Monday, August 22, 2011

Peace River Preserve or Campground?

Lutz, Florida

Well, first of all, Squeaky is doing okay.  She has absolutely no appetite though and we’re (me) having to “assist feed” her.  I like that term better than “force feed.”  She is on an appetite stimulant and Prednisolone, which should also help her appetite, but unfortunately nothing is helping.  I don’t know what is causing it, but we’re doing our best to keep her nourished.

Caregiving is tiring and stressful, and I decided I wanted to get out of the house for a while, so we decided to go on a short trip on Saturday.

We bought a Thousand Trails membership at the Tampa Rv show last winter and we are entitled to 30 days of free camping at select parks.  After we use our 30 days, we have unlimited camping at $3.00 a night.  We have only been able to use about 12 nights so far.

One of the campgrounds we have access to,  is called Peace River Campground. It is supposed to be a nice campground in a woodsy setting on the Peace River. 

We decided to take the 100 mile drive down to the campground to check it out.  We drove down to Arcadia, Florida and found the campground right away.


It was woodsy.  The gravel roads were muddy and wet from a recent rain.  It looked okay, but not great.  It was a busy campground with lots of activity.  It is in the city of Arcadia, Florida.

There were a lot of primitive sites along the river as well as full hook-up sites further away from the river.  A lot of people make multi-day kayak trips, and camp along side the river.


When we went to the office, and got some literature, we noted the rates were $58 a night, and no mention of it being a Thousand Trails Park.  A light bulb went off….this may not be the right Peace River Campground?  Sure enough, there is another one in Wauchula, Florida.  I guess we didn’t do our due diligence!

We eventually found the correct one, which is actually called  Peace River Preserve,  in Wauchula, Florida.  It is a very nice campground and not quite as far away from Tampa.

The roads were paved, although not all of them in the greatest condition.  The sites were not paved, and no concrete pads.  We liked the sites in the rows from d-30 to f-1.  They were in full sun, so the satellite would work.  They would be nice in the winter months when appreciate the warmth from the sun.


Some sites were under trees and some were out in the open. 


It was big rig friendly.  There are sites with 20/30 amp with electric and water only, and about half the sites are 30/50 amp with full hook-ups.  We liked the campground.  It’s a little like a state park (our preferred) but has the full hook-ups we have come to love. Smile

They have a nice boat/kayak launch onto the beautiful Peace River.


Peace River Preserve (Thousand Trails

The usual sign you see around any  Florida fresh water.


The river looked serene and beautiful and definitely made us want to kayak there.  The water is dark  reddish brown in color, due to the tannic acid from the Cypress trees.

There have been a lot of artifacts and fossils found in this river.  In 1996 an entire mammoth fossil was found.    It’s quite a diverse archeological area.

Here is an interesting site showing some of the artifacts that have been pulled from this river.  Some fossils date back 50 million years.  During this time, the sea level in Florida has risen and fallen many times, so you can find fossils for sea and land creatures.

Al found a Mastodon tooth many years ago on a dive in the Suwanee River.  It was our first ever artifact dive and we never found anything like it again.   This is a huge tooth that’s about 6 inches across.  Pretty nice specimen, huh?  The Mastodon lived some 40 million years ago, during the last ice age and became extinct about 10,000 years ago.  No one knows what caused their extinction.  They are a relative of the elephant.

Al’s Mastodon tooth


A Mastodon

Mastodon   Wikipedia  the free encyclopedia

We didn’t have time to stay and explore very long, but we decided that the Peace River Preserve is our kind of campground, and we will be back.  Since we got our new rig, we are having to make sure the places we choose are large enough.  One of the trade offs of having a large rig, I guess.

After we got back home from our little jaunt, we spent the rest of the afternoon watching the  tv series of Breaking Bad.    It’s a great  series and we are really enjoying it.  It’s about a high school chemistry teacher who gets lung cancer.  He has no health insurance and has to turn to “cooking meth” to pay his doctor bills.  It’s very good, and kind of reminds me of  Dexter, due to the strange twists and turns.  We are on season 3. 

Sunday, we spent checking out a few campgrounds in Zephyrhills for winter.   There are a lot of campgrounds there and they are reasonably priced.  We need to start thinking about trying to get a reservation though as they fill up quickly when the snowbirds start to come.  I’m hoping there are still some sites available, as a lot of people make their reservations year to year.  We want to go between Zephyrhills and some of our free Thousand Trails membership parks, but this may involve some reservations….and you know how we do when we try to reserve something.  Smile


  1. Is your membership a for-life thing, or for the year?

    We've watched Weeds (a housewife turns to growing marijuana to feed her family), and Hung (a high school teacher turns to prostitution to stay afloat). Maybe we'll try this Breaking Bad. I'm a bad gardener, and too old to turn tricks, but we do have an old motorhome.

  2. We would love to spend a couple of months in Florida this winter but are hesitant to make reservations. We don't know if the house will be sold by then so money may be a little tight with a mortgage payment. I've heard that the Gulf Coast is affordable but not quite as warm. The "Peace River"...good name.

  3. And here I thought maybe you were going to spend the winter at Lazy Days! :)

  4. Glad you took a break from care taking. You deserve it. And to find a TT campground that you like is the icing on the cake. Looks like a beautiful place. Stay safe with the storm moving in.

  5. Glad you got out for a break today. Nice to see photos of Peace River since we might spend some of our TT days there just for a change. We like the TT we are in now too. $199 was a good deal. Hope we can use the membership before our year runs out. What are your plans if Irene comes through Florida? We think we will be driving in rain, but will arrive after the storm.

  6. Good Luck Duck
    Our Thousand Trails membership is just for a year.

    Gyn and Sy
    The Florida Gulf coast goes a long way. The panhandle and northern area can be pretty cold...but cheaper. From central Florida (Tampa) area south is pretty nice...much different than north Florida. You can get some pretty good monthly rates around here. We paid $440 monthly last year. Kayaking is great around here too! Come on down and go kayaking with us!

    We plan to keep a close watch out on the hurricane and decide what to do when it is a bit closer. Be careful looks like the Atlantic coast is a possibility.

  7. I really like the looks of Peace River Preserve! It looks like our kind of place as well.
    Glad Squeaky is doing better...hope her appetite improves very soon.

  8. Hope squeaky's appetite comes back. Peace river looks nice. One of these years we want to make it to florida for the winter.

  9. Except for the possible alligators and snakes the Peace River Preserve looks like a pretty nice campground!

  10. I guess it is advisable to drive out to a place and see it before going there with the RV. Seems like a lot of people do that.

  11. We'd like to be in Florida for at least January and February but have had no luck finding much of anything that we can afford south of Tampa.

    $440 a month sounds great. where were you??

    Best to Squeaky.

  12. Glad you're doing well but sad that Sueaky is not... We have TT membership too. Peace River is a nice park and the kyacking or canoeing is great there. Sometime during rainy season it tends to flood though. We stay over in Pinellas County only because that is where my family lives. Our park is 450 a month plus electric. We stay there every winter but do go out during that time to other places for a week or so. Have fun & Travel safe

  13. Sherry
    The rv park is called Sweetwater Rv Park. It's in Zephyrhills, Florida. It is nothing special...just your typical Florida rv park. There are lots of Park Models. The price is right and it's in a good location, right near Tampa. Let me know if you need more info on reasonable places to stay in Florida.


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