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Old 08-13-2019, 06:02 AM   #1
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Advice for Florida winter spot

I'm a newbie and looking for advice on a spot in south central Florida, Jan thru March. I am not finding much available . Is it even possible this late.i'm browsing with Goodsam and some other campsite apps .Is it better to call them. We are excited to get out of Iowa winters and enjoy the sun. We're in a 25 foot sunseeker.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:15 AM   #2
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For general info...You can reserve state parks up to 11 months in advance on Reserve America, so you're behind the curve. Doesn't mean you won't find anything, just that pickings will be slim.

County park windows vary by county.

I'm sure others will chime in about private campgrounds.

Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tony5oh View Post
For general info...You can reserve state parks up to 11 months in advance on Reserve America, so you're behind the curve. Doesn't mean you won't find anything, just that pickings will be slim.

County park windows vary by county.

I'm sure others will chime in about private campgrounds.

Good luck!


The problem with Florida and most state parks is that they limit your stay to a certain number of days. Fifteen I think for Florida but you can check on line.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:10 AM   #4
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Try the Pan Handle. A cooler and lesser expensive area.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:32 AM   #5
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Itís very hard to find anything available in south Florida if itís anywhere near the coasts. Move inland a bit and things get rural quick but thereís availability. Saves you money, too!
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cuda View Post
I'm a newbie and looking for advice on a spot in south central Florida, Jan thru March. I am not finding much available . Is it even possible this late.i'm browsing with Goodsam and some other campsite apps .Is it better to call them. We are excited to get out of Iowa winters and enjoy the sun. We're in a 25 foot sunseeker.
We found campgrounds in short supply at the beginning of April but found some anyway. Even the ones that were already booked up told us to call back in late August and early September because that's when cancellations start to occur. I would say that calling is better, particularly if they have a waitlist.

The advice to look further north is probably good. We were told that the further south you go the more expensive and harder it is to find something. Once you have some kind of reservation you can always change to somewhere else later. Just grab what you can for now; that's what we did since this is our first year of snowbirding.

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Old 08-13-2019, 12:20 PM   #7
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A couple of years ago I spent the winter at the Olde Mill Stream RV Resort in Umatilla, Florida. It is much less costly than the RV parks further south. It is about an hour away from Orlando, the Space Coast, Daytona, the Gulf Coast,and dozens of famous Florida places. They even have their own lake.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:23 PM   #8
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Hi,


Might not help you this year, but you can stay all winter at Gulf State Park, just over the Alabama line. Restevations are a hot item, unfortunately, but it's worth investigating if you are will to stray that far west along the coast.


FWIW.


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Old 08-13-2019, 12:37 PM   #9
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Coming from Iowa you could try the Gulf Coast of Texas. Less crowded, less expensive, bigger sites. We go to Port Aransas, TX and there are several resorts right over the dunes from the water. We like Pioneer RV Resort, very clean, very nice, boardwalk access to the beach. In Texas you can also drive on the beaches which is very convenient for fishing or swimming. Lovely community in town, nice stores, free ferry to the mainland and bigger stores. Lots of birding and fishing going on. My husband volunteers at the birding places and parks and has a great time photographing the birds. It's fun to watch the shipping activity in the channel. Rockport is also very nice. Years ago (1979-1981) we used to go to Florida for winters. but it was way less crowded then. It would be easier for us to come down from New Hampshire to Florida but it's worth the extra driving to Texas to not be crowded.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:02 PM   #10
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from experience, there are many, many rv parks and private campgrounds that may never show up in any app, via any website, or even sometimes on google maps itself, but they are out there. Sometimes you don't even 'know' until you pass them by.

What would 'I' do? If you are o.k. with boondocking overnight, when needed, you can certainly travel to a local area you think you might want to visit and check out the local area... many locals know of rv parks that might not be so evident to the rest of us, are not seen from the roads, or don't even have advertising or signs for it(wow!)....

if you're the type that just can't stomach not having a 'reservation', then you'll just have to scour the internet, or even, lord willing, have to make a call to a park, even if it shows no reservations available...


