Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Buyer Beware

Tuesday December 10, 2013
Sebastian Inlet State Park
Vero Beach, Florida




As in most stories, there is another side to this one.


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When something looks too good to be true, it often is.  I’ve gotten numerous comments saying what a perfect place I’ve found here and Joey wants to know if a 36’ 5th wheel can fit.  The answer for Joey is that I’m sure a 40’ could fit here although I’d check with Reserve America to make sure.  But before making a reservation there are a few things you should also consider.  This lovely place has a down side.  Here  are the problems for your consideration before you get too excited or think I’ve found heaven.


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These guys are everywhere unless you are on the ocean front with a good breeze.  We currently look like we have the chicken pocks with red dots all over our arms and legs.   It is IMPOSSIBLE to sit outside on your patio and I don’t think there is a screen room they can’t get in to.  No sitting outside for cocktails and sunset that’s for sure.  The former isn’t a problem for me but I’d sure like to sit out for sunset.  And to be fair, in former visits I was able to sit out at least until the sun had gone down.  So perhaps early December is not the time to come.

I’m told that during the day they aren’t as bad as early morning and evening and since I’m not usually here mid day, perhaps that’s true.  I’m generally gone from about noon to 4 but before and after those times, the bugs are often biting.  It depends on the day, the humidity and the wind.  I wear long pants, long sleeve shirt and sox to go out for sunrise and sunset every day.  And I keep moving OR I get bitten.




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I asked the ranger when is the best time of year to come to avoid the noseeums and she said there isn’t one.  You can of course wear bug spray 24/7 if you can find one that works and isn’t toxic.  I avoid them by being by the ocean as much as possible but that doesn’t work for everyone.









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Low Voltage

The park does not advertise that they have low voltage problems but they do.  In the past 3 years, I’ve seen nothing on their website or on Reserve America about it.  But there is a small warning sign in the office which you may or may not see and which they do not point out when you check in.  If you don’t have an EMS system then you’ll just carry on I suppose and what damage it will do to your appliances is unknown to me.  But we have found that in the main we cannot use the microwave at all and the AC infrequently.   The latter is a problem if you can’t open your windows because of the bugs.  SO we do open the windows during the day and run fans since it has been in the low 80’s everyday.  84 today and when we returned from the beach it was 90 inside the coach.

David has solved the microwave problem however by running a heavy extension cord in from the 20 amp circuit also in our power box.  So at least for us the only real power problem is the AC.  And without AC having a microwave for heating and cooking rather than the gas stove when you can’t be outside to use the grille, is a real necessity in the heat.


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Water pressure

Consistent with the park’s laissez faire attitude about utilities is their low water pressure.  30 pounds is not a killer for us but it might be for some people and I thought you should know.

The park has washers and dryers but unfortunately only half the washers work, but all of the dryers do.  :-)



Site size


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The park is quite variable in its site size.  The sites in the back row are the largest with the best separation and have nice trees and plants growing between sites for screening.   We have been in those sites in past trips and I thought the fact that they backed up on the mangroves was the reason for all the bugs that drove me crazy.  So I came back again and got this site out in the open in the middle and closer to the water but the bugs are just as bad. 

Our site is narrow and has close neighbors on both sides.  It feels like they are right on top of us.  We can hear every word they say 24/7.  But it isn’t as much of a problem as it would be if we could keep the windows open all night and enjoy the beautiful breeze and fabulous temperatures.


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Of course you can’t control who your neighbors are and on one side since we arrived we have had a Bounder pulling a huge closed trailer.  Although it doesn’t look like it in this picture, in person it looks like at least half the size of his motorhome.  We’re guessing 20 or 25’ X 8’.   I guess it is the guy’s ‘man cave’.  He seems to be traveling with his mother or a woman who is twice his age who never comes out of the coach which is closed up and has covers over every window all the time.   He however spends time in his man cave with the door open and country music blasting while he does who knows what.  He’s one of the MANY MANY fishermen so perhaps he’s doing whatever fishermen do when they aren’t fishing. 


