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Old 05-18-2014, 02:11 PM   #1
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Florida Wintering Suggestions

We spent this past winter in Arizona and really enjoyed it. Now were thinking of spending this coming winter in Florida.
Would like to draw on the knowledge of fellow IVR2 member's experience in this regard.
Would welcome your suggestions. Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:55 PM   #2
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Hi bowpulpit,
It all depends on how warm one wants to be and what one wants to do. At a macro level:
1. There is the panhandle and north Florida. It can get below freezing sometimes at night. From St Augustine to Pensacola one can look up the activities of the area you are interested in. This is the least expensive of all Florida.
2. Central Florida - The I4 corridor. More things to do than one can count. Tampa on the west, Cape Kennedy on the east Mickey & Company in the middle. It can get nippy a night but warms up each day. Reasonable rates due to the quantity of CGs.
3. South Florida is much more laid back and expensive. Naples in the west and West Palm Beach to Miami in the east. There are some attractions, but this is more of a socializing area. Very pleasant temperatures might get a cold spell for a few days each winter which means one would need to wear long pants and shoes.
4. The Keys - Ahhhhh the Keys. Warm all the time. If you stay around Marathon there is plenty to do north and south of where you stay. It is a long way down there, but worth the trip. Leave your mainland attitude on the mainland. Practice saying manana. Reserve early and bring your wallet.

If you can be more specific one could receive specific recommendations.
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:28 PM   #3
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GaryKD...........great reply....I really appreciate the info.
Based on your post I think central Florida fits our needs and life style the best.
I'll start a search in this area. Do you have any recommendations you would care to share?
Thanks,
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:23 PM   #4
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You can save a lot on site rental by aiming a bit further north of I4. Look 50-100 both of I-4. If you can't tolerate a few freezing morning stay south of I4. I live near Crystal River, the winter home of hundreds of manatees. We may have 10 morning in the 27-32 degree range.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:29 PM   #5
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If you want a resort with a lot of activities, pool, tiki-bar, etc... try Sun & Fun in Sarasota.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:22 PM   #6
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Hi bowpulpit,
Because I live in south Florida I have been to but not stayed (for any length of time) in any Florida CG. On the west side, Sun & Fun in Sarasota has already been mentioned. It is a first rate and large CG with many activities, on site. Sun & Fun is at Sarasota RV Parks, Campgrounds & Camping Resorts | Sun-N-Fun

On the east side there is The Great Outdoors (TGO) at Florida RV Resorts | Central Florida RV & Golf Resort - The Great Outdoors Like Sun & Fun this is a very large resort with many activities, during season. TGO is an ownership resort. There are many owners who rent their lots. Be careful, you may like it so much you'll end up buying a lot.

In the middle is Mt. Olive Shores North at Mt Olive Shores North Florida, RV Pad Homes, Recreational Vehicle Communities In Florida This is another large resort with many activities, during season. This is also an ownership resort with owners who rent their lots. Being in central Florida it will be easier to get to many of the attractions from here than the other to suggestions.

Here is something to consider. How about renting in all three resorts? This would allow you to focus adventures to the area you are in. Whatever you decide. make reservations soon. These three resorts are at the top of the food chain and fill quickly.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:39 PM   #7
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We live in Avon Park, Florida. There are several c/g in this area if you want an area that is more rural and away from the very congested areas. We are approx an hour and half from either coast and about the same from Orlando. Just go to RV Park reviews and put the zip code in (33870) and then do a search.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:58 PM   #8
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We winter at Disney's Fort Wilderness. It's very expensive but it is the BEST!
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:17 PM   #9
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Thanks to GaryKD and others that offered help and suggestions. I have just finalized our Jan, Feb & Mar plans/reservations and wanted to share them with you.

Here's what we have planned:
Jan 1 to Feb 1 we will stay at Camp Venice Retreat in Venice. A IRV2 friend (TYKA) winters there and we look forward to all this area has to offer and some time with Paul and his DW Lise.

