Summer is here, and RVers everywhere are headed out to beaches and lake shores across the country. They’ll get to dig their toes in the sand, frolic in the water, and simply enjoy fun in the sun.
But all that fun on the shores has one downside: sand. And, as Anikan Skywalker so elegantly points out, “it gets everywhere.”
Don’t worry, Anikan sympathizers. We have several tips and tricks to help you keep that “coarse and rough and irritating” sand from getting into your RV.
(By the way, if you have no idea what my Anikan Skywalker sand references are about, watch this quick movie clip.)
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1. The Baby Powder Sand Hack 2.0!
Did you know you can use baby powder to easily remove sand from skin? The basic hack goes like this….
You generously sprinkle baby powder on your dry-ish sandy skin, whether it’s your feet, hands, or whatever. Then you can easily brush away the sand, leaving you with clean, soft skin!
But, did you know there’s a Baby Powder Sand Hack 2.0?!
Instead of sprinkling baby powder everywhere, a mom discovered a much cleaner method. Mom Lauren shared a video on Instagram of her pouring baby powder into a sock that she then used to wipe sand away from her kids’ feet.
Works like a charm!
2. The Strategically Placed Foot Bath
Another effective trick to keep sand out of your RV is to place a small tub of water by your RV steps or by your favorite camping chairs. Then everyone can easily dip their feet in the water, shaking as necessary to get the bulk of the sand off.
Chances are you already have a plastic storage bin or bucket in your RV that’ll work. So, no need to bring along any extra gear.
An added tip is to keep a towel nearby to dry your feet and brush off any lingering sand. Speaking of brushing off sand…
3. The Purposeful Sand Brush
Any soft brush or horse brush will work, but you can actually buy a specifically-made sand brush. This set of 2 sand brushes is highly rated and removes wet or dry sand from your kids, pets, beach gear, and whatever else is sandy.
The brushes are small and lightweight and come in a small carrying bag. All in all, these brushes are an effective alternative to the toweling-off method that leaves you with sandy towels.
4. The Anywhere Shower
If, like Anikan, you much prefer everything soft and smooth, you may need to opt for a full-on outdoor shower on your beach trip. There a quite a few camping shower options, many with their own water bag and some even with solar heating capability.
There’s also this nifty, travel-friendly handheld shower head that comes with a pump that you can drop into any bucket or water source. So, it’s a great gadget to pair with your strategically placed foot bath.
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5. The Ol’ Reliable Outdoor Rug
Wherever you camp, it’s always a great idea to lay out an outdoor rug in your campsite. A rug will greatly reduce the amount of sand, dirt, mud, and debris that gets into your RV.
6. The Giant Sand-Proof Beach Blanket
Speaking of big rugs, another great beach product is this extra-large, quick-drying beach blanket. It folds down into an itty bitty travel case that would make Alladin’s genie proud.
This giant beach mat comes with 6 stakes and 4 corner pockets to keep everything where it should be. It’s also machine washable, which is a big plus!
7. The Sand-Free Beach Towel
Don’t stop at a sand-proof beach blanket! You still need a good beach towel to dry off with that won’t take the sand back to your RV. This XL yet compact beach towel does the trick.
Though this quick-drying towel is thinner than you may be used to, it’s absorbent, quick-drying, and sand doesn’t cling to it. Its extra large size folds down nicely into a compact mesh bag, which is perfect for travel.
This towel also comes in a couple dozen patterns, so each person can have their own fun design. Keeps the kids from arguing over whose towel is whose!
8. The Mesh Beach Bag
No matter how hard you try, you can’t keep sand from getting inside a beach bag. The solution is to use a mesh bag so you can just shake the sand right out of it.
This extra large beach tote bag has plenty of room to hold your towels and beach gear and plenty of tiny holes to release any sand.
The zipper closure is a nice plush, and it is machine washable. Plus, it comes in several different fun designs and colors.
