Fabulous Free Camping In Florida
If there is one thing that living on the road has taught me, it’s to take the road less traveled. And oh my, how this really rings true when it comes to finding fabulous, free camping in Florida.
Robert Frost said it best, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”.
I have found that most adventures worth doing, seeing or experiencing usually require determination, a little chance and in the case of fabulous camping, a lot of research. Because if it was easy, everyone would do it.
So, naturally when people tell me ‘there’s no Wild Camping’ (like they did before we pointed our RV towards Florida) I read between the lines and found ‘they’ just didn’t look hard enough.
Luckily, it didn’t take too much digging to come across a state wide program with incredibly fabulous free wild camping. Check it out:
Pretty fantastic right!?! Ok, now to the information you need to get yourself to these spectacular boondocking sites.
I can’t guarantee that every region of Florida has RV camping, or free camping, but I can give you the resources to check into the region you’d like to visit. As mentioned in the video, some require a free reservation, some are on a fist come basis, some have amenities and others don’t. Most offered a lot of equestrian opportunities if you travel with horses, and all seemed to have some sort of trail system for hiking, biking or riding. Some accepted donations so if you enjoy your stay make sure you drop a few bucks into their fund to keep up the campground maintenance.
The Florida Water Management is broken up into five different zones:
- Northwest Florida WMD
- Suwannee River WMD
- St. Johns River WMD
- Southwest Florida WMD
- South Florida WMD
You will notice they use the language: equestrian, group and primitive camping. The camping that can accommodate RV’s is the equestrian areas. But the best way to make sure is to call. There is a phone number for each of the regions and I was always able to get someone on the phone. They were extremely nice and helpful so don’t hesitate to call and ask questions and verify you can camp there in an RV.
Here’s a look at the fabulous free camping we experienced this winter:
Deep Creek Preserve
This preserve is located in the Southwest Florida Management area and just a short drive to Punta Gorta and the incredible mangrove paddling trails out of Placidia. We didn’t even know paddling trails existed until this experience, and it was soooo cool. Here’s an insider tip: make sure you go at high tide otherwise there won’t be enough water to navigate!
DuPuis Management Area
This wildlife management area is near Lake Okeechobee and a short drive from the Jupiter / West Palm Beach area. We loved meeting up with fellow RVers for a paddle around Johnathan Dickinson State Park, hiking the trails at the campground and getting up close and personal with the Florida wildlife. Singa and Cleo enjoyed sitting around camp and getting high on catnip! Tip: It got so hot here we broke down and had to run the generator and A/C for an hour one afternoon…we felt so guilty (and like wimps!).
Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area
Close to Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, this remote campground was teeming with armadillos, birds, cows, snakes, wild hogs and the fuzziest baby barn owls! Even though we were inland, that didn’t hold us back from hitting the water. We met fellow RV friends at one of the nearby lakes where we got to test out our wake surfing skills; we also explored Vero Beach, Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie which are all worth a visit.
We were blown away by all the recreational opportunities that these water management areas provide, and each of the three we camped at didn’t charge any fees. Overall, each location was beautiful in its own way, we had great fellow campers (some in RVs and others in tents) and were always sad to leave.
As we mentioned in the video this type of FL camping is NOT for everyone! It can be unbearably hot and humid one day followed by nearly freezing temps and rain the next. These locations are often down long dirt roads, and when it rains your coach gets very dirty (check out our RV in the Hickory Hammock photos). There’s bugs, spiders, mice, venomous snakes and a host of other things lurking out your door (which we love finding) that can creep some people out and can harm you and your pets if you don’t keep your eye out for them. So if you’re not into glorified tent camping with your RV we wouldn’t suggest wild camping in FL (or most wild camping). But that’s why we love it…it’s not for everyone so its a little more peaceful 🙂
Have you been wild camping in Florida or found a similar program in another state? Tell us about it so we can all enjoy!
Disclaimer – Shhhhhhhh! You didn’t hear this from us! We had at least a half dozen people stop by our motorhome and say “you’re not going to tell everyone about this are you?” We didn’t say “no” or “yes” but it’s better we keep this on the DL 🙂
Good info! Thank you!
A truck bed tent solves both of these problems, delivering all of the protection of a tent, on the safe and elevated platform of a vehicle.
