Top 8 RV Resorts for Sports & Recreation

For sports and recreation lovers, RVing is about living an active lifestyle, which is why so many of our RV resorts have focused on developing strong sports and recreation facilities.

Fitness centers, pickle ball, cycling, biking, exercise classes, swimming pools, water aerobics, baseball, lawn bowling, bocce ball and golf are just a few examples of the activities and facilities that can be found at several of our RV resorts.

Check out a few of our recommendations for the best sports and recreation RV resorts across the United States.

Voyager RV Resort and Hotel – Tucson, Arizona

Voyager is the top-rated RV resort in Arizona. It offers a feeling of community and friendship as well as an endless list of neat activities to participate in. Opportunities abound for horseshoes, pickleball, swimming, volleyball, tennis and hiking and these are just a few of the sports that can be found at Voyager resort. The Voyager even offers boxcar racing! If you can think it, it’s probably offered here.

ViewPoint RV and Golf Resort – Mesa, Arizona

The ViewPoint is the perfect RV resort for golf lovers. It has beautiful views and an engaging community dedicated to active seniors. Right on the resort there is an 18-hole championship golf course and a 9-hole executive course where many guests enjoy spending the morning hours playing a round of golf with fellow campers.

If you love sports, but not golf, then check out their fitness centre and basketball, volleyball, tennis, pickleball and shuffleboard courts. You’ll stay busy here, and you can also count on avoiding crowded pools during your swim – this resort has four swimming pools on site!

If you love nature, then you’ll love ViewPoint’s great trails for biking and hiking. Many of the walking trails wind through nearby parks (and a dry riverbed) and offer unique opportunities to view nature at its finest.

Paradise RV Resort – Sun City, Arizona

If you are looking for something unique, Paradise RV Resort is one of a few that offers lawn bowling. In fact, it even hosts and sponsors large international leagues from places such as Japan, Germany and Switzerland! Paradise RV resort takes the love for sports and recreation very seriously. In addition to lawn bowling, it offers other unique amenities such as seven spring training baseball and hockey facilities.

It’s no wonder this resort won the distinct honor of being the 2017 Mega Park of the Year. Here, RVers can enjoy hiking, tennis, swimming, volleyball and shuffleboard while in Paradise!  

Araby Acres RV Resort – Yuma, Arizona

With a full calendar of activities each month, sports lovers will never run out of things to do at Araby Acres. But what makes this resort unique is its floor curling court. With so many northern guests, the staff at Araby wanted to give their curling-loving Canadian visitors a piece of home away from home! Without the ice rink, converting one of the resort’s shuffleboard courts made this dream a reality. With rocks made especially for this awesome floor curling court, guests here can curl while enjoying Yuma’s beautiful, warm weather.

Victoria Palms RV Resort – Donna, Texas

Victoria Palms, located in the tropical Rio Grande Valley in Southern Texas, offers a restaurant, pool, outdoor spa and fitness centre. Additionally, the resort offers amenities for sports and recreation lovers such as shuffleboard, a tennis court, bocce ball, bike trails, horseshoes and pickleball. Those who like to keep busy will thoroughly enjoy their stay at Victoria Palms as there is always something active to do. With an average yearly temperature of 73° Fahrenheit, outdoor activities are on the top of everyone’s to do list here!

Fun-N-Sun RV Resort – San Benito, Texas

Fun-N-Sun RV resort offers exactly what its name suggests – fun in the sun! Keep yourself busy working out, swimming or playing games of volleyball, basketball, billiards, bocce ball, pickleball or horseshoes. This resort even has a large R/C car track for enthusiasts from all over! When you need a break from all the sports and recreation, enjoy citrus fruits from the Rio Grande Valley, sit and relax on a sandy beach, or bird watch in the warm, clear climate.

Goose Creek RV & Camping Resort – Newport, North Carolina

Goose Creek is slightly off the beaten path making it a unique gem among RV resorts. It is located on Bogue Sound along the Intracoastal Waterway and is only a few minutes away from the ocean by land or water! The resort offers several undisturbed beach vacation spots that are hard to come by anymore. As well, because of its location, Goose Creek borders waters that offer some of the best saltwater fishing.

