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Old 08-27-2013, 07:29 AM   #15
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Thanks for the info on Ft. DeSoto. We are heading to Tampa in two weeks for a Saint's/Buc's ballgame and may take a day trip to Ft. DeSoto to check it out. I did check for availability, but it is longer than the 6 months max.
Yes ... many of us are "watching" Ft. DeSoto booking windows.

Good day trip ... check out Ft. DeSoto, downtown St. Pete, Pass-a-grille beach area (take a walk thru Don Cesar Hotel) ... a few films used the Don Cesar for the "Miami hotel" scenes.

Pass-A-Grille Florida - Official Beach Site

Don CeSar Beach Hotel | St Pete Beach Hotel | Loews Hotels - Loews
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:38 AM   #16
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That is why I am wanting to book my stops ASAP. I lucked out getting the spot I wanted at Bahia Honda.

I am now checking into Pennekamp in place of Collier-Seminole. If I do Pennekamp I will need to find just a overnight location somewhere on the stretch of I-75 from Naples to the Miami area. I wonder if any of the rest areas on I-75 would be an option for a quick overnight stay?
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:36 AM   #17
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Arrow

I just found this thread or I would tried to help sooner, If you use 41 to 997 take it through to US 1 as the meet at the entrance to the road to KW.
997 has 9 redlights (or Greenlights if you are an optimist)from US41 to Homestead city limits that is 18 miles. No stop signs, there are 6 more from homestead city limit to where 997 meets US1 heading south. There is a nice rest area at mm161 on I75 at Punta Gorda. It is off the interstate wooded and easy to enter and exit. There is a real big and nice one on I 75 at about mm 40 if you go across I75 exit at US27 south take it to 997 south to homestead. You can wave at us when you pass sw 280 st.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #18
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So I would backtrack back to I-75 instead of taking US 41?

How do the Florida Toll System work? I do not have any type of toll pass. I remember a toll road years ago in the Houston area and it was a nightmare in a car without a toll pass. This is why I avoid them if possible.
No, you won't have to backtrack to I-75. When you get to US 41, you can take it East, to the Miami area, just get off at Hwy 997 or Expressway 821 and go South to Homestead. Just don't continue East, all the way to US-1, is what I meant.

Ordinarily, I would agree with Bruce, in Post #12, about US 19, except in the Crystal River area. It's not too crowded there and besides, you will be getting off at Hwy 98, to get to the Sun Coast Highway. I would not recommend continuing on US 19, after Crystal River and beyond Hwy 98. That's why they built the Sun Coast. The Sun Coast blends into the "Veteran's Exwy", which leads to I-275.

You can purchase a Florida Sun Pass at many places along I-75 and I-275, even at some convenience stores.

As to Fort Desoto Park, I have stayed there a couple of times. It is a very nice place, but it is very difficult to get a site there. You can't just call them on the phone (they won't answer). You have to go to their Webb site and book online....a very frustrating and tedious process. Or, you could drive there and wait in the parking lot, to see if they have any cancellations (not recommended). Also, if you have any pets, you are further restricted to the number of sites you can select from, because they have a special area where pets are only allowed.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #19
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Toll Transponder

[QUOTE=bruceisla;1702695]The problem you will run into around Miami is the Florida Turnpike has Sunpass (transponder) or "bill from camera photo of your license plates" ... no manned toll booth. I HIGHLY recommend setting up a Sunpass account and getting the windshield transponder.

OK, rookie question. I have a Class C with a considerable overhang above the cab. Will the toll transponder still work? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #20
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That is why I am wanting to book my stops ASAP. I lucked out getting the spot I wanted at Bahia Honda.

I am now checking into Pennekamp in place of Collier-Seminole. If I do Pennekamp I will need to find just a overnight location somewhere on the stretch of I-75 from Naples to the Miami area. I wonder if any of the rest areas on I-75 would be an option for a quick overnight stay?
From the Florida Dept. of Transportation website:

2. Are all of Florida's rest areas on the Interstate system and the Turnpike? Yes, with the exception of the Taylor County Rest Area on US-19/US-27 and the Jackson County Welcome Center on US-231.


7. Can I park and sleep all night at Florida's rest areas? No, the rules only allow for 3 hours of rest.

http://www.dot.state.fl.us/statemain...estAreaQA.shtm


For above: Florida considers Interstates to be part of Florida highway system. In other words, #7 applies to all Florida Turnpikes and Interstate Highways.




