A nice 55+ manufactured / mobile home gated community that has adapted itself to accept self-contained big rig RV’s
First, some background on Sandhill Shores. This is an established 55+ manufactured home and mobile home gated community that has adapted itself to accept self-contained big rig RV’s. A few years back roughly 70% of the homes were lost, damaged or abandoned due to hurricanes, previous management decisions and likely the passing of the owners. It’s been under new ownership and management for a bit now and so I was told, to keep the community viable, they adapted 90 of the vacant home lots to accept RV’s. Also, they were actively building and selling manufactured homes while we were there too. In summary, in this community there are a total of 376 sites made up of a mix of homes, vacant homes, vacant house lots and RV sites. Breaking it down, there are a total of 90 RV sites and 286 home sites. Of the 286 home sites, 184 (64%) are vacant or abandoned homes and/or empty lots (where homes used to be) and 102 (36%) homes are now/still occupied.
We stayed here for the 2016 winter season for six months beginning in the fall of 2015. The reservation process was fine. I contacted Sandhill Shores via email from their website and received a quick response. We corresponded several times and then I called and got my final few questions answered, and made the reservation. They only deal with cash or check, so I sent in my $100 deposit and received my confirmation via snail mail. They say on their website that a particular site can’t be held or guaranteed, but I asked for a particular site, and it was there when we arrived for the winter.
The RV sites were very spacious since they all used to be the location of a home. Some of the sites were on the grass and some on cement (the old home driveways) or gravel. If you’re on a grass site, you’ll have problems parking when it rains as the ground gets real soft, and also you may find your coach may be parked in the middle of a small pond after a heavy rain. So make sure you don’t get a grass site. Management needs to put down cement pads or gravel for all sites, and they were adding gravel to some of the grass sites when were there. There weren’t many shade trees for the RV’s. The secure Wi-Fi was very good, but they had set the firewall so you can’t watch videos from sources like YouTube or news reports. Annoying, but probably why it was relatively fast since you can’t stream movies.
The cost was quite reasonable. We got the best deal at $540 per month, $3,240 paid in full up front for six months + 1 day. And you don’t pay tax at this level. They charged the electric at around $0.14 per KWH, and you paid it monthly. I ended up paying about $50 per month on average. There was no cable TV (at lease at our site), but most if not all 90 RV sites were satellite friendly. Happily there were no restrictions on washing your vehicle or rig, no restrictions on putting down mats or lawn furniture including growing plants in the ground. The area was well maintained with nice newer or updated facilities (laundry, exercise room, recreation room, pool, ping pong, TV, etc). The laundry room was clean and nice with 3 good size washers and 3 dryers, all $1.00 each per load. No bath houses as you would normally find in an RV park. You get your mail just like a regular home. You have your own address with a mailbox. And there’s curbside garbage pickup, but no recycling. We took our recycling to downtown Fort Pierce and put all in one bin in the parking areas. The park residents, both seasonal RV’s and permanent residents were very friendly too.
They have what looks like an old 1980’s police car with two yellow flashing lights on the roof. It had “Fort Pierce Community Patrol” stenciled on the sides. We first noticed it parked outside the office. But what’s funny and kind of cute was about every couple weeks, someone in the community drives this car around the community (usually at night) very slowly typically making the rounds a couple of times and all with the yellow lights are flashing. During one of the rare daytime “patrols”, we saw a couple silver haired ladies in the front seats. A nice gesture to help with the illusion of safety. Or perhaps looking for HOA bylaw and RV rule violations???
There were quite a few activities hosted by the managers including weekly shuffleboard, ping pong, water aerobics, Zumba, cards and of course bingo. Also weekly free coffee and doughnuts on Wednesdays, lunch’s on Friday’s for a small cost and a mix of events on Saturday evening (wine tasting, brunch, dinner/dance, campfires). They also put on a very nice Thanksgiving dinner for free.
Mosquitos were quite nasty at dusk. So get inside before that or suffer the consequences. The county does spray for mosquitos at dusk periodically. Not sure I liked this with chemicals being sprayed into the air all around you. So I’d just close all the windows and waited for it to clear. There were plenty of Sugar ants around too (and Fire ants). The Sugar ants will infiltrate your RV and they made me think of a Chihuahua after a couple espresso drinks. Use your immigration here. They would zip around the counter tops and when threatened, they were almost impossible to stamp out unless you had a big wad of paper towel. Quite a nuisance. Also, you’ll see some small alligators in the somewhat stagnant “mote” that boarders the park on three sides, the north, west and the southern boundaries. We had two alligators behind our rig (about 30 feet away) that were about 2 feet in length. They would sun themselves on the banks to warm up and if you got too close (several feet), they would immediately jump in the water. I was told there was a much larger one living there, but I never saw it.
The park is just off Route 1 and is south of Fort Pierce and north of White City. So you have access to all the services you would need just a few minutes away. Also, beaches were nearby with good fishing, surfing or just swimming. But be aware of the rip currents most days.
Finally, there were trains on the properties edge with two different intersections. Which meant you heard a lot of horns blowing from the north, south, east and westbound trains. They run most of the night and throughout the day except on major holidays. We were situated in an RV site that was one of the closer ones to the intersections of the roads and train tracks. But I also heard the horns from the other side of the park at nearly the same intensity. So yes, the horns were very loud and frequent. This in my opinion is the worst aspect about this park.
Would I stay again? Yes, I would. Mainly because of the price and the very spacious sites. Will I stay again? No, I likely won’t stay again. Not so much because of the park, but that I don’t particularly care for Florida. Plus I never did get used to the trains blowing their horns throughout the day and night. I did like the nearby beaches though. Not crowded either.