A friend emailed me the other day and asked what I knew about RV Ports. Since we live on I-95 in Florida and there's a fantastic resort full of RV Ports of all kinds up at exit 215, I sent her there. After thinking about it, it occurred to me that I probably have more to say about RV Ports than  most RVers, so I might as well gather it all together in one spot. So, I could put the info in my monthly newsletter, but that doesn't allow for photos and how can you talk about this topic without photos? I thought about using my new RV-Blog, but there again, there's no good way to put photos there. I may decide to put some there in the future, but for now I'm looking at that as text only. So-o-o, I decided to stick it into a chapter here. Since we're not currently doing much travelling worth writing about, this "journal" is getting a little bit ignored anyway, so why not?

Several years ago, I came up with a concept for something I labelled a Barnage.  My idea was to build a barn, big enough to drive an RV inside on one side, then with a room or two on the other side. I thought I'd fix it so I drive the RV in, connect some sort of "tunnel" made from canvas or whatever, and thus have a complete living quarters, with the bed, bath, and kitchen in the RV and the workshop, living room, play room, whatever in the land-based portion of the setup. Since it was to be built like a Barn and be usable as sort of a Garage, I called it a Barnage. My thought was to have about 4 or 5 barnages around the country, so we could go visit one for a couple months, then move on to the next, building arts and crafts at each stop to sell at flea markets as we progressed along around the country. Wouldn't it be neat to have a barnage in Florida, one in South Texas, one in Arizona, maybe one in Minnesota (where I was born), and maybe one somewhere over in the Northeast?  Well ... great idea ... but I never got around to building the first one.

Then, about 10-15 years ago, we wandered into the Mountain Lakes Resort in Dahlonega, Georgia, up in the mountains North of Atlanta, and there they were! ... Almost ... They had their RVs either uncovered outside or just with a roof built over the top, but they were connected to the little "half-house", just as I had imagined my barnage would be. I later heard these structures referred to as RV Ports. Then, about a year ago, in November 2004, I contacted Sherry Ivie, a realtor who works about the Dahlonega and Helen area, and told her we'd like to see some of these RV Ports. We took a trip up there, as discussed in Travel Log Chapter 62, and checked them out. We decided that the Dahlonega area was a little too rural for our taste, but really enjoyed seeing all the types of RV sites, RV lots, and RV ports available.  Below, I've included a few photos to illustrate what they look like - for more info on them, visit Sherry's website RVlots.net. Note that the log cabin-type structure is simply a little house that you can park the RV next to - that would be an RV site. The other is a park model connected to the structure and I guess that could be called an RV port. An  RV lot is just a lot where you can park the RV, with no structure on it.
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On to Mexico!
Then, early this year, I was wandering around Western Florida in the Clermont area, North of Tampa, and happened upon a place called Citrus Highlands. As I said in Chapter 64, I was amazed at the homes they had there, with a real RV port instead of a carport, where you could park and plug in a full-sized Class A motorhome. Joyce and I actually made a trip back over a week or so later to check them out, but decided that they were a little over-priced for what we were getting and for the location (just our opinion). They were selling quite well, however, so there appeared to be a large number of people who were more than satisfied by the homes and their location. Below, I've included some photos of homes we saw there. You can get more details and sales info at the Citrus Highlands website.
After seeing those RV ports in Citrus Highlands, I figured I'd pretty well seen the best. Then, in June 2005, I was driving South on I-95 and noticed a billboard advertising the "Best RV Resort in Florida" -- hmmm -- I'd seen it many times before, but had some extra time so decided to stop and see what the best resort looked like. It's at exit 215, near Titusville, Florida. I was really surprised! Went by the sales office and got one of the sales staff, Hal Hessler, to take me on a tour in his golf cart. The resort, whose full name is The Great Outdoors RV, Nature, and Golf Resort, has 6 types of RV sites/homes.  They have RV sites, RV ports, resort homes, park homes, chalets, and villas. Something for any level of RV participation that you're interested in. Go to the TGOresort.com website to see details on all of their options.
RV Site
RV Port
Resort Home
Park Home
And ... as before, Joyce and I went back, took a tour, got very excited about the resort home, compared it to what we currently have, and decided to stay where we are. Guess what the biggest negative was ... our dogs. The resort rules only allow two pets and we've got four. We heard that the rule wasn't often enforced, especially if they stayed inside as ours do, but we didn't really want to start out on the wrong foot. Also, they don't allow fencing in the back yard -- almost a necessity, unless you like putting leashes on four dogs and walking them daily, which we don't. Other than that, they were really great for RVers. We talked about a few options, then finally decided .. once again .. to stay where we are. Wonder if we'll ever find something that will move us out of our current home. We talk about it now and then, especially at times like last week when the home insurance bill came and I learned that it's doubled since last year. ... time will tell ...

That's about all I have to say about Barnages, etc. If you have any info you think should be added here, email me and I'll add it in.
Additional links I found doing a search on "rv port" (all are Florida, except the final one) :

http://www.blairflorida.com/  Blair Communities, a variety of retirement home types, including Arlington Ridge with RV homes

http://www.arlingtonridgefl.com/homes.html  Arlington Ridge, Florida (Roanoke, Shenandoah, and St. Charles are RV homes)

http://www.mosloa.com/  Mt. Olive Shores, large manufactured homes with RV ports

http://www.mtoliveshoresnorth.com/application/community_index.php Mt. Olive Shores North, like TGO, described above

http://www.deercreekrv.com/application/community_index.php  Deer Creek RV Golf Resort

http://www.crfcommunities.com/   CRF Communities, a variety of retirement home types, including Mt. Olive North and Deer Creek

http://www.homesindio.com/index.html   Indio Palms Country Club, RV port homes in California, no prices given

And some sent to me by friends:

https://gardensrvvillage.com/  Gardens RV Village, Crossville, Tennessee

www.campingfriend.com/LakeWhitneyRVCommunity/ Lake Whitney, Texas

http://www.jessranch.com/  Apple Valley, California
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68. Barnages, RV Ports, RV Lots, RV Villas, ...
July 2007 Updates:  First, on the right, a nice lady near Helen and Dahlonega, Georgia that spent some time showing us a bunch of RV lots in that area. How could I forget to include her in my RV Ports, etc. list.   
... oldguy moment, I guess ...

Also, a friend just recently sent me an article from the Huntsville Times about a new RV Port development in Guntersville, Alabama. It's being promoted by none other than Radar O'Reilly (Gary Burkhoff) from Mash. Read all about it in the article below. Click to read it in a larger version. The URL for the development is http://www.blueheronparadise.com/.
Click to check out RV lots in North Georgia