Thursday, January 17, 2019

Time in Tampa - Jan 2019

We've been in Tampa for a few days and are getting used to the cooler weather.  It seems when we are  in Florida for the winter, we usually find warm/hot weather and then face reality when we make our way north.

We were in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park before continuing down through the Keys to Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West for three great weeks.  (More about that in future posts).  The weather was unseasonable warm and near the high 70's and low 80's for most of our time there.  I think we may have had 2-3 rainy/windy days but on balance it was terrific.

As we moved north to Bonita Springs for a few days, the weather got cooler and here in Tampa it is in the low-mid 60's.  Last night it got down to the high 30's.  But whose complaining?  Not us!  We are glad to be here and can put on another sweatshirt or jacket.

The MacDill AFB FamCamp is a large one with a lot of moving parts.  They take reservations but also have procedures for people like us who arrive and want to stay.  Similar to the process at NAS Key West campground, since they had no sites with full hookups, we stayed in dry camping.
Gladly it was only one night.

We were notified along with 4-5 other people that spots with full hookups had opened up and we moved over there and got set up.
We have a good site pointed north.  That means we get some shade for our front door and awning in the afternoon when the sun is pointing at us from the west.  Pam noticed during our final test check before we departed Bonita Springs that our tail light is out for the coach-car brake system.  She took off the taillight and tighten up some wiring connections.  We'll know if it worked when we leave here and hook up the car to tow behind the Roadrunner.

Since we are in the Tampa area for a few weeks we made sure we visited the Tampa RV show.  I think this may be the 4th time we have attended.  This time we wanted to check out Class C's and also look up friends who were manning the Habitat for Humanity booth next to Camping World.

To our surprise, friends from a long time ago contacted us and asked about our blog to pass on to a friend and mentioned they had been to the Tampa RV show earlier in the day!  Ugh.  Not surprisingly, we did not see them.  Tampa attracts about 70,000 people during the course of the show and yesterday I think half of them were there with us!

It was fun and since our tickets are good for two days, we will return later today.  We have some Freightliner Independent Front Wheel Suspension questions (asking for a friend...)

It always interesting at these huge shows and we saw a few RV setups that are new to us.  They are pricey.  I read a piece last week that said there are 500,000 new RVers each year.  That includes everything from a pop-up to a $1M Prevost but still it is a staggering number.  No wonder getting into campgrounds is getting a little tougher?

I don't remember what version of a Class B this was (Phoenix?) but it was interesting because it had a drop down bed.  And plenty of space for a pet underneath. 🙂

On a more serious note we looked at the Jayco Redhawk and thought it has some very good features.
We need to pick some brains of you folks that have downsized.  What do we need to look for?

That's it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Hope to see you today at the Tampa RV show!  If not, drop us a line anyway.  Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I guess we aren't much help with suggestions since we bought our Dynamax in 2006 and are still enjoying it totally after 90k miles. Quality quality quality is what we look for, and is the reason we aren't anxious to upgrade, the quality just isn't the same. Even Dynamax isn't making the kind of rig we like any more. We do like a Class C that doesn't have a "bird catcher" like the one in the photo above. Our older rig did and we killed a lot of birds and the new one hasn't killed one. It has a flat front and no TV over the driver. Simple things that you probably already know, a made down bed all the time was important to us. We had a sofa with a table in front of it and took it out and replaced the sofa with a table and comfy benches that make down into a bed. Best 3500 we ever spent and we have never missed the sofa and that stupid table. SO when we are looking, we hunt for those things, a bathroom that has a sink outside the toilet area is good in a small space for two people. We wish we had swivel seats to add extra seating. Different things matter to different travelers of course. As you said as well, it is getting harder and harder to find uncrowded camping places, I guess that 500,000 number explains it. Trailers are a cheap investment and almost every family that used to have a tent now has one and they are filling up the RV world, making it a different kind of travel world out there for us. Enjoy McDill. We will be at Rainbow Springs on February 15 to 18, about as close to Tampa as we plan to go on this trip. See you out there hopefully!

    1. Thanks Sue, lots of great ideas there! Not sure about our schedule yet but doesn’t look promising