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Old 12-13-2014, 07:23 AM   #15
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Many thanks for all the encouraging comments, please keep them coming, and I just might convince the bride this voyage might be feasible!

BTW, we lived in Dallas 20 years, and have a pretty good feel for avails this time of the year.

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Old 12-13-2014, 07:30 AM   #16
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Checkout the county parks in Broward, and Palm Beach as well as other counties.

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Old 12-13-2014, 07:40 AM   #17
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Keep trying the state parks. Last year we "Got Lucky" and scored cancellations at 2 popular state parks so don't give up. BUT also don't count on it. Midway used to be first come first served so if you arrived early you had a better than average chance but they are now on a reservation system and book up early. If you don't mind dry camping there are a few places nearby. They also are on the reservations system but are much more available. You can pull in and if they have an available site it's yours for that one night. You must then go and make reservations for any subsequent nights you might want to stay. The dry camping sites are nice. We stayed for 3 or 4 nights last year at Monument Lake. You really don't need AC at this time of year so dry camping is not so bad. COE sites I've looked at are all booked months ahead. Nice if you can get one but need to plan early. Everglades NP has 2 campgrounds. Flamingo is pretty big and we've gotten in there without reservations. It has electric. The other one ( closer to the entrance) is pretty nice but dry camping only. We often travel the area without making reservations and have always found a site.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:49 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by karenjude View Post
We visited Collier Seminole last year. There were so many sites packed in there without any foliage in between! Really packed and absolutely no privacy. I'm hoping the upgrades include decreasing the amount of sites by at least 50% but realize that's pretty unlikely.
agree way too many sites with tents between!!!
plan is to reduce # of sites (not sure how many), add sewer, and remodel bath houses...hope they get started soon...
tight but it is really far south!!!

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Old 12-13-2014, 08:00 AM   #19
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As others have indicated, some Florida state parks will have in season availability in the panhandle and in the northern part of the state. Northern Florida can be comfortable in January/February or downright cold, it depends on the weather patterns in a given year. There are great state parks along the panhandle coast.

Investigate the National Park Service campground at Fort Pickens near Pensacola in the Gulf Shores National Seashore. It has electric and water at the sites. If you visit Fort Pickens, I encourage you to visit the Naval Aviation Museum at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Fort Pickens Reservations

National Naval Aviation Museum

A wonderful private campground in Carrabelle, Florida is the Ho Hum RV Park located directly on Apalachicola Bay. Rates run $29 to $39 per night and $175 to $234 per week. It is probably still possible to get reservations at Ho Hum in January and February but a waterfront site reservation is unlikely this late date. Nearby Apalachicola is the oyster capital of Florida and has many good seafood restaurants. St. George Island State Park is nearby and has 60 campsites with water and sewer hookups.

Ho Hum RV Park

St. George Island State Park

You might also try Mystic Springs Cove, another Airstream Park north of Pensacola on the Escambia River. Full hookup sites are only $11 per night. It is owned by the Pensacola unit of the WBCCI. I'm not sure if WBCCI membership is required to stay there but you can check by calling the park.

Mystic Springs Cove Airstream Park

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach is an excellent and popular state park with full hookup sites situated in the panhandle. It is the location of the annual Canopener Rally which this year has over 100 Airstreams signed up for the weekend of January 9-11. The campground is fully reserved for the rally weekend but there are open sites remaining at other times during January and February. It is a first class park with full hookups, paved sites, and two miles of pristine beach. The nearby resort town of Destin has a variety of restaurants and shopping venues.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #20
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So most of the state parks here have a large volume of the park dedicated to first come first serve. We recently encountered this over Thanksgiving, I reserved the "last available" spot, supposedly online. At the park however, they had 30 campsites that where available for walk in's/first come first serve only and were not available for online/phone reservation.

The next place we are going had zlich online for reservation, but they list half the park for first come over the new years, so you becha we're going to get out butts there right after checkout on a Sunday to snag a spot for the whole week.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:12 AM   #21
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Great info here! We may go to Florida in 2016, so want to keep this info handy.
Murray, hope you convince Sally to go...sounds great! I think we're going to south Texas for a month or more mid-Jan. and we may have the same problem in the Rockport/Corpus area. Hope to see you two again at an Air MidWest Rally!

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Old 12-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #22
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I forgot to mention that if you are Active / retired / disabled Military there are many bases scattered around Florida. Some take reservations some do not so you need to do some homework. We're planning on a 10 day stay at the Key West Naval Station in early Feb. Pensacola NAS has a very large campground. So if you fit they are great resource
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:08 PM   #23
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We Did It On Short Notice But Best to Reserve Far in Advance

Last year was our first year full-timing. We don't usually make reservations until the day of so we were quite shocked when we got to Florida last February and had great difficulty - especially in South Florida. A couple of things we learned:

1) most of the economical and highly desirable State Parks usually fill up a year in advance and you can only use their on-line reservation system. However, if you are flexible, you can drive up to a State Park in the morning and wait to see if there is a no show which won't show up on the reservation system until the next day.

2) the Melbourne Airstream Park was fairly easy to get into last minute.

3) we really liked the Miami Everglades Resort about an hour southwest of Miami.

4) we really liked Traveler's Rest near Dade City, FL.

5) we really liked Navarre Beach Campground, FL.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-13-2014, 02:26 PM   #24
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Does anyone know if they upgraded the shower facilities at Collier-Seminole SP? The main one was just nasty and the other 2 weren't much better.
That's the main thing that would keep me away.
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Old 12-13-2014, 02:29 PM   #25
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Paradise Park will have some spaces, try for their web site,
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:11 PM   #26
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You might try Chassahowitzka River Campground (county park). They have a website. I camped there last March for a few days and enjoyed it very much.

You also might try Fort Desoto Park (county). If you can get a spot for one night, you may be able to get up real early and get in line for one of the spots that are not reservable.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:36 AM   #27
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There are some lesser known options for RV camping here in Florida. Many counties have parks that do not appear on Reserve America or even AllStays. I just did a check on Brevard County (which has 3 such parks including many waterfront spots). This is the county where the Kennedy Space Center is located. I'm not sure what dates you want or what your needs for hook ups and length are, but they have some spots open in January. Google "Brevard county parks camping" to find them. Here in Indian River County there is a county park at Blue Cyprus Lake with RV spots. I have not been there, but like Brevard County, that park is not on Reserve America.

It may be tedious, but a county by county search in the sections of Florida you are interested in just might locate the spot you want.

I'd also echo other comments that most of south Florida is booked until April (I think the added winter weight is sinking the state... That might account for the apparent sea level rise). While central Florida has interior availability and north Florida has even some waterfront space in the winter.
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:21 AM   #28
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Florida In January? You've Gotta Be Kidding!

We just booked 10 days at Fishermans Cove in Palmetto, FL for Jan 20 arrival. From there the trailer will go to storage as we move aboard the sailboat. Fine sailing in Tampa Bay & Manatee River. Great beaches on Anna Maria Island & Longboat Key. First good snow in Durango last night - this snowbird is getting eager!
Safe Travels,

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Safe Travels,
Joe & Joan Donnaway
Durango, CO
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