Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook


We hear that question a lot and it really depends on what you want. If it’s the best RV route to avoid the big cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC – I think we can help – or at least show you the route we like the best.

There are 2 routes we like depending on where we want to visit on our way South.

Let’s plot the 2 “best” routes from Newburgh, NY to Jacksonville, FL
We use Newburgh, NY as a starting reference point because I-84 goes East into CT and New England from Newburgh and I-87 goes North into Canada from Newburgh.

Newburgh to Jacksonville is 990 Miles straight down I-95 BUT it runs into the traffic commuting in and around Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, DC – this is what we all want to avoid.

The I-81to I-66/US-17 to I-95 route from Canada and New England to Florida
The I-81to I-66/US-17 to I-95 route

1. This route we take when we want to avoid the Cities but maybe visit Kings Dominion, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, The Outer Banks or Myrtle Beach on our way South:

From Newburgh, NY
(The I-81to I-66/US-17 to I-95 Route)
I-87S to
I-287W to
I-78W to
Jonestown, PA  187 Miles
then follow I-81S to
Strasburg, VA  158 Miles
then I-66E to
US-17S to
Fredericksburg, VA  81.5 Miles
then take I-95S all the way to
Jacksonville, FL   656 Miles

Total: 1083 Miles
It’s an easy drive without the big city  traffic to contend with.

The I-81 to I-26/I-77 to I-95 RV route to Florida from New Enjgland and Canada
The I-81 to I-26/I-77 to I-95 RV route to Florida

2. This is probably the most popular route for avoiding the big cities
and much of I-95 but with easy access to visit Charleston,
Hilton Head or Savannah.

From Newburgh, NY
(The popular I-81 to I-26/I-77 to I-95 Route)
I-87S to
I-287W to
I-78W to
Jonestown, PA  187 Miles
then follow I-81S to
Wyethville, VA  383 Miles
choose I-77 to
Columbia,SC   229 Miles
then take I-26 to
St. George, SC   72 Miles
then it’s I-95 all the way South to
Jacksonville, FL   221 Miles

Total: 1092 Miles

These are the stopovers we use on that popular 2nd (Wyethville) route:

Robin Hill RV Park
( An Encore Resort) (154 Miles from Newburgh, NY)
149 Robin Hill Rd, Lenhartsville, PA 19534
(888) 318-1243
Our stopover at Lickdale Campground 11 Lickdale Road, Jonestown, PA
Lickdale Campground
11 Lickdale Road, Jonestown, PA 17038

Our visit at Shenandoah Family Campground   (200 Miles from Lenhartsville, PA ) 168 Industrial Park Road, Mt. Jackson (Quicksburg), VA
Shenandoah Family Campground
(200 Miles from Lenhartsville, PA )
168 Industrial Park Road, Mt. Jackson (Quicksburg), VA 22842
(540) 477-3080

Mayberry Campground
(231 Miles from Mt. Jackson, VA)
114 Bunker Rd, Mount Airy NC, 27030

Jolly Acres Campground
(263 Miles from Mt. Airy, NC)
289 Horne Taylor Road, Saint George, SC

Pecan Park RV Resort
(221 Miles from St. George, SC)
650 Pecan Park Rd, Jacksonville , Florida

The road continues –
Jacksonville to Tampa (194 Miles)
Jacksonville to Orlando (141 Miles)
Jacksonville to Miami (346 Miles)
Jacksonville to Fort Myers (318 Miles)

Newburgh, NY to Boston (198 Miles)
Newburgh to Montreal (309 Miles)
Newburgh to Cape Cod (256 Miles)
Newburgh to Bangor, ME (423 Miles)
Newburgh to Montpelier, VT (246 Miles)

We have logged over 31,000 miles to date following different North/South RV routes. Visit our website (http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/) for more routes, maps, tips, restaurant suggestions as well as what it costs to make the trips.

Blue Skies, Sunny and 88

Clearwater Beach Beautiful yesterday - today - and probably tomorrow
Clearwater Beach Beautiful yesterday - today - and probably tomorrow
Clearwater Beach was Beautiful yesterday – it  is today – and odds are great it will be tomorrow!

Did we mention that today is all sunshine, blue skies and 80 degrees? It’s a beautiful area for any RVing Snowbird to spend the Winter. This is our 7th Winter here and we love it. We are close to Busch Gardens, the FL RV Super Show and State Fair, and the Florida Strawberry Festival is just down the road in Plant City. So much to see and do. -Jack and Niki

We’re into Gizmos, Gadgets & Creature Comforts

There's already enough hard knocks in life!

Just a couple of ideas that make RV life on the road more comfortable.

