Based upon the comments I got both here in the blog and by email in response to yesterday’s blog, You Must Plan Ahead, it’s obvious that there is a lot of interest in being able to spend the winter in places like Arizona and Florida, and also obvious that there are a lot of people who have not made reservations or don’t care to.
The good news is, all is not lost. There are a lot of places in both popular states where RV snowbirds can enjoy the sunshine while their friends and family up north are shoveling snow. Even for those who did not plan well ahead. The bad news is, they are not always in the places where you thought you were going to be.
While it can be hard to find an RV site in the winter on either coast in Florida, it’s not impossible. Go inland 40 miles or so and there are options available. They may not be beachside resorts, and they may not have every amenity you were hoping for, but there are plenty of small mom-and-pop RV parks in central Florida with affordable rates that you may still get into. Check out places like Ocala, Gainesville, Winter Haven, and Avon Park. We’ve seen quite a few campgrounds with empty sites in those areas in the wintertime.
And if Arizona was your target, get away from Phoenix and Tucson and Yuma and take a look in Coolidge, Eloy, Florence, and Arizona City, all located south of the Phoenix metropolitan area. They are small towns with not a lot going on, but again, I’ve seen lots of RV spaces available even during the busiest winter months.
Something else to think about is that you don’t have to be in a traditional RV park to enjoy the Sun Belt in the wintertime. The Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson has lots of full hookup RV sites, both 30 and 50 amp, with very good weekly and monthly rates. Most fairgrounds have RV sites available, and a lot of them are happy to welcome you for a stay during the wintertime.
There are also other locations to consider. Baldwin County, Alabama, sandwiched between Mobile Bay on the west and the Florida state line to the east, is a pleasant place to spend the winter. It’s affordable, and there are lots of RV parks that will make you welcome. Have you ever spent any time on the Mississippi Gulf Coast? If not, check it out. They have white sand beaches, charming small towns, friendly people, and even lots of casinos, if you feel lucky. Further west, while we don’t care for it very much personally, we know a lot of RV snowbirds who love the Rio Grande Valley, more commonly just called the Valley, in Texas. Again, there are a lot of RV parks, you can usually find a vacancy without too much effort, and you will be paying a lot less than you would in Florida, Tucson, Phoenix, or southern California.
Consider other options besides RV parks, such as membership in the Elks, Moose, and VFW, if you qualify. Many of the lodges and posts have RV parking available, some even with full hookups. They are not going to have all of the amenities of a full-service RV park, but you’re also not going to pay as much. And you won’t be stuck up north for the winter. And if you like “roughing it” there is a lot of land for boondocking in the Southwest. Get a little creative and think outside the box, you might be surprised what you will come up with.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.