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


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Old 03-15-2017, 08:12 AM   #1
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Name: Dave
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Colorado
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Florida late Oct early Nov (Newbies first trip ever need advice)

Hello all,

Our Scamp 13’ is due to be finished the middle of October and we are planning to pick it up in person and head to Florida for a multiple week vacation 2 – 3 weeks.

I really want this trip to be great as it will be our first RV trip and I want to introduce my wife to Florida and what it has to offer since we are looking to take a partial retirement in 3 years and Florida is on our radar as a place to spend winters.

We like scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, SUP, Kayaks, surfing, sitting on the beach and sailing small boats such as Hobie Cats.

So far I know we want to stay a few days in upper Florida to go diving at Ginne Springs and a few other springs in the area but beyond that I am at a loss of where to stay in the Scamp in Florida. The Keys would be cool to see if possible.

We are easy going and roll with the punches, I am mechanically inclined and not too worried if we have some minor hiccup’s with the new scamp.

I am aware that we could get a hurricane and that is why I am targeting the last week of October and starting the trip in the North central part of Florida so I can keep an eye on the weather and adjust accordingly.

We do not need a fancy RV park but we are not opposed to one. Location and things to do are more important to us than having a swimming pool or TV if you get my drift. Since this is our first trip boondocking for a bunch of nights might be a stretch since we are new to this RV thing. A mixture of different experiences might be nice so we can see the different options.

So now that you have read my novelette I would really like to hear some recommendations of where to stay and what to do in the areas that are recommended.


Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:22 AM   #2
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Name: Dave
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Colorado
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Forgot the Scamp details

13'
Front bath (with holding tanks)
3 way fridge
large battery
water hookup
heater
no A/C
12 speed roof fan
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:48 AM   #3
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We've been to Florida ( Homosasas , Orlando , White Springs) in Oct and it was "HOT " and "HUMID" . Without A/C , I would not even attempt it .

Georgia has a more pleasant climate that time of the year .
Crooked River SP in SE Georgia is great place to camp in the Fall IMHO

Fall in Backus Mn is a wonderful time of the year
Warm days and cool nights.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:09 AM   #4
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From my research it sounded like the end of October and early Nov were nice but I will look into it more.

I figured Backus would be pretty cold with potential for snow at that time of the year but have not looked into it.

edit
Historical data Backus
late Oct - early Nov
Avg High = low 50's
Avg low = low 30's

Might be a bit chilly for us
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:19 AM   #5
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Start on the far west of the Florida Panhandle and work your way east. Tons of National seashore parks and regular parks. If you are retired get the card for free acess. Sticking near the shore will work that time of year with no AC as long as you are outdoors during the day. You may find central and South Florida a bit too hot and humid without AC
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:31 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips J.W.

We are still in our early / mid 40's so no retired deals for us.

Any places that you particularly like / enjoy or would recommend?

Must admit I am a bit bummed that both people have said the humidity will still be bad maybe we should try next March or April instead
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_fixer View Post
From my research it sounded like the end of October and early Nov were nice but I will look into it more.

I figured Backus would be pretty cold with potential for snow at that time of the year but have not looked into it.

edit
Historical data Backus
late Oct - early Nov
Avg High = low 50's
Avg low = low 30's

Might be a bit chilly for us
To be fair / honest temps in the 80's with high humidity is extremely hot and uncomfortable for us and we would want A/C . Temps in the 50' s , 60's or low 70's are warm and perfect camping weather in our opinion. We start our camping season in mid April or early May right after the snow melts and the lakes open up and end our camping season in mid to late October Our predicted high for today is 34 deg F and I have been outside most of the morning prepping our trailer for Spring .
One of the main reasons we guit going South in the Winter is because we didn't like the hot, humid weather .
I've deer hunted in the Backus area in early / mid November and have seen temps in the 30's with snow and temps in the upper 60's with bright sunshine.
We are probably the exception to the rule when it comes to weather .
The Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center in White Springs FL is a nice camogrounds. It is located in the Florida Panhandle.

Good luck with your Scamp and have a safe trip !!
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #8
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I would start at Gulf Island National Seashore (Google it) and work my way East and just stay in the panhandle area the whole trip if it was me... and I had no AC.

There is more to see and do along the lines of what you mentioned along the panhandle than can be done in 6 months, so you would have many many choices. There's even a few old 1960's sea world knock offs along the way...

March you have spring breakers, and April down south you have heat and humidity again most years
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:37 PM   #9
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We have been to Henderson Beach State Park which is in the panhandle. Just did Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center SP in Florida, also nice. Anastasia and Ft Clinch state parks in northern Florida are nice
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Old 03-15-2017, 01:20 PM   #10
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Name: Dennis
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We love Miami Everglades Campground in Redlands Agriculture Area for winter stay with our Casita "Casper" It is surrounded by farms and less than one hour to Keys, 15 minutes to Everglades.
We also like Ft. Desoto Park in St. Pete area.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by the_fixer View Post
Must admit I am a bit bummed that both people have said the humidity will still be bad maybe we should try next March or April instead
October weather for my native city. https://weatherspark.com/averages/30...-United-States
Don't be shocked if it hits 90; I think it has at Thanksgiving, and pushed it this last Christmas. That site should show March, but I'd expect similar then. So maybe not the Keys; among other things, figure at a day each way down there, or more.
If you tire of spring diving (make sure you're safe - you probably know what you're doing, but even those who do can end up as statistics), Cedar Key is a nice little town, and you can probably still rent a boat for DIY fishing there. But no beach; that coast is marshy. The other side, St. Augustine has both historical and tourist stuff, and can probably rent a hobie on the beach. Panhandle beaches are great, and FL Caverns SP is nice.
On A/C, I grew up in an house without it, as did the previous generations; of course, all relatives there have it now. Unless the sort of comments as above make you reconsider your Scamp order (and don't ask me - I'm still shopping), you may as well find out what your non-A/C limits are.
Have fun.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:58 PM   #12
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October in the NW Florida Panhandle area is ideal. Expect lower humidity, clear blue skies, temps in the 70s, perfect! We have a home near Destin and it's our absolute favorite time of year, and for camping too. We were at Grayton State Park last October, and don't recall even turning the AC on. Check out Henderson SP, Topsail, Grayton, all on the Gulf.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:17 PM   #13
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Go Gators!