Tropical Palms RV Resort – Kissimmee, Florida

Interested in making sure you catch some sun? Tropical Palms is a fantastic spot for swimming and biking. This pet-friendly resort offers bocce ball, volleyball, fishing, and a top-notch fitness centre; everything active guests need to make the most of the RV lifestyle.

Want to make the most of your vacation? Visit some of these fantastic RV resorts. With so many activities to pass the time, you’ll wish you could stay longer. So, what are you waiting for? Book your stay today! Interested in what other activities our resorts have to offer? Visit RVontheGo.com for more info.

Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida is More Home Than Not

When you find a place that feels as comfortable and enjoyable as being at home, chances are you’re going to want to stay there, especially if the weather is great! Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida is extremely popular, in part due to its great value among Florida RV resorts and its location off the beaten path.

Meet Bill

They say if you want to know something about a place, you ask a local. While most RV resorts have a fairly transient population, Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, FL, has residents who park their RVs here year-round and stay for more than a season. Bill Payne and his wife Ruth are two of those residents. They like living here so much here, they came down early!

“I heard about Toby’s from some friends that were down here,” explained Bill. “They loved it here so we came down to see what it was like. That was in January 2010 and we’ve been coming here ever since. We usually come down here for six or seven months. This year it will probably be eight or nine months.”

Bill is one of the 800 or so people who come to stay at Toby’s RV every year. There are a handful that live there year-round. “We get a lot of people here from Michigan, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Connecticut and quite a few come down from all over Canada. We even have people come down here from Alaska,” he said.

Keeping Busy in the Resort

Bill knows how to keep himself and others busy. In fact, he arranges some of the activities. He sits on the activity board and is in charge of the Ice Cream Social, hall rentals, and helps with bringing in entertainment.

“There’s so much to do here!” he exclaimed. “We have something pretty much every day and night. We have the Unknown DJ, a park resident from Canada, who DJs 50s to 90s music, and there’s live music a few times a month. We have Christmas parties and New Years’ Eve parties, Valentine’s parties…”

Suffice it to say there are over 80 activities a month. Yes, that’s right, a month, that you can take part in. From pickleball to Pétanque, you’re bound to find a thing or two to keep you busy here.

“Our Ice Cream Socials are every Sunday,” said Bill as he looked for his activities list. “We have regular Bingo on Monday and Friday nights and Card Bingo, that you play with a deck of cards, on Wednesday nights.”

Bill finds his list and then the information really started flowing. “Our most popular activities are shuffleboard, bocce ball, and horseshoes. We have a live music jam every Tuesday night and every other Thursday there’s a pot luck supper. There are dances twice a month on Saturday and shows twice a month too. About 100 – 200 people will show up to each of these events. The hall here holds 300 people.”

With all these activities, you might think it would be expensive, but the activity committee has that all figured out. “We sell activity cards for $12.50 for six months from November to end of March. That will get you into the dances and the shows for free. If you don’t have a card – it’s $10 each to get into the dance or a show. Coming up in March we even have Dion Pride, Charlie Pride’s son, coming to perform for us.”

There’s more on Bill’s list. About once a month they have someone come in to cook up a lunch. The last few years they’ve had someone come in and smoke up ribs for their rib dinner. There’s coffee and donuts every Friday morning where the coffee is free and donuts are 50 cents.

Keep on Learning

There are classes here as well. And not just one or two, there are a dozen or so, with more being thought up every year. “You can take just about any kind of class here,” Bill said with a touch of pride in his voice. You can really tell he loves it here. “We have painting classes and if you want something different there are stained glass classes. There’s quilting and needlework and crocheting too, and beading classes every Friday morning.”

He pauses for a moment. “Oh, there’s line dancing classes too, that’s always fun. Then we have a younger gal from Canada who comes here and teaches Yoga and other movement exercises. You can even take tennis lesson here.”

Should you want to learn something else, they have someone at the resort who teaches computer classes, and woodcarving and basket weaving. “There’s something going on here every day,” said Bill. “We’re pretty busy here. We just keep goin’.”

