bags that have the dressing and toppings inside of them (Like Taylor Farms). She wrote, “I just open at the top, dump the dressing and toppings in the bag, roll down the top and shake it up!” Then she just pours it onto plates directly from the bag. “Saves washing a serving bowl.” Kitty white responded in all CAPS–you just changed my life. I always dump the bag in a serving bowl and use tongs and have to wash both. you are a genius! 20. Help Your Kids Remember Your Site Number Stacy Maxon writes, “bring a dry erase marker and write your site number on the kids bikes helmets!” DROP THE MIC STACY–walk off the stage! The post 20 Crowd Sourced Camping Hacks From the RV Atlas Group appeared first on The RV Atlas.
40 minutes | 13 days ago
Dutch Oven Cooking 101: Basic Tips for Getting Started
On today’s episode of the RV Atlas podcast I decided to get a little selfish. From time to time I like to invite folks on the show to teach me about something that I want to learn about! My hope is that if I am interested, you will be too! So today we are talking to an expert about the fine art of Dutch Oven Cooking. I started cooking about four years ago, and I have made a lot of progress, but it has been slow going along the way. I love grilling. I love cooking on my Blackstone griddle, and I love cooking with a cast iron skillet. But a few years back I bought a Lodge Dutch Oven, and I am ashamed to say that I have never used it. Now mind you, Stephanie makes excellent food in the Dutch Oven–including some of the best chili I have ever had in my life, but I have never picked it up myself. So in recent months I decided that I wanted to have a Dutch Oven specialist on the show to teach me the basics! So when I meet Timothy Fowler at a virtual conference that I attended this fall, I knew that I had to have him on the show and I knew he was the right person to teach all of us to get comfortable and confident enough to try Dutch Oven Cooking at the Campground. To learn more about Timothy, check out his bio below! Timothy Fowler is a Canadian Journalist-chef, writer, and live fire cook. He, his wife Kate and their Gordon Setter Rigby, travel extensively in his Outdoors RV Trailer from Oregon pulled by a 2011 Red F350 Crew cab. Six separate weeks a year he sets up an old school canvas Outfitter/prospector tent and cooks on a wood and coal stove while chasing whatever big game, small game and birds the current season allows. He is an extensive Dutch Oven and cast-iron cook. You can follow him on Instagram @timothyfowler and his game-cook handle elevate_your-game1. Check out his Food on Fire column with RV West Magazine, and give his Elevate Your Game podcast a listen, it launches June 1, 2021. Watch Instagram for his live cook series coming in the fall of 2021. On today’s episode of The RV Atlas we talk to Timothy about what a Dutch Oven is, where they came from and why you need one. We also talk about how to select one from the myriad options. Feet? Rims? Timothy guides us through our options. A new Dutch Oven cook will also need the right accessories, PPE and other equipment. Timothy calls a tripod a “nice to have” but not a must have. Listen to my interview in the media player above to find out more. We finish up our interview by talking about three of Timothy’s favorite recipes from his “food on fire” column for RV West magazine! Timothy thinks that these are recipes “that will get folks in the game.” Biscuits: https://www.rvwest.com/article/foodonfire/grandma_ellens_buttermilk_biscuits Jambalaya https://www.rvwest.com/article/foodonfire/jambalaya_on_the_fire Chocolate cake: https://www.rvwest.com/article/foodonfire/one_bowl_dutch_oven_chocolate_cake And here is a bonus recipe that we didn’t get to talk about on the show! Chicken Paprika if we need another: https://www.rvwest.com/article/foodonfire/one_pot_chicken_paprika After talking to to Timothy I am so excited to break out the Dutch Oven this summer at the campground! Wish me godspeed and good luck! The post Dutch Oven Cooking 101: Basic Tips for Getting Started appeared first on The RV Atlas.
33 minutes | 16 days ago
Planning an RV Trip to Savannah, Georgia
Planning an RV Trip to Savannah, Georgia should be on every RV owner’s bucket list! This week, guest blogger Gretchen Holcombe from Boxy Colonial and Boxy Colonial on the Road is here to show us the way. She is also the guest on the latest episode of The RV Atlas podcast. Gretchen last appeared on the show for an awesome episode about bringing travel themed decor into your home. You can find that episode right here. To listen to Jeremy interview Gretchen about planning an RV trip to Savannah, click on the media player above or subscribe to the The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts. Or just keep reading to find out more from Gretchen’s guest post right below! The following guest post and all photos by Gretchen Holcombe: Savannah is known both as America’s first planned city and as the city General Sherman spared on his march to sea during the Civil War. Visitors today can enjoy the lasting legacy of both of those things, as they wander through the meticulously restored and maintained squares that city founder James Oglethorpe laid out in the 1700s and admire the architecture of the city that some accounts say Sherman found too pretty to burn. Savannah is an ideal RV destination, with plenty of campgrounds to choose from, tons to see in the city, and a nearby beach to escape to when you’re ready to slow down the pace for a day or two. Our family has taken three trips to the area since we started RVing five years ago, and we never run out of new places to discover. Where to Stay Finding a great campground is sometimes the biggest challenge on an urban RV trip, but Savannah visitors will find themselves with plenty of great options a short drive from the city. Here are three of the best, all within 20 or 25 minutes of downtown Savannah. We’ve stayed at Skidaway Island State Park twice now, and it may be our our very favorite park in Georgia’s excellent state park system. You can choose from enormous full hook-up pull-through sites or private w/e sites tucked back in the woods. 6 miles of trails wind through the park’s marshes and among the oak trees draped with Spanish moss. RV sites are $45 for w/e or $53 for full hook-ups. Sites fill up fast, especially the ones with sewer hook-ups, so book early! Creekfire RV Resort is a newer campground that’s been getting a lot of buzz and great reviews. It comes with all the bells and whistles you expect from a resort, like an onsite restaurant, pool with a lazy river, and a scenic lake with kayak rentals. RV sites are in the $60-80/night range, and they also offer tent sites and cabin rentals. River’s End Campground on nearby Tybee Island is a wonderful option if you’re looking for lots of beach time with quick and easy access into Savannah to see the sights. River’s End has RV sites, tent sites, and cabin rentals. It’s a quick walk to two different beaches and a walk or short bike ride from shopping and restaurants. What to Do You won’t run out of things to see and do in Savannah in a week or even a month. Here are a few of our favorites: Walking Downtown: Savannah is a city made for walking, so if you do nothing else on a trip there, make sure to spend plenty of time just wandering around and admiring the beautiful architecture and landscaping. You can’t go far downtown without running into another of the city’s 22 historic squares, each with its own story and character. Take a Trolley Tour: There are a few different hop on/hop off trolley tours that will give you an overview of the city. We picked Old Savannah Tours because they’re a local company and because their tours feature costumed characters who get on at certain stops to tell you their stories. Bonaventure Cemetery: The Victorians knew how to do a cemetery right! Wander the Spanish moss draped grounds and get to know some famous Savannahians from years past with the help of an audio guide app or with a free docent led tour. Georgia State Railroad Museum: We’ve been to a few different railroad museums around the country, but this one is our favorite. It’s great for small kids as there’s tons of room to run around outside, older kids will love getting a chance to operate a handcar, and everyone will be enchanted by the huge model train set up and the short train ride around the grounds. Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist: This impressive cathedral, with its 89 stained glass windows and its terra cotta gargoyles, is open to the public for self-guided tours. The Telfair Museums: A ticket to the Telfair Museums gives you access to three museums. The contemporary Jepson Center houses permanent and traveling art exhibitions and includes a fun, hands-on space for younger visitors. The Telfair Academy is a 200 year old Neoclassical mansion filled with 19th and 20th century European and American art. The Regency style Owens-Thomas House offers a glimpse back into the lives of both enslaved and free Savannahians of the 19th century. Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home: There’s no shortage of grand historic homes to tour in Savannah, but the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home, in contrast, looks back on middle class life in early 20th century Savannah that even people unfamiliar with O’Connor’s work will find fascinating. Fort Pulaski: This fort a few minutes from Savannah, run by the National Parks Service, is lots of fun to explore, with its network of underground tunnels, winding staircases to the second level, and battle-scarred outer walls. Take a ranger-led tour and learn why the fort was so important during the Civil War, and then spend some time exploring the trails on site. Tybee Island Light Station and Museum: If you make it out to Tybee, this lighthouse is definitely worth a visit. You can climb to the top and take in the ocean views and then tour the lighthouse keeper’s house and a traditional Tybee raised cottage. Where to Eat The Pirate’s House: The Pirate’s House is undeniably touristy, but it’s also a lot of fun. The building is said to be the oldest standing building in the state and began operating as an inn and tavern for seamen in 1753. The modern restaurant serves Southern dishes and features a staff of pirate-costumed servers to entertain you. Sandfly BBQ: The downtown location of Sandfly BBQ serves up excellent barbecue in a charming converted vintage streetcar. Leopold’s Ice Cream: No one should visit Savannah without stopping for ice cream at Leopold’s, which has been around since 1919. But be prepared to wait; lines often extend out the door and down the street. Once you’ve finally made it to the counter, you can take your ice cream around the corner to Reynold’s Square and enjoy the atmosphere while you eat. Thanks to Gretchen for coming on the RV Atlas podcast to share her love for Savannah, and thanks for being a guest blogger right here on our website! We can’t wait to visit Savannah again ourselves! Hopefully someday soon! The post Planning an RV Trip to Savannah, Georgia appeared first on The RV Atlas.
38 minutes | 24 days ago
Tips for Dewinterizing an RV with Togo RV’s Rob Cochran
On today’s episode of the The RV Atlas podcast we are talking to Rob Cochran from Togo RV about tips for dewinterizing an RV. Rob is “the Head of RV Service at Togo RV and he has over 30 years inexperience n the RV service industry. He’s an RV Industry Association Master Certified RV Technician and the Education Chairman for the Florida RV Trade Association. In addition to working in the industry, Rob has been RVing since 1993, which is when he purchased his first camper.” In other words, when it comes to dewinterizing an RV, Rob knows his stuff. Our conversation is based on an extensive article with step by step details over at TOGORV.COM called “How To Dewinterize Your RV.” Our conversation will not go into as much detail about dewinterizing an RV as that article. So refer back to it to follow up on some of the things Rob and I talk about in this interview. To listen to Jeremy and Rob talk about dewinterizing an RV click on the media player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite shows! Dewinterizing OUR RV! I de-winterized our Jayco Eagle 264BHOK last week in very rushed circumstances. The weather was not really ideal either. Our massive home renovation project is almost done and our hardwood floors were stained. So we had to get out of the house with relatively short notice. Initially, we were going to rent an Airbnb for a few nights because of the cold temps, but we decided to save some money and stay in the RV right next to the house for four nights while the floors were being stained. So I dewinterized one afternoon last week. We moved into the RV later that night. We still had a cold night in the forecast so I filled the fresh water tank instead of hooking up a hose for our water supply. I didn’t want to wake up to a rock-hard frozen hose on the ground and no water. Using the fresh water tank allows the water to stay a bit warmer. That is because it is inside the enclosed underbelly of the RV and we had the heat running. It worked well. But now I do need to finish the process of getting the rig ready for spring. I’m thankful that Rob Cochran from Togo RV is here to help me, and all of the rest of us that are dewinterizing an RV at some point soon. I hope you take a listen to this week’s show! Rob was an excellent guest. The episode was packed with information! The post Tips for Dewinterizing an RV with Togo RV’s Rob Cochran appeared first on The RV Atlas.
