75 episodes

A weekly podcast from the writers of rvfamilytravelatlas.com, focusing on topics that relate to RV family travel. We review campgrounds, discuss tips and tricks for traveling with kids, and answer our readers' most common questions. We also chat about food, gear, and those times when everything doesn't quite go as planned.

The RV Atlas Podcast RVFTA Podcast Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 537 Ratings

A weekly podcast from the writers of rvfamilytravelatlas.com, focusing on topics that relate to RV family travel. We review campgrounds, discuss tips and tricks for traveling with kids, and answer our readers' most common questions. We also chat about food, gear, and those times when everything doesn't quite go as planned.

    The 40 Best RV Vacations in the Country

    The 40 Best RV Vacations in the Country

    Are you looking for a terrific resource to help you plan out a lifetime of RV Vacations? Then look no further than Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi's book RV Vacations from the Outdoor Adventure Guides series by DK. This guidebook has detailed itineraries for 40 of the best RV Vacations in the country. Each chapter has recommendations for campgrounds, restaurants, and attractions. There are also sidebars on trip highlights and recommended itineraries for one, two, and three week trips. Each chapter also has fun facts about the featured location that every traveller should know.

    This book is split into five sections about five different regions that cover the entire country. Here is a brief sneak peak of what is inside the book!

    To listen to Jeremy and Stephanie give a sneak peak into the pages of the second edition of their book, Outdoor Adventure Guides: RV Vacations, click on the media player above or listen to the RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

    The Northeast

    Here are the nine RV vacations that Jeremy and Stephanie highlight in their section on the Northeast.

    Acadia National Park

    White Mountains, New Hampshire

    Vermont Fall Foliage

    Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    Lake George and the Adirondacks

    Niagara Falls

    New York City

    Pennsylvania Dutch Country

    Washington, D.C.

    Jeremy and Stephanie hail from the Northeast so this is their home stomping grounds and the part of the country that they have explored the most. They both pick Acadia National Park as their favorite RV destination in the Northeast because of its stunning mountains at the edge of the sea. They also both love all of the RV Vacations in New England, which is one of their favorite places to visit in the summer when the days are warm and nights are cool.

    The South

    Here are the eleven RV vacations that Jeremy and Stephanie feature from the South.

    Civil War Battlefield Tour

    Shenandoah National Park

    Kentucky Bourbon Trail

    Mammoth Cave National Park

    Memphis and Graceland

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

    New Orleans

    Walt Disney World

    Florida Keys

    As Northeasterners Jeremy and Stephanie love to escape their home state of New Jersey in the spring and head south for warmer weather and campgrounds that have their pools open and ready to go. Myrtle Beach is their go-to spot for spring break--but they both love camping at Disney's Fort Wilderness and on either side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    The Midwest

    Here are the three epic RV Vacations that Jeremy and Stephanie feature from the Midwest.

    Hocking Hills, Ohio

    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    Mount Rushmore and the Badlands

    Two of Jeremy and Stephanie's favorite RV Vacations of all time are in this chapter. Their trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was an all-time favorite and so was their two-week trip to South Dakota to see the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Mount Rushmore. If you are looking for more great campground recommendations from the Midwest--don't despair--just check out their bestselling book Where Should We Camp Next? A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and other Unique Outdoor Accomodations for tons of other recommendations.

    The Southwest

    Here are the four epic vacations that Jeremy and Stephanie feature from the Southwest.

    Route 66: Tulsa to Oklahoma City

    Austin and San Antonia, Texas

    Tucson, Arizona

    Grand Canyon, Arizona

    Jeremy and Stephanie both love the Southwest and would certainly like to spend more time there...

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Why We Bought a New Grand Design Imagine 2800BH

    Why We Bought a New Grand Design Imagine 2800BH

    It was pretty much love at first sight when we walked into the Grand Design Imagine 2800BH. We knew that it wouldn't be the perfect RV for our family--because after 12 years of RVing we don't think that the perfect RV exists. At least not for us. If we purchased an RV with every single feature that we wanted--then it would be too long--and it wouldn't be perfect for us. We know that every RV has its compromises--so we were looking for something that checked off a lot of boxes--but not necessarily all of them.

