LAUNCHING LIFE’S JOURNEYS PODCAST
Whether you are new to traveling the world one mile at a time, or you have raised a family with thousands of memories made at a campsite…this podcast is all about the people, journeys and stories that are shared.
Recreational vehicles allow people the ability to travel the world, mile by mile while providing safe shelter and comfortable living quarters when destinations are reached. Willie invites you to join him on his journey with Heartland RV. Whether you are new to traveling the world one mile at a time, or you have raised a family with thousands of memories made at a campsite, this podcast is all about the people, journeys, and stories that are shared.
You will hear from the following guests on the Launching Life’s Journeys:
- Celebrities that have unique stories to share on their own journeys
- Entrepreneur & executives sharing their company innovations that you could see on your next journey
- Current RV owners that can share advice, insight, and questions to help make your experience memorable
- Vacation destination hosts, resorts, dining, and more…. inviting you to visit on your life’s journeys.
“My goal of hosting this show is to share amazing stories of real people and real-life as they are traveling on their own life’s journeys. Every person has a story to share, from both professional experiences and personal.” —William Miller, Host of Launching Life’s Journeys.
Select an episode below to listen now.
Will is chatting with our frequent podcast co-host Maris Brennan today to discuss the new MARVAC Vendor Showcase this spring before the Annual Detroit RV & Camping Show in Novi, MI. The Vendor Showcase will take place on January 30, the Tuesday before the show opens, and will give campground owners the resources they need to make the 2024 camping season a success.
In this episode, Maris and Will also discuss:
● Why Will is so excited about growing his first-ever beard and what it has to do with the Vendor Showcase
● Which kinds of vendors will be in attendance, and why this is a great networking opportunity – for campground managers and vendors alike
● Who is eligible to participate in the Vendor Showcase for FREE
● The many different games, activities, and social events MARVAC has planned for the showcase
● What each level of sponsorship tier gets you, and how you can ensure your business stands out from the crowd with an exclusive sponsorship tier
Will Miller and Maris Brennan from MARVAC are joining forces again today to interview Jacob Brown of the Otsego Lake County Park in Otsego County, Michigan. It’s the first county-owned campground we’ve featured, nestled in northern (lower) Michigan, near Gaylord and Johannesburg, and within an easy drive to the Mackinac Bridge. The waterfront campground features 80 RV-friendly sites with either 50- or 30-amp electric hookups and has fill and dump stations available.
In this episode, they discuss:
● Why the relatively shallow Otsego Lake is great for swimming, watersports, and fishing
● Which beautiful national forests and state lands you’ll find in the surrounding areas
● What “Wah Wah Soo,” “Irontone” and “Libke” refer to and why campers will want to remember their names
● The kinds of incredible events Otsego Lake County Park plans during the year – and what types of food trucks you’ll find there
● Plus, the number one destination in the area for your dogs, large or small
Our guest today is Justin Richards from Alice Springs RV Park in Ionia, Michigan. He’s chatting with Will Miller and Maris Brennan from MARVAC about this 178-acre property located in the center of Michigan, between Grand Rapids and Lansing and on the way up to the Mackinac Bridge. Although they currently have 128 RV pads with full hookups, Alice Springs has plans to expand to 400 sites, cabins, yurts, tree houses, and tent accommodations over the next few years.Listen Now
Will sat down with Brandy Gleason from Gleason Family Adventure and Adria Bergeron, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) to discuss some of Ohio’s best campgrounds. The MWCD is a nearly 100-year-old organization that focuses on conservation, flood reduction, and recreation within an 8,000 sq. mi. area of Ohio – which covers about 20% of the state.
Brandy Gleason, Ohio native and best-selling travel author, recently held a Heartland Owner’s Rally at one of the MWCD’s campgrounds – Pleasant Hill Lake Park. On today’s episode, Brandy, Will, and Adria discuss:
● The disaster 110 years ago that led to the formation of the MWCD, and how the organization’s mission has changed over the decades
● A quick, easy hack for finding out which lakes match your camping vibe, whether you’re looking for serene and peaceful or action-packed and energetic
● What new amenities MWCD campgrounds have, including one just for kids and another just for horse lovers
● How MWCD campgrounds contribute to protecting and preserving nature MORE with every booking
● And the incredible events happening at MWCD campgrounds state-wide, from moonlight kayaking tours to the big-name country music star who played an outdoor show in August
Do you read Woodall’s Campground Magazine? Founded in the 1930s, they’re coming up on 100 years of providing campground news to outdoor enthusiasts across the country. Today, we’re talking with Ben Quiggle, Editor of Woodall’s, about the publication that has nearly 15,000 subscribers – with more signing up every day. In this episode, Will and Ben discuss:
● What kinds of content Woodall’s covers in both their monthly print and digital editions, as well as in their daily newsfeed
● How they manage to put out three different podcasts on a wide variety of RV-related subjects
● The powerhouse guests from all corners of the camping world who have been featured on Woodall’s podcasts recently
● How they aggregate outdoor hospitality-related news from other sources to give readers a 360-degree view of what’s going on in the industry
● And which recent news stories Ben is most excited about sharing with our listeners
You can find Woodall’s Campground Magazine at woodallscm.com and follow them on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.Listen Now
From Dexter Axle, we’re joined today by Mark Nave, Product Manager, and Kary Royer, Midwest Director of Sales. As the largest axle manufacturer in the world, Dexter products are found not only in almost all RVs on the road today, but in tons of other towables as well. Will chats with them about the history of the company, founded as a family business in 1960, as well as:
● How they manage to operate “like family” even with 3,800+ employees worldwide
● The newest gadgets they’ve developed to make drivers more comfortable, less anxious, and safer on the road
● Where RVers can access aftermarket Dexter products – from online shopping to the hundreds of Dexter-approved dealers across the country
● The incredible perks that come with downloading the Dexter App for your smartphone
● And what developments Dexter fans can expect to see in the next 5-10 years
Ryan Powell joins our podcast today, talking about Solo Stoves – a piece of equipment beloved by millions of campers. Founded in 2010 with a Kickstarter campaign for a single product, they’ve grown into a beloved company with dozens of products that offer just about everything you could want for your next campfire.