Kick Back and Relax

For those who just want to sit back and relax a bit, there’s time and places for that too. There’s a park with a large pond on the property. “The pond has alligators in it,” Bill said matter of factly. “You don’t have to worry about them. You can just sit on the deck by the pond and watch them. They never come into the resort, and if the odd one does, we get rid of it quickly. You can fish here too. It’s all catch and release. If you want to go further out, Lake Okeechobee is only an hour east of here. You can go fishing and boating there.”

Many residents just like to relax in the pool or have a soak in the hot tub. There’s an exercise room, a weight room and pool tables and even a well-stocked library on site.

Happy Trails

The land around Toby’s is fairly flat, making it easy to bike around the RV resort and into the town of Arcadia. “The only hills around here are man-made,” said Bill. “It’s fairly flat countryside so you can go quite a ways.”

It’s about a 20-minute bike ride, or a 10-minute car ride to Morgan Park which has some nice easy hiking trails. There’s large open grassy areas for games and picnics. The park is located on the banks of the Peace River, which is reportedly a great spot for swimming and fishing. You may even see the odd armadillo, deer or squirrel as you walk the trails.

“There’s a bike and hike trail near Toby’s too and you can go up as far as the Winn Dixie and the hardware store,” said Bill. “You can even ride your golf cart up there!”

From Village to Cities

The cozy town of Arcadia, FL is just a few minutes away from Toby’s RV Resort. It has all the major amenities you’ll need including a Walmart Superstore, “There are some small restaurants as well as fast food joints,” explained Bill. “There’s a couple good Italian and Mexican restaurants too. And the town even has a walk-in clinic and a Goodwill store.”

One of the bigger draws to Arcadia are the antique shops. “There are over a dozen shops here,” said Bill. “Then every third Saturday of the month they have an antique show and people come from all over.”

As this is the middle of cow country, it’s a given that there’s an agriculture centre. The Turner Agri-Civic Center, has horse pulls, dog shows, beef sales and car shows, all within minutes of the RV resort. “They have a rodeo here in Arcadia too,” said Bill proudly. “They’re building a brand new rodeo station here. It will be the biggest rodeo east of the Mississippi and will have riders from all over the world come here just for the rodeo in February.”

For those who miss what the city has to offer, you can find all the theatres, live music, shopping and fine dining you need in the surrounding areas. “Port Charlotte is just 35 minutes south of the resort, with Fort Myers about an hour and a bit south,” said Bill. “Then there’s Sarasota, about an hour away to the west. Fort Myers and Fort Charlotte have some great theatres. Pretty much everywhere you want to go is about an hour, hour and a half from here.”

Do as You Please

With so much to see and do you may feel obligated to get out there and see and do as much as possible. Remember, this is your get-away, your time. Do as you please, knowing that at any time, on any day, there’s always something else to do at Toby’s RV Resort.

Have you visited toby’s RV Resort before? Let us know about your experience!

Life’s a Beach at Vero Beach, Florida on the Treasure Coast

Imagine beginning your day with a walk along a beautiful sun-kissed beach. Or grabbing a coffee while heading out to witness the nesting site of majestic loggerhead sea turtles. Or even donning your explorer’s hat to search for centuries old shipwreck treasure. You can do all of this at beautiful Vero Beach, Florida on the Treasure Coast!

Hang Your Hat

Find a place to hang your hat and your fishing rod before you head out to explore what Vero Beach on the Treasure Coast has to offer. Sunshine Travel RV Resort has some great amenities such as a billiards/game room, horseshoes, swimming pool, and fitness centre. Meet fellow travellers – who knows, you might make new lifelong friends! There are several fresh and saltwater game fishing opportunities within a short distance from your home base. Maybe you’ll catch a big one!

There are a multitude of beaches within exploring distance of the RV resort. Be sure to make time to visit Santa Lucea Beach on Hutchinson Island. This beach offers jungle like paths to meander down. You’ll discover wildflowers and butterflies, both leading towards the almost technicolor blue-green waters.

Golden Sands beach is the place to go and observe the incredible loggerhead sea turtle and the green turtle. The turtles that come here to reproduce, represent over a quarter of all the loggerhead and green sea turtle nests in the US. You can find this beach at the starting point of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Come and enjoy a peaceful day at this protected nesting habitat for these turtle species.

Be sure to include Seagrape Trail Beach on your must-visit beach list. This serene, secluded beach is known for having silver coins from the 1715 sunken Spanish Fleet scattered throughout the warm sand. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find one!