34 minutes | a month ago
8 Hot Outdoor Brands to Watch in 2021
featured image provided by MPOWERD I am a gear junkie through and through and I love talking camping gear and outdoor brands with anyone that will listen. On today’s episode of the RV Atlas I am interviewing Rick Saez, the host of The Outdoor Biz podcast, the author of Trails to the Top, and a fellow gear junkie. I listen to Rick’s podcast every week and love his in-depth interviews with a wide variety of fascinating people that work in the outdoor industry. Rick interviews founders, CEO’s, marketing executives, influencers, photographers, and so much more. photo provided by Rick Saez On this week’s podcast Rick and I are talking about gear and gear galore! But we are also talking about the brands behind the gear. I asked Rick to come up with a list of 8 of the hottest brands in the outdoor space to talk about on our show, and I was pumped when I saw his list. It includes companies that are in the startup stage and companies that are decades old but still innovating. To listen to Jeremy and Rick talk about 8 of the hottest brands in the outdoor industry click on the media player above or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts. Or to find out a bit more about each of these hot outdoor brands, read on! Nite Ize photo provided by Nite Ize Rick loves Nite Ize and so do I. These super fun company makes a wide variety of products that are nifty and make your life easier in one way or another. Rick likes their waterproof pouches and steelie magnetic phone mounts. I love their gear ties and own about 25 of them. I keep a handful in the RV for unpredictable accidents and to keep things organized. Goal Zero Rick is a huge fan of Goal Zero’s portable power stations and power banks. Their Yeti portable power stations are perfect for boondocks and campers of all kinds that want to get off-grid. The Yeti series has models that range in price from $200 to nearly $5,000 dollars. Summit Coffee Co Rick and I are soul brothers when it comes to coffee consumption. He recommends Summit Coffee Co and says they make the best coffee he has ever had. He also loves their instant coffee and says that no other instant coffee compares. I can’t wait to place an order on their website and try it myself. I think I’ll start with a pound of their Basecamp blend! Camp Chef Rick loves to cook when he is camping and he has been using gear from Camp Chef for years. He loves their grills and backyard smokers and he also thinks they make the best outdoor fire pits. These propane powered fire pits are great for when you are camping in an area with burn bans, or if you just don’t want to deal with smoke. Dometic Rick is also a huge fan of Dometic’s electric coolers and thinks they make a lot of sense for outdoor adventurers. He thinks these are great for #vanlife and overlanding out in the middle of nowhere where refreshing ice supplies can be impossible. MPOWERD photo provided by MPOWERD MPOWERD makes the most adorable solar powered string lights and lanterns I have ever seen. We think that their Luci Lights should be in every camping gear kit. Rick agrees. We have been recommending their products for gifts for several years now. MPOWERD also has an impressive social mission that you can read about here. Outdoor Research Outdoor Research makes high quality clothing and gear for hiking, climbing, trail running, and just about any other outdoor adventure you are dreaming about. Their design work is not flashy, but functionality is excellent. I actually bought an Outdoor Research mask at REI this winter and have used it every single day since then. I can’t wait until the day that I don’t need it anymore, but until then, I’m thankful to have it. It is comfortable, fits my mug perfectly, and comes with a removable filter for extra protection. Rick also like their bags because they are well made and durable. Stanley Stanley is an iconic brand that has been around since 1913. So why are they a hot brand to watch in 2021? Because they have managed to keep the classic stying of their drinkware but not rest on their laurels. This is a company that keeps innovating and improving their products year after year. The most recent Stanley Thermos that I bought is the best one I have ever owned. I filled it with hot chocolate for my kids at 12pm, went on a three hour bike ride with them, and it was piping hot when I poured them each a cup. Rick loves Stanley’s beer pints and lunch boxes as well. It is all well made stuff. The post 8 Hot Outdoor Brands to Watch in 2021 appeared first on The RV Atlas.
52 minutes | a month ago
How to Buy an Airstream with Patrick Botticelli
Have you ever dreamed about owning an Airstream and hitting the open road? I certainly have. Most RV owners probably do at some point. When Stephanie and I went on our first tent camping trip together (back when we were dating) a beautiful Airstream pulled up next to us while I struggled to set up our tent. The silver haired couple in the Airstream were sipping cocktails in their camp chairs about 30 minutes later. At that point I was still struggling with our tent. I have been dreaming about owning an Airstream ever since. But I find the thought of owning an Airstream to be intimidating. I know my RV’s really well at this point. But Airstream seems to occupy a space of its own. And, when it comes to travel trailers, they certainly occupy a price point of their own. So on this week’s episode of The RV Atlas podcast, and here on the blog, we are talking about how to buy an Airstream. Patrick from New Jersey Outdoor Adventures There is probably no better person in the country to talk to about how to buy an Airstream than Patrick Botticelli. Patrick is the host of the New Jersey Outdoor Adventures YouTube channel and he has a vast and detailed knowledge of Airstream’s past and present–and he is dialed in to their future plans as well. Patrick owns a vintage Airstream Bambi that he is currently restoring, and an Airstream van that he uses just about every day. His advice about how to buy an Airstream on this episode of the podcast, and here on the blog is gleaned from years of personal experience. To listen to this episode of the RV Atlas click on the media player above. Or subscribe to the RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! For an overview of Patrick’s best advice–read on! Why is Airstream Such an Iconic Brand? In our interview Patrick points out that Airstream has been around for 90 years and part of its iconic status is connected directly to its longevity. He also suggests that many people fall in love with its stylish and streamlined look before they even fall in love with the camping lifestyle. The aesthetic look and appeal of the Airstream’s exterior has not changed much over the past 90 years. That consistency of the aesthetic ties the present to the past in a powerful way. Just about everyone knows what an Airstream looks like. Even people who have no interest in RVing. Patrick knows people who have put pictures of an Airstream on their desks as a reminder of their main retirement goal. The allure is just that powerful. Excellent towability and strong resale value also add to the mythology. Choosing an Airstream Model… Patrick points out that many people enter an Airstream dealership and they really have no idea what kind of Airstream they want. They just know they want an Airstream. So the first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of Airstream you want. On the outside it may look like a complicated decision. But Patrick thinks that Airstream’s product lineup makes a whole lot of sense once you take a closer look. The Basecamp Series Patrick thinks that the Basecamp series is an excellent choice for those that want a rugged RV that is ready for adventure. Basecamp comes in 16′ and 20′ floorpans. Patrick says they are rugged and outdoorsy and not as “plush” as other Airstream models. They have higher ground clearance and would make a great option for boondockers and those who like to camp in off-the-beaten-track destinations. Basecamp has an an aesthetic design appeal that makes it unique in the Airstream lineup. But it still definitely looks like an Airstream. Starting MSRP for Basecamp is about $46,000. With options it can increase to the upper $50’s. The Airstream Bambi photo provided by Airstream Those looking for a traditional Airstream travel trailer at an “entry level” price (for Airstream) will want to take a look at the Bambi. Bambi comes in 16′, 19′, 20′ and 22′ foot models that each have a different floorplan. The Bambi is lightweight and well-appointed. It appeals to many first time Airstream buyers who are still somewhat price-point conscious. The Bambi comes with a comfortable bed and a dinette that can be converted into an extra bed. Other standard features include heat and A/C and a user friendly kitchen with a stove and microwave. The Airstream Caravel photo provided by Airstream The Airstream Caravel comes in the same four floorpans as the Bambi. But it is packed with extra features and costs an additional $13,000. The interior is fancier, and it comes with ducted air conditioning, a rear back bumper, heavy duty rock guards, and an electric tongue jack. It has over 70 different features that the Bambi does not have. If you have the money the extra features are well worth the cost. Because of their smaller size, both the Bambi and Caravel might be great choices for weekend warriors who like to head out for short escapes and weeklong vacations. Patrick appeared on The RV Atlas podcast to discuss the Bambi and Caravel in detail when they were relaunched in 2019. Click here to find out more about these two models and listen to that episode. The Airstream Flying Cloud The Flying Cloud name has been associated with Airstream since the 1950’s. It is, according to Patrick, Airstream’s most popular series. It also offers the widest variety of floorpans ranging from 23′ to 30′ feet. They weigh from 6,000 pounds to 8,800 pounds and come with one decor. The Airstream International The Airstream International offers the most popular floorpans from the Flying Cloud series and offers a twist on the decor. It has a coastal cove beach themed interior. The International also has some extra features like a power awning. It costs $7,000 more. The Airstream Globetrotter The Airstream Globetrotter offers an even more select series of “Flying Cloud” floorpans than the International does. It also cranks up the luxurious appointments and extra features. Patrick says it has power stabilizer jacks (among other features)and it has a European yacht interior. The Airstream Classic The Airstream Classic is geared towards the real enthusiast who plans on spending lots of time on the road. Heating and cooling are elite and so are all of the appointments and interior style choices. So Which Airstream Model Should You Choose? Patrick thinks you need to ask a few key questions to narrow down your choices. How many people will be traveling with you? If it’s just two people you might look at a Basecamp, a Bambi, or a Caravel. Those wanting to tow with an SUV you might also want to look at those models. If you are traveling with 3-6 people you might want to jump up and look at the Flying Cloud and go from there. If you are using it for weekends and short vacations you might choose a model at a “lower” price point. But if you are going to live in your Airstream you might spring for all of the luxuries and amenities and go with a Globetrotter or Classic. If you want to camp at a state park or national park campground you might choose a floorplan that is a bit shorter. But if you plan on visiting RV resorts you will do just fine in a longer model. Patrick thinks that just about any Airstream can be outfitted for boon docking–so the model may not matter as much. He also thinks that you need to consider whether you want your bedroom in the back or the front of the RV. Some people like the bedroom in the back so it is more private and quiet. Others want a dinette in the back so you can enjoy peaceful views behind your campsite. Patrick also suggests thinking about whether you want the majority of windows on the door side, or the hookup side. If you have kids playing out on your site, then having windows on the door side could be clutch! Is There A Right Time To Buy An Airstream? Patrick doesn’t think that there is a “right” time to buy an Airstream. Particularly due to Covid and the surge in sales. But he does think that RV Shows (when they come back again) provide a great opportunity to buy an Airstreams because there can be factory discounts. My Airstream dream is probably on the back burner until all three of my kids are out of the house. And I still might choose a motorhome over an Airstream when it comes time to get my dream rig. But if and when I do decide to live riveted, I’m gonna make sure to listen to this podcast again to refresh my memory with all of Patrick’s tips about how to buy an Airstream. The post How to Buy an Airstream with Patrick Botticelli appeared first on The RV Atlas.
42 minutes | a month ago
The Past, Present, and Future of The National Forest Service
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir Casita Dean May is back on today’s episode of The RV Atlas to talk about the past, present, and future of the National Forest Service. This is part of an ongoing series with Dean about the history and culture of some of our country’s treasured “great outdoors” institutions. Dean did an excellent episode with us about the Civilian Conservations Corps (The CCC and its Lasting Impact On the Great Outdoors) that you can read about or listen to right here. He also did a terrific episode on The Army Corps of Engineers and their amazing system of campgrounds that you can check out right here as well. On today’s show Dean is going to give us an amazing 101 introduction to the National Forest Service and tell us everything we need to know to camp and enjoy our National Forests and get better acquainted with their history! To listen to today’s episode of The RV Atlas about the National Forest Service click on the media player above or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! The post The Past, Present, and Future of The National Forest Service appeared first on The RV Atlas.