In this episode, Will and Ryan are also chatting about:
● The scientific reason traditional campfire smoke always blows into your face, no matter where you stand
● How Solo Stove designs products for different kinds of campers and campgrounds, and how they navigate the long list of fire rules and regulations
● Which fire pit products are great for 2, 4, 6 people or more, and which products are great for both lightweight travel trailer owners and campers with seasonal sites
● The secret weapon for creating the perfect campfire pizza, every time
● What to buy when you want to make a teeny-tiny fire indoors, for roasting s’mores at a table
Will sat down with Dan Dominski, Vice President of Content, Programming and Sponsorships at Cannella Media to chat about the all-new RVTV – a TV channel dedicated to covering RV-related topics. The channel will launch with 15 hours a day of programming from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday, and you can watch through your cable provider, Roku, or Amazon Fire TV.
In this episode, they talk about:
● What kinds of content RVTV will air and what inspired the creation of the channel
● How one big pandemic failure led to the birth of RVTV from the ashes
● The upcoming competition that offers a $2,500 prize to RV campers and van-lifers in the real world – and how you can enter
● What campground owners can do to advertise on RVTV and get in front of 48 million TV households
● And which popular RV content creators have already linked up with RVTV to create exciting new media together
With America’s Largest RV show in Hershey, PA coming up fast, Will sat down with Heather Leach to chat about the show. Heather is the executive director of the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), the organization that hosts and organizes the show, which will be held September 13-17, 2023.
In this episode, they’re talking about:
● How many vendors will be in attendance and which big-name companies will be there
● The many different kinds of food and concessions available – because you’ve got to eat, right?
● What kinds of topics attendees can expect to see at this year’s seminars
● Heather’s top tips for navigating the show like a pro – and Will’s recommendation for the MOST comfortable shoes (that his kids tease him about)
● Where you can participate in a scavenger hunt at the show and compete to win great prizes
On today’s podcast, Will met up with Beth and Court, a millennial couple traveling the US in their RV and making content about it in the process. They discuss how they embraced a nomadic lifestyle, and why they share the good, the bad, and the ugly of learning how to RV full-time.
They also cover in this episode:
● How a wedding was the catalyst for learning how to RV and hitting the road
● The near-disaster that taught them about wheel chocks (and how they caught it on camera)
● How to save your marriage and prevent fights on the road with one simple habit
● Where they discovered a dormant volcano with magical views and a small town filled with happy people
● The amenities they look for in a campground – and the meaning of the word thunder bucket
Today, we’re interviewing Drew Tutton, CEO and Owner of Open Roads, to hear how and why he built his business. As an RV enthusiast himself, when he and his wife began camping, they struggled with finding quality RV service centers in their area. He opened a three-bay repair center and within six months, their schedule was fully booked and he needed to find a way to accommodate growing demand. Within another three years, he’d launched a full portfolio RV dealership, representing all the biggest brands and winning awards within the industry.
He joins us today to talk about:
● His entrepreneurial philosophy that directly leads to happier customers and staff
● The technology that allows his service centers to work on everything from micro-trailers to Class A motorized RVs
● What promotions he offers to veterans, active military members, first responders, paramedics, and more to express his appreciation for their service
● And the breadth of RVs they sell at their dealerships – and how they pair customers with their perfect matches
Kritters Campground is centrally located in the Upper Peninsula to give campers easy access to some of the U.P.’s best attractions. You can access thousands of acres of trails, visit Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks, take a day trip to see the Soo Locks, cuddle bears at Oswald’s Bear Ranch, or see sled dogs in training at MI Dog or Nature’s Kennel. At the campground, enjoy a game of horseshoes or cornhole, play basketball or sand volleyball, or take your kids to the playground or to the general store for ice cream.
Tune in to hear us chat with Brice and Vicki about:
● Why they quit their jobs and bought a campground in the U.P. when they’d never even visited before
● The #1 biggest crowd-pleasing update they made to their list of amenities
● Which one-of-a-kind nearby attractions campers shouldn’t miss – including one that sells a shirt that says, “I survived the drive to ________.”
● The best place to drink a beer at Tahquamenon Falls
● And what makes the U.P. the GREATEST place in Michigan
Monika Geraci, Director of PR and Communications for the RV Industry Association (RVIA) sat down with us to share the most recent trends they’re seeing in the RV industry.
In this episode, we’re also chatting about:
● The mind-blowing number of safety standards inspectors check for when they visit manufacturers
● How new RV buyers can ensure any given model is RVIA-approved
● The top four reasons people have bought an RV since 2020 – plus one new amenity that 39% of people surveyed report as their top reason
● Why there are never enough trained RV service technicians, and what the RVIA is doing to close the gap
● And the shocking average age of a first-time RV buyer in 2022 (which we NEVER would’ve guessed)
To learn more about the RVIA and the many things they do to ensure quality and safety in the RV industry, visit https://www.rvia.org/. You can also visit RVIA’s partner site, https://www.gorving.com/, to take quizzes to find your ideal RV type, get how-to guides for tons of topics, and read stories from real RVers who are sharing their hard-won road wisdom with anyone who wants to hear it.Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys with Modern Campground – This New Camping Media Site Is Changing Outdoor Hospitality
We sat down with the Founder and CEO of Modern Campground, Brian Searl, to discuss why he launched an outdoor hospitality news source in 2021. Modern Campground is geared toward owners and operators of campgrounds, camping-related travel companies, and the RV industry in general, but provides valuable news for everyone with a passion for camping.