Adventure

There’s plenty of adventure here with several exciting and historic places to explore. Take in a live performance at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach. You’ll find everything from comedy shows, to concerts, to a series of informative lecturers. It’s all here for you to enjoy at this non-profit professional theatre.

If your interest lies more in extreme adventure, Vero Beach offers exciting skydiving opportunities. Ever feel the urge to jump out of a perfectly good plane? Then this is for you! Imagine the feeling of free falling over beautiful Florida skies. Feel the wind lift and move you. Then it’s time to pull your chute and float safely back to each. Before you know it you’re back on solid ground.

There are also several boat tour companies willing to show you Vero Beach from an ocean vantage point. One such company is Gator Bait Airboat Adventures. Gator sightings are guaranteed. Be sure and have your camera ready!

For the golf lover, the semi-private Vista Plantation Golf Club offers a full driving range to get your muscles warmed up for a round of 18 hole, par 62 golf. There is also the beautiful Sandridge Golf Club, which has built a reputation as being one of the finest golf destinations in the state of Florida.

Get out into nature and tour the area on horseback. Angel’s Appy Acres provides well trained and patient horses, great for novice and experienced riders alike. The tour takes you trail riding through the beautiful St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, home to over 50 protected species. Again, make sure you have your camera ready for this adventure.

For a unique experience that is not for the faint of heart, take a walking tour with Indian River Hauntings. Tour the haunted historical sights and sounds of Vero Beach. Bring a small flashlight for this hour and a half walking tour that is sure to get your heart beating a little faster.

If a little retail therapy is on your agenda, plan to include Vero Beach Outlets on your shopping excursion. With major savings on more than 50 brand name stores, there are deals to be found here on clothing, travel, tours and more!

Local Culinary Treasures

When your tummy is grumbling and it’s time to eat, Vero Beach has some incredible culinary choices. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely lunch, be sure to stop in to The Lemon Tree. This restaurant is a favourite among travelers and it’s right near the beach. They vegetarian and vegan options as well as regular fare. Come and see why it’s been given 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor!

For a fine dining experience that is second to none, plan to visit The Tides. They are known for great service, excellent seafood, and succulent duck. The Tides is the place to go when you’re in the mood to dress up for a romantic sunset meal.

If a quick drink is more what you’re looking for, wet your whistle at the Kilted Mermaid. The eclectic atmosphere offers such dishes as Duck Empanadas and Crab Gorgonzola Fondue. They have over 25 local and global wines on the menu as well as over 80 craft and imported beers.

Pamper Yourself

It’s your holiday, make sure you make the time to pamper yourself. Vero Beach offers several relaxing spa amenities.

The White Orchid Spa offers their guests the full spa experience with massages, facials, manicure and pedicures for men and women. You can book a couple’s massage or choose from their menu for whatever level of relaxation you’re looking for.

For something a little different, try a massage on the beach! This massage offers a specific technique that is choreographed to synchronize with the rhythmic sounds of waves crashing. This takes relaxing to a whole new level!

Whatever you choose to do, you’ll never be far from beach at Vero Beach on the Treasure Coast!

Let us know if you’ve ever visited Vero Beach and what other fun things there are to do in the area!

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.

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

Discover the FUN at Forest Lake Village in Zephyrhills, FL

Your Winter Home

When you’re looking for a place to call home for the winter, head to Forest Lake Village. It’s a peaceful oasis away from noisy cities, nestled in the countryside around Zephyrhills. Nearby are some well-known springs and it’s near here where Crystal Springs bottled water comes from. With clean air and crystal clear streams, it’s no wonder so many Snowbirds call this place home in the colder months.

Canuckville

This is Floridian lifestyle at its finest. It’s home to over 100 Canadians every winter, and they keep coming back time and time again. Stephen Bagiardi, manager of Forest Lake Village, knows why they keep coming back. “We have 274 sites in this RV park and I would say we have about 100 Canadian guests each year. They love that they have so many friends here from all over Canada. It’s their central meeting spot. When newcomers arrive, the first thing they notice is the comradery. There’s a strong family like atmosphere here.”

It also helps that Forest Lake Village is 30 minutes from Tampa, 45-50 minutes to the Gulf Beaches and 45 minutes to Orlando.

