Silvio DiSalvatore, winner of NBC’s summer hit “Great American Road Trip” and a fan favorite on the show, entertained “Outlook 2010” attendees at RVIA’s 47th National RV Trade Show with stories of his family’s adventures on the popular reality show and his newfound love of RVing.
“Great American Road Trip,” which was seen by millions of viewers this summer, followed seven American families from divergent backgrounds as they traveled iconic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in motorhomes through cities large and small, all while competing in a medley of humorous challenges that ultimately led the DiSalvatore family to victory.
DiSalvatore, who hails from Yonkers, N.Y., described how the trip cross country in a motorhome brought his family closer together. “I spent 32 days traveling nine states with my family in an RV,” he said. “My kids’ eyes were wide open the whole time. And let me tell you, the United States is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I was mind-boggled.”
“My wife is 4-foot, 10,” he continued. “And she handled that motorhome like it was a Mini Cooper.”
Silvio DiSalvatore, father of the New York family that won NBC’s hit summer reality show “Great American Road Trip,” will share his tales from the road as a special guest at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) “Outlook 2010: Let the Sun Shine” Dec. 1 in Louisville, Ky.
The DiSalvatore family members were fan favorites on the show, which showcased the adventures of seven families traveling in motorhomes on a cross-country trek and competing in made-for-TV competitions. With his outgoing personality, Dad Silvio was especially popular with viewers as he brought a little of Yonkers, N.Y. to the great outdoors.
“Not only did Silvio and his family win the competition, they showed America that RVs are a great way for families to travel, to bond and to experience all this country has to offer,” said Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president and chief marketing officer. “He will have a great story to share about his family’s journey and why this RV trip was the best time he has ever had.”
“Outlook 2010: Let the Sun Shine” will kick off RVIA’s 47th Annual National RV Trade Show with a lineup of presentations that will stress a strong message of optimism as the RV industry looks to rebound in the coming year.
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.
The joys of family RV travel received great exposure this summer with NBC’s prime time reality show Great American Road Trip, featuring seven American families traveling in motorhomes on a cross-country road trip competition, according to a release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The show’s two remaining families – the Cootes and the DiSalvatores – are in the running for a $100,000 prize to be awarded during the show’s finale, set to air at 8 p.m. Monday on NBC.
“Our RV became our home away from home. I would do it again in a second,” said Amy DiSalvatore about her family’s experience on the program.
Over eight episodes this summer, the show followed seven families from diverse backgrounds as they traveled iconic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in their own motorhomes, through cities large and small, while competing in a medley of humorous challenges.
“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.” he continued.
El Monte RV, a national RV rental company, provided the motorhomes used in the Great American Road Trip. The units are Bounder Class A motorhomes built by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. RVIA’s Public Relations Department worked with the program’s producers on content and messaging.
Meanwhile, as Great American Road Trip finishes its run for the summer, an animated program prominently featuring an RV recently premiered on the Nick at Nite cable network. Glenn Martin DDS follows the adventures of an RVing dentist, Glenn Martin, and his family.
After learning that his favorite childhood park is about to be destroyed, Glenn takes his family on a cross-country road trip to protest the demolition. Although the protest is unsuccessful, Glenn and his wife Jackie realize the RV trip has brought their family closer together and they decide to keep traveling. The half-hour program airs at various times on Nick at Nite throughout the week. Check www.nickatnite.com for the schedule.
RV travel and camping are receiving a timely boost with the debut of NBC’s Great American Road Trip, the reality TV show showcasing the adventures of seven families traveling in motorhomes on a cross-country road trip.
“This is tremendous exposure for the RV industry coming at a time when American families are focused on summer travel,” said Gary LaBella, RVIA vice president and chief marketing officer, in a news release following the show’s debut Tuesday night (July 7). “The message of the show reflects the appeal of RVing…that families reconnect and recharge as they spend time together traveling.”
Airing on NBC on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. EDT, the Great American Road Trip is a new series where seven families from divergent backgrounds take the vacation of a lifetime. Over eight episodes the families will travel iconic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in their own motorhome through cities large and small, all while competing in a medley of humorous challenges that will ultimately lead one family to victory.
El Monte RV, a national RV rental company, provided the motorhomes used in the Great American Road Trip. The units are Bounder type A motorhomes built by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. RVIA’s Public Relations Department worked with the program’s producers on content and messaging.
“The premier really had some nice moments, including the beautiful sights seen from the RV and family and friends bonding at the campground,” said LaBella. “We’re hopeful this continues throughout the remainder of the show and grateful to El Monte for making this wonderful exposure possible. The series has the potential to make millions more American families aware of the benefits of RV travel and camping this summer and beyond.”