I am fortunate not to be in your situation at the moment. However, I’ve been there before, as a single person. Now that I have a 3-year-old, I can’t imagine the shameful ache you must have felt in knowing you couldn’t provide your little boys essential needs and worrying whether he would go to bed hungry. We parents will generally do anything for our babies and it’s heartbreaking to know that any child (white, black, brown…whatever) would go to bed hungry — but they do — millions, every night, while the rest of us eat cake.There’s something very wrong with a world that could easily afford to feed and clothe every person on the planet, and provide adequate health care to each of them, and yet, we don’t. Meanwhile, the Fat Cats in the country where I live continue their lavish lifestyles and expect the rest of us to gratefully jump to whenever they deign to toss us a crumb.What’s it going to take to make a better world for all of us, even the poor and uneducated who don’t have the opportunities we do?Thanks for stirring up the hornet’s nest, Jack, and best wishes to you and your precious son!
Potts Preserve is a free campground. It is a wildlife management area near Inverness FL right on the Withlacoochee River. You need to make an o line reservation and then they will give you the gate code. There are only around 5 sites there, but they have picnic table and fire ring. You can get a site right on the bank of the river. Just be cautious at all Waters in Florida as there are always gators. Never let your pets run free, swim in the water or walk near the river/lake shore. If your rig is too large for this camp as you go down a dirt road through woods, there is an equestrian camp nearby. Talk with the ranger when you sign up. They are very friendly and helpful.
Linda, go for it! I traveled 5 months across country in my TT with my dog and I am female and 69. Just be observant of your surroundings and take protection. I camped many weeks out in the wilderness. Happy camping.
Best place to camp for free in the West Palm area with a big rig. We have a 40′ fifth wheel. Would love to hear back from you…. Thanks for the help!!
Been in Florida a lot of years, but mainly camp at the State and National Parks. We just stayed in the Green Swamp West Track Ashley Campground this past weekend. First time we’ve boondocked – so we did a short stent to learn our ridge and ourselves. We’ve already booked Hickory Hammock and can hardly wait! Still tied to desks M-F, but we’re making the weekends count until we can hit the road full time. Trying, doing and learning before we cut the cord!
I know you are on the S/V Curiosity now, but I’m still learning a lot from the RV Videos! And I’m seeing the world through your weekly videos and awesome photos! Adventure on my friend, adventure on!
Thanks to you, we are prepping for our first RV trip into Free Camping Area in DuPuis! Excited! We have 16 days reserved (with our mandatory one day break) and are excited to get there! Thanks for sharing!
Hi is there any free campground in Florida that I can stay for 5 months
I’m not aware of any single place that will let you stay that long. Even out west on BLM land, 14 days is the max stay length. You can move from one free area to another, but you’re going to have to move.
Roslyn d washington
yes. cracker barrell any one of them. you must be in an rv van truck
It’s me and my wife are homeless just moved here from Tennessee and all we have is a tent to stay in and the car that we have been sleeping in so is this free camping
So sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. Don’t give up hope.
My wife and I met in Jonathan Dickinson State Park in 1969.This was a great park then but we were only ever back after a hurricane went thru there many years ago.My wife and I married in 1971 and are still happily married after all these years.This area of Florida has many recreation options without having to travel very far.We still visit this area once or twice a year as my wife and her family live nearby.
need to know tent camping near Vero beach fl
Truck and 17 foot travel trailer and 2 50 yr old Canadians who have been goin to florida for 6 yrs now. We just got the trailer and would like to bring it to florida, park it, use it, and be able to drive away from it to go to different things , is this allowed (events, grocery store, etc.) We may try selling it before we leave Florida as we are not certain TT is for us. We love the beach. LOVE the beach. Coco is my fave. Clearwater is nice too. (two different sides of florida) where would you recommend to stay and how do I reserve?
Hey Lisa. The website Campendium.com is a great resource for finding campsites. You’ll need to sign up but they don’t spam mail you or anything. Just plug in the city you want to camp near and it will pull up all options, paid and free. You can filter by price range, amenities, etc. Phone numbers for each park are given so you that you can call. Reservations are a good idea in Florida, especially during the popular winter months!
Hi Lisa–My name is Kerry and I live in Cape Canaveral. If you can pay for a campsite, you may want to check out Jetty Park. It’s really nice. It’s on the ocean by the Port, you can park your TT and go explore Cocoa Beach–5 minutes away by car, or any other areas. Historic downtown Cocoa (mainland) is really cool and is just a short drive from the campsite too. Cheers!
