Stopover #3 on our RV trip – Clearwater, FL to Terre Haute, Indiana Loop

Stopover #3 on our RV trip – Clearwater, FL to Terre Haute, Indiana Loop
Notes from the road – Mission: Jasmine

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OH! Kentucky RV Park
562 Paint Lick Rd., Berea, Ky 40403
(859) 986-1150
$29. FHU.
From I-75 take exit #76 turn left if you are headed northbound or turn right if you are headed southbound. They are 1/4 mile on the right. Big sign out front – can’t miss it.
http://www.ohkentuckyrvpark.com/414336691

The Interstate run had been pretty smooth and traffic pretty much as expected so far but it’s never good to get to complacent on a trip! We were down to about a quarter tank of gas and only about 30 miles to go when we passed a traffic sign that said stoppage ahead, find a different route. Probably good advice but unfortunately the sign appeared after the exit leading to a different route. Then we found the stoppage. They were doing some blasting up ahead so it was bumper to bumper, stop and go for at least 25 miles as we watched the gas guage needle slowly descend over the next hour and a half it took us to go the 25 miles. We made it but it was getting close. If you are traveling North on I-75 anytime soon be aware and check Google maps for the work zones.

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OH! Kentucky is a decent little campground with full hook-ups, gravel pads, some shady sites and very clean shower/restrooms (no handicap bars), a good sized washer/dryer area and a small store and separate hardware facility. They have been building a pool for 3 years and it looks like it may be nearing completion. They offer free wifi but it is spotty at best and unreliable. This is definitely not a destination RV Park but adequate for a night or two on a trip.

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There is a Cracker Barrel nearby and all of the usual fast food places and fuel stations. As usual we asked our hostess about recommending an eatery the locals like and she suggested the “Dinner Bell”. It turned out to be a good choice. To us it looked very much like a Cracker Barrel though smaller and the food was good.

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In addition to an Amish Restaurant and Deli at the Exit we found a Farmer’s Market. I had been looking for local produce on our trip not grown in Florida’s sandy soil and this was it. We came away with cucumbers, several pounds of red and yellow tomatoes (Tennessee grown) and some sweet Georgia peaches.

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The boys enjoyed watching all the squirrels or at least there was a lot of chattering between them. Something for everyone- we would stay here again if we were passing through.

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Stopover #2 on our RV trip from Clearwater to Terre Haute, Indiana

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5 hours/358 miles to
Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga
1709 S Mack Smith Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37412
Phone: (706) 891-9766
(Mailing address is actually Rossville, Georgia)
Rate: $44.10/night with Good Sam discount.
http://chattacamp.com/?utm_source=GoodSamPrevious dash cam video: http://192.168.1.1:8181/http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/holidaytravelpkchattanooga.mp4

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We had previously planned to stop for a couple of nights in Perry, Georgia but it was a beautiful day and we were feeling good so we decided to just keep
going to what was supposed to be our third stop. Instead of 2 hours and 132 miles it ended up being 4 hours+ and 358 miles! Definitely not our normal system for traveling but we gained two nights and decided to spend one extra night here in Holiday Travel Park.

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The Interstate around Atlanta was super busy as usual but no stoppages nor slow-downs.

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The RV Park is actually where an Indiana Regiment bivouacked before some fierce fighting on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge back in 1863 in the War Between the States. There is a path to a stone marker proclaiming such within the Park.

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There is much to see and do in Chattanooga, from Civil War Battlefields, to Lookout Mountain, Rock City, Tennessee River cruises on the Southern Belle, and we bet you didn’t know Chattanooga is also home to the International Towing and Recovery Museum (Tow trucks through the ages and it has excellent reviews). We did travel to the top of Lookpout Mountain on our 2013 visit.

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More about our 2016 visit to the Towing Museum and other Chattanooga highlights are on our Blog at https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/stopover-chattanooga-tennessee/

Can’t forget to mention two restaurants we really like and can recommend. They are Portofino’s Greek & Italian and Jenkins Buffet both are very near the RV Park and are well worth a visit.

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A last note – Holiday Travel Park also rents small cabins (as many RV Parks do) which might be an alternative to a stuffy hotel room for our vacationing non Rving friends.

