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We got a late start this year in getting into our RV and settled and trying to figure out where we're going. We're trying to settle up winter plans. We're currently in Texas and headed a bit closer to Florida... Trying to figure out where to go and how to ensure we have a place through the winter that isn't too cold.

Lay your best winter full time tips and tricks and thoughts on us!

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1 hour ago, MisterX said:

We got a late start this year in getting into our RV and settled and trying to figure out where we're going. We're trying to settle up winter plans. We're currently in Texas and headed a bit closer to Florida... Trying to figure out where to go and how to ensure we have a place through the winter that isn't too cold.

Lay your best winter full time tips and tricks and thoughts on us!

The general rule is to stay south of I-10. Have you looked into Rainbow Plantation in Alabama? We have enjoyed our stays there.

Linda Sand

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1 hour ago, MisterX said:

We're currently in Texas and headed a bit closer to Florida

If you're not going to actually go all the way to FL, why not consider staying in TX?   Both the Corpus Christi area and the RGV have large numbers of snowbirds each year.  If you stay along the coast, the low temps in Corpus rarely get below 35-40.  

Edited by docj

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First a disclosure: I am not a fulltimer.

Many newbies and veterans alike seem to have a fear of not having a place to park over the winter. So they reserve a spot and stay put for 3 months. (Often out of FEAR).

My advice is to book month long stays in different locations so you can try the different areas.

With Canadian lockdown, this winter will be less congested than normal.

Check out Rainbow Plantation as previously suggested (cheap). If you want to splurge, try Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores Alabama, great location with extensive bike trails (paved) and boardwalks and beach a "stones throw from your site).

If I was doing it this winter (I'm not), I'd gamble on being able to book stays in Thousand Trails for the winter. My bet is that minus the canadians, it will be easy to get in. (I like to move around).

 

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1 hour ago, ToddF said:

Many newbies and veterans alike seem to have a fear of not having a place to park over the winter. So they reserve a spot and stay put for 3 months. (Often out of FEAR).

 I admit to being nervous about this under present circumstance.  Other than that I like your month by month advice. In just the last 2 days I have seen at least 5-6 commercial parks that are full to capacity or nearly so.  One of my backup's was to use state parks, federal campgrounds, etc even though most have a 14 limit which would necessitate moving more often.

Edited by bigjim

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Are you member of any fraternal organizations?  FYI Elks lodges frequently have camper parking. Same with Moose. Some have a fixed fee, some work on a donation.

Look for County and City/town campgrounds.  COE  campgrounds along the rivers. 

In other words expand your campground search.  I use RV Parks,  Discount Parks, RV Park Reviews.  Escapees has four parks across the southern tier Livingston, TX, Summerdale,AL. Bushnell, FL.  Wachula,FL. Month stays are reasonable.  

We use the Rio Grande Valley for a winter home.  Less expensive than Florida, and the Gulf Coast campgrounds. Weather is about the same as South Florida with wind and no bugs. 

Hope that helps.

Bill

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16 hours ago, docj said:

If you're not going to actually go all the way to FL, why not consider staying in TX?   Both the Corpus Christi area and the RGV have large numbers of snowbirds each year.  If you stay along the coast, the low temps in Corpus rarely get below 35-40.  

We too are in Texas and I had considered the RGV for part of the winter. Not now. After seeing that Hidalgo County has some of the highest deaths and death rate to COVID in the US we will be avoiding that area. Nueces County (Corpus Christi) is also far higher in both categories than where we are just north of Austin. So now we are thinking that this winter at least we may just stay in place.

If COVID numbers are going to enter into planning then heritage.org has an interactive map with up to date numbers which can be found here.

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27 minutes ago, Chalkie said:

If COVID numbers are going to enter into planning then heritage.org has an interactive map with up to date numbers

Another good source of information which is updated daily is from National Geographic Magazine and is also free to the public. 

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On 10/18/2020 at 3:14 PM, docj said:

If you're not going to actually go all the way to FL, why not consider staying in TX?   Both the Corpus Christi area and the RGV have large numbers of snowbirds each year.  If you stay along the coast, the low temps in Corpus rarely get below 35-40.  

Docj -- I suppose the 'closer' to Florida was more so that we weren't opposed to not being entirely all the way down in Florida. Though the more we look the more we're wanting to get down closer to Ft. Lauderdale (or at least closer towards the southern side of the state). So far Ft. Myers is looking appealing. The keys would be, but phew too much!

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On 10/18/2020 at 4:11 PM, ToddF said:

First a disclosure: I am not a fulltimer.

Many newbies and veterans alike seem to have a fear of not having a place to park over the winter. So they reserve a spot and stay put for 3 months. (Often out of FEAR).

My advice is to book month long stays in different locations so you can try the different areas.

With Canadian lockdown, this winter will be less congested than normal.

