Tell us about Florida - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-11-2011, 04:31 PM   #1
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Tell us about Florida

While you are wrapping presents and staying warm, tell the old guy and I, about Florida. That is, how is Florida...maybe the Keys...in about Feb.? Would like to hear your stories and opinions. JO
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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I would imagine it would be similar to Brownsville, Texas. Nice in Dec-March, but way too hot in June-August.
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jo R. View Post
While you are wrapping presents and staying warm, tell the old guy and I, about Florida. That is, how is Florida...maybe the Keys...in about Feb.? Would like to hear your stories and opinions. JO
You might not like it. Not Keys specific, but:

Very crowded. Weather can be VERY warm and stickily humid still in January/ Feb.

Wildlife: Bugs; Big ones. And Alligators. Bears. Crocodiles. Pythons. Cougars. Feral Pigs. Deer. Monkeys. etc.

Traffic. Drivers from different States make driving an "adventure" not for the faint of heart.

I'd stay well away!!
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #4
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Hi Jo. I am a Canadian snowbird....sorta. I have spent Februarys in Florida for the last couple years. I go to a RV resort on the east coast on Hutchinson Is. But I have also stayed on the Gulf coast.

Many of the RV resorts that I've stay at have been expensive ($100 a night at Fort Myers Beach!) But there are lots that are less expensive. I have never stayed in any of the state parks in Florida. I believe they get filled with reservation months in advance. I am not very good at committing so far ahead.

A few years ago I was in Zephyrhills area. Very nice RV resorts. It appeared this was an area where many musicians like to hang out and everywhere I went there were spontaneous groups pickin' and fiddlin'. Very enjoyable, and everyone was so friendly.

I think the areas closer to the water, either the Gulf or the east coast are more comfortable despite the humidity. There is always a breeze coming off the water.

I have also been to S. Texas. S. Padre Is, Brownsville, Pharr.

I do not stay in WM parking. I am a senior, alone, and like to keep myself safe.

I like to bird watch and there are some excellent areas to just hike in and observe the wild life.

Because I am a gardener, I enjoy all the flowers that are blooming when at home there is only snow.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:57 PM   #5
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The Keys are one of the most expensive places to visit in Florida, at any time of the year. Especially in winter. Too many people in a tiny place, to my taste. We went down on the ferry last year for two days, and it was fun, and enough, at least as far as Key West is concerned.

We do get many welcome winter visitors in February, and especially March, so many places are booked in advance, especially the popular ones. If you're thinking about coming down, start looking now.

Florida State Parks that I have been in (and it's not a whole lot, as we live here, and do most of our traveling out of state in the hot summers...) are really nice, but services vary. They are, however, very inexpensive for winter quarters.

We've found that our side of the state (west) tends to be less expensive than the east coast so easily accessible from I 95. Our beaches are beautiful, but you may have to camp inland and drive to the beach if you're booking now. Beyond state parks, check the websites for county camping facilities. Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay) has a number of nice parks.

Winter time has fewer "bugs". Mosquitoes and no-see-ums are primarily warm weather creatures. Alligators live in (probably) every freshwater lake and pond around us, and I've seen two in 32 years in my county.... More of a hazard in drought years than years like this with lots of rain. Even then, an unlikely sighting, unless you're looking for them, or in a preserve area.

Traffic is really awful in and around most cities. Truly, it is. But, if you can stay away from the cities, or stay on the interstate to get around them, it's not a huge deal. Read and study the maps the day before you drive, and better yet, compare google map and mapquest directions to your gps, and you'll be ok if you stay out of rush hour, know where you're going, and can anticipate your exits and lane changes. Actually, we try to do that anywhere we're going in city traffic, as you probably do too.
January can be really wonderful, or bitter cold (to us, who think anything below 65 is crappy weather....) February and March are safer bets, but more out-of-state visitors and more traffic. My brother often comes to visit in January, and when I complain about 45 degree weather, he reminds me that it's often 50 to 70 degrees warmer than home... I guess it's pick your poison.

I can't offer any comments on private RV resorts as we're not RV Resort people, here or on the road, other than to say that some RV "resorts" are a profitable sideline for declining aged trailer parks, not really resorts, and a few are really nice mom and pop local businesses. The chains, and Disney's Fort Wilderness, can be pricey, but predictable.

Sherry
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:53 AM   #6
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I just made reservations for our upcoming 9-day trip from the Chicago area to Florida. We will be going down the west coast to Marco Island, then swinging back up to St. Augustine and back home. This was a spur of the moment decision, so I was worried about finding places to camp. What I found seems pretty reasonable:
1st night - Manchester, TN KOA (about $39)
2nd night - North Ocala (FL) RV Park (about $32)
3rd - 5th nights - Naples/Marco KOA (about $72 per night)
6th - 7th nights - Anastasia State Park (St. Augustine) ($28 per night)
8th night - Manchester, TN KOA (about $39)

All sites have water and 20/30 electric hook-ups. All but the State Park have WIFI. This is about the same price we pay in the summer to travel in the upper midwest, so I'm OK with the prices. We're also used to driving with our trailer around Chicago traffic, so we should be fine with Florida cities. Our GPS is a life-saver in strange areas, too.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:12 AM   #7
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Old Florida

Just a couple of thoughts,

Most Florida visitors are coast huggers and miss Old Florida which we find extremely interesting. There are places like Cedar Key and Aripeka, or just about any inland portion of the state.

