20 Mar

Spring Gear Guide and Give Away

To listen to the podcast, click on the arrow!

On this week’s show I am sharing my Spring Gear Guide with you. All winter long I have been searching for and testing camping and Glamping gear and I am sharing some of my favorite things for both Glampers and Campers. On this show we like to say that there is no wrong way to “Camp Like a Girl” so if pure Merino wool jammies are what you love to sleep in, more power to you. You won’t get judged here! I also have some practical and fun camping items to share as well as some great Give Aways!!

Let’s get started with Glamping!! I am starting with my favorite Glamping luxury of the year which made its way into my everyday life and I hope I am never without them again. Chill Angel makes the most incredible 100 % Merino Wool pajamas! These PJ’s will leave you feeling wrapped in luxury and help you get a better nights sleep. The super finely spun wool looks like a jersey knit with flat lock stitching that never digs into your skin anywhere. The wool acts to dissipate heat from your body during a hot flash (power surge!) and transports moisture away from the skin keeping you dry and helping you get back to sleep sooner. Wool is a natural antimicrobial and is hypoallergenic. The highly breathable fabric is color fast and will not fade with washing. It is machine washable in cold water and should be line dried. I lay mine on a towel on the dryer or over an old fashioned drying rack. They are so soft!! I have been wearing them for about a month now and they really do help you to get a better nights sleep. I love them so much that I bought my mother a pair, because she deserves them!!

I loved the presentation of the Chill Angel jammies. I felt pampered just opening the box!

Betsy Seabert the designer and founder of Chill Angel conceived this brainchild while going through treatment for breast cancer.  As she struggled with the hot flashes and cold sweats related to the treatment she thought of her ideal pair of pajamas that would minimize the side effects of chemotherapy. When she was well she developed an award winning business plan and started production. Her beautiful pajamas have been a great success and I can see and feel why! They really do wrap you in luxury.  Years ago I would never have dreamed of indulging myself in such a luxury item like this but the older I get the more I value quality, good rest and contributing to small business entrepreneurial spirits like Betsy.

Betsy is offering five sets of Chill Angel Merino wool sleep masks to lucky winners and a 20% off coupon code to Girl Campers. The code is Chillingirls and is good for six months!! In order to be in the running for the sleep mask you have to go to Betsy’s site here and sign up for her newsletter on the bottom of her homepage. Thank you Betsy! You have a customer for life with me. Please don’t tell anyone I don’t take my jammies off until noon these days!! Perks of working from home!!

I got the t shirt and cropped pant set. The seams, soft waistband and pockets all add to the quality of the brand.

Next up is the Kamp-Rite Cot. I know this looks like camping gear and you are probably wondering why it is in the Glamping section of the Spring Gear Guide but hear me out here! This little cot tent packs a punch for Girl Campers. It can be used so many different ways.

  • Portable guest room- Carry this with you in case a friend visits you at the campground and you invite her to stay over. How sweet would this be all dolled up with vintage quilts and beautiful sheets and twinkle lights inside? You can make a guest feel right at home and still have your own space. Your guest doesn’t have to sleep on the floor!!
  • Perfect for those who don’t want to own a trailer but also don’t want to sleep in a tent on the ground. This sweet cot is so much simpler to set up than a big tent. No sweeping the site to get rid of sticks and stones that might break through the tent floor. No tarp to lay on the ground first. No looking for a firm but not too firm spot to sink a tent stake. Simple construction makes this an easy set up and break down.
  • For so many Girl Campers who are also the best Grandma’s out there, I think this makes a great addition to Grandma’s stash of cool things. Whether you set it up in the family room on a cold winter night, in your backyard or at the campground when the grand kids visit I think you will leave a lasting “cool” Grandma impression!

Kamp-Rite donated a double cot to our Waxahachie, Texas fundraiser for the HoldYou Foundation and they are also giving a single cot away to a lucky Girl Camper. You have to go to their Instagram account (kamp_rite) Follow them and tag two friends. They will pick a winner in a week and notify them. You can also get a 25% everything on their website through June 18th. You get to take full advantage of the coupon code through Father’s Day and all the graduations coming up. In order to get the 25% off though you have to phone your order in at – 1-800-709-9905. Thanks Kamp-Rite for doing us right!!

Our friends at MPowered have a new Luci Light. It’s the Luci Outdoor 2.0. Their new version is solar powered but also has a USB port to charge it in your car while you are driving. When it is charged you can then use that USB to charge your phone if necessary. The fully charged 2.0 will last for 58 hours on the low setting!! If you don’t know about Luci Lights and their mission to bring light to the 1.6 billion people in the world without electricity, you can read albou them here!!

