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  1. Over the past 16 years, I've done a considerable amount of travel in Florida.  I did some of this travel as a vacationing tourist, then as a cyclist, and more recently as a Florida snowbird. Living on the east coast, Florida has been an easy and warm place to get to.  It's also a diverse and fun place to visit.

    I can't say I've been everywhere (like Johnny Cash) nor am I an expert on Florida.  But I've been to enough places that I felt I could share some of my Florida snowbird wisdom.  This post is not meant to be complete or exhaustive.  It's just my take on some areas and things to consider when snowbirding in Florida.  Let me start by telling you why I started going to Florida.

    Discovering Florida

    Growing up in Maine, I endured my share of harsh winters. As a kid and young adult, it was actually a fun time because I was an avid skier. But as I got older and couldn't handle the black diamond trails any more, winters became something that I had to tolerate and wait out.

    When I became a long distance cyclist, spring became a favorite time to head south for a week-long biking vacation. Even though I was still working, each March I would head to Florida for a week-long bike ride with the Bike Florida group.  I did those rides for 8 years and got to explore many areas of north and central Florida from the seat of my bike.  It was these rides that gave me the notion for escaping the New England winter and spending that time in Florida

    When I retired 8 years ago, the winter escape notion became a reality.  It was so easy to hop in my car, drive south for three days, and be back in summer like weather.

    At first, we started out going down to Florida for a month and renting a condo.  We began our stays near the northern east coast areas, which I was familiar with.  Then we tried extending our stays to two months.  We rented houses in The Villages and in New Smyrna Beach, condo's in St. Augustine Beach, and quickly got hooked on the snowbird lifestyle.

    When I started RVing, I did the math and found out that renting a site at a Florida RV park for 2 months was much less expensive that renting a condo.  It was a no brainer to turn a two months stay into three months.  This year we'll be staying for four months.

    We've spent our snowbird time at many places in Florida.  You can see the places we've stayed on the map below.  Some of these places have been for months at a time and others have been for a week or more.

    Florida Snowbird Map.jpg

    Areas of Florida

    Some may think that once you cross the border into Florida winter weather disappears and summer time magically appears everywhere.  Based on my experience, that's not the case. Some areas can be down right chilly during the winter.  Here's how I separate Florida into climates zones.

    1. North Central - from the GA border down to Daytona, over to Ocala, and up to Lake City. Jacksonville, the east coastal areas, and Gainesville are the populated areas.  Everywhere else is pretty rural.  This area is more of as summer time destination and less of a snowbird destination.  Winters can be chilly with daytime temps getting up into the 60's.  Some days may hit the low 70's, but those are infrequent.  Other than Daytona, the coastal areas are not as developed with high rises as they are in the southern area. There are some nice coastal State Parks in this area.  Fort Clinch, Little Talbot Island, and Gamble Rogers all have camping near the water.  Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine is one of my favorites places to stay.
    2. The Panhandle - those areas west of Lake City to the Alabama border.  Other than Tallahassee and the coastal areas, it's very rural.  It's one of the most diverse and prettiest areas in Florida.  Also, it's my favorite area to visit.  The Emerald Coast with its white sand beaches and emerald colored water are beautiful.  The area from Panama City to Fort Walton Beach is densely populated and a very busy area.  Winter temps can be cold (in the 40's and 50's) and the weather can be wacky (e.g. snow, hurricanes). Like the North Central area it's more of a spring summer destination and winter is the off-season.  My favorite area in the panhandle is the Forgotten Coast near Apalachicola. There are several nice beach side coastal State Parks in the panhandle.  St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is my favorite.
    3. Central - those areas south of Daytona to Melbourne then over to Tampa and up to Ocala.  The big cities of Orlando, Tampa, and St. Pete dominate this area.  The large 55+ community of The Villages just south of Ocala is in this area.  There are lots of RV parks along the I-4 and I-75 corridor.  I did theme park trips when my kids were young so those aren't a draw for me but they are for many.  We have spent snowbird time in the Tampa area and found the winter temperatures to be moderate with lots of days in the low 70s.
    4. Southern - everything south of Melbourne to Tampa.  The winter weather in this area is more warm with daytime temps in the 70's and 80s.  Overnight freezes are rare.  The coastal area from West Palm down to Miami is very developed.  It can also be pricey. The gulf coast side is less developed and more laid back.  I don't know the reason but this area seems to attract folks from the Canada, Central and Mid-West states.  I like the gulf coast side the best.  To me, folks on the gulf coast side seem more friendly.  The winter weather is warm, it's doesn't have the high-rise sprawl like the Atlantic side, and the casual atmosphere is easy to take.