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But the worst problem is that he sprinkled moth balls under and around his coach which puts them less than 10’ from my nose every time I go outside.  He told David it was to “keep the critters away”.  Now what critters I have no idea.  As far as I’ve seen there are birds and raccoons here.  Even if it keeps the noseeums away, the mothball smell is actually as bad as they are at least for my nose.  He wasn’t very happy when I finally said that they were really bothering me but he did pull them all back under his coach which lessened the smell some.  I don’t know how they live inside there unless neither of them can smell.  Unfortunately they came in just before we did and are staying two weeks. 

We’ll be moving to another site on the back row next week so the site will be larger and the neighbors further away.   But if possible I suggest you come and look at the park and pick a site you like rather than to do it site unseen.







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This isn’t a problem for us but I thought it should be included in the Buyer Beware list.  There are no services for at least 15 miles.  No gas, no groceries and only one or two restaurants.   There is a nice little cafe type thing about 3 miles north and a subway 7 miles north.   The town of Melbourne Beach is 16 miles north and the town of Vero Beach is 17  miles south.   Both of these have gas and groceries.






So there you have it





I’m not sure we will return here again because of the noseeums and the power problems.  I’m tired of itching for sure.   I surely would never come here in weather any warmer than this.   I think Sebastian Inlet is possibly only for the fanatics – those who want to fish at any price or the oceanoholics like me.





All that said, it is a gorgeous place if you LOVE to fish or LOVE to be by the ocean.  There seem to be significantly more of the former than the latter in the campground.   There is a kayak put in at the park and a lovely  bike path all the way south along A1A for miles.  The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge runs all up and down the coast here and its “gateway”, the Barrier Island Sanctuary Education Center which is fabulous, is just up the road. 





Today was again a really spectacular day as you can see and we spent 5 hours at the beach.

While there we are just in heaven and think we must come back here every year.   But then we get back and find it 90 degrees inside despite open windows and fans and we aren’t so sure.  Then around dinner time the noseeums come out so there is no eating outside in the lovely 79 degree temperature and we are even less sure.

But my memory is short these days so who knows how my rose colored glasses will work when I’m preparing for another winter in Florida.   I just thought you should know ‘the rest of the story’.


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  1. Obviously, pictures don't tell the whole story. It's good to provide the balance so that other campers aren't surprised by the realities. I certainly don't get how they can continue to charge the rates when the services aren't up to the standard that they advertize. AND I HATE RUDE NEIGHBORS, It makes me want to run to the boondocks.... thank goodness for the wheels that can take me away!!

  2. The Park management can't do anything about the noseeums, but the rest of the issues you mention are definitely major ones, and the lack of concern would drive me crazy, and keep me from ever going back.

  3. That sure is another side of the story:) I bet they will not be referencing this blog in any ads:))

  4. How did you do that? I heard "the rest of the story" in Paul Harvey's voice. Good info and no doubt deal breakers for some folks. I hate noseeums.

  5. Great pictures of you on that surf board, didn't know you were a surfer girl. Where do you carry it?

  6. It's so interesting to hear and read about the "whole" picture. The no-see-ums wouldn't be as big a problem for us as the obnoxious neighbors..... I don't think I'm anti-social... but then.... hmmmmm

  7. Well, this is one place that we will not be visiting. Thanks for the info. Guess what! We had sunshine today and the stars are out tonight.

  8. Your "rest of the story" post brought back my own mixed reactions about Sebastian Inlet. I fished for several hours a day the whole time we were there. It really made a difference in terms of putting up with some of these issues. I was definitely distracted by the flounder tugging on my bait.

    That said you do find some wonderful sites. I think you and the Keys would be the winning combination, but I can't recall you going there.

  9. Ick. The bites in your photo made me itch all over. Looks just awful! I haven't had to deal with noseeums yet, hopefully we will miss them in February. sigh. The rest of the story is good to hear. Florida just seems so wonderful every time I have been there. Hoping for the luck of no bugs.