So versatile and for everyone purchased here in the USA, MPowered is able to offer reduced prices or gifted lights to those most in need.

Beddy’s Beds is offering the Girl Campers a discount on their site again. Beddy’s (click here to read all about it) became my favorite bedding last year when I decided to quit wrestling with blankets.  You can get 20% off when you use coupon code GirlCamper. These bedding sets will make RV bed making gymnastics a thing of the past.

Camping Gear! I took a trip to the Outdoor Retailers Show in Denver in January to check out what was new in outdoor gear. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Cauldryn – an award winning new design that can boil water by the power of a rechargeable battery. It is the only vacuum sealed stainless steel hot beverage container that can boil. It actually has four settings. Low, medium, high and boil. The battery also has a USB port that can charge your cell phone 8 times before it needs recharging. The Cauldryn was a gift to me from Liberty Outdoors. I thought it was a cool thing to have but little did I know. As I write this New Jersey is waiting on its fourth Nor’easter in three weeks.  What I thought was a superfluous item became a lifesaver in so many ways. I used it to heat up hot water in my car when I was driving home in sloppy, freezing weather and my windshield wiper fluid was frozen and wouldn’t flow. I used it to heat up water and make coffee in my French Press when the electric was out during Nor’easter One and Two. It could make oatmeal, Ramen noodles or heat up a can of soup in an emergency. I now look at this as an essential part of my car emergency kit. I am recalling the time I had to sleep in a Walmart parking lot on a freezing April night when fog drove me and a couple dozen truckers off the highway. I had my vintage trailer then which only had a space heater. I was freezing!

photo courtesy of Digitaltrends.com

This Cauldryn won awards at the Consumers Electronic Show. There are no other models like it on the market and by the end of June they will be offering attachments to go with it including a perculator and blender. Camping coffee and smoothies while boondocking is something I can get my head around. The Cauldryn retails for 129.99 and they are offering a 20% discount at the Teardrop Shop. They are also giving one away on the Cauldryn Instagram site. Go to the Cauldryn on Instagram and Follow and tag two friends. They will pick a winner in a week and ship one out to you!! To get the 20% off at the Teardrop shop, use the coupon code Cauldryn20. The coupon is good until the end of April.

The Camco Power Defender made my list of essential camping and trailer safety gear. I heard one too many stories of checking campground power sources for voltage overages and reverse polarity. The Camco Power Defender has a built in safety system that “reads” the pole for problems before you plug your RV into it. I don’t want to get my electric knowledge cheat sheet out when I am getting set up so this was a win for me. The Teardrop Shop is offering a 15% discount on the Power Defender. You can use the coupon code Camco15 at the Teardrop Shop.

For years I have been using the Ryobi power tools and I added the hand vacuum to my collection for this spring. What I liked about it is that I already have the battery and charger for my Ryobi cordless drill and air compressor. I was looking for a hand vacuum that had a brush attachment for nooks and crannies. The Ryobi only weighs two pounds, has the crack and crevice tool, is easy to open to clean and change the filter and has a great rubber handle with a good grip on it. I purchased it on  Amazon for$24.  The Ryobi tools have been a great addition to my tool kit.

I already have so many Ryobi tools that the vacuum was the only sensible choice. I’ve been using them for years and love how long the batter stays charged.

The Next Exit book is a new one on my trailer shelf. There is an App called the Next Exit but I like the old school book that you can read in bed while planning your next days adventures. It gives you all the things available at the Next Exit. Food, gas, hotels, Walmarts and RV dump stations. Everything in RED is a place that is RV accessible.


Epic Wipes! This year I have several boondocking trips planned and that is why I was so excited when I discovered these new portable showers ! Epic Wipes are 2′ 6″ disposable towels for cleaning up after any kind of work out, hike, bike ride or activity that leaves you less than sweet smelling and without access to a shower. Think of baby wipes only 16 times bigger!! This is another product that I thought of solely as a camping item until the back to back Nor’easters hit. We were lucky to only be without electric for a short time but friends were without heat, water and electric for days. This is now an item that I want to have on hand “just in case”.  These towels are created from sustainable bamboo and scented with essential oils. They are biodegradable after use but I am told by the developers that they can be washed several times before they begin degrading. I can think of so many uses for the towels after they’ve been used for cleaning up a dirty hiker. Once rinsed out they could be used to wipe down just about anything- car windows, dirty gear, barbecue equipment, bikes, kayaks, quads etc…. The Mom in me thinks they have extended uses!! Epic Wipes is giving a coupon code to check these out. You can go to their website and get 20% off by using the coupon code GIRLCAMPER. I am excited to have these in stock in my trailer when I will be boondocking on the Grand Mesa  in Colorado this summer. I also like that when you buy more the price goes down. You can buy 20 for $29.95 and when you add the discount they are less than $1.25 each.  I’d pay a lot more than that to feel clean after a hike with no shower in site!!

