Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-01-2015, 08:32 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2013 27' FB International
nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 15
Florida Winter Without Reservations?

My husband and I are new to this life. We pick up our AS in 2 weeks. We are planning on spending 9-12 months living/traveling. Our home base is Nashville and because we have kids and a business here we will be coming back and forth. From aprox mid-Feb to early April I'd like to trace the coast of Florida. We only have one reservation, early March in Key West. Will it be extremely difficult to accomplish this without having all the campgrounds booked ahead of time? I'd like to just flow with it and not be on a schedule. Impossible? Also we have a dog, that seems to narrow the options a bit too. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
__________________

__________________
ewor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 09:27 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Mrjkq's Avatar
 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 982
The busiest time here in the Sunshine State is January through March or even a couple weeks into April depending when Easter falls. Traveling without reservations will prove to be a challenge but if your willing to spend a lot of time on the phone each day looking for a place to camp its doable. Florida is loaded with state parks although they always fill up quickly as they are the least expensive & many are the most scenic. I would suggest you google Florida State Parks and find there locations as there is always cancellations.
__________________

__________________
Joe
Venice, FL
2016 FC 25RTB
TAC FL-47
2016 Nissan Titan XD Cummins Diesel
Mrjkq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
2015 16' Sport
Pineola , North Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 144
Yes it is possible if you are willing to spend an occasional night in a rest stop or parking lot if you get caught out. We do not stay in private RV parks as we have never seen one that we would enjoy. So that leaves state parks, county parks, COE parks, or federal sites such as in Ocala national forest or the Everglades. Many or all of these options have sites that are not reservable online and are set aside for folks without reservations.
__________________
"Certainty on any matter is not one of the human attitudes the Gods admire or tolerate."
A. Cross
D Greene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 11:40 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Wingeezer's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,708
We used to go to Florida or Arizona for years with no reservations and no problems. It was my preferred way to go as I really liked the flexibility. If we liked a place we stayed longer, if not. we'd move on after a couple of days.

But a few years ago we found that this was not working so well - We arrived at Phoenix one day and drove from one RV resort to another looking for a site - no luck - in the end we moved on to Tucson the same day and found a spot.

Had a similar experience the next year in Florida when we wanted to stop around Fort Myers for a week in our travels - after fining no luck at three or four RV parks, we did find a spot - but only if we were willing to change sites twice within the week due to other folks reservations.

After these two frustration experiences, I have reluctantly switched to making reservations for our snowbird trips and it is much more relaxing knowing that all is sorted out in advance!

But you still have to be early to get a good choice.

I made reservations at four different State parks / private parks in Florida to cover the seven weeks we plan to spend there after this coming Christmas. I made those reservations a couple of months ago!

We don't bother making any reservations for the journey down or back and just find whatever we can en route - often we just stop overnight at Flying J truck stops.

Brian.
__________________
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 02:30 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
Bk Yd Safari's Avatar
 
2008 20' Safari
Tunnel Hill , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 291
Images: 3
My wife and I have spent time the last several winters in south FL staying in state parks. We always make reservations but we always meet couples who never make any reservations. It does seem that they spend a lot of time on the web looking for a place to stay. Flamingo Campground a Federal Park in the Everglades has 64 walk-up sites and seems to be a place they go when they can't get a reservation elsewhere. Be aware that Flamingo is deep in the Everglades about 50 miles from Florida City. Also many of the sites do not have hook-ups.
Fort Desoto Park near St Petersburg is a very nice county park that holds back 10% of their sites until Friday of the prior week.
Jetty Park near Cape Canaveral is another nice county park that if you call near the time of your arrival you might get a site.
ps don't overlook the panhandle of FL as there are several very nice state parks that have direct access to the beach
__________________

Remember its not the destination, but rather the journey.... its what's in the middle that matters the most!
Bk Yd Safari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2015, 05:56 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
GammaDog's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vero Beach , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 353
Images: 26
Ditto the other posters.

One thing you might want to change in your plan is to make the word "coast" an option. Another choice you might want to consider is to focus on north Florida and the panhandle versus central and south Florida. There are lots of great campgrounds in the interior of Florida and the north. Some even have water... but the nice spots on the coast and in the south become scarce when the weather turns cold to the north... especially on weekends and holidays.
__________________
GammaDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 07:54 AM   #7
1 Rivet Member
 
2013 27' FB International
nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 15
Thank you all for such wonderful tips! I really appreciate all suggestions. We love the panhandle and rent a house on Cape San Blas every summer. What I love about it is that the dog is allowed on the beach without a problem. It seems there aren't too many other places like that? Sanibel and Captiva do seem to allow them on the beach. Any good spots in that area? I'm going to transfer all this info to a spread sheet and start working on it! Thanks!!
__________________
ewor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 11:38 AM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
Safari Streamer's Avatar
 
2015 28' Flying Cloud
Ladson , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 222
We love Fl state parks but seem forced to reserve 11 months in advance. It's getting harder every year. Just keep calling or checking on line. There are always cancellations.
__________________
Kathy Narowski
#2555
SC Coastal Unit
TAC-SC5
Safari Streamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 11:48 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Nowhere , Somewhere
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,421
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Streamer View Post
We love Fl state parks but seem forced to reserve 11 months in advance. It's getting harder every year. Just keep calling or checking on line. There are always cancellations.
Some people make reservations at several parks way in advance and when it comes camping time they choose which one they want and cancel the others. So there are openings occasionally.
__________________
avionstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 25' Tradewind
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 19
Florida