Tune into the whole episode, where we also chat about:
● What Australia and the UK can teach America about different approaches to camping
● Who the Modern Campground podcast interviews as guests and what sets their podcast apart
● The best thing smaller companies in the industry can do to promote their businesses rather than buying expensive ad placements on industry sites
● Where travel-related businesses can submit to join the Modern Campground registry and capitalize on their monthly web traffic to boost their self-promotion
● And Brian’s philosophy on travel, including the specific things in the great outdoors that boost his mental health and wellbeing the mostListen Now
Maris Brennan of MARVAC joins us once again today as we chat with Colleen Hoholink, who helps run the Manistique Lakeshore Campground. It’s located in Manistique, Michigan, right in the middle of the upper peninsula coastline along Lake Michigan. The campground is owned and operated by the city of Manistique and opened in 2017 with 50 full hook-up RV campsites. Each site has a 60-foot, leveled cement pad, with water, sewer, electric, WiFi, and cable included.
In this episode, we also cover:
Steps for getting a shark-free campsite right on Lake Michigan
How fast their books filled up for 2023 within an hour of opening them
Which pets are allowed – and the craziest animals people have brought to the campground
A brand new restaurant that brings THIS exotic cuisine to Manistique for the first time
And the big festival that will be held in Manistique this year in early July
Will Miller sat down with Erin Stender, Chief Marketing Officer for Campspot, to discuss how their site and app make camping easier for everyone. Campspot serves campers and campgrounds alike, offering booking software for campgrounds that connects directly with their camper-facing platforms. That means you can book campgrounds from one convenient location and trust that you’re getting an accurate representation of availability from moment to moment.Listen Now
Private Lake Michigan access? Only one campground has it. Maris Brennan from MARVAC joins us yet again to talk about an amazing campsite on the shores of Lake Michigan. Now open to the public, they offer 100 acres of campsites on 300 acres of wooded land – and they’re the ONLY campground with a private beach on Lake Michigan. And because they offer RV campsites, tent sites, and RV rentals, you don’t have to be an RV owner to enjoy this gorgeous location. Tune into the full episode to hear more about:
● Why you’ll find a trail of stuffed animals in the forest
● How they’ve made the campground golf-cart friendly
● Where you’ll find the ONLY sand dunes east of the Mississippi River that allow off-road vehicles
● And what you need to do to book a seasonal site for 2024 on their new inland lake-facing lots
Today Will sits down with Maris Brennan from MARVAC and Darcy Keys from The Groves Campground to talk about all the excitement happening around the area including a breath-taking backdrop, NASCAR and fast horses.Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys with Pat’s RV Park – A 100 Year Old Michigan Campground With Unparalleled Lake Access
We’re joined once again by Maris Brennan from MARVAC to chat with Pat and Julia Smith, the owners of Pat’s RV Park in Mesick, Michigan. Nestled against a gorgeous tree-lined lake in the northern lower peninsula, Pat’s RV Park has been operating in that location for nearly 100 years. Pat’s great-great-grandparents claimed the land around 1930, where they set up military tents with wood floors and pot-bellied stoves to provide a camping experience for the visitors from Grand Rapids and Detroit who arrived by train. Since then, it’s been handed down from one generation to the next, owned and operated by the same family.
The RV park itself has 88 total sites, with the majority dedicated to RVs, plus a few tent and cabin sites. Of those sites, 33 are overnight sites, and the rest are seasonal or deluxe seasonal sites for campers who want to stay a little longer. The Smiths have worked hard to update the campground over the years. They’ve upgraded most of the sites to 50 amp service, remodeled the bathhouse, redone the water system, and kept the gravel road to their location graded and brined for easier driving with larger rigs.Listen Now
This Great Lakes RV Park is Booked Solid Every Year
Partnering once more with Maris Brennan of the Michigan Association of RVs and Campgrounds (MARVAC), today we’re featuring a wonderful campground on the Leelanau Peninsula. We chatted with Gary Becker, Owner of Indigo Bluffs RV Park and Resort in Empire, Michigan about the incredible campground he’s built. With 264 campsites, 260 of which are full hook-up sites, Indigo Bluffs covers 67 acres of gorgeous, hardwood-shaded land in northern lower Michigan. The campsites can handle RVs of all sizes, from modest pop-up campers to luxury Class A’s and toy haulers. On the RV resort side, each site comes with a 1000+ sq. ft. concrete pad and more than 6,000 sq. ft. of landscaped space to spread out.
The Family Friendly Mid-Michigan RV Resort. Maris Brennan of MARVAC joins us again today as we chat with Mark Koss, the Sales and Marketing Director at Heartland Woods Family RV Resort in Stockbridge, Michigan. Located just northeast of Jackson, Heartland Woods is conveniently located to access NASCAR races, multiple county fairs, football games for MSU and U of M, and Heartland Wood’s own Battle of the Bands festival – Bridgestock. As a membership campground, Heartland Woods offers a safe and secure place to bring your family, with 24-hour security, surveillance cameras, membership interviews and background checks ensuring you can relax and enjoy your trip.Listen Now
Will Miller is visiting the Patrick Industries studio today to chat with Steve Janowski, the Business Unit Director of Collins & Company. Collins & Company provides many other RV-tailored elements to the industry, including more than 2 million RV-optimized microwaves, range hoods, appliance packages, trims and moldings, and RV-safe antifreeze. We partnered closely with them to develop and deliver our new line of SŌL – Powered by the Sun solar packages, which provide a range of solar options across Heartland models. Every new model includes a minimum of solar prep, with key features that make it different from other solar options on the market.Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys with The Remarkable RV Insurance Co. With an Unexpected Benefit – EasyCare
We sat down with Walt Burns, the National Brand Manager for EasyCare, to discuss the RV coverage they offer to consumers and dealers alike. While you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind, EasyCare offers plans that get you pretty close. In this informational interview, we chat about the benefits of RV coverage plans, how they differ from warranties, and what they cover. Plus, you’ll learn more about the services they offer to their members that go above and beyond to ensure you’re never more than a phone call away from the help you need, wherever you go.Listen Now
We sat down with Jim Wheeler, Director of Hospitality & RV Operations at Love’s Travel Stops to talk about the different ways Love’s supports RVers. With nearly 700 locations across 42 states, Love’s is the nation’s leading travel stop network. And now they’ve begun building their own RV sites for campers. With five to fifteen RV parking spots per location, campers can stay overnight or for up to a week, using the Love’s app for seamless reservations and check-ins. Every space in the RV Stop has full hookups, including WiFi, and a personal or communal dump station. Plus, because the travel stops are right next door, campers are always just a few steps away from access to food, water, fuel, ice, and more – all for less than $37/night, on average.Listen Now
We sat down with Damien Bralley, owner of SXS Addicts, to talk about all things related to ATVs, UTVs and side-by-sides. SXS Addicts is a Phoenix, AZ-based business specializing in customizing off-road vehicles with specialist accessories, wheels, tires, cages, powder-coating and stereos for an amazing trail riding experience. And Damien himself is known for his incredible customer service – treating every customer like his own family, doling out expert advice about upgrades, and building a company that stands behind the quality of its products as well as their warranties. They professionally install everything they sell, never sell gray-market merchandise, and advise customers on the best customizations for their lifestyle and safety, even if it means leaving money on the table. You can learn more about them at https://sxsaddicts.com/.
