Taxa Mantis Trailer Tour: NASA Architect Designs Trailer

The Taxa Mantis is a utilitarian travel trailer designed by former NASA architect, Garrett Finney. As founder and designer, Finney’s vision is in every aspect of this unit.

He approaches trailer life from an outdoor-adventurer point of view, not from a POV of an RVer. This approach leads to the trailer being very adaptable to each user’s specific needs.

Before we dive deep into the Taxa Mantis, you can watch our tour & interview with the founder below:

Functionality is key with this design. Instead of hiding joinery (mostly rivets), Taxa keeps the frame and hardware visible and easy to edit. Using quality materials, this creates a minimalistic aesthetic with a focus on materials.

The powder coated steel frame also has many strategically placed holes. This allows you to connect carabiners for hanging & strapping items as you wish.

The storage areas are the size of standard milk crates. With this design you can easily store and access your goods without using customized containers.

TAXA MANTIS
Taxa Mantis Trailer

12V DC is the main power source throughout the trailer. It has two house batteries and is ready to be connected to solar power. The Mantis can plug into shore power (they have an Air Conditioner option), but there’s only one location to plug into AC power.

Even though the Mantis only measures 17 feet, it can sleep up to four people. The front seating area transforms into a bunk bed. The rear U-shaped dinette joins to create a bed that sleeps two.

If you’re brave enough to sleep on the small top bunk, you can sleep easy knowing there’s a net to catch you.

Taxa Trailer
Taxa Trailer

Here’s a list of some of the key specs of the Taxa Mantis:

  • Aluminium Composite Panels
  • Powder Coated Steel Chassis
  • Torsion Axle with suspension and electric brakes
  • Truma Water Heater
  • 20gal Fresh Water
  • 22gal Grey Water
  • 12″ ground clearence
  • 780 lbs cargo capacity
  • 3,020 lbs Dry weight

For More RV Innovations and Cool Gear Look Here

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Newmar Super C RV Tour : First Look

If you’ve been waiting for a Newmar Super C tour, you’ve come to the right place! We attended RVX in Salt Lake City where the Newmar Super Star was officially released for the first time.

Newmar is known for their luxury Class A diesel pushers. But, this year they are testing out a new class of RVs – the super c.

Super C RVs share many of the same characteristics as regular Class C RVs. However, they’re built on a larger chassis, have a higher center of gravity and are usually powered by diesel.

Newmar has been developing this unit over the last two years. Many RVers are excited about this, and other super Cs, because they offer the luxury and power of a Class A diesel pusher and solving maintenance issues can be a lot easier because the engine is more common & more assessable.

Unlike Class A’s, Super C’s have been known to ride a little rougher. Newmar is solving this problem by manufacturing a full air-ride cab. This will make travel days much smoother.

The Newmar engineers created a “collar” that transitions the air-ride cab to the fixed house of the motor home. This allows movement, which creates a more comfortable ride.

Newmar Super C at RVX
Newmar Super C at RVX in Salt Lake City

Another cool feature is the huge sky window above the front seats. Instead of an overhead bunk, Newmar’s Super C has a ton of open head room and a beautiful skylight. This will give you the feeling similar to a large Class A windshield.

This is a spendy RV! The base price will be somewhere around $350,000. With added features you may be paying more than $400,000 when it’s all said and done.

Newmar Super C Tour
We give you the FIRST look at Newmar’s Super C

That is an expensive rig, but Newmar is tapping into their existing clientele for this unit. They are known for luxury RV living…and that isn’t changing anytime soon!

As of the publishing of this article, the Super C is not yet available to the public. You can swing over to the Newmar site and sign up for updates though!

Our friends, The RV Geeks, released an official live video with the folks at Newmar. Watch that video below:

PS – We think this would be a great rig to haul our music equipment as we tour the USA! Until then, we’ll be in our vintage Airstream. You can find our tour dates here.

