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No place to camp in Florida

David0725
Explorer II
Explorer II
Just a little rant. I love people are getting out rving. But **** I live here in Orlando Florida. And for the life of me I can get a camp site anywhere in fl. We must have 8000 campground in Florida and I can't go camping. They all keep telling me I have to book 11 or 12 months out. Smh. I just want to go camping use my rv. I am really getting tired of it to the point I am sending letters to our Governor and Senators. The only choice I have no is Walmart..lol
1994 Holiday Rambler Imperial DP
1999 Honda Accord V6 Toad
19 REPLIES 19

WinMinnie02
Explorer
Explorer
Advantage of Rving is staying away from crowds, boon docking and staying away from major holidays are key, been rving over 20 years.

LMHS
Explorer II
Explorer II
Perhaps you need to broaden your camping experience?

Try some of the lesser known, less popular parks. It really depends on why you are going to the places that you are going. If you are hung up on state parks because you think they are cheaper, try the city/county parks. As for private parks, I find that Passport America gets the price to the same or below state parks (which are pricing themselves out of my range for a partial hookup site). I tend to use parks as a place to park my rolling motel room and visit the local area. I don't stay in "destination" parks. There are more things to see than what's inside a "destination" park.

I will give you a tip, there are plenty of parks that are nice but get a bad rating because some people are intimidated by the "permanent" RVers. Or "older RVs". Is that you? People tend to stay long term for two reasons.... price and people. I am a "permanent" in an "older RV". I promise that you and your shiny new RV won't get cooties from me or my older RV. As a matter of fact, I would probably never say anything to you. It's the dreaded "overnighters" that trash and tear our park. And that goes for every park that I have long termed in.

I lived, long term, in one park that consistently got bad reviews for having long term "permanent" rvers who were pushed out of the way, against a wall. That left all the pull-thru sites open. But the pull thru sites were w/e and they used the dump station. The horrible terrible "permanents" who were all in the shortish back in sites had sewer hookups. Some of the reviews got really nasty because the full hook up were used by the long term. Yet, even when there were FHU sites open, they didn't stay over night in them. I think it had to do with being next to a long term "permanent." Did they think they were going to be robbed? Oddly, the only people who stole from us was the overnighters.

willald
Explorer II
Explorer II
Yep, we face this challenge, too. We like to camp near Sarasota, FL in January every year to visit family.

Have tried several times to get into Oscar Scherer state park down there, but pretty much gave up. It is dang near impossible to get a site there in January. Have literally waited until the minute sites become available (11 months in advance). Literally, the split second they become available, they all book up before I can click 'reserve'. Its as if the system is rigged somehow.

We've had better luck with private parks, although they are more expensive. Typically, we stay at the KOA in Bradenton, its pretty nice.
That one, we only have to book it 6 months in advance instead of a year, hahaha.
Will and Cheryl
2021 Newmar Baystar 3014 on F53 (7.3 V8) Chassis ("Brook")
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ferndaleflyer
Explorer III
Explorer III
I have never been in a State park and I am not there for the park ambiance either. I’ll park and get in my car ?? and go.

johnhicks
Explorer
Explorer
As of right now 2/21, 14 Florida state parks have availability for at least a few days beginning 2/22.
-jbh-

wowens79
Explorer III
Explorer III
ferndaleflyer wrote:
I must be in a minority as I seem to head that way for a week or so a couple of times each winter. I was just down there Christmas through New Years. Same time last year + 10 days in March. I might look 2 weeks in advance. I have a DP and don’t mind paying which might help.


I can normally find a private park, but state parks are tough. I don’t mind paying the price for the private park, but most of them are so crammed together. We’ve had sites we couldn’t extend out awning all the way or it would hit the neighbors camper.

