6 Benefits of RVing for Adults +55

Have you always loved camping, sightseeing and the great outdoors? Are you looking for a fun and convenient way to see more of the US? If so, RV’ing may be for you. With your kids grown up and retirement fast approaching, taking to the road in an RV has many benefits.

Time

With kids and limited time off work for vacationing, in the past you may have planned trips that minimized travel time. Now you have time to spend travelling, which means you can take your time planning an extended vacation, enjoy getting to your destination and see more things along the way through a relaxing road trip.

A Second Home

With an RV that is your own, you have the freedom to customize it to your liking. Most RVs are quite spacious and have room for you to make it your second home. Your RV can become the backdrop for many memories and will feel more personal and convenient than a hotel room or a bed and breakfast.

Community

Although campgrounds are not the only option of places to stay in your RV, they are a popular one. Many RV parks are known for their welcoming and inclusive culture and their strong community.

You’ll find your fellow RVers share your sense of adventure and are keen to get to know you, share a meal, or sit around a campfire. Likewise, many campgrounds and RV resorts offer activities, programs, sports and recreational facilities to help you fill your time and enjoy your stay to the fullest.  

Affordability

For seniors who want to travel, but must budget carefully in their retirement, RVing offers many affordable options. Compared to a cruise or all-inclusive resort, the RV lifestyle is much more affordable.

For anyone who is contemplating RVing, consider renting an RV first to ensure that it’s for you. Then, when it’s time to purchase your own RV, explore your options. If a new RV is not in your budget, consider purchasing a used one. Many of them are in near perfect condition and this route can save you a lot of money.

While you will need to consider maintenance and operational costs, being able to stay in your vehicle means eliminating the rising costs associated with staying in a hotel. You can also save money on food since you can cook in your vehicle rather than eating out for every meal (which is also much better for your health).

Convenience

If you have always enjoyed camping but do not have the energy or man power to do all the work involved with setting up and taking down your tent and campsite, then try an RV. You’ll enjoy the same benefits that camping provides (like communing with nature, relaxing under the stars, and seeing new places). One of the greatest aspects of RVs is that everything is ready to go, just hop in the driver’s seat and head out on your next adventure whenever you feel like it!

Visiting family and friends

For people with friends, family, or kids who live across the country, an RV is an affordable option for visiting. If you have the time, then you can save on the cost of a plane ride and get more visits in throughout the year. You can park the RV in their driveway or stay at a nearby RV resort. This gives you some personal space, doesn’t put your hosts out and still allows you to spend lots of time together.

Having an RV is like having a mobile cottage. By purchasing an RV later in life, you are making an investment in the quality of your retirement, opening doors to travel and trying new things, while forming and maintaining relationships. What better time to hit the open road than after 55?

Any other benefits we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Meet Matt from Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida

Profile

  •   Last name: Cohen
  •   First name: Matt
  •   In position since: January 2013
  •   Title: Resort Manager
  •   Work Location: Toby’s RV Resort, Arcadia, FL
  •   Favorite hobbies or sport(s): Boating, Watching Football

 

 

How do you help make guests vacations at Toby’s special?

We make a very specific effort to learn everyone’s name (& their pet’s name) and use it as much as possible. We like to make them feel as if they’re at their second home!

 

What’s special about Toby’s RV Resort?

The resort is located in the central part of Florida and is  used as a jumping off point to explore all parts of the Sunshine State. We have our own activities board with almost 80 leaders who have something going on at the property from 7 am to 10 pm most days of the week. Since we’re located in a rural setting (we do have supermarkets and chain restaurants), it is important to have activities for guests to participate in.

Can you use 3 words to describe your RV park to someone who is considering visiting Arcadia?  

“Quaint”, in that we are located in a rural part of Florida, but are close enough to both coasts to allow for day trips.

“Roomy”- we are a 40 acre resort with 400 sites. All of our sites are the same size (37’ x 59’) and have both 30/50 amp services at all sites. If you can drive it on the road, you can fit it on our sites.

“Community”- Once you’ve spent a season with us, you’re part of the family. There are many new friendships formed that extend well beyond the season of October- April here in Arcadia.

What area attractions or entertainment do you recommend guests experience while at Arcadia?

The 2nd weekend in March is the largest (& oldest) rodeo in the state of Florida. There are also many antique shops in downtown Arcadia.

What accomplishment at Toby’s are you most proud of? Why?

The accomplishment that I’m most proud of here at Toby’s RV Resort is being awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2017, which was a direct result of the relationship that has been built with our guests. We have one of the highest referral rates and our guests’ share their experiences through word of mouth when they travel back home. They are also happy to share their experiences on social media platforms, which helps a lot!

What does a typical day at Toby’s look like?

We are treated to beautiful sunrises over the pasture lands that surround us. There are activities that start nearly at dawn (water aerobics and exercise classes) and go throughout the day. The shuffleboard leagues start mid-morning, as does the pickle ball round robin tournaments.

If you don’t feel like cooking for lunch, the activities board puts on a $5 lunch on a few different days of the week. After your afternoon activities, there is time to head back to the RV for a nap and a shower to get ready for the evening events. Bingo, karaoke, dances and variety shows pepper the monthly calendar throughout the season and provide something to do for everyone until the late hours.