     

    Securing a Place to Stay

    If you want to spend some snowbird time in FL, I recommend that you reserve a place ahead of time.  Heading to FL during the key winter months of January thru March without any reservations is a recipe for major disappointment.  Most of the nicer RV parks and campgrounds in popular areas are booked months in advance

    Florida's State Parks are popular places during the winter because of the price and their locations. But stays are limited to 14 days.  Sites can be reserved a year in advance and in some places like the Keys, they are booked within minutes of becoming available.  The demand for campsites seems to follow the weather.  State Parks in the southern area get booked up more quickly compared to the Northern areas.

    For my winter stays at Florida State Parks, I've booked six months in advance and have always found a site. If you wait until October and November, the selection and duration will be limited.  Many state parks hold a certain number of sites for walk ins.  The popular municipal Fort Desoto Park near St. Petersburg gets booked up quickly.  Non-residents can reserve sites 6 months in advance and the good sites get taken quickly.

    Private RV parks are popular places for snowbirds.  Many offer amenities like swimming pools, pickleball, tennis courts, and cable TV.  The social amenities like theme dinners, card nights, golf outings, and dances are also draws for the snowbirds.  Parking shoulder to shoulder for a few months in an RV park may not be for everyone.  But I have found that the social interactions and making new friends is an unexpected benefit of the RV park lifestyle.

    Many RV parks offer seasonal discounted rates for month-long stays.  The park where I stay in Fort Myers Beach offers seasonal rates for 3 month stays.  Many snowbirds find a park they like and then keep returning year after year.  Some parks cater to their returning customers and will let you keep the same site as long as you reserve it a year in advance. This is what we have started doing.  Before we leave Fort Myers Beach in April, we'll book our reservations for the following year.

    Renting a house or a condo, works almost the same as getting a campground or RV site. You need to book in advance.  Many local realty companies offer rentals or you can try sites like vrbo.com and airbnb.com.

    If you rent a house or condo, you may not get the social interactions that you can get at an RV park.  I found this to be true when we rented at St. Augustine Beach and at New Smyrna Beach.  The Villages is an exception to that statement.  We spent one winter renting a house in The Villages and it was one of the most fun times we've had.  I played golf all winter on the free golf courses, rented a golf cart to get around, took several dance lessons, and went to music events just about every night.  It was a blast and I really got hooked on that lifestyle.  When my RVing days come to an end, I may settle down in The Villages.

    One strategy for finding a place is to select some different areas and do short stays to see how you like it.  Trying different areas for a week at a time is a great way to explore Florida and find out which areas appeal to you.

    Cost

    The cost to stay as a Florida snowbird is all over the place.  As I mentioned above, the coastal areas are more expensive than being inland.

    The Florida State Parks are the best deal at around $28 per night for most parks (some are less and some are higher).  But you are limited to a 14 day stay.  You can move around to different sites within a park, but in many parks you must leave the park for 3 days before you can return.  The max number of days you can stay at a specific State Park is 56 days within 6 month window.  Moving to different parks is also an option.

    Private RV park rates vary widely.  A beach front site at the Red Coconut RV Park in Fort Myers Beach will run you over $100 per night (no seasonal rate is offered).  The monthly winter rate at Bryn Mawr RV Resort at St. Augustine Beach is around $1,200 per month ($40/night).  A seasonal 3 month rate at Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell will cost around $600 per month ($20/day).

    For a 4 month stay at Fort Myers Beach (just a mile from the beach), I pay a monthly winter rate that averages out to be around $37 per night.  The normal daily rate is $62 per day.

    Boondocking opportunities in Florida are limited.  There is dispersed camping in the Ocala National Forest and in the Apalachicola National Forest but stays are limited to 14 days in a given month.  I've been through both of these forests and they are very remote.

    Not all Wal-Mart in Florida allow overnight parking due to city and county ordinances. There are some truck stops along the key Interstates that allow overnight parking but these aren't intended for snowbird stays.  Boondocking may work in some places if you're doing a short stay or just passing thru but it's not a strategy I would recommend for an extended stay.

