One Year Anniversary of Full Time RVing

As of September, we have been living in our RV for a year! We picked up our Grand Design Reflection travel trailer last September in Tampa, Florida. It still feels really comfortable and we are very happy with the model we chose.

Winter in Florida was wonderful and we look forward to getting back there in October. The trip to Yellowstone was also amazing. We are happy we took the route we did because we got to see so much. FL-AL-LA-TX-NM-CO-WY. Two months was a perfect amount of time to travel to WY.

Our first Workamping position was very interesting. We loved being able to spend more time in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We hiked over 100 miles, saw more wildlife than we had in the past and met many great people. In the future, I do not know if we would work somewhere so remote. At least not for so long! It was very hard to do our other work with no WiFi nearby. It was also tough to eat healthy with decent grocery stores at least two hours away.

Yellowstone Forever was a nice orginization to work for, but trying at times. The Old Faithful bookstore was always busy. Sometimes packed with hundreds of people in a very small store. The AC was broken all summer, so it was very hot and stuffy trying to stock or clean. The POS system was also broken all season and would ring prices wrong, items wrong and refused to do refunds for weeks. It was very hard to chat with customers or give good service when you had to be constantly checking your computer screen for mistakes! Craig and I both sold well over $5,000 each in memberships for YF. People were really wonderful about giving back to their park. It was hard to sell memberships when you had lines out the door some days though.

Because of the amout of people from all over the world packed into our small space, as well as not eating healthy and tons of fires surrounding us, we have been sick off and on for the entire season. Craig and I rarely get sick- maybe once every two years- so this has thrown us for a loop. We are super excited to finish out our season and head back to Florida October 1st.

Would we do it again? Yes, but not for 5+ months and not in such a remote location. Or, we would consider it if they offered workers WiFi. They have WiFi in the Snow Lodge for a charge and they also offer it to employees of the hotels and restaurants. We have other work we do from the RV that is our main source of income, so we need to be able to do that if we take a volunteer or lower paying position in the future. The Disney Wilderness Preserve where we are volunteering next does offer volunteers WiFi, but we will also be able to use our phone data there. 

In all an interesting first year and we are glad we had this adventure!

Cody’s RV Park inWeeki Wachee, Florida

After getting our jack replaced (due to a recall) at our dealer Lazydays in Tampa, we headed to Weeki Wachee, Florida for a few nights. I have never been, and Craig went when he was little. We have really enjoyed spending time at some of the Florida springs. They are very peaceful and low key compared to the Orlando parks!

We visited Crystal Springs and the Three Sisters Springs NWR, Homosassa Springs and Weeki Wachee Springs/State Park. Because it was cool at the beginning of our stay, there were lots of manatees in Three Sisters Springs. About 80-100 the day we were there!

Cody’s RV Park is small and it looks like there are a lot of permanent residents here. It is a great spot for visiting the Florida springs. Cody’s is right up the road from Weeki Wachee Springs and about 30 miles to Crystal Springs. There is a Publix and a Walmart very close by. A great brewery, Marker 48 is 10 minutes away. They have a small pond that you can take kayaks out on and 40 miles of trails out back.

We are off to the Florida panhandle this week and hope it warms up so we can swim at the beaches. More posts soon on the state parks we are staying at there!

 

Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake

Craig and I said farewell to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground at the beginning of January and headed to Bill Frederick Park near Universal Studios. It is a City of Orlando park and has only 36 RV spots. They also have cabins and tent sites.

Our site has partial hook ups, so electric and water, but no sewer. We have been using the bathhouse bathrooms and showers. They are old, but clean. We did purchase a 42 gallon “blue boy” portable tank so we can empty the gray tank at the dump station. That way we can wash the dishes and take showers in the RV again. Craig does not really want to use it for the black tank.

The park is nice and quiet compared to Fort Wilderness. It is mostly snowbirds. There are a couple of fishing piers, grilling and picnic areas, a large pool open seasonally, a children’s farm and three disc golf courses. Disc or frisbee golf is played like regular golf with small frisbees or discs. We got a set at Outdoor World, but they also sell and rent them at the front of the park.

We are happy with the choice of this park, and really recommend it if you are staying in the Orlando area with an RV or tents. The sites are small and some are not level, but most people seem to fit their rigs in fine. The price is also great compared to other parks in the Florida area in the winter. Like the Florida state parks, book way ahead!

RV Holiday Decorating

Note: Be sure to visit the other links below for more of the “Christmas in the Camper 2017” series. We are one of 15 RV bloggers participating!

You may think RVers would not decorate much for the holidays. Before we moved into our travel trailer full time, we downsized a lot. We did keep a few small bins of decorations (mostly unbreakable ones.) If you visit or camp at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground, you will see how some campers actually do go crazy decorating their sites! We have been here since September, and Halloween and Christmas are the two big holidays to decorate.

One site even built a walk through Haunted Mansion for Halloween!

These were our Halloween wreath and decorations.

Craig and I put a few things up for Thanksgiving and then decorate for Christmas the weekend after. We made this grapevine wreath for the door with some small decorations.

Here is our little Thanksgiving set up. Chip and Dale by the campfire are new.

We got the natural wood tree from Target this year. I love how it can fold pretty flat! Most of the decorations we kept have a camping or woodsy theme. Craig made new green plaid pillowcases for our couch pillows.

I guess when you have the Disney parks and resorts for inspiration surrounding you, it makes you want to go all out!

Here are some more amazing Fort Wilderness campsite decorations from the past few days.


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We Are Working at Yellowstone Next Summer!

We were so excited to hear from Yellowstone Forever a few days ago. They let Craig and I know that we will be working in the Old Faithful bookstore next summer season!

Yellowstone Forever is the official nonprofit at Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone Park Foundation and The Yellowstone Association joined together to become Yellowstone Forever. They offer classes and have bookstores all over the park. 

We will leave Florida towards the end of March and take several weeks to get to Wyoming by May. We are really looking forward to our next adventure and spending several months in one of our favorite places.

Snowbirding

Craig and I have been having a great time here at Walt Disney World. Other than the stolen bike incident and a lot of Lake Midges due to tons of rain, it has been fun! Craig has been doing some seasonal work for Disney PR and I have been working on a long term research project. 


During our free time we swim, bike and walk a lot in the parks. Food and Wine has been going on at Epcot and the resort hotels, and we have done a few nice tastings.



Fall is in full swing at Fort Wilderness and the parks. We had fun with the golf cart they lent us “looping” and checking out people’s sites.




We had an interview the other day for a summer position at Yellowstone next year. Hoping to hear good news soon!


Loving our work view!