“The Great American Road Trip,” kicking off Tuesday night (July 7) on NBC, put recreational vehicles in the national spotlight by featuring seven families vying for a $100,000 first prize in a Survivor-like journey in a fleet of RVs along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles.
And while nearly identical Fleetwood Bounder motorhomes were the centerpiece of the program, most of the hour was taken up by non-RV related campground activities and games designed to reward one family and remove another from the contest in a format similar to countless other reality TV Shows.
Accordingly, one family reaches the ”End of the Road” each week as the others travel on to tourist attractions and vacation spots along Route 66.
Contestants include a geographically and ethnically diverse group of young families — each with two kids: the Katzenbergs from Connecticut, the Pollards from Alabama, the Ricos from Texas, the Favereys from New York, the Montgomerys from California, the Cootes from Illinois and the DiSalvatores from New York.
Hosted by Reno Collier, the show features seven families who take off from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, in identical Fleetwood Class A motorhomes provided by El Monte RV, each emblazoned with a family’s name on the side.
”This is not a race,” Collier told the group. ”This has nothing to do with the destination. This is all about the journey.”
After leaving Chicago, they drove pretty much single file — although a couple did ”race” each other at speeds over 70 mph — to a campground in Springfield, Ill., where the kids played football and the adults cooked outdoor meals and introduced themselves to each other — a basically appealing portrayal of their motorhome experience.
That said, other than the fact that a couple drivers had some initial difficulties in adapting to their vehicles — and some squeamish moments for the DiSalvatore family in emptying their holding tanks — the general treatment of the motorhoming aspects of this TV series was rather positive.
A contest at the Illinois State Fairgrounds at which they ran an obstacle course while collecting ”votes” in a presidential contest overseen by ”Abe Lincoln” was won by the Coote family. Their prize: an outdoor dinner on a Mississippi River bridge near Madison, Ill.
In Tuesday night’s ”End of the Road” challenge, three families with the smallest ”vote” total in Springfield faced off near the St. Louis Gateway Arch rolling a large plastic ball with a family member strapped inside through a series of six small arches.
The Katzenberg family lost the challenge and was sent home.
Still, after spending only two nights driving from Chicago to St. Louis in a motorhome in the eight-part series set to run on Thursdays through Aug. 25, father Marc Katzenberg considered it ”a great bonding experience.”
Parents who have taken road trips will chuckle – or cringe – watching NBC’s “Great American Road Trip,” premiering Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST, according to the Boston Herald.
Sure, everyone should see this exquisite land, but doing it while spending a month together in an RV with no personal electronics would seem daunting to even the closest of families. Yet seven brave families of four, shown above, pile into NBC-provided RVs to head west on Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in this reality series hosted by comic Reno Collier.
During each one-hour episode, the families face challenges. The family that loses leaves. The last family remaining after the eight episodes wins $100,000.
The first challenge is being deprived of iPods, portable DVD players and cell phones. For most teens, this is akin to cutting off oxygen.
“They’re meant to be fun family challenges,” said executive producer Lisa Hennessy. “There’s one where the dads did a cook-off – who could make the best burgers. And we did a blind taste test. We also have bigger challenges where the families do a zip line. We did it outside Las Vegas, and they have to hit a target with a balloon filled with paint. They’re just meant to be fun and funny.”
The 14 youths are between ages 9 and 16, and the families were selected to be geographically, racially, ethnically and economically diverse. Family togetherness and a desire to see the country motivated people to participate.
“I have always been fascinated with reality (TV, but) I was not willing to leave my family for an extended period of time,” said Amie Pollard of Wicksburg, Ala. “When I saw this, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh! The trip of a lifetime, and we can do it as a family.’ I was kind of already having that separation anxiety because my son is literally less than a year from going to college. This is the chance for us to have one big hoorah as a family, take a huge vacation together and do things we have never, ever done before.”
Amie is married to her high-school sweetheart, Ron, and they have two children, Aaron, 17, and Anslie, 12.
Anslie, who addresses adults as “ma’am,” learned a lot about her parents, namely, “I really and truly thought they were not as together when we got on the trip,” she said. “I learned they were very close.”
Lenny Faverey, a doorman at a Manhattan building, had never driven farther than 100 miles and was nervous about maneuvering an RV. (NBC paid for the gas, which averaged $1,500 per family.) He and his wife, Dee, and their children, Dylan, 15, and Ashley, 10, had a great time.
“Doing this adventure with my family has given me a new light on life,” he said.
As magnificent as the sights are, Pollard says the trip made her realize “how much your day-to-day reaction with each other is limited because of technology. When all of that is taken away, there is so much for your family. We would lie in bed at night and tell jokes, and we would be laughing out loud in the dark in the RV. As adults, we get so wrapped up in careers and our jobs and all the things that don’t matter.”