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Bert Kreischer Tour Bus Photos And Video Tour: Body Shots Tour Bus

Bert Kreischer first became known as The Machine when he was in college. Now, the comedian has also been crowned the Tour Bus Champ after his recent Body Shots Tour across North America.

We talked with Bert to learn more about his bus, what he loves about life on the road, and how his coach reigns supreme over the bus owned by his friend, fellow comedian, and “Tour Bus Chump” Tom Segura.

Bert Kreischer
Bert Kreischer, the Tour Bus Champ. All photos courtesy of his team

The Prevost, newly leased for Bert’s Body Shots Tour, was wrapped with exterior graphics that also promote his podcast and new Netflix special. The Body Shots Tour, which kicked off in January 2019, is the first tour he has done by bus and now he wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

The tour bus is like having a home on location everywhere he performs. All of his shoes, sweatpants, medicine, and personal items are right there with him on the bus. His wife stocked the bus when they first hit the road and he has since accumulated a variety of rep merchandise while traveling.

One of Bert’s favorite additions to the bus is his REC TEC travel smoker. It’s been used to cook pulled pork, beef ribs, and even veggie burgers. He recalled a time when he pulled out the smoker in downtown Tampa, cooked a 15-lb brisket with friends, and the local police recognized him as The Machine.

Bert Kreischer
Bert and his travel smoker

Bert says he has gotten some of the best sleep in his life on the bus. The bed has a Tempur-Pedic mattress with heavy, cozy sheets. On a trip from Seattle to Calgary, he slept like “a bear hibernating” for almost 14 hours straight.

He also has great memories of traveling with his wife through the Canadian Rockies near Banff National Park. The comic recalled looking for a rest area, opening the bus door and being overwhelmed by the views of the snowy mountains.

Another time, after hearing that Niagara Falls was frozen over, his bus was on the road by 7AM the next morning to New York. He remembers having chicken wings and cocktails and getting photos of the frozen waterfall in 2-degree weather.

Bert Kreischer
“Where the magic happens” – Bert

The most memorable place that he’s visited on tour, most surprisingly, was when he visited Indianapolis in the middle of a blizzard. He loved the quaint small town feel, he could comfortably watch the Rams in the NFC championship, they had the slides out on the bus and a fantastic venue.

He says that by traveling via bus, you can really get to know the DNA of a place. “I’m the happiest I’ve been in my life,” Bert shares. “And the bus is the majority of why.” In fact, the comedian is already looking at buses for his next tour. “I’m legit sad this tour is ending in three weeks.”

His next show will be this March in Washington, DC, then he’ll continue through New Jersey, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Denver, Green Bay, Milwaukee, and wrap up in the US in Minneapolis. After that, he’ll be flying out to perform shows across Europe and Scandinavia.

Bert gives the full tour of his bus in the video below. You can also learn more about his upcoming tour dates and get tickets on his website BertBertBert.com.



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Food Tour Tips & The Best Food Tours In The U.S. For Travelers

One of the benefits of RV living is being able to travel to different areas and explore what is offered there, whether it is the vistas, the climate, the lifestyle, the adventure, or the food.

Food tours are a fun way to explore a city, giving you a unique insight into the cuisine and culture of a town, as well as great places to eat.  A food tour (or culinary tour) is a professionally guided tour of local food and beverage establishments in an area.

Some tours include hands-on workshops, one-on-one with the chefs or restaurateur, area history or architecture, and new people to meet.  Food tours have become quite popular and are offered in many cities and towns around the world.

food tours
A food tour at Pikes Market in Seattle (drukelly/Flickr)
How to find a food tour

Websites like Taste Trekkers or Urban Adventures are places to start your search for a food tour in the town you may be passing through.

You may be able to narrow your search for specifics as well. How about a coffee tour of Seattle?  New Orleans Cajun cuisine?  A wine tour around Grand Junction?  A beer tour in Cincinnati?

