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Interesting twist in our fulltime RVing plan


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I'm sure when asked most RVers would say that when they switched from the sticks and bricks to living in their RV fulltime, they did so to be able to move with the seasons or something like that. We fell into that category too. At least in the beginning when we were still laying out our plans. But as we all know in life, plans can often be changed for the better or worse. The question is witch card will one be dealt? In our case we truly believe we were handed the better card of the two. After all, we had already traveled the country for years while owning our trucking business, and for what ever reasons just love the fulltime Rv lifestyle over the sticks and bricks neighborhoods we once lived in. So did we really need to continuing traveling? Get this, we even ended up fulltiming a mere twenty miles or so from the old homestead. Go figure! But why? Because we got the golden card!!! Which is:

 

There once was a plan to dig a hundred yard wide barge canal across the state of Florida. Before being mothballed in the 1990s the project was called the Cross Florida Barge Canal which begins at the Saint Johns River in Palatka, FL. and ends at the Gulf of Mexico in Yankeetown, FL. Much of the east and west sections of the canal were completed including the construction of the Buckman, Inglis, and Eureka Locks along with Rodman Dam. Unlike the central section of the proposed canal, of which a portion was to run between Ocala and Belleview, FL. Once this 110 mile long right of way's intended land use was changed, the Cross Florida Greenway was created and the land was deemed for recreational use only. Hiking and mountain bike trails, plus equestrian trails (all with improved trailheads) were developed along the Greenway. Four manned campground and day use areas were built including Rodman Dam Campground, Santos Campground, Shangri-La Campground, and Ross Prairie Campground. Each of which created fulltime jobs for live-on Campground Host.

 

By chance (and having an acquaintance on the inside) we learned that the Lead Campground Host position was available at one of the Greenway's Trailhead and Campground properties. We immediately jumped on it. Now I've been told that in this industry (work camping, volunteering, holding full salary positions, etc) one typically has to work their way up through the ranks. But thanks to our prior and extensive background in owning and operating a business, etc. I was able to land this lead position, and my wife a part time Campground Host position assisting me. Another thing that we have read on the many RV forums discussing this topic are the horror stories of bad assignments and bosses for many just getting their feet wet while trying these types of working arrangements out until they prove themselves worthy of the better locations, etc.

 

In closing, I must say that we could not be happier with our year-round positions at Ross Prairie and the beautiful Campground Host site (with an 18' X 40' RV cover to park our Redwood fiver under to protect it from the sun) we've been provided. We never thought that either of us would enjoy living fulltime in a state park as much as we do verses a commercially owned RV resort as we had done in the past. We feel that life couldn't be better right now and hope to be here for several years. I have to laugh at times while we sit out in the evening next to the Redwood under the RV cover and listen to the resident birds as they sing. Suddenly the thought crosses my mind that we could have been sitting in the middle of a barge canal watching the ships go by! That is if the whole canal had come to fruition. OH, and what about traveling in the fiver? Maybe someday later my friend!

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The hardest part to the layout of our campground is for first timers finding their campsite. That is why when I'm (or my wife is) on duty I walk to their site to guide them to it. Since we have both an inner and outer loop as the online map of the campground shows. The beauty of the campground is that all sites are pull-thru campsites (no backing in required). Most of our sites will accommodate an RV, tow vehicle, and a second vehicle pulling a boat. With all parked on the shellrock as required by the rules since no parking on the grass is allowed. Even when we are completely booked on holiday weekends, etc. it has never been a problem for our guest to traverse through the campground with their rigs. Most of our sites would be HDT friendly, even those pulling the 40' plus fivers. But I always recommend that they call first before reserving a site so that I can guide them to the best available site to suit their needs. In fact, we have our 40' Redwood with our Volvo (Marv and Connie's old toter) HDT and four door Chevy Silverado parked in our campsite's shellrock loop with a bit of room to spare.

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Congrats on landing a great gig!! One of the things that has struck me about the full time lifestyle, and this is a perfect illustration, is the incredible variety of options available out there if one is flexible and is willing to try new things...for us it was landing a great job that will pay for our Alaska cruise next year and we still have four days off to explore the area!!! You just never can tell what type of opportunity will arise if you look!!!

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Front view of our Lead Campground Host site that the state is providing us at Ross Prairie. Loving the RV cover in this Florida heat!!!

 

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Off door side: View of our site with the HDT parked in front of our fiver. Room to spare for parking the Silverado in front of the Volvo.

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