I would still consider Collier-Seminole SP to be a reasonable overnight stop.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:05 PM   #21
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That is why I am wanting to book my stops ASAP. I lucked out getting the spot I wanted at Bahia Honda.

I am now checking into Pennekamp in place of Collier-Seminole. If I do Pennekamp I will need to find just a overnight location somewhere on the stretch of I-75 from Naples to the Miami area. I wonder if any of the rest areas on I-75 would be an option for a quick overnight stay?
The casino at the intersection of US41and 997 allows overnight parking.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:07 PM   #22
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Ordinarily, I would agree with Bruce, in Post #12, about US 19, except in the Crystal River area. It's not too crowded there and besides, you will be getting off at Hwy 98, to get to the Sun Coast Highway. I would not recommend continuing on US 19, after Crystal River and beyond Hwy 98. That's why they built the Sun Coast. The Sun Coast blends into the "Veteran's Exwy", which leads to I-275.
That's more accurate but, in general, if going south from Rainbow River I'd go east to I-75 south.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:14 PM   #23
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When taking I 75 Take I75 to US27 south to SR997 south. If you take 75 to 41 south it parrellels 75 on the south side across the everglades and will put you out on 997 17 miles south of 75 as it runs somewhat south west.Take a look at a map it will be easy to see. Do not follow GPS through Homestead as it will send you across town and back to 997 8 blocks south. Also there are 7 stoplights from city limit to US1 keys bound I counted them when I went to town for lunch.


In my Gulfstream Endura class c I had the sunpass on the dash NO problem.Also when you buy the sunpass you register your tag numbers with them for the pay by plate and if the transponder fails to register they will bill your sunpass by the tag number.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:19 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=GC Rapidman;1703025]
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The problem you will run into around Miami is the Florida Turnpike has Sunpass (transponder) or "bill from camera photo of your license plates" ... no manned toll booth. I HIGHLY recommend setting up a Sunpass account and getting the windshield transponder.

OK, rookie question. I have a Class C with a considerable overhang above the cab. Will the toll transponder still work? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks.
Good question !! Can't comment since mine is not under an overhang. However, on the Sunpass website there is a document describing a special transponder for certain cars with funky windshields that don't allow the transponder to work right.

"*The SunPass front exterior license plate transponder comes with special screws and a special wrench. If your car is not equipped for a front license plate it may require modifications before the SunPass transponder can be attached. SunPass provides the exterior transponder, special screws and special wrench, but does not install the transponder. "

From this I assume you could temporarily ziptie the standard transponder to the front license plate. Wouldn't leave it there unattended ...
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:01 PM   #25
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A few tidbits...

US 98 from Apalachicola to Newport (St. Marks) is two-lane and fairly narrow with soft sand shoulders. It's good for a nice leisurely drive right along the coast most of the way. Don't even think of being in a hurry or going fast. East of Newport to Perry everything widens out and there's very little traffic but you'll be well away from the coast. You'll see a bazillion pine trees and not much else.

Through Tallahassee is mighty tight for an RV with way too much traffic for the width of the streets. Avoid it. Use Capital Circle to get around Tallahassee.

You can easily head south from I-10 on US 19 east of Tallahassee and follow US 19 until you head east on US 98 at Chassahowitzka, then take the Suncoast Parkway. Get off the Suncoast at the Land O'Lakes / SR 54 exit and head east to I-75. Again, you'll see a bazillion pine trees along US 19 but there's hardly any traffic most of the way. Using SR 54 to get to I-75 avoids the Tampa traffic.

Don't stay on US 19 south of Weeki Wachee / Spring Hill (heavy traffic) and don't even think of traveling US 41 through Tampa and southward. US 17 southward from Bartow is a good road, as is US 27 south from Haines City. Avoid US 27 from Ocala to SR 50 west of Orlando because of lots of traffic and lots of traffic lights.

SR 29 from Palmdale to US 41 west of Ochopee was an OK two-lane last time I was there four years ago.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:16 PM   #26
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Good Grief !! This makes my head spin !!
Would love to travel there but....
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:58 PM   #27
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Good Grief !! This makes my head spin !!
Would love to travel there but....

That's why we have Interstates and the Florida Turnpike ... just sayin"
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #28
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I need to find my Florida map!!
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