No shower? No problem!


Next week is part two of the Girl Camper Gear Guide and Spring Give Aways!! Be sure to stay tuned.

13 Mar

Episode 122: Picking up Your New RV

To listen to this week’s podcast, click on the arrow!

On this weeks show my guest is Lynn Butler, owner of Setzers World of Camping in Huntington, West Virginia. Lynn and I discuss picking up you new RV at the dealership. What kind of walk through should a consumer expect? How does a PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection) differ from the consumer walk through on purchase pick up day? What is looked at in a PDI? When is it done? How can you remember all the things you’re being told?

On walk through day I got a thorough explanation and demonstration of all the trailers systems.

Tips for a successful pick up day include:

  • Mark out the whole day for this big event.
  • Videotape the demonstrations.
  • Make sure you get all of the manufacturer manuals for appliances.
  • Make sure you do your hitch work ahead of time so you can safely tow your new trailer home.
  • Bring your spouse or a friend along for an extra set of ears.
  • Make plans for a shake down camp out close to home

With the help of the dealer I determined before pick up day what my hitch needs were and had the proper set up to safely tow it.

Also this week I’m chatting about what I learned at Camper College regarding water – hoses, pressure regulators and quick connects! Serious damage can be done to your plumbing if you release water at a high PSI  Into your system. Some campgrounds have water pressure as high as 110 PSI while trailers are manufactured to withstand 40 PSI.  A water pressure regulator is an essential piece of equipment in your RV tool box.

It’s important to make sure you don’t exceed the manufacturer recommended PSI coming into the trailer. A water pressure regulator will help you avoid costly mistakes.





06 Mar

Episode 121: Class C Motorhome Pros and Cons

To listen to this week’s podcast, click on the arrow!

On this week’s show I continue my exploration of all the Recreation Vehicle options out there for RVer’s. In episode 117 I “reimagined” the toy hauler looking at alternate ways to use this heavy duty trailer originally created for transporting quads, motorbikes and whatever “toys” you might use while vacationing. I’m taking a look at the Class C motor home today and some of the things that owners love about them and some of the reasons buyers passed on them for other options. I also have an interview with my friend Jean Taylor, Girl Camper and owner of  Camp Taylor Campground in Columbia, New Jersey. Jean owns a Class C motor home and when she’s not running her own campground she is camping in her Class C.

Class C sizes run from 21′ to 35′. There are many floor plans and styles available, with and without slide outs. Prices range from 43K to 200K dollars and can sleep anywhere from 2-10 people.

When comparing the Class C to the Class A motor home many found the Class C to be:

  • Less expensive
  • Better on gas mileage
  • More maneuverable
  • To have a safer cockpit in crashes
  • Easier to heat and cool

Other Pros for Class C’s are:

  • Access to living area while driving
  • No towing anxiety
  • In many areas it is considered a vehicle and can be kept in a driveway where travel trailers cannot
  • Large overhead cab storage
  • Easy to drive
  • Can sleep a lot of people depending on model
  • Option of towing car

Some of the negatives consumers report on the Class C are:

  • Less storage than a Class A Motor Home
  • Unless you are towing a touring car with you, you will have to unhook your systems each time you leave the campground.
  • They are not as maneuverable as a Class B
  • Can be too small for full timing
  • Parking at tourist sites can be limited
  • Poor gas mileage compared to a Class B
  • Kitchens are not as large as some travel trailer and Class A Motor Homes
  • Larger models can be harder to navigate through towns

Hanging out in Jean’s Class C when the weather was not cooperating with us!

On this week’s show I also shared two new events posted on the Camp Like a Girl Meet Up site. The first is our Camper College event at Bankston Motor Home in Huntsville, Alabama. Here is the link to join us for that event!

We had a great Camper College at Setzer’s World of Camping in Huntington, West Virginia last week. Our next Camper College is at Bankston Motorhomes in Huntsville, Alabama April 26th!

In order to sign up you will need to be a member of www.Meetup.com. You can join here and have access to all the upcoming events.






27 Feb

Episode 120: RV and Travel Lessons Learned

To listen to this weeks podcast, click on the arrow!

On this weeks show my travel buddy and BFF Carol and I continue the conversation on lessons learned while on the road. In the 12 years since we began RVing we’ve traveled thousands of miles in every conceivable weather condition. Along the way we made a few mistakes, dodged a few bullets and had our confidence tested. We are sharing these experiences and those of our online community on the Girl Camper Podcast Facebook page, in the hopes that others might avoid our mistakes or at least know an appropriate course of action if they run into trouble.

