10 Jul

Introducing Max by Little Guy

I have been promising and here it is – Max by Little Guy, a Liberty Outdoors brand. Little Guy trailers has long been a sponsor of the Girl Camper Podcast so when they asked me to road test their new “Max” trailer on my four week National Parks Tour I didn’t hesitate. I had been getting regular factory updates on the progress of Max along the way but when I drove to the factory to get him I was immediately impressed by the quality of workmanship and thoughtful design that went into this maxed out teardrop.

i love the profile of this trailer and I have already pulled it a thousand miles and can report that it tows like a dream.

 

The brightness and airflow in this trailer drew me right in. Wherever you stand there is a view!

 

Since I work on the road I love that when I am stuck working I have this sweet view as well as a USB in every plug!

 

This is the most storage I have ever had in a trailer. All of the cabinets are hardwood, custom made with dovetailed construction. I have the trailer packed for a four week trip and didn’t even put anything under the booth seats.

The neutral color pallette makes this trailer a blank canvas for anyway you want to go with the design. I chose simple and contemplative which suits this soothing space. The depth of the kitchen sink was a great bonus!

I love the beehive door and the sliding screen that pulls across it and then hides when not in use. There is a air and a view from wherever I am working.

Every window in the trailer is as large as they could make it and contains a pull down screen for when the window is open and a pull up shade when you want privacy. At night I have been leaving the windows open a few inches and drawing the screen 2/3 of the way up and the screen 1/3 of the way down for air and privacy!

This bright front window with the two large side windows that all open and create airflow and a great view is a feature reminiscent of the old school trailers where all the windows opened up front. This booth folds down and makes a comfortable single bed.

I keep referring to this as the “wall unit” in the Master Bedroom. I am looking forward to the option of watching a movie on a rain day or in the evening. The built in DVD player and surround sound controls are on a panel near the door. The DVD player will operate on either the Master Bedroom television or the one at the front booth that is hidden under a retractable door.

The bathroom is a large wet bath with room to move around. It also features a higher profile commode than the normal style.

 

I have been traveling for nearly a week in this trailer and am so impressed with not only the quality of the construction but with the thought that went into the design. I see a lot of trailers at RV shows, industry events and on Girl Camping trips. There are good companies out there making high quality trailers.  When I am at the big RV shows where all the new trailers are being displayed I often view them and think,  “Why didn’t they make this window operable? Why is there so little storage? Why is there not a place to hang coats and store food?” What impresses me the most so far in this trailer is that it is well built and well designed. Apparently that is not too much to ask for.I will be blogging about this trailer on my own site and the Little Guy site as well as posting my trip on Instagram. Follow along as I road test what so far has been a pleasure of a trailer.

09 May

Girl Camper: Episode 83 – Weight Distribution Hitches

Friend of the show and industry expert Mark Polk is on the show  today to help us understand weight distribution hitches. Mark is the man before the camera in the informative videos produced by RV Education 101 which is owned and operated by Mark and his wife Dawn. They also have a You Tube Channel where Mark gives hands on demonstrations for everything RV. Mark is also a blogger and frequent guest speaker at RV shows and industry events.

I love the chance to catch up with Mark and Dawn in person. This couple has dedicated their time and energy to increasing safety and therefore enjoyment to all RVers!

I called upon Mark to help me determine if I needed a weight distribution hitch and to help me understand the criteria used to make that determination. Once we  determined that I could indeed benefit from one I needed to know if they came in different sizes, if I needed it professionally installed, how to choose the right one and if Mark preferred or recommended a specific brand. Mark answers all of these questions and more on today’s show. Safety is always the first thing to pack when you Go RVing. If you don’t feel comfortable towing your rig, chances are you won’t continue and you will miss out on many adventures. There is a safe way to enjoy RVing and Mark Polk is here to put your mind at ease.

 

Mark helps explain what happens when too much tongue weight is on your hitch and how a weight distribution hitch distributes the weight evenly to the front and back of the rig making all the systems function better.

The Equalizer brand hitch is the one Mark and Dawn use themselves and it is one I will be looking at when I choose my new hitch. This brand offers a weight distribution and anti-sway component in one device.

In other big news Go RVing has published the long awaited but worth waiting for, video on Girl Campers. It was so much fun filming  last summer and I hope that it lets Girl Camper wannabes know two things – Number one – the RV industry has you in their cross hairs. Manufacturers and dealers are no longer looking only at families with small children and retired to couples to make and sell RVs to. It’s never been a better time to find support for this endeavor.

We had so much fun on the set and the team from Explore Media were very gracious.

The whole team got in the spirit and donned Girl Camper tshirts!

When Go RVing approached me to make this video with them I felt such satisfaction in knowing that the Girl Campers are now an industry demographic, we have buying power and the smart folks are listening and building and stocking trailers that are designed for the way we travel. Number two – If you have been watching the Girl Campers and stalking them on social media, it’s time to jump in and join us. You don’t need a trailer to be a Girl Camper. You need a willing spirit. You are going to want a trailer to make your own but those camping in their kids tents that got left in the garage when they moved out and in their mom vans or renting campground cabins are having just as much fun as those that have mastered hitching, towing and setting up their own trailers. There is no wrong way to Camp Like A Girl and this is the year I want to entice everyone on the sidelines to get in the game. I hope this video inspires you. There are two more coming out in June! Click the link below to see the first of three!

This stunning shot was taken by Go RVings still photographer. We did about eight takes on this clinking of glasses scene. They really were cocktails so we didn’t mind!!

 

https://away.gorving.com/girls-just-wanna-have-fun/

 

 

 

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.

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.