What to expect on a food tour

Most food tours are done by foot through a specific neighborhood or area visiting local shops along the route, although some bus tours are available.

If you have mobility issues, be sure to ask about the level of activity or mobility accommodations that may be available.  Typical food tours are smaller groups (10-15 people) with 6-8 stops.

You will get plenty of food, and time to digest as you walk the area between stops.  At the first few stops, some people may think that the smaller portion sizes will leave them hungry, but by the end of the tour, you won’t want a big dinner!

At each stop, your guide will explain why that location was chosen, and a particular food or drink is usually showcased.  If that menu item isn’t to your liking, don’t worry—the next stop will be something different!

Between stops, your guide may explain how the cuisine fits into the city’s culture or provide information on the history of the town itself.

food tour
Try the local cuisine wherever you’re traveling. Photo by Sarah Wu/Flickr

A good tour should provide you with an idea of what kind of food to expect. If you have dietary requirements, let your tour know at the time of booking so that they can accommodate you as best as they can.

Some tours or destinations may not be able to accommodate every dietary need, so be sure to ask before you buy your tickets.

Keep in mind that the time of day you take your tour may change what kind of stops and food are planned.  A lunch-time tour will often feature different food than an evening tour, and the ambiance of the city can change through the day as well.  Plan for a time of day that best suits your interests.

The cost factor

Food tours tend to be more expensive than other walking tours (around $35-$75 per person).  Price will vary based on the location, length, and type of tour you are booking.

You can sometimes find deals through Groupon or local travel sites.  Considering that you are actually getting a multi-course meal as well as an informative tour, and the smaller group size, you do end up getting your money’s worth.

See also: Why You Should Experience An RV Tour



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The Last Tour Bus That Elvis Toured In Is Now In Alvarado, Texas

Motor Home Specialist is proud to sponsor this article.

Did you know you can still tour inside the last bus that Elvis Presley bought for his band?  The custom-designed 1976 MCI Crusader, which he purchased in 1976 and dubbed the “Taking Care of Business” (TCB) Bus, now resides at Motor Home Specialist in Alvarado, Texas and is occasionally open to the public for viewing.

Elvis bus
The Taking Care of Business (TCB) Bus.  Photos courtesy of Motor Home Specialist

Motor Home Specialist bought the bus from Julien’s Auction House in May 2015.  It sold for $268,000 and also included copies of the original $25,000 check provided by Elvis to cover the down payment on the bus.  CEO Donny O’Banion says,

“Myself and my family are all huge Elvis fans and after recently losing our mother Mary Ann to a short, but courageous to the point of inspiring, fight against cancer we thought this would be the perfect memorial to her and something we think a lot of other RVers and Elvis enthusiasts alike will get a real kick out of while visiting MHSRV.”

The bus seats twelve people, has nine sleeping births, and was custom designed inside and out with his signature TCB lightning bolt logo.  It was originally purchased by Elvis for his supporting singers in The TCB Band, which was led by Elvis’s close friend and mentor J.D. Sumner.

“Elvis once gave it a joy ride, calming Sumner’s nerves by promising to buy him another if it crashed,” Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions, told AFP. “He took the bus out from Graceland, he drove right out into the country and then he was worried, ‘how am I going to turn this bus around,’ so he drove into a cornfield, drove back out again and back home.”

Motor Home Specialist is currently planning to build a museum to house the bus and other Elvis memorabilia, including all of Mary Ann’s personal collection.  The bus is also open to the public free of charge twice a year during their semi-annual World’s RV Shows.  These are held every spring and fall, but you can find the same RVs and all of their photos, videos, and information online year-round at TheWorldsRVShow.com.

To learn more about the last Elvis tour bus and see the interior, visit MHSRV.com and stop by their expansive complex at 5411 S. I-35W in Alvarado, Texas.

See also: You Won’t Believe These New Luxurious Motorhomes



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