36 minutes | a month ago
Colorado Campground Review: Ouray Riverside Resort!
featured image by Scott Elias On today’s episode of the RV Atlas podcast we are thrilled to have Scott Elias back on our show! After a hiatus of over two years Scott is back with another great Colorado campground review. He stayed at Ouray Riverside Resort for Father’s Day last year (in a cabin) and absolutely loved it! Scott brought us several other great “out west” campground reviews a few years back, including Mosca Campground, in San Luis State Park, in Colorado, and Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming. Scott also did an amazing podcast episode with us about craft beer and we talked about some cool campgrounds near craft beer hot spots! We are thrilled to have him back on the show for this review of Ouray Riverside Resort in Colorado! To listen to our conversation click on the media player above, or subscribe to the RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts. For a summary of the campground and some fun things to do in the area just keep on reading! Here are some key points from Scott’s notes! This campground was formerly Ouray RV Park & Cabins but they purchased an adjacent property called Riverside Inn & Cabins and the Ouray Riverside Resort was born! They now have cabins, lodge rooms and suites, RV sites, restaurant, gas station, store, and laundromat. They also have 72 campsites with 27 upgraded sites along the Uncompahgre River–six of them are “extra wide” riverfront RV sites and cost more. Some sites also offer full-hookups and some are electric only. Other sites off the river include pull-through and “loop” sites Most sites allow you to have up to three “things” that includes a tow vehicle, RV, and something like a Jeep (Jeeping is THE THING to do around Ouray) Ouray Riverside Resort is on a long, relatively narrow piece of land between the highway and the Uncompahgre River. The campground itself isn’t much to look at, but the views around the campground are incredible. Tent campers would be better served at Ridgway State Park (see below) 15 minutes north. Cabins at Ouray Riverside Resort photo by Scott Elias There are three deluxe cabins at the old RV park (basically mobile homes w/ a loft) and two at the new site. There are also four rustic cabins at the old RV park and ten at the new site. Scott stayed in one of the deluxe cabins and loved it–especially the patio with grill looking right onto the river. photo by Scott Elias The Deluxe cabin had a full kitchen which Scott and his family loved because they could cook their own food and stay socially distanced from other campers. The deluxe cabin had one bedroom plus a loft for the kids which was AWESOME. The loft had two twins beds and a full sized mattress. Ouray Riverside Resort also has lodge rooms that are new–but Scott did not see inside them. Ouray, Colorado photo by Scott Elias Ouray has been called “The Switzerland of the Americas” and Scott doesn’t know if that developed organically, or was more of a pitch for tourism developed by the town itself. Either way, Ouray is incredibly beautiful as you can see from Scott’s pictures. The town is situated at the end of a box canyon in Southwest Colorado and it is about 6 hours from Denver. The drive to Ouray from Denver also takes you through Curacanti National Recreation Area. There are dozens of things to do in and around Ouray. Ouray Ice Park is world famous for ice climbing. There are Jeep trails everywhere, and the stunning Million Dollar Highway is nearby. There are also waterfalls and hiking trails that will take your breath away! Via Ferrata Ridgway State Park photo by Scott Elias Via Ferrata Ridgeway State Park is 15 minutes away from Ouray and has 258 camp sites and yurts rentals. There is also a HUGE reservoir for boating or paddling. Scott loved everything about Ouray Riverside Resort, and the surrounding area. He thinks you will too! The post Colorado Campground Review: Ouray Riverside Resort! appeared first on The RV Atlas.
39 minutes | a month ago
Should I Get a Camp Grill, Camp Griddle, or Camp Stove?
It is a question that is almost as old as camping itself. It is a question that has vexed camping philosophers and campfire quarterbacks for years! Should I get a camp grill, a camp griddle, or a camp stove? Or some combination or all three? There is no simple answer to this question. But of course we decided to tackle it on today’s podcast, and here on the blog anyway. Because we have no fear. And because Jeremy is obsessed with this stuff. Stephanie–not so much. Even though she is the one who initially invested in a good Weber camp grill ( a Q100) about 8 years ago. So let’s look at the pros and cons of each and recommend a few models in each category! To listen to Jeremy and Stephanie talk about Camp Grills, Camp Griddles, and Camp Stoves on The RV Atlas podcast, then click on the media player above. Or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! Pros and Cons of Camp Grills Pros…. Camp grills are great for grilling chicken, steaks, pork chops, burgers, and hot dogs. A great grill is a campground classic and makes an amazing dinner. Maybe an amazing lunch if you are feeling extra carnivorous. Plus, for many of us…FOOD TASTES GREAT OVER FIRE. And it has for a few thousand years. Camp grills are also easy to keep clean and come in a wide variety of options at different price points. And if you like grill marks you are not gonna get em on a flat top griddle. Camp grills are also easy to store and clean. Cons… But a camp grill is not a great tool for breakfast. It requires a separate (and sometimes expensive and heavy) griddle top to make things like bacon, pancakes, and eggs. And even then, it won’t have a place for the grease to drain or gather like any quality camp griddle will. Recommended Grills We love the Weber Q1200 ($209.00) and its highly portable design and cool color selections. It is hard to beat the even distribution of heat and the high quality porcelain enamel grill grates. The big brother Weber Q2200 ($269.00) is excellent for larger families. They both make amazing food, they both last forever, and they are both easy to take apart and clean. However, I do not like the stand that Weber makes to go along with these two grills. Pick up a separate stand like the ones made by GCI Outdoor. They are better quality and cost about the same price as the Weber stand. On a Budget? If you find the Weber camp grills to be a bit spendy (which is understandable) here is another option. The Cabela’s stainless steel tabletop grill. for $99 is also a very good choice. It’s a well made grill for a “grate” price. But the grates are not nearly as nice as the grates on the Weber Q1200 and 2200–but if you don’t care about grate quality like I do–then this may be the grill for you! If you want a charcoal option, I LOVE my Weber Jumbo Joe. It has a huge amount of grilling space for a tabletop grill. It is also easy to carry and has nice extra features. You can prop the lid up and also lock the lid into place for storage. But how much do I cook with charcoal at the campground? Not much. I love the taste of food over charcoal, but my family could care less and it takes longer to prep a charcoal grill than a gas grill. –It is hard to find the time to get the charcoal going and it is a bit messier to deal with. Pros and Cons of Camp Griddles Pros… A camp griddle is a very diverse piece of cooking equipment that can handle breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is just as good at making pancakes as it is at making burgers. And you don’t need any additional equipment to clean up or lug around. Griddles are also great for taco night, hibachi, stir fry, grilled cheese, and a million other things. A lot of people really like camp griddles because they can handle so many different culinary tasks. Generally speaking, a really good griddle is cheaper than a really good grill. They are also easy to clean and maintain–but only if you use them a lot! Like camp grills, they are usually compact and easy to store. Cons… You have to do an initial round of seasoning and can actually take over an hour to do. After that you have to maintain the seasoning or it can get rusty fast. If it sits in your camper for a month without use it could get rusty if you live in an area with moisture. Bigger griddles can get also get a little bit heavy to move around. Stephanie also refuses to eat scrambled eggs off the griddle. Foods pick up many other tastes and eggs can come out on the dark side. It’s less of a problem for me but Stephanie has a point here. Recommended Camp Griddles We love the Blackstone 17 inch single burner. It is a great model to have for a couple or small family. The Blackstone 22 inch two-burner is my absolute favorite! It’s great for families with several kids who need to make lots of food FAST! 17′ and 22″ Blackstone Griddles come in a bunch of configurations depending on where you buy them. The biggest choice you may have to make is hood or no hood? For camping I probably prefer not getting a hood. The hoods make them much bigger and harder to store. You can just get a basting cover to melt cheese or steam veggies. But plenty of folks like the convenience of a hood and wouldn’t buy one without it. At the end of the day there is no wrong way to griddle. It’s all up to you! Other companies make griddles too, but we have a longstanding sponsorship with Blackstone and we are proud to recommend them as our camp griddle of choice. Pros and Cons of Two Burner Camp Stoves The Two burner camp stove is a true camping icon–but perhaps a bit less popular today. It seems like most RV owners choose to camp with a grill or a griddle and just use the burners inside their rigs to boil water or what have you. But the two burner camp stove is a work horse! And some campers just can’t live without it. Pros… If you want to boil water for pasta outside of the RV, then you are not gonna do that on a grill or griddle. Additionally, if you love your cast iron skillet or dutch oven–you are not going to use them on top of a flat top griddle either. Two burner camp stoves can also be pretty darn small and portable and easy to store. They are also incredibly easy to take care of and clean. Camp stoves require little to no maintenance because you are not cooking directly on the burners. They also tent to be cheap and affordable. Cons… If you want to make a lot of burgers or pancakes at one time for a big crew, then good luck doing the on a two burner camp stove. Limited space in a pan or skillet means making MANY rounds of pancakes or burgers to satisfy the whole crew. A grill or a griddle might be a better option for larger families. Skillets and frying pans don’t always heat evenly. I’ll never forget burning one side of a pancake and undercooking the other. A camp stove also requires other equipment–pots pans etc… You can’t cook anything directly on those burners. So you can end up with a clutter of camp cooking equipment. Recommended Two Burner Camp Stoves I might avoid the classic Coleman cheap found at the big box stores. People in reviews often complain there is little to no temperature control. Instead consider getting a used Classic Coleman camp stove from facebook marketplace! The models with the red fuel tank up front are incredibly reliable. Look for the smaller and more portable 424 or the somewhat larger 413–or get the amazing three burner 426. They have great temperature control and they work incredibly well in cold weather. In terms of new models, Bass Pro Shops makes an excellent two burner camp stove that is rugged and durable with solid heat control (and windguards) It costs $109.99. I have one and I am very impressed with the quality. I have also heard very good things about Eureka camp stoves and they come in super cute and hip colors and don’t look like grandpas old workhorse camp stove. The smaller Ignite ($109 ) is a cute green color and the Ignite Plus ($144 ) comes in a cute blue color. The Ignite plus has more room for larger skillets. for larger skillets. Reviews say again and again that the temperature control is good and they are well made. So What Should YOU Get? If you love cooking outside and have the storage space you should get all three. If you have limited space and cook a lot outside and want to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner–get a griddle. However, if you have limited space and only really like to grill for dinner–get a camp grill only. If you don’t want to worry about keeping something seasoned between trips—don’t get a griddle. Whatever you get or don’t get is entirely up to you! Just remember to make great food and have fun cooking in the outdoors! The post Should I Get a Camp Grill, Camp Griddle, or Camp Stove? appeared first on The RV Atlas.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
Campground Review! New York City North/ Newburgh KOA
Our camping buddy and RV Atlas correspondent, Phil Travaglia, is back on the podcast today with another great review! Last time he gave us an enthusiastic review of Hither Hills in Montauk, New York. This time around he is taking us to the New York City North / Newburgh KOA–another one of his family’s favorite campgrounds. To listen to Jeremy and Phil talk about this KOA and all of the fun things to do in this beautiful region of New York State, click on the media player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! Or to learn a bit more about the campground just keep reading! Phil shares his thoughts about this campground in the guest blog located just below…. Guest post and photos by Phil Travaglia The Newburgh/ New York City North KOA has a HOLIDAY designation which means there is plenty to do at the campground, but it usually acts as a base camp. They are great campgrounds. There’s enough to do if you don’t want to leave the campground, but not so much to do that you feel like you’re missing out if you go exploring. This is one of our favorite campgrounds because it is located in such a culturally and nature-rich area with so much to do. The campground has always been clean and well cared for and the staff has always been friendly and accommodating. To us, this campground always has, and always will, feel familiar and comfortable. This was the first place we went to after my wife Leslie was well enough to travel following her battle with breast cancer and it was the first place we went to when we finally felt ready to venture out with the travel considerations of the pandemic. Newburgh KOA Accommodations: This campground has really everything you could need to support you for a longer vacation and everything you need if you just want a weekend to get away.There are a variety of site types from tent sites all the way up to deluxe cabins and deluxe patio RV sites. There are areas in the campground that have cabins and RV sites in close proximity, which is great for those people who may want to ask friends or family that don’t normally camp to join them for a trip. There is a small area that is a cluster of five or six cabins offset in a semi-private loop (great for family gatherings and reunions). The remainder of the sites are located in two main areas. The first is located in an area behind the main building. It is a nice mix of tent, RV and cabin sites. It’s nicely wooded with decent shade. Hammocks have a high probability of getting used here. The second area is located across from the main building. This area has larger pull through sites and some nice sized back in sites. The dog walking area is also found in this section of the campground. Again, these sites are nicely wooded with good shade. These sites, If I remember correctly, seemed to offer a bit more privacy. They have a bit more of the state park campground feel to them. There are a handful of what appear to be seasonal sites, but you do not get the feeling of being an outsider at all at this campground. We have stayed at other campgrounds that were heavily seasonal and at times we’ve felt like we didn’t quite belong. There is none of that here. Newburgh KOA Amenities The camp store is a “good one.” They have an area of camping supplies for RVers and tent campers, there is also a decent grocery area with the essentials (milk, eggs etc). They have great knick-knacks for the kids and they also have some great gifts for the grown ups too (camp casual plates, art work etc.). There are fax and copy services, available and wifi as well. I can’t really speak to the wifi strength as neither Leslie or I are big into the devices, but I don’t remember hearing too much complaining from James and Abigail about poor wifi (that has to mean