Wanting to move to Florida in fall of 2017,Oct November..thought about free camping,but would like to be on gulf side anything near sansibel island or fort Meyers?
You two are a lovely couple, There is a High tea here at Yankeetown Fl. FYI
Benjamin A Fannon
Yes,I am moving to FortMyers on the 24th on February and I have a tent and need a place to stay until I get on my feet.I have a job when I get there but won’t be able to start for at least 2weeks.I was needed a save place I can stay and close enough to some friends,so I can get a ride back and fourth to work,plus other places.I just wondering if this was the place for me??
I mean, do you have a blog on how to get started with RVing? How to get started, what to look for during purchased? How did you come about doing this? How do you keep doing this? ect. A starter kit blog?
Check out the RV section of the blog here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rvin
Do you have a blog on how to get started with free blogging.
I’m on SS $1095 a month . Need good info on free tent camping .
Cheap RV Living – this wonderful man has dedicated his life to helping people grab on to this lifestyle be free and get away from the other…. there are so many many wonderful you tube videos on how to to everything one needs to know how to begin again n these new living adventures and to begin to love life again.
Looking to tent camping . Need good info on free sites with provisions or nearby . Preferably Tenn ala north and east FL . Thank you .
Campendium.com and Allstays are good resources for campsites of all kinds.
Hello there ….
I am a single mom with a homeschooled 10 yrs old and a service dog , we want to go all around USA . Any information that will help us make this experience cost effective please share with me. Rv is not in my budget. However we can do Tent Camping, we have everything we need.
There is so much free camping available out west, and that would save you a ton of money. There are lots of people blogging about traveling with kids and homeschooling. A quick Google search would pull up a bunch of blogs that would be great resources for you.
Linda, Where are now? I’m concerned you don’t have a home base. We live in Fl. where the weather is hot in the summer but never very cold. Karen
It’s about how to go about living on the road in any vehicle with so many wonderful people… The Cheap RV Living man is a kind soul teaching thousands and thousands how they too can do this life where joy and happiness spills over like this blog with the Wynn’s gives that joy. videos are all about YES YOU CAN DO THIS TOO WITH SUPPORT traveling and living with very little money Cheap RV Living is all about people helping people – big get together where people who can give, give time and energy and info, everyone work hard giving to those who need a boost upwards – it is happiness I am repeating my post here in case Lynda did not see the other post…. at Cheap RV Living majority of people are not living in RV’s — they are using both tents and living and traveling in vehicles, cars and vans (Van life) Cheap RV Living – this wonderful man has dedicated his life to helping people grab on to this lifestyle be free and get away from the other…. there are so many many wonderful you tube videos on how to to everything one needs to know how to begin again n these new living adventures and to begin to love life again. For single moms and dads there is happiness, always hope always help out there….follow the path ….this man started up a program where funds from donations are gathered up and the group builds out a van and then goes through the applications and gives that vehicle to those in need of a newer vehicle and doing a program through funding of donations giving solar to people in need of solar supplies can apply Need to be living on the road to qualify… even if that application didn’t work out this time one is given the most precious gift of all…the gift of hope, of people caring for each other, people extending a hand to each other, so much more….as the Wynn’s say in there beautiful blog – the guidance is out there – REACH OUT AND IT IS YOURS – and in learning joy comes forth… sending light and love and energy ~ J Genevieve
Roslyn d washington
Hi. I know how to love thy neighbor. Please go to tampa fl, they have housing for anyone who is homeless , I know someone who will allow you to sty on her property inside or outside. she is an elderly person who needs help bathing cooking and in exchange she will give you free rent.
Can you run your inverter generator during the night ? The southwest water management district usually called SWIFTMUD.
I was wondering if any churches might let a person boondock a night or two ? It seems like there must be at least some might , especially if they have a parking lot . I know mine wouldn’t care here in Indiana .
Yes I would like to know this too? I have just made the big hall all the way to Newport Richie. Im in need of help, my family promised me a place to park but now its a no go! I have a small box trailer. I could trade my carpentry skills for a place to park.
Hi, I’m interested to know more information where are located here in florida thanks
Hello Jason and Nikki. I’ve watched some of your videos on YouTube and found them to be very informative and fun! I’ve spent a little time in Florida over the years and I love experiencing the outdoors on land and water. I now live in northern Michigan but would like to escape to some warmer place for the winter, so why not Florida? I may buy an RV for that purpose, currently own a full size pickup and have tent camped. Own a kayak as well. Free or next to free camping as well as meeting other folks who enjoy wildlife and outdoor stuff appeals to me. So, I want to know more about this free camping stuff and look forward to watching more of your videos and following your blog here. Thanks so much for all you do. .
