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!!



01 Mar

Girl Camper #21 Cutting Camping Costs

On this week’s show I will be talking about ways to save on camping costs. Although camping is a great way to stretch your vacation dollar there are a few  things you can do to stretch your budget to allow for even more camping. A checklist is included to help you make sure you have everything you need before heading out on the road. I also chat about the town of Granville, Tennessee. If you like old General Stores and Bluegrass music you might want to head to Granville on a Saturday night and do some toe tapping with the locals at the weekly hootenanny and LIVE radio show. I’m putting it on my checklist for my upcoming trip to Nashville for the Country Living Fair.

Camping checklist

Go RVing Blog

Sutton Old Time Music Hour Granville, Tennessee

Episode 59 RV Family Travel Atlas Podcast


26 Jan

Girl Camper #16: Trailer Throw Down, New Vs. Vintage

I this weeks episode we are talking about the pros and cons of new and vintage travel trailers. Some Girl Campers wouldn’t have anything but vintage and others would only do new. My travel buddy Carol and I discuss our own experiences with vintage trailer ownership and why we would both consider jumping ship. There is also some encouragement in our Camp Fire chat along with the announcement of our latest trip, Paint Like a Girl. Artist Mary Gregory is opening her Texas ranch to Girl Campers and wannabes for an art workshop called, Paint Like a Girl. November 4-6, 2016 will be the dates for this all inclusive, true Texas experience. Details are on the Meet Up site on the Camp Like a Girl group page. You must join the Camp Like a Girl Meet Up group to attend.

Mary Gregory;s Studio


05 Jan

Girl Camper #13: Towing Safety with Walter Cannon

On this week’s episode Walter Cannon from RV Safety and Education Foundation discusses the formula for determining your tow vehicle’s maximum towing capacity and your trailer’s true weight. He will also tell us how to determine the tongue weight of your rig. The tongue weight is the downward force that the tongue of the trailer exerts on the hitch attached to your tow vehicle. To tow safely and control sway one should have a tongue weight of 9 – 15% of the trailer’s total weight. Listen to Walter as he explains the true weight of your vehicle and rig. Insurers estimate 70% of the trailers being towed do not fit industry standards. Does yours? In our Girl Camper News Roundup we have a new trip – The Great American Road Trip through the north western hills of South Carolina. The Girl Campers will be leaving from Gaffney, South Carolina and taking the historic Rt 11 trip through the foothills to the Georgia border. Waterfalls, roadside stands, B & B’s, Table Rock and lots of other tourist attractions await the traveler on this trip. Also on this episode is a segment on safe caravanning. When a group of people are all going to the same place, is it best to stay together or leave some room on the highway?  Outside Our Bubble has some great advice and a Dash Cam “don’t ” to view.

24 Nov

RV National Trade Show, here we come!



My Podcast producer Stephanie Puglisi and I are heading to the RVIA National RV trade show

My Podcast producer Stephanie Puglisi and I are heading to the RVIA National RV trade show

The National RV trade show is happening in Louisville, Kentucky the first week in December and I am heading there with my podcast producer, Stephanie Puglisi. Stephanie and her husband Jeremy are the hosts of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast which comes out on the ITunes store every Friday, rain or shine! Stephanie will be interviewing some industry brass on what’s new and upcoming and I will be looking at all the new trailers being offered by manufacturers and reporting back on what might be a good fit for Girl Campers. The National RV trade show is not open to the public. It is the annual event in which trailer manufacturers roll out there new products for the RV dealerships. It is where the dealerships come to make their purchases for the upcoming season.  I am excited to see what tweaks have taken place on old favorites (Tabs and Riversides) and what is a totally new product that might be a fit for a Girl Camper.




I will be chatting with my friend Mike Harlan from Haydocy Airstream in Columbus, Ohio on what's new in the industry and upcoming Camper College events.

I will be chatting with my friend Mike Harlan from Haydocy Airstream in Columbus, Ohio on what’s new in the industry and upcoming Camper College events. 

Stay tuned for news and updates from the industry’s big annual event!