Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: General RVing Issues: Florida Camping
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Vach

Wi

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Posted: 01/15/20 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are leaving soon for about a month trip from New Oleans east to the Florida Keys. We generally like to not make plans and reservations, finding first come first serve camping at county, state or national parks. Don’t need full hookups. We are pretty well self contained with our small trailer. I know that’s not for everyone, but we’ve done this for years and enjoy not being tied down to a schedule. Typically we plan ahead for weekends and holidays, but mostly just wing it.

We have not tried this in this area however, and we are curious if others have tried this and how well it works. How easy is it to find good campsites without reservations?

Thanks.


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riven1950

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Posted: 01/15/20 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In our experience you will only find a few days here and there via cancellations until the end of March, then it becomes easier.

If you are good on the computer and check often you will likely find sites. May not be ideal and require moving.

Cloud Dancer

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Posted: 01/15/20 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I stop at the McDonalds (which is inside the Walmart). They share the same parking lot, which I use for parking AND overnighting. No worries.


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Posted: 01/15/20 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cloud Dancer wrote:

I stop at the McDonalds (which is inside the Walmart). They share the same parking lot, which I use for parking AND overnighting. No worries.



Not exactly the Florida Keys, but close lol.

magicbus

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Posted: 01/15/20 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not to put a damper on it, but unless you get lucky it will be a chore. As mentioned, things ease up come April, but starting Feb 1st most everything will be booked. We do pick up days at County and State parks every year as we travel through Florida, but Monroe County (the Keys) does not permit camping in their County Parks, and the four State Parks fill up a year in advance. The only place I can think of might be the Kmart parking lot in Marathon. It is a beautiful trip but you may want to book a day or two near Key West if you can so you don't drive all 120 miles down and have to turn around and drive back.

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PartyOf Five

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Posted: 01/15/20 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are many 24-hour grocery stores and even some that aren't, that qill allow you to park if you are discreet


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p220sigman

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Posted: 01/15/20 01:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't want to be the wet blanket, but it is highly unlikely that you will just happen to find a spot at any Florida state park campground this time of year. While they take walk-ups, most if not all, do not reserve any walk-up sites. You have to reserve through Reserve America to ensure a spot. If you don't have a spot reserved, you will want to have a solid plan B because you are likely going to need it. Of course, I'm exactly the opposite. I want to know I have a spot and I don't even really like the places where you don't reserve your specific site.

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Posted: 01/15/20 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't get it. The OP mentioned spending some time in the Florida Keys. I took that as in for a long weekend/few days/a week? "first come first serve camping at county, state or national parks." per the OP. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the OP wants to camp in Walmarts of which there are none out on the Keys (are there?), or other shopping centers, but to me that sure does not sound like an enjoyable Florida Keys vacation.

SpeakEasy

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Posted: 01/15/20 02:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This website is going to be your new best friend. It informs you of vacancies at the Florida State Parks for the upcoming weekend. These openings are from cancellations.

As many have noted, the Keys are going to be difficult.

As for the rest of Florida - you'll find stuff. I met a couple last April who had been in Florida for 4 months bopping around from one temporary location to another. It can be done, and if you have the temperament for it, you'll have a blast.

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Scottiemom

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Posted: 01/16/20 03:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just left our Florida roost heading to Texas. Up on I-10 east of Tally near Madison we are in the Ragan's family RV resort (formerly a Jellystone). Not even half full. Lots of sites, especially for smaller rigs and then a group of pull-throughs for overnighters where we are. Passport America as well for $31.50 a night. Whoo hoo! I know it's not the keys, but you gotta take a break and sleep on the way down.

Years ago, we made our way through Florida taking a day here, a day there. Some state parks, some private. Always found a spot. . . nothing long term, but we didn't want that.

Dale


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