Where to Stay in Florida?

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Mick & Pat

Well-known member
Feb 14, 2006
Back in UK with RV
As mentioned in our introduction posting Pat and I intend to visit America like Paul and Ann-Marie to buy a new RV then tour America for 12 to 18 months before returning to the UK with our RV.

We have no idea when this will be hopfully in the very near future so until then I am using this time to learn as much as I can regarding our US visit, the choice of RVs to purchase and the requirements involved in importing an RV to the UK.

Now as I see it our first problem on stepping off the plane will be finding suitable accommodation in Florida.

I'm sure that loads of you will write in saying there is loads of accommodation in Florida, but when I try a Google search it appears to be geared up for families and large parties who require villas for 8 to 16 persons together with prices to match.

Can your members recommend something for a couple,nothing fancy it just has to be clean and tidy?

Paul if you see this would you recommend the villa you used if so have you a contact link or address?

Hi Mick

You can easily step of the plane and get a motel room for $25/night in January - Im not sure about the rest of the year.

We paid ?250pw for the 3 bed 2 bath villa we had, plus ?50pw for pool heating which didnt work.

I would suggest the villa route as you will enjoy the space it provides - plus the laundry, kitchen, etc

The only drawback is that you more or less need the car to get to everything - which puts a dampner on having a few beers.

When the villa owner actually gets around to refunding our security deposit (and hopefully the money for pool heating), I will gladly give you their details.

Remember, you will pay A LOT less in Jan-Mar than you will at other times.

I would suggest a search on holiday-rentals.co.uk or daltonsholidays.co.uk and email several owners asking for their lowest figure, thats what we did.


PS of course, if you do get a motel room, it will give you time to see if you get on each others nerves in such and enclosed space 24/7 PRIOR to spending your money on the RV.? ;D


Thanks for that, I would be interested in the details of that villa you used........perhaps if you tell the owners there is someone else interested it will hurry up their grasp on your deposit ;)

Any other members if you can also still help the more the merrier :D :D
Remember, you will pay A LOT less in Jan-Mar than you will at other times.
I'm amazed to hear that because it is mid-way in the prime winter tourist season in Florida, but it may be that there are seasonal rentals that for some reason are unrented and owners are anxious to fill them. Florida hotels and motels in tourist areas are usually charging their highest rates during the winter, but there are always rooms available in a variety of price ranges. I don't know what you can get for $25/night, but there are certainly decent places for under $50 in many areas.  Villas I don't know much about, since we've been out of that market for a long time now.

The places you see advertised online are short term tourist rates.  One of your first decisions will need to be "how long?". If you only need a place for a couple weeks [hopefully] while you shop and take delivery, you are short term by definition. Another is "where?" Miami Ft Lauderdale are is easily reached from the UK but expensive and poor RV shopping. Tampa has good access to RV sales centers (including but not limited to the much touted and occasionally reviled LazyDays) and both villas and motels should be less expensive. Jacksonville and Orlando are other alternatives with several Rv dealers and plenty of motel rooms.

Perhaps your best bet would be to book a decent motel/hotel room for 3-4 days and figure on finding a longer accomodation when you get here, using an agency perhaps.

In the US, motels have pretty much replaced hotels as the standard short term rooming place. That's not at all bad - most are fairly spacious, many are postively elegant and you can get suites at prices much more reasonably than in most hotels. If you plan on staying more than a a few days, I suggest you inquire about suite prices and also long term stay discounts.  Just the addition of a separate bedroom  does wonders for the closeness of a typical room. But them, a sPaul says, you better get used to close quarters!  Most motels have at least a monthly rate and some will have weekly rates (even if they don't advertise it). "Corporate rates" is another way to get discounted rates in some areas. Most reservations clerks don't care what corporation as long as they hear the magic word "corporate" and certainly won't ask you to prove it, but corporate rates may not apply on weekends (they are intended to attract  business travelers) or to longer term rates.  And if somebody did ask "what corporation" you could mention "the UK arm" of some internationally known name such as Ford/Jaguar, IBM or some firm such as BP that has large US operations. Being with a non-US arm of an international corporation readily explains why you may not be familiar with the US arm's discount arrangements and allows you to ask the clerk what you need to do to get the establisment's corporate rate.
I checked some motel  in the Tampa area - just googled "motel tampa florida" (without the quotes). One low-priced chain that has a couple locations out near where most of the RV dealers are located (actually the suburb of Seffner, near the Florida Fair Grounds) is named "Masters" and their Tampa East-Sefner and Tampa-Fairgrounds locations would be convenient. At least one of them has what we call "extended stay" rooms, which typically have basic kitchenettes and longer stay rates.  See http://www.mastersinn.com/tampafairgrounds/
From that site you can click to "Extended Stay" and also get an email address for further inquiries.  I'm not necessarily rcommending this place - have never been there. Just giving an example with a web site so you can get an idea of what's available in the lower price range of decent motels.

You could also google motel seffner florida to get some selections, but most of the larger chains will list their places under Tampa, even though they are in a suburb or outlying area. Sometimes even when they are 20+ miles away!

