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Old 12-05-2023, 12:46 PM   #1
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Florida State Parks

Just received an email from Florida State Parks. Beginning in 2024 Florida residence will be able to make reservations 11 months in advance of non residence. Think it was tough before, wait until you try and make a reservation next year.
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Old 12-05-2023, 02:12 PM   #2
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apparently 'ole DeSanctimonious doesn't want out of the state\country visitors to the parks
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Old 12-05-2023, 04:57 PM   #3
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apparently 'ole DeSanctimonious doesn't want out of the state\country visitors to the parks
Or, he, and the whole legislative body, want to give the residents a better shot at getting a site.
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Old 12-05-2023, 05:25 PM   #4
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Just received an email from Florida State Parks. Beginning in 2024 Florida residence will be able to make reservations 11 months in advance of non residence. Think it was tough before, wait until you try and make a reservation next year.
It is pretty tough for us Floridians to find a camping spot when the weather is nice enough to be outside. Don't hate.

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Old 12-05-2023, 05:52 PM   #5
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Just received an email from Florida State Parks. Beginning in 2024 Florida residence will be able to make reservations 11 months in advance of non residence. Think it was tough before, wait until you try and make a reservation next year.
Not exactly true-- reread your email.
Florida residents can reserve 11 months ahead.
Non residents can reserve 10 months ahead.
So residents get a 1 month head start on reservations.
Yes it's gonna make it even harder for us snow birds to get into a FL state park.
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Old 12-05-2023, 05:54 PM   #6
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was hard in the first year after buying a trailer to find stuff in Florida
winter months in particular!


There are also web pages and apps for finding "Cancelled Spots"
you still have to be real fast to grab a cancellation.
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Old 12-09-2023, 05:52 PM   #7
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I see nothing wrong with Florida residents getting a crack at "their" state park campsites before the rest of us. It's only a one-month advantage. Most snowbirds stay at private campgrounds anyway so I don't see the big deal. I'm [pretty sure if you want to visit Florida in July you'll have no problem finding a state park campground of your choice.
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Old 12-10-2023, 06:53 AM   #8
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I see nothing wrong with Florida residents getting a crack at "their" state park campsites before the rest of us. It's only a one-month advantage. Most snowbirds stay at private campgrounds anyway so I don't see the big deal. I'm [pretty sure if you want to visit Florida in July you'll have no problem finding a state park campground of your choice.
Not exactly. I lived outside of Lakeland for almost 10 years in the late 90's/early 00's and can tell you that any of the State Park Campgrounds south of Orlando are packed to the gills December to April with Snowbirds. They go to great lengths to secure reservations and circumvent stay limits. They're professionals at gaming the system, and have the time to do so.

Now the Florida family with kids with parents who have to work every day and want to camp a long weekend or two or three during that time period is hung out to dry in most cases. They don't have the time to sit at computer screens waiting for windows to open.

Adding this additional period for residents will not do much. The Snowbirds will come up with a way to get around that too. It's as easy as getting someone they know who is a Florida resident to make the reservations. It's not like they do a detailed investigation when folks check in. You're probably right about July though except for the ocean front parks / keys. Its like camping in Hades down there at inland State Parks from May to October.
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Old 12-10-2023, 08:25 AM   #9
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A lot of states have extra perks for their citizens. Just the way it is and do not see anything wrong with it myself. They do pay the taxes that support the parks. I don't think camping fees cover the costs of parks myself.

Usually discounts of some type is what I see the most of.
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:01 AM   #10
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there are also not so well known county parks ... some are first come first served!
No reservations.



Plus
Army Corps or Engineers (nice sites)
National parks (some no power)

State Forrests and hunting areas (No Power)


Senior discounts for camping on Army Corps = 50% if you have National Parks senior card.
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:43 AM   #11
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Not exactly. I lived outside of Lakeland for almost 10 years in the late 90's/early 00's and can tell you that any of the State Park Campgrounds south of Orlando are packed to the gills December to April with Snowbirds. They go to great lengths to secure reservations and circumvent stay limits. They're professionals at gaming the system, and have the time to do so.

Now the Florida family with kids with parents who have to work every day and want to camp a long weekend or two or three during that time period is hung out to dry in most cases. They don't have the time to sit at computer screens waiting for windows to open.

Adding this additional period for residents will not do much. The Snowbirds will come up with a way to get around that too. It's as easy as getting someone they know who is a Florida resident to make the reservations. It's not like they do a detailed investigation when folks check in. You're probably right about July though except for the ocean front parks / keys. Its like camping in Hades down there at inland State Parks from May to October.
The description of the new privilege for Florida residents (being able to camp in our own parks) sounds like they will be confirming FL IDs at check-in. At least, that seems to be the intent. Whether the staff actually do that is a different story.

I'm a volunteer campground at Cades Cove. National Parks supposedly have a 2-week limit, or something like that. One of the campers I met last year non-chalantly told me in July that they live there during the summer. When checking in after an enforced absence, they declared "we're home". Some people even have their Amazon deliveries directed to the campground office.

Rec.gov doesn't provide much functionality in the way of preventing that. People just use a different email address or swap his and hers addressess week-to-week. If the system required the RV license plate to be entered at the time of reservation and confirmed at check-in, it could stop that. It wouldn't work for tent campers but they don't move in for the summer like some RV/trailer campers do.

