Jan trip south in an Aliner

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by nhlakes, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    Early on Jan 1 we headed south from DE for our annual trip (or 2) to FL. This trip is planned to be a couple of weeks long. It was 3F when we left DE and we drove straight to SC's Santee SP, a normal stopping point for us. We had a lake front site on their new Cypress Loop. It was in the low 20's and high teens there, which may be why I forgot to get a site pic - but here is the sun rising over the water in the AM taken out the window of the warm and cozy Aliner. It was a tad cold outside with the wind blowing across the water!

    [​IMG]

    Early on Jan 2 we headed further south to Savannah, GA for lunch at one of our favorite bbq places, Sweat Potato's Kitchen, their Peach Chicken is awesome. After lunch we continued to Disney's Fort Wilderness in FL. We were there for 2 nights -just long enough to de-winterize the camper and check out the campground. Fort Wilderness is about what you would expect at Disney, mostly big rigs and golf carts, but very clean, with excellent boat/bus transportation to parks and other Disney properties. We typically prefer State Parks, but it was a nice place overall, and a good place to stay if you are visiting the Disney parks/properties.

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    It rained all morning on Jan 3, but cleared up around lunch time, so we had lunch at Fort Wilderness Lodge and dinner at the Boathouse in Disney Springs. Since it was in the mid-40's with a stiff breeze, we did not opt to eat outside overlooking the boats like we have done in the past. ;)

    Today, Jan 4, we head further south to Fort Dickinson State Park. More to come...
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I will be following this post. I've been wanting to visit relatives in Florida I haven't seen in a while. I got a message that they actually saw snow for the first time down there. Safe travels and enjoy your time. Hope it warms up some for your trip.
     
  3. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    16F6B716-5819-40F0-9DAD-139C887A0918.jpeg BDC748C6-04C4-4586-89F0-0AFE68771195.jpeg Butter Chicken cooking in the Instant Pot at Jonathan Dickinson SP in FL. Still cool down here, but better than up noth. ☃️
     
  4. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    DE and NH
    Love the new griddle for the Qgrill. First time using it (50f and windy in southern FL) and it worked great.

    48E7792B-B6BF-45BC-BC1C-C13DB13C2086.jpeg

    A5148AB3-CA10-4C41-96A7-E11EBCD2F7A1.jpeg
     
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  5. megcabra

    megcabra Active Member

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    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Looks like you are having a great trip, enjoy the warmer weather!
     
  6. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Thornville, OH
    Love that picture of the grill. I could hear and smell the bacon.
     
  7. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    We’re now at Silver Springs State Park near Ocala, FL. We came here to see if we could catch a glimpse of the wild monkeys that were mentioned on another thread here. We managed to see one late yesterday and will take another walk before heading to Anastasia SP later today. Nice park, clean bathrooms, etc. Will bring the kayak next time!
     

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  8. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Malvern, PA
    It's nice to see GREEN again.
     
  9. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

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    Palm Harbor, FL
    Question for you, how far in advance do you have to book Anastasia SP? I keep checking and it seems to always be full out to the 1yr window.
     
  10. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    As early as possible. Like a year out if you can.

    We’ve been taking FL trips south during the winter for the last few years. Ocean front parks are hardest to get, with the more southern parks being even harder than the parks in northern FL.

    It also helps to check frequently and be prepared to grab a opening as soon as you see it. People cancel and the slots are grabbed quick. I was lucky to grab a waterfront site at Bahia Honda in the Keys a few years ago.

    Anastasia is a nice park as well. We’re only here for a couple nights and heading to Sebastian Inlet SP tomorrow.
     

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  11. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

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    Dec 22, 2017
    Palm Harbor, FL
    Anastasia is a nice park as well. We’re only here for a couple nights and heading to Sebastian Inlet SP tomorrow.[/QUOTE]

    Got nice and warm for you again the past few days at least. We are due for another chill but I'm sure nothing compared to what you left. Must be funny to watch floridians flip out over 50 degree weather for a few days of the year.
     
  12. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    DE and NH
    This our last night at Sebastian Inlet, great park. (Other than the fire ants that attacked me yesterday )

    Re-winterized the Aliner today since we're heading north tomorrow, not sure how far yet.... will post more pics when I get WiFi (limited to iPhone with JavaScript disabled because of those annoying ads that appear on this site)
     
  13. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    Trip Summary:

    We did over 3,000 miles over the last 2 weeks, from DE to FL and back, bouncing around FL quite a bit. Weather was unseasonably cold, and damp at times, but, oh well, we had fun.

    Over the last few years we have been trying to camp in the FL State Parks and campgrounds that we find interesting. 2-3 night stays work out for this approach since the Aliner setup is quick and easy. We still have lots of FL we want to see, so I suspect our next trip will be similar.