    Condo and house renting prices also vary by location.  We rented an ocean view condo in St. Augustine Beach for around $2,900 per month.  A small house in The Villages will cost around $3,300 per month and higher during the winter months.

    Snowbirding in Florida can be pricey,  If you are focused on reducing expenses, then look for places away from popular areas and try for places in the Northern and Panhandle areas.

    The Snowbird Lifestyle

    For me, I put lifestyle over cost.  It all about how I want to spend my days.  I prefer to spend my winter months in a warm climate near the ocean.  I like to spend my days being outside walking, biking, kite flying, or just sitting on the beach.  I also like not having to drive to get to places.  In the afternoon or evening, it's an easy walk to several places where I can enjoy some live music.

    Also, I have grown to enjoy the RV park lifestyle where I get to socialize and spend time with my fellow snowbirds.  We attend the weekly Saturday morning breakfasts at the RV park and play in the weekly corn hole tournament.  Sunday afternoons are usually spent dancing at Doc Fords Rum Bar.

    It's a great way to spend the winter.

    You can see more or my journeys at my website:  jdawgjourneys.com

     

    Disclaimer:  References to specific campgrounds, RV parks, or websites is for example only.  These aren't listed as recommendations and I have no affiliation with any of the businesses or websites that are listed in this post.  All rates and prices listed are approximate based current published rates at the time of this posting.

     

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    jeromepoole
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    We have just purchased a used RV and are looking for the best insurance coverage.  We would like replacement cost.  Any suggestions or experiences would be greatly appreciated. We also like any suggestions on what we should include in the purchased coverage as some policies let you pick and choose. What would be the best companies to deal with in customer service and coverage.

  2. We plan on an extended trip January through mid March. Has anyone dealt with DakotaPost or other services. Thinking about having a family member check and forward our mail but a little concerned if it becomes a problem for them.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    eagle43

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    How elmers out there help Amateurs get on the air with Ham Radio in Motor Homes

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    jonesdnl
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    Merchant Alert!!   Recently we experienced a failure to our cooling unit on a Norcold refrigerator.  I opted to purchase a new cooling unit with a lifetime warranty.  The Cooling Unit was purchased from Arcticold Refrigeration--Renaud Mills. New Brunswick E4V2X3 at a price of 700.00 delivered.  It was supposed to be in stock and ship right away.  MISTAKE.  We have been taken for our money.  Searching this companies background we find they have been shut down and seized in the past.  Canadian law allowed one of the owners to reopen and they are right back at it again.  We are not negative people and we only want our money returned.  To date we have involved FMCA, Good Sam Trouble Shooter, Better Business Bureau of Canada, and the Consumer Protection Agency of Canada.  Its been over 2 months and Arcticold will not answer emails, phone calls, or respond in any way.  Since Canadian law is so lax we just wanted to warn other FMCA members and any others that may read this to not make the same mistake we did.  It can cost you!!!!

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    I am looking for a replacement lens for the center brake light on our 03 journey.  The existing lens has faded a great deal. Winnebago has the entire assembly, but I was hoping to find a replacement lens.  Any ideas?

  3. Garry

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    PlanB
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    Any one know a good rv park .

  4. large.IMG_1282.JPGlarge.5774982d00609_ViewfromsidewallVent.JPGlarge.5774982c10bee_OldComingOut.JPGlarge.5774982b2471a_NewFridgeBracedandfinished.JPGlarge.57749829a6695_EmptyFridgeSpace.JPG

    Well the new residential Fridge is in. I had it done at RV Services in Ashland, VA. They did a great job. They were able to take the old one out and move the new one in though the passenger side window over the couch. They had to trim the fridge space opening frame just a small bit. They widened the front frame by about an inch and the height by about 3 - 4 inches. I will add a piece of quarter round trip on the right side but overall it's a done deal. Wife loves it. Definitely won't have any problem keeping the beer and soda cold. :) Also had the oil changed, fuel filter changed, and chassis lubricated.

     

    .