Great Activities and Amenities

Guests at Forest Lake can be as relaxed or as active as they choose. “We have lots of events for our guests,” said Bagiardi. “We have Bingo and card nights multiple times a week. There’s water aerobics, line dancing, shuffleboard clubs and tournaments. People get together to shoot pool three nights a week. There are ping pong games and a library.”

Around the holiday season they have Christmas, Valentine’s and Thanksgiving dinners and dances. Also at Christmas, they have a parade that goes throughout the park and for those who want to work off some of those pesky seasonal calories, there are runs. Come join in the fun with the Turkey Trot and a Reindeer Run throughout the park. “You don’t have to run,” said Bagiardi. “Many of our guests prefer to walk, and some use it as a fundraiser.”

The RV resort comes complete with a clubhouse, swimming pool, laundry, horseshoes, library, shuffleboard, hot tub, a billiards/games room and a picnic and barbeque area. You can even get your own private mailbox, and yes, you can bring your furry friends with you.

For those who just want to relax, there’s a lake right on the property. Thirty of the sites back onto the small lake. There are no boats allowed, but you can cast or fly fish from shore into this fish filled lake.

Get Out and Explore

The biggest draw in this area is golf. There are six golf courses within 15-20 minutes of Forest Lake Village, and a dozen more about 30 minutes away. “There’s always a group heading out to one of the nearby courses every day,” said Bagiardi. And with this many great golf courses, why not!

As the RV resort is located between Tampa and Orlando there are plenty of sporting events to go to as well. Then there are the 20 theme parks in the area including Knott’s Berry Farm, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Busch Gardens.

Head out shopping to one of the outlet malls in the area and find something unique at one of the local specialty stores. When you’re done exploring for the day, there are dozens and dozens of restaurants within 15 minutes of Forest Lake Village.

Parks at the Gulf

Hop in the car and head west to Gulf. Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs has 155 acres on the Gulf of Mexico. Walk the white sandy beaches or go for a swim. You’ll see nesting ospreys and eagles above you and dolphins and manatees in the gulf. Bring your kayak or canoe (or rent one locally) and spend the day on the water.

Walls Springs Park is south of Tarpon Springs and is a great place to take a hike in nature. The park is 210 acres with a natural spring, with water temperatures at a nearly constant 23C (74F). There’s a 10 m (35 ft) observation tower that you can climb for some amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico. Bring your bike, or pack a picnic and spend the day exploring.

At the end of the day, head back to the Forest Lake Village, your winter home away from home.

Meet Roy From Sherwood Forest RV Resort In Kissimmee, Florida

  • Name: Roy Reyes Silverio
  • In position since: November 27th, 2014
  • Title: Resort Manager
  • Work Location: Sherwood Forest RV
  • Previous parks you’ve worked at (if applicable): n/a
  • Favorite hobbies or sport(s): Spending time with my family and friends, drawing and some karaoke

What brought you to Sherwood Forest?

My first introduction to the property was through another employee inviting me to play Bingo at the community. After that event, the rest was history. I never thought I would get the opportunity to grow with the company as I did. I had also never worked at an RV resort so the challenge of a new adventure peaked my interest.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a Resort Manager?

The most rewarding aspect of being a Resort Manager for me would be the opportunity to interact with so many people. I love connecting and making bonds with customers and guests which turn into valued customer returns or new beginnings. It’s our relationships that people remember and cling to, why not put that same emphasis to our clients? The guests and residents have become a Sherwood family that I love to spend time with.

How do you help make guests vacations at Sherwood Forest special?

The best way to understand what guests expect and want is by simply asking them. What acts do you like to see as far as entertainers go? What about the ice cream social made you want to come support us? Put yourself in their shoes and participate. Nothing gets your residents more interested than jumping in during a line dancing routine. You want to create memories that they will want to remember and give them a reason to come back for more.

Can you share something you’ve learned from your guests?

I’ve learned a lot from my guests. Their life experiences, their many travels and family stories. The one thing I have taken from everyone is don’t be so serious. Broken water pipes can be repaired, cable can go haywire but the one thing that you can control is your outlook on things. Staying positive and not allowing yourself to become detracted from the world is essential and just makes you a better human being.