9. The Suck It Up, You Did Your Best
You can do your very best, but sand will inevitably still end up in your RV. I mean, as silly as Anikan’s comment was, he’s right. Sand does get everywhere!
So while all of the above will drastically reduce the amount of sand that makes it into your RV, you’ll need to suck up the sand that got past the door. That’s where your handy-dandy RV vacuum comes in.
Sure, you can use a broom and dustpan, but we think a vacuum is the most effective. We have a list of The 5 Best RV Vacuums you should check out.
Best Beach Campgrounds on the Gulf Coast
Looking to camp on the Gulf Coast? We have a list of the 11 best beach campgrounds you may want to visit on your next RV trip. We’re certain you’ll find a little slice of paradise here to call your own. Check out our 7-Day Florida RV adventure guides.
Mike and Jennifer's Favorite Places in Florida – all 3 ebooks!
We RVers may wander far and wide but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.
Florida is one of those places for us. And we know it is for many RVers looking to get away and explore during the winter.
That's why we've created three guides, covering Florida's Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Keys.
Each of these guides is a seven-day guided exploration of one of the coasts. And each stop is a curated view of the best things that we’ve enjoyed on this trip and want you to experience.
Altogether these guides are over 300 pages of content!
FAQ's about Florida Gulf Coast beaches of interest to RVers
What is the weather like along Florida's Gulf Coast?
The weather along Florida's Gulf Coast can vary depending on the time of year and the specific location. In general, the area experiences hot, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters.
The Panhandle region can be quite cool in January. It is seldom below freezing, but daytime highs are typically in the 50s. It warms up about 10 degrees each month.
You can also generally add about 10 degrees for every 150 miles you travel south down the Florida peninsula.
By the time you hit Naples, daytime highs in January are in the comfortable 70s.
Did Hurricane Ian destroy many beach campgrounds on the Gulf Coast?
While it severely damaged almost two dozen RV parks and campgrounds, about 8-10 campgrounds in the Naples-Ft. Myers area were completely destroyed. Most of the damaged campgrounds have been repaired and reopened.
Check with the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds if you have questions or concerns.
Are there any websites that can help me get a reservation for a Florida beach campground?
One of the best resources we can recommend is called Campnab. This service monitors parks for cancelations and sends you an alert when an opening matches your criteria. That said, it isn’t magic. The app doesn’t create availabilities.
The service works – but it is not free.
Campnab offers two ways to use the service. The first is individual pay-per-use scans. These watch for vacancies at a specific park for a specific date. These work well if you know exactly when and where you intend to camp. Pay-per-use scans cost $10 – $20, depending on how frequently you want them to check availability.
The second way to use the service is through a membership. These typically run monthly and are tailored to those who camp more frequently or are looking to maximize their chance of finding a site. Membership allows you to scan multiple parks and/or dates simultaneously. With memberships, you pay a monthly recurring fee ($10, $20, $30, or $50), depending on your needs.
Are there places in Florida where you can literally camp on the beach for free?
Not many. And they are very pricey. If you want to sleep directly on the sand in an RV, you'll have to stay at a developed commercial campground like Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast or an RV resort like Big Pine Key Resort in the keys. Some state parks like the Gamble Rogers State Memorial Recreation Area in the Atlantic Coast or Bahia Honda State Park in the keys or Fort Desto State Park near St. Petersburg have beachside sites, too.
But are there free, unrestricted RV beach camping spots in Florida?
Sorry, none that I know of that would work for RVs.
There is unrestricted camping on wild beaches on a couple of islands, but you need a boat to get there, and it is for tent camping only. If you want to sleep directly on the sand, there is Anclote Key offshore Tarpon Springs, and Shell Key in Pinellas County. Another favorite is Keewaydin Island between Naples and Marco Island but that area remains pretty devasted from Hurricane Ian.
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The Beginner’s Guide to Boondocking ebook and Ultimate Guide to Free Camping Sites
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The Complete Guide to Boondocking – PRINT VERSION
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