Can you share your favorite memory at Toby’s RV Resort?

One of my favorite memories was at a manager’s meeting the year after I started with the company. We were awarded “Best Customer Service” out of all of our 40 RV properties in Florida, based on ratings from an internal customer survey. It was quite the honor and hopefully it reflected on the ongoing commitment to treating our guests well.

Can you recall a time when the guests at your property surprised you?

The guests here at Toby’s RV Resort continue to surprise me on a regular basis. Their willingness to volunteer their time and efforts to lead the activities here is a true testament to the sense of community.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Toby’s RV Resort?

There are quite a few of our guests who have discovered that their Northern homes are only a short distance from each other. We get updates all the time of a Toby’s “North” gathering in different parts of the country.

RV communities look out for each other. Can you share an example of how Toby’s RV Resort  exemplifies the idea of community?

The way that our guests reach out to each other in times of need or support is an inspiration. There are always times in everyone’s life when a major life event requires some additional or extra attention from those close to you. It’s an amazing feeling seeing all the different acts of kindness shared within the group.

Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Toby’s RV Resort?

We have several guests that have been returning for 25+ years. We are one of the most cost-effective RV resorts in the Encore portfolio (due to our inland location) and the activities (led by the board) are superior to our much larger sister properties. As long as you can do without your daily Starbucks fix (25 minutes away), everything you need is located in Arcadia and everything you might want is just a short drive (or Amazon package) away.

Do you have any last words or thoughts for your guests?

I’d like to take an opportunity to thank all of our current guests for choosing Toby’s RV Resort as their winter destination. I know there are many choices in today’s landscape, but our continued repeat business shows that we are loved for many reasons. I would also like to personally invite anyone reading this to come visit us while in the SW Florida area. We love adding new family members to our community.

Stay & Play Differently at Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

When the northern winds are hurling snowdrifts across the roads, it’s nice to be soaking in an outdoor spa at one of the south’s most luxurious RV resorts, Victoria Palms.

The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas has long been known for its moderate winter temperatures, abundant palms, and warm gulf breezes. The developers of the Victoria Palms RV Resort took advantage of these natural advantages and built one of South Texas’ premier RV resorts in Donna, TX.

Not only does it have ideal facilities for a long winter’s stay, but it is close to a large number of amenities such as shopping, medical facilities and it’s within a hour’s drive to the ocean beaches. You can buy your fresh produce such as onions, lettuce, melons of many types, and strawberries on one of your drives into the country, where the mild climate permits several crops per year. There is also a weekly farmers market inside the resort offering all of the fresh produce you can eat.

vp_streetviewFirst appearances are usually lasting ones, and nowhere is this more true than when you, for the first time, drive into the resort. The entrance is separated into two roads with twin rows of tall, graceful palm trees, lining each one. Between these is a grassy lawn with a winding walkway. Neatly manicured RV sites line the road on one side, and wide lanes take you to your site with ease. Citrus trees grow throughout the park, providing exquisite aromas when in flower, and excellent fruit when ripe. It’s really nice to go over to a tree and come back with your hands full of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines or even bananas. This resort definitely exudes the feeling of comfort and relaxation.

This is a gated community for the ages 55 and up and provides a wide variety of accommodations. They have over 1200 concrete pull-through, and back-in RV sites with full hook-ups and WiFi. Some visitors will opt for one of the 100 suites with kitchen and separate bedrooms, or perhaps one of the 20 hotel rooms. They can even book into one of the 14 cottages.

vp_poolOnce you are established in your winter home site, it’s time to amble over to the huge heated pool or sit back and relax in one of the three outdoor spas. If you are too relaxed maybe it’s time to move onto one of the tennis or pickleball courts, lighted for your pleasure if you would rather play at night. You might be also wish to visit the shuffleboard courts. Over at the billiard hall someone is likely waiting for a challenger.

Several winter visitors wish to continue with a hobby or sport they left back in the cold and chances are they can do so here. The wood shop is always popular, as is the wood carving area. The craft centre offers such diverse activities as painting, ceramics, stained glass making, and quilting. Imagine taking home a beautiful old fashioned multi-patterned quilt for your bed, or for a gift to one of your children. There are also organized bike rides on the trails. Bikes are loaded on a trailer and everyone heads for a trailhead where they can join bike trail networks.

jpage-encorerv-rgv-victoriapalmsinterior-61-1Musical entertainment is presented by a variety of bands and there is a large grand piano lounge and an oversized dance room. Square, round, and ballroom dances are offered. To top it all off, there will be dinner theatre, potlucks for those who love to sample a variety of great dishes, and everyone seems ready for the ice cream socials. Looking for a more formal setting? The on site restaurant is sure to please even the most concerning palate.