This may not be a popular opinion, but I think FL should raise the prices at parks like Topsail, st George, the Parks in the keys, etc to like $100 a night and use that money to expand them or improve them.
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ferndaleflyer
Explorer III
Explorer III
I must be in a minority as I seem to head that way for a week or so a couple of times each winter. I was just down there Christmas through New Years. Same time last year + 10 days in March. I might look 2 weeks in advance. I have a DP and don’t mind paying which might help.

wowens79
Explorer III
Explorer III
We live in GA, and struggle to get sites at FL, GA, and AL State Parks. We’ve been camping for almost 20 years. Back when we started, you could decide on a Wednesday to go to the lake for the weekend and you could get a site. Those days are long gone. It gets harder every year.
There are parks that constantly have availability, but those parks are not on the water or in the mountains.
Between the difficulty to find sites at desirable parks, and the **** the RV manufactures are building at crazy high prices, we are considering giving it up.
2022 Ford F-350 7.3l
2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 268k miles (retired)
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up

stickdog
Explorer
Explorer
Just in case you think Florida plates insure a fulltime Florida resident they don't. There are a great number of fulltime retired that use Florida mailing addresses for residency purposes. When we were camp hosting in a Florida state park there was a older gentleman that we talked to quite a bit. He was retired and had his entire winter booked between four state parks he would rotate from campground to campground . I believe he also to advantage of the senior discount. Spent his summers in New Hampshire on his sons property.
9-11 WE WILL NEVER FORGET!
FULLTIME SINCE 2010
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John
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu

Walaby
Explorer
Explorer
Dutch_12078 wrote:
For the most part, Florida residents face the same obstacles the rest of us do in having to plan well ahead to get a chance at campsites. Residents do have one big advantage though, in that they are in position to take advantage of last minute cancellations that are not practical for out of staters to use.

There is this though, the national forest service campground we're in right now has 86 full hookup RV sites. A tour through the park last week found 47 of those sites occupied by vehicles with Florida plates. Our previous state park also had a high concentration of Florida plates, although I didn't do an actual count there. So apparently a significant number of Florida residents are managing to get sites it seems. If Florida residents demand site availability at will, then the only answer it seems, would be to drive out all out of state campers so empty sites will be there when and where they want them. Of course that won't happen, in part because Floridians would then crowd the parks themselves, resulting in the same problem as now. In the mean time of course, all the rest of us would have moved on, taking our out of state money with us.

Exactly. More Floridians would gain access, but all Floridians would still fight for spots and still have to make reservations a year in advance. The proposed bill would all but eliminate out of state visitors and end up doing nothing but make residents feel good.

Mike
Im Mike Willoughby, and I approve this message.
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Walaby
Explorer
Explorer
Crooked River State Park, St Mary's Georgia has a couple sites available this weekend.

We stay there every year in the early May timeframe. Fernandino Beach is a reasonable drive from there.

Mike
Im Mike Willoughby, and I approve this message.
2017 Ram 3500 CTD (aka FRAM)
2019 GrandDesign Reflection 367BHS

magnusfide
Explorer II
Explorer II
Don't know what kind of camping you're into but about 4 hours up the road there's some terrific state park camping near Savannah GA. Some of those state parks have full hook ups too. Here's a map of GA state parks just north of you.
Map of GA State Parks
"The only time you should fear cast iron is if your wife is fixin' to hit you with it."-Kent Rollins
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Magnus

azdryheat
Explorer
Explorer
Same problem in AZ when the snowbirds show up for a 6 month stay. AZ State Parks helped out by limiting stays to 14 days.
2013 Chevy 3500HD CC dually
2014 Voltage 3600 toy hauler
2019 RZR 1000XP TRE

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
For the most part, Florida residents face the same obstacles the rest of us do in having to plan well ahead to get a chance at campsites. Residents do have one big advantage though, in that they are in position to take advantage of last minute cancellations that are not practical for out of staters to use.

There is this though, the national forest service campground we're in right now has 86 full hookup RV sites. A tour through the park last week found 47 of those sites occupied by vehicles with Florida plates. Our previous state park also had a high concentration of Florida plates, although I didn't do an actual count there. So apparently a significant number of Florida residents are managing to get sites it seems. If Florida residents demand site availability at will, then the only answer it seems, would be to drive out all out of state campers so empty sites will be there when and where they want them. Of course that won't happen, in part because Floridians would then crowd the parks themselves, resulting in the same problem as now. In the mean time of course, all the rest of us would have moved on, taking our out of state money with us.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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MetalGator
Explorer III
Explorer III
I have lived in the Tampabay area of Florida all my life. It is really a pain to get reservations in Florida during the winter months. You most either get lucky or make reservations way in advance.
2018 Miramar 35.3 Motorhome
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