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Old 09-09-2005, 02:51 PM   #1
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Availability in Florida

We are about ready to go full time and after a trip out to the Midwest will likely end up in South Florida during the coldest part of the winter. How tough is it to get a campsite down there for a few weeks or a month or so if you don't get there at the beginning of the winter.

Anyone with suggestions for nice ones that may have spots available, tips would be welcomed

Thanks
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:00 PM   #2
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Lee, winter is the busiest time for Florida RV parks. There are many down here, most reasonable priced. Reservations are strongly suggested. There are several county, state, and federal parks around our area with reasonable fees ($8-15/night), most have a two week maximum stay. So, the more clever RV owners will reserve, say a spot at the Ortona Federal RV park for two weeks, at $12/night, and then go to the Franklin Locks federal RV park for two weeks, at $16/night, then back to the first one. Reservations are required duing the winter, as they fill up fast.
Just reserve your spots for the entire winter, and do it now.
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Old 09-12-2005, 03:23 PM   #3
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No Luck

I tried to make reservations and both of these parks were full except for the non-reserveable sites which I guess are first come - first served. Anyone have other suggestions for nice campgrounds where we can spend part of the winter in South Florida? We won't get there until probably mid December and plan to stay until late January. Would like some with stuff to do in the area as the AS will get pretty small even at 34' if we end up just sitting around it all day. We don't mind moving every few weeks as that will give us a little new scenery and other stuff to check out.

Does anyone know what you do for the ones with sites with no reservations. Do you get there early in the morning and hope one becomes available? We are going to be new at this full timing thing and hope we don't end up spending every night in Walmart parking lots!

Thanks,

Lee

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Lee, winter is the busiest time for Florida RV parks. There are many down here, most reasonable priced. Reservations are strongly suggested. There are several county, state, and federal parks around our area with reasonable fees ($8-15/night), most have a two week maximum stay. So, the more clever RV owners will reserve, say a spot at the Ortona Federal RV park for two weeks, at $12/night, and then go to the Franklin Locks federal RV park for two weeks, at $16/night, then back to the first one. Reservations are required duing the winter, as they fill up fast.
Just reserve your spots for the entire winter, and do it now.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:05 PM   #4
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Lee,

To the best of my knowledge overnight parking at WalMarts within the state of Florida is off limits.

Personally, I like adventure and just call ahead to where I think I will be, when I want to be there during that day of travel.

Non-reservable sites can usually be had Monday - Thursday about 2 or 3 PM local time just driving in, but have an alternate plan. Many times there are phone numbers listed for those locations ... call and they will tell you if any sites are open ... then hurry there before they are gone.

If you are a planner, why don't you buy a Woodalls or Trailer Life Directory. (in the store or on-line) Decide which city you want to roam around and reserve a space near each area for your time period.

The guides list the camping areas, amenities, prices last year and provide a telephone number to call. State, County & sometimes Federal parks are also listed.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:24 PM   #5
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Let's try this one:

Lee, give these folks a call, while more expensive than the first parks I told you about, it has the advantage of being almost on the Gulf.


Ft. Myers / Pine Island KOA
5120 Stringfellow Road
St. James City, FL 33956

Information: (239) 283-2415
Fax: (239) 283-2573
Email: pineislkoa@aol.com
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Old 09-12-2005, 11:14 PM   #6
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florida campgrounds

If you need a place to stay in North Florida on the way into the state, one of the nicest state park campgrounds in the state is Stephen Foster State Park White Springs near Lake city - it is not far off I-75. It is so pretty. Not much of a night life around there though!

Although it's in the central part of the state, we like Silver River State Park which is right next to Silver Springs in ocala. the northmost camping loop is the nicest. It is very close to civilization (like shopping such as walmart) but the park is very nice. We go there for the weekend when there are concerts at Silver springs.

Most parks do have a two week stay and if you want a big site, some of the older state parks have limited numbers of big sites. Especially like Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine (lots of stuff to do there) or Tomoka State park on the east coast. Read the descriptions of the sites carefully some will say they have low hanging trees, etc. in the winter the last thing I'd do is try to get a walk up reservation. You might get that during the middle of the week but they book up on weekends. To give you an idea I've already made my reservations for weekends in Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar April and May because I want choice sites. Lots of people down here do the same. Throw the snowbirds in and they really can get booked up.

