Mariano Family

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Boston Rob's Family RV Trip

Rob Mariano and his family embark on a 3-week RV trip, packed with adventures, fun, and unforgettable experiences.

Amber and I have traveled the world together, seeing unbelievably cool places. Most of those adventures started and ended on a plane. We talked before we had kids about how we’d love to hit the open road in an RV, traveling in a completely new way to see our own backyard. When Go RVing offered me the opportunity to embark on an epic 3-week road trip this summer with my family, there was no hesitation. We knew that our 4 girls were at the perfect ages to not only remember the journey, but be able to appreciate the adventure. And that was important!

Go RVing hooked us up with a Newmar Canyon Star RV for the trip. When the girls first stepped into the RV, all they could say was, “Wowwww!” For Amber and myself, our first impression was that the RV was truly like home. We had every amenity—even down to a full shower and washer/dryer. There was not going to be any Survivor ‘roughing it’ on this trip!

Click HERE to see the reaction video!

My biggest concern before starting the trip was how long it would take to get comfortable behind the wheel. I’d driven a dump truck a few times in the past, but never something this tall or this long. I realized I was just going to have to jump in and adapt to my new set of wheels. I was also a little nervous about setting up the RV, as the information on everything from hook-ups to amp usage was a bit overwhelming.

We reviewed the ‘What to Pack’ list from Go RVing’s website, consulted the RV Life travel wizard app --which was a lifesaver--and easily navigated to our first stop: Niagara Falls. Growing up in Boston, I had so many great adventures with my family, but there were still places I didn’t get to see. Niagara Falls was on my bucket list, so Amber and I thought it would be the perfect destination to start off our Go RVing adventure. When we arrived at the Branches of Niagara Campground, it was the first time I had to hook up the RV to the power and sewer, level the RV, and get the slides out. The entire process was much simpler than I’d thought! I checked out the setup of other RVs around me and realized most of it was common sense. We spent two nights there, having so much to do not only at the campground, but in the surrounding areas.

After Niagara Falls, we landed in Herkimer, NY at the Herkimer Diamond KOA Resort. We had plenty of room for our family of 6 to spread out. Now that I was familiar with setting up the RV, we quickly settled into our spot and got down to the business of talking about all the diamonds we were going to find the next day!

Lake George Escape Campground was our next destination. After a fun first day challenging ourselves on the Adirondack Extreme Adventure course, we enjoyed some family time around the campfire. We spent two nights nestled in beautiful meadows on 178 acres of protected wetlands, and I began to understand the appeal of the RV lifestyle. There’s a sense of spontaneity, meeting new people who were ready to help with whatever you needed, and being open to learning from those around you, whether they’re year-round RVers or folks on a short vacation just like us.

From Lake George, we headed to West Ossipee, NH to spend a couple nights at Westwood Shores Cottages and RV. I rented a boat and we spent an amazing day playing on Ossipee Lake. Isabetta did a fantastic job driving the boat!

 

After Lake Ossipee, we headed down to my hometown of Boston. When I realized I was going to be traveling through town when the Red Sox had a home game, you can bet I made a pitstop at Fenway Park!

The girls had always wanted to go whale watching, so we left Boston and headed to Plymouth, MA for a night at the cozy Pinewood Lodge Campground. It was the perfect home base for our travel out to the coast, where we were fortunate enough to see a pod of majestic humpback whales.  

From Plymouth we headed down to the Big Apple. We parked our RV for two nights at Liberty Harbor RV Park, which is exactly where you want to be so you can hop on and off the ferry that takes you to New York City. It’s a no-frills location, but we had everything we needed in our Newmar and were completely content.

We said hello to Lady Liberty on our first stop.

Lucia and Carina loved the riding the subway around New York City, and of course we had to make a stop at the American Girl’s flagship store in Midtown. You know I didn’t make it out of there without making a purchase!

After NYC, we set up camp at Pinch Pond Campground in Manheim, PA. The girls took full advantage of their fabulous pool, and there was so much to do right at camp! We were off to Greenwood, VA and the lovely Misty Mountain Camp Resort the next morning. This wooded location at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains was gorgeous and green. We hit the hiking trails, wrapping up a big day out in nature with s’mores by the fire.

The girls loved our next destination as we were surrounded by dozens of llamas at the Lazy Llama Campground in Chuckey, TN. After a day of feeding baby llamas and the temptation to buy several pairs of Alpaca wool socks, we pulled up to the Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground in Chattanooga, TN. This is home to a nationally recognized cave system that was over 60 million years old--and it was just awesome!

We loved Chattanooga so much that we decided to spend another night, so we scored a last-minute spot at Lookout Mountain - Chattanooga West KOA, and let the girls go wild on their giant jumping pillow!

For the last night of our epic road trip, we drove to Lake Pines RV Park and Campground in Midland, GA. We were able to unwind and reflect on how fast the past 3 weeks flew by, and how many unique, special family moments we had.

When it comes to family outings, Amber is the planner, and I like to be more spontaneous. That combination worked for RV travel because we could either stick to a planned outing or switch it up at the last minute and head off somewhere new. Whatever we needed was right there with us! I shared with Amber that what I loved most about the trip was it allowed us a great deal of freedom. The freedom to do what we wanted, how we wanted, and when we wanted. Our Newmar RV also had a generator and sizeable water tank, which gave us the freedom to change plans on-the-fly, without worrying about finding a campground with all the hook-ups. 

When I first began dreaming about an RV road trip with my family, I thought I’d need to own the RV to make it happen. Go RVing introduced me to all the different ways to secure an RV for a short trip like ours. They also set me up with the tools I needed as a first-time RVer to feel confident that my journey would not only be possible, but unforgettable. And it was.

Boston Rob family

Reality Star

Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich

You may know Boston Rob from his appearances on Survivor, a record 5 times! Having completed 188 days spent on the island throughout his Survivor career, he is also a two-time competitor, along with his wife and Survivor alum Amber Brkich, on the multi-Emmy-award-winning CBS show The Amazing Race. Rob has also starred in his own regular CBS Early Show segment, Rob to the Rescue, and has hosted various television events and shows, including ABC’s The Split, UPN’s The Player, Sci-Fi’s Sci-Fi Investigates, and Around the World in 80 Ways for the History channel. Rob and Amber have four daughters, Lucia, Carina, Isabetta, and Adelina.