We sold our home 24 weeks ago, and have been living in a 238 square foot travel trailer for 24 weeks. That’s the way it went down. We drove our truck and trailer to the realtor’s office October 5th for the closing, and drove off with a check. One week earlier we had retired from the workplace. The entire summer, and fall of 2018 was fast paced, very demanding, and emotionally challenging.
I’m not sure if what we are doing is called camping, living on the road, full timing, or what? Unofficially I think we are referred to as, “Full timer’s.” Many full timers stay in RV resorts for months at a time. The longest we stayed in a single spot is 3 weeks. We are settling into a seven-day routine. Weekly rates provide better value for the adventure dollar. We prefer small National Forest campgrounds; which does seem more like camping. Camping/Full timing, Tomato/Tomatoe.
We have learned that finding a site for seven consecutive days in Florida gets tougher after the first of February. As a general rule the longest you can stay in a National campground is 14 day’s within a 30-day period. Then you have to leave and search out a new site in a different campground. Most State Park sites are reservable. We have not found a seven-day window in any State Park. Some State Parks do have walk in sites on a first come first serve basis. Most national park sites are non reservable, and are also available on a first come, first serve basis. The more popular National Parks (Yellowstone, Yosemite) are reservation only.
Familiarity of how each campground including private RV parks is developing a vocabulary. Deb coined “Shufflers.” Shufflers get up early, start their engines, and head out to their next destination. The first come first serve guideline is treasured, coveted, and must be obeyed. For example, if you paid for seven day’s, on the eighth day you can stay longer in your same spot up to fourteen day’s,,,,,,, providing you do it before 11:00.
Here’s the rub. Lets say I want to reup for more time after my seventh day. Remember this is a first come first serve campground. If it’s after 11:00, and I’m the fourth person standing in line, and only three spaces open up, I’m out of luck. That’s easily overcome by paying on the day previous to the paid departure date. The likelihood of a campground filling up is greater on weekends, than during the week. Families flood to the campgrounds for weekend fun. It is better to relocate Monday thru Thursday.
The most difficult hurdle is getting into a popular first come first serve campground. We had a county park campground outside Apollo Beach targeted. We arrived around 3:00 pm and the station ranger kind of laughed. He suggested we get in line tomorrow at 7:00 am for a possible 8:00 am opening. We found a nice private RV resort 3 miles away, and the weekly rate was reasonable.
Teeners are easily identifiable by the size of their nesting, and usually have a generator, and are not embarrassed about using it. Obviously they are staying the full fourteen-day’s. The forest campgrounds are just that; trees, trails, birds, and quiet. I don’t want to be, “That guy” but some day’s I just wanna turn on the air and watch TV. Quiet hours vary; 8:00 am to 10:00 is common. Here at Fore Lake, Ocala National Forest it is 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. Bummer thing is I favor watching “Blue Bloods” with Tom Selick on Friday nights. Here in the Eastern Time Zone it does not start until 10:00 pm. Now I know why those New York folks can be uppity.
For 24 out of 24 weeks, we have had provision.