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!!

 

 

06 Dec

Girl Camper #61 Talking Tow Vehicles with Mark Polk

 

On this week’s show I welcome returning guest Mark Polk of www.RVEducation101.com. Mark talks trucks and towing, torque and horsepower, gross vehicle weights and towing capacity. I invited Mark on the show to help me navigate “truck language” and help me figure out if the Ford F-150 of my dreams has the capacity to tow my 3000 pound Riverside Retro with ease.  There’s much to learn about engines, towing and safety in this episode.

My 2017 Riverside Retro has a dry weight of 3037 pounds. The manufacturer says the maximum load the axel can hold means I cannot safely carry more than 832 pounds of cargo in it.

My 2017 Riverside Retro has a dry weight of 3037 pounds. The manufacturer says the maximum load the axel can hold means I cannot safely carry more than 832 pounds of cargo in it.

My old Ford F150 had a V8 5.4L engine with plenty of power for my little 1966 Vintage trailer.

My old Ford F150 had a V8 5.4L engine with plenty of power for my little 1966 Vintage trailer.

The Society of Automotive Engineers along with the automotive manufacturers developed a set of real life towing situations which standardized the methods which manufacturers use to guage towing capacities. One of the tests is towing on an incline with the air conditioner running.

The Society of Automotive Engineers along with the automotive manufacturers developed a set of real life towing situations which standardized the methods which manufacturers use to guage towing capacities. One of the tests is towing on an incline with the air conditioner running.

 

New technology has enabled the V6 engines of today to be able to do the work of the V8 of ten years ago allowing for more horsepower and torque and better gas mileage.

Play
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.

Play
07 Jun

Girl Camper #35: 9 Great Father’s Day Gifts for the Mister Sister

On this week’s episode Jeremy Puglisi from RV Family Travel Atlas Podcast talks about his top picks for the RVing Dad or Mister Sister. If you are unsure of what to get the special man in your life for the RV these products have been used and reviewed by Jeremy and Stephanie and the recommendations are personal.

I also welcome my new sponsor, Little Guy Worldwide whose full line of lightweight camping trailers are Girl Camper favorites and I am delighted to partner with them in bringing more Camper College events to RV dealerships across the country.

New Michigan Girl Camper Lorie's Tab is being readied for her first adventure!

New Michigan Girl Camper Lorie’s Tab is being readied for her first adventure!

I got some help from Flo getting my new trailer insured. All the details are in this week's Campfire Chat!

I got some help from Flo getting my new trailer insured. All the details are in this week’s Campfire Chat!

It was great meeting podcast listener Danielle Thompson who won four early bird tickets to the Country Living Fair. Danielle drives a Class A! I'm so impressed!

It was great meeting podcast listener Danielle Thompson who won four early bird tickets to the Country Living Fair. Danielle drives a Class A! I’m so impressed! That’s a a Girl Camper!

Katie and friends stopped by and immediately joined the Girl Camper Meetup (Camp Like a Girl) and signed up for a big trip! You don't have to tell these girls twice!

Katie and friends stopped by and immediately joined the Girl Camper Meetup (Camp Like a Girl) and signed up for a big trip! You don’t have to tell these girls twice!

The St George made his debut and was a big hit! I can't even begin to count how many people went inside but the approval was unanimous!

The St George made his debut and was a big hit! I can’t even begin to count how many people went inside but the approval was unanimous!

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Jeremy’s 9 Picks for your Mister Sister:

  1. Truma LevelCheck
  2. TastePure 25′ heated drinking water hose
  3. RV Lock 4.0
  4. Weber Q1000
  5. Bristle Free Grill Brush
  6. Andersen Camper Levelers
  7. Igloo Freestanding Ice Machine
  8. Camelback Forge 16 oz Travel Mug
  9. Estwing 4 lb Special Edition Fireside Friend wood splitting axe
Play
29 Mar

A Trailer Story

The Avion trailer of Gail Bable and her husband is a labor of love and a work in progress. Gail and her husband found the trailer on Craigslist only an hour and a half from their home base of Ohio. Gail and her husband own a Fifth Wheel for long trips but their favorite way to camp with their grandchildren is in their vintage Avion. Gail also recently purchased a vintage pop up for her Girl Camper travels!

Gail's favorite camping buddies, the future girl campers, granddaughters Kat and Scarlett!

Gail’s favorite camping buddies, the future girl campers, granddaughters Kat and Scarlett!

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The 1966 Avion is 28′ long with plenty of room to move around.

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Gail and her husband bought their trailer from the original owners and its 50 years young. They sanded and refinished all of the cabinets.

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The twin bed models are a great floor plan for traveling with multiple generations.

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The Avion has a rear bathroom. These beds look so cozy for sleeping late, rainy afternoons and snuggles with Grandma!

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Unlike their shiny cousin the Airstream, the Avion’s aluminum is anodized and will never be shiny.

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The 28′ trailer was a part time residence in Florida for the previous owner who took out the fridge and replaced it with a full size one. That comes in handy when Gail uses it at Beaver State Park where she works and lives as a camp host from April to November.