I was just there 2 weeks ago and stayed in Gulf Breeze for 5 days. A few of the sites in that section can be very close together. Shady Pines has more space between the sites and most are shaded. You are also more protected from the wind. If I went again, I'd probably stay in Gulf Breeze again. The wind blew a constant 20 knots while we were there. Bring plenty of food and supplies - nearest grocery is 20 miles away in Port St Joe. Also, cell and mobile data service can be spotty.
I stayed there last Sept (2012) for 5 days. It probably the best camping spot in the area. The KOA down the road was still rebuilding from the prior yrs hurricane when we were there. It was nice but breezy and had constant salt spray on the RV. The road in Rodanthe(Rt 12) got washed out with Hurricane Sandy, but I heard its open again. Also heard they got some more bad weather this month that did some damage. Best to call and check to see how the campground is doing.
I spend part of the winter in St Augustine Beach. It can be cool (40's at night, 60-70 during the day)during Jan & Feb. FL Sate Parks are very nice and reasonable. Most don't have full hook ups, but many have water, elec. and a dump station. Anastasia Island SP is very nice. Gamble Rogers SP in Flager is right on the water but may be tough to get a reservation at this point.
Thanks for all the great input. Reversing the route to take advantage of the weather makes a lot of sense. I may skip the NM part and extend the time in Durango and Grand Teton. Also, its pretty easy for me to add another week into the trip. Thanks again.
I'm planning a trip this spring out to Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and then back home to New England. I want to go before the schools get out to avoid crowds at the National Parks. I'm flexible on the amount of time I can take. I'm looking for some input on how much time to stay in certain places. I'm planning a couple of days in Kearney, NB and then a couple more days to drive thru the Sandhills. Next, I plan 4 days in Custer City, SD to explore the Badlands, Custer SP, Mt Rushmore, and Deadwood. Then onto Sheridan, WY for a couple days to drive up to the Littlebig Horn. From there, its 4 days in Yellowstone and 1 day at Grand Teton. Then down to CO for 2 days at Rocky Mtn NP, down to Mesa Verde NP for 2 days and one more day in Durango. From there, its 2 days in Taos, NM and I head home with stops in Dodge City, KS, Independance, MO, St Genevieve, MO and onto New England. It adds up to about 6500 miles over 33-35 days hoping to get home before the 4th of July. Any comments on where I should spend more or less time would be appreciated.
I have a 2012 Roadtrek 190 Simplicity built on the 3500 chassis with the 4.8L engine, 6 speed tranny, and I am very pleased with it. Driving back from FL this winter I averaged 18.4 mpg driving 65-70 mph (from FL to MD it got 19.3 mpg). I just did a 1700 mile trip around the Gaspe in Canada, which was very hilly, and averaged 16.4 mpg over the entire trip. On some of the steep grades (12-15%) it downshifted and chugged up, but I would expect that from any engine lugging almost 9,000 lbs. The 190 Simplicity weighs a few hundred lbs less than a regular 190 (smaller water tank, 1 less battery and having the 4.8L vs the 6.0L). Based on my experience, if I had the choice, I would go with the 4.8L for the gas mileage.