04 Apr

Girl Camper: Episode 78 Long Haul Driving Tips

On this week’s show I am talking about long distance driving.  When you hit the road this summer whether it’s a big trip of thousands of miles or across your state there are ways to make the drive more of a journey and less of a chore. Getting there can be half the fun if you follow a few simple principles for driving  while towing.

Travel and towing can be a pleasure if you follow a few simple rules.

Be rested when you leave. Sometimes we pack up and get the feeling that we have to get going because  we’re “burning daylight”. It’s always a good idea to be rested and non stressed when you head out. The process of getting ready can take longer than we think and be stressful in itself. Try to adapt a “journey” not “destination” attitude about travel.

Take a break every two hours. Even if you don’t feel tired it’s a good idea to get out and stretch your legs every two hours or so. I park as far from the rest area bathroom as possible and jog over to the building. It’s good to get your blood flowing and take in some fresh air. If the driving conditions are stressful it’s even more important to stop for the mental clarity as well as the physical boost. Take a cat nap in your trailer if necessary. Staying alert means staying safe.

Eat light. Nothing brings on drowsiness like a pile of carbs from a rest stop fast food restaurant. You are barely burning calories behind the wheel and the food you take in should help you stay alert not make you tired. I keep a cool pack on the passenger seat with fresh fruit, nuts, string cheese and humus. I only drink water after my morning cup of coffee. My favorite thing is knowing that a great dinner awaits me at the campground. I like to have a marinating chicken breast or steak waiting to go on the grill when I have arrived and am set up and look forward to that on my drive.

I keep this soft pack cooler on the passenger seat for a quick healthy pick me up while driving.

Slow and steady wins the race. It’s always better when you can approach the drive to your ultimate destination as part of the vacation too.  If you are in a “just get there” mindset you will miss the beauty along the way. Study a map and see if you can plan a stop along the way. Be willing to get off the highway and drive a stretch on a county two lane. Be willing to stop in a town and find the local mom and pop diner, quirky gas station slash museum, or weird roadside attraction that you will be talking about ten years from now. Most of the cool things on vacations are unplanned. Be willing to be open to back road travel.

A friend of mine tipped me off to the town of Granville TN which is southeast of Nashville. I took the opportunity to get off the highway and visit. I was so glad that I did!

The General Store in Granville had fallen into extreme disrepair and had been closed for a long time when a descendant of the original builder who was doing family research visited the town and saw it. He purchased it, renovated it and donated it back to the town where it is used as a Saturday night dance hall and dinner spot now.

Mark Polk’s blog on trailer sway is worth the read. He always provides so much insight into the causes of RV issues. Please take the time to educate yourself on ways to minimize trailer sway and handle it when it does happen.

There are lots more tips and travel help in this weeks podcast as well as all the news on the News Roundup and Campfire Chat! Hope you enjoy this weeks episode!! Happy trails!!

 

 

21 Feb

Camp Casual Give Away!

Camp Casual is giving away one of their beautiful camp throws. This super soft 50 x 60 has been my favorite thing this whole cold winter. I chose the Road Trip blanket in the picture below. It was a hard choice because I really have a thing about owls! Whatever the pattern on the face fabric is, the same softness will be there. The reverse of this blanket is a cozy velvety fabric that will warm up any cold afternoon at home or nippy camp night around the fire.

I just love this photo I swiped from Camp Casual Facebook page. It just screams “snuggle”.

The sweet folks at Camp Casual make those retro dishes we all love to own and collect for our trailers and this year they added these wonderful throws. I have been dragging mine around the house all winter but I am definitely moving it to my camper when the season starts. They are offering Girl Camper followers a coupon code to get 20% off any of their five styles. Just type in RVLOVER to get your discount.

It was a tough choice because I love owls but I could not resist the vintage trailers!!

Camp Casual also makes the Melamine tableware that are perfect for camping. Their retro designs make them a nostalgic camper accessory that is totally functional. I have the salad bowl with the matching utensils that I mostly use  for popcorn!!

The 12 piece dish set comes with four dinner plates, four salad plates and four bowls. The salad bowl makes a great bowl for any side dish!

To be in the running for the give away, sign up for our Girl Camper blog post notices!

photos courtesy of Camp Casual.

14 Feb

Girl Camper: Episode #71 Maurrie Suussman from Sisters on the Fly

On this weeks show my guest is the co-founder of  Sisters on the Fly , Maurrie Sussman. The Sisters on the Fly is the largest outdoor women’s adventure group in the country with over 8 thousand members. She and her sister Becky Clarke founded the group over 20 years ago and have been having “more fun than anyone” ever since. Maurrie is here today to talk about the groups beginnings, the coveted trailers, their bucket list trips and the women who join them.

