Sunshine Key RV Resort And Marina (Thousand Trails / Encore)

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Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina is truly a scenic RV destination, located in the beautiful Florida Keys. We stayed here in our RV for just $20/night. Want to learn more about this campground and how you can stay there affordably? Read on for more details and our in-depth review.

Watch our quick video tour

Location of Sunshine Key RV Resort And Marina

Sunshine Key is located right in the heart of the Florida Keys. Situated between Marathon and Big Pine Key, it is about 68 miles from Key Largo, and 30 miles from Key West.

Right off the iconic 7 mile bridge of the famous Overseas Highway

Area Attractions

Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina is a destination in itself. It is a beautiful island location and campground amenities might find many visitors staying in the resort for much of their stay.  ut, there are some really amazing attractions available throughout the Florida Keys, with world class fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and the very popular island of Key West.

Key West is just 30 miles (about a 50 minute drive) from the resort, and the stunning Bahia Honda State Park is practically next door and a short biking distance. Islamorada’s world class fishing is also about one hour away, but the beautiful shallow, turquoise waters offer great fishing in much of the keys. 

blix ebike with dog trailer on oceanside bike path

You can take guided tours, or rent a boat, jet ski or kayak all throughout the keys. We went on a really great clear kayaking tour in Islamorada. Over the years, we have also done parasailing in Key West, and snorkeled out in the open waters from a boat out of Key Largo. The weather in the Keys is pretty consistent year round, being so close to the equator, with a tropical island climate. The temperatures during our recent two week stay (in late December 2021) were pretty consistently around 80F for the daytime high, and low 70s F at night. Summers are warmer, but not super hot, plus it is humid.

Within a two hour drive you can be just about anywhere in the Florida Keys. With Sunshine Key RV Resort centrally located, you can be at the most popular places within an hour or so, in normal traffic. 

There is no shortage of great places to eat and drink the Florida Keys! It’s worth a drive to try some of them out.

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Amenities And Activities At Sunshine Key RV Resort And Marina

Being a medium sized resort with around 400 sites, Sunshine Key offers quite a few amenities. The location itself is appealing, as it offers a fishing pier, beaches, as well as immediate access to the ocean – whether that is for a swim, or via boat from their marina. In addition to the RV sites, there are also rental RVs cabins and tiny homes.

Sunshine Key RV resort also has a nice pool area, a playground, sand volleyball court, basketball court, tennis/racquetball courts, a workout area, horseshoes, a boat ramp, and a fenced area for dogs to play in.

There is an indoor area, and a covered outdoor area for group gatherings, plus a gas station with a convenience store adjacent to the resort. 

Learn how we camp for (almost) free with our Thousand Trails membership

Sunshine Key RV Resort Practical Amenities

There are three bath houses and a laundry room, dog walking area, dumpsters, a fish cleaning station, and propane filling station.

Mail / WIFI

Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina was accepting packages and mail while we were staying there. We had arranged for two electric bikes to be shipped to the Fedex store in Marathon, and a Fedex driver actually delivered to them directly to the campground. But it is always a good idea to check on current policies before shipping, as rules can change at any time without notice. 

Cellular coverage is not great in this area, so our internet connectivity via cellular was definitely below average. Luckily, we knew this in advance, and planned to mostly take time off during our visit, and minimize our time online. The best cell coverage we got was about one bar from T-Mobile, so we used our iPhones as mobile hotspots. The RV resort does offer a paid WIFI service, and we tried using that for one week, but we did not have a great experience with it. Others in the park staying for the season mentioned it was working pretty well for them. It may depend on your site location. Folks with longer stays may have additional options? 

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RV Sites At Sunshine Key RV Resort And Marina

Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina is mostly RV sites, but there are some tiny homes for rent, as well as semi-permanent park model RVs. They also had many RV rentals. 

Nearly all of the RV sites are have a fine white gravel surface, and the entire park is close to level, so it should be easy to get your RV level with only a few leveling blocks.

