Is the Sunshine State on your RVing bucket list? If so, think again. Camping in this popular tourist state may sound like fun, but it can be a pain in the awning, if you know what we mean. While there are plenty of reasons why RVers flock to Florida, especially during the winter, there are an equal amount of reasons why you should avoid it.
Today, we’ll share five reasons to avoid RVing in Florida, none of which have to do with the alligators or hurricanes.
Grab the sunscreen and sunglasses, and let’s get started!
Why Is Florida a Popular RVing Destination?
Florida is a popular RV destination because of its mild winters. For most of the state, there’s a 0% chance of snow or ice for the entire year. In addition to the over 800 miles of beaches, Florida offers many other attractive features.
Some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world are in Central Florida. Aside from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Legoland, there’s practically an unlimited number of other smaller tourist attractions and golf courses.
Whether you’re coming for vacation or the entire season, RVing in Florida can be fun and exciting. However, hold off on booking an entire camping season of reservations in the Sunshine State. There are some things you might want to consider.
Keep in mind: Here are the most dangerous creatures in Florida
Can You Camp Year-Round in Florida?
It’s possible to camp year-round in Florida, but it’s not going to be easy. While the warmer winters can be magical and convince you to pack up and move to the state, it’s only for a fraction of the year. The rest of the year can be unbearably hot and humid.
The cooler winter months typically run from November through February. There’s very little change in the seasons. That means, once it reaches over 90 degrees and nearly 100% humidity, it’s there for nearly nine months of the year. This can make it nearly impossible to stay comfortable while camping.
RVs typically don’t handle the intense heat very well and will require assistance to stay cool. Depending on the size of your rig, you may need to run multiple air conditioners nonstop to keep the temperature down. If you’re paying for your electricity, you could find yourself with an electric bill that’s several hundred dollars.
So while camping year-round is possible, it’s not always easy. You’ll need to find the right spot to do it comfortably. If not, you could be sweating the entire time or risk experiencing heat stroke.
5 Reasons to Avoid RVing in Florida
Before jumping into RVing in Florida, you need to know and consider a handful of things. Let’s look at five reasons why you should avoid RVing in Florida.
1. Campgrounds Are Crowded
Florida campgrounds are extremely popular, especially during the winter months. Reservations for some of the most popular state parks and campgrounds get snatched up in seconds. There is an incredible demand for these sites during the cooler months. You need to be on top of your game to get them.
Even if you can snag a reservation, some of the best Florida campgrounds may have many amenities and attraction features, but they also have hundreds of sites. This can leave you feeling like you’re camping on top of other campers.
2. Summers Are Hot and Humid
Many people underestimate the insane heat and humidity that Florida experiences most of the year. While the heat may not reach triple digits very often, it’s consistently over 90 degrees most of the year, and humidity is off the charts. Staying comfortable in an RV during the summer heat can be next to impossible and take a toll on an RV.
Many RVers who spend time RVing in Florida during the summer experience sun damage to their RV. The intense sun can quickly destroy the exterior seals that protect an RV. In addition, many RV air conditioners struggle to keep an RV cool during the summer heat. This can result in burning out an air conditioner, especially if it’s already nearing the end of its lifespan.
You’ll need to adjust how you use your rig during the summer months. Cooking inside will result in heating the inside of your RV. As a result, you’ll want to ensure you have a shaded space outside and a grill to use as often as possible. This keeps any unnecessary heat outside your rig and allows your RV to stay as cool as possible.
3. It’s Expensive
If you want to camp on a budget, you’re not going to do it in Florida. While state park sites can start at $20, they typically get snatched up incredibly quickly. If you plan to camp during the prime camping season, you will be paying $50 to over $100 per night for most sites.
So not only are you likely going to be crammed into a crowded campground, you’re paying a premium price for it too.
4. There Are Very Few Dispersed Campsites
If you want to avoid expensive and crowded campgrounds, good luck. There are very few dispersed campsites available. Most of the dispersed camping available is in Ocala National Forest.
However, dispersed camping means being self-sufficient for water and electricity, which you’ll need plenty of because of the Florida heat.
As a result, this means that campgrounds are going to be one of the only real options for most campers. Dispersed camping on the east coast isn’t as easy in the Sunshine State as it is west of the Mississippi.
5. Traffic Is Terrible
One of the first things many people realize when visiting Florida is that the traffic is horrible. While everyone complains about the awful traffic in their particular city or state, Florida takes the cake.
The 36% of Florida natives and terrible drivers from all over the country moving to Florida add to the bad driving habits. In addition, a tremendous number of tourists from all over the world come too.
What Are Essential Camping Items Needed to RV in Florida?
If you plan to camp in your RV in Florida, you better have the right gear. First of all, a windshield shade and window covers are essential. This helps keep the heat from the sun out of your rig as much as possible. While it won’t entirely do the trick, it can do a tremendous amount, and you’ll appreciate the help they can provide.
If you’re traveling with a pet, you will want to have a pet monitoring system. If you’re running multiple air conditioners to keep your rig cool, there’s a good chance others in the campground are doing the same. During the most intense times, this can overload the campground’s power. If you’re away and lose power in your rig, you want to know about it. If not, the intense temperatures could cause your pet to experience heat exhaustion.
Finally, you’ll want to have the ability to wash your RV, especially if you’re near the beach. Letting salt sit on the metal surfaces of your RV can increase the rust build-up on them. If you want to keep your RV looking like new, make sure to wash it regularly.
Are There Other Popular RVing Destinations?
While Florida is a popular RV destination, there are a few other options. Many RVs flock to Arizona, Southern California, and the Lonestar State of Texas. Many of these locations offer resources that RVers love to enjoy, and the weather can be fantastic, especially during the winter.
These are great options for RVing because they offer an increased amount of dispersed camping options. You’re more likely to find boondocking spots where you can spread out and enjoy the views. In addition, if you have solar panels on your rig, they’ll work outside the Sunshine State.
Choose Another RVing Destination and Steer Clear of the Sunshine State
Florida may be a great place to visit, but it can be challenging in an RV. We visited some of the most famous attractions in the state while RVing and had a great time. However, cramming our RV into a campsite wasn’t fun.
We put in the work and effort required to make memories we’ll never forget. But, we don’t plan on doing it again anytime soon.
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