So after two months on the road in our camper van, a Winnebago Travato 59K, what have we learned? In short we’ve learned that we love it! We’ve learned that we’ve been lucky with the… More
Thanks for watching our YouTube videos on our channel and staying so connected to us as we travel through Florida during PEAK season in our Winnebago Travato 59K.
Why Did We Wait So Long To Do This?
In our latest episode we finally break down and order something we need from Amazon even though we’re miles from home. That meant having the package shipped to an Amazon “Drop Box”. Since we’d never done this before we didn’t know what to expect. All in all it was a great, somewhat efficient experience.
The package was arriving on a travel day for us, which in hind sight was not smart on our part. That meant staying in Orange City and Deland much longer than we thought we would be but we found great things to do and it turned into what is pretty much a typical day for us. We found a great Cajun restaurant. We found a bead shop so Lynn could pick up jewelry supplies because she’s decided that she misses making jewelry and it gives her something to while the video editing is taking time.
So what did we order? It was an adapter that allows us to connect our Osmo Pocket camera to a tripod and to the mount it on the dash of the Travato. It was such a good purchase we later ordered a second one so we would have to be taking it on and off the mount on the dash. We’ve also since learned that if there’s a Whole Foods (or Whole Pay Check as some call it) near you there is probably an Amazon Drop Box there too.
It’s Easy To Get A Shipment On The Road These Days
To find out if there’s one near you just check out on Amazon as usual and change your shipping address and select the option for drop box near you. It will pop up a dialog that allows you to select the closest one and have your package shipped there instead of your home. It really is pretty simple and I’m not sure why we took so long to take advantage of this great option for those of us who live on the road in an RV.
Being A Nomad Is Easier and Easier These Days
Speaking of RV, if you’re thinking of purchasing a small camper van and seeing places like Florida it is so “doable”! We love how nimble and efficient our Travato is. We take it everywhere and never worry about having enough room inside or about whether we can get into or out of any parking situation. Compared to our days of pulling a 5th Wheel it is a big relief to never worry when you’re rolling down the road. That stress has dissolved completely and for that reason alone it’s a great decision. Gas mileage and the things you get to see and experience together is a great bonus too. So, if you ask us, if you’re thinking about downsizing to a van or you’re thinking about it as your first RV, we believe it has been one of the best decisions we’ve made in our RV’ing days.
In the end our important-to-us package came and we rode off into a blue sky horizon, at least one of us saw blue skies. The other two saw clouds, clouds, clouds. It might be in how you look at the horizon as to what you see. Here’s hoping you see blue skies in your horizon and that our paths cross somewhere out there on the roads that we now call home.
In episode 7 of our “No Reservations Florida Tour” we luck into seeing hundreds of manatees at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida. Known as the winter home of the manatee, this natural spring whose constant temperature of 74 degrees draws in hundreds, maybe thousands of manatees each winter. This winter, with the colder than usual temperatures, the numbers of manatees visiting have been staggering. And we just lucked in to it. We thought we were heading to another town to do a 2-night dry camping stay at a Cracker Barrel. But the park had openings so we decided to spend those 2 nights right there exploring the park and spending time with these beautiful, gentle creatures.
We also explored on bikes and went for an awesome hike on one of the 9-mile trails that had us searching for an armadillo. While hiking out a couple told us about seeing them so of course Lynn had to keep walking until we finally saw one.
What we learned? The best things happen when you are open to changing your plans and flexible enough to be OK with what rolls your way. What rolled our way this time was just about the most surreal setting with the manatees and just about the funniest thing ever with the armadillo. We are so grateful our channel continues to grow and so many of you are finding information and entertainment in these crazy adventures. We can remember being excited when we got to our first 100 subscribers. By the time this video is released we will probably be over 1,500 subscribers. Wow! All we can say is THANK YOU! We are so happy you are along for the journey with us.
As we have continued down the east coast of Florida in our Travato we’ve noticed that many places don’t allow you to actually wash your van. Once we tried to use an actual car wash to spray it off but we were afraid the brush would scratch the finish. So what did we do? We used a product called No Rinse and only 1/2 gallon of water to wash the entire van, including the tires and wheels.
So if you are like us and find that you really need to wash your van but you’re in a national park, well this is THE answer. It does a great job and in the video we actually broke out into a “my hiny’s clean” dance! We bet you will too.
Here’s a link to the product we use:
Optimum (NR2010Q) No Rinse Wash & Shine – 32 oz. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D8DR0AO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_WUYDCbS4Q00JZ
Here’s the video:
As we continue our journey south in Florida we find ourselves in Ormond Beach, Florida at the “old Florida” style State Park, Tomoka State Park.
We originally schedule our 5 days at Tomoka State Park so we could be close to our aunt and uncle, who were scheduled to stay in Ormond Beach during that time. As we get older we realize the importance of family and making sure we do our part to visit as often as we can. Steve and Marion always go out of their way to both visit with us and make us feel welcome no matter where they are. But as circumstances would happen, they had to leave early, before we arrived, to take care of a family matter back in Miami. So, Lynn and I found ourselves at the lovely park and beautiful area with no plans and no set agenda.
