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A successful RV trip
Old 12-08-2006, 05:59 PM   #1
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A successful RV trip

Spent the last 3 days camping in the Myakka River State Park about 50 miles south of here in our newish class B RV.

This park is a gem. Gorgeous terrain (though flat, of course), clean and pretty campsites, not crowded yet. Sightings: wood storks, bald eagles, cranes, vultures, and about 10 other species; alligators up to 13 feet all over the waterways, deer, wild pigs, red-shouldered hawks. It was quiet as can be at night. We mostly chilled, hiked, chatted with others.

The RV came through nicely. Only glitch was that the furnace (it's a ceramic heater running off propane which is on the exterior of the chassis) went on at about 4 am during a cold snap here. Being the first time it ran, it must have kicked up some dust, setting off the smoke detector. You can't imagine what that sounds like 3 feet from your head in a 22' vehicle. Didn't recur.

Meals: reheated pasta and Gramma's meatball recipe; asparagus and talapia; mostly grazed on nuts and fruit during the day, burgers and sweet potato fries, salad. superb wine each night They don't permit alcohol in the parks.

The Sprinter continues to get 21-22 MPG. Our dog seems to love camping more than we do - all excitement, the necessary marking of her territory (i.e. the entire park). Do have to avoid river banks there - gators love dogs.

We like camping in the RV. It's a womb thing. And we are loving the array of parks in the Fla state system. Makes a great destination rolling hotel room for city touring, too, assuming the campgrounds are available. One of the best was in Charleston when we visited the Astromerias. Another was Anastasia in St. Augustine.

So far, we're glad we went ahead with this now rather than waiting until retirement.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-08-2006, 06:05 PM   #2
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Re: A successful RV trip

I love that park. We used to go there frequently when my inlaws were living as their home was in Bradenton. They didn't used to allow dogs, do they allow them in the campground now? The wildlife there is amazing, especially for birders. I saw my first Rosette Spoonbill there. Are the wild pigs causing too much havoc?
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-08-2006, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I love that park. We used to go there frequently when my inlaws were living as their home was in Bradenton. They didn't used to allow dogs, do they allow them in the campground now? The wildlife there is amazing, especially for birders. I saw my first Rosette Spoonbill there. Are the wild pigs causing too much havoc?
Dogs are fine now, usual rules apply.

The pigs are under control. There was some issue regarding the place of natural fires on that big, dry prairie. The state was extinguishing them too aggressively, and I guess the prairie needs periodic burns to balance the amount of food source for the pigs, etc. So far so good. They have a 70 foot tower you can climb and do a canopy tour which was also great.

It's one of the nices parks I've seen, just not in a Grand Canyon//Yosemite dramatic sort of way.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-08-2006, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: A successful RV trip

Sounds like an awesome park. Is our 36 footer too big to fit in there?

One park I REALLY enjoyed in Fla not too far from you was Silver River State Park near Ocala. Just lovely park and accommodated our big rig with plenty of room to spare. Pristine spring fed river and you can rent canoes nearby if you don't have your own. Nice hiking trails. Quiet, peaceful!

Fla has a nice state park system. There are many more we need to visit. For the "high end" camping experience check out Topsail Hill Preserve State Park not far from Destin - I know that would be a long drive for you. It used to be a fancy RV resort, and somehow became owned by the state. The beaches are spectacular, and you're not far from really good restaurants too.

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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-08-2006, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
Sounds like an awesome park. Is our 36 footer too big to fit in there?
Audrey
I saw a 35 foot Safari in our campground, a bit snug but just fine. There are two campgrounds in the park. One is Old Prairie where we camped; 3 miles from the concession so bikes would be nice. Peaceful, pretty and can accommodate a big rig.

The other is near the concession stand and seemed to me to be very crowed and too tight, though closer to the action. I'd recommend Old Prairie.

Fla uses a central reservation office and I am not impressed. The best tactic is to call the ranger station at the park, explain your needs, and ask them to recommend specific sites by number. Then reserve it on the WWW. The reservation clerks have all been automatons when I called.

