Los Angeles, Calif.-based “Road & Travel Magazine,” founded in 1989 by Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Courtney Caldwell, has shifted the publication’s focus to showcase the RV lifestyle and emerging trends among enthusiasts.
Initially a print magazine targeting the women’s automotive market, the publication transitioned into an online publication in 2000 catering to the automotive, travel and RV sectors. Caldwell told RVBUSINESS.com that she decided to gear content toward RVs about one year ago. She is currently working with Winnebago Industries Inc. and Ford Motor Co. on product reviews while actively seeking RV advertisers for the site.
“I was an avid camper and I had camped out across the country with my children from coast to coast in 1981,” she said. “I had been a camper for 10 years before that. I absolutely fell in love with it. I want to reach out to other consumers that have a hard time buying cars and trucks and camper vans, especially younger people and the women RVers, who weren’t taken very seriously.
“Finally we are coming full circle back to our RV roots with the magazine’s new RV and camping content — my first love,” she added. “Delving into the RV market will have the same mission. Reaching out to the Baby Boomer men and women and the ever-growing diversity of new buyers which is implied in our new cover story, “RV Boot Camp: The Do’s & Don’ts for Newbies, Novices & Knuckleheads.”
The site was recently redesigned and Caldwell characterized the sections of her 6,400-page digital publication as “channels” with each being broken down into specific categories for her readership to sort through.
“Many of our channels do not have advertising as most ads were eliminated during our redesign last year and the development of our new RV channel,” she said. “After the recent relaunch, and with the return to RVing and camping as our main focus, we intentionally left many channels open so they would be available to new potential RV industry clients.”
According to Caldwell, the initial publication made many of the automakers “sit up and take notice” because it was focused on the $65 billion women’s automotive sector that was under-covered at the time. For over 10 years she was based out of Detroit to better serve the auto industry. The publication still has major automakers as its primary advertising supporters with Hyundai now a primary sponsor. Historically, Ford, General Motors and Kia have also supported the site.
Caldwell saw “the value of the .com wave” convinced her to take thepublication completely digital.
“We had been in print for 12 years and actually made it to the national news stands,” said Caldwell. “When the Internet came out in the late 90’s I studied it with my team and decided this was the wave of the future and got on board. The advertisers and clients thought we were nuts. We had saved all of our back issues in taped achieves, so in 1999 we were one of the first Internet magazines. We launched in 2000 with 500-plus pages.
“Today we are reaching people worldwide. We’ve became more of a consumer lifestyle magazine targeting everyday men and women with content and resources from which they can make informed decisions about car buying, personal safety on the road, travel and the RV lifestyle. We have over 2.5 million page views per year.”
She added, “We will also continue to work with our long-time auto clients to test drive trucks and SUVs to ensure our new RV and camping readers know what’s available for towing and hauling. Safety on the road will also remain a priority for us.”
To access the site visit https://www.roadandtravel.com.