Florida late Oct early Nov (Newbies first trip ever need advice) - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-22-2017, 05:45 PM   #29
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Ft. Pickens (south of Pensacola) is very nice.
We were in C loop and I hear that A loop is even nicer. ☺

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Old 03-22-2017, 07:44 PM   #30
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Ft Desoto was one that I was considering but kind of discouraged by the feedback about going to that part of Florida or even Florida in general late oct / early nov.

Honestly not sure if we will even go at this point or where.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:36 PM   #31
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We went to Fort DeSoto with our Uhaul 13 a few years ago in late November. Weather was good except it got really windy during the night and we were leaving in the morning. Had to drive to the beach. Web site for making reservations was a little different than what we are familiar with. Lot of traffic through a busy area to get to the campground as I recall. It was OK, but we consider it as been there, done that, don't need to do it again, but wouldn't discourage anyone from going. We had to move sites to get in 3 days. We were around site 203 or 206 I think. Some of the sites in that area are open to the water, some have bushes obscuring the view. At that time of year I would lean towards camping in the panhandle, which we did after Fort DeSoto, went to Henderson Beach.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:50 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by the_fixer View Post
Ft Desoto was one that I was considering but kind of discouraged by the feedback about going to that part of Florida or even Florida in general late oct / early nov.

Honestly not sure if we will even go at this point or where.
Unless there's a reason other than discouragement, I'd start planning your Panhandle trip now. For good reasons, you've decided to have the trailer prepped for A/C, but not installed. Whether that will work for you is something you won't know until you try; maybe the trip will have your thinking you have lots of great warm weather options available as is -- or maybe decide that the A/C needs to go on yesterday. Either way, you gotta find out. Or just decide now that you you'll change your order to A/C, and start planning for storage.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:57 PM   #33
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Make the reservations way ahead of time because that is their busy season.
Do you qualify for military campgrounds?
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:22 PM   #34
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Ok, so I'm a Miami resident and maybe a bit more used to the humidity than some of the previous posters. But if you want to snorkel/dive you really need to get down to the Keys. Feel free to contact me directly if you want more details, but all the state parks in the Keys are worth visiting, and all have full hookups. If you don't have A/C, bring a cheap box fan or two and you can survive. Expect to drink a lot of your favorite beverage.

Many good things about Sept-Oct: you can get reservations and walkins easily, and the water is typically much calmer/clearer and a lot warmer than in the winter. However, it is definitely hot and humid. Keep in mind as well that hurricane season peaks in September. So it's important to be flexible and have alternates if the weather gets weird.

I'm not going to say there aren't mosquitoes, but they can be rather localized and may or may not be an issue. Usually not as bad as long as you have a breeze (natural or man-made.)

Pennekamp in Key Largo gets kind of crazy, but has nice sheltered kayaking and easy access to tours (although there are a million tour boat operators in the Keys.) Long Key is one of our favorites because all the sites are right on the beach, and we bring our kayak. Curry Hammock in Marathon is also nice, some sites are near the beach, but it's not far from one of the nicest beaches in the Keys, Sombrero. The overall nicest and most picturesque park, though, is Bahia Honda.

One thing about Long Key SP - I think they will be closed in the fall for beach renourishment, so you want to check dates.

Haven't done the private campground thing in the Keys, but I would make sure they have a pool.

Oops, gotta go, please contact me with any questions about Keys or other parts of the state.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:40 PM   #35
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Kathy--I agree, Fort DeSoto is a great spot. We thoroughly enjoyed our week there. But our weather, although warm at times, had incredible winds for our last 3 days that literally blew tents off their guylines. Haven't experienced wind like that before. Lucky for us we were in our Outback and not in a waterfront site. Those who were were really windblown.
But what I remember most from that park were those darn raccoons!! They cleaned out our neighbour's cooler that was crammed full of freshly caught mackerel. We shooed them away, twice, moved that cooler (a styrofoam one they'd "secured" the lid down with a small piece of duct tape, which the raccoons simply peeled away) and shoved it under the picnic table bench to preserve what few fish were remaining.
These little guys were everywhere. Somewhat brazen, very unafraid of humans and totally the masters of the park.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:16 PM   #36
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Native here...just my 2cents.