Florida county parks and state parks are very good.

Florida is 1/5 th cattle ranches, some 10,000 square miles, mostly inland...
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:58 AM   #8
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I travel down to the Palm Beach area to work several times a year and in"Season" I will bring the trailer with me too.
I have never had a problem finding a spot even though I NEVER make reservations.

Maybe I am lucky (though experience may suggest otherwise) but there always seems to be a spot for a tiny trailer.

I have been to that Ocala CG a few times Kevin and they are always Sold Out but I have never been turned away.

I camp in a PB County park mainly and the sites are right on a huge lake/Canal and while I have seen Gators I have not been menaced by any
Iguana are another story!

My favorite times there are during the "Cold Snaps" when I am wearing shorts and a T-Shirt somewhere and everyone else is wearing Parkas.....Really!
And most of them came from where it really does get cold too!

Just typing this I want to go load up and start heading south.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:44 PM   #9
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Thanks so much, all of you nice folks, for the info. That does help. It would be a long trip from E. Texas and we would probably go through Boliver, near Galveston, as we have a friend who has re-built his coastal cottage...all got trashed in the Hurricane. That would put us traveling along I-10, mostly. Definitely, gave us some "food for thought". Can always count on the FGRV people to be helpful. JO
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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This is our first trip with "HOWIE" (Hotel On Wheels) during the period of November through February. Hopefully we will continue to have a "dry" winter and avoid snowstorms, mainly in the IL/IN/Kentucky areas. The biggest thing to do now is unwinterize the trailer, since I took all the cushions inside the house, opened the valve on the hot water heater, cleaned out the food cupboards, covered the trailer, and put it up on scissor jacks to get the wheels off the ground. Well, an hour or so should be all I need to get her ready again! We just won't take as much junk on this trip as we normally do in the regular season.

I just hope we don't return to 3 feet of snow on our parking pad when we get back in January!
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:32 AM   #11
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The Florida Panhandle area is full of beautiful state parks. On summer weekends they usually fill up and require reservations, but week-days or after school starts, they aren't so crowded. There are also county parks and the Blackwater River State Forest which offer nice campgrounds that almost always have vacancies. Of course the Panhandle is cooler than further south, with January average temperatures of 42.7 F. for a low and 61.2 F. for a high. Those averages are for Pensacola, which is close to the gulf so it is moderated by the water - inland will be colder in the winter and warmer in the summer. There are periods of nice warm daytime highs all winter, but also some days when there will be freezing temperatures - you just never know. We have rarely needed insect repellent, but occasionally it's necessary. My son has camped in the Everglades and said he didn't even see a mosquito, but we've been there when they were so bad we gave up on leaving the car - it all depends on the time of year.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jo R. View Post
Thanks so much, all of you nice folks, for the info. That does help. It would be a long trip from E. Texas and we would probably go through Boliver, near Galveston, as we have a friend who has re-built his coastal cottage...all got trashed in the Hurricane. That would put us traveling along I-10, mostly. Definitely, gave us some "food for thought". Can always count on the FGRV people to be helpful. JO
If you need any advice while traveling through Northwest Florida - just ask.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:53 AM   #13
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Jo, in Jan., 2000, I travelled from Live Oak, Fl. along I10 across the southern states, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, to Houston, Texas on my 750 Honda Shadow(m'cycle). From Houston, I went down to S. Padre Is., back up to San Antonio, and across I10 to Big Bend N.P. Eventually following I10 out to Yuma, Arizona, and on to Mexicali, California. And then made the return trip to Live Oak, Fl. I carried (and used) my tent and sleeping bag behind me. Had a wonderful trip, met wonderful people and never reserved ahead of time....took what I could get. I didn't seem to have a problem finding suitable camping sites.

I haven't travelled that way since the hurracaine, so I don't know how that effected Lousiana. But I'm sure you will enjoy the trip and probably will not have trouble finding camping areas.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Just a couple of thoughts,

Most Florida visitors are coast huggers and miss Old Florida which we find extremely interesting. There are places like Cedar Key and Aripeka, or just about any inland portion of the state.

Florida county parks and state parks are very good.

Florida is 1/5 th cattle ranches, some 10,000 square miles, mostly inland...
Hi: honda03842... Floridas biggest export is beef on the hoof. All my life I thought it was citrus fruit???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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