10 Mistakes First Time RV Owners Make

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  1. Not having the right tow vehicle for the job.  Growing up in the RV industry, time and time again I saw customers walk through the door looking defeated because another dealer had sold them an RV they couldn’t tow.  After realizing their mistake, many were forced to decide whether or not to downsize the RV or upsize the truck.  Unfortunately, most realized trucks are way more expensive so they took a hit on the RV and either walked away from camping completely or downsized and took a bath in residual value.  Before purchasing, familiarize yourself with the terms GVWR and GAWR, rear end ratios, tongue and pin (for fifth wheel buyers) weight limitations, and tow guides.  RV Life publishes and annual tow guide with realistic values based on options and packages.  Do your homework and don’t make a $10,000 or $20,000 mistake!  Also, if you are planning to do a lot of mountain camping and steep-grade towing, allow an extra 20% weight factor for your tow vehicle.

Throwback

I am thankful to have had the privilege of calling these two my grandparents, Guy and Gladys Adams. Not only were they an inspiration for adventure and camping, they were also God-fearing, honest, hardworking, and kind. I could not have asked for a better example to follow and can’t wait to see them again some day. These pictures were taken sometime in the 90’s at Bryn Mawr Campground in St. Augustine, FL. They had a mid-70s model Apache motorhome.  Camping was such a part of their lives and now we can say the same.

-Nathan

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Disney’s Fort Wilderness Review

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The good

You won’t find a better, more relaxing way to do Disney. We really loved our stay here and found it to be a peaceful respite from a busy day in the theme parks. The park is very kid friendly for all ages and maintained to the highest level to be expected by the Disney name. We found the facilities to be very clean, well maintained and easy to navigate. We found the shuttle to the marina to be more work than it was worth, but really enjoyed our 10 minute walk every morning to take the ferry.

DISNEY

We decided to go to Disney about 3 or 4 weeks before we actually left.  This freaks people out.  I am a planner.  However, Disney planners take it to A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL.  Everything was fine.  We still got reservations, tickets, etc.  The best advice I read was, “Disney wasn’t meant to be seen in one trip. It takes several trips over many years.”

One of the big reasons we decided to go was because kids under three are free!  This includes character dining too.  I am trying to talk Nathan into going again before Amelia turns three in December.  We will see about that.

We ended up getting a reservation at Fort Wilderness Campground for four nights.  The campground was originally booked when we looked online but when Nate called the next day, someone else had just cancelled during the dates we wanted to go!  We decided to just do the parks for two days.  We wanted a few down days to enjoy the campground and honestly I knew it would be too exhausting to go more than two days.

Camp Gulf Review

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Camp Gulf in Destin, Florida

The Good:
From the moment you pull up you realize that the staff at Camp Gulf is hard working and first-class. The owners have done an incredible job building their team and employees seem to really buy into the customer-first mantra. We were escorted immediately to our site by two employees on golf carts and they coordinated us backing into a tight spot, watched my truck and RV while backing, and even offered to help set up. I’ve camped my whole life and have never seen such an organized campground staff.

Location-Location-Location!!!! You will be hard pressed to find another campground that is literally on the white sandy beach. Also, just a short drive to Baytowne and an easy drive to the west end of Destin. The area of the beach feels very private, tucked away from the hustle and bustle high-rise condos and 6-deep rows of chair service and obnoxious vendors. We found the campground to be very quiet, full of friendly guests; everyone we encountered seemed respectful of the campground rules.

Having two young children, we found the beachfront sites to be an extreme luxury. We could sit out in our beach chairs right behind the camper and still hear the monitor during naptime.

Destin, Florida

IMG_9476We are home now and missing this view!!  It was the perfect camping spot.  We already booked our spot for this summer and are counting down the weeks until our next trip!

The first night we got there we set up and were too tired to think of cooking so we ordered take out.  We put the kids in bed and sat outside eating Chinese and playing cards.  It was so nice to sit outside at night in February.