Check out Rainbow Plantation as previously suggested (cheap). If you want to splurge, try Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores Alabama, great location with extensive bike trails (paved) and boardwalks and beach a "stones throw from your site).

If I was doing it this winter (I'm not), I'd gamble on being able to book stays in Thousand Trails for the winter. My bet is that minus the canadians, it will be easy to get in. (I like to move around).

 

We are actually looking to plant for 3 months, and less out of fear and more so out of the fact my daughter is with me. She needs to put her butt to work for a bit... so a larger town is on the lines. She'll also likely be taking some online classes in the spring semester. 

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On 10/18/2020 at 5:32 PM, bigjim said:

 I admit to being nervous about this under present circumstance.  Other than that I like your month by month advice. In just the last 2 days I have seen at least 5-6 commercial parks that are full to capacity or nearly so.  One of my backup's was to use state parks, federal campgrounds, etc even though most have a 14 limit which would necessitate moving more often.

We've been traveling the south for the last 3 months and have repeatedly seen entirely full parks. We've seen people planting for the winter as early as Sept for 6+ month stays that say that's not their norm but they're worried about being blocked out or unable to travel across state lines etc etc.

Texas particularly has been full of people that are worried about being 'settled before the election... just in case' which has been interesting.

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On 10/19/2020 at 8:15 AM, Chalkie said:

We too are in Texas and I had considered the RGV for part of the winter. Not now. After seeing that Hidalgo County has some of the highest deaths and death rate to COVID in the US we will be avoiding that area. Nueces County (Corpus Christi) is also far higher in both categories than where we are just north of Austin. So now we are thinking that this winter at least we may just stay in place.

If COVID numbers are going to enter into planning then heritage.org has an interactive map with up to date numbers which can be found here.

Where are you at? We're actually in Cedar Park currently. Still own a house here and we were clearing things out. I love Texas, but it's not where I care to spend the winter since I've lived here for 10+ years. Hoping to get out and about and maybe get to a beach.

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Just a comment from Mesquite, TX. We have been back to part-time for 8+ years and haven't done a lot of winter travel, but most of what we have done has been to the Rio Grande Valley or AZ and neither of them are looking good now. Same is true for FL and NM. At this time the southern state that is dropping it's covid rate is LA. 

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3 hours ago, ToddF said:

Sounds like the "fear" factor is somewhat justified.

Mostly if you're talking about what she leaves in the fridge... yeh definitely. 🤣

 

It's certainly seeming busy out here though. What's caught us off guard about Florida has been places charging 1500+ and requiring 3-4 month stays so far. I really wasn't prepared for that to be the expectation. Especially with as pleasant as our last few months have been.

We originally planned to be in the west, but the smoke has been awful. Even in southern New Mexico we were getting days with low visibility. In Colorado and Arizona it was unbearable. 

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MisterX, If you want a place in FL that doesn't break the bank look only at the N-S center of the state. There are RV parks available-or were, for less than $600/month. Of course that means a 2 hr.+ drive to the nearest ocean beach or large city.

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As recently as last week, I finalized my reservations in Florida for the middle week in December (all the other weeks in Nov and Dec were booked earlier). I'm on a Thousand Trails membership and have 43 parks in Florida that I can stay in. When I retire, I will try to use it Jan-Mar, knowing it is likely to be more challenging to get reservations. My reservations include a week in Flagler Beach, Punta Gorda and 3 weeks at Orlando (Clermont). For now, Nov and Dec aren't that hard to get reservations. In the future, I'll try it (I've talked to folks who do it on Thousand Trails through the peak season and they said you have to hustle) and if everything is full, I'll try the cheaper parks mentioned previously in central Florida or move West. I don't want a permanent site or 3 month stays in one place. With S+B in place, I can always winterize the RV and go home. 🤪

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"We've been traveling the south for the last 3 months and have repeatedly seen entirely full parks"

Anecdotal to be sure, I just tried to make a reservation at Colorado River (N of Houston) Thousand Trails for Feb 1-Feb 15 and it showed availability. 

When I retire, I'm hoping to be able to use my Thousand Trails Membership during the prime winter months.

 

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We're still debating our Winter trip this year.  We have a reservation on Port Aransas which is in Neuces County in Texas - but I think the high covid numbers in that county are more from the higher populated areas and not the smaller towns.  We live in Northern Michigan in a low population county and feel safe at home - but sure don't look forward to the cold and snow.  

We have a long long bucket list - and don't want it cut short if we can avoid it.  Deciding what is prudent is always a challenge.

 

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4 hours ago, Trelawny said:

We're still debating our Winter trip this year.

If you visit this National Geographic Magazine website, you can check the numbers for any state and for any county in that state. It is updated each day so that you could even follow it for a while to see what is happening there. 

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