Counting Our Blessings After Irma

On Sunday, September 10, Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key, just east of Key West, with winds of 130 mph. While some braved the storm at home, most RV owners across the state of Florida took refuge in shelters, leaving — for the most part — their beloved RV home to the fate of the wind and rain. Hurricane force winds extended up to 80 miles from Irma’s center, covering the entire state of Florida. Depending on where an RV park was located, the aftermath was either “Whew! We made it!” or “devastating.”

In Collier County, near Naples, residents on one end of the 300-home park returned to their homes to find their homes standing, the power on, and the expected debris everywhere. In other areas of the park, roofs were blown off, blinds tattered, and debris hung from the ceiling. The destruction appeared to be hit and miss, which was remarkable considering that Marco Island reported a wind gust of 142 mph. All along the east coast, on the back side of the storm, the story was similar. Some homes were ripped apart while others held up in the reported 60 mph wind.

In Miami-Dade County, a combination of high tide and 90-mph-wind tore roofs and siding off many of the 54,000 mobile homes there. One creative woman packed all her belongings in bags tied with bright pink bows. “If my house flies away, I will at least find my bags with bows,” she told the Miami Herald.

In Key West, some mobile homes are simply gone, identified only by their concrete pad. When residents were allowed to return home on Wednesday after the storm, residents of Quinn’s Sea Breeze RV Park found nothing but wreckage and began the search for anything they could identify as theirs. Most of the homes were damaged beyond repair. Click for a slideshow of the damage at Quinn’s Sea Breeze.

At Floridays, here in Martin County, we are counting our blessings.

Hobe Sound—Shh! Don’t Tell Anyone!

Hobe Sound MapThose of us who work and live in Hobe Sound like things just the way they were yesterday. Somehow, this sleepy town has been able to restrain growth, keeping this small piece of Martin County nostalgic of Old Florida.

The folks at Discover Martin have recently released a new video with a focus on Hobe Sound.

Unique in so many ways, Hobe Sound sits in the most environmentally sensitive area of southeastern Martin County. Here you can discover an understated elegance. With its collection of antique shops, funky eateries, art galleries, and nature parks, Hobe Sound embodies the definition of small beach town charm.

It’s a long video—over 20 minutes—so pour a cool one, lean back, and take a chair side tour of the place Floridays calls home.

Watch the video »

The Innovative RVer

Innovation is the backbone of America. The first RVs were built in 1910 because Americans didn’t want just to go where the trains would take them. Then in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the act that built the highways, bridges and tunnels that allowed us to move even more freely about our country. The road gave rise to more types and better-made RVs and the $50 billion industry it is today.

american Innovation Photo by Samuel Schneider on Unsplash

Photo by Samuel Schneider on Unsplash

In America, when a need must be filled, Americans with the products and skills to fill that need step up to the plate. Recently, we ran across a couple of RV lifestyle innovators:

According to his website, Kyle Henson is a full-time RVer who founded RVer Health Insurance about 4 years ago to focus exclusively on health insurance for RVers, but has since added other products, like dental, vision, long term care, and even roadside assistance. He’s done this by using brokers and agents to fill the needs of full-time RVers at home (wherever that may be) and on the road. Recently, they negotiated a whopping 40% discount membership for pre-paid emergency medical transportation from MASA Medical Transport Solutions.

Three generations of Carr’s built the EscapeesRVClub, a group that helps RVers get their mail on the road. But these innovators didn’t stop there. They now offer a job center to help RVers generate income on the road and a member directory to find over 700 trusted RV products and services. If you aren’t sure who you can trust, the Carr’s keep a list of endorsed vendors from insurance companies to roadside assistance. They also offer an advocacy coalition to keep RVers informed of any RV-related political legislation and provide RVers the opportunity to join grassroots campaigns that favor RV-friendly legislation. They publish a magazine, hold rallies, and love online discussions. Jump in on the conversations, or just learn more about the innovative Carr family by visiting their nicely organized website.

Are you an RV innovator? Or know one that has made life easier for you? Share them on our Facebook page.

Sea Turtle Walks

Hobe Sound has a special place where anyone can join a trip to the beach, after dark, to experience the wonder of life through the eyes of the female Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

loggerhead turtleThe Loggerhead Sea Turtle is the largest sea turtle in the world. Adults can weigh between 200 and 350 pounds and reach 3 feet in length. Ninety percent of Loggerheads nest in five counties on the eastern seaboard of Florida and their nesting activity is highly monitored.

Female Loggerheads return to land to lay their eggs at night between February and September each year. She lugs her heavy body onto the beach and makes her way to a spot to nest. First she digs a pit, using her powerful flippers to move the sand aside, then deposits up to 120 eggs. Once finished, sand flies as she covers the eggs before returning to the ocean.

From May through July 21st, the Hobe Sound Nature Center at 13640 SE Federal Highway offers specially permitted walks by the US Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission and US Fish and Wildlife Service so kids and adults can learn about these endangered reptiles and experience a female Loggerhead lay her eggs in the sand. The center is a mere 5 minute drive south of Floridays RV Park.

Walks begin with a short educational talk, then everyone drives themselves to a nearby designated public beach where spotters guide the group to an area with an active female Loggerhead. The Turtle Walks are immensely popular in the summer months, and they are always fully booked. But cancellations do happen and there’s a waitlist you can join by calling (772) 546-2067 or by making a reservation online. There’s a donation of $5 per person requested and highly appreciated.

If you go on one of the Turtle Walks, share your adventure with others by posting your photos on our Facebook page.

Tiny House or RV?

The rise in popularity of the tiny house hasn’t gone unnoticed by RV enthusiasts. Tiny houses “look” like a house. They are solid, weatherproof, and highly customizable. They can go most places an RV can go. And face it, they are really cute!

Yosemite-Lakes-RV-ResortSo which is better? An RV or Tiny House?

  • Tiny Houses are expensive to tow because they are heavier than most RVs.
  • Traveling with a Tiny House is beyond expensive due to wind resistance.
  • You can park a Tiny House wherever it’s legal, but laws differ from county to county.
  • Tiny houses are made to be infrequently moved.
  • Tiny Houses are noticeable—a downer if you’re trying to “blend in” at a Walmart parking lot.

There are over 13,000 privately-owned RV parks and over 1,600 state parks. Where it’s legal to do so, RVers and Tiny House owners are currently living together in harmony. Certainly, Tiny Houses are all the rage these days and even have their own HGTV show, but when potential buyers were surveyed, only about 30% preferred the idea of a Tiny House while 70% preferred RVs and campers. There are some good reasons why:

  • RVs give you more bang for the buck in terms of sleeping, storage and towing.
  • The RV market is huge, so it’s easier to find that perfect match of price and preference.
  • RVs are relatively easy to insure and have more financing options.
  • The aerodynamic shape of the RV is better for the environment when on the move.

Where both the Tiny House and RV communities agree is living small wherever you wish is a great choice. What are your thoughts? Let us know on our Facebook page.