A Complete Guide to RVing in Florida for the Winter
Every year people come from the US and Canada to go RVing in Florida for the winter. They flock there by the millions pulling or driving their winter homes. Who wouldn’t want to RV in Florida for the winter? Even in the more northern part of the state, the temperatures average in the low 70s. You could get some chilly days but it’s not likely to last long. If you head south it gets warmer and the best place to swim and spend time on the water is near the gulf. This time of year you can be pretty sure hurricane season will be over as well.
Florida is 450 miles long and 129 miles wide so there is a lot of space in such a large state. Even with that, finding an RV park with space available at the last minute, say in January might not be possible. The ones that do have openings may be super expensive or not so nice. You could get lucky and find a cancellation or may get on a park’s cancellation call list so if something comes up you’ll be notified. RVers tend to stay in snowbird destinations for 3-6 months so getting your reservation even a year ahead of time if you plan on RVing in Florida for the winter, particularly for the popular parks, is super important.
First things First
If you are plan to RV in Florida for the winter, it might be a good idea to settle on an area you would like to stay. Some of the best places include Fort Myers, St. Petersburg, Orlando, The Villages, Kissimmee, Miami, or maybe Jacksonville, to name a few. You will find great beaches, golf courses, and many things to do.
You can also check out popular travel websites such as RV LIFE or its app, campgroundreviews.com, also a part of RVLife, and sites like campflorida.com. All these are great ways to find campgrounds and reviews. Try a Google search of the best campgrounds in (insert the area you want to be) and you will have a plethora of possibilities. If possible, make a trip to your chosen area in late spring to get the lay of the land and to check out some RV parks in person.
What Will you Pay?
When RVing in the Florida for the winter, you can expect to pay upwards of $1,500 a month at some of the RV resorts in Florida. I’ve heard of some being even more pricey. Consider everything that might be included in that price. Also, the longer you stay, the more of a break you receive on the price. Make sure you are aware of the park’s cancellation/refund policy in case something keeps you from traveling. Some have a flat fee for cancellation and others will keep your deposit, depending on how likely they are to book the site, how much time you gave them notice of cancellation, etc.
Things to consider
There are several things you will want to know before you book your winter site. Cost is a big factor for your stay. Don’t just choose a campground because it’s cheap. Check out reviews on campgroundreviews.com and Google before you push that pay button. Pictures on a website are not always true to real life.
Find out what amenities the park has such as laundry, clubhouse, pool, etc. Is the park pet-friendly? Does it have full hookups? Are there activities provided during the winter months? What is nearby that may be important such as grocery stores, doctor’s offices, or a hospital? Ask if the pool is heated (and working), as well as the hot tub. Can you invite guests to your site or is there an extra fee? Are there entertainment venues nearby?
How far is the park from the beach? What about the safety of the park? Is it a gated community? Are there quiet hours? Is there security available 24/7? There are a lot of questions to ask but these are all things you will want to consider. Make your list of questions and important features as you plan your trip.
How about Staying in a State or National Park?
State of National Parks are also an option for your winter stay in Florida. Some of these may or may not take reservations and either way, they will fill up fast. Most parks have a 14-day stay limit, so RVing in Florida state parks for the winter will involve a lot of moving.
Purchase a Deeded RV Lot
The purchase of a deeded RV lot is also a consideration if you want to make sure you have a place that you like to stay every winter. Like anything, there are positives and negatives to going this route. You can leave your RV on the site year-round so you don’t have to be concerned about transporting it or storing it. You could also rent out the site when you are not using it. That income could help offset maintenance or association fees.
How Do I Get My Mail?
There are many ways to get mail while you are RVing in Florida for the winter. First, check with the park to see how mail is handled on that end. The park may have a box for each site or you may only be able to get packages at your RV. If you have a permanent residence in another state you can have your mail forwarded to the winter address. If you live in your RV full time you can utilize a mail service specific to RVers. We used a UPS store when we first took off full-time. All of our mail went to that address and was then forwarded to us as we requested.
Making the Most of Your Time
Once you have decided where you want to stay and made your reservation, don’t forget to make the most of your time there. Florida boasts a lot of territory and plenty of things to do. Winter is a great time for the weather and RV parks plan more activities during this time. There will be something for everyone from card games and potlucks to site seeing trips.
