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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Review of our shakedown Florida trip

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Central Lake RV'er

Central Lake Michigan

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Posted: 03/12/19 12:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First of all, I want to thank everyone here who chipped in to my posts with ideas and suggestions. Second, I want to thank GS for the discounts on the fuel at Pilot/Flying J, which we took advantage of several times.

We took off from snowy northern MI with a foot of caked up snow on the roof of our 28 ft. 5th wheel on Feb. 23.
First night, after our longest haul of 571 miles, we stayed in a truck stop in Georgetown, KY. It was full-all the truck stops are always full, we've since found out, unless you pull in for the night before 6 p.m. or so. But we found what we thought was a spot, pulled in, and spent a fairly peaceful night, only to discover that we had parked in a "No Parking" zone the next morning when we saw the printing on the pavement which could not be seen at night...so, we left fairly early in the a.m., relieved no one had awakened us in the middle of the night.

Second night, we spent in a GREAT little campground with full amenities right alongside the freeway in Byron, GA-Interstate RV Campground. Great wi-fi, nice and quiet, $30. Stayed there on our way back, too. It is far less stressful to know where you are going instead of venturing into new territory. Highly recommend to anyone heading down I-75.

Third night, we spent in our first Florida RV park in Tarpon Springs, Florida, finding it so tight we couldn't breathe without our neighbors seeing it, not all that quiet, and expensive. That was the case in another private park we stayed in in Ft. Myers as well. We were checked out in the Ft. Myers RV park to make sure we weren't the Beverly Hillbillies, as well. Overall, we are not fans.

We also stayed in Lake Manatee State Park, Collier/Seminole State Park, and Highlands Hammock State Park. With the exception of poor road and parking site signage in Highlands Hammock, we LOVED the Florida State Park system, and hope to use it again the next time we head for Florida. No wi-fi, but we didn't have any in the Ft. Myers private park, which was much more expensive, either. No sewer, either, but their dump stations are convenient and easy.

We learned a LOT, and found traveling in the high traffic and tight metropolitan areas of Florida very stressful, but we had a great time.

Looking forward to our next trip!

Merrykalia

Appalachian (apple at chun) Mountains in SW VA

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Posted: 03/12/19 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Next time, the Kentucky Horse Park is just off of I-75 in Lexington. It's W&E but has a dump station. I don't know their fees now, but it used to be decently cheap.


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Central Lake RV'er

Central Lake Michigan

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Posted: 03/12/19 01:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you, I wish I had known that before we left...but it would have been difficult to get me out of there. I LOVE the Kentucky Horse Park!

Big Katuna

Deland, FL

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Posted: 03/12/19 02:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I live here and find the Ft Myers area overcrowded.


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SpeakEasy

Western New York

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Posted: 03/12/19 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm glad to hear about your trip! When you asked in an earlier thread for ideas on places to stay, I was concerned that you wouldn't be able to find anything so late.

Have you ever used the site campgroundreviews.com? I use it a lot. I am skeptical about any park with a rating less than 8, unless it's been reviewed by very few people. (Is that place you stayed in Tarpon Springs Hickory Point? It gets a 6.3.) Sometimes you have to take people's reviews with a grain of salt. If you read what they've written you sometimes realize that the things that are important to them aren't important to you. But mostly it seems like reliable information.

-Speak


It's just Mrs. SpeakEasy and me now (empty-nesters). But we can choose from among 7 grandchildren to drag along with us!



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Dutch_12078

Winters south, summers north

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Posted: 03/12/19 06:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Other than some overnight stops on our way south for the winter, we ONLY stay in state and national parks in Georgia and Florida. We average about $22/night including some parks with full hookups. This year we're tacking on a week at Lake Powhatan Recreation Area campground near Asheville, NC in April as we begin to drift north. Our cost there is $20/night with our Senior Access Pass for a full hookup site, plus an $8 reservation fee.


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Hiker52

Flora, Il

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Posted: 03/13/19 06:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you had a good trip. We were on about the same timeline but we went down and back thru Alabama. First night at Birmingham South RV and second night at Tallahassee RV Park, both were good for a one night. We stayed a few days at Riverside RV Resort near Arcadia FL, and like it very much, everyone was so friendly. Then stayed a few days at Cypress Trails RV Resort at Ft Myers and that spoiled us. Expensive but very nice. Very nice facilities and friendly people. We decided that's what retirement should feel like. This was kind of a shakedown trip for us as well although it was our second trip. Ft Myers is crowded but we stayed mostly at the resort enjoying the warm weather.

2edgesword

New York

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Posted: 03/13/19 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you got your first trip under your belt with not major issues. Hopefully that will continue to be the story.

Central Lake RV'er

Central Lake Michigan

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Posted: 03/13/19 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh, we had major issues. 50 miles from our first park in Florida we had a front brake caliper on our truck freeze up, this after two weeks of front end repairs, a new steering rack, and new tires on the truck at home. Fortunately, we found a good and reasonably priced mechanic in Tarpon Springs who was able to replace the front brakes on our truck in just over two hours on 5 minutes notice. Yes, it cost us $500, but it would have cost that much anyway anywhere else, and we had the truck repaired on the only day that it rained all day in Florida...luck of the Irish was with us, for sure. Mechanic's name was PhD Automotive, owned by Phil, and we highly recommend their services.
My husband has since learned a great deal about ABS brakes on a truck when used with trailer brakes as well...

Central Lake RV'er

Central Lake Michigan

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Posted: 03/13/19 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I will look into that campground review site. Yes, it was Hickory Point. We only stayed there because we had a friend we hadn't seen in years staying in that park. If you are used to uncomfortably tight Florida parks it was fine, I guess, and it has a lovely little park and dock right on the river. Lots of wildlife, too...LOL...cats and squirrels everywhere...LOL

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