There's already enough hard knocks in life!
Hard knock prevention

There’s already enough hard knocks in life – this is one we can eliminate. Just buy some inexpensive “noodles” at a beach supply store or Dollar General (in-Season) -cut a slit down the center with a razor blade and slip them on those sharp, and hard, slide edges.

Motion Sensor Lights
Motion Sensor Lights

When you are RVing and visiting new places sometimes you would like to know what that strange noise might be outside your RV at 3 A.M. in the morning. The lights are battery operated, inexpensive and attach nicely to any surface with Velcro. We have them on our bedroom window and on the windows at the rear of the RV. They shed some light on our nights and lets anyone who strays too close know that we are paying attention. They are waterproof and detach easily when ready to travel.

Peterson Industries is closing down

Petersen Industries is closing its doors
Peterson Industries is closing its doors

Internet – March, 20, 2015:
A Heartfelt THANK YOU From Peterson Industries

Dear Excel Family Members,

Peterson Industries, Inc. has been a pillar of the RV industry and our community for nearly 50 years. Founded in 1966 by Vaughn & Leonard Peterson, the Excel brand has survived crisis upon crisis and always bounced back. Beginning with the fuel shortages in 1974, when people stood in line for hours just to get gas. Followed by the interest crisis of 1979, when interest rates jumped to a staggering 21%.

Next, we had a fire in 1983 that burned our main plant to the ground. Operating out of 5 locations around Smith Center, we produced our 1st unit within 30 days after the fire.

Then came 9/11 and the softening of the RV markets during the Gulf war.

And finally, the greatest recession to hit America since the 1930’s, caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis that began in 2007 and lasted for a staggering 6 years for the RV industry. Coming into the 2007 recession, Peterson Industries was positioned quite well to sustain a moderate downturn. This however, was in no way “moderate”! The recession began with approximately 15 RV manufacturers building in the “high end” market, until finally there were only 2 left. DRV and Excel.

After a diligent search seeking a buyer or investor proved fruitless, I am so sorry to say that the last 7 years has left Peterson Industries undercapitalized and unable to continue.

Therefore, we regret to inform you, our valued family members that Peterson Industries is closing our doors, effective immediately.

On behalf of Vaughn, Duana, Bryan, Curtis, and all the employees, we want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your loyalty and for giving us an opportunity to be a part of your lives.

Words cannot express our gratitude… We will miss you all so very much!


A side note from Jack and Niki
proud owners of an Excel 5th Wheel

We had to buy an Allegro Motorhome and a larger (38′) Coachmen RV before we made the right decision and purchased our Excel 30RSO. It is solidly and thoughtfully built to withstand the 4-Seasons and full-time on-the-road RV living. There are very few manufactures left building them that way. We are glad we have one and thank the good folks in Smith Center, Kansas that built it. We wish you each and all the best as you take your impressive talents to new companies. -Jack & Niki

2014-2015 Winter Break – Recuperating and Playing Games in the Sunshine State

Adventure Park for Junior Rangers

As some of you know we have been laying low this Winter down Tampa Bay way while Niki recuperates from a revision of her previous total knee replacement which did not mend well. This time a different surgeon, a totally different rehab and I am happy to report she is progressing well.

While Niki gets her strength back I have been going over our 2 children’s websites and bringing them up-to-date with the code changes and technological advances that have passed me by since I started my first website back in 1997.

I became interested in seeing what possibilities the ‘Net would have for teaching kids when all there was at the time were pretty much just Atari games converted to the Internet. My skills were limited to having only a love for cartooning plus a curiosity to see how things came to life on the Internet. Thus were the humble beginnings for abctooncenter.com and abclearningtime.com.

As I said I am in the process of re-visiting the games and activities on the 2 websites to see if I might make them more compatible with today’s various computer requirements.

If you have young children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews that aren’t yet into the violence and shoot-em-ups that prevail on the Net today you might be interested in showing them some alternative games that are somewhat educational as well.as just plain fun. Our websites are free to play as they always have been since 1997.

I am also happy to say that we have heard from many Teachers and Homeschoolers over the years from around the World that have found the websites to be useful for their kids.

One of my first updates is from this section of the ABC Toon Center:

Adventure Park for Junior Rangers
Adventure Park for Junior Rangers

Do you have what it takes to become a
There are 6 games in Adventure Park. Play and solve each game to collect a letter. When you have all 6 letters – make them into the word that will allow access into the Secret Junior Ranger Clubhouse to print out a certificate and find other cool stuff. It’s an online, interactive learning experience for young children (and kids of ALL ages). Join Kat and Ranger Jake at http://www.abctooncenter.com/honoroll.htm to begin your quest.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to send me (Jack) a note to abcadventuretime@gmail.com. I do reply to all emails.