Rec.gov and reserveamerica have availability notifications. I've used both successfully. The same is available through private vendors for a fee. I've used the system at Campsitephotos for a fee and gotten nice sites as a result. I just found a site named campflare that does the same, but have no experience with it. I don't know if the new FL State Parks reservation system does. It's okay but doesn't work as well as Reserveamerica, in general.
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Old 12-10-2023, 11:04 AM   #12
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Not exactly. I lived outside of Lakeland for almost 10 years in the late 90's/early 00's and can tell you that any of the State Park Campgrounds south of Orlando are packed to the gills December to April with Snowbirds. They go to great lengths to secure reservations and circumvent stay limits. They're professionals at gaming the system, and have the time to do so.

Now the Florida family with kids with parents who have to work every day and want to camp a long weekend or two or three during that time period is hung out to dry in most cases. They don't have the time to sit at computer screens waiting for windows to open.

Adding this additional period for residents will not do much. The Snowbirds will come up with a way to get around that too. It's as easy as getting someone they know who is a Florida resident to make the reservations. It's not like they do a detailed investigation when folks check in. You're probably right about July though except for the ocean front parks / keys. Its like camping in Hades down there at inland State Parks from May to October.
Yeah, this is unfortunate and I don't see anything that can be done about it. I believe this is a problem nationwide, not just Florida SPs. I'm even aware of my BIL and SIL doing it to book Finger Lakes Region SPs in NY the same thing. Most gov't entity-run campgrounds generally employ part-timers or college kids that can add to their friendliness when arriving, but abiding by rules and catching the "professional campers" they could care less. It's just not gonna happen unless more $$ are allocated for law enforcement rangers and the like.
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Old 12-22-2023, 07:31 AM   #13
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Just received an email from Florida State Parks. Beginning in 2024 Florida residence will be able to make reservations 11 months in advance of non residence. Think it was tough before, wait until you try and make a reservation next year.
Yes that was great news to Florida residents like myself.I believe we should have a chance to go to the parks we support.
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Old 12-22-2023, 08:42 AM   #14
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Yes, it is a good change for Florida residents. Now we have a slightly better chance to reserve the choice sites that out-of-staters have been methodically booking for years. I’ve lived here all my life and often had to go out-of-state to camp because folks have been virtually squatting for long periods in our state parks. Now Floridians have a chance to book and enjoy our parks too.
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Old 12-22-2023, 09:00 AM   #15
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Politics has nothing to do with it. Florida residents for years have been on an uneven playing field when it comes to state park reservations. I once tried to book a site in the keys for our anniversary 4-5 months in advance and couldn’t find one available until August, they were so booked up. Most working residents don’t have the time to methodically hunt for sites as far in advance as someone who’s been doing it for years at their leisure. This adjustment will now give Florida residents a better chance to book the campsites they fund and haven’t been able enjoy.
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Old 12-22-2023, 09:22 AM   #16
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Every state has rules.. live with it.

Several states we’ve been to charge up to 25%more for nonresidents. Some offer sr discounts to nonresidents. Some prohibit changes to reservations with certain time frames. Some have a handful of sites that are fcfs. Some require minimum stays on weekends and holidays.
Know the rules and plan accordingly. And quite whining. Part of the adventure is snagging a coveted site in the midst of the mayhem.😎
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Old 12-22-2023, 09:43 AM   #17
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As a Florida resident, it would be nice to be able to use our own parks vs out of state that use them perpetually and have the reservation schedule down to the second. I'll just have to plan nearly a year in advance. Still not a real advantage. If I had my way, I'd reserve 20% of sites full time for state residents in all 50 states up to a week before then release it to anyone. It's local Tax $$, not admission fees that fully support the state parks.

I just planned next summer and had many dates pulled out from under me (grabbed up) within seconds! This is not being done by first timers, probably full time live ins that have a traveling schedule they reserve 24/7/365 repeating each year making it nearly impossible for vacationers to use their TT, RV, ... as intended vs being a permanent traveling home.

If you may be one of them.
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Old 12-22-2023, 10:28 AM   #18
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Several states we’ve been to charge up to 25%more for nonresidents. Some offer sr discounts to nonresidents. Some prohibit changes to reservations with certain time frames. Some have a handful of sites that are fcfs. Some require minimum stays on weekends and holidays.
Know the rules and plan accordingly. And quite whining. Part of the adventure is snagging a coveted site in the midst of the mayhem.😎
This sums it up quite nicely!
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Old 12-22-2023, 01:13 PM   #19
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they also should have charged the same "non resident" prices that a Florida person would pay to use the State parks in state this non resident came from.
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Old 12-22-2023, 02:36 PM   #20
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Several states we’ve been to charge up to 25%more for nonresidents. Some offer sr discounts to nonresidents. Some prohibit changes to reservations with certain time frames. Some have a handful of sites that are fcfs. Some require minimum stays on weekends and holidays.
Know the rules and plan accordingly. And quite whining. Part of the adventure is snagging a coveted site in the midst of the mayhem.😎
I like the 1 month advantage now available to FL residents, but charging non-residents 25% more would be foolish. Who would pay our taxes?

BTW, reserve.floridastateparks.org does offer a notification system for when sites become available. I haven't used it and don't know how sophisticated it is. I have used such a system on rec.gov and campsitephotos.com
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