Tampa, Florida - Part A

Encore RV Resort - Tampa East

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The reason for stopping at Tampa was to visit the world's largest RV dealership,
Lazy Days RV Super Center.

They have over 1,400 new and pre-owned RVs on display and 230 service bays. You can freely walk around the 150 acre site and go into any unit. The motorhomes contain their keys so you can start them.
A "water lady" drives around in a golf cart with free bottles of cold water.
That was very helpful due to the high temperature and hot sun.
They also have a large cafeteria, in which a small free breakfast and lunch are served. It was nice to come out of the heat, rest, cool off, and talk about the motorhomes which we looked at.

The display area was sectioned off very well, first by brand then by model. There were tree lined walkways with benches to rest at. It was nice to see all of the different models with all of the different interior colors.
Even the pre-owned units were sectioned off the same way.
There were sales people driving around in 6 passenger golf carts. They would answer questions and even drive you over to another section and drop you off to look at another brand. There was no sales pressure at all. If you wanted a salesperson to stay with you they would. It was a very pleasant shopping experience. We spent three days wandering around.

We spent the first day going through various new brands and models. We also walked by the several hundred pre-owned units, only stopping to look at about 50.
On the second day we tried to decided on two favorite gas powered units and one diesel. To do this required much walking between the same units. Part of the problem with buying a unit off of the lot is that you have to take it with the installed options. For some reason most units have washer/dryer, four door refrigerators, and convection ovens. We will not accept any of those options.

Our favorites: Fleetwood Bounder 36D, Winnebago Adventurer 35U, and Holiday Rambler Neptune 34PPD. Then we went to see what kind of deal we could get and also test drove a Winnebago with a gas Workhorse chassis and the Holiday Rambler diesel. As we expected, the diesel was the best to drive and the exhaust brake was fantastic. It would have been great in the Rockies last year!

We went back on a third day to really nit pick the three models by ourselves. After all of the above, you'll be surprised to see what we are coming home with! We liked the Adventurer the best, but we would really would like a diesel. There were some things we did not like about the Neptune, so we will probably have to wait about 20 years for a better diesel model to come out. But we will keep looking!

Lazy Days RV Supercenter.
Getting ready to spend another day looking at motorhomes.

The cafeteria. It has seating for about 300.
They quit serving lunch at 1:30, but leave the drinks open all day.

Leaving the Fleetwood diesel area and heading for Winnebago.

This was the Holiday Rambler Neptune diesel which we test drove.

Out for dinner at the Rusty Pelican.
Waiting in the lounge for a window table.

We had a great table over looking Tampa Bay with the setting sun.
It was like we had our own piano player. He played alot of our favorites.
Just outside and below our window was a Blue Heron, standing in about a foot of water, who had about a 20 course seafood meal while we had our 3 courses.
I took pictures but it was really too dark.

Both Mom & I had our entrees prepared at table side.
She is making Steak Diane for Mom. She made my Veal Oscar next.
Both dishes were outstanding. Also, in all of our travels, this was the first Clam Chowder to equal the Clam Bars!
Sorry Kenny, but it was bound to happen sooner or later!
This meal and the ambiance was a fitting end to a busy day shopping.

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