something!). Another unique amenity is they have on-property RV storage. I do not know exactly what they charge, but it is something to consider if you want to keep your trailer there and make it easier to get away. If you are someone who can only get out on weekends, it may make getting to the campground a lot easier if your camper is already there in a secure lot. Attached to the main building (camp store/ office), is a great little local wine store. They sell wines from the local vineyards in the region. The main building also has laundry facilities and an arcade. Across the parking lot from the main building is a great snack-shack that has ice cream and serves quick serve type foods. There are also two pools located in the snack bar area. The pool areas are clean and spacious and well maintained. On the other side of the snack-shack, you can also find: a rock climbing wall, bounce pad, basketball courts, Ga-Ga ball and a minigolf course. Across from the pools you will also find a nice playground for the smaller kids. There is also a great little pond where you can fish and there are a ton of frogs to catch. Truthfully, we’ve had more fun than I can remember just walking the perimeter of the pond and catching frogs. There are some nice sized bass in the pond too. Fishing is allowed and it is catch and release. You do not need a license to fish here, as this is considered private property. Things To Do Near The Newburgh KOA What makes this campground such a great one is it’s location. This campground is located in the heart of the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. To those who don’t live in NY, this is an amazing region. There is such rich culture, amazing nature and incredible food in this area. It would take five episodes to cover everything that you could do here. There is an abundance of hiking here. One of our favorite places to go hiking is in Minnewaska Lake State Park. There are well marked trails with great scenery and it’s just a great way to get outside and do some family friendly hiking. To heed your hiking advice, get there early, because the trail heads and parking lots fill up quickly. If you are into rock climbing, this region is the home of the “Gunks” which is known for great rock climbing. I personally don’t do well with heights, so I don’t have much to share there. There is the Mohonk Mountain House (Castle) which allows for the public to hike the grounds. It is an amazing place from what I have heard. Personally, I haven’t been there but it is supposed to be beautiful. There is also plenty of antiquing in the area. I picked up some vintage Coleman coolers the last time we went. I found them at a great barn sale in the town of Gardiner. There are also local fairs and festivals. One of our favorite memories is of the time we went to a cupcake festival one spring with our friends Hector and Laura. It turned out to be a lot of fun because there was a huge rain storm that turned it into a “mud / cupcake festival”! It was still great. Amazing cupcakes, hearty people and just a plain old good time. We also enjoy this campground in the fall. It is great foliage-country and there are many apple picking farms. Our favorite is Hurds Apple Farm. The FDR home and museum is also another favorite of ours. You can walk the grounds. There are guided tours of the house and there is a comprehensive museum that was really great to see. New York City One thing that makes this campground great is that they offer tours to NYC that leave right from the campground. They are full day tours that leave at 7:30 am and take you to several of the major attractions of the city. The website for the campground is the best place to go for more information on the city bus tours. Truthfully, the campground website is an amazing resource for looking into things to do in the region (all within close proximity to the campground). There are too many things for me to list. However, I can say that there are activities for just about everyone, that cover a wide array of interests. Covid Safety Measures at the Newburgh KOA I have not been able to get in touch with anyone at the campground this winter regarding Covid-related changes in usual activities. What I can tell you is that when we went last May and July, they were very conscientious regarding Covid safety. You were required to wear a mask when off of your site. Only one of the two pools was open and you had to reserve a time for your family to swim (in one hour blocks). The rock climbing wall was not open and the snack bar had reduced services. The bounce pad was open and was supervised. Mini golf was closed. The basketball courts were open and there were no restrictions for fishing at the pond. I am sure they have modified their Covid policies, but the take home message is… They were taking it seriously and we felt safe. I am sure they have expanded their services and are well within safety compliance. That’s just the impression we took away last year. It’s a great campground in a great location with so much to do in the area. It is a gem just over the bridges and well within weekend striking distance. For out-of-staters, this is a great home base to explore the Hudson Valley region and get a taste of what New York has to offer. ENJOY! THANKS PHIL! The post Campground Review! New York City North/ Newburgh KOA appeared first on The RV Atlas.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
Campspot’s Top Ten Trending Camping Destinations for Spring Break
I need a relaxing spring break camping trip really, really bad! I bet you do too. It’s been a long winter and cold weather has been beating down on many of us in the northeast. Even if you don’t live in a cold winter climate like we do, I’m sure you are also jonesing for a relaxing spring break trip to the beach, or the lake, or the river, or wherever it is that you do your spring break camping! This week our podcast sponsor Campspot released a list of their Top 10 trending destinations for spring break camping trips in 2021. Their list is filled with amazing locations and a few surprises! We decided to invite Campspot’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tessa McCrackin, on to the show to walk us through the list and recommend a great campground (or two) in each of these locations. To listen to our conversation with Tessa click on the media player above or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your shows! You will find the list right here, but to find out more click on the link above, or listen to our conversation about these 10 awesome places! Where are you going for spring break in 2021? Drop us a note in the comments below and let us know! Utah’s Mighty Five Recommended Campground: Archview RV Resort and Campground photo provided by Campspot 2. California’s Central Valley: Recommended Park, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort: Tower Park photo provided by Campspot 3. Arizona Desert: Recommended Park: Verde Ranch RV Resort photo provided by Campspot 4. 4. 4.The Coastal Carolinas: Recommended Park: Carolina Pines RV Resort photo provided by Campspot 5. The Jersey Shore: Recommended Park: Sun Outdoors Cape May photo provided by Campspot 6. The Smoky Mountains: Recommended Park: Sun Outdoors Sevierville Pigeon Forge photo provided by Campspot 7. Texas Hill Country: Recommended Park: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park: Guadalupe River 8. Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania Recommended Park: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park: Quarryville 9. Florida’s Atlantic Coast (St. Augustine and Jacksonville): Recommended Park: Ocean Grove RV Resort 10. Pacific Northwest: Recommended Park: Crane Prairie Resort photo provided by Campspot The post Campspot’s Top Ten Trending Camping Destinations for Spring Break appeared first on The RV Atlas.
41 minutes | 2 months ago
Glamping USA! 10 Amazing Spots for Luxurious Camping
Who is ready to go glamping? Our brand new book, Where Should We Camp Next? A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and other Unique Outdoor Accomdations has over 300 total campgrounds recommendations with 5-11 reviews in each state. Our book also offers up a unique badge system to help readers quickly identify campgrounds that have certain very specific qualities. The badge system gives the following stamps to a limited number of excellent “waterfront,” “glamping,” “romantic weekend,” “rustic,” and “family,” campgrounds. We wanted to give our readers a sample of some of the campground reviews that appear in the book before it is published on March 2nd. So on today’s episode of The RV Atlas podcast, and here on our blog, we are giving you a small sample of just a few of the campgrounds that earned the “glamping” badge. Here at the RV Atlas we love rustic state park type campgrounds, but we are not afraid to glamp it up! Here are ten places that have luxurious amenities, and in many cases, deluxe glamping tents and cabins if you feel like leaving the RV at home for a romantic weekend! Here are 8 amazing locations for glamping in the USA! We talk about even more locations on this week’s podcast! Listen by clicking on the media player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite show! Sandy Pines Campground: Kennebunkport, Maine sandypinescamping.com If a state park and a resort campground fell in love and had a baby, its name would be Sandy Pines Campground. This magical retreat feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of Kennebunkport, perched on the edge of a salt marsh and filled with beautiful birch trees. The rustic tent sites are tucked back along the water’s edge. The RV sites are spacious, shaded, and perfectly manicured. The glamping accommodations look like they leapt off the pages of a magazine. While the campground offers the natural beauty of a state park, the amenities are resort quality. There’s a beautiful pool, activity field with corn hole, ladder ball, and badminton, and a delightful Kid’s Craft Tent. Guests can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and bikes from a local vendor. They can also enjoy coffee and fresh pastries at the camp store each morning, and burgers grilled by the pool for lunch. Massey’s Landing: Millsboro, Delaware massyslanding.com East Coast RV owners love resort-styled campgrounds with luxurious amenities–and they are willing to pay $100 a night or more for sites. Massey’s has been the talk of the town among this crowd for several years. We think the RV sites could be a bit bigger, but we love everything else here. The pool and bay beach are great for swimming, and the onsite Paradise Landing Tiki Bar and Jackspot Pool Bar, means you can have a cocktail or two and walk back (carefully! Watch out for golf carts!) to your site. Massey’s somehow manages to be a good-time campground for the adults while still maintaining a family friendly vibe. Pull in at 9:30pm and Van Halen will be cranking and drinks will be flowing. Pull in at 11pm and just about everyone will be asleep. If you love to kayak or SUP try to get a waterfront site and you can launch just steps away from your campfire. Reunion Lake RV Resort: Ponchatoula, Louisiana reunionlakerv.com Many RV owners want the same types of resort style amenities and activities that travelers get when they check into luxury hotels–and they are willing to pay for them. Over the last decade the campground industry, particularly in the Northeast and the South, has responded by building true “resort” style campgrounds like Reunion Lake RV Resort. This is a gated resort with concierge level service and facilities. Kids and adults love the Lazy River and Family Pool. But if it gets too noisy or crowded for there–just head on over to the adult pool with a swim-up bar and the friendly bartenders will be happy to mix your favorite drink. If it gets unbearably hot rent yourself a poolside cabana with ceiling fan and your own personal attendant to bring drinks and food. The lake is also a great place for a refreshing dip or kayak ride. The “Float Lake Obstacle Course” is also great for older kids and adults who are still young at heart. RV sites are mostly pull thrus that are out in the open with minimal shade. Bring a screen room or plan on using your RV’s awning to create a cool and comfortable place to kick back with a book or just watch the world go by. Collective Retreats: Collective Hill Country, Texas collectiveretreats.com Texas Hill Country, with its wineries, wildflowers, and antique shops, is the perfect place for the luxurious glamping experience that Collective Hill Country offers. The tents feature 1,500 thread count linens and wood burning stoves for heat on those chilly nights. Food is farm to table and the service is five stars. The staff will guide you to the best local adventures in Hill Country, and make sure that everything in your tent is perfect for a relaxing and unforgettable getaway. As for the price? If you have to ask…… Pines of Kabetogama Resort: Near Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota Thepineskab.com If your journey takes you to Voyageurs National Park in the rugged Northwoods of Minnesota, but you want to camp in the lap of luxury, and not in the rustic and difficult to reach options inside the park—then you simply must consider camping at Pines of Kabetogama. The cliffside and lakeview cabins are well-appointed and furnished with regional decor. Travelling with multiple families or taking a guys or girls trip to get back to nature and spend time fishing on the lake? Then consider renting the spacious 5 bedroom, 2 bath Paul Bunyan Home. Big rig owners and RVers who like a resort camping experience will also fall in love with the Premium RV Campsites–these sites have views of the lake and come with an electric golf cart and a dock space for one boat. The rest of the RV sites are good–but these are truly great. Figure out how you are going to stay, then it’s time to play. The marina offers motor boat rentals, and the sandy beach has kayak and paddle board rentals. Though this might make the perfect place for a romantic couples getaway, it is also a perfect place to bring the kids. They will love the alligator water trampoline, the playground, and fishing from the docks at the end of another perfect summer day. Luna Valley Farm, Decorah, Iowa Lunavalleyfarm.com Luna Valley Farm is a working organic farm and a community hub that serves up delicious lamb, pork, and beef, and wood fired pizzas on Friday nights. And now they are also serving up a unique glamping experience with hardwood floors, luxurious linens, locally roasted coffees, and locally brewed beers. Sit and relax on your private patio or wander onto the farm and mingle with the owners and workers while they make the magic happen. But no matter what you do make sure you arrive early enough on Friday night to claim a delicious pizza to bring back to your tent. Inn Town Campground: Nevada City, California photo compliments of Inn Town Campground Inntowncampground.com Inspired by the “Holiday Parks” in New Zealand where owners Dan and Erin Thiem lived and road tripped for five years before returning to settle in Nevada City, the Inn Town Campground offers rv sites, tent sites, and glamping tents surrounded by towering pine trees. They are located just two miles from downtown Nevada City. The “Commons” area is a great place to meet other campers and cook a delicious meal in their well-equipped community kitchen. Winvian Farm: Litchfield Hills, Connecticut https://www.winvian.com The 18 luxurious resort cottages at Winvian Farms were designed by 15 different architects and each provides a unique environment for its guests. All of them are exceedingly posh. Some of them, like the “Connecticut Yankee” and the “Hadley Suite” have very little to do with glamping no matter how much we stretch the definition. But other cottages, like the “Treehouse” (which is suspended 35 feet above the ground) and the “Camping” (which is designed to be like an “indoor campsite) fit very nicely into the burgeoning glamping scene. Winvian takes both of these charming accommodations straight over the top: the “Treehouse” has a full bar and a jacuzzi, and the “Camping” has two wood burning fireplaces and…a jacuzzi. Prices are sky high for this kind of pampering, but the experience will be unforgettable. Book a session at Winvian’s delightful spa and a table dinner at its five star “Seed to Table” restaurant. A full breakfast is included at no additional price and each cottage includes complimentary bicycles. The post Glamping USA! 10 Amazing Spots for Luxurious Camping appeared first on The RV Atlas.
