RV Lifestyle Influencer Spotlight: Wandering Weekends
Posted: April 18, 2022
Categories: Travel & Lifestyle
RV Lifestyle Influencer Spotlight: Wandering Weekends
Cory and Brooke Blackmon and their two kids are, what we call in the adventure world, “weekend warriors” who enjoy spending family time together RVing and boating, as you might expect, on the weekends. Cory has been boating for more than 20 years, and he and his wife jumped into RVing around eight years ago.
The Blackmon’s decided to get into RVing simply for recreational purposes and love the excitement it offers their family. They have a personal travel trailer, a test rig and a 24’ pontoon boat that they use for their outdoor adventures and love being able to incorporate both into their weekend lifestyles.
Cory and Brooke, known by their 52,000+ YouTube subscribers as “Wandering Weekends,” gave us an inside look at what their “boat camping” lifestyle consists of, and we are thrilled to share their story!
Wandering Weekends' RV and Boating Narrative
RVing and boating are activities the Blackmon’s partake in only on the weekends, so they are not full-timers. They stated that they camp around 22 weekends out of the year, and camp and/or boat around 30 weekends a year, creating a ton of memories along the way. Their favorite place to RV and boat is Old Federal Campground located near Lake Lanier in Northeast Georgia. In fact, they dock their pontoon boat on Lake Lanier.
With their boat being located an hour away from their home, their weekend excursions sometimes consist of taking a day trip to Lake Lanier and then returning home that evening. They enjoy camping at that lake most of the summer as well since they have the convenience of campgrounds and Lake Lanier all in one great area. So far this year, they have roughly 22 trips planned with the potential to add a few more as they hope to get their RV placed on a permanent site in the North Georgia mountains.
What Does a Typical RVing Weekend Look Like?
Although their agenda can change due to their destination of choice, weather, and other factors, there is a typical routine that the Blackmon’s follow on their weekend trips that incorporates campfires, sightseeing in nearby towns, and one of their all-time favorite activities – antiquing.
On a Friday afternoon after Brooke gets off work, the family will get all packed up, hook up their travel trailer to their truck then set out for their destination. Once they arrive, they will typically get everything set up and get settled in, then have a simple meal for dinner that evening. Once they have had supper, they’ll do a fun activity with their kids such as playing a board game or watching a movie before getting them showered and off to bed. And depending on the drive, time of year, and the weather, Cory and Brooke will oftentimes set up a campfire or simply sit outside and unwind in the great outdoors.
On Saturday, Cory and Brooke will get up early and make breakfast, or if they know of a good breakfast spot nearby, the family will go eat there to get their day started. Once they’ve filled their bellies, they typically spend the next few hours antiquing and checking out the small towns nearby, grabbing lunch, and visiting museums, state parks, and other spots. Cory shared that they want to enjoy the area where they are camping which goes beyond the campsite and lake.
They then spend the rest of their afternoon doing “traditional camping activities,” such as allowing their children to explore the playground and make new friends, riding bikes, and ending the day hanging out by the campfire.
On Sunday mornings, the Blackmon family mentioned that they take on the day as it arrives and don’t set alarms to wake up at a specific time. Once they do arise for the day, they complete their Sunday morning tradition of having cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then pack up and head home around 9 or 10am to make it home by noon. They’ll unpack once they are home, then Cory will take the trailer back to the storage area and the family will get ready to do it all again the following weekend.
A Typical Day at Old Federal Campground with Their Pontoon
When the weekend adventure involves their boat, their trip may look a little different and will only consist of one day instead of three at Old Federal.
On those days, they enjoy the day on the water in their pontoon boat as part of their routine. That starts with breakfast at the campsite, then they head to the boat to spend the rest of their day on it. They’ll normally have lunch on the boat then come back in the evening and get everything packed, then do “camp activities” at the campsite such as grilling hamburgers for dinner before concluding for the night.
What Do They Consider the Best and Most Challenging Parts of RVing and Boating?
Taking on the boating and RVing lifestyle comes with its rewards and challenges, and Cory and Brooke spoke about some of each that they have experienced.
Best Parts of RVing and Boating
RVing: “Our favorite part about RVing is the quality family time we get from it,” Cory stated. “None of our noses are buried in our phones – we spend time together walking around the campground, watching our kids play and make friends, and we even make friends, too! Another perk of our weekend adventures comes from being part of the Lippert Scouts community. As ambassadors, we receive products that we’re able to share and give away, and we make lots of great friends that way. But, ultimately, the best part is making incredible memories with our kids, by far.”
Boating: According to Cory, “The best part about boating is quite simple: the maintenance on our pontoon is a cakewalk. We’re super thankful because some boats can generate lots of issues and have maintenance requirements that are difficult to keep up with, but our pontoon’s maintenance is as easy as can be and we love it.”