Yes, Florida has a very fine state park system. I'll put Silver River and Topsail on my list. Ocala is just a quick jaunt from here.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-08-2006, 08:15 PM   #6
 
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
Sounds like an awesome park. Is our 36 footer too big to fit in there?

One park I REALLY enjoyed in Fla not too far from you was Silver River State Park near Ocala. Just lovely park and accommodated our big rig with plenty of room to spare. Pristine spring fed river and you can rent canoes nearby if you don't have your own. Nice hiking trails. Quiet, peaceful!

Fla has a nice state park system. There are many more we need to visit. For the "high end" camping experience check out Topsail Hill Preserve State Park not far from Destin - I know that would be a long drive for you. It used to be a fancy RV resort, and somehow became owned by the state. The beaches are spectacular, and you're not far from really good restaurants too.

Audrey
Audrey,

Are you sure that wasn't Silver Spring State Park. I used to live in Eastern Ocala and Silver Spring was just a couple miles away.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-08-2006, 08:32 PM   #7
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Audrey,

Are you sure that wasn't Silver Spring State Park. I used to live in Eastern Ocala and Silver Spring was just a couple miles away.
Audrey's correct: it's Silver River State Park.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-09-2006, 07:49 AM   #8
 
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Re: A successful RV trip

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Audrey's correct: it's Silver River State Park.
Yup same area! I am thinking that this was not a Park When I lived there over 3o years ago.

Here is the link to the Spring -
http://sjr.state.fl.us/programs/plan...on/silver.html
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-09-2006, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Spent the last 3 days camping in the Myakka River State Park about 50 miles south of here in our newish class B RV.
Hey Rich, I pass by the entrance to Myakka River State Park all the time when I head out to my shooting club. Great park!

Maybe one day I'll decide to get an RV and do the parks.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-09-2006, 09:24 AM   #10
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by paradiseken
Hey Rich, I pass by the entrance to Myakka River State Park all the time when I head out to my shooting club. Great park!

Maybe one day I'll decide to get an RV and do the parks.
Seems to me it would make a pretty nice day trip, too. They have airboat tours, trails, etc.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-12-2006, 10:04 PM   #11
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Fla uses a central reservation office and I am not impressed. The best tactic is to call the ranger station at the park, explain your needs, and ask them to recommend specific sites by number. Then reserve it on the WWW. The reservation clerks have all been automatons when I called.
Oh that's definitely what I do! If I have any questions I talk to the park rangers and that's always the best way to get a "feel" for the campsites ahead of time.

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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-12-2006, 10:09 PM   #12
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Re: A successful RV trip

Silver Spring is a commercial "attraction" (i.e. theme park plus concert venue kind of thing) at the headwaters of the Silver River. Apparently the spring and grounds (largest in the world?) is leased from the state.

The river is an awesome paddle. It's just a few miles long. We put in a bit south of the mouth of the river, paddled all the way to the headwaters and back. Pretty much took most of the day. It is just magical in there - really a wonderland.

Audrey
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-13-2006, 12:17 AM   #13
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Re: A successful RV trip

Thanks to Rich and others for posting their RV trip experiences. My husband and I have just acquired our first RV --- a lightweight fiberglass trailer --- and are collecting ideas for trips that we can take in it. Like many others here we are striving for balance in enjoying life now with short trips close to home, and waiting for the day when we are FIRE and can do more extensive trips further afield.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-13-2006, 07:39 AM   #14
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Re: A successful RV trip

Did you buy a Casita?

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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-13-2006, 08:14 AM   #15
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linney
Thanks to Rich and others for posting their RV trip experiences. My husband and I have just acquired our first RV --- a lightweight fiberglass trailer --- and are collecting ideas for trips that we can take in it. Like many others here we are striving for balance in enjoying life now with short trips close to home, and waiting for the day when we are FIRE and can do more extensive trips further afield.
If you like city touring, add Charleston to your list: James Island County Park is a real nice city park for an urban getaway.
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Re: A successful RV trip
Old 12-14-2006, 01:06 AM   #16
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Re: A successful RV trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
Did you buy a Casita?
Audrey
Close -- we got a Scamp, preferred its layout better.
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