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    We bought our coach last February and have been having a/c issues since last summer. It has a TrueAir basement system, which we thought we would love. The heating system works great but the cooling system can't seem to keep up with temperatures at 90 and above. We have had to replace circuit boards, a relay switch, both blower motors and a fan over the course of a year. Each time we think it's fixed for good as soon as the temperature gets really hot it still can't keep up.  As we speak, they're now doing a freon check (because the temperature coming out of the vents is reading slightly higher than it should be). If it's a freon leak we will probably get two new compressors.  If not, the Tech is saying that brand just may be putting out as much cooling as it can( as with the factory installed units on all Alfa motorhomes. That company then started offering an option of adding a rooftop unit to compensate for the basement unit.)  Our Tech is suggesting we may have to do the same.

     We have an extended warranty and so far they won't authorize a new unit because we haven't completely exhausted all possible solutions. Can anyone contribute any advise/solutions on this? We love the coach but this is driving us crazy.  A rooftop unit would be installed in a cut out already housing a vent so the job would probably cost about $1200. It would be located in a central area so air flow would supposedly flow forward and back.  Spending the money on this is one thing...as long as it solves the problem.

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    Baystar57
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    i took my 2016 Newmar Dutch Star for a wash at Blue Beacon Truck Wash. For $36.00 I thought it was a good idea, not true. They are very fast and don't care about their work. While bushing the wheels they broke off two tire pressure monitors worth $100.00 and immediately denied the damage even though one was laying on the floor next to the wheel. I guess it must have rolled along from Florida with us and ended up taking the same route to El Paso Texas. Don't expect anything fro corporate headquarters because their $11.00 and hour supervisor said he did not break them off even though I was in the coach when both tire sensor alarms went off went out and saw him brushing the last tire.

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    I started by finding wasted space to store the sewer hoses and connectors, I used two heater duct about 5 feet long with end caps. One is 6 inch dia and the other is 5 inch. 5 inch will work just fine. Click pictures to make larger.

     


    IMAG0219 BURST002


    This show the hose going in the 5 inch duct with connectors. These ducts will hold 20 feet of hose with connectors each.

    IMAG0220 BURST002


    I brought two ten foot plastic gutter the cheap 4 inch wide and cut off 25 inches off them to fit the length of the cargo bay. It is wasted space where I put them between the wall and cargo tray slide.

    IMAG0213 BURST002


    This is the gutters on the ground ready to be put together to make a tray for the drain hoses.

    IMAG0214 BURST002


    This is the two gutters snapped together to make a sliding tray for the sewer hose

    IMAG0215 BURST002


    This is the sewer hoses laid in the gutter tray. Make the gutter tray slightly longer than needed for the sewer hose.

    IMAG0216 BURST002


    I used 10 inch bungee cord to keep the snapped part of the gutter tray together

    IMAG0217 BURST002


    This is the final setup to have the hose run off as best as you can get without dips to trap sewer water. I have two problems this solved, the coach is low in the rear and the campground drain would only allow the tip of the elbow to be inserted.

    IMAG0218 BURST002



    This project to me is better and cost less than what is out there. The two gutters and bungee cords cost about $15. The duct work with caps was less than $25. This makes managing the sewer hose system so much better and less messy.

     


    Source: Drain System Management

  5. My wife and I are planning our first major road experience in our new/used Fleetwood Excursion 39S. We want to start off retirement with a trip to see the Grand Canyon and New Mexico. I'm in planning mode, spontenaity doesn't come easy, and I'd welcome ideas and recommendations from veterans of similar trips.

     

    We'd welcome your input on everything from sites to see, routes to take, restaurants to try, RV Parks, activities , events and special locations to visit.

     

    We are starting out from Minnesota in late spring. My wife and I turn 60 this year so we should be up for most activities. Our coach will be ready to roll and we welcome hearing from everyone that's been there and done that.

     

    Thanks!

  6. I am sure there are some of you all out there that have previously make the trip to Alaska. We live in Florida and would like to find a route from here to Fairbanks. I talked to a couple last summer in South Dakota
    that traveled through I believe he told me Montanna into Canada. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Lex and Karen Cauffield
    Lake Placid, Florida
    Gulf Stream Tourmaster Constellation 45g
    Jeep Grand Cherokee

    medic103b@gmail.com

  7. blog-0985766001447339366.jpg

    It was once suggested to me that celebrating Thanksgiving in our RV was an utterly ridiculous notion. “HOW can you prepare such a grand meal in such a small space?!” “WHAT on earth could you serve without access to a full kitchen?!” “WHO would ever want to join you on such an adventure?!”