  10. Well at least the neighbor with the monster RV and trailer isn't having crazy loud sex!@#@!? Mothball? Yuck! They are poisonous if an animal would get hold of one (although they smell so bad that I don't know if one would). Don't you have any non-toxic bug spray stuff? The ocean looks lovely and I wish I were swimming with you but I could do without the noseeums, the guy next door and the mothballs AND if it's too hot because the electrical power is wrong so that you can't use your air conditioner. I can not sleep if it's hot. Despite the problems, I hope that you are having fun. I picture you tearing around flapping a towel to keep away from the bugs! XXXOOO

  11. Your leg looks awful! ... I dunno ... I love the ocean but not THAT much ... noseeums or chiggers as we have roun heah ... drive me insane... aren't there chigger eating or noseeum eating birds around there? What kind of bird eats those guys ... I hate gnats really bad but they don't bite ... just swarm in your orifices ... can't stand em

  12. I'd have to live on the beach to avoid those noseeums. Glad you've shared the rest of the story (I could hear PH also). No place is absolutely perfect and everyone's definitions of that are different anyway. Hang in there. And congrats on being up to date.

  13. As I've told you, one of the things I appreciate most about your blog is your honesty. Life happens on both sides of the story and presenting only the rosy side of life always leaves me wondering what ISN'T being said. Watching the sunset while slapping endless, invisible noseeums can sure change the perception of the sunset. I'm sure there is some great philosophical lesson in there, but at 5:45 am, it's too early for me to find it! Have a fun day today and tell us ALL about it!

  14. Thanks for the whole story... but still love that area. We were just on the other side of the inlet at the county campground in Janaury several years ago and didn't have a bug, electrical or water pressure problem, but of course we paid a little more. I think the only defense for the noseeums is a good strong wind or DEET:o(( Just a shame we can't have it all;o)

  15. Glad you painted the entire picture. Often times the best of a place is highlighted but not the non-so-good. I ran into noseeums in the Keys and were so glad to finally get away from them.

  16. Ugh...so I have bug bites to look forward to...yippie :( I am glad to hear you are moving further from neighbors at least...moth balls...yuck! That's ashame the staff cares so little...guess they have air conditioned homes to go to. Sounds hot! Coming from here...that'll be different! Beautiful pictures though from a pretty, though bug infested, place.

  17. Thanks for the pros and cons ... once Mui heard about the biting bugs, his reaction was no way are we going there. Enjoy FL ... the earliest we will be in FL will be next winter ... maybe.

  18. Even though we like the beach, 30 years of living in FL and memories of all the bugs keeps us out west. We'll take the desert any day!

  19. Well that's telling it like it is! I think I'll stay in Texas.

  20. I got a few bites from the Midges the other day, and thought of you :-) Have you ever tried Listerine? We keep a spray bottle of Listerine (full strength, generic is OK) and spray around our chairs, and sometimes even ON us. Seems to help, at least for mosquitoes, maybe for noseeums too?

  21. My mother lived in Vero Beach in a condo, so I do not know about campsites or RV parks, but the town was lovely and the beach area had lots of car parking and nice rest rooms and decent restaurants. You might investigate to see if you would be more comfortable there. In spite of the problems it still sounds better than Kansas City where we are freezing.

  22. What a service you do for our blogger friends. Thats a lot of information. Helpful information...I don't do bugs so I will have to try and remember not to go there someday.

  23. Sherry thank you sooo much for the rest of the story. I believe that all parks have there good and bad side and we just have to balance them out as we travel. Love you photos and writing and maybe our paths will cross later this month on the east of Fla in Jan, and if you head over to the west side again I will be in Naples in Feb..

  24. I'm sorry things aren't like you had hoped there. We have friends that stayed there in their 45 foot tag axel MH. I was surprised they fit. They also had low voltage troubles too. As you know noseeums are not the norm for Florida. We've never had them in the Keys and the only bad bug issues I remember were once in north Florida with biting flies and mosquitos in June at Collier Seminole SP. I hope you get to the Keys one day. I'm sure you would like it there.


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