    The Grand Design Imagine 2800BH checked off more boxes for us than any of the other contenders did. This 32 foot trailer hit a sweet spot for us when it comes to towability, comfort, interior and exterior storage, and fit and finish. Considering the reasonable price point, it is fair to say we were impressed.

    Let's take a tour of the Grand Design Imagine 2800BH and share what we love about it, and talk about a few things that might be pain points for us.

    To listen to Stephanie and Jeremy talk about why they bought a Grand Design Imagine 2800BH on the RV Atlas podcast--click on the media player above or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your shows.

    The Spacious and Comfortable "Retro Funky" Interior

    Light "farmhouse" interiors have been all the rage in the RV industry for the last few years--but we never really loved that style. Stephanie likes mid-century modern and Jeremy likes anything with the cabin/outdoorsy look or anything from the 70's. So the Grand Design Imagine's retro-styled interior (with medium colored woods and off white countertops) worked for both of them. Jeremy likes to call the interior style "retro funky" and it makes him want to play Sly and Family Stone or Van Morrison while he is hanging out inside of it.  The interior color palette will also hide some stains and messiness from the kids, but it is not dark or oppressive.

    A Kitchen That Works for our Family

    Our last RV was a 22 foot model, and the one before that was 32' 11".  The 22 foot Ember did not have any counter space and there was extremely limited pantry space. The RV we had before that was a Jayco Eagle HT 264BHOK and it had a spacious kitchen with tons of counter space and lots of cabinetry. The Grand Design Imagine has a similar floorpan and a similar kitchen. The counter space and cabinetry in the Imagine 2800BH fit our family almost perfectly. The only thing it is lacking is a dedicated space for a garbage can. We will just flip up the extendable countertop and place a garbage can underneath it. We have started to stock the kitchen in the Imagine 2800BH already--and it seems to be holding all of our stuff with room to spare.Stephanie just needs to pick out a garbage can that looks nice. Jeremy's first choice was roundly rejected.

    Comfortable Sleeping and Seating Areas

    We are a family of five that likes to keep our RV's relatively small--especially when compared to other RV's that are made for family's our size. Our favorite RV's always tend to be closer to 30 feet than to 40 feet. This is because we like camping in state parks and national parks that can't always accommodate larger rigs. Jeremy also really likes to tow rigs that are closer to 30 feet because they are significantly easier to maneuver than rigs that are approaching 40 feet. We have only towed the Imagine home from the dealer at this point---but it tows like a dream and really hits a sweet spot for us.

    The compromises we make by getting somewhat smaller RV's always have to do with seating and bedding. We could go bigger and get a quad bunkhouse of some kind--but we choose to make some compromises instead. We plan on using the dinette in the 2800Bh as a semi-permanent bed by keeping it fol...

    • 55 min
    A New RV and New Adventures

    A New RV and New Adventures

    This past December Jeremy made the decision to not renew his contract with Ember as their brand ambassador. This was a tough decision for him, but he is confident it was the right decision. He wanted to give more of his time and attention to The RV Atlas podcast, the RV Atlas website, and to the books that he coauthors with Stephanie. Saying goodbye to Ember was bittersweet, but both Jeremy and Stephanie were excited to go RV shopping again--and shop widely across all of the brands in the industry for the first time in a long time.

    To listen to Jeremy and Stephanie discuss their life and work updates, and to take a deep dive into their post pandemic RV shopping adventures, click on the media player above or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your shows. In the first episode of the new season of The RV Atlas they share the shortlist of RV's that went under serious consideration. The list of their top five picks can be found below.

    Option 1: Jayco Redhawk 31F or Greyhawk 31F Class C

    Once the dust settled and Jeremy and Stephanie started talking about shopping for a new RV, Stephanie suggested that they should consider purchasing a motorhome. Jeremy has wanted a motorhome for his entire life--going back to his childhood--and maybe this was the moment to fulfill that lifelong dream. After doing some initial research--Jeremy and Stephanie decided to consider purchasing  a lightly used Jayco Redhawk or Jayco Greyhawk 31F. But they soon discovered that there were not many bargain priced used units around. So they started to consider purchasing a new one at their dealer, White Horse RV Center in Southern New Jersey. The 31F floorpan is perfect for their family, but the price of a new Class C was definitely something to consider.

    Jayco Redhawk/Greyhawk Major Pro: Perfect Family Floorplan.