What’s special about Sherwood Forest?

Whenever I get asked this question I always refer to Sherwood Forest as a hidden gem. The property is tucked cubby behind other local business that drowns out the hussle and bussle of the major highway but we are still so close to everything your heart desires. Between the vast choices of dining and local eateries you can find just about anything within a 10 mile radius. The attractions are a big seller as well. Why not save a buck camping instead of a hotel and use the extra money to spend at Sea World or Disney. We even promote our local attractions that are not costly that just give us an edge due to our location.

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

The first word I would use to describe Sherwood is “exciting”. We know how to have a good time here even if we are grilling hot dogs and hamburgers in the blistering heat. Every event is such a joy to participate in that we want you wanting more. The second word I would choose is “friendly”. I have come to see the residents and guests to form groups and connections that present during dinners. They will come in before a potluck and reserve a table just so they can sit by their friends. It’s truly a sight and a testament to their belief in friendship. Last word that comes to my mind would be “relaxed”. Nothing like hearing about a lazy day at the pool. You can’t go wrong with knowing you can spend your day just lounging about the property and enjoying the comforts of the amenities on site. You can choose to play a round of golf at our miniature putt putt course or even surf the internet at our rec center. You choose your own activities and events, there is no wrong way to vacation.

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

The best bang for your buck I could offer would be Old Town and Fun Spot. Both are just 1 mile from the property that offer games and rides for kids plus some bars and shopping for adults. There is also a great place to kayak for those outdoor activity junkies at The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. Obviously you can’t go wrong with Disney, Sea World, Universal, Legoland and all the other major attractions close by. If you think it, we probably have it.

What accomplishment at Sherwood Forest are you most proud of? Why?

There are a lot of things that we do as managers on a daily basis that change the property for the better but the one accomplishment I take with me is really delving into the activities we provide. Of course there are the staples such as potluck, bingo and cards but I didn’t want it to just end there. We have introduced new performers to the resort, painting classes, Happy Hour at our tiki bar and other events that give people a reason to come out of their campers and see us. I’m not afraid of trying anything once, if it works do it again, otherwise look for another event to fill the guests calendars up with another fun filled activity.

What’s your favorite funny story to tell from Sherwood Forest?

One of the funniest stories I can recollect is helping aid the guard shack dressed in a Luigi costume from the Mario Brothers. It was close to Halloween and I was trying out an outfit to wear and was asked by other employees to drive around the community in it. As we reached the entrance we all collectively thought the same idea as to have me wave in traffic. We were laughing from the time I stepped off that golf cart to my departure. Everyone stopped that night to get a good look and it made for a good story to those who caught me in character.

Can you share your favourite memory at Sherwood Forest?

One of my most memorable moments I can think of is when I was finally offered the management position. It had finally come to fruition on Thanksgiving day and during my speech to the guests at Thanksgiving Dinner in the clubhouse I announced to everyone my new role as manager. Everyone was so supportive and I’m still so thankful to be here to this day. Whenever I need a reminder as to why I do what I do, I think back to that day and it pushes me to do more and want more for the property and the guests.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Sherwood Forest?

The bonds of friendship truly shine when I think about Sherwood. One group that comes to mind rotates dinner and drinks from camper to camper every night and have even put up lights for the holidays which coincided with each other. And if you weren’t aware of how close these guests get with each other just wait for a meal event. You’ll always have one in the group come in before the event to save seats for their gang. A lot of the guests that come truly call their stay here with us their home away from home.

Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Sherwood Forest?

I can think of many reasons guests return to Sherwood Forest. The location, the activities, their friends and even the staff. We have formed quite the family here and when our guests return it’s like seeing a long lost relative finally coming back home. When you treat your guests like they belong, that’s what gives them a reason to come back. When our long term guests come in and mention they don’t want to check out yet, that’s a sign you’ve locked them in for another fun filled stay next time around.

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

Sherwood Forest is a breath of fresh air. We enjoy nothing but providing guests with the best experience they can get while creating memories of their own. Our location offers so many amazing dining options and you can easily stay entertained by all the local attractions and activities. If you are looking for a getaway from your normal everyday routine, come visit us even for a weekend. Give yourself the opportunity to visit old friends, make new friends and join the Sherwood tribe.