Hello. Loved your info about FL. Am going to FL from TX for a 3 week tour leaving on the 26th Dec. Already signed up with WMD sites and have several reserved sites. Please email me as I am trying to put together a multi year full time trip with video that y’all might just be interested in joining
Great info .thank you
Hey Nikki, my wife Kathy are newbies and are really excited -63&64 yrs old looking to finish out our remaining yrs together camping. Got a new winnebago 2500rl 28′ travel trailer and new f 150 pickup.
Ready to give it a try we come from the Catskills in NY and now live in condo in Sunset Beach NC. just joined Elite TT and looking forward any tips places or things to try were ready and would love to here ur advice on that. This boon docking interests us greatly. We have watched alot of ur vids which makes us even more WANTING TO GET OUT THERE. Any advice welcome and God bless
Hi… I am thinking of going to Florida in late February early March… Me and a dog and my camping equipment. I need a free place to stay that’s remotely close to civilization but at the same time doesn’t cost me anything to camp out. My preference would be to be near a beach.Thoughts??
I’m boondocking for the first time. Tonight will be Walmart. Is there any places in Pensacola. Staying 3 nights.
I’m heading to Florida in February or March when are you going???
Furnwood State forest in East Ohio has a very nice free campsite!?
Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me! I live in FL but have to hibernate in the a/c when it hits 80F! We can’t go swimming until evening to avoid sunburn – yet we’re moving to a nudist resort [www.aanr.com] so you don’t have to wear a swimsuit! Bonus: less laundry!
Wish we could live at a nude resort. We go to edun lake in Naples Fl. Have you done any primitive camping in the everglades?
Any tips on free campsites for camper vans with some shade and swimming ? From central to southern Fla.? I use solar and am self contained. Will be camping year round.
I’d love to find free camping with swimming available, in a camper van.
I’m on serious budget. Am alone and wish to be able to swim daily. Am also a vegetarian (will eat fish), any suggestions as to where I can camp for the fall and winter. I don’t mind staying in one place.
No Nonsense Landlord
Great information. I am starting to RV soon, and I like FL in the winter.
I tried all the links above for free camping and all the rangers or sites said RV’s and trailers not permitted 🙁
Hello I’m trying to find a place for the summer where I can camp in a tent near some kind of water to swim bath etc. Any suggestions? I live in Sebring Florida which is central florida. I need free camping. Thank you for your time. God bless you.
It’s getting to be the hotter months here in FL; especially from central FL down.. (Not that South FL ever sees a day below 80 even in Jan & Feb); I now live near Tampa Bay, but used to live in Jupiter and donate about [email protected] of tackle and bait to the inlet, and wouldn’t have been able to survive without A/C, maybe a couple days or a week at the most, but would have to be near water and a beach breeze. Wilderness camping without a place to splash around and/or a frequent breeze, with nights full of mosquitos and other bugs and critters is difficult even for this ol boy scout after April and before November.
I am very interested in tent living through out Florida and I suspect valuable knowledge could be gained from this site if only I could read it. The share strip covers your wonderful words and even after sharing it will not move.
This is amazing. I’ve been researching the RV thing for quite a while, and want to get out a little more, at least with just tent camping. I’ve lived in the WPB area for years, and these State and County parks are $30 a night – even with just a 2man tent! I couldn’t believe it. I was just googling around for Free Camping Florida and found you guys. You also answered questions I had on Solar, and probably have the best video production setup out of any website I’ve seen while researching RV and camping, in the last two months. Turns out DuPuis is about an hour away from me – the exact same distance as John Dickenson.
I’ll be giving them a call to make 100 percent sure, but we wanted to do some tent stuff for a couple days and not pay hotel prices. this sounds like a great fit.
Just got back from Hickory Hammock and had a good time. It is late in the season here in Florida and the temperature was a bit higher during the day than we would have liked. At night it was still comfortable with the windows open. I was talking to my brother and he thinks we camped on that site 30+ years ago when we were in the Boy Scouts and it was still private land. Thanks for letting us know it was there.
Yep, it’s beautiful but it’s crazy warm and sticky here in FL right now.