One February, about 7 or 8 years ago we took the AS to Florida as we wanted to see the Keys. We reserved at a KOA just outside of Key West and paid $75. a night, back then!! Such a rip! We had a very narrow site with a 45 foot motor home on each side, like 2 book-ends. Our little 25' Trade Wind looked like a Dinky toy! Met lovely folks though, both full-timers and had great chats. (Americans are SO friendly!) Key West was probably a lovely place once upon a time but the 2 days we went into town there were 2 huge cruise ships docked and the population must have swelled by over 5000! Awful!!Could hardly move on the streets with lineups everywhere you went. Around 5 PM people gather on the beach for the sunset (?) and it's like waiting to see the Pope or some celebrity. We were cheek by jowl with people. I don't get this custom and yet we see it time and time again. Have people never seen a sunset before? It's like some ancient rite that Americans have invented. I digress (we are Canadians). Maybe it's an excuse to have a drink or something. Whatever. My point was that except for that KOA, we never reserved anywhere, just took our chances by getting to State Parks early and keeping fingers crossed that a site came vacant. There was a nice Municipal or county site near Homestead that we used as our base for Miami. It was quiet and peaceful and nice to come back to in the evening after the Miami throngs. We love the panhandle and there's a lovely state park near San Blas that we saw another time when we didn't have the AS with us and wished we did. The Panhandle has lovely beaches and of course is cooler but at least it's not -25ļC!! We'd like to check out St. Augustine sometime and that Atlantic side. Wondered what RV parks are like in that area. We prefer the so-called transient parks like State or County Parks to the RV resorts or Mobile Home Parks.
__________________
Maryelia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 04:03 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
SuzyHomemakr's Avatar
 
1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 385
An excellent resource is the Moon guidebook for Florida Camping. Lots of good camps in there, but the info can be somewhat dated.

Getting reservations at the State Parks is difficult. I was just online looking for some camping in the Keys, at Curry Hammock SP in Marathon. First open weekend was June! Campground was almost full! Though Big Pine Fishing Lodge has a great campground, where the miniature key deer wander around and take handouts.

Many of the RV-only parks are fairly reasonable, when you go monthly. It would probably be worth it to find something as a base, then do some short trips to special spots. I'm a fan of Silver Springs SP (near Ocala), Spirit of the Suwannee (near Live Oak) and Manatee Hammock (near Titusville). Ginnie Springs (near High Springs/ Ft. White) is nice, but can fill up with the local rowdies. Avoid Peace River Campground in Arcadia, unless you have an ATV and like washing all your stuff a lot!
__________________
SuzyHomemakr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 04:34 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
DaveFL's Avatar
 
2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,478
Images: 15
Fl SP have a rule two weeks max, if you go to reserve america and just do a what if reservation, it opens up the calendar showing available or full. It will give you a heads up on how the system is starting to get a little crowded. If you try depending on luck for empty spots it is almost as good as placing bets on horseraces, sometimes you get lucky, we did that for years with a small van camper now that we have 31 foot of camper and a toad I like to have reservations even if we are local(relative) when you drive 75 or 100 miles you would like to have a place to park. We have done WM, FJ, and other free spots but Florida especially south Fl is limiting that way. Someone suggested longer term reservations and do side trips, monthly rates at private CG can almost match SP but might be a lot easier to get on shorter notice.
__________________
DaveFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 04:36 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Nowhere , Somewhere
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,421
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryelia View Post
One February, about 7 or 8 years ago we took the AS to Florida as we wanted to see the Keys. We reserved at a KOA just outside of Key West and paid $75. a night, back then!! Such a rip! We had a very narrow site with a 45 foot motor home on each side, like 2 book-ends. Our little 25' Trade Wind looked like a Dinky toy! Met lovely folks though, both full-timers and had great chats. (Americans are SO friendly!) Key West was probably a lovely place once upon a time but the 2 days we went into town there were 2 huge cruise ships docked and the population must have swelled by over 5000! Awful!!Could hardly move on the streets with lineups everywhere you went. Around 5 PM people gather on the beach for the sunset (?) and it's like waiting to see the Pope or some celebrity. We were cheek by jowl with people. I don't get this custom and yet we see it time and time again. Have people never seen a sunset before? It's like some ancient rite that Americans have invented. I digress (we are Canadians). Maybe it's an excuse to have a drink or something. Whatever. My point was that except for that KOA, we never reserved anywhere, just took our chances by getting to State Parks early and keeping fingers crossed that a site came vacant. There was a nice Municipal or county site near Homestead that we used as our base for Miami. It was quiet and peaceful and nice to come back to in the evening after the Miami throngs. We love the panhandle and there's a lovely state park near San Blas that we saw another time when we didn't have the AS with us and wished we did. The Panhandle has lovely beaches and of course is cooler but at least it's not -25ļC!! We'd like to check out St. Augustine sometime and that Atlantic side. Wondered what RV parks are like in that area. We prefer the so-called transient parks like State or County Parks to the RV resorts or Mobile Home Parks.
Key west. Only the tourists do what you did. There is much more. But it is crowded most of the time, some like it, some don't. Sounds like you had a good time anyway.
__________________
avionstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 08:08 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member

 
Currently Looking...
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 104
You might find this YouTube from Gone with the Wynns helpful. Safe travels!

https://youtu.be/fWTc8rm5nzA
__________________

__________________
NC Camper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Oregon Coast without reservations HeadWest On The Road... 20 08-05-2015 04:00 PM
Florida State Parks reservations white laker On The Road... 10 09-06-2013 06:19 AM
Northern California without reservations? Creech On The Road... 11 04-03-2013 12:22 AM
do you always make reservations? rollout On The Road... 13 12-30-2007 01:53 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.