A Lot Of Options

 Posted by at 12:39 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 162021

Ever since we hung up the keys and bought a house on the Space Coast, I’ve had RVers asking how to find affordable winter RV sites in Florida. 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 $800 a month, plus electricity. Another couple said they had moved around to several different places in the Fort Lauderdale area, but that the cost averaged over $300 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 blackout 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 a 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. But be aware that you are not going to be able to just show up without a reservation, or book a site for the winter the week before you get there. Be prepared to book up top a year in advance.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is a USB drive loaded with all of the digital back issues of the Gypsy Journal RV travel newspaper for the years 2003 through 2017. They are in PDF format and will provide you with weeks of great reading about places to visit from coast to coast and our adventures as fulltime RVers. The normal cost of the back issue collection is $75. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and parcels, and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with U.S. addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

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.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “A Lot Of Options”

  1. Nick, been reading your blog for years and really enjoyed it. Having lived in Florida for 25 years before we moved to South Carolina, I agree with you on going to the middle of the state to find RV sites where you can actually get reservations. I feel there is one resource you missed: the Florida state park system. They can stay up to 14 days in each park and most parks are built on some kink of water feature (lake, river, etc.). I’m not sure but I don’t think most parks raise the rates during the winter and some may have weekly rates. Definitely something to check out.

  2. We stayed one mile from the bridge to Key West Island at an American Legion. It was $25 the first night to dry camp and $15 each night after. And we got a free breakfast. Nearby RV parks wanted $250 per night.

  3. Florida State Parks are GREAT. Example Alafia River State Park – open all year round now 22 dollars a night or 154 dollars a week max stay 2 weeks. You can now get reservations up to a year ahead. You can look on Reserve America, Florida State Parks for information about camping at all our state parks. We have a local county park here in north Brevard County called Manatee Park. It’s right on the Indian “River” which is actually a lagoon. Cost is 26 dollars a night or 555 dollars a month. Of course, RESERVATIONS are highly recommended from October 1 to April 1. And there are other options, Moose, Elks, VFW, American Legions, military fam camps if you are retired military, small RV parks with some manufactured homes and an Escapees park near Bushnell, FL, etc. So you just have to do some searching on the internet to find the great deals.

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