We have been asked how we can travel with our two cats and leave them in the van while we shop or visit a restaurant when it’s 90+ degrees outside. Not to worry, our boys are treated as well as we treat ourselves. Attached is the sign we leave on the dashboard when we lock up the van. Inside the boys are zipped into a collapsible “condo” that covers half of our queen-size bed. We always ask for seating by a window where we can make sure the headlights are on assuring our engine and AC are running. We carry a small monitor for the van’s inside temp and then can control the AC with the van’s remote start.

Life is good! Now on to Kentucky.

Travels with Niki -New 3 Week Adventure.

Notes from the road.
Project: Jasmine – Hop Aboard & join us on a Mission of Love

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Stopover #1
4 hrs./225 miles from our Clearwater, FL Home base to
Eagles Roost RV Resort
5465 Mill Store Road, Lake Park, GA 31636
I-75, Exit 5.
229-559-5192
Good Sam discount to $38.34/night
Website: https://www.eaglesroostresort.com/
Dash Cam video we shot in 2016 and still the same today:
http://192.168.1.1:8181/…/www…/eaglesroostlakeparkga2016.mp4

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Stanley our Junior Assistant Navigator has completed his pre-flight check!

Eagles Roost is one of our favorite stops going or coming from a North/South I-75 trip. The place is filled with old oaks and dripping Spanish moss. It’s next door to a large weekend flea market, across the Interstate from a Camping World if needs arise and hometown to two of our favorite restaurants – The Farmhouse Restaurant with their heaping helpings of down home cooking and Rodeo Restaurant, a small but very good Mexican establishment. A two night stopover gives us a chance to sample both once again.

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We did have a too-close-for-comfort happening on the way in on I-75 when a big rig decided to pull over into the same space we were occupying. His action was forcing us toward a concrete bridge barrier very quickly. Fortunately there was just enough room to scoot over. We don’t believe he ever saw us. Our dash cam wasn’t recording time properly so I have 4 hours to go through, If I find the clip we’ll post it. We found it. View at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/closecalloni75.mp4

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Our Sunset Princess at Eagles Roost. As some of you may know we had to step down from our 38′ “Big Bertha” Fifth Wheel due to medical issues but not giving up our love of RVing. Our 2018 Roadtrek

Visit our Webpage at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/
Visit our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/OurSnowbirdRVTrails
Pull your camp chair up closer to the fire and we’ll talk about it!

Work Camping on an Island?

Work Camping Position – Just in and they need someone now!
 
Ever thought of living and working on a beautiful island? You’ll find no friendlier people anywhere than in South Louisiana.

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“We have a small intimate campground on a small fishing island in the Gulf of Mexico. Owners need assistance while off the island for the day, cleaning the laundry and mowing the perimeter.

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Ten to 15 hours a week split between lawn care and cleaning the laundry room ( wipe down machines, sweep the floor, empty trash sweep porch under swings) and lawn (we provide a riding mower and electric push and string trimmer) There may be other duties as necessary such as parking campers and helping owners with chores as necessary, extra hands and such. Possibly driving us on errands.

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In return for a camper space and full hookup. Needed asap till November 1 2019. You must be a self starter and very aware of customer care and have a friendly disposition.”

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Island House RV Park
Grand Isle, Louisiana
Phone Michelle at 985-360-6451

Planning the Next RV Trip – How To!

Quite regularly we are asked how we go about planning a road trip. We have one coming up and thought we might share how we put it together..

Our first tip is to always have a Roadside Assistance plan before you leave your driveway. Help will always be only a phone call away. Believe us when we tell you from experience that a breakdown will usually happen in the worst of places at the wrong time of day and in totally unfamiliar country. Roadside Assistance gives you peace of mind. There are several to choose from and we use AAA.

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Okay let’s plot!
Our goal is always to make the trip as much fun as the destination and the planning as much fun as the trip. This time our destination is Terre Haute, Indiana with a stop off to see a good friend near Louisville, Kentucky.

According to Google Maps (https://www.google.com/maps/) that’s 1,120+ miles from our starting point near Tampa, Florida.

Niki and I made a pact after our first trip 10 years ago (when we covered 1440 miles in 3 days) and that was no more rushing to get anywhere. That was nearly our first and last RV trip! We now try to keep a travel day to 200 to 250 miles. We also spend 2 nights at each stopover and spend that second day to explore a new area.

Using our own rules this next trip turns into six stopovers and ten days.

