Curious about Harvest Hosts? Here's our ultimate Harvest Host review featuring a podcast interview and videos of what you can expect at a Harvest Host location.
By now, everyone's heard of Harvest Hosts, that awesome membership service that lets RVers stay overnight for free at leading wineries, farms, golf courses, and tourist attractions.
But it's time for a Harvest Hosts Review in which we tell you – from our first-hand experience and an interview with Joel Holland, the CEO of Harvest Hosts – just what to expect.
Joel was our special guest in Episode 294 or the RV Podcast. He gives us a Harvest Host Review from his perspective, talking about new locations, what hosts are open during the COVID-19 restrictions, and why Harvest Hosts has become so popular with RVers.
RV Podcast Harvest Host Review from RV Podcast Episode 294
Here's the podcast episode with the Harvest Host review featuring Joel… just click the arrow to listen right now on your computer or smartphone, or download it for later review. You can also hear it on your favorite podcast app or player like iTunes, Stitcher, TunedIn or Spotify. Joel's interview is about 17:24 in. But we invite you to listen to the entire podcast from start to finish.
Then, Jennifer and I want to share our own Harvest Hosts review, showing you from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel videos exactly what to expect.
Harvest Host Review videos
Here's the first Harvest Host review video we did. Honestly, Harvest Hosts locations are our favorite place to stay. It's a membership site that offers free overnight camping all across North America.
How does it work? Check out this Harvest Host review video to see some of the unique places we visited.
Here is another Harvest Hosts review video we did that shows you three more spots.
Okay, now the good news. Of you listened to the podcast, you've heard the CEO and seen our videos of what to expect with our Harvest Host Review videos. Now here is the best part: We can save you money!
If you join with our link – you get 15% off so you'll pay just $63/year for your annual membership.
Using this link and the discount code: HHFriends15 you save get 15% off Harvest Hosts annual membership of $79.
We covered much more in this podcast besides the Harvest Hosts review. Here's the rest of what we talked about:
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK
The RV Lifestyle can be quite daunting, especially when you are just starting out. We've heard from a lot of new RVers over these past several weeks during the lockdown, especially women who will be traveling with husbands of significant others, seeking some newbie advice.
Some of those women aren't quite as enthusiastic about the RV Lifestyle as their traveling companion, It's not that they don't want to RV. They just have some basic questions and are seeking advice on how to adjust and handle things as they start traveling in their RV.
So this week, Jennifer has put a lot of time and effort into writing a very detailed article on our RV Lifestyle blog, offering up helpful advice to RV women newbies. It's filled with lots of tips, links to how-to videos, and other resources.
We think this free article will greatly ease those newbie jitters as it answers many of those basic beginning questions women have. Men will find helpful info in this article, too, But this one is clearly aimed at women. I plan to do a similar article aimed at men for next week.
RV LIFESTYLE NEWS OF THE WEEK
Oregon closes its state forests to boondockers because of health hazards caused by vast amounts of trash, human waste left behind
While Oregon closed its state campgrounds because of COVID-19 some time back, it was permitting dispersed camping on Oregon Department of Forestry land – until this week. As of Monday (May 11) the state closed land to dispersed campers – also called boondockers – because of the vast amount of trash and human waste these campers left behind. State officials said they are not sure how long the forests will be closed, but current conditions are so bad they pose a health hazard. State workers now will send teams out to pick the debris up.
Some RV dealers report surging sales as people seek way to self-isolate and travel this summer
Some RV dealers are reporting soaring sales as more and more Americans want to travel this summer but want to control their surroundings, according to a report out last week. With gas prices at record lows, and people hesitant to book a plane flight, use a hotel, or even eat at a restaurant, some are finding RVs an attractive choice. RV dealers say appointments, calls and sales are up, and many expect it to continue in the short term. This is something I have seen among friends, and even wrote about a friend's decision to do just this. (See story below.)
Can't afford to buy an RV? Story out last week says another booming company is RV rentals
Besides buying RVs, guess what else is on the rise in parts of the country? If you guessed RV rentals, you would be right! For families who want to travel, but can't afford to buy an RV, many are doing the next closest thing – renting them. Some RV rental companies are reporting a RV rental boom, especially as more and more campgrounds begin to open.
Some national parks, some state campgrounds begin to open
Some national parks are starting to open for day use. Some states, including Florida, are opening some campgrounds. Some states are only allowing state residents to camp. Others are opening to non-state residents. To stay up-to-date about campgrounds and parks near you, we recommend visiting Campendium by clicking here. Better yet, check out last night's Ask Us Anything weekly live stream that we did on YouTube. We had RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers check-in from all across North America to report what RV facilities are open and what are closed. CLICK HERE to watch it.
That baby animal you come across while walking through the wood probably isn't abandoned
If you decide to go for a walk in the woods during this time of social distancing, and come upon a seemingly helpless, abandoned baby animal, Wildlife officials all across North America share a similar message: Leave the cute critter alone. While it might seem the baby animal needs help, most likely the mother is nearby or out getting food and will soon return. We interviewed an expert some time back on the subject. To learn more about what to do, and when to know if the animal really needs help, click here.