Hi Jason and Nikki. We enjoyed one of your videos so much that we decided now was the time for use to sell our little camper and buy a motorhome to drive across the US.
My husband I are both retired now, in our late 60,s.
Can you give us any helpful hints when traveling with cats?. I see you have one, we have two. USA here we come!!
FL state parks printed guide is a good resource to have handy in your RV. It has all the state parks, what each offers and their contact info. It’s free at each park. The state parks are divided into 5 regions that are essentially the same as the WM regions.
THANK YOU! I was about to abandon my plans to go “bicycle camping” in Florida. I made the mistake of telling someone about my idea, and they shot it down in flames! Too expensive, no available campsites, Might as well drive a car and stay in motels for what it will cost. THEN I FOUND YOU! God bless. I’m going to use your resources, and enjoy some incredible camping. I love primitive camping. Any amenities are just icing on the cake!
We saw several cyclists strike up a camp for a day or two of R&R between logging the miles. Good luck!
nikki hey you cant pick me up and take mewith you, and you cant get ride of thdse snakes you love,,lol
The last time I was at Dupuis they had a sign up that said tent only camping. Where did you find a spot where they don’t mess with you because you had an RV? Hickory Hammock also talks about tent only camping.
Call the phone number as they are very helpful. There are specific tent camping areas at some of the locations and then there are group or horse camping areas. those are the ones where they allow RV’s.
I’ve never been to the horse campground because I thought it was for horse people only. The family campground is about a mile in from the main entrance. There are two public composting toilets around a big lake. They also had unofficial potable water and an outside shower. The campground host stays in an RV and usually allows people to charge their phones there if they don’t have any other way to do it. The group campground is all the way to the end next to the fishing pier. A few years ago I wandered into the group campground and the entrance road was very rough and accessible only by motorcycle or 4WD. I doubt an RV would survive. The roads in the rest of the place are pretty decent. I’ve only recently discovered your videos. I wish I could have met you guys up there in person.
is it just rv free camping sites or can you do it in tents and could i have the list of the free campsite pls as im travling with my family for 6 months
We mostly saw RVs there but we did see a tent every now and then.
Love your site. I am researching free/cheap places to boondock/camp for a trip in January/Feb. Great info about the water management sites. Is there an app for that? Would be nice to have on phone
You can check Ultimate Campgrounds, they may have the sites on their listings.
I have little experience with rv’ing other than a few trips with parents growing up, but I do have a strong will and positive attitude that I usually succeed in most all things I do in life. Except one, I have failed my daughter in keeping her safe from drugs. She is fighting heroin addiction. In 30 days she will be released from treatment center. I have come up with a idea that we think may aid her in winning her battle. We are going on the road for the next 5 months. Not staying in any town longer than a couple weeks-therefore not making any new friends or connections. I have a budget of about 3000.00 a month. Can I rent a rv, rent camping spots, pay for gas,food etc for 3 adults and stay oceanside either in fla, Texas or calf ? On the move. I am so lost in all these campgrounds and rv rental sites ($ 3000.00 rv rent cost per month from rv rental ads???). Am I looking in the wrong places ?
I feel for you and your family. Good luck. I think your plan is a great start when she gets out. I know so many people who either lost a loved one to it or they are still having no contact for long periods, ect. I lost my daut. at 21 who had had a problem, but after getting out and being very good for over 6 months she ran into some friends and one friend put something in her drink and she was on other prescribed medicine, and they didn’t mesh and there was a reaction and she called for help, the police, they came 3 times, the kids ran, they didn’t go in and they are supposed to on that type of call, and the next day they went to check one last time and she died. Just have a plan when you return home back into your normal or previous life. It’s sad that those couple of generations have lost many to drugs, whether it be meth., something mixed crazy, ect. During my time I was just plain afraid to touch anything, it’s crazy. But I wish your family well and God Bless. By the way, I live in Polk county raising my only grandchild. She was my only child that died. My daut. that passed had just given birth and then died. I feel blessed I have her, my granddaughter, she keeps me going. But the world is changing fast. Stay safe and positive and have hope. And Polk county, I’ve lived here 9 years, it’s sustainable temperaturewise during the winter months, so, you can save there.
hi do you think it is safe for a 57 single female with my bull pit pup to tent camp in Florida’s areas you describe?
We saw plenty of people camping with dogs and several people who were 60 years old and more. There are fairly strict leash laws in effect so make sure your pup is well behaved and under restraint at all times.
