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Author Topic: Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV  (Read 2207 times)
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« on: November 14, 2012, 01:02:30 pm »

I am looking for suggestions: We've camped in tents and cabins but never "lived" or "camped" in an RV. Since we plan to buy one soon we wanted to spend a few weeks in a rented RV so we can see what works for us and what doesn't in the hope that we can get the right unit or right mods to fit our lifestyle. Evil work has conspired to ruin our plans by delaying our test trip until the campgrounds around here have closed and the freeze factor has gone up considerably. We hope to escape our desks within the next month so we are now looking for a destination to drive or fly to for our test weeks. We also figure the rented RV might not have (functional) heating ability so we don't want to go too frigid. Does anyone have a favorite area that would have moderate temps in December and is big enough to find an RV rental? Our plan is to camp a bit, unhook, drive, camp, repeat a few times so we get the feel for that part also. We can't totally escape work so we'll need to be somewhere we can get internet access either through wi-fi or tethered phones. It can be anywhere in the country as we will likely fly vs drive due to loss of days on the road. We do have to fit in a trip to Elkhardt and Phoenix to order an RV before we return home. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 01:17:11 pm »

Fly to Ft. Myers FL; rent an RV at Camping World in Ft. Myers and visit some of the State Parks, Everglades National Park and Corps of Engineers Parks (if you can get a site). Beautiful weather (usually) in the winter.

Judi
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 01:42:08 pm »

We would also recommend Florida and in particular the Fort Myers Beach area.  We have been going to this park for over 10 years, just love it.  Very relaxed, casual and only a few hundred feet from the gulf but there is a lot of sand.

http://redcoconut.com/Index.htm

Barry
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 01:50:26 pm »

When you rent an RV drive or fly to your destination and then rent your RV.  Most RV rentals have a per mile charge.

Barry
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 08:53:50 pm »

We definitely will fly south somewhere then rent. It sounds like Florida is everyone`s favorite. It`s looking like January now that the holiday season is on us. We appreciate the suggestions and are checking availability now. If you see a couple of pale northerners driving a rattling rental rig around Florida looking like lost newbies, honk! It just might be us.


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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 07:43:03 am »

Let us know if you are going to be in the area. Would love to meet you! Heck, you could even spend a night in our driveway, if needed.

Judi Wink
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 07:48:52 am »

Camping in Florida in January is like shopping in Time Square the week before Christmas. Not the same as normal, maybe fun but not normal. Wink
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 10:56:43 am »

If you want to go really south in Florida, I've camped at Bahia Honda State Park which is like the last island you get to on the long causeway before Key West.  Hookup sites are available there and you are right in the middle of bird nesting areas.  We laughed our butts off watching the less than graceful pelicans diving down to the water to grab fish.  I have no idea how hard it is to get in there in January and whether or not you want to drive that far.

Jerry
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 05:58:10 pm »

Camping in Florida in January is like shopping in Time Square the week before Christmas. Not the same as normal, maybe fun but not normal. Wink

Are you saying it is difficult to find open sites without reservations?   Are you also saying it is like shopping on Black Friday?   

We were maybe thinking of Florida instead of the SW for 2014... Maybe not a good idea?

denny
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 06:50:14 pm »

Denny,

    We have been going to FL every winter since 2003 but we always plan ahead.  The state parks are 11 months in advance, the COE parks are 6 months and the private parks are a year.  With that said, however, we have met many on the road in FL that rely on others cancelling.  I guess it depends on how lucky you feel and exactly where you want to be.  Northern Florida is not as busy but if you want to go to the Keys plan ahead. 

Sue
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 08:54:30 pm »

I have lived in South Florida all my life .... if you are coming to Florida .. yes the Keys can get challenging on the weekend especially Fridays going down and Sundays coming north .... but if have not been ... it is truly a trip you would want to experience. I have seen the ocean to death and been to the Keys a zillion times, but every time it is always a beautiful site to see and experience .... it is relaxing and just beautiful.  Even if you have to fight the traffic and people  ... I promise it will be worth it.

We are in Vero Beach and there are some really nice beach ares close by this area and not as crowed as down south, either way you can't go wrong ... it is paradise.  Smile
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 10:08:25 pm »

Thanks Sue and Carol... Guess a bit of planning certainly pays off down there.   Thanks for the info.. Just never talked with anyone down there about accommodations at parks.   This forum is a great place to hang out, for all kinds of camping with our nice PC's. Smile

Denny
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 07:14:54 am »

Camping in Florida in January is like shopping in Time Square the week before Christmas. Not the same as normal, maybe fun but not normal. Wink

Are you saying it is difficult to find open sites without reservations?   Are you also saying it is like shopping on Black Friday?   

We were maybe thinking of Florida instead of the SW for 2014... Maybe not a good idea?

denny

Denny, yes it will be like shopping on Black Friday with respect to the long lines everywhere and the large crowds everywhere you go.  It will be worth the trip if you keep in mind that you will have to wait in lines to do just about everything from seeing the tourist traps to getting a seat in a restaurant. One of the nice things about owning a PC is that it is small enough to fit in just about any available campsite, not like a bigger class A. Reservations are good if you know when and where you want to be, but most camp grounds will have a site or two that you can fit into. At least that has been my experience. I like to travel in the shoulder seasons, before the snowbirds take flight or after they return back home to the roost. September, November, or April, May time frame.
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 08:16:52 am »

I disagree with Tom! It depends on where you go in Florida--it is not like Black Friday or Times Square (at least where we go and we live in FL). I suppose if you are in Miami, his view might hold true. Our goal is to take the PC to a different campground each month in season. We have not waited in long lines at restaurants! We usually eat in the PC.

Yes, we have to plan! We don't go to the Keys 'cause usually the State Parks are all booked in season. But there are other interesting places to see. And the weather is much better than the North in the winter.

So, come on down next year
Judi
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 08:37:22 am »

I disagree with Tom as well.  We never have experienced the long lines everywhere you go.  The only places to avoid where you might run into this are those famous "SPRING BREAK" places during a short 2-3 week  time frame--usually the first two weeks in March.  What is nice about January and February is the weather and all the fun activities the cities put on.  There are always concerts in the park, art shows and yes don't forget the swamp buggy races.


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