As a fast-growing sport in the U.S., off-roading is an activity that RVers love. If you’ve got a Heartland toy hauler, you’ve got room for any side-by-side you can buy. And unlike many other hobbies, off-roading is something you can do with the whole family (and something your kids won’t hate).Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys with The RV Atlas: Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi, Authors and Travel Enthusiasts
We’re talking with RV Atlas podcast creators and best-selling authors Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi today about their new book, expert-level tips for planning a national park camping trip, and what people get wrong about using solar power in their RVs. Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi are the authors of some of the most popular RVing books, including Where Should We Camp Next? (a USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Award winner) and Meet Me at the Campground. Their weekly podcast, RV Atlas, explores RVing, family travel, and destination guides and has been downloaded more than 3 million times. Learn more about the Puglisis at https://thervatlas.com/.Listen Now
This RV Resort Has The Best Meals. Today in our MARVAC Campground Series with Maris Brennan, we’re talking to Patty Cornwell from Cornwell’s Turkeyville U.S.A. in Marshall, Michigan. Since 1968, Turkeyville U.S.A. has drawn visitors from miles around as a family-friendly attraction. You can eat at the Turkeyville restaurant, buy tickets to one of their dinner theater shows, and sample 13 different types of homemade pie. But Turkeyville, U.S.A. is also home to a 14-acre, 176-site campground. Built by the owners who are campers themselves, every single site is 40 feet wide, 60-80 feet long, and includes full hook-ups (water, electric, sewer), a cement patio, a fire pit, a homemade picnic table, and plush “napping” grass that invites you to lay down and watch the clouds roll by. The campground is within short walking distance of Turkeyville’s restaurant, ice cream parlor and gift shop, where there’s always an event, class or festival going on that the whole family can enjoy. You can find Turkeyville, U.S.A. online at https://www.turkeyville.com/, as well as on Facebook and Instagram, and you can reach them by phone at (269) 781-4293. The full campground season runs April 1 – October 31 each year, with 50 campsites available over the winter.Listen Now
As we continue our MARVAC Campground Series, today we visit Harbortown RV Resorts with Heather Brooks the park manager. Michigan’s #1 Family Campground, conveniently located on Lake Erie in Southeast Michigan just off the I-75 Expressway in Monroe, MI between Detroit, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio and near many of the area attractions and recreational opportunities. We also love our Canadian friends just across the bridge in Windsor, Ontario, so stop in for some fun camping at Harbortown RV! This location has been open for 24 years now, operating under the same owner. Harbortown has 250 sites, full service and water electric, 85 of which are pull throughs, but most of our back in sites are very spacious. We do daily, weekly, and monthly rates. Harbortown prides itself on cleanliness and hospitality. We want all of our guests to feel comfortable and happy when they visit our resort.Listen Now
Also known as MARVAC, is a division of the Michigan Manufactured Housing, RV and Campground Association (MMH & RVCA), which is a full-service, non-profit, state trade association, representing the manufactured housing, recreation vehicle and private campground industries in the state of Michigan. The MMH & RVCA offers a wide variety of services to aid you in the operation of your business and save you money as well. Services include legal counsel and legislative advocacy, and governmental relations, in-house public relations programs, liability insurance and a clearinghouse of information where members can obtain a wide variety of general and technical publications. The MMH & RVCA is comprised of two divisional organizations (MMHA and MARVAC), with each serving their specific industry’s needs. MMHA and MARVAC have separate boards of directors that represent their respective industries. An executive board, made up of three representatives from each of the two divisional boards, governs the association.Listen Now
Our next stop in Launching Life’s Journeys is with the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds. In this episode we are talking with Darren Ing, Show and Industry Director at the Michigan Association of Recreational Vehicles and Campgrounds. (MARVAC). He discusses the upcoming 36th Annual Battle Creek RV & Camping Show happening March 3-5th at the Kellogg Arena.Listen Now
Jamie May was living the American Dream when a devastating hit-and-run car accident took away life as she knew it. After finding the courage to get back on the road, she followed her internal compass and set out on what turned out to be the wildest ride of her life — a 12-month solo road trip across America. She never realized how much life had broken her until 20,000 miles later she became unbroken on the backroads of America. In the process, she rediscovered the true meaning of the American dream.Listen Now
In today’s episode, Will is live from the MORryde Showroom with Jack Enfield, the Sales & Marketing Manager for MORryde International. Whether we’re fabricating custom solutions, modifying a commercial chassis or engineering innovative products, MORryde provides solutions for variety of needs. Jack and Will recap 2022, talk RV innovation and where to find Jack and his team this coming RV Show Season in 2023!Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: Experience Unchartered Society, Unlock Your Next Adventure with Tony Poll of BRP
Will chats with the head of Uncharted Society, Tony Poll- to talk about BRP Innovations and the adventures they are creating throughout North America.Listen Now
Visit with Will Miller and Heather Leach, Executive Director from the PRVCA. The Pennsylvania Recreational Vehicle & Camping Association is a nonprofit corporation representing nearly 400 RV dealers, manufacturers, campgrounds, part suppliers, lenders, insurance & service companies. PRVCA’s mission is to enhance the recreation vehicle and camping industry through education and promotion by being a resource and partner to all segments of the recreation vehicle and camping industry. Heather discusses the upcoming Hershey RV Show, America’s largest show with over 1,000 RVS from 40 manufacturers.Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: The RV Hall of Fame – Recognizing, preserving, and honoring those who have been instrumental in the RV Industry
In today’s episode we are talking with President of the RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum, Darryl Searer as he shares the history of mobile living from its beginning to where it is today. Recorded live at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Darryl shares the journey of an industry as well as sharing all the value this tourist destination provides to the thousands of annual visitors and their mission, which is to recognize, preserve, and honor the history, pioneers, and individuals who have been instrumental in making the Recreational Vehicle and Manufactured Housing industries what they are today. Also, you will learn about the museum, library, event hall and a unique partnership with Harvest Hosts, that allows RVers to stay on the property as a stop on their own life’s journey off the I80 highway in Elkhart Indiana.Listen Now
