Enjoying A Florida RV Christmas

RV Camping Article Contributed By Larry Clifton

Florida RV Camping  Tuesday, December 23, in the predawn black and a cold snap that plummeted temperatures to 18 degrees in the north Georgia mountains, we boarded the Four Winds Magic Bus for our maiden RV adventure that would take us from our Appalachian Mountain home to a warm, flatlander Christmas with family in Pasco County, Florida (Lake Padgett area). This area was home to us for 19 years prior to relocating last year. I had double-checked all systems twice, but a nagging little voice told me that something wasn’t quite right. The voice said, “Drive, and it will happen…” My trail-tested Liberty Jeep was the toad car. Our already neurotic Boston terrier Buster involuntarily twitched and repeatedly blinked bulging eyes when I dropped the RV’s Super Duty Triton engine into drive. The Chihuahua spread her short legs on the wood floor and hunkered down as though she was falling toward Munchkin- Land in Dorothy’s tornado-flung home. The dogs were used to entering the motor-home while stationary on our property, but when the engine purred and gears shifted under them, it was on par with a California earthquake judging by their paranoid behaviors. At some point they bucked up and dealt with it and a thousand miles later they seemed like natural-born RVers; my smash-faced terrier watches the road from behind my shoulder as we travel and the yappy-one sleeps until we stop at a rest site where she terrorizes all with her high-pitched bark. Eventually, I eased the 31-foot RV and toad down the mountain that we live on and onto the highway. Right away I noticed the steering wheel pulled to the right. At first I rationalized that the “pull” was normal when towing, but the big V-10 didn’t seem to have the power that it did when I drove it sixty-five miles after picking it up in Summerville, Georgia. I checked the Jeep through the rear camera system and all seemed normal so I brought the RV up to 55 mph. Just then, a semi pulled alongside. The driver flipped on his cab light so that I could see him and pointed rearward, indicating that I needed to pull over and check my load. I’m glad I did, and God bless that trucker. When I read the instructions for towing, I overlooked one small detail. One must unlock the steering on the towed vehicle by putting the ignition in a certain position, something I would normally catch on my mechanical check list. I was one click off, so the relatively massive International RV had pulled the Liberty Jeep along, its steering locked, causing the front tires to virtually disintegrate. The smell of hot rubber permeated the air as our festive bon voyage mood turned ugly. I glanced at Buster; he just turned his head sideways and whined, like my wife Leigh whom I respectively refer to as the navigator. Purchasing a set of tires along the Interstate during Christmas week is not conducive to finding bargains. No matter, this was the maiden voyage and as with boats and motorcycles in the past, I knew that maiden voyages can be expensive. Like the time we cruised some mangrove-dotted sand flats near the Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida in our newly purchased boat. A couple hundred yards after leaving the channel I discovered the reason my boat lost power was that the quad-blades of my plastic speed-prop were ground off in the sandy shallows. Excursion price tag: $300. A few hundred dollars later I had discovered my error, replaced the tires, and we were tooling south for a Florida Christmas. Fortunately, no further damages were incurred. As for using the 4W-drive Jeep Liberty for a toad car, it is a splendid choice. Set up is as simple as putting the transfer case in neutral, the transmission in Park and selecting the “off” but (not locked) key position. Any process omission will cost. We stayed at the Quail Run RV Park north of Hwy. 54 on Old Pasco Road in Pasco County FL., a nice place with swimming pool; WiFi; cable-TV; site-sewer-connect, and plenty of nearby shopping. Quail Run is within a few miles of such mega-stores as Best Buy; Toys-R-Us; Beals, JC Pennys and more. Even though we had finished our Christmas shopping, I was unable to resist the urge to buy additional gifts for the two grandsons. The lesson learned is that compulsive shoppers on a budget might want to consider staying in forestry parks or other remote sites far from the suburban malls. On the positive side, our trip was a blast. Our two young grandsons spent one night with us and we spent Christmas at our son’s home along with the entire immediate family. Unlike during other trips to Florida, we never felt like we were imposing by accepting gracious offers for us to stay with relatives. We came and went on our own terms and there was never a time that we worried about overstaying our welcome. Choosing the right RV Park is important; convenience is the definition of the right park. The Quail Run RV Park has a small gym; recreation center; public bath houses for those without water hook-ups and a small store with food and RV essentials for those without a car. There is a public dump site and propane filling station. Sprawling oaks offer shade from the Florida sun. This area of Pasco County is a bedroom community to Tampa. Most people who live in central Pasco work in Tampa just as we did. The crime rate is low and the many alluring lakes in the area offer countless opportunities for boating, fishing and other water sports. If you’re going that way, I suggest considering this park and visiting their attached website. We are preparing for another adventure, this one to the Southwest. What will Buster do when he faces down a giant tarantula out West? Will Bitsey the Chihuahua be arrested for disturbing the peace during a future Interstate rest-stop? Subscribe free to travel and learn with us through my RV Travel Examiner columns. Just be careful if you decide to attend an RV show in your area. The travel fever is more contagious than the flu and a lot more fun!
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Enjoying A Florida RV Christmas