 

Tropical Palms RV in Kissimmee: A peaceful getaway in the heart of Central Florida

A Quiet Hideaway

Feel the warmth of the Florida sun at Tropical Palms RV Resort in Kissimmee, FL. It’s the perfect central Florida hideaway.

“We truly are a hidden gem,” said park GM Karla Hettinger. “We have 69 acres of prime central Florida real estate that’s minutes away from dozens and dozens of theme parks. You can bring your RV here or stay in one of our private cottages. At the end of the day you come back to this quiet hideaway with your own private space. Guests love to relax and unwind by playing shuffleboard, mini golf, bocce ball, and horseshoes.”

Hettinger said about 40% of the guests at Tropical Palms are from Canada. “Canadians are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” she said. “Many of them started coming here years ago with their RV. When they decided the drive was too much, they purchased one of our Sandcastles, which is what we call the privately-owned cottages,” she explained. “They keep coming back here because of the experience of community. The staff and other guests become like family, and they can’t wait to come down and see them again.”

The events and activities at Tropical Palms were designed with all ages in mind. “We made sure that everything we offer here can be enjoyed by a variety of people.”

Places to Go… Things to Do

When you’re ready to extend your adventures beyond the resort, you are a short drive away from the excitement of Disney World, Universal Theme Parks, Sea World, Kennedy Space Centre and Busch Gardens!

Disney World: This world-renowned theme park offers hours and hours of exploration. There are the rides; however, Disney World is so much more than that. Choose from a huge assortment of exhibits, pavilions and experiences, including an American Adventure Life Show and the Gallery of the Arts and History of Morocco. The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, is a gentle boat ride through the Mexican pavilion. There’s this and so much more to see and do in Disney World. You are sure to see characters from your childhood as you explore the park and delight in the laughter that surrounds you.

Universal Theme Parks: With so many exhilarating attractions to choose from, you’ll want to plan enough time to experience it all! For reggae lovers, the Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom exhibit is a must see. The Blue Man Group is another super exciting experience you don’t want to miss. This comedy, theatre, concert and dance party mash up delivers an incredible multi-sensory experience. Be sure to take in this dynamic show that has captivated millions of people worldwide!

Sea World: Take advantage of the opportunity to experience and learn about our planet’s fascinating ocean creatures. The shark encounter offers guests the chance to view these ancient predators as the fascinating and intelligent creatures they are. Stingray Lagoon gives visitors the chance to get up close and personal with these peaceful water dwellers. You may just get soft high-five if you dare to place your hand gently on the surface of the water!

Kennedy Space Center: The Kennedy Space Center is a must visit for anyone who has ever stared up at the stars and wondered what it would be like to be out there. The space center is organized into Mission Zones. The attractions and tours offered by the Space Center are grouped by chronological era. You’ll learn about the fascinating history of space travel, from the dawn of space exploration to current missions.

Busch Gardens: This park was recently recognized as being one of the best theme parks in the world. What you might not know is there are some incredible culinary experiences at Busch Gardens! If your taste buds tingle at the thought of barbecue, be sure to check out the Zambia Smokehouse. If dinner with a view is more your speed, visit the Serengeti Overlook Restaurant. For something completely different, indulge in a bacon pretzel fury at Twisted Tails Pretzels.

Meanwhile… Back at the Park

Once you’ve had all the excitement you can handle, head back to Tropical Palms. You can relax outside your RV and soak up some sun, or take part in one of the several programs they offer. Try your luck at candy bar Bingo, appreciation parties, block parties,

bean bag pizza parties, casino night, ice cream socials, yard sails, wine and paint nights, the trop-Olympics and dancing the night away to live music.

When the last tale has been told, the final song sung, it’s time to head to bed so you can start all over again the next day.

South Florida – Explore Fort Lauderdale & Miami at Your Leisure

Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Pompano Beach: RV Style

The Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Pompano Beach areas are filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of a tropical paradise. Beaches, parks, harbours, groves, keys and everglades beckon you to come explore. Exotic foods, a vibrant night life, shopping, theatre and the arts, and outdoor adventure are just a few of the attractions that await you. There are so many places to stay and things to do, you may have a hard time deciding.