1. We use Google Maps to plot our course, first choosing a start and finish address.

2. Next we use a simple, free calculator called “Distance Between Cities” (https://www.distance-cities.com/) in conjunction with our Google Map. After awhile, with use, you will be able to guess your distances fairly close and can verify with the calculator. Using our own rule of 200-250 miles we see that our first Stopover would land us in Lake Park, GA at 242 miles. Works for us! We usually call ahead about 48 hours prior to reserve a site for our next stopover.

3. Finding that next stopover. We are lifetime members of Passport America (https://passportamerica.com?rfsn=2873446) so we always check them first for a possible campground near our stopover city choice. We actually use PA 50 to 75% of the time. We also check Harvest Hosts of which we are also members – free is always better than half price! Neither at this first stop. We do end up with three Passport America stops (half price), two Good Sam stops (-10%) and one Harvest Host (free) stopover on this route to Terre Haute!

4. Checking stopovers ahead of time – some free sources we like to use.
First off Google Maps can also give you an actual street view of an address which can tell you a lot. You can see what an entrance looks like, also where the nearest fuel stop is as well which can be important if you have a big rig. Very important to us when we were towing our 38′ “Big Bertha”!

RV Parky (https://www.rvparky.com/search…)
Gives us all kinds of info by State and City about campgrounds, reviews, others in nearby towns, fuel stops. It’s definitely a gem worth learning how to use.

Allstays (https://www.allstays.com/Campgro…/Georgia-campground-map.htm) is another great source you can use to drill down to exactly the type of stopover you like.

Campground Reviews (http://www.campgroundreviews.com/) A great source and you’ll soon learn to read between the lines and rule out the plain sour grapes reviews.

Best restaurants in (Lake Park, GA) (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g35053-Lake_Park_Ge…) Because we love to find great Mom & Pop restaurants in any new area.

Things to do in (Lake Park, GA) (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g35053-Activities-L…)

Don’t forget to ask your campground hosts about the “must-see” local attractions as well as the locals favorite restaurant. We’ve found some real gems that way in our travels!

That said we are always only an email away if you have any questions we can help with and we also invite you to hop aboard here on our FB page and travel with us as we post all trips as we go. This one will be quite soon.

Safe travels and enjoy every journey,

Jack and Niki
abcadventuretime@gmail.com
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/

We invite you to pull up a stump and join us around the campfire at
https://www.facebook.com/OurSnowbirdRVTrails
where your comments are always invited.

Revisiting Our Favorite RV Campgrounds.

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Eagle’s Roost is located just off Georgia Exit 5 on I-75 in Lake Park, GA. Five miles N of the FL Line. Nearby we found good restaurants, a Camping World and a weekend flea market just next door. All this among mighty, old oaks dripping with Spanish moss.

Catch our video at https://www.facebook.com/OurSnowbirdRVTrails
and “follow” us on FB for more camping fun ahead!

Niceties & Necessities – or How to make RV life easier, safer and more fun in a 19′ Roadtrek Simplicity SRT RV!

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When Niki and I downsized from a 32′ Fifth Wheel with three slide-outs to a 19′ van we knew there would have to be some adjustments made. What to pack, what not to take? What was a necessity for both safety and everyday life on the road and what would be nice to have if we could fit it in?

We did a lot of research to determine what we needed to add to an already pretty well outfitted camper. The Roadtrek is a totally self-contained vehicle and built to enable owners to go “off-the-grid” and set up camp whenever and wherever the road takes them.

Our Roadtrek has its own generator providing both 12 and 110V current for the fridge roof-top AC, TV/DVD/Surround-Sound and electrical outlets, propane for the range and tank-less hot water heater.  Gray, black and fresh water tanks and both a slinky and electrical macerator evacuator for discharge. It also contains a regular toilet and both an inside and outside shower.

Not much is missing but after eight years on the road we have learned that a few things added makes RV life safer, easier and a whole lot more fun.

We have added a page to our website listing the “Niceties and Necessities” we have researched, purchased and added items made to fit the Ram ProMaster and Roadtrek Simplicity. If you have a Roadtrek or possibly see one in your future perhaps our research may be of help to you.

Click the link, have a look and if you have any questions send us a note. – Jack and Niki

Jack & Niki ask – Guess who’s coming to town?

No, it’s not the jolly old fellow with the long white beard. He came and left last month and is now seen regularly at the hot spots in The Keys with his wife and entourage of small, happy people.

No, it’s the 2018 RV SuperShow setting up at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa!
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Everything you want to see and know about every type of Recreational Vehicle and the people that know them best will be at the Fairgrounds starting this Wednesday, January 17th through Sunday, the 21st of January.