The Rio Grande Valley abounds in opportunities to explore. South of the resort is the meandering Rio Grande which over the years has left behind many oxbow lakes (locally called Resacas) and marshes. The oxbow lakes form when a loop of the river is cut off and left behind. These quiet areas attract countless species of birds especially during fall and spring migrations. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is positioned along two such routes. There are 12 miles of walking trails, a canopy walk on a rope bridge, and a tower climb which provides excellent views of the surrounding area. This is a great place to photograph amazingly beautiful coloured birds, and butterflies are a hit with many visitors.

The visitor may opt for a longer drive east to South Padre Island. As you pass through vp_shufflePort Isabel you may want to take advantage of the restaurants offering fresh seafood. Fishermen can use the long fishing pier at Port Isabel where they can even rent some fishing gear locally.

It’s the dunes and beaches that attract tourists to the island. The pristine white sand beaches are great for enjoying a day at the sea coast. It is the sand blowing inland that creates the huge dunes that help protect the mainland from storms. When plants grow in this sand it stabilizes the dune, but careless climbing up the dunes can destroy the protective plants, and damage the dune.

Long time snowbird resident Janet Bussier says it’s a terrific park.

“There are so many activities that there is no reason for anyone being bored,” says Janet.
She loves the beauty of the park’s entrance, and the fabulous flowers and palm trees in the park. Janet credits the beauty of the park, its cleanliness, and it’s friendly feeling to the manager, Terry Goss, who listens to your problems and takes action on remediating them.

Victoria Palms RV Resort is a perfect snowbird resort. The destination provides rest, entertainment, and abundant areas for you to discover at your own speed.

6 Tips for Getting the RV Ready for the Trip South

For many Canadian snowbirds, heading south—whether it’s to Fort Lauderdale, Scottsdale or Palm Springs—is an annual affair, one that takes careful planning and organization. Of course, before you can even begin to pack up, you’ll want to make sure your RV and its tires are ready for this epic journey.

1. Inflate & inspect

No one wants to start their trip south with a flat tire. One of the best ways to ensure your tires are healthy and ready for the journey ahead is to check their pressure and condition.

Inflate tires to the recommended PSI, including your spare tire.

Inspect sidewalls for signs of weathering and aging, including cracking, feathering and fading.

Inspect the tread for depth and unusual wear (which could point to an alignment problem that could decrease the life of your tire. For a journey like this, where you may be crossing through the snow and mud of Canada before hitting the dry, hot pavement of the South, it’s best to have a tread depth of at least 6/32”. Your tires should still be in good shape for the trek back to Canada in the spring if you follow this guideline

2. Prepare

Even with all that inflating and inspecting, you can’t always ward off debris on the road. Before you head out, make sure you have the necessary equipment to change a flat tire, including:

  • An accessible, well-inflated spare tire in good condition
  • Jack or ride-on ramp
  • Chock (for double-axle trailers and to keep other tires in place)
  • Tire iron
  • Cones to place around your RV as a warning to other drivers

3. Get your brakes in line

This is an essential step with any vehicle you plan on driving, and on any road condition. Even if your brakes are not making that horrendous squeaky noise when you depress them, a professional brake inspection should be done at least once a year, and an ideal time is in the weeks ahead of your cross-country journey.

A certified mechanic will check to see if your brake fluid is clear and transparent like cooking oil, and will replace it if it’s dark and cloudy. They will also check to see if your brake pads and/or discs need replacing or if there is any damage to your brake lines.

4. Make sure your wheel bearings are bearing up

Most people find out about their wheel bearings when they hear a loud rhythmic and vibrating noise emanating from below their RV while driving. Some people confuse it with tire distress, but it usually means the seal on your wheel bearings is broken or damaged and the bearings are not ‘rolling’ properly.

Wheel bearings are a set of steel balls that ride the axel inside your wheel’s hub and help your wheels spin fast and with as little friction as possible. A certified mechanic can check to see if the wheel bearings require repacking with new grease or if they need replacing. This can be done when you get your brakes inspected.

5. Get power to the people

Before you embark on any road trip, it’s important to inspect your RV’s electrical system (AC and DC), including all plug-in outlets, appliances, batteries, cables, AC unit, and especially your circuit breaker and fuses. Knowing where your circuit breaker is located and testing your fuses is imperative in preventing any power surges and your circuit from overheating, which in the worse case scenario can cause a fire.

If you’re unsure of how your RV electrical system works, visit your local RV dealer or a certified mechanic. For this task, it’s best to get assistance, as there is a risk of shock and serious injury.

6. Ensure lights are ready for action

Now it’s time to make sure your exterior lights are in working order. First, ensure headlights, high beams, indicator lights, marker lights and brake lights shine in front and back of your RV, and triple-check that the wiring is working if you are towing your vehicle behind your RV. Having someone inspect your lights while you are in the driver’s seat, turning them on and off, is best.

7. Have supplies at the ready

If your RV does break down, being prepared will go a long way. Carry an RV survival kit with emergency food and water, an LED flare, solar and hand-crank NOAA radio, LED flashlight, candles or lanterns, mobile phone charger, water purification tablets, hand warmers, etc.

Of course, double-check you’ve got what you need in the event of a flat tire, and that you’ve got tools to check your tire pressure throughout the journey.

Article courtesy of Snowbirds & RV Travelers