All sites appear to be 20/30/50 amp electrical, water and sewer connections. Waterfront sites are back-in (or pull in frontwards, and back-out).  Most of the sites are pull through, and can accommodate larger rigs. There are three different classifications of sites – Standard, Premium and Elite.  The Elite sites are all waterfront at the beach or marina. Premium sites are basically the next row closest to the waterfront, and most sites still have water views (glimpses) looking in between the RVs parked in the Elite sites.

With angled sites and medium width roads, we would consider this RV park to be big rig friendly, and saw plenty of 45′ motorhomes and big fifth wheels there. But depending on how other RVs and tow vehicles around you are parked, you might still find it tricky to get in or out of your site. A camp host in a golf cart will guide you to your site upon arrival.

Rental RVs and Tiny Homes Available

For those who don’t have their own RV, Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina does have some rental options.  I would estimate that there were about 25 rental RVs, and about 6 tiny homes available to rent. So it’s possible for groups to gather together here, using a variety of accommodation options – whether you own an RV or not.

Getting There

Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina is around the middle of the Florida Keys. So, you will need to travel south from the mainland on the single lane Overseas Highway. Florida is much longer than it first appears, but all driving is at low altitude, with no steep grades, and most major roads are easy to navigate with any size RV.

two blix ebikes with riders at beach

We rode our new ebikes to Bahia Honda State Park, and in downtown Key West

See our eBike Reviews: Julie’s folding ebike and Marc’s cargo ebike

PROS

  • Great, central gulf/oceanside location in the Florida Keys

  • Sites fairly level and well groomed

  • Good base for island exploring

  • Open year round

  • Can stay here inexpensively if you have the right camping membership

CONS

  • Some road noise if parked toward the front side of the campground, near Overseas Highway

  • Poor cellular coverage for working folks, even the paid campground WiFi is slow and spotty

  • RV camping rates can be well over $200/night (unless you have the right camping membership)

Rates At Sunshine Key RV Resort And Marina

Being a very popular campground, we had been trying to secure a reservation here for some time. We paid just $20 per night (plus tax) to stay here for two weeks (over Christmas and New Year) thanks to our Thousand Trails Membership with the Trails Collection add-on. You can learn more about Thousand Trails memberships in the comprehensive section of our website.

Normal retail rates for staying at this resort would have been:

RV Sites

  • Premium from $269/night, $230/night if weekly
  • Elite from $295/night, $253/night when weekly
  • Standard from $238/night or $204/night when renting weekly
We stayed in the standard sites that are allocated to Trails Collection members – RV site number 228 and 268.
 

Watch our quick video setting up in our campsite at Sunshine Key RV Resort

Rental RVs and Tiny Homes

  • RV rentals are $350/night, or $278/night when renting weekly
  • Tiny Home Rentals start at $286/night, or from $228/night when renting weekly

Learn how we camp for (almost) free with our Thousand Trails membership

Summary

Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina is one of the nicest Thousand Trails / Encore RV parks. It is in an amazing location for a tropical island getaway feel, while still being in your RV. 

We have visited friends here a few times over the years, but this was the first time we were able to spend two weeks here in our RV. We had a wonderful time and definitely recommend this resort to others – especially those who have a Thousand Trails membership which allows you to stay here at a heavily discounted rate.

Contact Information

To find out more or to make a retail reservation, contact:

Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina
Address: 38801 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, FL 33043
Phone: 305.872.2217
Email: [email protected]
Visit website

If you are a Thousand Trails member (or want to be), you will need to make your reservation online or call the member reservation line. The resort cannot make Thousand Trails member reservations directly.

Note: We made our initial 7 day reservation online in October 2021 for a December stay. We managed to eventually extend this – by calling their member call center (multiple times) and picking up cancellations here and there. It took some patience and persistence, but we eventually succeeded in securing a two-week reservation, at a total cost of $280 (plus tax). That’s about the cost of one night at the full retail rate, which makes our camping membership well worth it, in our opinion.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any campground, RV park or RV resort, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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