11 Jul

Girl Camper: Episode 92 The Little Guy Max

On today’s show Joe Kicos, co-owner of Liberty Outdoors,  talks about the new Max trailer. The Max is a new product by Little Guy, a brand within Liberty Outdoors.

Every detail was so well thought out on this trailer. Here the lighted entry handle and step can be seen at night.

It is the trailer I debuted here yesterday and that I am traveling in on my National Parks Tour. Also joining us on the show is Anthony Chiera, Director of Sales  for Liberty to talk about the details of this trailer. Anthony has watched this trailer go from drawing board to reality and he takes us through the features step by step.

I was so happy to discover this divider tray in the silverware drawer. I have had to come up with some pretty creative solutions to maximize the space available in some of my past trailers.

The cabinetry is all solid wood with quality hardware but most importantly, it is plentiful! I packed the trailer for two people for a four week trip and didn’t need to use the available space underneath the booth seats.

When the stove is not in use a glass cover that doubles as a cutting surface conceals it and allows for more food prep space.

I love the added storage shelf over the refrigerator. I am storing my campfire lap robes there.

The awning has built in LED lighting and is a standard feature.

The Max trailer is performing well so far and I have only one complaint – the people knocking on my door at each campground asking for a brochure!

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.

04 Jul

Girl Camper: Episode 91 Trip Planning Part Two

On this week’s episode I continue with Part Two of my Trip Planning Show. A road trip of any length requires planning but a 5,500 mile, 4 week trip really takes some forethought. I am sharing what safety measures I am taking from roadside assistance programs to filling prescriptions and even what bear spray I purchased.

This is a product I hope I never need but being prepared for all situations is always a good idea.

Part of the fun of long road trips is experiencing many different ways of camping and I cover the variety of camping options we plan to use  from Harvest Hosts to State Parks to Bureau of Land Management properties. The Allstays app is a great resource for campers.

The All Stays App allows you to find camp sites from State and County Parks to Bureau of Land Management sites.

I’m covering my gear choices including the hiking sneakers I chose from Cabela’s and my new outdoor pants from Duluth Trading Company.

Duluth Trading Company – not just catalog!

To hear the rest of the Trip Planning episode click on the arrow below,

27 Jun

Girl Camper: #90 Trip Planning Part One

On today’s show I am sharing my process for planning the National Parks Tour I am heading out on this summer. If you have ever thought about taking time to visit our National Parks or have wanted to take a loooong road trip to places you’ve been dreaming of, this is the show for you. Where do you start? How far ahead do you have to plan? How do you figure out what route to take? Where is it safe to camp alone? How many hours a day should you plan on driving? I faced all these questions when planning the trip  and I am breaking down the process and giving you some ideas on planning your next great adventure.

Image result for yellowstone national park

The starting point for my trip planning was choosing the destination. Yellowstone National Park was first pick. Once that was determined I figured out the miles,  2136 miles each way. That’s 32 hours of driving if you are in a car. If you are towing a trailer you can easily add another 6 to that estimate. With that in mind I knew that we needed at least four weeks to make the trip and enjoy it. Each time we added a stop, we went to Google Maps to look at the route and determine how much time it would add to the trip and how much distance was between each of the stops.

Image result for google maps

Once the distance and allotted time were nailed down we set about researching what route to take and what we wanted to see along the way. The research started with podcasts of course. RVFTA’s podcast on Yellowstone last year was a great help. There’s also a National Parks Podcast that helped me get the lay of the land in Yellowstone. This helped me to be realistic about how much time things would actually take once inside the park.

Some books that were great planning tools included The Idiots Guide to RV Vacations by Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi and Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen.

Image result for idiot's guide to rv vacations

Favorite Apps include the National Parks App by Chimani. Within the National Parks app is the ability to download specific parks and gain all kinds of information on parking, hiking, camping, routes within the parks as well as Ranger Programs and the degree of difficulty a certain hike might be. You can also use it for trip planning and to have a map of the park downloaded which doesn’t require Internet.

Image result for chimani national parks app

This episode also covers reservation making tips and how we chose which campgrounds to stay at.

I promised the recipe for the campfire cookies and here it is! My sweet friend Jodi made these for me and since she is not generally a baker I  knew it was a labor of love. She found the recipe at the Food Network website.

Image result for campfire cookies video

 

20 Jun

Girl Camper: #89 Tips for Buying a Used RV

On my show today we are continuing breaking down the obstacles to becoming a Girl Camper and I am sharing my tips on buying a used RV. Not everyone wants to get so deep in right away with a brand new camper and accompanying payment. If you are dipping your toes into the camping world for the first time a previously owned travel trailer may be just the right starting point. I will be talking about why a used trailer might be the best option, the options for where you can buy one and what to ask and look for once you have found it. I am also going to cover some scams to be aware of. It’s all in today’s podcast which if you are not a subscriber,  can be listened to by clicking the arrow at the bottom of the post.

 

Buying a used trailer is a good way to get into the RV world without making a huge investment.

Buying a used trailer allows those entering the RV world to get an idea of what kind of trailer they might like without spending a lot of money. It also allows a first time buyer to try out a model they think will work for them. If it turns out the floor plan or trailer weight or length isn’t just right they can resell without a large loss.

 

Buying from a reputable dealer allows you to purchase a trailer that has been thoroughly inspected and has had any found problems repaired. It is also likely to come with a 30-90 day warranty that you would not get if you bought from a private seller. A dealer has a reputation to protect and wants to have you as a future customer.

Setzer's World of Camping Trailers

Buying from a reputable dealer allows you to get a warranty that a private seller is unlikely to offer. Setzer’s World of Camping in Huntington, West Virginia offers inspections, warranties and help financing used trailers.

RV Trader, the online catalog for RV Sales offers a wide selection and includes dealership ads as well as privately placed ads. The RV Trader search engine makes it easy for you to search for specific models that interest you. Be willing to travel to another state if you have a budget and trailer in mind and are adamant about it.

Social Media, Craigslist and local ads are another resource for used trailers. If you buy from a private citizen be sure to arrange for a trailer inspection. Todd Henson, director of sales and marketing at RV Inspection Connections was my guest on episode 45 of the podcast and discussed in detail what to expect when purchasing an RV inspection and how you can find an inspector near you. Todd’s organization has a network of over 600 inspectors.

On the show I go over a set of questions every buyer should ask a seller including why they are selling, what their maintenance schedule on the trailer was, if they own it and have clear title and if they have an outstanding loan on the trailer? These and other important questions every buyer should ask are covered in detail.

Lastly I discuss tow vehicles and how to make sure that you are purchasing something you are comfortable towing and if you own a tow vehicle that is capable of towing what you are considering buying. Do your due diligence and make sure you research the product, your tow vehicle and come to your own conclusions about towing the new vehicle.

Choosing the right trailer for your adventures requires research, trusted resources and sometimes a bit of good luck.