    Jayco Redhawk/Greyhawk Major Con: Very Expensive.

    Option 2: Rockwood Roo 233S Hybrid Travel Trailer

    Jeremy and Stephanie also started to consider some very different options while they were motorhome shopping. Just in case they did not want to spend that motorhome money. Stephanie suggested that they consider purchasing a Rockwood Roo 233S because they have both always loved Rockwood Roos. The 233S is also a terrific floorpan for families that need a lot of sleeping space. A Rockwood Roo would also cost about 60-70K less than a motorhome, Definitely something to think about! Jeremy and Stephanie and the boys also moved into a Rockwood Roo for four nights several years ago when they were writing cover stories for Trailer Life Magazine. The loved the Rockwood Roo 235S that they tested and gave it a rave review. You can read that review right here.

    The major con of buying a Rockwood Roo is that their dealer (that they both love so much) does not sell them. Leaving their dealer after 10 years of working with them would be a tough loss to say the least. But they really, really do love those Roos!

    Rockwood Roo 233S Major Pro: Excellent Family Floorplan (and a budget-friendly price)

    Rockwood Roo 233S Major Con: Rockwood is not carried by Jeremy and Stephanie's dealer White Horse RV.

    Option 3: Grand Design Momentum 23G or 25G Toy Hauler


    Since they were being very open minded about their RV options, Jeremy and Stephanie decided to visit White Horse RV Center and check out their complete inventory of RV's. The Grand Design Momentum Travel Trailer Toy Haulers immediately caught their eyes. They both loved their Jayco Octane Toy Hauler (that they owned about four years ago)--and all of the kids miss it very much. Toy Haulers solve all of their gear hauling problems and make it easy to bring along bikes, surfboards, kayaks, whatever! Of course, Jeremy did not always love towing the toy hauler because of its extra height, width,

    • 1 hr 2 min
    8 Great Jellystone Parks to Consider for Your Next Epic Family Adventure

    8 Great Jellystone Parks to Consider for Your Next Epic Family Adventure

    There are over 75 Jellystone Parks across the country, and each one of them is very different. Some of them are quaint and rustic, with lots of activities for kids that harken back to summer camps of old, and others have off-the-hook water zones, gigantic water slides, laser tag courses--and much more. All of them are worth taking a look at for your next family vacation. But don't assume that they all offer the same level of amenities and activities. Know before you go and do your research so you can pick a Jellystone that is right for your family. Here is a list of eight amazing Jellystone Parks across the country that represent the best the brand has to offer. There are so many other great Jellystone Parks across the country. So after you check out the eight parks below, head over to their website to find one near you.

    Jellystone Park Golden Valley (North Carolina)

    This gorgeous campground is located along the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Asheville and Charlotte. The property is situated around a beautiful lake that is great for stand-up paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, fishing, and more. The RV sites here are very good, but those without an RV should not despair. This Jellystone's cabins and glamping accommodations are award winning and have appeared in travel magazines and blogs across the country. The Mountain View Treetop Cabins look particularly cozy and charming. At the time of this writing the campground is building a Lookout Tower at the top of Cove Mountain that should make for a great family hike right on the property. Activities like zip-lining across the lake, and laser tag (to name just a few) will keep your kids occupied all week long.

    Jellystone Park Estes Park (Colorado)

    This Jellystone Park's location near Rocky Mountain National Park is absolutely stunning. The RV sites here climb up the side of the mountain, and many have sweeping views--so choose wisely based on the size of your rig. There are good hiking trails that are accessible right from the campground, so bring a comfy pair of hiking boots. The heated swimming pool is great for kicking back and relaxing after spending a day in the National Park. Don't feel like cooking? The onsite Pic-a-Nic Basket offers up quick meals at reasonable prices. Combining a great Jellystone Park vacation with a national park adventure is always an epic option for making family memories.

    Jellystone Park Lakes Region (New Hampshire)

    The location of this Jellystone in New Hampshire's Lake Region looks absolutely epic. They have two sandy beaches right on Northeast Pond and the swimming is heavenly during the summer months. If the lake water is chilly then try the brand new activity pool with warming tubs. Contrary to popular belief, many Jellystone Parks are actually excellent for teenagers, and this is one of them. The basketball and GaGa ball courts, baseball field, laser tag course, and outdoor ping pong table will keep them occupied for hours. Want a hot tub delivered right to your waterfront RV site or cabin during your stay? Jellystone Park Lakes Region can make that happen. Just make sure you call ahead. The hot tubs (and the waterfront sites) are incredibly popular and sell out on most summer weekends.

    Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave (Kentucky)

    This is the best camping option near Mammoth Cave National Park--especially for families. Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave has an awesome Wibit on Karst Beach, their own private lake. What is a Wibit? It's an inflatable obstacle course and a wet and wild playground all wrapped into one. No matter how you describe it--it is a whole lot fun. Kentucky can get hot in the summertime, thankfully there are plenty of ways to stay cool at this popular Jellystone Park--playing on the Wibit is just one of them. Campers that love to fish will enjoy the stocked fishing pond with Bass, Bluegill, and Catfish galore.

    • 16 min
    Luxury Glamping Gear for the Holidays

    Luxury Glamping Gear for the Holidays

    Reportedly, the word glamping was coined in the United Kingdom circa 2005. Eleven years later, in 2016, it made its debut in the Oxford English Dictionary. The term (and the type of outdoor experience that it describes) has many haters. These purists despise the high thread counts, organic soaps, and expensive bespoke cookware preferred by glampers. They much prefer a simple camping setup and nights spend on the cold, hard ground. But let there be no doubt, glamping is experiencing explosive growth. Glamping is no longer a trend, it is an industry. So there should be no surprise that there is also high interest in glamping gear.

    Glamping is Here to Stay

    We believe that glamping, and glamping gear is here to stay. Many outdoor enthusiasts are more than willing to spend their hard earned cash on fancy RV resorts, or at places like Under Canvas and Autocamp. They are also willing to lay down serious bucks for hand polished cast iron, deluxe shower heads, stainless steel firepits, and Pendleton blankets.

    Here is a list of luxurious glamping gear that we have tested and used extensively. These items range in price from about $55.00 to $1,000. So you can break the bank if you want, or give someone a lux gift at an affordable price. That part is up to you.

    To listen to our discussion of luxury glamping gear on The RV Atlas podcast, click on the media player above. Or subscribe to The RV Atlas podcast wherever you get your shows. If you prefer to read about our glamping gear selections simply scroll down and enjoy our top picks. They are all right here in this post.

    Barebones Forest Lantern ($79.99)

    Barebones Living makes great lighting products for your glampsite. Their products are rugged and durable, and their retro-inspired look feels very authentic. Their products are not cheap knock offs from a bygone era. We have recommended their Railroad Lantern in the past, and now we also want to recommend their Forest Lantern. Where the Railroad Lantern has a more industrial feel, the Forest Lantern is a bit more subtle and chic.

    Our glamping tent at Under Canvas Yellowstone was equipped with a Forest Lantern and we will forever associate this charming light with that amazing location. Every time we use the Forest Lantern we feel like we are back in Yellowstone lighting up the wood fired stove to keep warm after the sun slipped below the horizon. So this lantern gives off some serious glamping vibes for us. The lighting is warm and evocative. The aesthetic is on point. And the quality is good. Perfect gear for glamping if you ask us.

    Oxygenics Voyage RV ($54.95 to $76.95)

    Most shower heads that come standard with modern RV's are bland and boring and deliver mediocre water pressure at best. Smart RV owners have been replacing their cheap shower heads with Oxygenics products for years--and the brand is rapidly growing their product lineup. One of there newest "pure bathing genius" shower head models is the Voyage RV.

    This attractive model comes in chrome, brushed nickel, matte black, and white--and is equipped with a wall mount and articulated handle for custom angles. The Voyage RV's pendulum setting impressed us with every use. It oscillates up to 500 times per minute and provides 14" of coverage. In other words, you shower will be completely awesome. This is also a relatively budget-priced piece of glamping gear that will deliver luxurious showers for years to come.

    Truma AquaGo Comfort and Comfort Plus (Pricing Available from Certified Dealers)

    If you travel with your family, and use your RV a lot, then you have probably had the unpleasant experience of running out of hot water while taking a shower. NOT FUN! Most 6 or 10 gallon RV water heaters just can't keep up with the demand for hot water in most camping families.