    Never one to back away from a challenge, I am here to break it all down for you. Hopefully, by the end, you will be convinced that you, too, can have your own epic campout for your next Thanksgiving.

    Thanksgiving and eating go hand in hand. Good eating, that is. So if you are going to eat well, then you need to prepare it well. RVs are not known for their spacious kitchens, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make magic happen. You just need to be creative!

    • The turkey fryer – The first time that I heard about this method, I was completely repulsed. Turns out that this way of preparing a turkey is DELICIOUS! The outside is crispy and the insides are super moist. But it's important that you take precautions. Do not do what anyone did
      . Or
      . If, after seeing these, you would still like to try frying your turkey, then you can use an indoor fryer or an outdoor fryer.
    • The toaster oven – Everyone should have a toaster oven. I have a full-size oven in my home, and my toaster oven is used far more. It just makes so much more sense when considering heat and energy output. Some toaster ovens offer fancy options while others are quite simple. These compact ovens are perfect for a batch of mashed potatoes, stuffing or baking a pie.
    • The slow cooker – This kitchen wonder saves my life every holiday season. Slow cookers come in all shapes and sizes, large and small. They can handle casseroles, ciders, breads, dips and so much more. One year we even used ours to cook our holiday ham.
    • The barbecue – No RVing adventure would be complete without the ol' trusty Bbq. There is something so wonderful and comforting about cooking outside over an open flame, and to do so on a holiday makes it that much more special. Have you tried barbecued turkey breast or grilled root vegetables? Divine!

    I don’t know about you, but I like a Thanksgiving dinner that offers a lot of options. A few main dishes, a lot of sides and a generous array of desserts is the perfect ticket. The joy of holiday campouts is that you get to eat all of this amazing food for at least a few days. Meal planning is an important part of RVing, even more so on holiday weekends. I have thrown together a sample of what one of our Thanksgiving plans would look like:

    • Turkey breast – to be roasted in heavy duty foil in barbecue.
    • Many types of sausages – to be cooked on barbecue.
    • Onions, carrots and celery – to be roasted with turkey breast on barbecue.
    • Stuffing – Prepare before trip and store in zip-top bag. When ready, empty contents into 9X13 pan and bake in toaster oven. When finished, remove and cover in foil.
    • Green bean casserole – Prepare and bake while stuffing is cooling.
    • Sweet potato casserole – Thanks to my slowcooker and Pillsbury. Works every single time.
    • Mashed potatoes – Make these ahead and freeze. When ready, pop in the microwave and serve hot.
    • Gravy – Heinz Home Style with some beef bouillon added for depth. Microwave and serve.
    • Cranberry sauce – Okay, the child in me still can’t get enough of the cranberry in a can action. You can have your fancy cranberries because mine are so awesome, they don’t even need chewing.
    • Buttered peas – Microwave the frozen peas. Top with a pat of melted butter.
    • Black olives – Again, canned. No Thanksgiving is complete without 10 olives on 10 fingers.
    • Pickles – Every year these make a showing on our table. They are small, they pack a punch and they have just always been there.
    • Cheese platter – This doesn’t need to be fancy. We like sharp cheddar, swiss, a soft goat cheese, nuts, fruit (dried and/or fresh) and some crackers.
    • Hawaiian Rolls – Always buy more than you think you’ll need. They go really fast.
    • Banana Cream Pie Jars – Banana pudding, Cool Whip and crushed Nilla wafers layered in a mason jar. YUMMM!!
    • S'mores – We kick these up by including peanut butter cups, Starburst (yes, Starburst), pretzels and caramel filled chocolate squares.
    • Spirits – wine, beer, Kahlua, Bailey's and bourbon. For sharing of course. ;)

    Speaking of sharing, this is really what Thanksgiving is all about. The camping community is made up of wonderfully adventurous, kind and lovely people who just want to have a good time. Mix that with a four-day holiday dedicated to food and fun and you have the recipe for epic memories. It is a beautiful experience to see how campers come together to share and care. The drinks flow freely, the food is never-ending and you are surrounded by people that become lifelong friends. I know a group of people who met for the first time at a campground’s Thanksgiving party in 2007 and have gotten together every year since. After all, tradition is what Thanksgiving is all about, right?

    So there you have it -- the how, what and who explanation as to why you should spend your next Thanksgiving in your RV. You don’t need an enormous space to create an unforgettable meal for your friends and family. While planning and patience are critical, gratitude truly is the most important ingredient for your ultimate Thanksgiving campout.