Miami at Your Own Pace

You don’t have to stay in the city, you can enjoy a more laid back South Florida lifestyle and visit the attractions at your leisure. Imagine relaxing under a shady palm tree, while the breeze rustles through the leaves. Bite into a fresh mango or enjoy a delicious avocado from nearby growers. Miami Everglades RV Resort is a mere 32 mi (52 km) from the bustling city of Miami. The resort’s close proximity to Miami makes it an easy commute to all the excitement that Miami has to offer.

While in Miami, be sure to immerse yourself in Miami’s Cuban culture by exploring Little Havana. Treat yourself to local mouth-watering flavours such as cumin-rich black beans and strong Cuban coffee. After shaking your taste buds up, challenge a local to a rousing game of dominoes or chess in Maximo Gomez Park (called Domino Park by locals). On the last Friday of every month, Little Havana invites locals and visitors alike to discover Viernes Culturales, or Cultural Fridays. This monthly celebration showcases the neighbourhood’s unique cultural art scene.

The Design District near Miami’s downtown includes at least a dozen fine-art galleries and many world class eateries such as Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink. The taste bud tickling menu includes the incredible artistic desserts of star pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith.

South of downtown, Coconut Grove houses trendy boutiques that provide fun and unique shopping opportunities. Every February, Coconut Grove welcomes more than 150,000 visitors for the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival. It’s known as one of the most exciting and popular outdoor festivals in the United States. While in Miami, be sure to visit Dolphin World for the opportunity to swim with, pet, hold, play, and kiss the majestic, intelligent, and humorous dolphins.

Discover Fort Lauderdale Your Way

A short 35-minute drive up the I-95 Express and you are in Fort Lauderdale. Known as, The Venice of America, this fabulous city is a sun seeker’s paradise. Check in to the Sunshine Holiday Ft. Lauderdale RV Resort and then explore to your hearts’ content. It’s a short 15-minute drive to the center of Fort Lauderdale. Take a stroll down the red brick road of the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk. Make your way to the arts and entertainment district of this historic city. Within this unique district, you’ll find such treasures as the Broward Centre for the Performing Arts, a world-class entertainment venue that offers exciting performances from the best of Broadway, to internationally-renowned classical music, to comedy.

On Sunday evenings, the Stranahan House and Water Taxi offers a spine-tingling River Ghost Tour, including a Stranahan House visit and New River boat ride. The new Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a historic 1920 plantation-style waterfront home, features whimsical art and fascinating architecture. Wander around and imagine what it was like to live in Fort Lauderdale a century ago.

For a truly unique experience, climb aboard a gondola and view the city from an entirely different perspective. Sit back and relax while you leisurely float by and gaze upon some of the most luxurious homes and gardens of South Florida  While you’re near the water, take in a narrated 90-minute amphibious vehicle Duck Tour of Las Olas Boulevard. If scenic cruises are more your speed, be sure to take in a Jungle Queen riverboat cruise. This cruise takes you to a lush tropical isle where you can watch an alligator show and discover exotic birds, lemurs, and monkeys.

Kick Back in Pompano Beach

Should you prefer a resort closer to the ocean, head up to Breezy Hill RV Resort in beautiful Pompano Beach, 25 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale. You’ll find yourself 3 km (2 mi) from beautiful Atlantic coast beaches. This resort is the perfect place to set up camp while you explore a surplus of fine dining and excellent shopping opportunities.

Pompano Beach has a holiday boat parade in December, a seafood festival in April, and a fishing rodeo in May.

This beautiful city is known for its exceptional boating and fishing opportunities along the 1,000-foot municipal fishing pier. Pompano Beach is also known for its magnificent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Swim from shore to the natural coral reefs and snorkel the day away. Pompano Beach is the Wreck Capital of Florida. Divers will love the warm Gulf Stream current flowing parallel to the shoreline. The conditions here are perfect for drift diving with several ship wrecks and miles of colorful reefs to explore.

There is so much to see and do in South Florida. Be sure and check with the RV Park and Visitor Centres for more great information on places to go and things to do. Wherever you decide to stay, and whatever you decide to do, you’ll not soon forget your time spent in South Florida.
Have you visited South Florida before? Please share what other exciting things there are to do in the area!