Feb 1 to Feb 15 we will stay at Myakka River State Park (with full hook-ups) close to Sarasota. I have a cousin that lives in Bradenton plus several school mates who live in this area that we plan to visit. Making reservations here for February however turned out to be a real challenge as most RV parks and State parks are full and they wont take a reservation for one month at this time. I can see their point because if someone wants to book Jan - Mar at the same resort and nothing is available for Feb it messes things up for them. So I had to break February up into 2 week segments. No problem though as it gives us a chance to see more of Florida.

Feb 15 to Mar 1 we will spend these two weeks at Crystal isles in Crystal River. Hoping to see lots of Manatee's and maybe even swim with them.

Finally,
Mar 1 to April 1 we have booked a site at The Great Outdoors in Titusville. We were very fortunate to find this resort in the classified section here on IRV2. Its a beautiful owners park and I know Debbie and I will enjoy our time here.

I have to say this took lots and lots of work to put together. Being our first winter in Florida I learned quickly how busy this state is during Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr plus all the little rules and policies the RV resorts/parks impose when making reservations. Some required payment in full and would not reserve a specific site.....pot luck when you arrive. Needless to say I steered clear of these facilities. All in all I'm pleased with what we've put together.

Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:55 PM   #10
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I will tell you that NORTHERN FL, does get freezing temps.. If you choose a NORTHERN FL site, with a motor home that has enclosed tanks like mine does then simply watch the weather. If it's likely to freeze, Put some water in your fresh tank, Turn off park water, Remove and drain your pressure regulator, (The hose will survive the regulator will not if it freezes) optionally drain the hose. (I do a partial drain on it).

NOTE: I winter in upstate SC,, same procedure, bit more frequent.

We had one night last winter that hit 11 degress.. I had one line freeze, and thaw without damage in the morning (PEX can do that) I had heat on the ends of the lines (Plastic Elbows and adapters do not freeze well) but non in the middle of the run where it froze.
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowpulpit View Post
Thanks to GaryKD and others that offered help and suggestions. I have just finalized our Jan, Feb & Mar plans/reservations and wanted to share them with you.

Here's what we have planned:
Jan 1 to Feb 1 we will stay at Camp Venice Retreat in Venice. A IRV2 friend (TYKA) winters there and we look forward to all this area has to offer and some time with Paul and his DW Lise.

Feb 1 to Feb 15 we will stay at Myakka River State Park (with full hook-ups) close to Sarasota. I have a cousin that lives in Bradenton plus several school mates who live in this area that we plan to visit. Making reservations here for February however turned out to be a real challenge as most RV parks and State parks are full and they wont take a reservation for one month at this time. I can see their point because if someone wants to book Jan - Mar at the same resort and nothing is available for Feb it messes things up for them. So I had to break February up into 2 week segments. No problem though as it gives us a chance to see more of Florida.

Feb 15 to Mar 1 we will spend these two weeks at Crystal isles in Crystal River. Hoping to see lots of Manatee's and maybe even swim with them.

Finally,
Mar 1 to April 1 we have booked a site at The Great Outdoors in Titusville. We were very fortunate to find this resort in the classified section here on IRV2. Its a beautiful owners park and I know Debbie and I will enjoy our time here.

I have to say this took lots and lots of work to put together. Being our first winter in Florida I learned quickly how busy this state is during Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr plus all the little rules and policies the RV resorts/parks impose when making reservations. Some required payment in full and would not reserve a specific site.....pot luck when you arrive. Needless to say I steered clear of these facilities. All in all I'm pleased with what we've put together.

Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.
Crystal Isles is in a low area that can get wet. Although not too bad in the winter, the bugs can also be a problem. I'd suggest Sandy Oaks in Beverly Hills or one of the 2 CG on US19 just north of Crystal River, Nature Coast Landings or the one just across the bridge on the east side. I forget its name and it's for sale. If you want a more forestry setting try Rock Crusher, also in Crystal River.

I hope you have a great swim with the Manatees. This winter we had as few hundred at oner time. As far as I know, this is the only place where you can legally swim with them.
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