Oct 17 2005, 09:37 PM
We bought our first RV (since a little camper we had so much fun in while stationed in Italy), and will be making our first trip over 4-day Thanksgiving weekend (I still work) - woops, profanity already. We had thought about Sanibel Island, but its just too far on a short vacation. Stone Mountian in Atlanta was nice, we stayed a week in a rental camper several years ago. I might repeat that for this time. However, I am thinking about Marianna Caverns or something else in a 300 mile radius of Niceville, Fl, which is in the panhandle of Fla near Pensacola. This needs to be a simple trip, like walk before you run. Anybody out there have a suggestion??
Oct 18 2005, 06:33 AM
Just wanted to say - Welcome to the forum! Since I'm not from your area (I live "a little father" up North where it is starting to get chilly), I can't help with any suggestions. But, I'm sure the nice people on this site will be able to offer lots of places to think about.
Oct 18 2005, 12:06 PM
Moe - I am repeating the other Cheryl's sentiment. We are glad to have you here and I know that you will have an answer very quickly. John lives in Florida so maybe he will be offering you info very soon. I would love to come to your state in the rv as I love Florida. RV Today recently did a show on the Keys and I am anxious to go there in the motorhome. My husband and I bought ours about a yr. and a half ago and have been to Vegas and to Canada but other than that, just 3 day trips. For our first trip, we went to an rv park an hr. away from home - wanted to be close in case we ran into a snag but all went well, as I am sure it will for you and you have done this before, albeit on a smaller scale, so you probably know about "dumping" and other stuff that was totally foreign to us. All we knew was what the dealer skimmed over in our orientation of our motorhome. Again, welcome to our forum.
Oct 18 2005, 03:14 PM
Hi Moe, I echo (echo) both Cheryls in welcoming you. I'm sure you'll get a lot of places to choose from. If you don't mind adding about 50 miles onto your trip, my choice would be St. Augustine...it's my favorite place to visit while in Florida.
Oct 18 2005, 03:40 PM
Thank you for the welcome. I am looking forward to an exciting new pastime. When I really retire in 5 or 6 years (full social security) I will be able to do it a lot. My wife, Alda (she's from the Azores) and I talked last night and decided to go to Florida Caverns State Park at Marianna for our shake down cruise. I see they are criticised a little in this forum for muddy roads, but I think we can endure that for a weekend in the event it rains (hope that new hurricane doesn't rain on us). I'll be sure to post a critique when I return.
Oct 18 2005, 08:07 PM
John here and as Cheryl Fuller said I can help you. First welcome to the group, lot of nice people on this board. We have been to Niceville on the way to Fort Walton Beach. We travel on I-10 a lot also.
Can you tell me what type of campground you would like to visit? Do you like trees, rivers, Gulf, fishing, COE parks, fun parks, etc. Do you have a Golden Age Passport (need to be 62)? Do you know about Eufaula, AL COE parks yet? North of Dothan, AL.
Sanibel Island is to far away from Niceville. We have spent time in Matianna but never been to the caverns.
I need some information to help you.
Oct 19 2005, 05:13 PM
Thanks John. Appreciate the post. I am 61 in December (with a 22 year old athlete trapped inside). We like Adult (Grown up) themes and historical and nature attractions, We like water, trees, and nature trails, and may get back into bicycling. I do not fish or golf - (I always think about what I should be doing instead!). I made the reservations yesterday at the caverns state park through reserve america. I also called the campground today to find if the site I selected was appropriate for my 5th wheel with a slideout. The friendly she-ranger said the sites were 30 by 30, so I should have no trouble. Hope Wilma stays away or peters out. Does anyone who RV's carry along those ground anchors? I imagine screwing a pair into the ground and throwing a strap over the RV would be prudent in a blow. I intend to install a couple at home where I will park.
By the way, have you canoed the Blackwater river here? I notice a nice review of the camp at Munson. We have done so several times and really enjoyed it. It's a moderately swift, cold river, with few logs to negotiate. The route is downstream, so there's little effort, although some arm work is sometimes needed to steer. For a nominal sum there are several businesses that will transport you and the rental canoe upstream and collect the canoe back at the state park.
Again, thanks for the reply, and I hope Wilma stays away from you, also.
Oct 19 2005, 05:32 PM
Moe, you said that the sites where you will be staying are 30 x 30 and I notice that your rig is 28' long so doesn't soound like there is any room to spare. Did you enquire as to whether they will let you park your truck on the same site. Normally, they will not let you park on the grass. At several parks we have stayed at, if there is not room on the slab for your vehicle, you have to go to a parking area, usually close to the office. I knew John would be of great help to you. It seems no matter where I am going, he has been there and can give me good info.
Oct 19 2005, 08:49 PM
OK, your weekend is all done, have a great time. We have not been to Blackwater yet over next to Milton. On Milton try the Gulf Pines KOA at exit 31, very nice with a little road noise off I-10. Also look at Panama City "Emerald Coast Beach Resort". Great place to spend some time. Over by Pensacola on east side of town you have Leisure Time RV on a small lake.
