You won't have any problem finding open sites along the way since none of the RV parks will be anywhere NEAR full, but you MAY have a problem finding RV parks that are open. Many close for the winter, and many of the ones that stay open have the water turned off, and only offer electricity. Go to RVparkreviews.com, pick the general area that you want to spend your first night in, and search for parks close by. Then, check the website or call them to make sure they will be open. Once you get to Alabama, you should have no problem.
The reason the parks are full in April is because, besides returning Snowbirds, you also have people going to or coming from spring break trips, Easter weekend trips, etc., so you're sharing the sites with many more people coming back than you would going down. Also, most Snowbirds have already been "down south" for two months by the time Christmas comes around.
I've read a few of those silly reviews, including the place that had "NOISY BIRDS" that woke her up too early. Good grief, some people just aren't happy unless they find something to feel miserable about.
Anyway, I typically ignore the very high, or very low, reviews, and try to average them out. How a person feels about a park is pretty subjective anyway, so I take everything with a grain of salt.
Actually, regarding which way the rig faces.....it only bothers me when all of the hookups are on the wrong side. I've only come across that a few times, and managed to survive.
We only had one winter where the mosquitoes were bad, and other than that, no real problem. Never had an ant problem, and never had a problem with no see 'ems. There is usually a nice Gulf Breeze, so I think that helps with the mosquitoes as the previous poster stated.
Most of Texas is nice for the winter. The RGV is a bit warmer, but is dirty and very congested. Not much to do there but shop or go to restaurants.
The Hill Country, basically west of San Antonio, is beautiful rolling hills, streams and rivers, and looks a lot like much of Tennessee. It's a bit cooler at night, but usually warms up nicely during the day.
The nicest area, in my opinion, is the area known as the Coastal Bend......generally from Port Lavaca to Corpus Christi. Rockport, Fulton, Aransas Pass and Port Aransas are very popular areas for Winter Texans. The weather is like the northern Florida Gulf Coast with some chilly nights, but warm days. We've been to all three areas, and this is the area that we like the best. We've seen RV parks priced from about $200 up to about $400 per month, depending on how many amenities you want.
Are you running the city water through, or using the pump to run water from your holding tank? If you have any antifreeze in your holding tank, you have to pump all of that out. Same with the water heater. Just keep running the pump and opening the taps one at a time. There is probably still some antifreeze in the lines or the tanks foaming up. Aerated water will look cloudy, but not foamy.
I agree with Parrothead Mike on his plan. We did much the same thing our first two winters in Florida.......a week here, a few days there, until we covered most of the state. Many places that are GREAT at one time of the year are far too congested during the prime winter months, so check out the various areas at different times of the year as well.
You should have no problem getting sites for up to a week or two, but after that it gets dicey, as most of the prime sites have already been reserved for next winter. If you stay flexible, however, you'll do fine. We actually got a site for a week in one park, but had to change to a different site for the last two days as the person who reserved it for the winter got there a bit early. No problem, but STAY FLEXIBLE. For short-term stays, you can often get into the state parks, but check out the various counties as well. Some of them have REALLY nice RV parks that don't seem to get as crowded as the state parks.
And, as Mike stated, DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU GO. That's VERY important so that you can avoid problems upon arrival. Your two best resources are this forum, and rvparkreviews.com. Make liberal use of both.
One more thing to consider is to fly down and stay in a motel in the general area that you THINK you might like. Rent a car with unlimited mileage and USE it. We did that the year before our first winter trip and put on almost 3000 miles checking out RV parks, beaches, areas of interest, etc.
We LOVE Texas, but HATE the border area of the Rio Grande Valley. We found it dirty, congested, and no different than "camping" within the boundaries of any great big city. (And now, at this point, the "RGV Varsity Cheerleading Squad" will jump in to tell you how wonderful it is). :B
If some occasional cool nights don't bother you, try the Hill Country west of San Antonio (Kerrville, Fredericksburg, etc.). Beautiful, hilly country with lots of rivers and streams......very reminiscent of Tennessee. If you like it a bit warmer, and enjoy the beach, then check out Rockport, Port Aransas, and Mustang Island areas. You can camp right on the beach on Mustang Island if you like boondocking.
We did one month each in several areas, and finally settled on Rockport, but there are so many beautiful and interesting areas in Texas to explore.
It doesn't even have to sit THAT long to be a problem. Mine sat for about six months, and the mechanic already saw brake problems. Fortunately, they were saved, and I now take the rig on a Sunday afternoon drive at least once a month. I run the generator during the drive as well, so I kill two birds with one stone.
