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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Salt Springs, Florida and RV Ports

Yesterday’s blog was about how we happened to pass through Salt Springs, Florida. Today’s will be about what we found there and why it really appealed to us.

First, the $50 really did make it into our new savings account at Woodforest National Bank.  Hooray for that!

Mer’s brother, Bob, has spent most of his life in this area of Florida and when he heard we were going over to Ocala his enthusiasm was almost out of control.  I have been to Ocala… it is not that much to get excited about but he was insistent that we go through the beautiful Ocala National Forest.  Honestly, from St. Augustine, you can’t get to Ocala without going through it unless you want to nearly double the miles to get there.

Anyway, he was going on and on about checking out the various springs along the way, like Salt Springs, Juniper Springs, Silver Glen Springs and Silver Springs.

He also knew we have been interested in RV parks with RV Ports, which are shelters that you can park an RV under while you live there. He mentioned that there are a couple of RV Parks in Salt Springs  that he and Bette had visited that had RV ports.  Of course, we were interested, too.

Salt Springs is about half the trip to Ocala from St. Augustine.

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The roads are excellent and the trip is through a lot of national forest so it was not unpleasant to go this way. But when we reached Salt Springs, we were already feeling behind our expected timeline and did not want to dawdle too much so we sort of skimmed through the RV parks.

Actually, the first park we visited is a development of deeded RV properties. It is nice, compact (a little too much so for our tastes) and has spaces available to rent or buy. Some rentals are brokered through the developer, Elite Estates, but many are rented directly by the owners. A list is available in the guard house at the entrance. Prices are negotiated directly with the owners so there are no prices printed on this list, just phone numbers.

We did not take the time to visit the offices of Elite Estates to see what they had for rental information.  Overall, it is a nice place, gated, free wifi through out the park and borders a big lake. Perhaps on a longer visit to this resort we could find a few spots that we could fit completely into while hooked to the truck but only a few even looked close to being a fit.  Some decent space between lots was the norm but often, they backed up to each other pretty closely.

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2011-09-12 15.37.08.jpg
From there, we moved onto the other RV resort, Salt Springs Village, which borders the western side of Elite Estates. This is a 55+ retirement community so a lot more park models and manufactured homes are in this area. On average,  the lots are significantly larger and there are a fair number of them with real RV ports attached.  Also a full facility resort, it borders a lake, has swimming pools, club house and the usual things one finds at a real resort.
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2011-09-12 15.35.32.jpg

We really liked the atmosphere in Salt Springs Village a bit better than Elite Estates.  It seemed more like a place we would be comfortable living for extended periods.

So, you may ask, where is the other shoe?  Actually, Salt Springs is out in the boonies and in a real cell phone dead zone.  Elite Estates does have Wifi but I don’t know about the Salt Springs Village area since my cell battery died trying to get GPS and online maps while on the way to Salt Springs. Boy! When it can’t connect to anything it really eats batteries.

Now, the other shoe….

We had to hurry on to Ocala before the bank closed. Yes, they are open everyday of the year but not 24/7, so we did not want to get there late and still not get our $50 (remember that little incentive for this trip?)

When we finished our banking business in Ocala, we decided to go back the way we had come. On the way into Ocala we had passed an RV Resort called

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2011-09-12 17.35.40.jpg
Wilderness RV Park Estates which looked pretty inviting from the highway.  We stopped in there as we headed home and really liked what we saw… to a point.

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2011-09-12 17.40.01.jpg
Again, this resort is a bunch of deeded lots, some are available as rentals and some for sale. Some are really spiffy with obviously a lot of $$$$ put into the landscaping but a very large percentage of them can easily handle our 65’ overall length and there is a whole area of very long pull-through spaces, too. The office was closed so we did not get any further information about the place but they do have rates posted on their website and honor Passport America and Good Sam memberships. $445/month is not a terrible rate.

The newest section of this park has lots that are even larger and range up to 7000 sq ft/lot. Lacking a map or any other info at the time we were there, we did not even discover there was this newer section until we were back home and could look it up on their website. The property is located along the Florida Greenway with access to the Ocklawaha River and just a mile or so from the entrant to the Ocala National Forest.

The overall atmosphere is of a pretty new resort with good paved roads and facilities but a great big sign out by the highway that says “Foreclosure Auction” which is scheduled for 9/21/2011. I don’t know what that might mean to owners or RV renters in the future but I just know that I like the feel of the park… and I did have good cell service (I finally found my car charger).

ttfn

Budd

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