Highlights From Our First RV Road Trip with a Pop Up Tent Trailer
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Go RVing. All opinions are 100% mine.
How cool is it that Alex and I got to spend the weeks leading up to our nuptials road tripping to new destinations in Florida? Many people don’t know this, but when we first met, we went on a 10-day road trip within just four months of knowing each other. That could’ve been a disaster! But it wasn’t. In fact, it awakened a desire to explore more of the United States — and brought us closer.
Now, years later, it’s Go RVing’s Kickoff to Camping Season and we got to plan an outdoor adventure with one of the industry’s coolest adventure trailer, the SylvanSport GO: a pop up tent trailer that is lightweight with a minimalist design. See if there’s one near you to rent on Outdoorsy.
We took the GO on a road trip through Florida along the Atlantic Coast, and wanted to share some highlights! Here are a few of our favorite Florida road trip memories, and lessons we learned after RVing with a pop up tent trailer for the first time.
3 Awesome Places To Visit On An RV Road Trip In Florida
Our road trip’s end goal was the Florida Keys, so we focused much of our time getting there from Philadelphia and taking in the best of the continental U.S.’ southernmost sites. Here are highlights we loved:
A Weekend Trip to St. Augustine
People can never stop raving about St. Augustine, and now that I’ve been there I can’t either! Don’t get me wrong: the historical city is small and quite touristic, but it is still a sight to see. We stayed at a great RV Resort just 15 minutes from downtown (Compass) and got to experience RV Resort amenities for the first time!
Can you believe this RV Resort had a fitness center, swimming pool, concerts, bonfire nights and barbecue lunch, super clean bathrooms, and more!? We were shocked! And our full-hook up site only cost $45 per night on a holiday weekend.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Intrigued by the concept of an underwater park, we had John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo at the top of our Florida Keys bucket list. The day we visited was a bit windy, so our snorkeling tour strategically selected a reef that had great visibility considering weather conditions.
We arrived at the Grecian Rocks after a 30 minute boat ride, which was a gorgeous reef that offered opportunity to see barracuda, grouper, and other marine life.
Marathon Turtle Hospital
Whenever we travel, we try our best to learn about the local environment so we can travel with intention and environmental consideration. Visiting a real, operating Turtle Hospital was a big step forward in seeing firsthand how our daily actions and industries affect and endanger animals that have roamed this earth for millions of years.
If you love wildlife, marine conservation, or want to learn more about the work of those fighting to make a difference, I recommend a visit to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL. You may even observe a turtle surgery in person.
Park Camping vs. RV Resorts: In Our Opinion!
Okay - truth time. We were initially skeptical tenters who weren’t sure if RVs could fit our lifestyle. We thought RVs were too big or only for super affluent people. Did you think that too?
With our minimalist lifestyle we were sure RV life wouldn’t be right for us. But there were many perks we hadn’t considered. Most of all, many different styles of RVs (and price points) to match any lifestyle.
One of the biggest differences we noticed was less in the “housing” itself and more in the campground quality. When we camp in most state and national parks, the facilities are lackluster at best. We had never experienced RV Resorts because most only permit certified recreation vehicles to make reservations (very few allow tents).
Now that we had a certified RV, our camping experience was elevated.
We were welcomed into the RV community like family. We celebrated birthdays with other RVers. We made dinner together. We played music and went swimming together.
It was something neither of us had ever experienced. Our pop up camper RV was the icebreaker for bigger friendships. And that was a special experience.
My Thoughts About Road Tripping with an RV For the First Time
Our RV road trip experience was unique because we had a lightweight, entry-level RV that was easily maneuverable. The pop up tent collapses into a discreet trailer for transit so it was hardly noticeable when towing. I can’t speak on larger RVs, but these are takeaways from our experience.
Here were things we loved about RV road tripping:
Access to RV resorts and their awesome amenities
Great conversation starter
Being part of the RV community means lots of invites to barbecues and dinners!
RVs grant the ability to stand inside of the pop up and even raise your hands without bumping into anything (tall people rejoice!)
More comfortable than sleeping on the ground
Easier to set up in bad weather
Here are things we had to consider more when RVing:
Parking! When heading to rest stops we had to remember to park with the trucks and other RVs in order to have more parking space.
Amenities differ based on the type of RV you have; we chose a tent trailer which did not have appliances, bathroom facilities, or air conditioning.
Always check your lights on the RV each time you drive, to make sure the hitch’s electrical wiring is working. Our car hitch’s wiring started glitching and we had to take it back to U-haul to fix it (thank goodness we had a warranty).
You’re not off the hook! Just because an RV has made your life ten times more comfortable doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done to keep it that way. Cleaning your RV, set up, break down, and everything in between… it applies to all road trippers — and will pay off in RV longevity.
What’s your Dream road tripping destination?
Save this post for later so you can be prepared and extra inspired to take your next adventure!