31 minutes | 2 months ago
10 Amazing Family Friendly Campgrounds
Our brand new book, Where Should We Camp Next? A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and other Unique Outdoor Accomdations has over 300 total campgrounds recommendations with 5-11 reviews in each state. Our book also offers up a unique badge system to help readers quickly identify campgrounds that have certain very specific qualities. The badge system gives the following stamps to a limited number of excellent “waterfront,” “glamping,” “romantic weekend,” “rustic,” and “family,” campgrounds. We wanted to give our readers a sample of some of the campground reviews that appear in the book. So on today’s episode of The RV Atlas podcast, and here on our blog, we are giving you a small sample of just a few of the campgrounds that earned the family friendly badge. Now you might be thinking that most campgrounds are family friendly, so why give a badge to a small handful? We decided to award this badge to certain campgrounds because they were designed with families specifically in mind. The sample below is excerpted directly from Where Should We Camp Next? and it offers you just a small taste of what the book has to offer! Without further ado, here are ten of the best family-friendly campgrounds in the country! To find more great picks like these make sure to pick up a copy of our new book! We are sure we will love it and it will help you plan amazing vacations for years to come! Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort, Foxboro Massachusetts Normandyfarms.com Cabins, Yurts, Pop-Ups, Safari Tents Normandy Farms was a clear precursor to the current crop of fashionable luxury RV resorts on the East Coast–and it still might be the best. This place has everything and it may actually succeed at being all things to all people. They offer seemingly nonstop organized activities for kids and teenagers–like Ga Ga Ball and softball tournaments. And they also offer one-of-a-kind facilities like a challenging Bike Track and a Creative Arts Center for movie nights. Adults will love working out in the fitness center, getting a massage in the wellness center, and relaxing in the jacuzzi or reading a book in the adult loft. Four legged camping companions will also love the gigantic dog park, which is the largest dedicated outdoor pet recreation area we have seen in a decade of camping. Everyone will love the four huge pools and the well-trained staff who are present throughout the park. Some RV sites are out in the open, but many are shaded and private. Pop Up camper rentals can be dropped onto your site and the new safari tents are stylish and comfortable. Lincoln Woodstock KOA Holiday: Woodstock, New Hampshire https://koa.com/campgrounds/woodstock/ Camping Cabins, Deluxe Cabins, Safari Tents, RV and Tent Sites This is one of the best KOA campgrounds in America. The White Mountains are filled with every kind of outdoor adventure imaginable and this delightful campground is a perfect basecamp for your adventures. Our boys loved the huge open field and the fun planned activities, like hayrides, that run most nights during the summer. Owners Rob and Darlene take pride in their park and they can also guide you to the best local hikes and launch points for your kayak or canoe. The Lincoln/Woodstock is also incredibly pet-friendly. Every KOA has a dog park, but this one is huge and really fun for your favorite furry friend. They also offer kenneling services for those who want to take day trips and leave their pups at the campground. We visited during the World Cup a few years back and enjoyed watching a game or two in the comfortable common area–and were always made to feel at home. To say that we can’t wait to get back would be a massive understatement. Holly Shores Camping Resort: Cape May, New Jersey Hollyshores.com Tiny Houses, Cabins, Safari Glamping Tents, RV Sites Holly Shores has been family owned and operated since 1968 and it shows. This resort style campground near downtown Cape May is quirky and filled with one-of-kind South Jersey charm. We love to visit in the fall when the beaches are still beautiful but touristy summer crowds have declined. Holly Shores also stretches out the summer vibes by keeping their pool open until the end of September. This campground has been making RV owners smile for over 50 years, and now they are welcoming Glampers in their tiny houses and Safari Glamping Tents. After a long day at the beach come back to the campground and cool off in the pool or soak in one of the hot tubs and grab a cold drink at the snack bar. Still have some energy left? Play a game of shuffleboard or grab some ping pong paddles before you head back to your site for a campfire. Lake in Wood Camping Resort: Narvon, PA lakeinwoodcampground.com RV and Tent Sites, Tree House, Double Decker Bus, Yurt, Cabins, Caboose Lake in Wood is one of the best campgrounds in America. We had a seasonal site here a few years back and it was our home away from home. The campground is deeply wooded and filled with shade and rolling hills. Sites are spacious for a private campground and the campground has many distinct sections with different personalities. We loved the clean, heated indoor and outdoor pool area and the huge rolling lawn that winds its way down to the lake. It’s a great place for a game of catch. The lake is small and unremarkable, but the rest of the campground is so charming that you won’t care. Lake in Wood specializes in weird and wacky outdoor accommodations–which makes it our kind of place. The only thing our boys ever complained about here was the “no kids in the hot tub rule,” which we loved! Don’t forget to get a scoop or two of hand dipped ice cream. It’s reasonably priced and the kids line up for it on summer nights. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground: Orlando, Florida disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/campsites-at-fort-wilderness-resort RV and Tent Sites, Cabin Rentals You can camp at Walt Disney World? We get this question quite often when sharing our epic Fort Wilderness adventures. The answer is a resounding yes, there is actually a camping resort in Disney World. And Fort Wilderness is as amazing as you would expect a Disney campground to be. We think it is one of the best campgrounds in the country. The Fort (as it is affectionately known by regulars) is located on the Walt Disney World property in Orlando, Florida. The campground borders Lake Buena Vista, which means you can take boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom. You can also easily access the other resorts near the Magic Kingdom. But please know that The Fort is officially a Disney resort property. So you get all the benefits of staying onsite at Disney World. Including early dining reservations, extra magic hours, and complimentary MagicBands. There are partial, full, preferred, or premium campsites. There are also designated pet-friendly loops. The campground’s organized around three main locations. The Outpost Depot is the entrance of the resort and also the transportation hub for accessing other Walt Disney World locations. The Meadows Depot is in the middle of the property and hosts a pool and recreation area as well as a trading post. The Settlement Depot is at the other end of the resort and has dining options, entertainment, a trading post, and the boat docks. Fort Wilderness has an incredibly natural feel considering this is Disney World. The wildlife is legendary. Wild turkeys wander through your site, and folks regularly report seeing deep, armadillos, peacocks, and rabbits. There are towering cypress and pine trees on pristinely clean and manicured grounds. This is our happy place, It could be yours too. Stone Mountain Park Campground: Stone Mountain, Georgia stonemountainpark.com/Campground RV and Tent Sites, Safari Tents, Yurts, and RV Rentals Stone Mountain Park Campground is about 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta (depending on traffic, of course) but it feels like it is many worlds away. This is no regular state park–it actually feels more like a hybrid between a stunningly beautiful state park and a luxury RV resort. They have sites that can accommodate big rigs and 250 of them offer full or partial hook ups. Additionally, there are almost two hundred other sites that are reserved for tent campers and those with pop ups. Is this Georgia’s best campground for tent campers and RV owners? We would answer that question with a resounding yes. In fact, it is probably one of the best campgrounds in the entire country. Glampers also delight in Stone Mountain’s lakefront Yurt Rentals, Safari Tents, and RV Rentals. The amenities at the campground are off-the-hook for a state park. There is a nice pool, horseshoe and sand volleyball courts, and a recently renovated playground–and this is all just in the campground. The State Park proper has dozens of other events and activities that will keep families occupied for days at a time. Jellystone Luray: Luray, VA campluray.com Deluxe and Camping Cabins, Tent and RV Sites We think that Jellystone Luray is one of the best family campgrounds in the country. The pools and water slides are a blast and most of the campground has stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is rare to find a full fledged resort campground located just minutes from the gates of a National Park. Jellystone Luray is that rare campground. You can spend mornings hiking in Shenandoah National Park and afternoons relaxing back at the pool or bounce pillow with your kids. Hey Hey Rides and Photo Ops with Yogi and Friends will charm younger campers, while laser tag and full sized sports facilities will keep teenagers busy for hours at a time. Spend your evenings relaxing under the stars and enjoying a crackling campfire or watching a movie together in the campgrounds delightful outdoor theater. Food options at the campground are better than average and mini golf is free. Hey Boo Boo!!!! San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA: Petaluma, California photo by The Camping Playlist koa.com/campgrounds/san-francisco RV and Tent Sites, Camping Cabins and Deluxe Cabins Located just 34 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, this KOA serves as a reasonable base camp for day tripping into the Windy City. It’s located right in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country, with Redwood Trees and beaches nearby, and it makes a great vacation destination even if you don’t want to visit the city. The campground is large and packed with activities and amenities and kids love the jumping pillow, farm-themed playground, pool, and rock climbing wall. Your kids will flip when they find the slurpee machine in the camp store. Younger kids will also love the small petting zoo. It can get super busy on the weekends, especially holiday weekends, so those seeking peace and quiet might choose to book a site far away from the action, or visit during the week. Full hook up and RV sites and cabins are not cheap here–but nothing is in this part of California. If you are an Alfred Hitchcock fan make sure you visit Bodega Bay where The Birds was filmed. Just take caution if they start to gather. West Glacier KOA Resort: West Glacier, Montana koa.com/campgrounds/west-glacier Camping Cabins, Deluxe Cabins, Multi-family Lodge Rental, RV and Tent Sites This West Glacier KOA is one of the most beautiful campgrounds in the country. Period. The smell of pine trees and and the mountain views are ravishing–and so is the hand dipped ice cream at Scoops. Breakfast at the Lazy Bear cafe is also excellent. We ate there just about every morning before heading out for another epic hike in Glacier National Park. We stayed in a charming deluxe cabin (with loft for the boys) with an outdoor firepit and seating area that seemed like it had been ripped from the pages of a landscape design magazine. Our boys loved the large basketball and Ga Ga Ball courts and they spent hours there each night making fast friends with the rest of the campground kids. We appreciated the “adults only” pool and hot tub area and took turns relaxing and chatting with other adults each night. The RV sites at this campground, particularly those at the bottom of the mountain, are among the most beautifully manicured sites we have ever seen. The West Glacier KOA Resort charges top dollar and they deserve it. Proximity to the West side of the park is also excellent. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Mill Run: Mill Run, Pennsylvania https://jellystonemillrun.com Bungalows, cabins, family lodges, tree house, RV Rentals, RV and Tent sites. This campground is an absolute treasure. It is nestled into a cozy corner of the beautiful and underrated Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania. There is so much to do here that you may forget to leave, but that would be a mistake because Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater is less than four miles away. We suggest you go and take a tour of this iconic home even if that means ripping your kids away from the waterslides, playgrounds, and laser tag at the campground. Yogi and his friends also appear regularly and you are pretty much guaranteed to see them at Cindy Bear’s Kountry Kitchen if you get there for breakfast on a weekend morning. The food is also legitimately good. Not campground good–but diner or breakfast joint good. We also love the wide variety of accommodations at this Yogi. We stayed in the family lodge that sleeps 16–a perfect place for a family reunion or multi-family trip. RV sites are also nice and there are cabins galore (and a super cute tree house) for those who want a memorable glamping experience. The post 10 Amazing Family Friendly Campgrounds appeared first on The RV Atlas.
