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Old 02-08-2016, 10:01 AM   #1
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What is the trick of getting Southern FL state park reservations

Been spending some time on the https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Curry-Hammock trying to get something booked for 2017. seems to be alway...not available. Checked a few others places, and the same except they have a few 18-20 foot spaces. I'm new at this RV'en stuff, and there got to be some tricks to it...
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
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Many people abuse the reservation system by reserving multiple sites/times and decide later when they will go, IF they even go. Sometimes they don't even cancel and the site sits there empty.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:29 AM   #3
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Check with the park system on how far in advance a reservation can be made. You can bet if there is a 12 month window for a popular park/site the site is booked 1 second after they become available.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:43 AM   #4
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Florida state parks have an 11 month window where you can make a reservation. Any date beyond Jan 8, 2017 (as of today) , can't be reserved. It's stated in the website you linked.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:10 PM   #5
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Had the same problem in the Smoky's a few years back. It came to a point you had to do the reservation on-line 10am / 6 months before your arrival date. You have about 5 seconds to snag a good creek front site.

You might want to change your day of arrival, say Thursday or Monday.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:36 PM   #6
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I am also getting ready to make similar reservations. I think I saw somewhere that you can make a reservation at 8 AM on the date that is exactly 11 months in advance. I'm planning on trying that. One hint that we used was to have 2 computers ready to go and hopefully you'll get through on one of them. It worked for us last year at the COE Park. We tried the first day and didn't get anything but tried again the next day and got a site. Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:52 PM   #7
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We live in Florida and it's a real challenge to get sites in some of the real popular parks. Bahaia Honda and John Pennycamp are good examples. Basically you need to be on line at midnight Sunday, whenever the reservation window opens up (11 months, 12 months or whatever).

Most parks keep a few sites open and give them out on a first come, first serve basis. So if you show up at 8 am on a Friday (assuming it's not a Holliday) you stand a good chance of getting a site. They will never tell you there is an open site on the phone. I was in the office of a popular park just a few weeks ago and they had a beachfront site available they. They told a drive up they could have it if they wanted, but the person passed. Not 2 minutes later someone called about site availability and the ranger said they had nothing.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:16 PM   #8
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Seems like in the last few years it's getting harder to book anywhere in Florida. This very subject came up several times at Rallys we attended in January. Very cheap diesel ,gas combined with unusual cold in the upper states. RV sLes are in a upward swing especially with very reasonable interest rates.
Friends of ours stated that every year the could choose anywhere and time they could make a reservation but that has drastically changed. They can ONLY make a reservation for at least a month! Campgrounds are being very picky on their sites. We have been coming to Fl for 12 plus winters and we have seen the change.
Here a campsite becomes empty and it is filled within a hour! We have been in various parts of Fl since October, and this has been true from the Keys and above I-4. Make your reservations well in advance like we have to do as well. We're fulltime and we share your pain.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:41 PM   #9
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I believe the main reason it's so difficult to get a state park reservation in Florida is because all reservations are now through Reserve America. Before they went with RA you had to call each park to check on availability on this or that date. It required a little effort on your part. Now with RA anyone, anywhere, can see what's available where and when. It's much easier and with a few keystrokes you've got a reservation.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:48 PM   #10
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Nope. I remember trying to get reservations at Bahaia Honda in the keys before reserve America. You had to call the park a year ahead of time and hope to get through. All the people using Florida parks these days would be completely unmanageable by phone.

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I believe the main reason it's so difficult to get a state park reservation in Florida is because all reservations are now through Reserve America. Before they went with RA you had to call each park to check on availability on this or that date. It required a little effort on your part. Now with RA anyone, anywhere, can see what's available where and when. It's much easier and with a few keystrokes you've got a reservation.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:22 PM   #11
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Nope. I remember trying to get reservations at Bahaia Honda in the keys before reserve America. You had to call the park a year ahead of time and hope to get through. All the people using Florida parks these days would be completely unmanageable by phone.
Bahia Honda is probably the most difficult Fl state park to get a reservation, before or since RA. The inspector general for the Fl. Dept of Environmental Protection did a report on it back in 2014.

https://www.dep.state.fl.us/ig/files...314DEP_048.pdf
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:37 AM   #12
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Parks are being sold out in the keys making the crunch far worse. A big one in Knights key was sold for a condo, so there go another 100 plus sites. We are at Jolly Roger Marathon, very hard to get a site where 4 years ago no issue 30 days in advance. Do not even worry about cost, The sky is the limit!
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:42 AM   #13
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Parks are being sold out in the keys making the crunch far worse. A big one in Knights key was sold for a condo, so there go another 100 plus sites. We are at Jolly Roger Marathon, very hard to get a site where 4 years ago no issue 30 days in advance. Do not even worry about cost, The sky is the limit!
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:04 AM   #14
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Just to check things out, I went to Reserve America last night, just after midnight and there were no sites at John Pennekamp which is the park we are considering. This morning. a few minutes before 8 AM, I tried John Pennekamp and there were sites available. I also checked Curry Hammock and there were not any sites. At Curry Hammock there were a few sites available. It's too early for me to make a reservation as we won't be down there until the end of February so I hope I can get a site then. Good luck OP. I hope you get your site.
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