Fortunately Florida has a pretty easy to use reservation system that is online www.floridastateparks.org

Aother really pretty state park is O'Leno which is north of Gainesville, but they don't allow dogs. It is a CCC built park and has a lot of interesting buildings on the site and a trail in and around the river.

Good luck!
Barbara
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Old 09-13-2005, 07:14 AM   #7
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There are a couple of AS parks down there. You may want to consider checking with the WBCCI and see what they have in that neck of the woods.
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Old 09-13-2005, 07:49 AM   #8
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Lee,

How far west will you be. We have spent two winters in the rio grande valley in Mission, Texas. There has been open sites there the last two winters. Cost is approx. $250 - 500 depending on how new and upscale the park is. Weather is very mild, locals complain about it being unusally cool the last two winters but, I rode a bike all winter in shorts & a wind breaker.

It is a 1000 mile run from Kansas City area or 1400 miles from middle Tennessee.
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Old 09-13-2005, 11:30 AM   #9
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Wintering in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingfoot321
Lee,

How far west will you be. We have spent two winters in the rio grande valley in Mission, Texas. There has been open sites there the last two winters. Cost is approx. $250 - 500 depending on how new and upscale the park is. Weather is very mild, locals complain about it being unusally cool the last two winters but, I rode a bike all winter in shorts & a wind breaker.

It is a 1000 mile run from Kansas City area or 1400 miles from middle Tennessee.
We may give that a try as Florida sounds tough. I guess we can find places during the week, but will have to move out on weekends. We plan to be in Bella Vista Arkansas (NW Arkansas) to check on a lot we've had for years but havent seen in a long time, so going on out to Texas from there isn't too far. We have to be back for a shinidig in South Georgia in early February, so we'll have to start back early. We don't paln to travel much between campsites, even if we find one we like and stay awhile.

Thanks for the tip.

And, if we go to Florida,those other suggestions sound good and by late Jan even the middle of Florida should be nice

Thanks everyone,
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smily
There are a couple of AS parks down there. You may want to consider checking with the WBCCI and see what they have in that neck of the woods.
There is one near LaBelle. I am not sure if they have any spaces available.
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:10 PM   #11
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Don't forget to negotiate...

You may well be able to negotiate lower daily rates for a couple weeks than for one or two nights...(compared to published directory rates) Most park managers would rather have a unit stay put than worry about check-ins and check-outs and running multiple charges, etc etc.. Hotels and condo's offer a break for extended stays, and so do many of commercial RV parks..

Downside is that some may not want to assume appearance of Mobile Home Park with semi-permanent visitors, laundry lines and personal possessions scattered around the campsite for a month or two... Talk to the managers/owners when booking over phone, rather than trying to do by e-mail or web sites... There's a huge KOA down in the Keys as well (an entire island campground called Fiesta Key) though there's not much to do besides fish, boat and read or visit.... They are rarely booked full in advance...

John McG
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:20 PM   #12
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There's a huge KOA down in the Keys as well (an entire island campground called Fiesta Key) though there's not much to do besides fish, boat and read or visit.... They are rarely booked full in advance...
We spent some time down at the Fiesta Key's, we loved it! I would recommend trying to get a reservation first though, as I have seen then booked up over the winter holidays.

Leslie
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:37 PM   #13
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Did you check the daily rate at Fiesta Key CG?
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Old 09-13-2005, 08:46 PM   #14
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Lee,

Iffff you two are hardy souls and can take the cold temps of north florida, I once stayed at Christmas in an Ocala national forest campground that was approx. 30miles north east of Ocala. It was a beautiful place, very far out, campground was frequented mainly by Ohio, Michigan people, who were used to the cold. They were mostly seniors, brought their fishing boats, were sitting around campfires at night, etc.

There was a food store close by & gas & propane but, the nearest restaurant
was in Ocala.
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