A Lot Of Options

 Posted by at 12:22 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 292012

I’ve had e-mails from three or four RVers in the last week or so asking about how to find affordable RV sites in Florida for next winter. One couple said they had just returned to Indiana after spending four months in a very nice RV Park in the Tampa area, but the cost was over $650 a month, plus electric. Another couple said they had moved around to several different places in the Fort Lauderdale area, but that the cost averaged over $225 a week. All of them were asking me if there were more affordable options.

Yes there are. Florida is loaded with comfortable, affordable RV parks that welcome snowbirds. But you are usually not going to find them right on the coast in places like Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. The further south you go in Florida and the closer to the water you are, the more you’re going to pay. But move inland a few miles and you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save. We have seen a number of very nice RV parks with monthly rates around $400 or less.

Of course, for that kind of money you are not going to be in a “resort.” I’m talking about friendly, comfortable mom-and-pop type RV parks. Or, age 55+ mobile home parks that also have RV sites. We found a couple in the Titusville area, one of our favorite places in Florida, as well as plenty in central Florida around Clermont, Winter Haven, Bushnell, Lakeland, etc.

The good thing about Florida is that no matter where you are, you’re never more than about a 90 minute drive from either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean. And if you like fishing or kayaking, central Florida has lakes and rivers everywhere. Pay no mind to those alligators, they don’t eat much. 🙂

For people who don’t want to sit in one spot all winter, there are also options. While a lot of Passport America campgrounds black out the busy winter months, the last two or three winters we’ve been in Florida we have seen several that were still welcoming members at the discount price.

If you belong to the Elks or the Moose, both of those organizations have lodges all over Florida that offer everything from blacktop boondocking for night or two, to full hookup RV sites. There are also some city and county parks scattered around with RV sites.

On the other hand, you have to be realistic. You can’t expect a campground in a busy area to turn people away at the full rate and let you in at the reduced rate of Passport America or one of the other discount camping outfits. You’re not going to go to the Keys and find an RV site during the wintertime without paying a premium price for it. You’re not going to find an RV golf resort and pay discount prices. If you want an ocean view, it comes with a premium price tag. You get what you pay for.

But if you can be happy in a comfortable, smaller RV park, away from the premium tourist areas, there are lots of options available. Do your homework and spend a little time researching, and you might be surprised at what you can come up with.

Thought For The Day – Every time a bird takes a crap on my car, I eat a plate of scrambled eggs on my front porch just to let them know what I’m capable of.

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Nick Russell

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  7 Responses to “A Lot Of Options”

  1. Great discounts for Military, Retired Military, Disabled Vets and DOD in FL. Try Carefree RV Parks. Some give unrestricted stay length for 50% off. We stayed in Paisley, FL only 50 min from Beach, for 7 days during speed weeks at 50% off the weekly rate. Our cost $75.00. This was during Speed Weeks at Daytona. We were there for the Dirt races in Volusia just a short drive from park.

  2. We stay in New Port Richey at a park called Seven Springs Travel Park on Old Cr 54.
    The rate for 6 months is $2200.00 quite reasonable compared to some places.

  3. Nick, thank you for this post! We have been wondering about this same thing, as we are planning our first visit to the east coast, to start probably in 2015, and to last for maybe two years. We have recently dropped out of Elks, but Suzy is still a Lady Moose, and we still have Thousand Trails, but a nice little comfortable Mom and Pop will do us fine! And inland is OK too!

  4. Nick, It takes a little research, but cost effective campgrounds do exist here in Fl. We are in a “very” nice one in Spring Hill, Fl …..$265 a month plus electric. Nice club house with planned events and a very nice pool to boot. Close to all the big box stores and more eatries then you could ever eat your way through. Just 40 minutes north of Tampa where you can get your fill of a larger cities offerings. Tampa also offers a great VA hospital for those that use the VA. A very short drive to the beach is a plus for us here too.

  5. This winter we have workamped in the panhandle of Florida at a small park, Florida Springs RV in Bonifay. We do not offer a bunch of amenities, but if you enjoy a quiet existence, you’ll love our park. We are less than an hour from Panama City Beach to the south and Dothan, AL to the north. The owners are on site and very friendly. They offer a 30 amp site at a monthly rate of $440, including electric, cable and WiFi.

    Affordable parks can be found in Florida!

  6. We have lived in FL for the past 30 years & agree with pretty much everything you said. Like RV parks there is no cheap housing, recreation, or food near the popular attractions. That is the price you pay for living in a vacation destination. Locals like snowbirds must pay the price increases that come durring peak season(winter) just like New England prices durring leaf peeping season. Shop around & hope for the best.

  7. My Florida snowbird roost is a 100 site park just south of Bushnell. It is less than an hour from Tampa Homassasa or Ocala and about an hour from Orlando. quiet friendly with lots of activities, a heated pool, pitch and putt golf course under moss hung trees and great residents. 325 monthly rate, less for 6 months and less yet for the year around crowd. affordable parks are available in Fla many like this one are reserved full a year in advance however- you cannot just show up at the good ones

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