As full-time nomads, we find it helpful to track the “when”, “where”, and “how” of our travels. Therefore, we name each stay and experience by its full place name, including city and state, and we then categorize each of these by the season of the year, its geographical region, and the route we took to get there.
Seasons are the usual spring, summer, fall, and winter.
For geographic regions, we go by the map above.
For routing, we use RV Trip Wizard.
Becky does most of the planning. In general, we spend the summers up north where it’s cool and the winters down south where it’s warm. And in the spring and fall, we travel back and forth.
Below are the routes we’ve taken most recently. Click here to see all the routes we’ve taken since going full-time.
We did something this winter that we had not done since going full-time; we rented a seasonal space and stayed in mostly one spot for the entire season. We arrived at Three Flags RV Park in Wildwood FL on December 20, 2017 and stayed until March 29, 2018.
We only took two short trips away, one in the motorhome to Bradenton to see Jennifer, and another to stay in a hotel at Fort Lauderdale Beach. We really enjoyed Bradenton, especially Coquina Beach with Jennifer, but Fort Lauderdale was a bit disappointing, mostly because the weather was on the cool side and Fort Lauderdale is just too big and noisy.
Most of our winter was spent taking advantage of The Villages. We especially enjoyed the holidays. Christmas, Mardi Gras, and Saint Patrick’s Day are all big celebrations here.
We also had a lot more time to socialize. Our old friends from Ohio, Judy and Jim, came down to escape the cold, and we were able to spend a nice day with them in The Villages.
And we had a couple of nice visits with some of our RVer friends, Doug and Eileen, and Jim and Marge. It’s always nice to meet up with fellow travelers along the way.
Perhaps the strongest connection we’ve made in The Villages is with Live Oaks Community Church. One of the downsides of traveling full-time is the lack of church in our lives. It was good to be part of a Christian community again, if only for a few months.
And finally, one of the most memorable events this winter in The Villages was the March for Our Lives rally. It was a very positive day, with a large crowd coming together to ask our leaders to take constructive action to reduce gun violence, especially mass shootings. We are very glad we added our voices to those throughout the nation.
In many ways, our route this fall was one of the best ever. We began the season in New York State. We spent some time in the Finger Lakes Region and then headed over to Massachusetts for a few weeks. We established a home base at the Sturbridge Thousand Trails, and took extended car trips throughout New England, visiting Boston, Portland, and Mystic Seaport, to name just a few.
After a great time in New England, we began our southward journey through the Shenandoah Valley, stopping off at historic Monticello and Williamsburg. We continued on to the Carolinas and Georgia, spending a couple of days in both Charleston and Savannah, before returning to Florida in early December. We plan to spend the winter at Three Flags RV Resort in Wildwood FL near the Villages.
We started the summer route at Wilmington Thousand Trails just northeast of Cincinnati. We then went through Columbus on our way to Toledo.
We worked as camper hosts at Maumee Bay State Park for four weeks in July, and then stayed another two weeks to visit family. In August we finally headed out for the Finger Lakes Area in Upstate New York, which we enjoyed very much.
The plan is to be in New England for the Fall before heading back to Florida for the Winter. A fairly slow summer for traveling.
We stayed in Central Florida the first part of Spring 2017 to take care of some medical needs. Once those were dealt with, we began traveling north from Florida to the Great Lakes area, which is where we plan to spend the Summer.
In fact, we drove up from Florida twice this spring. The first time, we took a lazy two months to drive the motorhome to Indiana in the hopes of having our leveling jacks worked on at the Lippert factory service center in Goshen.
While the rig was in the shop, we flew back down to Florida, and spent three days helping our daughter Jennifer move to Indiana so she could be closer to her adult children.
The months driving the motorhome were pleasant enough. We spent some time in Montgomery AL and Nashville TN, as well as at some fine COE parks.
However, the Lippert experience was a total waste. We gave them a list of the items we wanted checked along with a request to do routine maintenance on the leveling jacks. They got sidetracked by an error light when using the automatic leveling control. We always use the manual controls, which works fine for us. Fixing the automatic control was not on our list.
They called to tell us that the entire control panel had to be replaced and was going to be $1,000. I told them to skip it, since the manual controls worked fine, and to just finish up the list we gave them.
Before returning to Goshen to pick up the rig, I called them to ensure that everything we complete, and was assured it was. But when we got there, it because clear that they had actually not done anything on the list. They planned on charging us for the “diagnostic work”, but didn’t once they realized how screwed up it all was.
So it didn’t cost us any money, just time and disappointment. And our leveling jacks still need servicing. One of our biggest complaints about the RV industry is its lack of quality service.
However, we did enjoy driving from Florida with Jennifer. It was good to spend some extra time with her, and to help her get settled in her new home up north. We finished up the season by traveling around Indiana some more, and eventually ending at the Wilmington Thousand Trails in Ohio. We made a couple of day trips into Cincinnati, which were both interesting.
We spent the winter 2016-17 in the wonderfully warm state of Florida. Except for a few days trips, all of our time was spent in the interior of the state, which with the exception of Orlando/Kissimmee, isn’t completely spoiled. In fact, there lots to do and see. The Ocala and Clermont areas are actually quite scenic, with rolling hills, horse farms, and wineries. Plus there is the added benefit of being close to The Villages. I guess if you have to have urban sprawl, you could do a lot worse than The Villages. (Looking at you, Kissimmee.)