44 minutes | 2 months ago
Bunkhouse Roundup: Midsize Trailers
This guest post about midsize bunkhouse models was written by our friend Kerri Cox from Travels with Birdy. To listen to Kerri and Jeremy discuss this topic click on the media player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! We started this bunkhouse roundup series to share inspiration for family-friendly trailers. We started with small trailers back in May. Kerri has roughly categorized trailers under 23 feet as small, those 24-29 feet as medium, and those over 30 as large. We promise this time we won’t take a 9-month hiatus before bringing you the next episode! The story of going from a small trailer to a medium bunkhouse is one my family knows well. We started with a 19-footer and jumped to a 29-footer after 5 years of traveling. Like many families, we simply outgrew that small trailer. Plus, we knew we loved the lifestyle, and we were ready to make more of an investment. After buying Birdy 2.0, we’ve never looked back! (You take learn all about our 2018 Jayco 244BHS and why we bought it here.) It really is like Goldilocks and the Three Bears…sometimes, the midsize is just right. What Do You Need to Know about Buying a Midsize Bunkhouse? Length: You might say a midsize bunkhouse is 23 through 29 feet long (there’s no clear industry definition). Weight: You likely need a solid pickup to haul one since they start around 5,000 pounds and can weigh over 7,000 pounds fully loaded. Most have slides, which add to the weight. Privacy: You may find more privacy in a medium trailer than small trailers. It’s possible to get a separate bedroom! But, you won’t get a master AND a bunkroom in this size of trailer. Furnishings: You probably won’t get a couch AND a dinette, but it’s not impossible to find both, especially if you consider a murphy bed. Towing: This is still a great size for towing, but may require a little more attention, especially in parking lots. Campsites: While you may have a harder time getting sites the larger you go, the midsize trailer still fits well in state and national parks and in tight private parks. Whether you are shopping or just dreaming, let’s take a look at some great midsize bunkhouses! Venture RV Sonic X SN211 VDBX The Venture RV Sonic X SN211 VDBX won the 2020 RVBusiness RV of the Year for its mix of creative design and upgraded features. This trailer is meant to appeal to the modern outdoorsy family. Main Specs: Length: 27’6” Weight: 5,400 pounds (dry) to 7,100 pounds (fully loaded) East /west double bunks on rear wall Front murphy bed converts to a couch during the day Slide with traditional booth dinette What really makes the Sonic X SN211 a standout, though, is the upgraded exterior features, meant to appeal to those who want to do some off-grid camping. You’ll find: 15-inch off-road tires and an enhance brush guard Built-in bumper rack for outdoor toys (like bikes and kayaks) GO-Power Solar Package and Boondocker water-filtration system: It doesn’t just come prepped for these, it comes with them! The water system can pull water from 75 feet way–impressive! Enhanced weather protection, including heated underbelly and heat pads for tanks Keystone Bullet 243BHSWE The Keystone Bullet 243BHSWE is a solid choice! It offers a traditional floor plan found across many manufacturers, but I really like the interior design of the Keystone. It looks modern, bright, and airy. The L-shaped kitchen is a stand-out compared to similar models. The family chef will LOVE this counter space! Main Specs: Length: 28’10” Weight: 5,200 pounds (dry) to 6,000 pounds (fully loaded) Private master bedroom (an HUGE plus for parents seeking some separation) Corner double bunks Slide with u-shaped dinette Outdoor kitchen The “breezy cottage” interior package has marble-look countertops, white cabinetry, and a subway tile backsplash. Keystone also has nice upgrades that come standard, like the SolidStep front steps, a built-in laundry chute, and Wineguard Gateway 4G LTE and wifi antenna. Forest River Ibex 20BHS While this doesn’t show the 20BHS, you can get a sense of the colorful design package on the Forest River Ibex. The Ibex lineup is a new offering from Forest River. It definitely has the same vibe as the Venture Sonic X and the Winnebago Hike, as it is designed to appeal to modern families that want to get off-the-beaten track. The Forest River Ibex 20BHS is the midsize bunkhouse model in this line. Main Specs: Length: 24’ Weight: 4,600 pounds (dry) up to 7,500 pounds (fully loaded) Queen bed, open to floor space Single bunks, open to main room Slide with traditional booth dinette It’s the little things that make a difference with this midsize bunkhouse. First, Forest River scrapped the built-in speakers (which often get complaints) and includes a JBL Flip portable bluetooth speaker. Another interesting feature is the integrated central vac system. I’ve never seen that before! Like the Sonic X, the Forest River Ibex 20BHS also has some off-grid features, like 15-inch off-road tires and heated tanks. Plus, the solar system comes standard. Again, that’s an impressive find! Grand Design 23BHE I had to pick a Grand Design model because this manufacturer is just so well loved by owners. The reputation for quality is widely known! I picked this model because it shows you what you can get in a midsize bunkhouse without a big slide. The kitchen slides out a little to open up the floor. Main Specs: Length: 27’11” Weight: 5,300 pounds (dry) up to 7,000 pounds (fully loaded) Double-over-double corner bunks Private master bedroom (again, that’s hard to find in a midsize bunkhouse) Outdoor kitchen A few things especially stand out with the Grand Design 23BHE. First, I really like that the dinette is on the campsite-side of the trailer, right by the front door. Most trailers have the dinette window looking out on your neighbor’s campsite. If the neighbors are outside, we always feel weird having our window open. So, a window overlooking your own campsite is a truly underrated feature. The interior of the Grand Design 23BHE is also a standout. While Grand Design hasn’t gone with the on-trend modern farmhouse style, you will find a sleek interior that is more reminiscent of a European caravan or an Airstream or yacht. Plus, Grand Design includes thoughtful additions, like the flip-up counter extension. Final Thoughts Which midsize bunkhouse would Jeremy and I pick from this group? We both picked the Sonic Venture X SN211 VDBX! It was neat to see this concept trailer come to market packed with the off-grid features. It really was a game changer for the industry, inspiring many others. For now, I’ll plan to keep Birdy 2.0! Be sure to check out several more of my model previews over on Trailer Life, where I had a regular feature all about family-friendly bunkhouses. Thanks to Kerri for walking us through some great midsize bunkhouse choices! You can find more of her writing on her blog Travels with Birdy, on Togo RV, and in the new RV Magazine (which replaces Trailer Life and Motorhome magazines). Check out the February issue for a picture of her husband in a bathtub (listen to this episode of the podcast to hear this full tale!). The post Bunkhouse Roundup: Midsize Trailers appeared first on The RV Atlas.
54 minutes | 2 months ago
America’s Newest National Park! West Virginia’s New River Gorge
We are so excited to talk about America’s newest national park on today’s podcast and here on The RV Atlas blog. Huge thanks to freelance writer Kate Morgan (bykatemorgan.com) for coming on the show and sharing her passion and deep knowledge of New River Gorge. After I read Kate’s recent piece in the Washington Post about New River Gorge, I knew I had to get her on the show. Huge thanks also go to Jay Young and Adventures on the Gorge for generously sharing their beautiful pictures. If you are going to plan your own trip to New River Gorge, here are Kate’s best tips for can’t miss outdoor activities and for getting great grub in gateway towns. On the podcast we go into great detail about how New River Gorge became a National Park and Preserve, and we also talk about Kate’s custom Ford Transit van. Click on the media player above to listen to my interview with Kate, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your shows! photo by Kate Morgan Planning a Trip to New River Gorge It’s All About the Whitewater Rafting! photo by Jay Young/Adventures on the Gorge At New River Gorge, it’s all about the Whitewater Rafting. And even if Whitewater Rafting sounds terrifying to you, this is a great place to try it for the first time. There are sections of the river that are good for beginners and families, and sections that will satisfy the biggest adrenaline junkies. According to Kate, The Upper New River is perfect for families. You can go from tranquil pools which are great for swimming to fun, but smaller rapids. The surroundings are beautiful too. Bring a waterproof camera! The Lower New River is a lot more challenging with abundant Class III and IV rapids. Kate promises that adventure junkies can get a major adrenaline fix here if they are looking for one. Families with teenagers or more adventurous and capable younger kids might try this too. Kate recommends calling Adventure’s on the Gorge if you want to book a guided adventure! New River Gorge has Zip lining Tours Galore! Kate also recommends doing some zip lining during your time in New River Gorge. And once again, she recommends Adventures on the Gorge for a wide variety of experiences for both families and adrenaline junkies. She personally loves a canopy tour called “The Tree Tops Course.” There is also a really cool obstacle course for kids filled with tubes and rope ladders. The video above shows Kate and her boyfriend T.J. racing down a zipline in New River Gorge. T.J. hit 60mph at one point! Rock Climbing in New River Gorge photo by Jay Young/Adventures on the Gorge The theme here seems to be that New River Gorge has outdoor adventures for folks at a variety of ability levels. This is also true of rock climbing. Serious rock climbing veterans have been coming here for years, but there are also plenty of experiences for those that want to learn! For those that are not brave enough, or physically able enough, to try rock climbing, Kate also recommends just pulling up a camp chair and watching from the bottom! Grub and Brews in New River Gorge’s Gateway Towns Kate loves Fayetteville and Beckley and suggests visiting both of these adorable gateway towns for great grub, craft brewed beer, and local shopping. Her favorite spots in Fayetteville are “Pies and Pints” and “Secret Sandwich Society.” She recommends getting the heirloom tomato pizza at “Pies and Pints” if you are visiting in the summertime. Even though she is from New Jersey, she claims that it is the best pizza she has ever had. “Secret Sandwich Society,” was recently devastated by a major fire. But she confirmed that they are rebuilding and will be reopening this year! photo by Jay Young/Adventures on the Gorge We talked about so much more on today’s podcast and Kate also gave us the scoop on a new campground that is being built specifically for RV owners! You will have to tune in to find out more about that! New River Gorge National Park and Preserve sounds absolutely amazing to me. It just moved way the heck up on my personal bucket list. Hopefully after listening to today’s podcast it will make it onto your bucket list too! The post America’s Newest National Park! West Virginia’s New River Gorge appeared first on The RV Atlas.
