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.
Northern California Beach Camping: Big Sur to Crescent City!
On this week's episode of The RV Atlas podcast we are back with part two of our California beach camping series! In episode one our good friend Lauren Eber (from @afamwithavan on Instagram) was our guide and she gave us some incredible campground recommendations from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Along with each campground pick she shared great spots for food, fun, and adventure in those particular locales. Lauren is a California native and she knows the California coast intimately! Her campground picks and recommendations Northern California Beach Camping are absolute perfection. This two part podcast series should be on the top of your list if you are planning a California beach camping trip.
On today's episode Lauren is sharing her top campground picks from Big Sur to just below Crescent City! Jeremy also jumps in at the end of the show with his top two picks from the Crescent City area right outside Redwoods National and State Parks.
This is another great episode of The RV Atlas podcast that you don't want to miss! To listen to today's show on Northern California Beach Camping click on the media player above or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts!
For an overview of Lauren's picks check out her show notes below this helpful map that pinpoints the campgrounds that we talk about in part two of our California beach camping series!
Lauren's Overview of Northern California Beach Camping
Northern California has some of the most spectacular coastline in the world, accessed via the world famous Highway 1, which is on just about every list of America’s, or even the world’s, best road trips, and with good reason.
Northern California beaches are very different from the So Cal beaches we covered in our prior episode. NorCal beaches are more about exploring the gorgeous scenery, quaint beach towns, redwood forests, vineyards, and farm-to-table cuisine than sunbathing and bodysurfing.
Northern California weather is a lot cooler and foggier than SoCal, frequently overcast and windy. Expect 64 and foggy as the norm, rather than 72 and sunny. Dressing in layers is still key. The best months for sunshine are September and October. Lots of dramatic cliffs, rocky shores, tidepools, cold water, the occasional Great White Shark; often too rough for swimming, with a dangerous undertow, so don’t assume that “beach” means swimming. Some places it does, but look into it so you know what you’re getting. That doesn’t mean it’s any less fun or relaxing. Just different.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Big Sur has one of the most dramatic, beautiful stretches of coast in California. Redwood forests up against the towering cliffs above the ocean. The campground has 204 sites for RVs up to 32 feet. Some are in a towering redwood forest. Some are along the Big Sur River. All are incredible. My favorites are some of the sites in the 170s along the river, but it’s a real toss up with some of the sites on the opposite side in the 140s, in the redwoods, along a big meadow. No hookups, but lots of amenities. Restrooms with flush toilets and showers, wifi, and laundry. There is also a lodge in the park, with a small grocery store and cafe.
The campground is not actually right on the ocean, and it doesn’t have ocean access, but it does have hiking trails with sweeping ocean views, and it is just a short (1 mile) drive to popular Pfeiffer Beach with the famous keyhole arch. If you’re up for hiking, don’t miss the 2-mile Pfeiffer Falls Trail, which leads to the Valley View Overlook with a tremendous view of the Big Sur River Valley, Pt. Sur and Andrew Molera State Park, and a view of Pfeiffer Falls, a 60-foot waterfall.
Big Sur has some world-renowned restaurants and hotels, like Nepenthe, Deetjen, and the Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar.
Eggs on the Hiawassee River Rally at Riverbend Campground!
Casita Dean May is back on the RV Atlas for the second week in a row with another jam packed episode! Last week Dean gave us a detailed review of the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA. This week we are packing in a double episode! Dean is here to review the Riverbend Campground in Hiawassee GA, and to tell us about his recent trip there for the Eggs on the Hiawassee River Rally!
One of my favorite episodes we have ever done on the RV Atlas podcast was CASITA DEAN AND THE INVASION OF THE EGG PEOPLE. It was an amazing episode where Dean broke down the intel on all of the best egg camper makes and models. He also gives a 101 primer class on the egg camper lifestyle. If you are interested in learning about egg campers and egg camper culture, you should take a listen!
On today's episode of the RV Atlas Dean explains why he and his awesome wife Laura are so drawn to egg campers. Dean and I also discuss why egg camper owners are so rapid and why they have such a cult-like following. After that Dean gives us an awesome review of the Riverbend Campground in Georgia--home to the Eggs on the Hiawassee River Rally that Dean and Laura have attended several times.
Here are Dean's notes for the show!! To listen to Jeremy and Dean's conversation, click on the media player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your shows!
Location of the Riverbend Campground
Riverbend Campground is in the beautiful hills and mountains of northeast Georgia.The campground is about 10 minutes south of Hiawassee, GA. Hiawassee is just over 2 hours northeast (107 miles) of Atlanta, GA or just under 3 hours (138 miles) from Knoxville, TN.
Despite only having a population of less than 1,000, Hiawassee is a nice little town located in a touristy and recreational area, so there are ample places to buy groceries, shop, go out to eat, and have fun.
Type of Campground: Private
Size of Campground:165 RV sites with the majority having full hookups and the remaining sites having electric and water.