You can’t travel on your life’s journey in an RV without being exposed to technology from ASA Electronics. At ASA, they pride themselves on their ability to adapt and grow as the landscape of mobile technology evolves. Over more than four decades, they have earned a sterling reputation developing electronics designed to handle unique environments with seven brands.
In this episode, Will sits down with Vice President, Jim Hess to discuss the electrical components that ASA supplies the RV industry, from radio systems to In-Command control systems. Jim shares his desire to provide more support and information to RVers, to ensure they have a better experience with all the technology that they provide.Listen Now
An avid travel writer, published author, and blogger, Brandy Gleason is also an avid camper who loves the outdoors and exploring the world. In this episode, Brand and her travel partner and husband talk about their adventures as a family! While only 4 of them travel together these days, they have 8 children, 2 sons-in-law, and 3 grand-babies. They go RVing and adventuring as often as possible and find new things to be doing and learning. Creating meaningful family time and making memories is what we aim to do as much as possible. They loves museums, travel, and family-friendly adventures.Listen Now
It all started with a love of the outdoors and a desire to make camping easier for everyone.
However you camp — in a tent, trailer, RV, or cabin — The Dyrt is committed to helping you have the best camping experiences possible. In this episode, Co-Founder and CVO, Sarah Smith, takes us through her journey and desire to make camping easier for everyone. The Dyrt is focused on ending the pain of searching for campgrounds online and is now a top ranked camping app, with over 4M user-submitted locations, reviews and tips across the U.S.Listen Now
At the time of the Launching Life’s Journeys Podcast interview, Jason was anticipating another record earnings report following the first record breaking quarter. “We achieved a record $1 billion in revenue during the first quarter 2021, which is a watershed moment for Lippert and an extraordinary accomplishment considering the significant labor and supply chain headwinds the industry has faced. Our team’s agility, combined with our robust operational capabilities, allowed us to capitalize on the extraordinary demand across the outdoor recreation space to capture new growth opportunities and expand market share. At the same time, we amplified our efforts to deliver innovative products and enhance the customer experience, solidifying our position as a best-in-class supplier within the outdoor recreational community,” commented Jason Lippert, LCI Industries’ President and Chief Executive Officer.Listen Now
Today’s guest Janine Pettit is smashing the gender stereotypes associated with RVing and proving how incredibly popular this lifestyle is among women. Janine is the founder of Girl Camper, she is also the editor in chief of Girl Camper Magazine, and she is responsible for a Facebook community of over 94 000 members. Today she takes us back to how she first discovered her love of camping and RVing and bought her first camper. She sheds light on how she established Girl Camper Magazine in her downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic, shares its successes, and gives some insight into what you can expect to find in each edition. She also explains how she is growing the RV community through her Girl Camper chapters, Camper College, RV shows, and other events, as the excitement continues to build for the Hershey America’s Largest RV Show in September. Apart from sharing her own love for camping and RVing with us, she also tells us the inspiring story of a widow whose life was completely transformed when Janine helped her discover the joy of camping. Like Girl Camper, this episode is not just for women, so tune in today for all this and more!Listen Now
Today we are talking with Jim and Kellie Stockman from the Suite Travels. They are a retired couple living full time in our RV and traveling North America in our Heavy Duty RV Hauler, 5th wheel and Smart Car . They talk about the freedom they have to travel the continent, soak up all this beautiful land has to offer, and then fall asleep in our own bed! They are Believers and really enjoy visiting different churches while they travel.Listen Now
If you’re traveling through Nashville, Tennessee, you may find an all-black trolley with gold font lettering, giving folks over the age of 21 a memorable experience that transports them back in time: boutique cigars, a shoeshine, and a conversation with a true gentleman, today’s guest, Daniel Hooberry, also known as Daniel Dark. Hear about his history as an electrical engineer, chocolatier, smoke shop owner, and culinary student, and how his health challenges altered the course of his career. Daniel tells us about his cookbook on Catsup, before sharing the story of how he narrowly avoided signing a lease for commercial property before the pandemic. Next, he gives us the inside scoop on how he found and restored the trolley that he runs his business from today, we talk about how to book a visit to Gentlemen’s Cigars, and Daniel describes the experience he offers his customers when they step aboard. He also gives us a glimpse of his cigar selection process and describes the experience he facilitates, including a range of glasses for the drinks you bring on board, and we touch on the rules around the resale of rare cigars. In closing, Daniel tells us how to find out where he is parking next and how to book a visit with him. We hope you join us to hear about the phenomenal service he offers!Listen Now
Listeners are likely to recognize today’s guests, Jess and Dub McCorkle, from their tremendous success on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. In today’s episode, we get together with Jess and Dub to discuss their seemingly instant success on social media, how they decided to pursue the RV lifestyle and what they have learned from it thus far. Tuning in you’ll hear them share the story of their daughter’s drawn-out battle with an autoimmune disease and how her unexpected recovery prompted their decision to travel. They share how their overnight success on TikTok provided them with the opportunity to earn an income for their family by doing videos for various brands and how the exposure has affected their lives. Later, the McCorkles’ unpack their approach to homeschooling and discuss why this lifestyle has made them interrogate and question the assumptions they grew up with about a successful life. Join us today for a candid and inspiring conversation on the opportunities afforded by RV travel and why it’s a great way for kids to learn, gain social skills and see the country!Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: Expanding, Enhancing, and Improving the RV and Camping Industry in Pennsylvania with Elizabeth Peroni
The Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle & Camping Association, or PRVCA, is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 400 RV dealers, manufacturers, campgrounds, component part suppliers,... Read More Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: Expanding, Enhancing, and Improving the RV and Camping Industry in Pennsylvania with Elizabeth Peroni
The Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle & Camping Association, or PRVCA, is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 400 RV dealers, manufacturers, campgrounds, component part suppliers, lenders, and insurance and service companies. Their mission is to enhance the recreation vehicle and camping industry through education and promotion by being a resource and partner to all segments of the recreation vehicle and camping industry. With the 52nd annual edition of America’s Largest RV Show coming up on September 15th, 2021, please join us in welcoming PRVCA’s Communication Director, Elizabeth Peroni! In today’s episode, Elizabeth highlights the importance of education and industry standard training in the RV industry, and she shares some exciting highlights from this year’s program. Tune in today!Listen Now
Many of us have big dreams, but only a small percentage of people get to live them. Jennifer and Kendall Jennings, also known as the Dashboard Drifters, are a young couple who are living their dream life, having traveled from Canada to Mexico while living in an RV and working as digital nomads. On today’s episode, you’ll hear what life is like living on the road in La Paz, Mexico, and how reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss sparked a huge lifestyle change for Jennifer and Kendall. Next, we talk about their business, RVSpotDrop, which connects boutique locations and smaller campgrounds to customers, working to supplement your online booking system. You’ll learn about the mechanics of RVSpotDrop for both businesses and RVers, which territories are listed, and what is required to match the right customers to destinations tailored to their preferences. We hope you join us for some valuable insider tips on how to maximize the amazing service that Jennifer and Kendall offer, and to get inspired by this wonderful young couple’s commitment to living their dream.Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: 100,000 Miles and Nothing but RVLove with Marc and Julie Bennett
Today on the Where’s Willie Podcast, we are talking about RVLove! You may be wondering, what is RVLove? Well, with over 100,000 miles traveled, Marc and Julie Bennett are much more than just the bestselling authors of Living the RV Life: Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road and RV Hacks, the number one new release on Amazon! They have been featured on the New York Times, CNBC, Fox, and The Wall Street Journal, helping hundreds of thousands of people hit the road in an RV, while saving them money, with their time-tested and proven tips and advice. In this episode, Marc and Julie share how they launched their life’s journey in an RV six years ago, which of their bestsellers you should read depending on your needs, and some of the tips, tools, and advice they offer, as well as where you can connect with them on social media. Tune in today to learn more!Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: Bringing Joy, Happiness, and Hope with Jennifer Mercer of Care Camps
Today we welcome to the show Jennifer Mercer, who is the Director of Development for an amazing and impactful organization known as Care Camps — a charity founded to help children battling cancer and their families experience the healing power of the outdoors. One of the most neglected aspects of diagnosing and treating childhood cancer is the emotional aspect, which is what Care Camps focuses on. By bringing joy, happiness, healing, and hope to the campers and their families, the charity shows every child that they don’t have to fight their challenging journey alone. Tune in Where’s Willie today, to hear more about Care Camps and its incredibly powerful mission that is changing lives across the United States and Canada!Listen Now
If you want to take your family to an amazing destination but you don’t currently own an RV, or if you have an RV and you’d like to make a bit of extra cash when you’re not using it, this episode is for you! Today we are discussing the Airbnb of RVs, RVnGO. In this episode, we are joined by Richard Saling and Paul Kacir of RVnGO, one of the fastest-growing companies in the North American RV industry. Paul shares how he came up with the idea for the company and how, in the interests of bringing people together, he is determined to keep it a free service. We talk about the massive growth their business has experienced and why their website is the best place to find an RV for rent. We also talk about how the company makes money through value-added services, how their insurance works, and other features they offer such as 24-hour roadside assistance and a call center. Tuning in, you’ll find out why the second and third biggest fleets in the United States use their services, how you can even sell or buy an RV through them, and how you can get a special discount or even a referral payment through their affiliate program. Whether you would like to rent an RV or you have an RV that you’d like to rent out, tune in today!Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: The Lahrs Family: Full-time RV’ing with Four Kids, a Dog, and a Cat
Packing up your family and pursuing the dream of life on the road sounds close to impossible, but today’s guests, Luke and Mel Lahrs have been full-time RV’ing for five years with four kids, a dog, and a cat. You may recognize them from Instagram, Facebook, or their own website Lahrs with Latitude. As a family who has always been honest about the realities of full-time RV’ing, today they open up about the challenges and the rewards of this kind of lifestyle. Tuning in you’ll hear what made them decide that this was the life they wanted to pursue, how Luke got a travel job to enable this dream, and how the discovery of Mel’s pregnancy with their fourth child postponed their original plans. Find out what ‘unschooling’ is, how their kids have learned so much more through their travels than they would have in a traditional school system, and how they have personally grown as a family throughout the process. While making drastic changes to pursue a dream like this sounds daunting, the Lahrs family explains how they baby-stepped their way into it, and you can too! Luke even has some RV-lifestyle-compatible job ideas for you. For all this and more, tune in today!Listen Now
Establishing a WiFi connection on the road is one of the most frequent topics our listeners ask about. Whether you’re looking to accommodate your teenage child, or hoping to carry on with your work responsibilities from the road, a steady WiFi connection in your mobile home is a common non-negotiable. Today, we speak with a phenomenal resource in the RV community, the Senior Director of Business Development at Winegard, Marvin Metzler, who distributes all the products you need for a seamless network on the road. We dive into our episode with a summary of the history of Winegard and the work they do, before Marvin tells us what it means for an RV to be WiFi prepped. We talk a bit about the hardware that Winegard offers and the practicalities of the installation process. Next, Marvin tells us about the different services available and highlights Winegard as the only hardware provider that connects with all three major carriers. We talk about the difference between using mobile data and setting up your vehicle with hardware to accommodate connectivity. Marvin gives us his predictions for the future and closes with a word about how Winegard has successfully moved from a TV company to getting involved with all kinds of wireless devices. We hope you tune in for some practical tips from this inspiring leader in the field!Listen Now