And… it rained… no poured… 3 of the days we were here. One of the days it was supposed to rain all day so we took off to Ormond Beach to take in a movie and find a place to eat seafood. Both choices were perfect. It’s a great thing to do when it’s rainy or really cold… get out of the van and lean back and watch a big screen and then let someone else cook for you and clean up.
As we rode bikes when the sun was out we found out so much about this historic area and park. We met up with Scott Cornelius a.k.a. Captain Corn of the Tomoka Outpost and learned how he’s always dreamed of owning the store and how he made that dream come true. He and his wife are awesome folks and you need to look them up if you’re in the area.
Many of you who follow us on YouTube have been asking for more shots of normal day to day life inside the van… the cooking, cleaning, etc. So in this video Lynn prepares two meals for you to see and they were delicious meals too.
And what video from us would be complete without a hike or a beautiful sunset. This one has both. All in all we did not get to do the visiting and reminiscing with family we had planned but as we always do we made the best of it.
Thanks for being connected to us as we travel around North America in our Winnebago Travato 59K camper van.
Here’s the video:
We are continuing to have a blast traveling around Florida with no reservations, seeing what we can see in our Winnebago Travato 59K camper van. This week finds us at Anastasia State Park in St Augustine. If you haven’t visited this area, here’s what you’ll find. Beautiful, extremely wide beaches that when we visited were practically empty of people… lots of birds and the birds loved having the beach to themselves as did we. It was a great place to ride our bikes too and we took full advantage of that, riding the trails and riding down to the beach.
We stayed two nights and found the campground to be a great “Old / Real Florida” experience. Paved roads but sandy shaded sites made for a great combination. There were tons of sites at the park too but it was pretty full. We made our 2-night reservation a week ahead of time in January. As temperatures warm up we bet you’d have to book a little further in advance to get in here.
In this week’s episode we also met a couple who were staying in the park and recognized us from the channel. That was a blast, especially as we shared laughs about toilet paper. 🙂
On our way out of town as we headed for a longer stay at Tamoka State Park (next week’s episode BTW), we stopped in the take a look at the St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. We did that stop in true camper van style, spending zero dollars and still enjoying the stop.
We are Lynn, Owen and Maggie and we are having a blast living in a TRAVATO camper van, traveling around the country exploring new and old places. This week started out with us in Fernandina Beach asking the ultimate question that pops up when you have no destination in mind… Which way should I turn? Left or Right? Tampa or Miami? All along we had thought maybe we’d like to just meander down to Key West taking in as much of Florida as we could. But, somehow we convinced ourselves that heading over to Tampa to be part of the Tampa RV Super Show was a good idea. So after I turned in our camping pass we had a decision to make right then… turn right and head towards Tampa or keep heading down the coast.
We turned right. RV Super Show here we come. Not so fast. Thirty minutes into the drive and Google Maps has routed us many miles north of Orlando due to accidents. So much north in fact that we were rolling past Gainesville, FL and a place another camper had told us we should visit, Payne’s Prairie State Preserve. So we stopped in and although the ranger, who was so nice to us and to Maggie, told us they were full but said we could stay in overflow parking. Well, as Lynn said, that beats the crap out of Walmart and that’s what we did.
The next morning we were at the RV Super Show and ready for a fun day. The day started out just right for us as we met up with Dave, Irene and Pistol of Cary On Vagabonds. After spending some time with them we headed out into the heat to see what we could see. A few hours of that and we were back in the van discussing the RVs and people we’d seen and met so far. Then it was off to a Winnebago Travato meetup where we were so happy to meet so many online friends face to face. Later Winnebago fed the 70+ Travato owners to a pizza dinner around a circle of fellow T owners. We went to bed glad we had made the trek over to Tampa.
The next morning we were up early heading to St Petersburg to spend the day with longtime friends. By dark we were driving back towards Orlando looking for a Cracker Barrel to pull in, eat and spend the night and realizing how very much we missed our dear friends in St Pete. Our Cracker Barrel turned out to be the one right beside the Daytona Speedway and it was from there that we watched and filmed the January 21, 2019 lunar eclipse, blood red moon. Wow! It was a spectacular way to end a great weekend. We slept like babies, well except for the diapers and the waking up every 2 hours to nurse part. Thanks for being part of our journey as we trek down the coast of Florida searching for adventure, fun and friends… not necessarily in that order.
The video for this episode:
When you live out of your van on the road it makes life so much better when you can reliably connect to the internet. That’s why we were so happy to buy a Verizon MIFI 8810L and try out their new Prepaid Unlimited plan. We’ve been doing that for a month now and have found it to be really good when it works. Every now and then the devices get kicked off, a known issue, but other than that it has truly been unlimited and unthrottled. A make-me-happy thing for this connected couple living in a Travato 59K van.
In this video we show you not only how we make use of the unlimited plan and the hotspot, we also show you how all that is made better with a Wilson WeBoost and the cherry on top is connecting the 2018 Roku Premier Streaming Stick to it and setting the resolution to 720p… almost like being at home.