RV Camping Article

Contributed By Larry Clifton

Florida RV Camping  Tuesday, December 23, in the predawn black and a cold snap that plummeted temperatures to 18 degrees in the north Georgia mountains, we boarded the Four Winds Magic Bus for our maiden RV adventure that would take us from our Appalachian Mountain home to a warm, flatlander Christmas with family in Pasco County, Florida (Lake Padgett area). This area was home to us for 19 years prior to relocating last year. I had double-checked all systems twice, but a nagging little voice told me that something wasn’t quite right. The voice said, “Drive, and it will happen…” My trail-tested Liberty Jeep was the toad car. Our already neurotic Boston terrier Buster involuntarily twitched and repeatedly blinked bulging eyes when I dropped the RV’s Super Duty Triton engine into drive. The Chihuahua spread her short legs on the wood floor and hunkered down as though she was falling toward Munchkin-Land in Dorothy’s tornado-flung home. The dogs were used to entering the motor-home while stationary on our property, but when the engine purred and gears shifted under them, it was on par with a California earthquake judging by their paranoid behaviors. At some point they bucked up and dealt with it and a thousand miles later they seemed like natural-born RVers; my smash- faced terrier watches the road from behind my shoulder as we travel and the yappy-one sleeps until we stop at a rest site where she terrorizes all with her high-pitched bark. Eventually, I eased the 31-foot RV and toad down the mountain that we live on and onto the highway. Right away I noticed the steering wheel pulled to the right. At first I rationalized that the “pull” was normal when towing, but the big V-10 didn’t seem to have the power that it did when I drove it sixty-five miles after picking it up in Summerville, Georgia. I checked the Jeep through the rear camera system and all seemed normal so I brought the RV up to 55 mph. Just then, a semi pulled alongside. The driver flipped on his cab light so that I could see him and pointed rearward, indicating that I needed to pull over and check my load. I’m glad I did, and God bless that trucker. When I read the instructions for towing, I overlooked one small detail. One must unlock the steering on the towed vehicle by putting the ignition in a certain position, something I would normally catch on my mechanical check list. I was one click off, so the relatively massive International RV had pulled the Liberty Jeep along, its steering locked, causing the front tires to virtually disintegrate. The smell of hot rubber permeated the air as our festive bon voyage mood turned ugly. I glanced at Buster; he just turned his head sideways and whined, like my wife Leigh whom I respectively refer to as the navigator. Purchasing a set of tires along the Interstate during Christmas week is not conducive to finding bargains. No matter, this was the maiden voyage and as with boats and motorcycles in the past, I knew that maiden voyages can be expensive. Like the time we cruised some mangrove-dotted sand flats near the Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida in our newly purchased boat. A couple hundred yards after leaving the channel I discovered the reason my boat lost power was that the quad-blades of my plastic speed-prop were ground off in the sandy shallows. Excursion price tag: $300. A few hundred dollars later I had discovered my error, replaced the tires, and we were tooling south for a Florida Christmas. Fortunately, no further damages were incurred. As for using the 4W-drive Jeep Liberty for a toad car, it is a splendid choice. Set up is as simple as putting the transfer case in neutral, the transmission in Park and selecting the “off” but (not locked) key position. Any process omission will cost. We stayed at the Quail Run RV Park north of Hwy. 54 on Old Pasco Road in Pasco County FL., a nice place with swimming pool; WiFi; cable- TV; site-sewer-connect, and plenty of nearby shopping. Quail Run is within a few miles of such mega-stores as Best Buy; Toys-R-Us; Beals, JC Pennys and more. Even though we had finished our Christmas shopping, I was unable to resist the urge to buy additional gifts for the two grandsons. The lesson learned is that compulsive shoppers on a budget might want to consider staying in forestry parks or other remote sites far from the suburban malls. On the positive side, our trip was a blast. Our two young grandsons spent one night with us and we spent Christmas at our son’s home along with the entire immediate family. Unlike during other trips to Florida, we never felt like we were imposing by accepting gracious offers for us to stay with relatives. We came and went on our own terms and there was never a time that we worried about overstaying our welcome. Choosing the right RV Park is important; convenience is the definition of the right park. The Quail Run RV Park has a small gym; recreation center; public bath houses for those without water hook-ups and a small store with food and RV essentials for those without a car. There is a public dump site and propane filling station. Sprawling oaks offer shade from the Florida sun. This area of Pasco County is a bedroom community to Tampa. Most people who live in central Pasco work in Tampa just as we did. The crime rate is low and the many alluring lakes in the area offer countless opportunities for boating, fishing and other water sports. If you’re going that way, I suggest considering this park and visiting their attached website. We are preparing for another adventure, this one to the Southwest. What will Buster do when he faces down a giant tarantula out West? Will Bitsey the Chihuahua be arrested for disturbing the peace during a future Interstate rest-stop? Subscribe free to travel and learn with us through my RV Travel Examiner columns. Just be careful if you decide to attend an RV show in your area. The travel fever is more contagious than the flu and a lot more fun!
RV Camping - HappyVagabonds.Com Copyright © 2018

Would you like to

write an article about

your camping

experience or

knowledge? Visit our

Writers Needed 

page for more

information.

RV Camping - Happyvagabonds.com
RV Camping - Happyvagabonds.com