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Author Topic: Frustrated Newbie Can't Find Boondocking Sites in Central FL, please help.  (Read 2102 times)

191124x7

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So I'm trying to schedule my first trip in a rented 38' 2014 Coachmen Brookstone 325RL. My wife doesn't want to do RV parks, but prefers dispersed camping (boondocking) on public lands.

We want to stay in Central FL (anywhere on either coast or mid-state) on public land that has kayaking access. I need roads in good enough condition for the coach above.

Dates are early March.

I've been googling for days.  Hickory Hammock looks great, but not available for my dates. DuPuis looks great, but doesn't appear to offer firm reservations. I need a confirmed reservation because I don't want to show up in the afternoon with my family and not have anywhere to go. Deep Creek Preserve looks good, but you have to wait 3-5 days for them to respond to your request.

Can somebody please educate me on how to find a nice, safe, public land, RV campsite that can accommodate my coach above, has decent roads, has access to a lake or river for kayaks, makes/accepts firm reservations?

Thanks
Robert
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 09:13:43 AM by 191124x7 »

OBX

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Someone may correct me but if you want reservations you probably want a state or national park.  These type of parks will get you the closest to a boondocking experience.  Actual boondocking is more about finding an uninhabited space and camping there where I don't think reservations are typically involved.

UTTransplant

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  • Salt Lake City area
Terminology might be a problem. i have never heard of reservations at a dispersed site. These are places you just pull into and set up - no picnic tables, no defined sites. I also have never heard of dispersed camp areas with a limit on how many units can be there, so you don't have to worry about not finding a spot. You might get to an area and find it quite full though, more like a parking lot than privacy. You can camp without hookups (dry camping) in many state or federal areas in campgrounds with reservations. Many (but not all!) of these sites are well separated from neighbors and feel fairly private, though with that size of coach you will have to look at the site description to see if you can fit.
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Great Horned Owl

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  • Lake county, IL
There are several dispersed camping areas in the Ocala National Forest. See https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/ocala/recreation/camping-cabins/?recid=32295&actid=34.

The back roads there are either gravel or hard packed sand. They tend to be in surprisingly good condition. I routinely tow my 5er on them, and have never had even a hint of a problem.

Joel
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Hfx_Cdn

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    As for boondocking similar to in the west, you won't find them in Florida, there are no BLM designated open areas.  As stated above, there are several State Parks, most of which offer electric, dump and fresh water stations.  Here is a link to their website, which has links to their campgrounds.  We have stayed at a lot of them, they are not boondocking in the wilderness, but many offer swimming, fishing and kayaking, and you can make reservations.

Ed
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judway

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  • We are at the house in West Melbourne, Florida
You might look at the Wildlife Management Areas (WMA"s). I have camped at some of them during hunting season. Maybe they are available at other times.
Wayne
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jackiemac

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    As for boondocking similar to in the west, you won't find them in Florida, there are no BLM designated open areas.  As stated above, there are several State Parks, most of which offer electric, dump and fresh water stations.  Here is a link to their website, which has links to their campgrounds.  We have stayed at a lot of them, they are not boondocking in the wilderness, but many offer swimming, fishing and kayaking, and you can make reservations.

Ed

Ed, no link  ::)
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RedandSilver

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So I'm trying to schedule my first trip in a rented 38' 2014 Coachmen Brookstone 325RL. My wife doesn't want to do RV parks, but prefers dispersed camping (boondocking) on public lands.


If this is your first trip in that unit - how does your wife know she doesn't want to do RV parks?
Is that a deal breaker?  Would she stay home and just you and the kids go?  Does she hate RV parks?  Not all are the same.

Doing a night or 2 at a RV park - which more than likely takes reservations would/could put you in contact with a lot
of people that might know where the best boondocking in FL is.  IF no one knew of any or none of them were near,
you could still (more then likely) stay at the RV park to camp and then it wouldn't be a total loss.  Just saying if nothing else
works out this could be a plan.  Then again there are a lot of people that never have a plan and just go and it seems to always work out.
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191124x7

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Thanks for all the help.  I found a place in the Ocala National Forest!  Thanks again!

Hfx_Cdn

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     Thanks Jackie, senior's moment, must have forgotten to attach it:  https://www.floridastateparks.org/activity-list/Camping

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

jackiemac

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Re: Frustrated Newbie Can't Find Boondocking Sites in Central FL, please help.
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2017, 01:36:49 PM »
 ;D
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
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Pepwave1

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I found this helpful:  http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/fabulous-free-camping-florida
They talk about the various Florida Water Management districts.

Actually, their website is why I'm prepping for a 1 or 2 year, 48 state, work from the road sabattical.

OutdoorFT

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If you want free campsites, check out freecampsites.net
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