A Relaxing, Waterfront, Ho-hum Week


Once the rest of our 6-month repairs were completed on Rover, we made our way to Carrabelle, FL. Our route west put Tallahassee as our next likely destination, but after some research we decided we’d prefer something a little quieter and away from big cities. Carrabelle is about 45 minutes south of Tallahasse, right on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico:

We made reservations at Ho-Hum RV Park, which has waterfront sites right on the Gulf and St. James Bay. The campground itself may be ho-hum, but the views can’t be beat and the staff was very friendly. Opie enjoyed swimming in the bay daily, while max just waded in to get his legs wet. There was also a residential neighborhood across the street where we could take the dogs for longer walks, something that is challenging to find at some other RV parks we’ve been to.

Opie's "two face" look: black on one side, white on the other!

Opie’s “two face” look: black on one side, white on the other!

Unless you’re into fishing (which we’re not), there’s not a lot to do in the area, but that’s OK with us! We used the time to relax, catching up on chores, books, and movies. We looked into hikes in some of the nearby parks, but inertia won out and we never made it out of the campground except to pick up groceries and try the local BBQ joint (which didn’t really impress us).

Our waterfront site for the week.

Our waterfront site for the week.

During our stay, we saw a black bear (our first ever!) across the street from the campground, dolphins playing in the bay, and all manner of sea birds (which drove Opie crazy). It’s a very peaceful area, and a great place to unwind. Each day we watched the dramatic change in the tides, which turned our beach from a few inches of sand in the mornings, into 20 or 30 feet of beach by early afternoon. Having never spent much time at the water, it was a new and interesting experience for us.


Michael Fischer

After a high-tech career spanning software development and systems administration to leading hundreds of engineers across cities and continents, I'm now slowing things down a bit. Traveling full-time in an RV with my awesome wife Kathie and our two big dogs Max and Opie, I'm now pursuing smaller personal software projects while seeing North America up close.


  1. Rod Reichardt   •  

    What repairs did you have on your 36LA? We’ve only had relatively minor things. The USB plug on the dash died a couple of months ago. One of the bolts that hold the step over the batteries was stripped from the factory. Those two items had to be ordered from Tiffin. This took longer than expected so I had to pick it up before the repairs were finished. Even though I retired in June I have worked the last couple of months to help out with a difficult situation at my wife’s work. Since the service department at our dealer is a couple of hours away with only weekday hours I have not been able to get it back. They did fix trim on a couple of ares inside and on the awning outside. The worst issue is the stairs. They quit at the end of a 1200 mile drive from Indianna to Texas. They did not work again until I dropped it off for service. The dealer said they could not recreate the problem. When I picked it up they only retracted about halfway and you could hear the gears grinding. I needed it the next day so couldn’t leave it. A few miles down the road they died completely. Until I can get them fixed I clamp them up or down with vise grips. Kind of ghetto but functional. I am taking it to Orlando in a couple of weeks. About the time you guys will be here in the Austin area. My wife and son are meeting me there. I won’t be able to get our warranty work finished until I get back from that. I have not been super impressed with our dealer so far. They are nice enough. Just not very fast. I a reserving judgement on their competence until everything is finished. All in all I am very happy with the small number of issues we’ve had. Nothing that has stopped us from using it. Actually we’ve liked it so much that we are thinking of trading for a DP. I am worried that we may not be as lucky two times in a row though. If we do “trade up” I will likely wait until 2015s are a little cheaper near the end of the Spring.

  2. Mike   •     Author

    Rod, our problems were mostly with components (backup camera, entry steps, roller shades, etc.). Our steps also would close halfway and then grind gears. We called Tiffin and they shipped us a new motor which we installed in less than an hour, though it was awkward crawling around under there. While at Lazydays we looked at many diesel pushers but we didn’t find anything with a floorplan we liked as much as the 36LA, so I figure we’ll save the extra $$ for the future!

  3. Rod Reichardt   •  

    Thanks Mike. The only DP we have seen with a similar floor plan is the Fleetwood Expedition 38K which is a new plan for 2015. It looks like the booth is actually large enough to make another bed for an adult. We have a booth in ours but it is really too short for adults. There are times we might use that. I am really starting to lean toward keeping the 36LA. It has been very reliable. I might try calling Tifffin for the step motor.

    I am in the middle of driving from the Austin, TX area to Orlando and the 36LA has done really well on this drive. I don’t like fueling the gasser. That is probably my biggest issue. It would be nice just to be able to pull through truck stops. Gas is so cheap now that it makes for some of the inconvenience.

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