While I'm not wintering in Florida, but burning up in N.E. Alabama, how we 'found' this park is just a prime example of 'how' to scout out and find what you are looking for, and in our case, a beautiful well-kept and maintained park that charges a very fair 'electricity included' monthly rate, and gives plenty of space, privacy, and quiet( a must! )...

In this area, near Huntsville, which is Rocket City U.S.A., and growing due to the increase of defense contractors and aerospace 'privatization' growth, our initial search for a long-term rv park, and feedback from locals, was that we were going to find ourselves 'out of luck'. We even looked at private 'for sale' land lots which previously had a mobile-home and would have the electrical, water, and septic hookups we would need, even if we had to 'buy' the land. No luck. Nada. 'You ain't gonna find any spots within 50 miles, boy..." one rv/trailer park owner said emphatically to me, which can certainly make you think it may just be impossible....especially since we needed space for TWO RVs...our 35' Palazzo motorcoach, and our Gulfstream 25' camper for our boys, one who is entering that very same aerospace engineering, entering UAH(University of Alabama in Huntsville), which is one reason why the industry continues to make this a hot spot.

So, yes, it can be daunting at times, and even though we had even made an offer on several private land sites(both which had existing utilities, and we could 'hook up', even with a little work involved), I decided to pull into a trailer park that we had passed many times, out of town, in a rural setting, but that had a RV camper parked near the road...which was a tip off for me, at least to stop and 'see' if they actually had RV sites.

We pulled in, passed a few trailers, which seemed well-kept, and found the 'office'(seemed more like a work garage, though). Immediately my wife said "well, sorry, the paper taped to the door says 'No Vacancies'..."
I'm not one to 'quit' so easily. I actually caught site of a motorhome a little farther down, and a man just driving up to it on a golf cart, with some tools on board. I hopped out and sauntered toward him, before he could disappear into the 'office/garage' side door. I mentioned the nice motorhome(parked under a large RV shelter, as though it was 'stored' there), and asked if he traveled often? That seemed to interest him, and as we spoke about our also having a motorhome, I asked him if he had an RV site we could look at... YES - he said "follow me..." as he jumped in his golf cart and headed on toward the back of the park.
When we pulled into the rear of the park, I immediately knew I had found our 'spot'! This site was the 'last' site in the park, and so DEEP that I knew we could get BOTH of our RVs here, and even had it's own 100amp Main Panel, with existing 50amp, 30amp, and 20amp outlets, and space for even MORE! (our EV all-electric Car would need a charging port!)
Sweet!

and, best of all, it WAS available - we jumped on it. Brought our rigs over the next day. Plugged in. It seemed like a miracle after what everyone had 'told us'.... and the fair monthly rate just added to the excitement.
Now, we could relax, stop 'looking' for a place, and put those 'private land offers' on hold.


It won't work necessarily every time, but not giving up is the true goal, as if you simply take what others say, or what's printed on a paper at the 'office', you might give up prematurely, and miss out on a very special opportunity.

By the way, the park owner, who just happened to be 'who' I initially talked with, told me that he and his wife had posted that sign there for a long, long time, as they realized that they weren't in the business of 'short term' trailer leases and rv sites, and those who wanted true, long-term living, would, like me, go the extra step to actually 'find' those who know - the owners. Those who were scared off by the sign were probably not the type they were looking to 'rent' to. : ) Probably a good idea.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:03 PM   #11
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Even if you move around every two or three weeks is worse than not being in Florida to enjoy winter at all! Just think what they'll be doing in Iowa Jan - March while you could be in Florida. It is getting late for securing winter spots in Florida, but being flexible gives you a big advantage, and willingness to move around really gets you in a better position.

Hmmm, choice of moving every week vs being in Iowa in Jan - Mar... I think the choice is clear there!