    • 39 min
    Snowbirding at Camping on the Gulf near Destin, Florida

    Snowbirding at Camping on the Gulf near Destin, Florida

    Are you looking to become a snowbird and spend the winter months enjoying the gorgeous white sugar sand beaches and sparkling waters of Florida's Emerald Coast? Or are you just looking for a great place to spend spring break in your RV, or in a cabin or glamping tent? Either way, you should consider Camping on the Gulf (formerly known as Camp Gulf.)  It is an excellent choice that is beloved by RVers of all ages. The waterfront location of Camping on the Gulf in Miramar Beach is excellent. Downtown Destin and Henderson Beach State Park are a short drive to the west, and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is a short drive to the east. Whether you want to stroll along quiet beaches, or eat terrific seafood in Destin's bustling downtown, the location of Camping on the Gulf has much to offer.

    Let's zoom in and take a closer look at this popular resort-style campground, just minutes from Destin. We think it makes a great choice for most RVer's who want to visit the area. However, those camping on a strict budget should take a look at the state park campgrounds nearby. They cost significantly less.

    To listen to our interview with Erik and Jeanne Anderson about their four month stay at Camping on the Gulf, click on the media player above. Or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Thanks to Erik and Jeanne for providing the photos for this post and for their extensive notes about Camping on the Gulf!

    RV Sites at Camping on the Gulf

    Camping on the Gulf has 217 sites, 16 of which are directly on the beach. These beachfront sites are a bit narrow, but they are still popular because of the spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico. Water and electric sites are available at these sites, but they do not have sewer hookups. It is also important to note that pets are not allowed on these sites, and they are not allowed on the beach in Walton County without a permit. So If you are camping with a pup, you will need to look for another site at Camping on the Gulf. Thankfully, the other sites are also very nice, and the rest of them have full hook ups.

    Some of the sites here have shade, and others get direct sunlight. So depending on the time of year that you visit, you should choose wisely between shade and sun. Most sites are level and paved, with nice picnic tables. Also please note--you will need to bring your own above-ground fire pit if you would like to have a campfire at night.

    Cabins and glamping tents are also available for those without RV's. Always check and see what is included with a cabin or glamping tent rental so you don't show up without essential items for your trip.

    Amenities at Camping on the Gulf

    The amenities at Camping on the Gulf are excellent.  Guests love the outdoor pool, and their kids love the large waterslide. During the winter months the domed indoor pool is also very popular--especially on chillier days. The indoor activity center is also a hub of activity when the weather does not cooperate. It has pool tables, foosball, board games, and plenty of room to spread out and relax. If you are are feeling cooped up in your RV, then this is a great place to get some work done or read a book.

    Other Facilities at Camping on the Gulf

    Camping on the Gulf has many other more practical amenities. Many of them are much appreciated by the snowbirding residents in the park. The bathhouses and laundry room are clean and well maintained, and they even have a nice dog washing station. Erik and Jeanne Anderson travel with their beloved Hershey Pup and he definitely loved getting a nice bath during their stay last winter (see above). You can also have your mail delivered right to the campground during your stay--which saves snowbirds like Erik and Jeanne from having to go to the post office over and over again.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
537 Ratings

537 Ratings

MommySaraC ,

Great Podcast!

I just started listening to your podcast last week, but I'm obsessed! We bought our first travel trailer in August. We've only been able to take it out twice due to work schedules and the need to have some repairs done. It's getting winterized this weekend, but we cannot wait to be able to camp next year. Your podcasts are making me wish we had more time this season. I'm listening to all the gear guides as well as other episodes. Great information. Edited to add: I’ve been a listener now for 6 years. I love this podcast-all the camping gear reviews, trip suggestions, and family travel advice. Love the great content!

ReaderSox44 ,

Kindness matters

I’ve never left a review before but I’ve been listening for years, bought all the books and they have been instrumental in our RV travel planning and general travel. I’ve noticed a marked decrease in kindness and more condescension from Stephanie this season and we are only a few shows in. Please take note. It’s not fun to listen to someone speaking like that to their partner.

msamonek ,

Camping Podcast at its best!

I have been listening to this Podcast from the beginning and I can truly say I feel like part of the family, the camping family! Whether you are new or old to the camping journey you will learn something new and be entertained all at the same time! I look forward to every new episode and listen to the oldies over and over! Keep up the good work!!

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