I think Linda was asking if its safe for women to camp out alone. Heck, I don’t think anyone should camp alone given the crazies out there. Remember that young father with two small children was shot and killed by a random nut case harassing the campers out in southern California. There are random crazies everywhere these days.
Hey, Linda, find a camping buddy. Florida has a reputation for random crazies, just like California.
Sorry folks, just been reading the news.
Linda, go for it! I traveled 5 months across country in my TT with my dog and I am female and 69. Just be observant of your surroundings and take protection. I camped many weeks out in the wilderness. Happy camping.
I’m a fellow boondocler. I stayed at dupuis lots of flys, but enjoyed the hot shower. Did you come across any water mgmt areas with hot showes?
We always shower in our rig, its much easier for us since all our stuff is setup in our own shower.
Hi, we launch full-time this coming August and we live in FL! I had a question about these parks: The ones I looked at said Group Camping or Tent Camping. Would boondocking in an RV or TT be considered “Tent Camping”? If not, I sure didn’t find many locations that allowed for RV/TT’s… (And GREAT blog, BTW!)
hello I was wondering if you are allowed to come into any of these parks with no RV and only a tent!
Yes and there are many of the locations that are suitable only for tent campers! I even noticed some very cool islands that you could kayak to and camp.
Hey, I love your videos. I’m all for RVing on a budget and wanted some ideas on getting some solar panels & LED lights for the old 1989 Rexall Air Bus we bought a year ago. What’s it take to hook up those panels to the house batteries and where’s some good places to price shop on them?
We spent 6 weeks in Florida last winter but as newbe’s in RVing we stuck to State Parks with electric & water.
Now that we’ve put some serious miles on the olde RV over the past year, including a month trip to Montana & back in October 2015), staying in many parks with no services we ready to stick to the wild & cheap side of camping this winter in Florida. We are avid kayakers and plan to take ours along this year.
Marie in Grand Rapids, MI
Hey Marie! You will find everything we have on Solar here: http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/solar
We normally spend Thanksgiving every year in Picayune Strand State Forest with several families boondocking. They request a fee but not enforced. (SH!)
John & Linda Tippett
We love you guys!
We are 65 and want to go full time Rv. We don’t have the courage yet so we plan a winter tip in our fifth wheel next winter. (we are doing our homework to get ready.)
We know how busy you are so it si o.k. if you don’t have time to say hello.
Keep up the good work.
John & Linda Tippett
Happy to help guys, if you’re heading to FL it’s a great spot to “cut your teeth” on wild camping and the general full-time RV lifestyle.
Do you know of Amy beach camping that is free in Florida
I have heard there are several military campgrounds throughout FL that are extremely affordable, and sometimes free, however since we’re not military I cannot offer you any advice on the where & how, sorry.
I have lived in Florida my whole adult life and know of all these sites you mentioned what I did not know was that you can camp on these water management lands. I looked at the maps and primitive camping is permitted but it does not state whether an rv is permitted. Many state group camping so I am a bit confused.
The horse camping is what you want to look for mostly. They are very helpful when you call and I got someone each time I did call (because I was unsure too).
We are so excited to explore Florida on our way out in our RV. Ocala National Forest definitely made the list, with the hot springs and swimming manatees. Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to check out a few of these places as we head North.
My daughter and I are travel agents, but we enjoy something different from our passengers. We love the nature, quiet, no crowds. We’re fro Brazil and our country doesn’t offer safety for this kind of camping. Actually not much structure from camping at all. We pretend to spend two weeks camping all over Florida in Feb/2016. We are planning using a tent or sleeping in the car. Do you think this is possible. Watching your video I loved the idea. Thank you it helped me a lot.
Yes, very doable! There were lots of tent campers along side us at each location.
Was hoping you could help me with a location you first stayed when you got to Florida. It was an equestrian location outside of Tampa. Just a short distance to a boat ramp and restaurant/bar. It was on your location map for a day or two. I did some research on it but seem to have lost my notes. Hope you remember and can help me out.
All of our spots are noted in this post (they are the large title before each set of photos) and they are linked to the website for each.
Fantastic post. I live in FL and was told over and over there was no wild camping as well. When both of you were heading this way IN SEASON I was skeptical that you would be ok spontaneously speaking. You proved otherwise. Thank you Nikki. Love yous guys!