Gee this information it just too :C GOOD TO BE TRUE.:D Thanks for your GREAT info.
It's a shame that people like you have to get on the forum. This person was TRYING to provide what he felt was information that others may not have, and you have to open your sarcastic mouth and act like a jerk. I'd rather have info not needed, than comments from someone like you. By the way, you OBVIOUSLY picked the right screen name!!!
I-39 will add a couple hours to your trip, and I-294 will add to the cost of the trip since it's a toll road. Whenever I go through Chicago, I try to go through early on a Sunday morning. It seems we only share the road with a few vehicles heading to church, and everyone else seems to be sleeping late after the Saturday night partying. Otherwise, one route is as BAD as the next.
I can honestly say that I've NEVER had anything better than a poor experience with Camping World. The last one, Nashville (does anyone else see a pattern with the Nashville location?) was, by far, the worst. That was the location that made me an EX-camping world presidents club member, and EX-customer as well. Don't know what their problem is.....don't care. I just know I'm through with CW.
John&Joey hit on all the points. The only things that I would add is your sister can mail to you at "General Delivery" in whatever city you're going to be near at any given time (i.e., Disneyworld). I would probably pick a much smaller nearby town rather than Orlando, however.
If your sister is going to be gone for a couple weeks, she can just put a hold on all mail, which will include YOUR mail being forwarded to her. When she gets home, she picks it all up, stops the hold, and sends your mail to you at General Delivery, wherever.
The first year we snowbirded, we weren't on autopay either, so we contacted anyone that we expected to send us a bill during that period (power company, credit card company, city water dept., etc.) and told them that we would be gone during that time frame. We then estimated what the bills would be and paid them in advance. Any shortage was made up on our return, and any overage was just credited to the next bill.
As for taxes......EXTENSION.....every year. Tax guy does them for me in June or July. Simple.
You're doing the right thing by preparing for these questions or potential problems in advance. Trying to envision everything that might go wrong, or be a problem for you, just makes you more prepared if any of them actually occur. Like the old saying, "hope for the best, but plan for the worst". Just keep posting those questions here.....somebody has experienced the problem, and has a solution for you.
I don't understand this either. Once, while heading south for the winter, we were the ONLY rig in the entire state park campground until just before dark. Three guesses where this other guy decided to park his rig. And, a few months ago, my wife and I stopped for an early dinner in a popular restaurant. There were about 30 empty tables, and the hostess told the group coming in to "sit anywhere". They did.......directly next to us. Then proceeded to talk so loudly that we could barely hear each other.
I think that some people are just so self-centered that they feel that ANYONE would want to have them as neighbors. They're wrong!
We've been snowbirding for 10 years.....from Savannah GA, all through Florida, around AL, LA, and down into Texas.....and there is only ONE absolute constant: weather changes. We were in the southern tip of Florida and saw the temps never hit 60 for almost a week, AND it rained the whole time. And then we were in northern Louisiana and had temps in the 80's and sunny skies for almost the entire month of February.
If you want CONSISTENTLY nice weather, I'm afraid you'll have to do Hawaii. And I'm not sure that THAT'S even guaranteed.
Our measure of good weather is this: if we only rarely need a jacket, if we only occasionally need an umbrella, and if we NEVER slip on snow, then it's good weather.
Here are a couple in the Keys that you might be interested in:
One thing.....several of the reviews refer to the "bad smell". We thought that this was a sewer gas odor, but it turns out that it's decomposing seaweed. Worse some days than others, but frequently present.
If you go to rvparkreviews.com, you can pick a state, then a city, then check the campgrounds in the area of that city. The ones that have marinas or dockage usually indicate such in their name or amenities.
I know myself, I don't mind paying taxes and fees - well, that's a lie. I do mind it, but only because it pays someone to do nothing. If the money went to the actual improvements or built something, that's different. But what I see is committees, plans, talking, arguing, debating, and tabling it until next time.
We pay more money for talking and paperwork now than ever before in history. How many jobs exist now that actually perform a real service? I bet half the jobs in this country 'make paper' and not produce - and we can't eat paper.
Excellent point. It's called BUREAUCRACY. Government doesn't get the job done......it just creates more bureaucrats who prevent the job from getting done. That's called JOB SECURITY. And it keeps creating them exponentially.
While I don't see the $122 as exorbitant compared to other states, I do have to laugh when we hear from California and New York residents complaining about how high THEIR taxes are. They should be used to them by now. They know that the people that they put into office have nothing but raising taxes on their minds. Don't want those taxes? Quit putting the same people in office year after year.