I dreamt of taking an RV (recreational vehicle) trip my entire life. When that opportunity finally presented itself with Go RVing, a highly trusted name in RV vacations, I could hardly contain my excitement. My trip was designed to travel across the state of Florida, from my home in Vero Beach to Fort Myers and Venice Beach. My husband, Eddie, accompanied me.
The Minnie Winnie Set-Up
The thought of taking an RV trip is a little stressful; venturing into the unknown and dealing with a foreign vehicle. Our Winnebago® Minnie Winnie®, a Class C recreational vehicle, is great for small families and couples on the go. Ours was a 31 footer with all the bells and whistles, plus a friendly sticker price of right under $110,000. To find the right RV for you, visit GoRVing.com which also offers campground and rental facility information on their website
I cannot stress how easy it was to learn the set-up method for the RV. After an hour session with an RV professional at La Mesa RV in Fort Pierce, Eddie and I had all of the information we needed to operate the Minnie Winnie RV by Winnebago, as well as short videos on our smartphones for reference in the event that we forgot important details. After the purchase of a $20 drinking water hose (we weren’t sure about the ones in the RV as to which was for drinking water and which was for waste), we were on our way to our first campground.
Upon arrival, we placed the jack pads behind the wheels, leveled the RV with the push of a button, then popped out the sliding room, another click of a switch. Next, we connected the water hoses, which are color coded. One goes to a spigot for running water inside the RV and the other is for waste and connects to the sewage. After inserting the electric cord, we were set up and ready to enjoy our trip. Yep, all of five minutes start to finish.
Key Features of our 31′ Minnie Winnie
- flexible sleeping spaces (6 could fit in the overhead, queen, and sofa beds)
- LED interior lights
- large rear trunk
- maple cabinetry
- large lounge slideout
- Corian countertops
- swivel cab seats
- SiriusXM™ radio
- 3-burner range
- front wraparound curtain
- (2) HDTVs
- push-button patio awning
- incredible heating and cooling
First Stop: Myakka River RV Resort
We arrived in Venice, Florida as the sun was setting. There were only a few spots available in the campground, so we chose the one with the best scenery at a riverfront space. We backed in the Minnie Winnie and began to set up camp. The Myakka River RV Resort was our home for the next two days while we enjoyed our first dose of RV living and the campground amenities. Most of the residents were either full-time or had a permanent site for snowbird season or weekend getaways. Everyone was so friendly and we felt right at home. Nearly everyone had dogs and I missed not having mine with me.
The Myakka River RV Resort has a community pool with showers, a huge multi-purpose room for events, games, watching TV, or just visiting with neighbors, washer & dryers, grills and a screened in patio, and a helpful staff. I was particularly fond of the pool; we spent a great deal of our time there.
The resort manager offered to loan us her car so that we could enjoy seeing the nearby town. How amazing is that? Of course, we took her up on her offer and spent the day in historic downtown Venice. We stopped in a few specialty shops, had some tasty Mexican food for lunch, and drove over to take pics at the beach. The town was lovely all lined with palm trees.
Second Destination: Gulf Waters RV Resort
Two days later, Eddie and I arrived at the posh Gulf Waters and were shown to our primo campsite at High Tide Lane, with great views of the onsite lake. Although the 318 paved sites are usually spoken for during peak season, we had our choice of campsites because it was the offseason. The RV park is huge, and many people have fancy porches, yards, and set-ups showing off their RV love. Our favorite part of Gulf Waters was the beautiful, centrally located heated pool and hot tub. Typically, a tiki bar & cafe is available and from what we heard, the place you want to be for sunsets and happy hour, but it was closed during this time of year.
Other amenities included a pristine laundry facility and shower rooms, planned activities, free Wi-Fi, a huge clubhouse, tennis courts, and daily coffee at the clubhouse. Pets are welcome at the resort. Seasonal activities include pickleball, a sewing circle, card and domino tournaments, movie nights, aerobics and water exercise, potluck dinners, and weekly motorcycle rides. This is a very active RV community! Gulf Waters has a long list of rules to abide by, but we were happy to oblige and have a peaceful place to stay.
Festival in Fort Myers
We grabbed an uber and rode over to the beaches of Fort Myers to attend the annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest. Each September, the beaches welcome thousands of guests for several days of music, fun, and activities. Some of the class acts that we saw were Bobby Tomberlin (“One More Day” -Diamond Rio), Maggie Rose (a recent Highway find), Tim James (“Love Like Crazy” -Lee Brice), Danny Myrick (“She’s Country”-Jason Aldean), and Even Stevens (“I Love a Rainy Night” and “Suspicions” -Eddie Rabbitt).
The Ease of RVing Will Surprise You
Eddie and I felt right at home traveling on the RV. The hook-ups literally took five minutes or less and we were “cooking with gas”. We cooked pretty much the same as we would at home, making scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast, grilled burgers and chicken for dinner, and even a pie for dessert. Bringing a tabletop grill is a smart idea, though both campsites had charcoal grills that we could have used.
We didn’t have much other than outdoor chairs, paper products, linens, spices, and cleaning products to pack along for our trip. Eddie took advantage of having a bathhouse near our campsite as he was too tall to comfortably take a shower in the RV. The Minnie Winnie maintained a cool temperature with its fierce AC.
I was impressed with how easy it was to navigate the Minnie Winnie and even I felt at ease driving it. The backup cameras made it much easier to judge where I was on the road and aid in backing in a campsite.
Keep in mind that both of our resorts offered cable, electric, and water hook-ups. We were not “roughing” it in the least.
Labeling Our First RV Trip A Success
Eddie and I loved having an opportunity like this to live out a lifelong dream. While RV travel is not for everyone, it was a great experience and I had no problem adjusting to the confined space. Our RV had all the bells and whistles that one could wish for. I encourage you to take the plunge and give RVing a try but don’t aim too big. Years ago I thought of flying to Maine and renting an RV to drive down the New England coast but that may be too daunting for a first-timer. Our short trip with secured reservations was a nice introduction to RVing and I can’t wait to do it again!
Our First RV Trip Images
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Special thanks to Go RVing for allowing us the opportunity of a lifetime with the Minnie Winnie. More thanks to La Mesa RV, and Myakka River RV and Gulf Manor RV Resorts for hosting us. As always, all opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.