We have been spending the winter months (Dec, Jan, Feb) in South Texas, home of Winter Texans. Yes, this is a thing. People come from all the northern states and Canada to the southern tip of the big state to hang out in warmer weather for the winter.
Having never been here, we didn’t quite know what to expect.
Plus, we haven’t stayed anywhere for 3 months since we started living full-time in our RV almost 3 years ago.
We considered moving from park-to-park each month (there are more than 100 RV Parks in the Rio Grande Valley), but ultimately chose Tropic Winds RV Park in Harlingen.
A few reasons for this choice:
- We are members of Thousand Trails, and this park is in the Encore Parks family, so we were able to get a discount of 20% on the winter rate.
- This Park was smaller (just over 500 sites); most other parks average about 1000 sites.
- High-speed connected internet was included in the rate – we couldn’t find another park with this perk.
- This is a 55+ Park; meaning at least one of your party must be 55 years old or older. This isn’t usually a big deal to us, we like family parks as well.
As we have visited/toured other RV parks in the area while we have been here, this Park has larger sites! We didn’t realize it until driving through some of the other parks, but we have a concrete driveway for our tow vehicle, and a large ‘yard’ of grass to lounge around on nice days.
At least 50% of this park is actually made of up sites for Park Models and larger permanent mobile homes. The circle the outer edges of the park, while the interior streets are mostly 5th wheels and motorhomes. The nice thing about the mobile homes and park models is all are newer, skirted, clean and well maintained. No old, run-down trailers here. Streets are paved, driveways are paved, and the most common form of transportation is a golf cart.
The amenities are numerous. With folks here for several months a year – or here full-time – the Park has created many opportunities for any activity you desire. Want to play pool? Or be in the pool? What about cards, games, shuffleboard, pickleball? Whatever you want, they have the chance for you to participate with others.
A fitness center, a large hall for events, and library are available to everyone.
And special events? Every week there is a dance, a performance or an event of some kind. If we went to all the scheduled events, we would be exhausted.
Because we work during the day, most of our outings consist of going to the fitness center in the early morning hours and walking the dog throughout the day. We see lots of other folks out walking their dogs (wow, do we see some strange ones!), and riding bikes or power walking. This is definitely a park for active people.
So what’s not to like? Well…
- You are in one place for a long time. We didn’t really get into RVing to just park in one place, so I”m not sure we will be doing this again for a while. Maybe when we are older (I’m not old yet), we might consider some stays like this again, but for now, we are considering this an experiment that we are glad we did.
- It is windy here. All the weather apps refer to the area as ‘breezy’ but let’s get real. It is WINDY. Seems like every day the wind blows at least 12-18 MPH, with most days in the high 20 MPH especially in the afternoon. We have had many days of 40+ winds. In a motorhome, this isn’t really fun. Part of the fun of living in the RV is so you can easily get outside to do things. We should have had an idea with the names of the streets in the RV park – Windy Lane, Windswept St, etc.
Overall, we are not sorry we tried this experiment – just another lesson in living on the road! Now onto the next adventure!