If you took the time to watch the 70th edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring broadcast on Saturday, you must have come across some aerial views of the circuit and everything that was parked around. Aside from the giant tractor-trailers and paddock tents, the other standout pattern was the hundreds of RVs and campsites arranged in tight rows around the entire track.
Sebring is the ultimate race-loving adventurer for sunrise-to-sunset track action. But I must warn you, this is not a trip to plan at the last minute. Luckily, I’ve already gone through and experienced the hard part of planning, so I thought I’d share some of my sage advice on how you, too, can prepare for a weekend of sights, sounds, and too. motorhome odors. at Sebring. If you’ve never been there, it’s unlike anything you’ll ever experience. If so, it looks a lot like a tattoo – after a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll be begging for more.
This is the first article in the “Jalopnik Beginner’s Guide” series, where every Monday, myself and other Jalopnik writers will walk you through our own steps or those of other professionals to navigate something you’re curious about. to address in our automotive culture. From creating a stunning exhibit at Sebring to heartbreaking projects, we’ll help you do it, or fail.
Book your place now
This particular trip to Sebring took years to prepare. The spots around the historic track are relatively difficult to find, enough to that you’ll likely end up on a waiting list rather than grabbing a guaranteed spot – aAlthough there is a non-reserved section on the track, open on a first-come, first-served basis. One group I spoke with, who have been collectively going to the track for over 40 years and who are responsible for La Bomba’s infamous ‘taxi’, arrive three weeks before the start of the race to claim their spot. If you live closer to the track or have a way to work while on the go, this can definitely be a consideration. The only downside is that if you don’t arrive early enough, you may not get a seat and end up SOL.
What to camp and/or live in
You’ve somehow achieved the near-impossible and secured a reserved spot on the track. Congratulation! Now… what to stay in. The ideal home away from home for a track weekend is a motorhome – and racing fans don’t hold on to their setups. There must have been tens of millions of RVs parked around the track last weekend…and a possibility of millions of dollars in fuel being used to keep them cool and running while parked there .
If you don’t want to waste a few hundred dollars on an RV, you can also rent or put that dusty tent in your attic or basement to reuse. The advantage of having a motorhome or motorhome is having bathrooms and independent showers at your disposal. However, there are at least five shower stations around the track. You just need to strategize your shower times, with your access to the cleanest shower early in the morning…especially after 6:30am when I discovered attendants were coming in to scare you while you were taking a shower. shower in silence, as well as to get the stands ready for the day.
A motorhome also offers a more comfortable shelter if it gets a little too hot outside, and an option to easily cook and store food. I have multiple food allergies so tracking food is rarely an option when attending these events. Can’t tell you how nice it was to have access to cook anything and not having the foresight to pack durable food in the cooler for the four days we were there.
If you want to rent an RV or motorhome, shop around. There are plenty of sites aimed at people inclined to rent, many of them allowing you to rent someone else’s who isn’t using theirs on the same weekend (and that makes sense… how would you otherwise make those crazy RV payments?). Outside and RVShare are some ideas. For my trip to Sebring, we rented from Cruise America, and you’ll have to stay tuned for an upcoming story on how that created a nightmarish kickoff to our trip. i will let you know now to save it as a last resort.
Another idea is to get an old mode of public transportation…like a school bus, and turn it into a luxury getaway. But that’s another educational blog for another day. Landing setups are also encouraged and welcome!
Essential accessories and tools
So you want to sleep by the track every night and wake up every morning to the roar of the engines? Outside of accommodation, there are must-haves to take with you aside from food, drink and the obvious essentials:
- Chairs and a table – You’ll want to rest your feet, exhausted from wandering through what feels like miles of campsites. The table is the device for showcasing your various spreads, guaranteed to bring your camping neighbors in for chatting, hanging out and potential debauchery.
- A grill or plancha is also a nice addition, given that fires/fire pits are prohibited.
- Shower shoes – If you’re planning on taking a shower with the rest of the audience, you’ll definitely want to. These are your college dorm showers again, and maybe just as dodgy at times.
- Terrace carpet – I saw several around the trail, which can be used to sit on an observation mound or just in your little camping oasis.
- Shelter tent or awning – shade or cover is necessary for all weather conditions Florida will guarantee.
- Several towels – If you are not already planning to shower in your RV, this is absolutely a BYOT (Bring Your Own Towel) experience.
Accessories to take your camping to the next level
Apart from the races, walking around the campsites is excellent entertainment. The site layouts at Sebring were beyond anything I had ever seen at Rolex, and all designed with comfort and fun in mind. If you really want to step up your game, bring your patio furniture, sofas. Some venues had flat screens outside where they showed the race (making your internet access useless all weekend), or some even projected it onto a sheet or their RV! Scaffolding was another necessary addition to venues, giving you great views over low fences, but you can get around this problem by getting an RV that has a deck to stand on.
Get creative with your campsite
The campsites that stand out the most often have the most elaborate amenities. This year, a campsite has created its own saloon, “Dodge City”. Around the old west facade were seats, a TV showing the race, a working aquarium, AND, a caged rooster. A few sites had their own bars that they had built, and one site had a liquor nightclub arranged for your enjoyment.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of beer, so you can join in an age-old tradition of making a bunch of beer cans. Points if you take your beer cans and turn them into a work of art like this beer Christmas tree, or Twitter user “beeramid” @boring_cars erected 10 years ago:
Can I just make a small suggestion not to try to jump or fall in your beer can like you would piles of leaves, unless you are properly drunk? I saw a man do this my last night on the trail. After lying there for a while (and I was sure he had just passed out there), he got up laughing. He seemed fine, but I still cringe imagining how much it could hurt, drunk or sober.
What do you want us to see covered for our Beginner’s Guide? Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or lchemello at Jalopnik dot com.