Travel Day Lessons 

  • Be realistic about how long it will take to get somewhere when you are towing.
  • When traveling into the night without reservations, look ahead for campgrounds and check availability.
  • Don’t depend on the GPS alone. Always have paper maps.
  • Try to arrive at the campground before dark. If you arrive after dark, consider staying hooked up and setting up in the morning.
  • Fill or start looking for gas when the tank is half empty. Use IExit App to find gas stations. Remember that is sometimes harder to find diesel so don’t let tank go too low.
  • Always have cash with you. Sometimes you can’t use your credit card or don’t want to in unrecognized locations.
  • Have all of your Roadside Assistance numbers in your phone and your account numbers as well in case of emergency. Find out ahead of time if your Roadside Assistance plan will tow your RV and your tow vehicle.

Be realistic about the added time that towing adds to a GPS estimated arrival.

Weather Worries 

  • Be prepared to adjust your driving plans for bad weather
  • Change routes if necessary to avoid extreme weather
  • Pull over and wait out bad weather along the way
  • Delay departure if high winds or sever weather is called for
  • Have a weather alert App on your mobile device to warn about dangerous weather
  • NEVER drive through high water
  • Know where tornado shelters are in the campground before you need them

I was driving parallel to this fierce looking thunderstorm on my way to Buffalo, Wyoming.

Campground Booking  Lessons Learned 

Call the campground when booking rather than booking online.

Ask the campground employees:

  • What is the most requested site?
  • Are the sites level? Shady? Sunny?
  • How close am I to the access road with all the rigs coming in, bathroom, playground, pool?
  • What time is check out? Is late check out available? Is there a fee?
  • Full hook ups?
  • Read the online reviews

This campsite in the Tetons was thoroughly investigated before booking it and it did not disappoint.


Packing Tips 

  • Put extra t-shirts, towels, soft items in decorative zippered throw pillows and use them as decor while storing extra supplies.
  • A five gallon bucket can be used as a porta potty, foot stool, wash bucket, dry lock for fire starters, extra seat to name just a few.
  • Use a Dollar Store pack of shower caps to put on muddy shoes before storing them, as a cover for bowls and to cover the seat of your bike in the rain.
  • Have designated camping bins in the garage for grilling supplies, and campground gear so that you can load the trailer or tow vehicle quickly and not forget anything.
  • Use packing cubes, and ebags to keep cabinets organized.

Packing cubes and bins helped me stay organized in my trailer.

Tips From our Online Community

“Run water before attaching your hose and filter. I ruined a new water filter when mud ran through it. It also gets the earwigs out.” Liz Deck

“Always have headache medicine and sunglasses with you. Driving and squinting in the sun can give you a headache.” Sally Bauer

“Replace factory tires before you have to.” Lori Little Wolf

“Be willing to take a day off from driving even if you have an itinerary.” Karen Polansky

“If you dry camp and stay hitched, don’t leave your electrical hooked up to the tow vehicle. If you use all of your trailer battery it will pull from your tow vehicle battery and you will wake up to a dead tow vehicle.” Denise Webster Mahoney

“Go to Harbor Freight and buy solar rope lighting for $10. Charge them on your dashboard while driving and when you arrive at the campground lay them out around the drive in area so you can see your margins in the dark.” Debbie Hamm

Camco’s Curved levelers  are designed to level your travel trailer by raising it up to four inches. You wedge them under the tire that is lower and drive up onto them until the trailer is level. You then place the chock under the wedge to hold it in place. So easy! Camco’s curved levelers have fixed a few of the problems similar brands struggled with. They are made with a honeycomb design that will hold up to 30K pounds and prevents slipping. The chock has a built in handle and anti slip rubber grippers to hold in place. They are shorter than other levelers so if you have closely set tandem wheels they will fit without needing to be cut down. There’s a great Youtube video channel here!!








22 Feb

Episode 119 – Rookie Mistakes Explored

On this week’s show my guest is my BFF and travel buddy, Carol Thompson. Carol and I joined the Sisters on the Fly over twelve years ago and we have many road trips under our belt. Along the way we’ve learned a few things, some of them the hard way. I polled the members of several Facebook groups dedicated to RVing women over 300 comments detailing some of their rookie mistakes as well. These mistakes can bruise our egos, erode our confidence and cost us real dollars. Hopefully this podcast episode will help you avoid making some of those mistakes and also provide a laugh or two. It is great to belong to a community of women who help and support each other.