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    genepopeye
    Latest Entry

    My name is Gene and I am new at this RV activity. I live in the Sacramento area but I am visiting my sons on the East Coast. While in Bradenton Fl. I purchased a 39 foot 2004 Sahara Safari. On or about the 15th of this month I will start my adventure home. I will be leaving from Yulee Fl. This should be an interesting trip for me lol, wish me luck
    .
    I joined this club hoping it will teach me a few things along the way. I have been a boater for 30 years and joining a boat club was the key to a great life of boating.

    I am a 69 year young single man that is not afraid to try something new and looking forward to getting started on my trip home. I plan on stopping at rest stops and Flying "J's" for rests each night.
    So if anyone out there has any tips for me, I would love to hear from you. I will take advice from anyone experienced in the RV world. Man woman child, whatever, lol.



    Gene

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    Hello guys!

    Anybody know how to meet stamp collectors here? I'm collecting cars on stamps.

    Looking for friend to trade stamps. Also you can find me on the best stamp collecting forum http://philatalk.com

    Best wishes in New year!

  8. blog-0093946001441128339.jpg

    The Florida Caverns State Park is one of those perfect half-a-day side trips, offering a guided tour of a fascinating geologic wonder, some nice hikes and an opportunity to kayak and explore a wilderness river that offers up a blue hole as a bonus.

    And at the end of the exploring, there’s a nice campground available, too, if you’re in need of a place to overnight.

    Located near the town of Marianna in Florida’s panhandle just off I-10, the underground tour offers inspiring vews of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies.

    Formed about 38 million years ago when sea levels were much higher and the southeastern coastal plain of the United States was submerged. Shells, coral and sediments gradually accumulated on the sea floor. As sea levels fell, these materials hardened into limestone. During the last million years, acidic groundwater dissolved crevices just below the surface creating cave passages large enough to walk through.

    You can still see some of those fossilized shells, as well as fish skeletons embedded in the limestone throughout the subterranean system . On the ceiling of one of the underground rooms our guide used his flashlight to show off what he says is an ancient shark’s tooth.

    The tour lasts about 45 minutes and reminded us a lot of the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Developed in 1935 during the height of the depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Projects Administration. Both groups emerged from President Roosevelt’s New Deal, established in 1933 to provide jobs to men during the Great Depression.

    Using not much more than pickaxes, shovels, wheelbarrows and a flatbed pickup truck, it took nearly a decade to carve out an underground path that wanders between “rooms” of the caverns. Most of the tunnels and caverns are about 25 feet beneath the surface, Subdued lighting runs throughout the system and, like any good cave tour, there will come a moment when the guide will turn off all lighting to show how totally dark it is underground.

    Although the tour is not strenuous, there are places where the passages are very narrow and low, meaning you need to be flexible enough to be able to duck down and walk under spots that are no higher than four feet or so.

    A welcome bonus in visiting the caverns during the hot and steamy Florida summer is the constant year-round temperature of 65 degrees in the caverns.

    Hiking trails run throughout the 1,319-acre park and kayaks can be rented to paddle the Chipola River, which has a deep blue spring – named the Jackson Blue Spring to differentiate between the Florida’s Blue Springs State Park near Orlando – flows at an average rate of 76 million gallons of water a day. With five other smaller springs, it feeds Merritts Mill Pond, a major scenic and recreation area.

    Click the image to enlarge:

    blogentry-24035-0-49252500-1441128387_th

    You enter the caverns through a door that takes you 25 feet beneath the surface.

    blogentry-24035-0-86821100-1441128412_th

    Some of the rooms are quite large.

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    A statue out front honors the nearly 10 years it took for CCC workers to excavate the path through the caverns.

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    They call this the “Wedding Cake.”

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    It requires you to stoop to navigate through some of the spots.

    blogentry-24035-0-42075600-1441128563_th

    A ranger explains how caverns and caves are made.

    blogentry-24035-0-09978500-1441128660_th

    More beautiful formations

  9. Our 1998 Southwind was overdue for a roof rehab - see photos 1 and 2. The original top layer was almost gone in places and we were having a lot of trouble with chalking and grey streaks forming on our windshield, windows and side panels.