Thank you for all of that information,the one thing that this forum has really impressed me with is the friendliness of other members as well as the speed of replying to posts. :D

The 'area' we have in mind to stay in Florida is Tampa,this being that despite Paul's problems with Lazy Days they would be our first RV dealer to visit and we would hope that they would have since sorted out some of their customer relation problems. ???

Our second RV dealer is one called Dick Gores RV World based in Jacksonville & St Augustine, Florida as well as Richmond Hill, Georgia, we will be hiring a car until we have purchased and taken delivery of our RV.

One model of RV this dealer features that we really like the look of is the Gulf Stream Tourmaster T36.
Mick said:
...the one thing that this forum has really impressed me with is the friendliness of other members as well as the speed of replying to posts.

Mick, that's one reason we've always  prided ourselves in being the friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing.

You may wish to check out Expedia.com for your motel search.  I've used it  a few times and found better prices and fewer surprises than other online bookings. 

What is it about the Gulfstream that appeals to you?  Have you looked at Fleetwood or Monaco products?  The latter are known for pretty good customer service and both offer factory service, which is useful as you will be traveling the Country.  There are some issues that are best corrected by factory service IMO.

When you are ready to find campgrounds and RV parks in Florida...let us know...we have some good suggestions as many Forum members reside in Florida.
Steve, Thanks for your reply will have a look at Expedia.

Until recently the Fleetwood pushers were top of my list,however as they are 102" wide they are to wide for the UK.

We also like the Monaco Caymen, what we are looking for is a diesel pusher that has twin settees in its lounge area and is not to big.

Don't forget the RVs are made for use in America so a 40ft one is no problem in the States but in the UK the front would be in the North sea and the rear the Atlantic  ;D ;D ;D

Seriously after touring America with our RV and returning back to the UK we then intend to tour all of Europe where a lot of the camping sites in France and Spain cannot accommodate a large RV. :(
Until recently the Fleetwood pushers were top of my list,however as they are 102" wide

Are you saying the Gulfstream Toumaster T36 is 96" wide?  I could not find specs on this coach online and the photos on dealers' sites are difficult to see the width.  If you are looking for a 36 foot coach, I believe there are Fleetwood or other manufacturers  making 36 foot coaches for your to compare.

Among the coaches we see in use, we don't see that many Gulfstreams and I wonder why that is.
Among the coaches we see in use, we don't see that many Gulfstreams and I wonder why that is.

We have never owned a Gulfstream as were were advised Not to buy one by a dealer that had one on his lot.  Since then we have friends that did buy one brand new and have had nothing but trouble with it plus empty it is overweight on the front axle and the drive axle.  IMHO one would be better off to look at something other than a Gulfstream.


The Gulfstream Tourmaster T36 is 100" wide and the maximum permitted width for the UK is 2.55m or 100.39" and 12m length (39.37 feet)

Now the difference between 100.39"  and 102" may not be much but would you risk spending $157,053 to $167,524 plus shipping costs to find on the dock yard in England refusing you entry into the UK?

Whatever RV we buy will be our 24/7 home back in the UK so I must try and get things right.
If we ruled out every manufacturer who has produced a lemon rig (or two) or even an entire model series that was mediocre, I don't think there would be any left to choose among.  It's a sad commentary on the industry that even the best produce some rigs with terrible specs and also real lemons that are nothing but headaches for the owners.
The big difference between manufacturers that from time to time build a lemon is their attitude in making things right.  Our friends may be in court already on theirs since it is unusable and GS seems to think they have no obligation to correct their mistakes.

Hi Mick
we found the cheapest way to stay in a motel was to first get a coupon book from Mc Donalds that way you can save up to 1/3 on  the normal price.
I see Travelworld in Worcester doesn`t list Fleetwood in their latest open day maybe its because they don`t make the 38ft Revolution anymore.You are right in being cautious in what you can import ,VOSA has refused to register an over length RV from the local Cornish dealer.You can guaranty one thing,all your planning goes out the window once you start viewing ,as Paul will tell you
Hi Ian,

Yea its that case you mention which I believe you tried to find together with the other case involving Mr & Mrs Bramhill -v- a RV dealer in Wales, UK the full court ruling can be see in the link below.

Basically for the other forum members a dealer sold an RV that was 102" and when the owners later discovered this they wanted there money back.

You are also correct that all planning goes out of the window when you start viewing,and at the moment my main viewing is via the Internet but when I saw this Tourmaster it was love at first sight.

However after what some of the guys have said on this forum I think a little more research is required.

A friend visited us the other day who has visited the USA for holidays,whilst telling her of our intended plans she suggested an idea could be to rent a mobile home on one of the camp sites,to be honest I hadn't thought of this.

Are mobile homes a possibility on American Camping site,most British and European camp site do cater for people to stay in tents,in their touring caravans or in a static mobile home like this one.

You can certainly rent a "park model", our equivalent of a static caravan, but you won't be able to tow it around with you.

What's referred to as a "mobile home" is not very mobile either. It's more like a couple of porta cabins joined together. They're brought into their permanent location on trailers, which is why they have the name mobile home. They're more likely to be owned and occupied full time by retired folks who don't want (or maybe can't afford) the upkeep of a regular house and garden. Most are actually quite nice and spacious inside, so they'd be great if you could find a rental.

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