I lived in Florida for about ~10 years when I was a kid in Treasure Island and went to school in Gainesville.

We never went camping and I never made it below Venice Beach.

I have been on the fence with getting A/C on the Scamp since it will limit our storage options and we would likely have to pay to store it if we go with A/C. I went the chicken route and selected to have it prepped for A/C so if we change out mind we can add it later.

Understood on the temp swings in Florida for all we know it could be 90, 40 or anywhere between.

My brain is hurting from trying to plan this trip, normally I rock at trip planning but the camper adds a whole new level of complexity that I need to learn.

Thanks for the feedback so far.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:21 PM   #14
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Dave,

We took 2 granddaughter's to Gulf Shores (Al) and Pensacola (Fl) last July in our Scamp13 with no top-mounted AC.

We used a window AC unit in the back window of the Scamp. You can slide both the window and the screen over to one side to leave a 16" (?) wide opening. I padded the window track with foam and built a wooden platform that was supported down to the Scamp rear bumper.

We would not travel with the AC in that back window; just set it up when we get to a destination where we will stay for at least a few days or longer.

For 95 percent of our camping, we have not needed an AC; just the top-mounted fan and rarely an additional counter-top
fan.

Not sure if you would have time for that window AC kind of fabrication before heading south but, there are alternatives to a top-mounted AC.

Ray
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:13 PM   #15
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Hi---we, too, checked into places in the panhandle earlier this winter. We got lots of great suggestions. You might like to search the forum "campgrounds" for my initial posting last fall. Every one of the replies offered personally-experienced campgrounds which made them all the more valuable.

As to not having A/C, we have wintered in central and southern Florida as well as spending November and December, all without A/C ourselves. Last year, especially, was hotter than Hades in both those months (record-setting), which I loved but my husband hated. It was extremely humid. But using our Fantastic Fan, a portable one, worked like a charm to keep things cool. In fact, we didn't even need to turn on the roof-top one. Everyone's tolerance for heat is different. But if you are near the shoreline, as was suggested, those cool breezes might just make it bearable.

And congratulations on your purchase! Making new memories in it will be so much fun.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:57 PM   #16
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You may be surprised at the effectiveness of your fan and we've found that, other than sleeping, we spend very little time inside the camper. We have a Paha Que screen room which is much more comfortable in inclement weather or if bugs become a problem.

As to camping suggestions, Florida has a great State Park System. Anastasia, Grayton Beach, Oscar Scherer and St Andrews were all good. I thought John Pennekamp was overrated. Enjoyed the Everglades but the Keys... not so much. Juniper Springs in Ocala National Forest was really nice.

Congrats on the Scamp - Al
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:45 PM   #17
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It's not to late to add an air conditioner to your order.
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:21 AM   #18
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Dave,

I think you were wise to prep for AC but leave it off.

If you later decide that you have to have one, and I doubt that you will, I probably would not get the high profile 13,000 BTU unit that Scamp has been using in the past. 5,000 to 8,000 BTUs seems to be plenty for a 13 foot trailer. My friend, who has the 13,000 BTU unit in his Scamp13, says that it could freeze out an Eskimo! 😉

A lower profile and lower BTU unit would likely work out better.

Ray
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:52 AM   #19
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Dave,
I understand your reason to prep for -but not get- AC.....that you would not be able to store it at your current location. If you are planning to semi-retire to Florida in three years, hopefully your storage situation will change so that AC would be feasible. Having AC in Florida will extend your camping season to year-round, from the Florida Keys to north Florida. All the activities you said you enjoy will be available year-round. A great online magazine called The Florida Rambler (Google it) will provide you with plenty of information about those activities (especially kayaking), and you can search activities by location.

I have camped almost entirely in Florida, and I must say that when we got our Eggcamper (with AC), it opened up a whole new world of camping opportunities for us. We camp exclusively in the State Parks and Everglades National Park. (Still working so can't go on long trips yet, and we live in South Florida so even the Panhandle is a stretch for us.)

It's great that you have all this time to dream and plan....Happy Camping!
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:01 AM   #20
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We had the factory rooftop A/C on our 1999 16 ft Scamp and have the factory rooftop A/C on our 2013 17 ft Casita. Neither A/C has
ever froze us out . Maybe Eskimos have a higher tolerance for heat
I wish Casita offered a 13,000 btu A/C , I would have bought one.
On our way back home from picking up our Casita in Rice Texas ,we camped for a couple days at the Truman Reservoir in Missouri.
It was July , with temps in the upper 90's and humidity levels of
OVER 100% . I wish we had a 20,000 btu A/C cause the one on our Casita couldn't keep up. We gave up the fight and headed due North as fast as we could . Buying a small A/C that can only cool your trailer when it's 70 deg out and your parked in the shade seems rather senseless.
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