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Old 12-13-2019, 04:49 AM   #1
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Donít want to camp in a parking lot.

We were pop up campers for many years. Now we have our first ďhard sideĒ and are taking our first extended trip in January-February to the south. Weíve mostly camped in State Parks. I at least like to feel like Iím out in nature as I back in and plug into the electricity. A lot of the RV parks I have seen in searches look like parking lots or open fields. Frankly they donít look that appealing. How do people find nice campgrounds with trees and privacy.
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Old 12-13-2019, 05:08 AM   #2
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We live in Ga an the Corp of Engineer Campgrounds are nice. Most state campgrounds are as well. But we did get snookered on one Corp campground. The pics made it look fairly separated from the lot next door by the trees but when we got there the trees were gone an the lots were closer than thought. No privacy but at least we were on the shore of the lake.
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Old 12-13-2019, 05:12 AM   #3
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Here's one link to enjoy... lots of free and lower cost camping.

Green sites... FREE
Red sites... A few $$
Blue - Need a permit
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:15 AM   #4
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In Jan and Feb nothing is going to be full during your early days of travel. What indeed may be a parking lot that I would never consider in high season is often just fine in winter.
It pays to plot out your estimated travel days and ferret around to find what is open.
Some state areas are closed for the winter so do consider RV parks. You may be winterized for several days and a nice hot shower and running water in a bathroom that is heated at an RV campground is welcome. I doubt you will be sitting outside contemplating nature for long when it is near zero and it may well be for one night only.

We usually consider ourselves as having arrived in the South in Georgia and stay at a State Park. There we dewinterize and perhaps sit outside.

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Old 12-13-2019, 08:02 AM   #5
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You are in WI. There are dozens of CGs in WI that have semi-rustic sites, many with full hookups. We camp a lot at Egg Harbor Campground in Egg Harbor. We get a site that wooded and has full hookups.

As painful as it is to get a site, don't dismiss WI State Parks. They've added many electric site at most parks.

Campground Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks has a pretty extensive listing of campgrounds with links and reviews. That might help narrow your search.
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Old 12-13-2019, 08:37 AM   #6
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Thanks, but I’m looking for sites on the way to and in Florida.
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Old 12-13-2019, 08:54 AM   #7
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I tend to look at satellite photos quite a lot. Google Maps is a fantastic tool for this.

Find the CG you're considering on Google Maps, toggle to sat view and poke around.

I also find it useful to use street view if available. Often the timing of the images is different, so sometimes you can see if something that's outdated on the sat image has changed in the street view. Often, street view even goes through park roads.

And then there are reviews to look at as well as images from the CG's website. I find some CGs (even state parks) have pictures of specific campsites.

For the overnight stops along the way, I'm A LOT less picky. I figure we're only going to be there a little while, and we're usually out exploring the surrounding area if we have time. But for my "keystone" destination, I will look at all the resources I mentioned above to make a decision on where to stay.

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Old 12-13-2019, 09:23 AM   #8
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I totally agree it's a lot of researching. Using multiple applications to find the right lot/site for you to park in.

I will put in a plug for the Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds (never enough). Although it takes a little bit of time/exposure in using the application. This website has gone thru a big change and is not user friendly like the old management had it. It seams a 75 -25% odds you will get better distance between units in these parks. More like what your used to in those state parks.

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Old 12-13-2019, 09:31 AM   #9
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Check out Roan Mountain State Park in Tennessee. I was a ranger there for 22 years and can highly recommend. You want sites 1A-17A or 1-20. There are fairly level. The others are on a hillside and I can't recommend them.
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:35 AM   #10
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Good Sam's RV park website and Google Earth.
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Old 12-13-2019, 11:39 AM   #11
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we have found that state parks for the most part will fit your bill, example below

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Old 12-13-2019, 02:00 PM   #12
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Florida State Parks book up 11 months in advance.. Highly unlikely you can get any site in one now. I do for the most part like them but I book the summer before. Mostly we prefer less well used parks. But even Kissimee Prairie which is remote is mostly all booked now.

It is possible to camp in Apalachicola NF if you have four wheel drive and a trailer capable of off roading. Also Ocala NF has primitive campsites. Goose Rocks Pasture requires a lengthy dirt road ( 10 miles badly maintained) travel It is a primitive campground under lovely live oaks.
Big Cypress NWMA has primitive RV accessible sites without reservations down by the Everglades.

Off 75 near Cordele GA is Veterans SP. It is open all year with some hookups. Very nice park on Lake Brashear.

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Old 12-14-2019, 07:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by chabunga View Post
Thanks, but Iím looking for sites on the way to and in Florida.
Just after you cross into Florida, there is Stephen Foster, a state park which is really lovely. We overnight there, on our way out of the state and on the way back, and have never been disappointed.

One thing to keep in mind though.. Jan and Feb are the height of Snowbird Season, a lot of the better CGs are booked solid. Not so much the State Parks, as they impose time limits, but you may have to hunt for bookings.

You may find this useful
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:03 AM   #14
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Just for giggles I ferreted around Florida SP. Hardly anything south of Tampa available. There are scattered availabilities at Paynes Prairie near Gainesville, pretty good at the SP Foster SP above ( and nearby is the Spirit of Suwanee park which is a music festival RV venue in season but deserted in the winter); Ochlockonee SP which is near nothing but has fantastic biking and boating.

We actually stayed at a very nice mom and pop private campground just east of Everglades City on the Tamiami Trail. It is wide spread out under a nice canopy of much needed shade trees. It is called Trail Lakes Campground. It has laundry and showers and serviced sites ( no sewer but does have a dump station). No pool or fancy stuff.

Sorry for multiple posts I am not remembering all the places we have found on our many years of Florida travel at one time.

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Old 12-14-2019, 09:08 AM   #15
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Depends on where you are going in Florida. Someone suggested Georgia Veteran's State Park off exit 101 in Cordele, Ga on Lake Blackshear. Highly recommend this park. There are many up and down the interstate for overnight parking. Lake Blackshear is about 10 miles west of the interstate. In Florida, if you can get in to Lake Kissimmee State Park outside Lake Wales you will be fortunate. As someone said, the snowbirds tie the Florida Parks up, but only for 2 weeks in the state park. You may get lucky.

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Old 12-14-2019, 11:54 AM   #16
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As an alternative, the Jacksonville North/St. Mary's KOA is really nice for a commercial campground and it doesn't have that parking lot feel. I've been there several times and we can't wait to go back.
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