The DiSalvatore Family of Yonkers, N.Y., won NBC’s “Great American Road Trip,” a 2,500-mile-long RV journey along Historic Route 66 that began in early July. The concluding episode was televised Monday night (Aug. 24).
The family won $100,000, a year’s supply of gasoline from Shell Oil Co. and other prizes. They prevailed over the Coote Family of Lockport, Ill., in the final episode. Five other families participated in the journey, which began at Wrigley Field in Chicago, and concluded on a Southern California beach.
The RVs — Fleetwood Bounder Classic Class A motorhomes — were provided by El Monte RV.
The hard-fought grudge match pitted the underdog DiSalvatores against the Cootes, a fiercly competitive family that won five preliminary “King of the Road’ matches along the way but came up short in the crucial final contest. In an NBC straw poll, 60% of respondents said the DiSalvatores deserved to win “100%,” while 28% said “Anyone but the Cootes.”
NBC described the DiSalvatore family in this way: Silvio and Amy have been married for over 20 years. Silvio, a stay-at-home dad, rocks a distinct ’80s look. He is the driving force behind the loud East Coast Italian-American family. Amy, a medical insurance administrator, is a classic Italian mom who will do anything for her boys. Mason, the diplomat, is the only “normal” member of the outrageous family. With aspirations of becoming a lawyer, Mason gets his fair share of practice settling family disputes. Blake is a Silvio-in-training who has never been unplugged from his video games for more than three days.
Mason, 16, steadied the family in the concluding challenge — a giant-sized puzzle — and led them to victory.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) praised NBC for producing the show, noting that it put RVing in a positive light.
“Great American Road Trip provided terrific exposure for the RV industry just as American families were focused on summer travel,” said Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president and chief marketing officer. “The competing families all found the experience of RVing to be rewarding and fun, with many families who were sent home saying that the trip itself brought them closer together, and that family bonding was the real prize. That’s a great message for the show’s viewers.”
RVIA’s Public Relations Department worked with the program’s producers on content and messaging.