    We liked all the State Parks we visited on this trip. The private campgrounds were fine for simply stopping, watching the NFL games, and then getting back on the road in the AM.

    Santee SP, SC – We like Santee. I did fishing trips at various fish camps there for many years. We typically stop there in our way south when we’re willing to do a full day’s drive trying to reach warmer temps. We did not find much warmer temps in SC this year. The cold front on the east coast dropped the temp down to the teens during the night – fortunately the Aliner is easy to heat. We leave the 1500wt ceramic heater on full and the propane furnace kicks on occasionally as a backup when it is that cold.
    (pic earlier in thread)

    Ft Wilderness, FL – We like Disney Springs and just wanted to checkout Ft Wilderness. Plus we could get a full hookup there to help de-winterize (flush) the camper. It was cold and wet there for FL, but we still enjoyed it.
    (pic earlier in thread)

    Jonathan Dickenson SP, FL – Nice park and more reasonable temps since it is further south. Lots of bike trails through typical FL scrub country. We also met some of my wife’s old college friends in Jupiter, so that was fun. Would like to bring the kayaks back here some time.
    (pic earlier in thread)

    Silver Springs SP, FL - We honestly went here just to try to catch a glimpse of some of the wild monkeys – and that’s what we saw – just a glimpse – probably due to the unusual cold. ;) But it was fun, nice walking trails, nice sites, great spot to kayak in the future.
    (pic earlier in thread)

    Anastasia SP, FL – Nice park, nice beach. Very close to St. Augustine. Lots of people love St Augustine, so we wanted to check it out, but other than the beautiful old architecture, we didn’t like the push shop keeps standing in their doorway trying to pull you in, and didn’t care to pay for all the little ‘museums’ – maybe they were wonderful inside – but we strolled on past. Lots of homeless people too. We did enjoy the St Augustine distillery tour. That was free but somehow it cost me a couple hundred to get out of their store after my we enjoyed many of their free samples at the end. ;)
    (beach pic earlier in thread)

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    Sebastian Inlet SP, FL – We’ve been here before and stay here since it is close to my mother’s place down there. Nice park though. Just don’t stand on the fire ant mounds – I did and it put a damper on a bike ride planned for one of the nicest weather days we had (~80 and sunny). I’m still itching. Re-winterized before heading north. Another great kayaking/fishing spot. Would love to bring my center console fishing boat here, but would be hard to tow that and the Aliner. ;)
    [​IMG]

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    Enfield / RockyMount KOA, NC – Just an overnight with cable to watch the playoffs – we’re New Englanders currently residing in DE. ;)
    [​IMG]

    Jellystone Emporia, VA – Again, overnight with cable for football. Not bad for what we needed but looked like people living in the trailers and going to work in the AM on the row we were on. Temps in the teens at night but we were toasty warm.

    More later when I have a chance…
     
  14. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

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    Dec 22, 2017
    Palm Harbor, FL
    Amazing itinerary and trip log! Thanks for sharing.
     
  15. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    New gear we tried for the first time on a long trip:

    Weber Q1200 with half griddle top. Great for bacon and eggs.

    Long Shower rod across the apex of the A roof – awesome for hanging clothes/towels – way more handier than I’d envisioned - plus supposedly helps with wind protection

    Counter top 12v LED Goose neck lamp (dimmable) - great for everything – minimizing light while making coffee when my wife is still sleeping – additional light source at any time – adding additional light while cooking on stove-top of doing dishes…

    OTA HD antenna for TV – we had never brought a TV along in the Aliner but since this trip had two NFL playoff weekends, we gave it a go. OTA signal in Jonathan Dickenson SP was great, allowed us to watch wild card games. OTA signal in Rocky Mount NC was better than the cable provided by the campground, so we used the antenna rather than cable.

    4” memory foam topper made the sofa bed MUCH more comfortable

    We picked up a couple of Cabela's chairs that we really liked.

    Games for 2 people – we brought along a bunch of games for 2 people and it was a good thing since we spent more time in the camper than usual. I googled 'best games for 2 people' got a few new suggestions and brought them along.

    Old stuff:
    That 1500wt ceramic heater does a great job. We had many nights in the 30’s and a couple in the teens. Only in the teens do we need to turn on the furnace as a backup.

    Still love the Thetford Curve portapotty

    We’re probably going to replace our 7 gal gray tank with a 25 gallon tank on wheels that we can tow to the dump station. We filled the 7 gal tank a few times. Probably since colder/wetter weather had us inside more than usual.

    (Pics/links to most of the above in link in signature below...)
     
  16. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

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    Dec 9, 2013
    San Diego
    Wow, thanks for letting us travel vicariously with you. Great trip, sorry the weather wasn't great. It would have been too cold at night for me in my PUP, but in an Aliner, you were nice and cozy. So jealous of your 30 second set up, compared with my 30 minute one.
     

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