I agree with Ft. Desoto and Cedar Key on the west coast ...both great destinations. (Bring mosquito repellant). Panhandle and Gulf beaches are best for good white sand. (Note Cedar Key is more fishing village destination not really a beach). Book Ft. desoto now if you can. If already full then Venice would be a good option though I'm not sure where good Scamp spot is there.

For snorkeling and scuba in more northern territory I love Rainbow River (also good kayaking) and Blue Grotto. (Have a wet suit right?)

Grew up on the west coast and live on the east side now on Merritt Island. Kayaking here is huge on the Indian and Banana Rivers...in the fall you could see bioluminescence at night if timed right. I'm growing very accustomed to the larger waves on the east coast for boogie boarding (SUP is big too of course).

Then there's the keys. Hard to beat for warm water diving. Had a trip to Pennekamp 20 years ago I remember well to this day!

As for A/C. It was a must for us when we bought our Scamp. Certainly good to see how you feel, but I'm betting you'll want it if Florida is going to be even an occasional destination. 6000 BTU works for our 13'.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:20 PM   #37
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[QUOTE=DeBreez;632323]all the state parks in the Keys are worth visiting, and all have full hookups.

I would classify "full hookups" as including sewer. The three state parks I looked at in the Keys only have water and electric. Have been to Florida a few times, but never able to get a site in any of the state parks in the Keys when we wanted. Did drive to Key West one time without a camper and enjoyed the trip.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:14 AM   #38
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Hi Ray, sorry for my rushed response earlier. Seeing that you are planning for late October - early November, you should be okay without air conditioning. We camped in the keys at Long Key in mid-November and did not use our air conditioner at all. The skeeters were minimal, even on the beach. That said, it's always nice to have the a/c available. We did use the fan on that trip.

Not to sound like the FL Tourism Board, but that's really a great time to visit. Winter time can be hit or miss due to fronts, which don't affect us much in the warmer months.

Some folks don't like it hot (steve dunham, I'm looking at you) some don't like it cold (me!) so make your own decision based on what you and (especially) your wife find comfortable.

Trip planning can be a bit overwhelming which is why you should get a few short trips under your belt before embarking on a long haul. We're planning trip to AZ in October and would not want that to be a maiden voyage. Your comfort level will increase with experience.

People talk about the "Florida Climate" but it's 850 miles from Pensacola to Key West so there's a lot of variation. Snowbirds tend see the absence of snow and assume it's all about the same. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:24 AM   #39
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[QUOTE=mary and bob;632330]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeBreez View Post
all the state parks in the Keys are worth visiting, and all have full hookups.

I would classify "full hookups" as including sewer. The three state parks I looked at in the Keys only have water and electric. Have been to Florida a few times, but never able to get a site in any of the state parks in the Keys when we wanted. Did drive to Key West one time without a camper and enjoyed the trip.
You're correct about sewer, waste disposal is at a premium in the Keys due to concerns about pollution. We typically are on weekend trips so it isn't a concern for us, we just haul it back to Miami and dump in our sewer connection. I think all the parks have dump stations but have not verified.

You need to book well in advance for any of the State Parks in the Keys. You can sometimes get single days, or a couple of days together during the week, on short notice but that's about it.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:00 AM   #40
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A few years ago Long Key SP was doing some construction so reservations could not be made for a period of time. We called and found out when they were going to put it back on Reserve America. Within 10 minutes of it becoming available all the sites were reserved. This was for February. We did manage to get a site for a few days, but had to later cancel. That's something to watch for, cancellations, but it's just luck to find one, and usually they are done only a day or two in advance.
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