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For a larger map of the RV Show visit http://www.frvta.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-publish-for-web-vas-of-1-14.pdf

2018 will Celebrate 33 years of the Florida RV SuperShow. This show is recognized as the greatest RV show in the country. Campers welcome, daily seminars, over 450 vendor booths and more than 1550 RVs covering 26 acres – it is a site to see!

Niki and I try to attend the show each year on Press Day to see what’s new with the RV manufacturers, gadget suppliers, new campgrounds to visit and we’re doing it again this week. We will report back during the Show with pics and some of the new things we discover. This is not just an RV Show – it is an event!

If you are an RVer or have an interest in joining the vast brother and sisterhood of carefree, fun-loving souls roaming our Country’s highways and byways then this is the  time and the place for a serious visit! Find more about the week ahead below.

-Jack and Niki

Main Entrance to the Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 US-301, Tampa, FL 33610.

  • Public DaysJanuary 17 – 21, 2018

    Open to the public for 5 days, Wednesday through Sunday, this is a must see show for all RV enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced RVer or just getting started, the SuperShow is made for you! Offering educational seminars, daily entertainment, trams to help you get around, and the latest innovative RV products and accessories! Two booth exhibit halls are full of parts and accessories, campgrounds and resorts, tourism information, towing supplies and many other products. Plus you’ll find all types of RVs from small travel trailers to bus conversion luxury motorhomes.

  • HoursWed – Sat: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • LocationFlorida State Fairgrounds
    4800 US Highway 301 North
    Tampa, FL 33610
  • Admission$10 per Adult
    Each ticket good for a FREE 2nd day return!
    Children under 16 are FREE

    Click here for On-line Ticket Sales

  • DiscountsSenior Citizen’s Day
    Wednesday Only – $1.00 off admission
    Military and First Responders
    $1.00 off every day
    (Not valid with other discounts)
  • ParkingGeneral parking is handled by the Florida State Fairgrounds.

    $6 per car, $12 per RV

    Special RV Entrance
    RV’s can use the southern most gate to the Florida State Fairgrounds located on US Highway 301

    Here’s a map to your VIP RV Gate
    (Parking fees still apply)

  • PetsMild-tempered dogs are welcome on a leash. Please clean up after your pets.
  • CampingOvernight Camping:

    Overnight Camping is available and is handled by the Florida State Fairgrounds.
    Click here for instructions

    Area Campgrounds:
    Connect to Camp Florida for area campgrounds

Seminar Schedule

Wednesday, January 17 – Saturday, January 20

  • 10:00am Basic RV Maintenance presented by Rob Cochran
  • 11:00am RV Weight and Tire Safety presented by Walter Cannon
  • Noon Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners (Habitat for Humanity) presented by Lucius Herrmann
  • 1:00pm RVing 101-What You Will Need to Know presented by Bob Marx
  • 3:00pm Extended and Full Time RVing presented by Bob Marx
  • 4:30pm RV Generator and Cummins Engine Maintenance presented by Bryan Greene and Chris Crowel

Sunday, January 21

  • 10:00am Basic RV Maintenance presented by Rob Cochran
  • 11:00am RV Weight and Tire Safety presented by Walter Cannon
  • Noon Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners (Habitat for Humanity) presented by Lucius Herrmann
  • 1:00pm RVing 101-What You Will Need to Know presented by Bob Marx

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On the Road Again… and Again!

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As many of our friends know, we sold our 5th Wheel and F-250 this past Spring. The steps were just becoming too difficult for Niki to negotiate and still call it fun. My eyesight is not what it once was and I was uncomfortable guiding our ten ton missile down the road amongst all the crazies on the road that believe an RV can stop on a dime.

That was then. We spent the Summer off the road – the first in eight years – and we decided we missed it a bunch, so the logical answer was just to downsize a bit. We took delivery of our new home on wheels today. These Roadtrek Class B’s are amazing!

It is equipped with a generator and inverter for boondocking (if we were so inclined.)

Included also – Awning, AC, furnace, two-burner gas range, microwave, furnace, back-up camera, 24″ TV with BluRay CD/DVD Surround Sound, 5cu. ft. fridge, pull-out pantry, electric sofa/bed.

More adventures, routes and stories to come. We are Niki and Jack and we invite you to join us.

More on our website at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/