This TikTok Video Tours a 'Secret RV Island' in Florida

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Just a stone’s throw from the Bahamas, off of Florida’s east coast, lies what an RV enthusiast is calling one of the country’s most interesting nomadic communities: Nettles Island. The vacation spot, which is connected to the Sunshine State’s better-known Hutchinson Island, is in the limelight thanks to a trending video from RV TikTokker @baileygoesoutside, who says it's “super-cheap.”

“I’m currently staying in my RV in one of the most interesting communities in Florida that most people don’t even know about,” Bailey says in his video, which has garnered 2 million views in just a week.

While Nettles Island is less than half a mile long, Bailey explains that the retirement and vacation community has all the amenities an RVer needs, including a grocery store, restaurant, gym, security service, and marina. Given its location — with the Indian River on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other — many of the homes and RVs also have a view of the water. But perhaps the biggest selling point is the price.

Bailey claims he previously lived on the island for about a year, paying as little as $400 a month to rent his RV spot from a private owner, and says he currently pays about $800. 

According to Hutchinson Real Estate’s current listings, three-bedroom vacation homes can cost as much as $6,500 a month, while RV lots go for as little as $900 a month during the island’s offseason. Archived data show that the cheapest RV lots were around $880 during the offseason in summer 2020.

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Despite the video’s popularity on the short-form video platform, where it received over 100,000 likes, many of the comments were critical of the island’s newfound popularity.

“Well it's not so much a secret anymore now is it?” one TikTokker commented.

Another viewer wrote that rent would be $1,500 a month “now that it’s not a secret anymore.”

However, negative comments didn't dissuade Bailey from posting a follow-up video with more information a few days later. In the short clip, the TikTokker recommends that renters look for listings on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to find a deal.

Living and vacationing in RVs has grown in popularity, with ownership increasing more than 60% in the past 20 years to reach a record 11.2 million households, according to the RV Industry Association. RV shipments jumped to more than 600,000 in 2021.

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