Thursday, January 23, 2020

Changing Travel Conditions

Making long term travel plans can be difficult. Conditions and policies change all the time.

It used to be that one could spend the night in just about any Walmart parking lot. Now a lot of those are off limits. Of course, you can’t blame Walmart for that. People have abused the privilege. Instead of spending just a night or two, they would basically move in. They set up lawn furniture and barbecue grills like it’s their private campsite. Some people in RVs have actually dumped their waste tanks right in the parking lot.

It takes a little more planning to find a safe spot to pull over and get a few hours rest.

Life on the water has added restrictions. Many of Florida’s communities are not nearly as boat friendly as they used to be. Anchorages have disappeared. Some have become mooring fields where you have to pay. There are communities where boaters are constantly harassed by local law enforcement, even though they have the right to anchor.

Federal lands are in flux. Many campgrounds have been taken over by private concerns that raise prices and add more rules.

Right now it’s still possible to find work arounds to most problems. Of course, if you have money to burn, there are always options. For those of us on a budget, we have to be clever and flexible. With everything changing it’s difficult to make long term plans. What if I buy another boat and can’t find a cheap place to keep it? The same could happen if we bought an RV or converted another van.

One issue that a lot of RV campers have run into is the ten year rule. Campgrounds can refuse to allow equipment greater than ten years old. Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a good used RV only to be refused entry to parks. The rule was designed as an across the board way to ban broken down and unsightly RVs. With that in mind, it’s often possible to get around the rule by sending photos of your well kept or restored RV. Of course, if the reality doesn’t match the photo, they’ll kick you right out again.

There are times when I think back to when I’d stealth camp with a backpack. I’ve also canoe camped using my dark green canoe that I’d pull off into the bushes. That wasn’t too back when I was young and single. As an older dude with a wife and dog in tow, that’s not such a great option.



  1. Have you ever considered having a base of operations in Florida and traveling north in heat and hurricane weather?

    1. Yep. We've got a bit of time yet before we make our final decision.

  2. Replies
    1. Lot nicer today than twas yesterday !

    2. Thanks Spud! You are too kind.

      Wasn't bad last night and much better today.