Visit These Resorts When RVing in Florida
Miami Everglades RV Resort
Check out Miami Everglades RV Resort. This 34-acre tropical paradise set among avocado, mango, and palm trees. You get a rural setting that is conveniently located near many area attractions including Everglades National Park, less than 10 miles away, and Key Largo, only 30 minutes to the south. To the north is a quick 30-minute drive to Miami’s South Beach Art Deco District, Miami Beach, museums, Coral Gables Miracle Mile, and plenty of shopping areas. The park has amenities such as 18-hole miniature golf, shuffleboard, volleyball, pickleball, horseshoes, movie nights, potlucks, pool and hot tub, holiday dinners, darts, quilting, and much more.
PSL Village RV Park
Do you want to stay on Florida’s Atlantic coast? Located in St. Lucie, PSL Village RV Park park boasts a heated pool, tiki bar, clubhouse, and a lakefront nature trail. The campsites are all concrete pads with grass lawns, nicely landscaped with full hookups. Beaches and the New York Mets spring training facility are just a short drive away. Other amenities include a community fire pit, new bocce ball court, bean bag toss, clubhouse, and pool table. Local attractions include Jensen Beach, river cruises, fishing charters, plenty of shopping, and a nearby waterpark.
Ocean Breeze RV Resort
Ocean Breeze RV Resort in Jensen Beach is another great RV park on the Atlantic coast. With awesome views and lush tropical landscaping, you can’t go wrong with this 55-plus resort with activities to spare. Spend time in the fitness center or beach-style pool or enjoy the restaurant on site. Take in the views of the Indian River from the roof-top deck. Go fishing, biking, or play pickleball and disc golf. Check out social activities such as potlucks, game nights, card games, and more. Just minutes from beaches, state parks, golf courses, shopping, and other activities, you will find plenty to fill your time and enjoy the area.
RVing in Florida: Attractions for your Bucket List
Of course, Orlando and all the Disney resorts are a great place for families to gather and have fun. Head further south when RVing in Florida and check out these attractions as well:
From 1923-1951 Edward Leedskalnin carved more than 1,100 tons of coral rock to create this beautiful, yet mysterious dwelling. No one knows how the Castle was built in a time when there were no modern construction conveniences. It was built under the cover of night and in secret. When Leedskalnin died, the secrets went with him to the grave. The castle is located in Homestead on South Dixie Highway.
Coopertown Airboat Rides
Coopertown, population eight, is on US 41 just 11 miles west of the Florida Turnpike. As you travel through the Florida Everglades you will find this tiny town. Check out its local restaurant with down-home style frog legs and gator tail, an educational center, and the entry point to guided airboat tours by the Coopertown Airboat fleet. The company has been providing true Florida alligator sightings for some 50 years so people of all ages can enjoy trips into the everglades.
Homestead is a city between Biscayne National Park to the east and Everglades National Park to the west. Check out the Homestead Main Street’s shops and restaurants and then head to Bayfront Park for its beach for kids, playground, and views of the ocean. Check out nearby Biscayne National Park.
On your visit to Miami, don’t forget to check out Wynwood Walls featuring colorful street murals by artists from around the globe.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Also located in Miami, this National Historic Landmark is a 1916 waterfront estate home with 32 decorated rooms and 10 acres of formal gardens.
Located off Fort Myers in the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel is a great destination for couples and families. This long, narrow island has great beaches for shell hunting and watching wildlife. Don’t miss the island’s museum, botanical garden, lighthouse, and arts center.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
Located in Ponce Inlet, Florida, this lighthouse is 175 feet and is the tallest lighthouse in the state and one of the tallest in the United States. It is located between St. Augustine Light and Cape Canaveral Light and became a National Historic Landmark in 1998.
Croc Encounters Reptile Park and Wildlife Center
Check out this place where you can hold a crocodile. Take a self-guided walk-through tour or a personal guided tour. Also see snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles throughout the educational center. Croc encounters in the Tampa Bay area.
RVing In Florida
Whether you like the beach exploring on a hike, or taking some time to investigate one of the many museums or art galleries, even if you just want to bask in the winter sunshine, RVing in Florida has something for everyone.