Do you have to be in Florida? Along the state line of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi there are also other good winter camps... you won't have to winterize, no hard freezes, no snow or ice. Most time you can have your rig windows open. These too are frequented by snowbirds from two weeks to three months.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:15 PM   #12
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true, and coming from Iowa, anywhere in the southeast or gulf coast would be a 'warm' welcome for you! Don't make your destination only revolving around Florida, though it has it's amenities - south Georgia, the Florida panhandle(west), and the gulf coast states of AL, MS, LA, and TX would work well, and probably have many more options than traveling all the way to central FLorida.

and, yes, even if you have only a few day, or weeks, at a particular park, before you find the park opening up that you really want, it's not a deal breaker - your RV is designed to move! Sometimes, you may even need to move around in the SAME park, due to others with existing reservations.
Cancellations can be had, and even though a park may have a deep, long 'wait' list, remember that even those 'on the list' are probably not going to be waiting til the last possible minute to take that call, they will probably also have already found another option and moved on... the wait list may actually be fairly short if YOU can wait long enough.
This happened to us the first time we chose to 'winter' near Clearwater, FL, back in 2014, around the November time frame. I called, was told, basically, that they would certainly have nothing available at the Clearwater RV Travel Resort, where we wanted to stay, among other places. They could, though, add me to the long wait list.
We actually DID receive a call from them several weeks later, due to a cancellation, which gave us the options to stay there until Feb 1st of the next year, which is when the next reservation was shown to be coming in.
It wasn't that we were the 'first' on the list, by any means, probably far from it, but everyone before us had already moved on, chose another park, or decided that they 'had' to be able to stay there even past the Feb 1st timeframe.
We jumped on it, and had a good time at a nice park for several months.... and we returned the next year for a time, as well, and have stayed there for several nights even since, due to it's proximity to the beaches, and location in such a 'retail' oriented area nearby - within walking and biking distance. Sweet.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:18 PM   #13
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A few years ago we waited August to try and find a place. We went on line and found a list of RV parks near where we wanted to stay. Called them and and all were booked from the previous year. We asked if we could get on a waiting list and most agreed. After about a week we started to get calls for openings because reservations were cancelled.
We ended up at Ramblers Rest in Venice. The park was a little pricey but the amenities were fabulous.
We were close to shopping, restaurant's and beaches. We love it here.
Good luck
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:36 PM   #14
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Smile central Florida RV Park

We go to Paradise Oaks in Bushnell Florida every year before going to our 3 month site on the panhandle at Miramar Beach. It's a nice little town and close to big flea markets and the Villages. We do like it there as the Park is very active and there are always things to do. The people are friendly and the staff is professional and caring. I do call and the seasonal sites (which are the best) are usually taken by the snow birds but we like to stay in the front anyway. Go online and check it out.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:53 PM   #15
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A few years back DH and I decided to escape the Canadian winter and headed south just after Christmas. We made no advance plans but ended up at the Road Runner Travel Resort in Fort Pearce Florida. Their prime and cheaper sites were long ago booked up but they had space in their ďtransientĒ section that was acceptable and we grabbed it. Spent a month then wandered north to a KOA near Jacksonville where they had lots of space and we stayed another month. Not the cheapest way to do it but we had a good time. Good luck in your search.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:58 PM   #16
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Yes I agree you will love the Miramar Beach area... you are away from the regular Panama City Beach or Destin population but close enough for shopping, dinner. Besides Miramar has plenty to do right there.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:45 PM   #17
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If Central Florida on the space coast is of interest try The Great Outdoors in Titusville, wonderful winter experience
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:46 PM   #18
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Google 30A in Florida... You can look at this
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:56 PM   #19
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I'm a newbie and looking for advice on a spot in south central Florida, Jan thru March. I am not finding much available . Is it even possible this late.i'm browsing with Goodsam and some other campsite apps .Is it better to call them. We are excited to get out of Iowa winters and enjoy the sun. We're in a 25 foot sunseeker.
Try fort myers beach rv resort . 239-466-7171. or gulf air . these are both encore . they also have another in the area but can't remember the name . there are quite a few rv parks in the area and it shouldn't be a problem find a spot . the further inland the cheaper and more availability . But iof you're in FL may as well be close to the beach . the pan handle is less then nice that time of year .
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:21 PM   #20
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Wow, lots of great ideas and advice, time to do more research and get cracking. Thanks everyone.
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