Sometimes we learn as we go and we often learn from other RVer’s. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This was a beautiful site in the Black Hills but the entry to it was on a downward curve. It took several spotters to help me get in it! I’m always grateful for campground assistance!!

First, the Top Six most mentioned Rookie errors.

  • #1 Hitch came off the ball
  • #2 Forgot to put antenna down
  • #3 Not holding down sewer hose when dumping
  • #4 Forgot to unplug before pulling out
  • #5 Locked out with no back up keys
  • #6 Forgot to put wheel chocks in place before unhooking

When polled the number one fear Girl Campers have is the hitch coming off the ball. After you have secured the hitch to the ball, crank the tongue jack down until you can see it pulling the tow vehicle up. You will know it is secure if it does that.

Trailer Towing Mistakes Most Mentioned 

  • Getting stuck on road with no room to turn around
  • Backed over something and pulled forward ripping up bottom of trailer
  • Hit something backing into driveway – post, mailbox, tree, porch, neighbors fence, garage
  • Took off awning or AC at gas station
  • Towed small car behind Class A with emergency brake on

Set Up Mistakes 

  • Mistakenly put water in gas tank of motor home at campground
  • Used boards in stead of stacking blocks to level and boards kicked out and damaged underside of trailer
  • Forgot to put wheel chocks in place before unhitching
  • Unhooked trailer when car was in neutral
  • Hooked up freshwater hose to black tank back flush and flooded trailer with black water tank fluids
  • Bent anti-sway bar by backing up without loosening it
  • Turned on hot water heater with no water in it
  • Didn’t leave enough room for slide out to open

Dumping Mistakes

  • Not holding down sewer hose while dumping, pops off sewer and sprays area and person!
  • Leaving black tank valve open when hooked up to full hook up site
  • Opened blank tank when they thought it was empty

Don’t make the mistake of leaving your black water valve open when at a full hook up site. The fluids will exit and the solids will sit and solidify on your tank floor. The waste dissolvant drop ins need fluid to work in. You can empty it every few days much more conveniently than having to unhook and take it to the dump station but it is not designed to work like a home sewer system,

Packing up Errors 

  • Pulled out with electric or water hose still connected to campground
  • Drove out with slide out open
  • Awning not locked and opened up
  • Steps ripped off when forgot to put them in
  • Drove away with storage compartments open or unlocked
  • Pulled forward with tongue jacks still down
  • Forgot to lock fridge, cabinets or trailer door
  • Didn’t check site – Left behind wheel chocks, jack crank, hoses, awning crank, electric cord
  • Drove away with trailer and storage compartment keys on bumper

Working off a check list and not chatting while packing up will help you reduce the possibility of skipping an important step in your hitching up and pulling out process.

 At Campground

  • Damaged awning when left out in rain or wind storm
  • Ran out of propane on cold night
  • Locked out with no back up keys
  • Pipes froze when heat was not high enough
  • No surge protector – electric damaged
  • No back up fuses

Some of the reasons women sited for making these mistakes gives some insight on how to avoid them. Working with a “Before You Pull Out” checklist and “When You Arrive” checklist helps cut down on these mistakes. Having a comprehensive list and a strict policy of always working off it is what every seasoned RVer will tell you to do. Even when we have done something 100 times and created a good muscle memory we can get distracted by conditions and forget something. Many people sited that they were talking while getting ready to pull out or when arriving and setting up. Impending bad weather, trying to beat rush hour, trying to get to the dump station line before its too long can all distract us and make it easy to miss something. Having that checklist laminated in a cabinet or on a file in your phone cuts those chances of dropping the ball on something important way down.

Arriving at the campground late and tired is another recipe for set up mistakes. Driving for long periods causes real brain fatigue and it can be easy to miss something. Make it a habit to know what you’re daily driving limits are.

Setting up in the dark is  another oft sited reason for making mistakes. The woman who put the water in her motor home gas tank was working with little light in the dark. She thought she was filling her fresh water holding tank but in the dark she put the water hose in her gas tank. Fortunately she had a dual gas tank so was able to get home on the untouched reserve tank and get the other tank pumped out.

Mark Polk from RV Education 101 has a comprehensive checklist to help us avoid a hit to the ego and pocketbook.

Mark also has a very helpful video on determining your pivot point and trailer swing that everyone can benefit from.

While some of our mistakes are things we can laugh at later, some have the potential to be serious. Educate yourself and stay safe out there while enjoying the back roads of America, the Beautiful.

BFF Carol and I have traveled thousands of miles together. Rain or shine we have fun on the road!

To listen to the podcast and hear the tips for avoiding rookie mistakes, click on the arrow!