Whether you have a fifth wheel, travel trailer, or toy hauler, you will usually find dual propane tanks on every single one of these units. These propane tanks can be quite dangerous so when you and your family venture off to amazing destinations, it’s important that you make sure that you are safe and protected. To help you to ensure your RV’s safety, today we talk to Mike Ray from GasStop. Mike explains that GasStop is the only product in the USA like it. He sheds some light on how GasStop shuts down the flow of propane instantly if you have a major leak, how it allows you to check the integrity of your propane system in two minutes, and how its high-quality gauge will help you make sure you don’t unexpectedly run out of propane. Mike explains that there are two different types of GasStop units and how to install each one. To hear about the quality of this innovative product, its price, where you can find it, what serious RV’ers think about it, and how it can offer you peace of mind on the road, tune in today!Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: How to Explore the Country and Build a Community with Kelly Beasely of Camp Addict
Meet Kelly Beasely, the founder of Camp Addict and a woman who has explored the country thanks to her RV and adventurous spirit. In this episode, Kelly talks about everything from how she began this journey, to becoming a full-time solo RV’er and boondocking. She also talks about how although this lifestyle can seem intimidating to some, it’s not much different than living in any given town–you just have a much greater level of freedom, and potentially a smaller fridge.
Kelly also discusses the incredible community she has found through RV’ing, and how she is working on building up that community even more so through her website, campaddict.com. Established in 2017, this website provides RV’ers with accurate, trustworthy, and helpful information in one place to assist those who are looking to experience RV’ing full-time for themselves so that they can stop digging through the internet for information and can do more of what they love – exploring.
Tune in today!
On today’s show, we introduce someone that can save you money and help you learn how to take care of your coach. We are really excited to welcome Jeff Malatesta, the Founder and a technician at RV Diagnostics. Jeff has held a multitude of mechanic positions over the past 40 years. The most memorable being his service in the United States Army where he worked on all types of vehicles including M1 tanks. He served in both Germany and Iraq. Over the past 25 years, Jeff has worked with a steady increase of electronics and electrical systems, giving him an edge over the competition. He was also an instructor for both advanced electronics and engine drive-ability classes. Jeff is ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) master certified in automobile, medium and heavy trucks, gas and diesel, and advanced gas and diesel. Today we just simply dive into how to save money, how to learn more about your own RV, why going to RV Diagnostics is the way to go, how to take care of your RV, and more!Listen Now
Launching Life’s Journeys Destination: Traveling through a Pandemic with the Whole Family in Tow with Jason and Abby Epperson
No matter how many miles we’ve traveled, we all have a story to tell. On today’s episode of the Where’s Willie podcast, we speak to Jason and Abby Epperson, who we’ve dubbed the Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters of National Parks and RV industry news with very good reason! Jason and Abby kick off with the story of how they started the full-time RV journey in a converted school bus with their kids in tow. We talk about how the pandemic-related restrictions snowballed the RV industry. Jason and Abby walk us through the concept behind each of the Eppersons’ three podcasts. Next, we touch on the RV industry’s components and how that has been sustained throughout the pandemic. Our guests get real about the highs and lows of full-time RV life behind the veil of social media. Jason and Abby talk about how to choose an RV that’s best suited to your needs and explain to us why the RV with the most features is not always the best option. The Eppersons emphasize the value of educating yourself according to what you need before buying a fully kitted-out vehicle. Finally, we discuss what digital publishing entails and the perils of peddling a false narrative on social media instead of sharing who you truly are. Jason and Abby reveal to us that their focus is to create something that reaches further than their personal identity in order to build long-lasting stability. Tune in to hear about raising a family on the road, building a sustainable brand and choosing a vehicle that’s best suited to you.Listen Now
Melissa Paris is an impressive athlete who consistently takes the male-dominated motorsports world by storm. In today’s episode, Melissa tells us about her background and upbringing and tells the story of how she was able to start racing professionally. She goes on to share insights about the challenges she has faced with imposter syndrome and why being a mom is the craziest thing you’ll ever do. Melissa also describes her pandemic experience, starting with a state of emergency being declared at the Daytona 200 and ending with unexpected camping and RV adventures. Next, we talk about the value of female support in a male-dominated space, Melissa lets us in on her predictions for 2021, tells us how to go about trying to become a sponsor, and how the nature of sponsorship is changing. Melissa Paris is an inspiration in motorsports and in life. Tune in to hear more about her journey and find some fresh inspiration of your own!Listen Now
It was about three years ago that Brentt and Brittnee Proha decided to leave their home life on a small farm, in a small town for life on the road. Joined by their two boys, three girls, and playful bulldog, the Proha Family is showing the world how to live life with nothing but an open mind and the open road. While it might seem like close quarters, the Proha family has learned how to do just about everything, from homeschooling and making new friends to running their essential oils and remodeling consulting businesses while immersed in the great outdoors. In this episode, you’ll hear from Brentt and Brittnee as they share how they met, what the transition to RV life was like, and tips for the nomadic lifestyle. Having created a life that inspires, the Proha family is proof that simple living is wonderfully worth it.Listen Now
On today’s episode of Where’ Willie we get together with talented musician, husband, and father John King. John’s journey has led him across the US performing in hundreds of venues and cities and now, for the first time in his adult life, he was able to take the summer off due to a COVID-enforced hiatus. John shares how he first realized he could sing, the many hours he spent with friends at band practice, and how their silly songs turned into good songs and then great songs. Hear about why John is proud to have graduated from Georgia State and how Athens was a fantastic place for a young musician like himself. John talks about what moving to Nashville has meant for his career and shares an unbelievable anecdote about Randy Houser and a 100 dollar bill. Listeners can expect to hear all about Nashville and why it’s so successful at fostering talent thanks to the high standards and sense of community. Join us today for an awesome conversation about transformation, honoring your fans, and country music!Listen Now
In this episode of the Where’s Willie podcast, we are sitting down with Demian Ross, the publisher of Rootless Living Magazine. We talk about his foray into nomadic life, what it means to be rootless in today’s globalized world and how he hopes that Rootless Living can foster empathy and excitement for those who have chosen or been forced by circumstances to live outside of their initial comfort zone and take to the road.