This part of the podcast is brought to you by RadPower Bikes, America's #1 e-bike brand, offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping
LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
From Brenda: Well, we got a phone call from Wyoming State Parks that our reservation is canceled for our trip in the end of July to mid Aug because they are closed to non residents and only open to in state residents. What do we do?
Our advice… look into private campgrounds. Right now, Montana Governor Bullock announced on April 22,2020 the gradual reopening of the state but, extended the directive that “travelers arriving from another state or country to Montana for non-work-related purposes undergo a 14-day self-quarantine”. In addition, Yellowstone National Park has not yet made an announcement as to when the National Park will open to visitors.
Do you have a question you’d like us to answer, or a comment on the things we’re discussing. If so, we invite you to leave us that question or comment on the special voicemail number we have for the podcast – it’s 586-372-6990. If you are driving and can’t write it down right now, just go to the RV Lifestyle travel blog at rvlifestyle.com and scroll down the page. You’ll see that number prominently posted on the blog.
This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Battle Born Batteries, maker of quality, safe and reliable lithium batteries that can be installed in just about every RV. Get in touch with Battle Born to find out what lithium batteries and an upgraded energy management system can add to your RV Lifestyle. Check them out at https://rvlifestyle.com/lithium
Interview of the Week – Harvest Hosts Review
This week, our Interview of the Week features a Harvest Hosts review with CEO Joel Holland.
Among other things, Joel tells us what to expect at a Harvest Hosts location, noting that there are 1,409 of them in every state every Canadian province and even Baja in Mexico,
His Harvest Hosts review interview notes there are:
- 427 wineries
- 288 farms
- 209 museums and attractions
- 363 golf courses
- 121 breweries
A couple of things about Harvest Host locations:
Most do not have electric or fresh water hookups. Some do. Most don't. So if those are a must for you, be sure to ask when you call the host Similarly, most do not offer restrooms or showers. So you should be self-contained.
Something else we must tell you in this Harvest Hosts review: While overnight camping is free, it is considered good manners to patronize the business run by your host. Buy some farm produce, fruit, wine or beer or a souvenir. Play a round of golf or eat in the restaurants.
In otherwise, give a little back for the host's hospitality.
That's not hard to do, as you can see in our harvest Hosts review videos. Each location is a place you would want to visit and patronize even if you weren't spending the night.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT
By Tom and Patti Burkett
Nestled along the Carolina coast, between Charleston and Savannah, is the small city of Beaufort. Beaufort, not to be confused with Beaufort, North Carolina, has its own charms and unique history.
The events that occurred here during the Civil War made for a surprising experiment in resource management, and make it the perfect place for one of our newer national parks, the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park.
We arrived on a gray, rainy morning in February, and the small visitor center was staffed by a ranger who was clearly delighted to have visitors, and almost elated when we asked if he could tell us about the park and why it was located here.
He stationed himself in front of a large map of the area and launched into a fascinating and well-rehearsed half hour story that prepared us to see the surrounding sites and appreciate the unusual occurrences that gave rise to the park.
At the time of the War, Beaufort was a genteel Southern city, full of houses owned by sea island cotton planters and mainland rice planters who came here to retreat from their plantations out in the surrounding country and to socialize with their peers. It was one of the richest cities in the country and, at the urging of Robert Barnwell Rhett, the “father of secession,” a hotbed of Confederate activity.
Consequently, it became the first southern city to be captured by Union forces. The Union Army occupied Beaufort from 1861 until the end of the war, using its buildings as hospitals and blockading the harbor to prevent shipping.
The secessionist plantation owners fled, abandoning their lands and the tens of thousands of slaves who were working them. What to do now, wondered the military leaders running the city. Abraham Lincoln and the United States government never recognized the secession, so over the next year all the plantation were seized for non-payment of taxes.
The property was divided up and given to the former slaves, who were now emancipated, at least in fact if not in law. Northern organizations arrived to set up schools and community organizations, farming instruction was provided, as were tools, seeds, and equipment. Beaufort became a crucible for reconstruction policies that would be enacted at the end of the war.
By all means, start your exploration at the park visitor center in downtown Beaufort. Hopefully you’ll get the same excellent introduction we enjoyed. You might then want to spend some time driving or walking to see the extraordinary collection of historic homes up and down the city streets. Stop in at the city visitor center, across from the park, for a map and brochure.
One of the houses to see is the home of Robert Smalls, a former slave who piloted a Confederate ship out of Charleston and turned it over the Union in Beaufort. He was awarded a prize and used it to purchase the house formerly owned by the family that had owned him. All around the city are short streets ending in the salt marshes with parking spots at the end where you can sit and look over the marsh, rivers, and bays.
Head next to the Penn Center, a museum and cultural center on St. Helena Island that was originally the Penn School, the first school in the south for formerly enslaved citizens. The center hosts regular historic and interpretive programs. Also nearby are the ruins of St. Elena chapel, a great spot for some photos. Also nearby is the stunning Hunting Island State Park, home to formal gardens and a beautiful campground, a bit pricey but memorable.
Interesting historic and cultural sites are spread all along this stretch of coast, and many of them are not well known or well advertised. Time spent here will reward you well if your interest runs to Civil War and pre-Civil War history, and if your taste buds are activated by steamed crab, shrimp gumbo, boiled peanuts, and cold slices of watermelon, it might take you a long time to get back from this sojourn off the beaten path.
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