Physical Appearance of the Campground and Surroundings
The campground is relatively flat surrounded by green rolling hills and small mountains. The beautiful Hiawassee River runs the entire length of the campground. Many sites have shade trees while the newer sites in the back of the campground have exposure to the sun. Oh, the bathrooms are nice, too!
Price Range and Ease of Booking
Reservations can only be made by phone and/or email. There is no on-line reservation system.Daily rate is $45.00 for RVs and $40.00 for tents.They also offer reasonable weekly, monthly, and seasonal rates.
Site Details at Riverbend Campground
All sites have electric (both 30/50-amp) and water. The majority have sewer as well.The sites are nicely graveled and have fire rings and picnic tables.The sites are well kept and nicely spaced.
*Bonus – The campground offers a free honey wagon service for the electric/water sites. On Wednesdays, they will dump your gray tank. On Fridays, they will dump your black/gray tanks.
Also, there are seasonal sites at Riverbend. They are well maintained, landscaped, and very attractive.
Wi-Fi/Cell Phone Service: Cell phone service is fine.
Wi-Fi in the campground is EXCEPTIONAL. Over the last few years, the campground lost access to cable. After a couple of iterations, they decided to add a Wi-Fi router to EVERY site. The best Wi-Fi we have ever had, perhaps superior to Anchor Down’s fiber optic Wi-Fi!
The downside is that there is no cable; however, since Laura and I don’t have or want a TV in our RV, we love the premium Wi-Fi service!!!
Activities at Riverbend Campground
Organized Activities and Recreation (some activities are seasonal): Pool, Fishing,
Casita Dean May Reviews the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA
Casita Dean May is back on The RV Atlas podcast with a fresh review of the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA Holiday. Dean and his wife Laura consider this to be one of the top three campgrounds they have ever visited. Dean and Laura have spent over 200 nights camping in there Casita and they have visited over 10 states. So this is high praise based on their wide experience.
Our family also loved the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA when we visited about seven years ago on a 36 night RV trip that brought us to both sides of the Smokies for about two weeks. We were writing our first book at that time and we recorded the podcast in the bedroom of the RV after the kids went to bed at night. I loved the podcasts that we recorded during that trip because the activities and amazing hikes that we talking about were so fresh in mind!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an abundance of options for camping both inside and outside of the park and we have covered the best of the best of these campgrounds here. The Townsend/Great Smokies KOA is definitely one of them!
We also recently invited our friend DJ Odom on the podcast to talk about his absolute favorite places to visit in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and you can listen to that podcast or read about his favorites right here!
And don't forget to listen to today's episode of the RV Atlas with Casita Dean May by clicking on the media player above! Or by subscribing to The RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite podcasts!
See You at the Campground!
12 RV Hacks from Marc and Julie Bennett of RV Love!
Marc and Julie Bennett from RV Love are, quite simply, two of the smartest and kindest people working in the RV content creation space today. Stephanie and I are huge fans of their first book Living The RV Life. When we heard that they had a brand new book coming out this summer called RV Hacks we just knew we had to have them back on the podcast again for a sneak peak!
Marc and Julie first appeared on the RV Atlas podcast a few summers back on a terrific episode filled with boondocking tips. I can't believe that it has taken two years to get them back on the show. But I am thrilled to have them back on to talk about RV Hacks. This book is absolutely jam-packed with amazing hacks in a wide variety of categories.
The book has over 400 hacks that are separated into six different categories. On today's RV Atlas podcast Marc and Julie share two super fun RV Hacks from each of the following six chapters:
Repairs and Maintenance
Camping, Campgrounds, and Boondocking
Cooking, Organization, and Storage
Work and Technology on the Road
Families, Kids, and Pets
My conversation with Marc and Julie about RV Hacks was an absolute blast. So I hope you join in on the fun! To listen click on the media player above or subscribe to the RV Atlas wherever you get your shows! And more importantly make sure you grab a copy RV Hacks on amazon or at a bookstore near you. This book is an absolute blast and every RV owner should keep a copy in their rig at all times! I know we will keep a copy with us wherever our RV travels take us this summer and for years to come!
(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 With Roadtrippers!
The journey on Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica is certainly America's most iconic road trip. Route 66 is called the mother road--and for good reason. But this iconic road is a challenging road to tackle in many ways. Thankfully, our friends over at Roadtrippers have just released a quirky new guidebook that is packed with all of the insider intel that you will ever need to conquer the mother road. Roadtrippers Route 66: Chicago to Santa Monica breaks the mother road down into six legs:
Chicago to St. Louis
St. Louis to Tulsa
Tulsa to Amarillo
Amarillo to Albuquerque
Albuquerque to Flagstaff
Flagstaff to Santa Monica
It feels fitting to me that the folks at Roadtrippers broke their guidebook down into legs instead of chapters. Each "leg" contains route highlights, featured campgrounds, featured accommodations, a playlist of songs that is specific to that leg, Then the "on the road" sections offer up all of the best recommendations for each of the major points of interest along that leg of the road. The featured campground recommendations for each leg make this the best Route 66 guidebook on the market for campers and RV owners of all kinds.
