From foes to friends: RV City builds surprising bonds between rival Florida-Georgia fans

During the week leading up to the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville, RV City is the place to be.

The annual days-long tailgating tradition has had some fans coming back for at least a decade. And it’s brewed some unlikely friendships between rivala.

Gene and Rendi Carter said they meet with a group of seven families away from RV City throughout the year.

And like their own household — the Carters’ group has divided loyalties.

Gene Carter has been a Gators fan since 1992, and his wife, Rendi, is a University of Georgia alum with two degrees.

“It does not come between us, but it is definitely a good time,” Rendi Carter said.

Everyone in their group looks forward to Florida-Georgia week — cheering on their respective teams in close quarters.

“The camaraderie. The people. The festivities. Friends coming in from all over to have a good time,” Gene Carter said.

It’s a similar story for die-hard Georgia fan Lisa Freeman, who also gathers with friends from RV City in between Florida-Georgia games.

“We will have a big weekend or a long weekend at one of our houses no matter where it is,” Freeman said. “We all have been to each other’s place and just watch TV and socialize. Celebrate special events. It is just like a big family.”

Freeman said no matter which spot she’s claimed over the last 12 years at RV City, she’s sure to leave with friends — both ‘Dawgs and Gators.

“It is fantastic because it is not like they are Florida fans, and we are Georgia fans,” Freeman said. “We are just all people, and we love each other.”

And they stay friends no matter the final result on the scoreboard.

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