The thing about traveling or working from the road is that you don’t have to put your life on hold to do what you love, as Demian dives into – some days are travel days, some are workdays, but everything remains flexible. Working from the road does take some adjustments though – like finding reliable Internet service so that projects can be done remotely. Hear his incredible story by tuning in today!
Kennedy Leighton is a Central Michigan University student and self-published author from Schoolcraft Michigan whose vulnerable story has uplifted, supported, and encouraged many... Read More Listen Now
Kennedy Leighton is a Central Michigan University student and self-published author from Schoolcraft Michigan whose vulnerable story has uplifted, supported, and encouraged many struggling with grief and loss. In 2014, Kennedy and her family experienced the tragic loss of her mother. As her role model and the woman she admired most, Kennedy felt at a loss — confused and brokenhearted — as she prepared to start high school. For a brief period, she found herself on the wrong path, with the wrong group of friends. But a turning point arrived on her sixteenth birthday, in which Kennedy fully realized the potential to transform her life, and the lives of others, by sharing her loss and the tremendous kindness she received from others through writing. Ultimately, Kennedy self-published two books, Dear Kennedy and Miraculous Every Day, and created an online store called Kennedy Marleen. Kennedy’s story is one of encouragement, vulnerability, and love. Her books and personal experiences are a testament to the notion that refocusing pain for a greater good can lead to an avenue of self-healing and healing for others. Today, Kennedy remains grounded by her faith, the guidance of her father, and her belief that everyone has a story worth sharing.Listen Now
A Professional Guide is a professional at all times — they are mentally alert and physically prepared for a strenuous day of guiding. Their self-confidence can be observed but not heard — they are totally prepared for the day and ready to accept its challenges, good or bad. Their appearance and dress show pride in themselves and the operation they represent. They immediately become a teacher to their clients and the client readily accepts their leadership. The motto belonging to our guest’s Fly Fishing outfitting company. Today we welcome a good friend of Willie’s, and a former college and AHL hockey star, Dana Lattery. Dana is now the president and CEO of Fly Fishing Bow River Outfitters, as well as First Cast Last Pass Media, a full marketing video agency, located north of Montana, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after fly fishing experience providers around the world. Dana has been featured on the cover of Fly Fusion Magazine, Home Water for Orvis Down the Hatch Film Festival, and he continues flying around the world in pursuit of catching and capturing his greatest passions. Born in Alberta, raised in the back country. Fishing, hunting, nature, the wild, all run thick in his blood. Stay tuned for our show today as we hear from Dana all about how he got into the outfitting business as a fly fishing guide, how he supplements that income with other businesses and creative outlets, what Fly Fishing Bow River Outfitters has to offer, and much more!Listen Now
When the travel bug bit Chris and Molly, it bit hard! The COVID-19 pandemic led to a huge decline in income for them, but instead of giving up traveling with their family, which has always been a big part of their life, they decided to give up their house instead. For the past four months, Chris, Molly and their three children have been living in a 400 square foot RV, and they are loving it. Of course, there are challenges, which Molly and Chris share with us on today’s show, but as you will also hear today, the positive aspects of their experience far outweigh the negatives. They have no interest in returning to their old life and have made some exciting travel plans for the next few months. For any listeners who have a desire to shed excess material things and focus on family and adventure, Chris and Molly offer advice to get you started on your journey (more of which can be found on their blog, The Flying Hens. Whether or not the RV lifestyle is for you, we can guarantee that you’ll learn something from this episode!Listen Now
“Whenever there’s chaos, whenever there’s disruption, there are always opportunities for people to thrive.” This powerful takeaway comes from today’s conversation with global business celebrity, bestselling author, and C-Suite Network Co-Founder and Chairman Jeffrey Hayzlett. We open our discussion with Jeffrey by exploring the important role that content and branding play in modern businesses. With an especial focus on podcasts, Jeffrey dives into the topic, highlighting the need for companies to serve their communities and embrace new content platforms. After chatting about how you can measure a podcast’s returns, we talk about how Jeffrey’s content empire feeds into his business strategy. We then touch on the bright future of virtual speaking, the benefits and disadvantages of work-from-home, and how the pandemic has bolstered the RV industry, among others. Near the end of the episode, Jeffrey pulls back the curtain and shares his vision for the C-Suite Network. Tune in for more of Jeffrey’s insights on adapting to change and how content can connect you to your client base.Listen Now