Route 66 On The RV Atlas Podcast
Stephanie Puglisi is one of the contributors to the Roadtrippers Route 66 Guidebook and she is back on the RV Atlas podcast today to talk about this brand new book! To listen to my interview with Stephanie about Route 66 click on the medial player above, or subscribe to The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts!
Free Trial to Roadtrippers Plus with Purchase
This Roadtrippers guidebook also comes with a free 30 day trial to the "plus" version of the Roadtrippers APP. This popular APP helps you plan cool stops on your next trip and even build trips together with friends using their collaboration tools. This new guidebook is also filled with links to additional Route 66 content on the Roadtrippers website that enriches the overall user experience even more.
I can't wait to get out on the mother road again for an epic adventure of my own. When I do, I'll be sure to have a copy of this terrific book in hand. This book is filled with delightful surprises. Much like the mother road it depicts through words and images.
4 Amazing Campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest!
On today's episode of The RV Atlas we are heading west for a review of four amazing campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest that you are going to want to add to your bucket list! The Pacific Northwest is my favorite geographical region of our country and the entire RV Atlas crew cannot wait to get back some day soon.
Four years ago our family took an epic camping trip to the Pacific Northwest and spend 26 days doing a huge loop from Seatlle to Olympic National Park, to Mount St Helens to Coastal Oregon to the Redwoods, back into Oregon for Crater Lake and Odell Lake and then back to Seattle---it was such an amazing trip--my favorite trip ever.
I’ve been dying to get back ever since--my wanderlust for the Pacific NORTHWEST IS VERY VERY STRONG.
Kendra and Tyler from Campspot
So on today’s episode we are heading back to the Pacific Northwest with our terrific first time guests Kendra and Tyler from CAMPSPOT. Kendra and Tyler (and their two cats, Sunny and Luna) travel full time in their AIRSTREAM creating content for Campspot. They do photography, video, writing, camp cooking content and so much more and their visual style and killer photo and video chops can be seen all over Campspot's website.
Kendra and Tyler have travelled all over the country and we had a lot of cool options for podcast episodes--but of course I asked them to do an episode about campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest---during the interview I meant to say that I felt like a kid in a candy shop talking to them about podcast ideas--but instead I said I felt like a kid in a candybox.
What the heck is a candy box? I don’t know--but it doesnt sound like it holds a lot of candy!
So just so you know--I meant a CANDY SHOP! Because Kendra and Tyler have been everywhere! And I hope to have them back on the show to cover more great campgrounds in other parts of the country.
So let's dive in and get four great recommendations for campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest from Kendra and Tyler. And huge thanks to Tyler for the amazing photos in this blog post!
To listen to today's episode of The RV Atlas about campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest click on the media player above, or subscribe to the The RV Atlas wherever you get your podcasts! Or just check out Tyler's amazing photos and and Tyler and Kendra's highlights in the notes below each campground!
Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground & RV Park in Crescent City, CA
photo by Tyler D. Way
photo by Tyler D. Way
Redwood National and State Parks
Lady Bird Johnson old grove trail (easy access loop trail)
Tall Trees Grove Loop Trail- Permit required trail— mildly difficult, but old growth and river
Coastal trail — easy and great for sunset views
Scenic drive on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway (off US-101)
Klamath Beach - sea lions
SeaQuake Brewing (great fries with an amazing parmesan dipping sauce)
Battery Point Lighthouse — also great for sunset
Craine Prairie RV Resort in the Cascade Lakes Region of Oregon
photo by Tyler D. Way
photo by Tyler D. Way
Beautiful, remote campground in a wooded setting with full-hookups
Just around the corner from the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
Lake access and lake-views of Mt. Bachelor, South Sister, and Broken Top mountains
The campground offers boat, pontoon, SUP, and kayak rentals
Short drives away from Odell and Crescent Lake which was one of the clearest lake I’ve seen
Near some incredible waterfalls including Salt Creek Falls in the Willamette National Forest t...
Excellent podcast for those with wanderlust!
Loving this podcast! It does make me wish I had done more camping and traveling around when my kids were younger. They are in their 20s now and we all love to camp! I’m saving up for a small travel trailer, possibly as small as a teardrop for ease of use and getting out there! Just picked up your book from my local bookstore in Memphis and can’t wait to dive in and make some plans!!! P.S. I too have a camping gear addiction....2nd place to actually being in the woods and nature is being in an REI!
Content can be good
The content can occasionally be good but quite often difficult to listen because everyone is talking over each other. The quality of the July 12 episode was poor, in addition to host and guests all talking at the same time.
Couple without information
Lots of yip yap. No actual information.