38 minutes | 2 months ago
Where Should We Camp Next? A Behind the Scenes Look!
Where Should We Camp Next? Deep Background! Two books in two years…. It’s kind of hard to believe we pulled it off. And why did we even try in the first place? Where Should We Camp Next? A 50-State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and Other Unique Outdoor Accommodations ,our third book, will be released on March 2nd, 2021–exactly one year after See You at the Campground ,our second book, was released. So why two books in two years? Because after we published our first book, six years ago, we waited too long to start writing our next book. We wanted to move quickly and get Where Should We Camp Next? out without multiple years in between. So that’s what we did. We pitched Where Should We Camp Next? right after we turned in See You at the Campground–but before it actually went on sale. So much credit should be given to our agent, editor, and publisher for getting behind a second camping book before there was any proof that the first one would sell. We sold the book in summer 2019, we had fall of 2019 and winter/spring of 2020 to write it. But of course no one told us a global pandemic was coming! To put it mildly, finishing the the book became incredibly difficult. Like soul-crushingly difficult. Our kids were home from school and needing constant monitoring and support, and finding time to write was almost impossible. Almost. Thank God our editor was gracious and offered us an extension…or two…or maybe three:) But we finished it and we LOVE this book beyond words. Our hope is that it stays in print for years to come. Sources of Inspiration for Where Should We Camp Next? So what inspired the writing of this particular book? We both wanted to bring something new into the world that did not exist. There are a few camping directories here and there, but most of them are focused on certain types of campgrounds–and most of them are just glorified phone books with basic information about amenities and facilities. We wanted to write a book that covered the great diversity of the American campground experience right now. We wanted a book that reviewed rustic campgrounds, and flashy RV resorts. And we wanted the writing to be sharp, insightful, and funny. Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood also served as a major inspiration. Stephanie and I have been using this book for years and we keep a copy in our RV. This classic book offers up recommendations for amazing Roadfood in all 50 States and it has led us to some incredible gems. Similarly, we hope Where Should We Camp Next? leads you to some incredible gems that you would not have discovered otherwise. Our own “Campground of the Week” podcast also served as inspiration. Over the course of 3-4 years and about 150 episodes we reviewed campgrounds across the country, and invited our correspondents on to do the same. These Campground of the Week podcasts are still available right here on our website, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Format of Where Should We Camp Next? Where Should We Camp Next? starts with an 18 page intro that serves as an overview of the American camping experience right now! It has introductory information on public and private campgrounds, RV resorts, Hipcamp, Harvest Hosts, Tentrr, and glamping experiences like Under Canvas and Collective Retreats and MUCH MORE. This is the single best overview of the American camping scene that is out there right now! Our intro also includes a description of our badge system so that you can quickly find certain types of camping experiences like: Glamping, Romantic Weekend, Rustic, Waterfront, and Family.These badges do not highlight THE BEST campground in the book –but campgrounds that are specifically appealing in that category. Then Where Should We Camp Next? breaks into regions and in each region a chapter on each state. Each State has 5 to 11 campground reviews. Most states have about 6 campground reviews. Bigger states have more listings. The reviews are broken into two categories: “Best in State” and “Also Great.” Sometimes the slimmest of margins separated the two, and sometimes a campground made “Best in State” because it has a wider appeal than a comparable one in the “Also Great” category. The Book also has well over a hundred interesting sidebars to accompany the campground reviews. These sidebars are filled with travel tips, regional highlights, culinary highlights, more campgrounds, historical tidbits, and so much more. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the sidebars! Tips for Hiking in Acadia National Park Our favorite small towns in Vermont Best Beaches in Delaware What Makes Maryland Crab Cakes so Special? The Dos and Don’ts of dragging your kids to Gettysburg Military National Park 10 Tips for Camping at Fort Wilderness Highlights from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Route 66 Highlights in Oklahoma 10 Things to Do in Charleston Packing for a trip to Glacier National Park And about 80 more of them! This book was very challenging for us to finish during this pandemic year–but we are so thrilled to share it with you. And as always, we hope to see you at the campground! Best–Jeremy and Stephanie The post Where Should We Camp Next? A Behind the Scenes Look! appeared first on The RV Atlas.
38 minutes | 3 months ago
Brand New Tips For Beating the Winterization Blues!
It’s time for our fifth annual effort to beat back the winterization blues! This winter we are tapping into two European lifestyle trends that have real staying power. Our tips are based around suggestions for a winter life centered around “open air living” known as Friluftsliv in Norway. Think long walks with your pup, mountain biking in the snow, campfires with friends, and space heaters on the back deck. We also have tips based around the Danish concept of “coziness” or Hygge. This is a trend we broke here in the United States a few years back (#jokingnotjoking). Think warm blankets, RV-centric movie nights, hot mugs of tea, and snuggling with your camping sweetie. For obvious reasons, winter may be harder this year than in year’s past. All the more reason to take a listen to the accompanying podcast (in the media player above) or just keep on reading! Part One: Tips for Outdoor Living (Friluftsliv) Start a CCC (Covid Campfire Club) Many of us are missing our friends at this point during the pandemic. So why not invite them over for a campfire, and ask them to do the same. In my general neighborhood, three of us have created a circuit for weekend campfires. Much credit goes to my neighbor Derek who has led the charge. Even if you just hang out for an hour once a week to socialize, it will make you feel human again. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate with you too–it will warm you up from the inside out! Forming a CCC is a powerful antidote to the winterization blues! Make this Alfred Wainwright Quote Your New Motto ”There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” We think old Alfred got this one right. If you dress appropriately you can get outside and ENJOY almost any kind of weather. Stephanie thinks this is harder to apply to kids because they grow out of their cold weather gear so quickly and it is more challenging to keep them properly geared up. But for us adults there should be no excuses. Get some quality winter clothing and get outside! Stephanie has been doing great getting outside every day, and so have Max and Theo. I’m doing fairly well myself too. The four of us are definitely beating the winterization blues. Our youngest, Wesley, has been struggling a bit more. But he was throwing snowballs with the best of them just yesterday. Get A Portable Heater for Your Back Deck We have recommended having an outdoor firepit like a Solo Stove before—but I don’t like to have a campfire every night. But I do like to sit outside and read in our screened in porch during the winter months. The Mr. Heater Buddy Flex Heater has been awesome for sitting outside at night. It is powered by the little green propane tanks–or you can get an adaptor to use a larger tank. THIS THING IS SO WARM and very easy to use. It is a powerful tool for beating the winterization blues. The heat comes out on three sides and is perfect for staying cozy outside, even on the coldest of nights. Plus, there is no messy cleanup like with a campfire and no smoke to contend with. The Buddy Flex Heater is my favorite new piece of outdoor gear this winter. If you buy one, please make sure you read the instructions carefully before use. The Buddy Flex Heater needs oxygen and I have only used it outside. Pick Up a New Cold Weather Hobby Picking up a new hobby is almost certainly a way to bring joy into your life and beat back the winterization blues. Our son Theo is 11 years old right now, and he started pushing us to go mountain biking this fall. So we all ended up with Trek mountain bikes, and we love them! The boys all have Trek Marlin 5’s and Stephanie has a Marlin 6. We have all been impressed with the quality at a moderate price point. Each time we head outside for a mountain bike ride, we are not just beating the winterization blues. We are crushing it. Part Two: Tips for Staying Warm, Cozy, and Entertained Inside (Hygge) Get a Cozy Travel Themed Blanket Everyone needs a cozy blanket for reading books and magazines, and watching their favorite YouTube shows. So why not make it a travel themed blanket? That way you can think of your favorite places while you are cozied up at home. Here are three great options for travel themed blankets that are used on the reg in our house. Each of them will work well for beating back the winterization blues. Camp Casual Blankets ($50 to $90) –Longtime listeners of The RV Atlas podcast know that we totally ADORE Camp Casual blankets. All three of our boys sleep with one every single night. With patterns like Road Trip, Travel Map, and Cozy Critters, there is definitely a cute option for everyone in your family. Stormy Kromer Wool Blankets ($99)–Stormy Kromer is legendary for their warm and cozy caps that are made in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. But their plaid blankets are pretty awesome too! When they have extra material, they turn it into blankets, so the stock varies at any give time. If they don’t have a pattern you like, check back later. Pendleton National Park Blankets If you are feeling a little bougie why not consider spending money on a blanket that will become a family heirloom? Pendleton’s National Park blankets are not cheap, but they are beautiful and well-made. Have you visited Glacier, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Crater Lake or any of the other iconic parks in Pendleton’s series? Then this might be the ultimate park souvenir. I got Stephanie one for Christmas last winter but kinda messed up. I got her a queen sized blanket but should have went with the less expensive full sized. It was just too big for her to use while reading or watching a movie. So guess who is using it now? Watch the Airstream “Portable Parks” Series This series has four “episodes” so far–Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Everglades, and Arches. Each episode is centered around a short 6 minute video tour of the park that is absolutely stunning. The sights and SOUNDS of the park will take your breath away. Airstream recommends that you watch the videos with earphone on and I totally agree. The natural soundscapes of these parks are ravishing. I recommend watching one before bed each night for four straight nights. You will find yourself deeply relaxed and inspired at the same time. Each episode also includes background on the parks and recommendations for planning your own RV trip. My favorite was Arches National Park. I wonder what yours will be? Have a The Long, Long Trailer Movie Night Rent or buy the greatest RV centric movie in Hollywood history and have a travel themed movie night. This 1954 classic starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz could be fun for the whole family, or could work for a romantic movie night with your spouse. Just send the kids to their rooms for the night, okay? The Long, Long Trailer is quirky and cute and fun, and its depiction of RV life in the 1950’s is fascinating. Check out all of the classic trailers and cars and laugh-out-loud as you follow Nicky and Tacy on a screwball journey out west. Head Over to REI’s YouTube Channel and watch “Miranda in the Wild” For those of us who still have tent camping in our blood and have an interest in van life–this show is super duper fun. Miranda is smart and funny and she knows her stuff. Her gear reviews are on point, and her hiking and tent camping tips are practical and easy to implement. WARNING! Watching “Miranda in the Wild” might inspire you to go to REI and build your own poop kit. Because that’s what I did! For our mountain biking adventures…. But I hope we never have to use it… Good luck conquering the winterization blues everybody! Drop a comment below and tell me how you are getting outside and staying cozy inside! The post Brand New Tips For Beating the Winterization Blues! appeared first on The RV Atlas.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
RV Atlas Year in Review! Our Most Downloaded Episodes
Happy New Year everyone!! We typically wrap up a year of podcasting with an episode dedicated to our travel highlights from the past year. But this year got a little complicated didn’t it? We had great moments traveling, but not exactly enough to sift through them and chose from them. As Stephanie says in today’s year-end wrap up podcast–every time we travelled was a highlight! So instead we decided to share our favorite podcasts from the year, and our most downloaded podcasts from the year! If you missed any of these you might want to head back and take a listen. Because for one reason or another–these episodes resonated with people. Typically, our campground reviews do not end up being the most downloaded episodes of the year. These are great episodes, but sometimes people pick and choose which ones they listen to based on where they live or where they might go on an upcoming trip. Understandable, of course. But this year that paradigm got tossed out the window. Campground reviews dominated our top ten list! We think that this can be explained quite easily. There were so many new RV owners this summer–and they wanted to know where to go! Our personal favorites from the year overlap quite a bit. This was also surprising to us because we don’t always agree on these types of things:) Without further ado–here are the top ten most downloaded episodes of The RV Atlas in 2021! Followed by Stephanie’s five personal favorites and Jeremy’s five personal favorites. Links are included to the show notes for each! 10 Most Downloaded Episodes Campground Review: Castaways RV Resort Campground Review: Anchor Down RV Resort Campground Review: Moose Hillock, NY Campground Review: Carolina Pines RV Resort 5 RV Trends for 2020 Campground Review: Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake 2020 Camping Trends “What’s Hot What’s Not” RV Newbie Stock Up List The Campground 411: Understanding Different Types of Campgrounds Small Bunkhouse Round Up with Kerri Cox Stephanie’s Five Favorite Episodes Trip Planning: RV, RV Rentals, Cabins, or Lodge Zion National Park Trip Planner with Lauren Eber 12 Tips for RVing During a Pandemic RVing in Iceland Subpar Parks: National Parks and Their One Star Reviews Jeremy’s Five Favorite Episodes Fort Wilderness VS Wilderness Lodge Underrated Series –Michigan, NY, Indiana, Arkansas, Virginia 12 Tips for RVing During a Pandemic RVing in Iceland CCC podcast Subpar Parks with Amber Share Happy New Year Everyone!! The RV Atlas podcast will be back on February 1st! The post RV Atlas Year in Review! Our Most Downloaded Episodes appeared first on The RV Atlas.
