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Old 04-09-2016, 10:33 AM   #1
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Newbie Reservation Question

We are getting ready for our first trip about an hour from our home to "check things out". I started looking at a few places not too far from home for our second vacation RV style for next month.

My question is this; I have looked at a few State Parks that I know we would love to visit, the top of our list is Ft Clinch SP on Amelia Island Fl. How do you book a reservation? This park is booked for a year, do people stay up at night and book a year in advance? This seems crazy to not find 4 to 6 nights on any site for an entire year :(

Any inside knowledge or tips?

Thx,
Steve
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevL View Post
We are getting ready for our first trip about an hour from our home to "check things out". I started looking at a few places not too far from home for our second vacation RV style for next month.
My question is this; I have looked at a few State Parks that I know we would love to visit, the top of our list is Ft Clinch SP on Amelia Island Fl. How do you book a reservation? This park is booked for a year, do people stay up at night and book a year in advance? This seems crazy to not find 4 to 6 nights on any site for an entire year :(
Any inside knowledge or tips?
Thx,
Steve
StevL
Although I don't know about Florida state parks I do know that most public campgrounds set aside what are called "Walkup Only" campsites for those of us that drive in without a reservation.
For the last 12 years we have traveled throughout the south and southwest during the winter months, (Dec-April), and we've never made a reservation, (and we've never failed to find a campsite).
See: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...5095815AA2lC9m
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Although I don't know about Florida state parks I do know that most public campgrounds set aside what are called "Walkup Only" campsites for those of us that drive in without a reservation.
Ohio State Parks are like that. A state park might have 150 sites, where 15 or them are "walk-in" / non-reservable only.

And yes, there are some parks where they are so popular, they "book up" as soon as the reservation window opens. Ohio it's 6 months before your date of arrival. PA. it is 11 months...

The most popular park in Ohio (Mohican) books it's summer weekends very fast. If you want a "creek front" site, you better be reserving 6 months out.

For that park in Florida, I would call there office, to find out why you can't find a site for a 7 night stay.

One thing with checking online...If when your trying to see what sites are available and your plugging in your info: dates, # of night, # of people and RV length. If you don't know the park and don't know what sites your RV will fit into and you plug in 40', it will only give you the sites the park has deemed in "their" opinion can handle a 40' rig. Their not always right. I find that very commion in the PA. Parks. Sis-n-law had a 37' 5er and she plugged in 40' It said there were no sites available. I told her, plug in 30' and sites #35, 36, 40, and 45 are all plenty large enough to fit even a 45' rig....

I just happen to keep a log of many of the campgrounds we visit of what I can fit into....
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:55 PM   #4
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Per website:
Camping sites are reservable on a year-round basis. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Fall/Winter/Spring are most likely prime time periods..........

July/Aug just showed 17-20 RV sited available
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:07 PM   #5
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Good luck, it's snow-bird season.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:27 PM   #6
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Welcome to RVing, 2016 style.......crowded everywhere.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:26 PM   #7
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We have found that if you call the park they might have an opening or be able to tell you when they have one.

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Old 04-10-2016, 12:06 AM   #8
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Personally, we really dislike reservations, especially places with a policy of reserving one year in advance and no sites left open for drive-ins. This really eliminates stays for a lot of people. You don't know what happens in a year's time. We could never RV this way. If you cancel close to your stay then you've kept others from getting a site.

Even with our 40' motorhome and full-timing for 16 years, traveling constantly, we rarely made reservations. I just don't understand why a whole state seems to think that reservations are a must for every site in their parks.

There are many states parks throughout the country that keep a certain amount of sites open without reservations. There are also national forest campgrounds that do and national parks.

There are also national parks that don't even accept reservations for certain campgrounds such as in Yellowstone and Grand Teton Nat'l parks. It works out very well.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:14 AM   #9
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the sites the park has deemed in "their" opinion can handle a 40' rig. Their not always right.
30' and sites #35, 36, 40, and 45 are all plenty large enough to fit even a 45' rig....
Superslif

I often find that to be the case.
I fact when a RVing friend of mine started working in a state park in Wisconsin he convinced the park manager to change the "max length listings" to reflect what length RV could actually fit into the campsites.

All to often "max length rules" are written by people with little knowledge.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:54 AM   #10
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Fl state parks can be tough up till mid apr then they should open a bit more, weekends will still be hard.

As a long time Fl resident i always thought maybe fl residents should have some type of priority in thier own state parks..........maybe hold back 10-20% of the sites for walk ups then late afternoon if FL residents do not fill them up open them to anyone who walks up...............And then i remember that tourist feed the economy in fl and we have to treat the out of state vistors nice or we might end paying higher taxes or god forbid state income tax.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:11 AM   #11
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Been our experience also so haven't been able to visit places we used to love to go before the reservation system. I think the system may be abused for popular destinations however if you are willing to plug in a shorter time and move you may get the full time in just not in the same spot. More campers, more RVs, better access, reservation system abuse?
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
All to often "max length rules" are written by people with little knowledge.
Very true.

For 5-6 years our closest state park after a complete Rebuild They listed all the sites as level. The problem is over 50% are nothing but level, especially many of the full service ones. The bull-dozer driver who excavated the 150 new campsites, was surely not a RVer. It would have been so easy to level each site during construction as the area in general is fairly flat. Year after year you would find RV's with their wheels 12" off the ground to even get closer to level. So finally after me calling the state natural resource director did they fix the descriptions.

You have to know your park...Even state parks we have never been to before, I'll gather info off of sites like this IRV2, and picture sites like Flickr, Campgroundviews.com, Campsitephotos.com and Youtube
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:38 PM   #13
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Superslif

I often find that to be the case.
I fact when a RVing friend of mine started working in a state park in Wisconsin he convinced the park manager to change the "max length listings" to reflect what length RV could actually fit into the campsites.

All to often "max length rules" are written by people with little knowledge.
When we volunteered in Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park we asked if we could redo their site list (very incorrect) for lengths that they used in the fee booth every morning to assign the sites. We visited every site and determined exactly what size RV and truck or towed vehicle would fit on the site. It made it a lot easier to assign sites.

With our 40' motorhome we could usually fit into a 35' site. Of course, the small Jeep was easier to angle in on the parking space than a big truck could.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:44 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies, we are on a steep learning curve.


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