Campout or Camp-in

June 29, 2011

This past weekend was the Great American Backyard Campout.  The aim of this  annual event, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, is to spark interest in the great outdoors, particularly in children. 

With the temperatures rising into the 90s, accompanied by angry thunderstorms and torrential rain, we were glad we didn’t join in and set up the old tent. We were, however, thinking a lot about camping, just not in the same way.

Early Saturday morning we headed over to Orlando to check ou the RV Super Show at the Orange County Convention Center. We’ve been to a few of these shows before, and we often roam the huge lots of RVs at Camping World and other locations.

RV Show at the Orange County Convention Center
The RVs at the Orlando show fit inside the convention hall like a puzzle. Unfortunately, though, the show was a big disappointment.  Only a few brands were included, and the majority on display were the big  bus type RVs with house-high price tags. That’s not what we want.
We’re more interested in the smaller travel trailers.  Something more like this, only at a “used” price:

With a smaller trailer, we can take off at least one weekend a month and explore the state.  Our “hotel room”  on wheels would be set up and ready to go with all our own sheets, towels, dishes, food and clothes.

Although I used to camp out in tents, I’m looking forward  to camp ins in RVs. Florida gets hot, and the humidity does me in. Granted, sleeping in a trailer is not the same, but you’re still surrounded by the great outdoors.

This annual designated Campout is  a great idea. If it will get families outdoors, together, even if just for one weekend out of the year, it  has accomplished a great feat.  Besides, when else will you have such a great excuse to eat all the s’mores you want?



June 4, 2010

State-cation not Staycation

In need of a vacation, but not willing to shell out thousands of dollars for an exotic locale, we rented a 25-ft travel trailer for ten days and headed out on a State-cation.  In the past year the word “Staycation” has been prevalent throughout the nation as the economic madness kept people from taking far away vacations.   Local advertising promoted their towns and cities as a great destination to stay home and vacation.   We’re going one step further and seeing parts of our State not so close to home.  In other words, we’re taking a State-cation.

Our itinerary:  3 Nights in Sanibel Island, 2 nights in Key Largo, 3 nights in Key West and 1 night somewhere between Miami and Daytona Beach.  

Coincidentally, we are taking this first-time RV trip at the beginning of Recreational Vehicle and Camping Month, a designation just recently proclaimed by resolution and signed by Governor Charlie Crist. The resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS, the recreation vehicle industry is celebrating 100 years of American enjoyment of recreation vehicles, and;

WHEREAS, 1 in 12 American homes own a recreation vehicle, and;

WHEREAS, recreational vehicles allow families to build stronger relationships and explore the great outdoors, and;

WHEREAS, travel in a recreational vehicle offers freedom, comfort and flexibility to see all of the United States, from historic landmarks to national and state parks, and;

WHEREAS, Florida ranks third in the number of recreational vehicles shipments and is home to the largest recreational vehicle show in the nation, the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, and;

WHEREAS, the State of Florida has more than 900 licensed recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds, with more than 120,000 licensed recreational vehicle sites, and;

WHEREAS, the State of Florida constantly ranks as the nation’s best and most popular recreational vehicle and camping destination, and;

WHEREAS, more than 5 million people camp in Florida each year, generating more than $5 billion for the state’s economy, and;

WHEREAS, 20 percent of all auto visitors to Florida either camp or travel in a recreational vehicle, and;

WHEREAS, the 100th Anniversary of the introduction of the RV into the American marketplace will be celebrated June 7, 2010 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida do hereby proclaim June, 2010 as


In the State of Florida and encourage Floridians and visitors to take advantage of our great State’s array of sun, surf, soft breezes and fresh air where the temperate climate allows for year-round camping and endless outdoor activities.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida have hereunto subscribed their names and have caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee this 11th day of May, 2010.