29 minutes | 4 months ago
Planning our Summer 2021 Trip to Yellowstone National Park
Stephanie and I have been in the thick of planning our summer 2021 camping trip to Yellowstone National Park. So we thought we would take you along for the ride on today’s episode of The RV Atlas! I tend to drive Stephanie bonkers planning our big trips because I vacillate and hesitate and act like Prince Hamlet. Perpetually unable to make a decision and creating chaos all around me. Stephanie is more precise and decisive and she has great track record for picking the right places and planning the right routes. So I basically bombard her with options and force her to decide. It’s a bit dysfunctional, but our track record for planning epic adventures out west is impeccable. To listen to Stephanie and Jeremy discuss planning their big summer 2021 trip to Yellowstone National Park, click on the media player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! Our Late Summer Strategy For Heading West When it comes to planning our big summer trips out west, we have settled into a pattern that we both love. Instead of taking our own RV out west, we fly in and rent an RV. Or we rent a car and stay in cabins or NPS lodges. We only have about 12 days for this Yellowstone trip, so driving out is not a viable option. That would mean too much time in the truck, and not enough time in the parks. We think that too many RV owners never get around to their bucket list trips because they are totally committed to their own RV’s and don’t have enough time to drive to many of the epic locations out west. So instead, they spend all of their vacation time closer to home. Fly and camp trips have allowed us to see the PNW, South Dakota, and Glacier on our own timeframes and on our own terms. Staying in NPS Lodges, glamping tents, and cabins has been an incredibly experience that we wouldn’t trade for the world. We have also fallen in love with traveling out west in late August and early September. Why? Because we find that many popular locations, like Mount Rushmore, are less crowded at that time. This is because so many kids are back in school. Our boys don’t start school until after Labor Day, and we are thankful that we can travel at a time when the weather is great and the summer crowds have thinned out a bit. We are taking this same approach for Yellowstone. Max and Theo have a baseball tournament that ends around August 21st. We have about 14 days before school starts, so why not do Yellowstone, right? Our Loop So this year LORD WILLING we are flying into Jackson Hole and doing a loop—staying first at Grand Teton National Park, then West Yellowstone, East Yellowstone/Cody, and back to Jackson Hole. We are missing out on Devil’s Tower on this trip, but besides that, this loop looks perfect! We will have time to explore Grand Teton National Park, both sides of Yellowstone, and Cody and Jackson Hole. Sounds like a perfect 12 days to me. First Stop: Colter Bay Cabins Our first stop will be at Colter Bay Cabins. We were surprised that there was NPS lodging available inside Grand Tetons National Park–so we grabbed it! Yellowstone basically had nothing left–so this was our one chance to stay inside one of these monumental parks. The cabins look pretty basic on the outside–but they look really nice and cozy on the inside. But most importantly, they comfortably sleep five! This is a huge reason why we prefer cabins over hotels when we do fly trips—room and sleeping accommodations for the whole family. Pictures of the interiors of this cabin look absolutely charming–and we think it will be nice and centrally located for our trip. We are hoping to do the hike around Jenny Lake and visit mormon row while we are here. I would also love to rent canoes or kayaks. Second Stop: West Yellowstone I am thrilled that we are staying two nights in a luxury glamping tent at Under Canvas Yellowstone. I will never say the price of this splurge on the podcast or here on the website! It is EXPENSIVE! But this place looks amazing and they actually have family-friendly glamping tents. The Collective Retreats did not have family friendly glamping tents. This Under Canvas has comfy beds with high linen counts, wood burning stoves, gourmet meals onsite, guided excursions, and a gorgeous location. Our next book, Where Should We Camp Next, definitely covers the glamping scene–and we are excited to try an Under Canvas location. They have glamping tents with a tent for mom and dad–and then a separate tent outside for kids, or two tents connected by a deck–but we can never enjoy such things. Our boys would end up in our tent anyway. So we got a suite that sleeps five. Then we are staying at a cabin at the West Yellowstone KOA Mountainside–for two nights. We choose this one over the other KOA up the road because it looks quieter and prettier. The other one has a pool and hot tub–but we are opting for pretty over amenities. This KOA is located right next to Gallatin National Forest and the cabins are nestled along a cozy creek. KOA cabins have been a solid choice for us in a number of places—Glacier, Redwoods, Philadelphia KOA—they are always cozy and fairly well equipped with options for linens. After our stay at West Yellowstone we will drive across the park and make a big day of it and drive to Cody to stay at the KOA there. This KOA received a rave from Kate Dunbar on the Campground of the Week podcast a few years back and most folks say not to miss CODY WHEN visiting Yellowstone. We want to do the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and do a Rodeo and all of the fun (and maybe cheesy wild west stuff.) Our kids will love it and so will we. After that we are driving back to Jackson Hole. We really wanted to stay right in town, chill out, swim, and eat some good food and check out the shops etc..so our last two nights are in a hotel right in downtown. Say a prayer that the world gets better soon. So we can all have a healthy and happy 2021. I’m sick and tired of cancelling trips and reevaluating every decision that we make as a family because of Covid. I bet you are too. –Jeremy The post Planning our Summer 2021 Trip to Yellowstone National Park appeared first on The RV Atlas.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Six Tips for Travel Themed Decor With Gretchen Holcombe
This guest post about travel themed decor was written by our friend Gretchen Holcombe from Boxy Colonial, and Boxy Colonial on the Road. To listen to Gretchen and Jeremy discuss this topic click on the media player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! Gretchen has been on the podcast many times over the years, check out some of her other great episodes here and here. Winter can be a tough time for RVers. Memories of summer travel start to fade while long months too cold for camping stretch out before us. But our homes are more than just places to sleep in between trips; at their best they’re a reflection of who we are and the things we value. We’ve always loved to travel, but when we started RVing five years ago, we found the reminders of the places we’ve been creeping into our home decor more and more, and we love it that way. Here are six ideas for filling your home with all the things you love about your travels to keep those memories close even when the next trip seems way too far away. Use Souvenirs in Holiday Decorating Lots of people enjoy picking up Christmas ornaments from gift shops as they travel; bringing them out come December is a great way to remember all the places you’ve been over the years. Or you can get crafty for a low cost alternative to store bought ornaments. How about salt dough ornaments in the shapes of all the states you’ve visited? Make a garland or origami ornaments from old maps. When our souvenir magnet collection started to get out of hand, I bought some heavy duty magnetic tape and some wooden craft circles and turned them into temporary ornaments. Now we put two trees up every year, and one of them is entirely travel themed. Think Beyond the Obvious There’s more to souvenir shopping than magnets and t-shirts, and there’s more to travel themed decor than a photo on the wall of your family in front of the Grand Canyon. Look for things that truly capture what you love about a place. While you’re traveling, find shops that sell things made by local artists or artisans; a lovely piece of pottery or wood carving from a local craftsman will always remind you of the place you bought it even if it doesn’t have the name or image of that place on it. When we went to Nashville for my husband’s 40th birthday, we came home with a commemorative poster that local printer, Hatch Show Print, made for the Jason Isbell concert we went to. If you’re going to a performance or seeing a limited time exhibit on your travels, a commemorative print could make a great souvenir that few other people will have. It’s Okay to Wait Until You Get Home to Shop Browsing a gift shop in a national park can be a great experience, and for many people souvenir shopping is an important part of a trip. But trying to make decisions about what to bring home while kids tug on your sleeve and you’re running late for a ranger talk can also be stressful and overwhelming. Fortunately, we live in world where you can find just about anything on the internet and have it at your house in a matter of days. A little time and distance from your trip can also help clarify which parts were the most meaningful to you and which memories you want to represent in your home. As a bonus, the online shopping itself can help you relive your trip and find travel themed decor that fits perfectly into your home. Don’t Forget Vintage If vintage finds fit in with your travel themed decor aesthetic, you can turn to eBay or Etsy or even local thrift shops and antique malls for some wonderful, low cost souvenirs. Souvenir plates, for example, are very easy to find from any state or major city or tourist attraction you’ve visited. We have a cheerful collection of these on the wall of our sunroom. Reproductions of old travel posters are very popular lately and are usually reasonably priced or are available for free online to print out yourself. I’ve printed out some wonderful vintage national park maps from the David Ramsey Map Collection (https://www.davidrumsey.com). Our thrifted vintage bison tapestry reminds us of our trip out west to the Badlands and Yellowstone even though we didn’t actually buy it in a park. Kids’ Rooms are a Great Place To Go a Little Over the Top Most of these tips are about tucking little reminders of your travels here and there throughout your home: a tasteful figurine on the bookshelf or a vintage poster in a grouping of artwork above your sofa. But if you happen to have a kid who shares your affinity for travel-related decor (or is too young to protest), it’s a perfect opportunity to unleash all of your inner sense of whimsy. When we were decorating a “big kid” room for my youngest, we did a full national parks theme, complete with prints from Creative Action Network’s See America project, an NPS arrowhead logo-shaped chalkboard, bison-stamped curtains (we have a lot of bison around here), and a bookshelf lined in fabric with a cool mountain print. Use Your Travel Photos Creatively But Sparingly We’re all familiar with the usual ways of displaying photos: family portraits marching down a hallway or up a staircase. But your personal photos of the places you’ve been can also play a role in your decorating. Even if you don’t consider yourself a great photographer, a simple snapshot of somewhere you love can look great with a little editing—make it black and white and suddenly it’s artsy! And make sure to pay for quality printing. Most of my travel photography stays on my blog or in photo books we have printed, but I also add some to my walls here and there. One of my Grand Canyon photos is part of a grouping of art in our dining room. Photos of my youngest son at various national parks sites are in a gallery wall in his national parks room. Our upstairs bathroom has a lot of nautical touches, so I hung up a print of a favorite photo of the Bluenose II in Nova Scotia. Thanks to Gretchen for walking us through some of her best tips for integrating travel themed decor into our homes! Hopefully she inspired you to shop for souvenirs wisely during your next RV trip! The post Six Tips for Travel Themed Decor With Gretchen Holcombe appeared first on The RV Atlas.
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