Becky Clarke and Maurrie Sussman, real life sisters and co founders of Sisters on the Fly.

27 Jan

Camper College – Tom’s Camperland Style!

For about two years I have been cajoling RV dealerships into hosting what I call “Camper College.” For those that don’t know what a Camper College event is, it’s an opportunity afforded to us by dealerships that “get it” to find out what is involved in owning, operating and towing a travel trailer.

Brad Leach, owner of Toms Camperland in Mesa, Arizona walks a group of RV interested guests through the how’s and why’s of trailer operations.

In all the mail I receive from listeners of the Girl Camper Podcast, the fear most often expressed in them is the fear of towing.  Additionally, there is a lot of concern about the trailer coming detached from the car. At Camper College, dealerships walk would-be Girl Campers through the process of hitching up a trailer. The hands on demonstrations let the attendees  do the whole operation themselves. The dealership also takes everyone on a scaled back version of a trailer walk through showing them where water goes in, comes out and how the trailer gets its “energy.” For those that are new to the RV lifestyle these lessons help demystify trailer ownership and give the confidence needed to make an eventual purchase. It’s the first step into joining the Girl Camping movement with confidence.

Chris Baum, COO of Little Guy Worldwide and I have a great time hosting together even if we do fight over the microphone!

It’s been great to have the support of Little Guy Worldwide who often co-host these events with me. This last event was epic though and we created a bit of a circus by inviting our Camp LIke a Girl Meet Up site members to Take Over Tom’s Camperland in Mesa, Arizona. Women from other Meet-ups in the Phoenix area as well as our event partner Sisters on the Fly, all came out to do a Friday night meet and greet with a demonstration and then an all day Saturday Open House. Tom’s is a huge dealership with over 42,000 square feet of covered display space. They were gracious enough to treat us to a great dinner on Friday night which made those traveling directly from work to the event very happy! On Saturday we got to eat the biggest pizza pie I’ve ever seen along with lots of healthy snacks and cookies to keep our energy up as we toured the largest selection of lightweight towables in Arizona.

Maurrie Sussman, co-founder of Sisters on the Fly, tells the would be girl campers about her extraordinary group.

The showroom at Tom’s had plenty of room to gather and talk shop.

The staff at Tom’s Camperland could not have been more gracious and I thank them for sharing their knowledge and for their gracious hospitality. I’d also like to thank Chris Baum of Little Guy Worldwide for coming out to join us. Chris is always cheer leading for us and although he was outnumbered, he held his own! We think he has magic shoes!  A special thanks to Maurrie Sussman the co-founder of Sisters on the Fly, the largest membership based outdoor women’s group in the United States, for coming and sharing fishing stories, towing stories and inspiration with all those new to Girl Camping. My final thank you is to owner Brad Leach for believing in the idea of mentoring and for operating the kind of business that wants customers for life and that is willing to serve those customers before they even make a purchase. When I remarked to Brad during his demonstration that I was told that a power surge protector was an absolute trailer necessity he quickly replied that I must have been at “Camper ‘Junior’ College.”  He was a heck of a good sport and fun to boot!!

There is such a large selection of lightweight towable trailers at Tom’s that each Girl Camper had plenty to think about.

 

16 Aug

Girl Camper #45 Prepurchase RV Inspections

On this week’s show my guest is Todd Henson, director of sales and marketing at RV Inspections.  Todd discusses the RV Inspection industry and all the benefits to consumers who have an RV inspection done before purchasing a pre- owned motor home or travel trailer. I also chat about all I learned at the latest Camper College at Beckley’s Camping Center in Thurmont, Md.

Todd Henson giving a presentation in Texas on the RV Inspection industry.

Todd Henson giving a presentation in Texas on the RV Inspection industry.

Paul (the Air Force guy) was a wealth of information for even the seasoned travel trailer owners at Beckley's Camping Center's Camper College event.

Paul (the Air Force guy) was a wealth of information for even the seasoned travel trailer owners at Beckley’s Camping Center’s Camper College event.

Camper College events are a great way for women to get their questions answered as well as meet likeminded women to travel with.

Camper College events are a great way for women to get their questions answered as well as meet likeminded women to travel with.

The Ohio Country Living Fair is coming up September 16-18 and Go RVing will be there with the Girl Campers. Stop by and see their booth!

The Ohio Country Living Fair is coming up September 16-18 and Go RVing will be there with the Girl Campers. Stop by and see their booth!

Our next Camper College event is at Haydocy Airstream on Friday, September 16, 2016 from 5-8 pm. Sign up at MeetUp.com - Camp Like A Girl group.

Our next Camper College event is at Haydocy Airstream on Friday, September 16, 2016 from 5-8 pm. Sign up at MeetUp.com – Camp Like A Girl group.

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