EDIT: I wrote this post last week but didn’t want to overload you with blog posts. I didn’t mention names of parks but read all the way to the end, you’ll never believe this!
It seems to me that the type of location an RVer chooses to park their home can have a certain degree of impact on their daily life. I’m not sure exactly what degree of impact that is yet but I can get back to you. I have almost no experience looking, choosing or sizing up RV parks/resorts/campgrounds etc. But when I see it, I can tell you, yes please or no, no thank you. Since we have a few RV parks locally we have driven through the ones that aren’t gated. And boy is there some variation.
The last park we stayed at (for 6 whole days) was not terrible. The lots were spacious (for an RV park). The monthly rate was super affordable- it is Florida in the summer, you know. The lady who took my reservation was very friendly. And it wasn’t very far from all our friends. It also wasn’t very far from the beach, but we didn’t make it there during our stay. There are three RV parks almost on top of each other over there not far from Honeymoon Island. Two of them are neck and neck as far as what they offer and one of them is a definite NO. But at the park we stayed at there were quite a few “park models” as they are called, also known as, mobile homes (you know like single wides) . Some of them were what I would refer to as manufactured homes (these ones are cute and nice) and some of them were your average corrugated aluminum mobile homes. Sometimes there is a nice body of water as there was in the park we stayed at and sometimes there’s a pool, playground, and other such amenities. For our first experience, I’d say the park we were at was a good first step. But since there were so many full time people living in park models, a bit of the RV community essence was lacking, if you ask me.
Although I haven’t really had exposure to this RV community I’m told it’s very reminiscent of the 1950’s. Lots of friendliness and help and kindness from strangers. I’m not even sure that appropriately describes the 1950’s but hey, I was born in the 80’s, go with it. So since we had to send our home back to our beloved salesman and servicemen we decided to pick a new RV park to gain a bit more experience with the process of picking.
The technology involved in choosing an RV park is sometimes a bit antiquated. Picture websites from the early 1990s. With a count of how many visitors to the website at the bottom and everything. There are some larger searching websites but I haven’t’ found the Amazon of RV Park booking yet. You know, Amazon is where all the good reviews are and where you can find the best prices (well sometimes) and the website itself doesn’t hurt your eyes to look at.
I also think there’s probably a lingo involved. Like that time I met Geoff while internet dating. There were code words men used like “laid back” and I think the same thing is happening with the RV parks’ descriptions of their sites. I’m pretty sure some of those RV parks should stop using the word “spacious”. Like only use it, if I think it’s really spacious. Otherwise when I get there I might heartily disagree with your assessment of spacious. Ok well, what I’m saying is, I think this is going to involve a bit of a learning curve. You don’t know what you don’t know until you finally do know. So for now we are just going to get more park experience.
TODAY: You guys. We were staying at Sherwood RV Resort. You know the one that was on TV for FLOODING! See here and here. The “definite NO” I referenced in my post was the one across the street also listed in the news articles, Caladesi Island RV Park. Do you see how God worked here? We were parked just in the middle of where those 4 to 5 feet of water would have been two weeks ago. We paid for the whole month of August. But we didn’t return there. God orchestrated each event (which may have at times felt frustrating or troubling- like having to pay a high fee for a mobile RV tech to come, etc) to keep us out of this situation. The park we are now in – in Tampa- definitely had high waters today. It was up to my shins by the edge of my car when we decided to switch the small car to higher ground and move the truck to the lower ground. But we were safe. I was even up at 4:45am with Levi and I heard when the storm started. I just can’t get over how we were RIGHT there.
Tonight as we were trying to get our files in better order we discovered a small amount of water on a box and 2 paper towel rolls that I had stored in the back of a cabinet. Geoff and I looked at each other feeling a bit despondent. Because water in an RV is deadly. You want to avoid it at all costs. It’s expensive to fix and usually you don’t know about it till it’s too late. But as we were organizing our books and trying to cram all our books on one shelf I suggested Geoff put some bibles down in a lower compartment and that’s when we found that a box of bibles and information had gotten a bit wet. We then checked out the other compartments and found one more with the paper towels that was wet too. So we knew we’d have to call our favorite service folks at our RV retailer again tomorrow and it might mean not having our house to live in while they figure out if we have a leak down the side of the wall or not. I was trying to remind myself that finding the water was a blessing. But still I was kind of sad. Then this news about the RV park. Wow. Talk about perspective, it’s like the difference between all the water in the ocean and a small mist from a squirt bottle. So when you are tempted to lose hope, remember the God of the universe is a Mighty God and if you are his child he’s working for your good, no matter how it might look to you at any given moment.
What a powerful reminder.
-Big Rig Rose