We decided that we would take another Christmas trip this year as we had so much fun last Christmas in Naples, FL. We spent Thanksgiving with our kids and they were all planning on Christmas with the in-laws so it was a perfect getaway time. We decided this year that we would go to Ft. Myers instead of Naples. The only real reason for the change this year is that we liked going to Sanibel and Bonita Springs last year and we wanted to go again, and Ft. Myers is closer. They have a great dog beach in Bonita Springs and we want to take Montana there again this year. We were afraid to let him off lead last year as he tends to not have great recall, but we might just roll the dice and let him go this time. We left on Friday December 18th and had a one night layover at Blueberry Hill Resort in Bushnell, FL (Passport America $18) before arriving at our destination of Woodsmoke Camping RV resort in Ft. Myers, FL. It was a very windy trip with quite a bit of traffic. Thank goodness for Comfort Drive on the Newmar. It really helped handle the winds.
The campground here in Ft. Myers is well maintained and the staff are friendly and helpful. It is a typical Florida RV park in that that spaces are close and the streets fairly narrow. I’m glad I unhooked the car before heading to our site as I had to squeeze by a parked car with only a foot of space on each side and then ended up having to back up to make one of the turns. You can’t do that with a car in tow. Although I didn’t do it, it is a good idea to check out your site and route to it before blindly driving in. The site has a level concrete pad and I paid for a pull through as it is easier parking and usually provides more room. I didn’t want a situation like we had in Naples
last year where it took us almost 1/2 hour to get into our site and we had to have the neighbor move their vehicle as there was not enough room to maneuver on the narrow street. As is typical in Florida in the winter we are surrounded by Canadians. The one’s to our right are from Ontario and the ones to the left are from Quebec. Not wanting to be judgmental, but just as an observation – we have found that the folks from Quebec are harder to get to know. Another very friendly couple from Saskatchewan stopped by to see us as they have a similar coach, but a year older. We invited them to stop by later in the week.
We have only had a few problems with the coach since we took delivery and before this trip. The most annoying is with the Oasis heating system. It provides hot water and heat for the coach when it gets too cold for the heat pumps to work efficiently. The fans seem to run extraordinarily long in the bedroom and never shut off in the main coach until you lower the thermostat by a few degrees. They are supposed to cycle on and off with the heat so they don’t blow cold air. We took it to the dealer, Dick Gore, before leaving and they said it was working fine. I’m not so sure. From talking to the tech, it didn’t seem like he had a good working knowledge of the system. I don’t believe that they have worked on many of the Oasis systems. Then in Bushnell, FL we got a “heater module fault” red light that I couldn’t reset so I called Newmar and they were very helpful in that they provided the name of a mobile rv tech in Ft. Myers to call when we got there and have him take a look at it. Well, when I called the guy he said, “Oh we don’t work on hydronic heating units.” Great, he should have told Newmar that. Anyway, for whatever reason, the unit now works fine. Maybe the vibration of the trip reset the thing. I hate it when I have intermittent problems with something. The diagnosis becomes very difficult. We will roll with it for now and see if it causes a problem down the road.
We have had beautiful weather since we arrived. We ventured out the first night to a beautiful shopping mall a few miles from the park. The area appears to be rather upscale and the stores and restaurants in the mall matched the neighborhood. We ate at a hamburger place called Ford’s Garage that seemed popular as we had to wait for seating. Henry Ford had a winter home in the Ft. Myers area and this was a theme restaurant crafted after his success building the Ford Motor Co. The burgers were superb both in taste and presentation. I liked the etched Ford logo on the bun. It was a little pricey as the bill came to $36.00 for the two of us. We did order onion rings (superb) instead of fries and I had a Guiness. Today we plan to give our old neighbors from Virginia a call and try to get together with them one day this week. They now live in Punta Gorda, FL. We also plan to head to the beach and then get the dog a bath. For some reason he seems to be itching and scratching a lot. May be the Florida bugs??
More to come later…