Still rolling around in Florida

Here we are, still rolling around in Florida in our little motorhome. It has been a few years now since retirement, and we are managing to live and travel comfortably on our fixed income. We have discovered it is possible to experience frequent travel adventures and stay on a budget, but not travel “on the cheap.” This is a perfect life for us because we seriously do, alhere is no reason you cannot do the same if this happens to be your dream retirement also.

RV Repairs and Maintenance

These items consume a healthy chunk of our budget. We are incredibly fortunate that Steve can fix, repair, figure out almost any RV malfunction, problem, noise, or sound. He continues to learn something new every day about the workings of our mobile home away from home.

Suppose you are not a hands-on, mechanically inclined person, such as me? In that case, you will need to be financially and emotionally prepared for when something breaks, requires regular maintenance, and/or creates an unexpected expense to set it right again. Routine maintenance and unexpected repairs are, just like owning a house or a car, part of the package.

Common repair issues on travel trailers, fifth-wheels, motorhomes are:

  • User error. Sometimes we cause malfunctions accidentally or because we do not know how things work. That definitely is a good description of me, but thank goodness for Steve!
  • Window or roof problems. This is a portable house. Things move, shift, and are exposed to elements.
  • Water lines and pumps fail. Do not neglect your water lines or pumps, especially when storing your RV.
  • Tires. We’ve had two flat tires in less than a year. It is essential to stay on top of your tires’ conditions and maintain the correct air pressure in them.
  • Your onboard toilet. No need to emphasize the importance of maintaining this item, I expect. Valves and seals sometimes require replacement.

These are just common pieces of the RV puzzle that you may experience problems with. If you are familiar with your rig, frequently check all its moving parts before, during, and after trips; very often, problems can be avoided.

Overnight Stays

Although we are in the minority here, we are not great fans of RV resorts and many RV parks. We do not want or use the admittedly fabulous amenities to be found at these places and find it difficult to pay hotel prices just to park our motorhome there. We are driving and living in our house, why pay twice for a place to stay? As we age and become less mobile, we may change our minds about this. Still, for now, we much prefer Harvest Hosts, BoondockersWelcome, county or city parks, and even Cracker Barrel or Wal-Mart for our overnight stays.

Seminole, Florida

On our latest RV trip, still rolling around in Florida, we reserved a two-night stay through Harvest Hosts at a terrific and centrally located business in Seminole, Florida. These particular hosts, Eric and Barbara, did not yet have their business up and running but were gracious enough to already open their property up to Harvest Hosts member stays.

Eric built a very welcome bonfire for us one evening, and we enjoyed some great conversations and stories. The cost for our two overnight stays was absolutely zero. Harvest Hosts is a subscription member service with an annual fee and is available to self-contained RVs. We are encouraged to make purchases, of course, at our hosts’ businesses. Still, I consider this an excellent financial deal. The socializing and new friends are simply bonuses.

The Dali Museum

One Dali Blvd.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

One of the main reasons we selected our Harvest Hosts location in Seminole is because it is less than a 20-minute drive to this museum. While I am not overly fond of Dali’s unconventional surrealist art, I have always admired Vincent Van Gogh, the famous post-impressionist artist. It so happened that the Van Gogh Alive exhibit is on display at this museum. I could not believe our luck. We planned our trip around this exhibition. We had hoped to see the Van Gogh exhibit in Europe during one of our supposed-to-have-happened cruises this year, but all of our cruises were canceled, of course.

This spectacular exhibition displays over 3,000 enormously scaled images of Van Gogh’s art through high-definition projectors, all synchronized to beautiful classical music. This Van Gogh Exhibit is a wildly popular experience and has toured throughout the world and is one of the most visited multi-sensory art experiences to date. This is not your typical museum exhibition – not at all! The Van Gogh Life exhibit will be at the Dali Museum through April 11, 2021.

Generator problems!

We returned from our museum visit to discover our onboard generator had a problem. Routine maintenance and unexpected repairs, right? Of course, I was clueless, but Steve determined the generator’s fuel filter and fuel pump needed to be replaced. He picked up the parts and supplies he needed the morning of our departure and planned to repair the generator at our next overnight stop.

There are check-in and check-out times to be observed at Harvest Hosts locations. The hosts set those times, and we, as guests, always adhere to those times. We don’t want to take advantage of the hospitality provided to us. Otherwise, we might have stayed a few hours longer to complete this task.

It magically worked out, though, that when we stopped at a nearby RV resort to dump our full tanks, we were permitted to spend a few hours parked at the RV resort while Steve took care of the generator issue. Thank you, Clearwater RV Resort, in Clearwater, Florida, for your kindness.

Sarasota, Florida

It was late afternoon before we were ready to begin the next leg of our trip. We had reservations at another Harvest Hosts location. This time we were traveling to Sarasota, Florida, on our way to Fort Myers.

What a great adventure this turned out to be! We were directed to a gated lot to park our RV. There were probably ten other RVs of all sizes and shapes already there. People, businesses are so generous to share their space this way. We are forever surprised and grateful for these opportunities.

Cock & Bull Farmhouse ~ Pizza & Tasting Room

975 Cattlemen Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34232

This brewery, pub, pizza shop near the lot our RV was parked at was a fabulous place to spend a chilly evening. We ordered a few different craft beers along with a pizza and made our way out back to the garden area and a monstrous firepit. We met interesting folks, some were also RV travelers like us, and spent a few hours relaxing. Tank and Lilly were welcome here also! We witnessed an amazing sport I’d never encountered before – hatchet throwing! It was a popular activity there.

Still rolling around in Florida

We are going to continue traveling in Florida for a week or longer. Despite our mechanical issues and expenses, we are traveling very frugally. Normally, we cook almost all of our meals. We use the Gasbuddy app to locate fuel as reasonably priced as possible. Our overnight stops are mostly all Harvest Hosts or BoondockersWelcome stays. I sometimes wonder whether we spend more money when we are at home than when we are traveling. I expect it’s fairly close if we do not consider fuel cost.

If RV travel is just not your thing, or you do not have an RV, travel by car is just as doable. It is really not too difficult although you have the added cost of hotels and probably more meals. If you travel slowly and deliberately, planning your days and expenses each day can translate into very economical travel.

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6 thoughts on “Still rolling around in Florida

  1. Pingback: Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next? | Always Want To Go
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  3. Did you add the music to the video? When do you head out next? And where to?

    1. The music is what was playing throughout the exhibit, not mine. We’re going on a quick overnight nearby, to go somewhere. We have no actual plans right now. Alabama looks good to me, though.

  4. The Van Gogh video is wonderful! How I wish I could see that exhibit. Thanks for the virtual thrill.

    1. It was truly wonderful. Glad you enjoyed the video.

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