Hardest Parts of RVing and Boating
RVing: “For us, the most challenging part about our situation is that Brooke works a traditional, full-time 9-5 job, so we have to head out in the evenings once she gets off work which can be tiresome,” said Cory. “Nonetheless, though, it’s worth every second once we do reach our destinations and get ready for the new endeavors that await.”
Boating: Cory reflected on their location and said, “Although, living in Georgia, we have a really nice and lengthy boating season, we have a lot less time to boat compared to how much we can camp due to the changing seasons and weather that all play a factor in how often we go – so sometimes we have to almost “force” ourselves to go to the lake just to be sure we get the most out of the time we do have. Even though that’s not much of a challenge and more so a personal preference, it still can throw a wrench in our plans sometimes because we want to be sure to get enough time on the water without any regrets once the season comes to an end.”
What Are Some of the Biggest Misconceptions About RVing and Pontoon Boating?
Boating: “One of the largest misconceptions about the pontoon boat is that it’s a ‘loser cruiser’ and only for old people,” Cory said. “It took me a while to convince Brooke to get a pontoon boat because she thought the same thing, but once I finally did persuade her that we should get one, it became a game changer! We love our pontoon because it rides smoothly, sips gas, and is perfect for our kids. We would recommend pontoon boats to the curious boaters out there!”
RVing: Cory explained some misconceptions about RVing, stating, “A large misconception people have about RVing – especially when watching our ‘weekend warrior’ lifestyle, is that there are little to no maintenance requirements due to not being full-timers. People buy RVs and use them maybe three times a year: on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day, and think they can let them sit without touching them for the remainder of the year until the next year. That is extremely far from the truth. RVs require frequent maintenance checks to keep them up and running properly, and staying on top of it is an absolute must. It is a commitment, without a doubt, but it’s totally worth it.”
Their Favorite Lippert Accessories
As RVers with younger children, Cory and Brooke listed the Lippert Solid Step® Premium RV Steps and Solid Stance™ Step Stabilizer Kit as their favorite Lippert accessories. They have the Solid Step on their personal RV and the Solid Stance on their test rig.
The Solid Step is an RV step designed to add more stability and safety when entering and exiting an RV with its adjustable legs and aluminum, anti-slip treads. They love the Solid Step because it comes with a handrail which is an invaluable safety feature that allows the kids to go in and out of the RV with no issues or concerns. This becomes extremely helpful when they are doing activities outside the rig such as grilling or sitting around the campfire when the children need to be able to go in and out easily.
The Solid Stance eliminates step bounce and instability when entering or exiting an RV with its dual, individually adjustable legs. They noted that the Solid Stance is their other favorite due to it being an extremely helpful, budget-friendly accessory. “As soon as we received the green light to add upgrades to the test rig, the Solid Stance was one of the first accessories I added to it, and it has worked great and been an excellent add-on since then,” Cory stated.
Their Relationship with Lippert
The Blackmon family began their journey as Lippert ambassadors when they received an email from a Lippert Customer Experience team member in March of 2020 asking if they were interested in becoming part of the brand ambassador program. They were one of the first four Lippert brand ambassadors as the program was just getting started. Cory stated that they felt like “kids at Christmas time” when the partnership began, and they have been having fun and building relationships ever since.
“Lippert has been extremely supportive from the very beginning and throughout this entire journey, and we appreciate them beyond measure for that,” Cory stated. “ Our relationship has grown tremendously over time. When we first began, we were simply receiving products and reviewing them, and that changed when I accidentally knocked the awning off our RV. I contacted Ryan Zerfas from the Lippert Customer Experience team and asked was there anything they could do to help, and he said ‘absolutely’ without hesitation. It’s incredible to have that kind of support, and the team as a whole has just been a pleasure to work with.”
Cory continued, “The community that has grown from the Lippert Ambassador Program is also really cool. We’ve made friends with other Lippert Scouts and love getting to meet people in person at the getaways and other rallies. We are definitely looking forward to attending the next rally in October.”
What Do They Feel Makes the Experience So Unique?
The Blackmon family takes pride in being weekend warriors with such a strong social media presence and high influence from their YouTube channel.
“We are one of the few weekend RVers that have substantial supporters on social media,” Cory said. “Many are full-timers, and we love that our channel is relatable to our audience because it’s unique to being weekend-only, which makes our follower-base specific and appreciative of the content we post.”
“Personally, we prefer for our kids to have roots – meaning a local dentist, a hometown favorite restaurant, a mechanic they can trust, etc., so right now we don’t have much interest in becoming full-timers,” he continued. “This works great for our current lifestyle, and we hope that we can use our digital footprint to continue helping others find what works best for them, too!”