    I researched various treatments in forums, ads and websites. I wanted something long-lasting and relatively easy to apply, since this would be a do-it-yourself venture. I was tempted by an expensive two-part liquid roof system, but the cost would have been over $1,000. Following up on an ad in one of the magazines, I found Ultimate Roof, from RV & Marine Technologies. Theirs is a one-part acrylic laytex rubber that is applied with brushes and rollers. They use a fabric reinforcing strip over joints and seams. You apply two heavy coats of this material. It is supposed to last 10 years or more. Because you put it over all your existing caulking, they say you don't have to caulk again. Their website is www.rvroofing.com. They sell the materials and application kits, or you can hire them to do the job for you. The materials and application kit for my 33 ft coach cost approximately $650.

    I got started late last fall on this project, which turned out to be a problem. I was trying to do this in early October in Maine. I didn't get enough warm weather and sunshine to cure the material before the dew started. We also got frost, then a heavy rain that washed off much of the uncured rubber from my edging job. I cleaned up and recoated the damaged areas, but I could tell that I was fighting a losing battle. We called our warehouse and made arrangements to get the MH inside immediately for winter storage.

    This spring, I was doing another project at home in my "spare" time, so I was a bit late getting back to the MH roof rehab. Today, we finally finished it. Yea! I think it came out well. Check out the photos.

    Now, I can give the coach a good thorough outside cleaning and it should stay much cleaner than it used to. Our coach has never had water damage on the inside. I think we can keep it that way for a good while yet!

  10. I hear this question often, and the answers vary…

    “Motorhome or Towable … Which is best for me?”

    The simple answer is “It Depends…”

    But…that’s probably not what you want to hear.

    Honestly it depends on how you answer this 1 simple question…

    “What’s your intentions?”

    Do you intent to ‘camp’ or ‘travel’?

    There’s a difference…

    If life is busy and weekends are your primary escape.

    If your plan or desire is to visit campgrounds for long weekends and the occasional week long getaways or vacations you fit into the ‘camping’ category.

    If your desire is to travel longer distances, visit sites along the way and move frequently then you fit into the ‘traveler’ category.

    Towable RV’s are great for short term stays, infrequent use and are low cost entry points for camping.

    Motorhomes excel at comfort on the road often granting quick and easy access to supplies and facilities.

    Setting up and breaking camp is often less time consuming when compared to a towable RV.

    I’ve owned, traveled and camped in pop ups, travel trailers, fifth wheels, pickup campers, class C, Class A, bus conversions and diesel pushers.

    When traveling and discovering a beautiful beach, hiking trail or roadside attraction - having all supplies on board are often the difference between, ‘maybe next time’ and ‘let’s do it!’.

    The comfort, convenience and mobility of traveling in a motorhome is my current choice.

    What’s your choice and why?

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    I own a Thor Motor coach, Tuscany XTE, since the purchase in 2014, I have now 4 EMS boards replaced.

    My rear A/C turns the compressor of, and it is a frustrating problem.

    Does anybody having the same RV experienced that problem?

    If you had, please let me know what was been done to fix it.

    Thanks

  11. blog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgblog-0867811001429057085.jpgFL 4-13-15

    As we near the end of our winter get away we decided to spend a few days unwinding. Yesterday we took a drive over the mountain to Culpepper VA. It was another beautiful blue sky day. The views from the mountain were spectacular. The balance of the day was spent at our CG enjoying the 70 degree weather.

    Today we traveled over the mountain again to have lunch with another Bradford neighbors. The Marshall's were in Virginia visiting Judy's sister Karen and her husband Mike. When we found that out we just had to have a get together. After a few stops at restaurants that were still closed for the season, we managed to find a Pub in Sperryville. All had a light lunch and 2 hours of nonstop conversation.

    Tomorrow will be spent getting Gracie ready for a 4 week rest in PA until we return for a wedding and finally bring her back to NH for the summer.

    Did anyone find the deer in the pictures with my last Blog?

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    jananddave
    Latest Entry

    We're planning a summer trip f/ our home in South Carolina to Canada's Maritime Provinces. We'll be traveling in our 39' diesel pusher coach. We've done a fair amount of research but would sure appreciate any helpful ideas or suggestions of places/things to see/do while there. Also, we're a little concerned about the availability of diesel fuel that far north as well as being prepared to cross the border into Canada.

    Is there anything special we should know about Canadian Customs and/or bringing a coach this size into their country? Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.