Cheryl is correct on the 30x30 site, very small site. Lot of State Parks have small sites.
Now, look up Eufaula, AL COE sites. Three very nice parks to pick from. All are great places and as soon as you turn 62 the Golden Card will cut price in half. Bluff Creek, Hardridge Creek, and White Oak Creek, price $16 to $20. You have 30/50 power with water and dump station. Sites are in heavy trees on large lake and sites are very large with fire rings, wood decks on some sites, and BBQ cooking units. Lot of space around each site and tons of land to play on. You can walk for miles in the park. If you need a bath house need to ask to park close to one. We never use them and take sites way out in park. North of Tuscaloosa, AL you have Deerlick Creek COE. Cost around $14 per night, great place.
All the sites are in close range to your home plate. As soon as you are ready to travel over into central FL let me know. I have a lot of very good places we use. You will need couple months to tour all the places.
As soon as you complete FL we will start over in LA to see the Cajun people. Mardi Gras will start soon. Need 30 days to run the Mardi Gras ring.
Last item, if the storm comes up move out and run as fast as you can go to get away. Ground straps will not help you. One trip to New Orleans a large storm was about to hit city. We moved to Lafayette storm moved over, we moved to Alexandria, storm moved north, we moved to Shreyeport and next day over to Dallas to get away.
Oct 20 2005, 09:52 AM
You cannot beat the Florida State Parks! We've stayed at a few in between Destin & Panama City (as well as others throughout the state) & have never been disappointed. I do not know the current state of them due to the hurricane(s) but if they were open, that's where I would stay. It's a good idea to make reservations well in advance - especially for Henderson Beach. A number of the beaches in this area have won the "Best Beach in the World" award in the past 10 years. Also, don't forget that being Military gives you access to a number of Military only campgrounds. Have fun!!
Oct 24 2005, 03:21 PM
If you want somewhere close by you cannot beat Topsail Hill state park, but
it may already be full for the holiday. If you go there take your bikes
Oct 25 2005, 08:44 PM
Newbie Moe made his first trip..Left Saturday about 10 AM after packing the new 5th Wheel, fueled up the Dodge 2500 with Diesel, and hit the road. As checkin at Florida Caverns was 3 PM, we had time to kill, and stopped at Falling Waters State Rec Area to see the falls. They were Dry! A little walk in the woods did us good, though, and we also drove through the campsite (didn't know they had one). It was smallish, but a good alternative if Florida Caverns is full, as it is less than an hour away. I will be adding my review of Florida Caverns State Park.
Since I have made my first trip, I will refrain from calling myself newbie any more (although you all might). Thanks, all of you, for your help.
Apr 10 2006, 11:16 PM
Made our 2nd trip. Before we left the heater in our fiver quit. Emerald Coast RV in Gulf Breeze replaced in under warranty. We went to see Sanibel Island from Christmas to New Year. We stayed at Shady Acres, in Ft. Myers, as Sanibel's only park was full. Sanibel has several beaches, and the quantity of shells might vary from time to time, but we had the best luck close to the center of the Island. Brought back a 5-gallon bucket of 3 - 6" shells. I tried my son's metal detector, and found a total of 43 cents! Other attractions include the Edison and Ford museum and summer homes.
One day we went down alligator ally halfway to Miami. I wanted to take an airboat ride. $20 each, and we got ony 20 minutes of noisy and wet and saw 1 alligator (read disappointed).
I found out when we got back I have prostate cancer. Caught early, so I am hoping for the best on the 18th of April. I will spend some of my recuperation at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin (just 20 minutes from home). We will be there 23 - 27 April. Look for a Wildcat with a Good Sam decal.
We are getting the foundation made for an RV shelter. I found what may be a good deal at Carolina Carports on the web. check them out!
Happy Camping from Moe and Alda
Apr 11 2006, 02:31 PM
Sorry to hear your news. I just wanted to share some words of encouragement. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago. He had surgery to remove it. Today, he is 100% as good as new. He is healthy, feels great, continues to work (I know a bad word), and occasionally gets to travel in his motorhome. They're on a month trip right now! Like you, they caught his early. So, keep good thoughts as I am sure everyone on here will do for you.
Apr 11 2006, 03:14 PM
Moe, I just wanted you to know that I will be keeping you and Alda in my prayers. Thank God it was caught early. Please keep us posted.
Jun 19 2006, 12:20 AM
Moe is back to 100%. Think they got it all. Now having to wait for my vacation to build back up so we can go camping again. The new RV shelter is in. Carolina Carports makes a nice unit, and the free installation went well. My grandaughter's boyfriend helped me lay a railroad tie-edged limestone driveway for it. Esp. to Cheryl, thank you for your well wishes.
Jun 19 2006, 08:58 AM
Wonderful news. I just "knew" everything would be okay. You are just a few years older than my dad was when they found his. As for waiting for vacation days to build up, don't forget the little weekend trips can be a lot of fun!
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