Great post! Thanks. Florida has quite a few secrets…
You guys need to visit Land between the lakes national recreation area! 1 year permit 30 dollars, 3 day permit 7dollars……you do the math. It is basic camping, sites but no electric or water. It is beautiful. Most are right on Kentucky lake or barkley lake in Kentucky and Tennessee. Not free but almost. We have 2011 fleetwood encounter and tow a smart car… sound similar???? Hope to meet u guys some day, enjoy.
what a great write-up! I’ve been reading about the water resource areas in FL for a while, but I’ve not seen a write-up as good as this. Thanks! Such a great resource for when we go back that direction.
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Great post and really helpful info for folks who might be interested in giving free camping a try in Florida. I can completely relate to “Shhh…don’t tell anyone” statement. We stayed at a great free camping site in Florida and were asked by a number of folks to keep it quiet.
Wish I had seen your video on free Florida camping BEFORE we spent January and February in the northern part of the sunshine state struggling to find a campsite. My wife and I are retired and like you prefer to go as the wind takes us. We prefer boon docking or State Parks for the nature and privacy. We have normally escaped the worst of winter in southern Texas over the past 5 years but decided to try Florida. We only made the decision at the beginning of last December so I did not have a lot time to plan and the water management areas web sites did not seem to offer what you found. I should have called. My bad. Can’t wait to get back to Texas next year to Home Slice Pizza in Austin and our favourite State Park – Falcon State Park where you can camp for $7/ night with water hookup, lots of activities and all our snowbird friends. And those fabulous “Margarita” sunsets over the hills in Mexico. Love all your videos.
Hi! Was funny, just checked in to see what you guys were up to and saw this. Video was great as usual, but the funny I was referring to was we had all found the same “free camping” sites! Us, much after you two did and of course the same way. You were standing in same spot we had boondocked. We have only been on the road since December, and have learned alot from you all. We appreciate your time and energy you put into your great info! I won’t however say the “hard work of the traveling” it takes (giggle, snort…) for the short time we have done this….it’s no work at all!
Thanks for the info, we love Deep Creek Preserve and will check out some of the other places you suggested, we are about to leave Florida too but will surely be back loved the winter here:)
Mary Ellen McGee
If you are headed toward Charlotte, NC. Here is a tea option
Since there are tea plantations in Sc I know there are tes held here too, just haven’t done any. Thanks for the info on free camping. We are tent campers and have camped near Juniper springs but it wasn’t free so thrilled to know you found some good spots where we can put in our kayaks
when you pass back through Central Georgia. http://ocmulgeewatertrail.com
Looks like you got some nice wake surfing in one Goofy and one regular did you try any cable parks while in Florida? Next time your in Utah we would love to take you wake surfing weather permitting.
We had an incredible time with great company! We didn’t get a chance to try any of the cable parks – next time! If we end up in Utah this fall, we will have to take you up on the offer.
Singa in the veggie garden is my favorite!
That cat is addicted!
Nikki, my wife says that The Drake hotel in Chicago still serves a high tea. Don’t know if you’ll ever get up this way though. Have a great week…George
You know how much I love a good high tea! If we have time on our way west towards Alaska we will have to stop in.
Wow, thanks we never knew about this camping op. Did you see any of the Burmese Pythons or other invasive species? We watched a special on that the other night and was surprised.
Which area did you like best that was closet to the best city culture?
How long did you stay at each site and did you feel safe there?
I have to thank you for your Boondocking adventures that you share. For someone just starting out our expectations are hard to manage without information. Sure you want adventure but you do want to know the how, when and where of it all to make educated choices. Thanks
We stayed as long as the permit allowed (some 8 days some 14) always felt very safe and each location had it’s own draw and was located close to different cities all worth checking out. If you are new to Wild Camping any one of these water management areas would be the perfect introduction!
Loved the slide concept.
It also made the vicarious adventure more interactive.
Thank you for the trip.
Hey, thanks for the feedback!
Great article and video. I was looking at some of the sites (for example, Hickory Hammock) and it showed ‘Camping (tent)’ and ‘Camping (group)’ and I didn’t see anything about RV camping.
Do you just drive in and if you can find a tent site and your RV will fit there, it’s ok to park and camp?
I am so glad you asked this question! I meant to address this and completely forgot, so thanks for the reminder! They were huge open areas so finding a spot was never a problem for us. I just updated the post with this statement: You will notice they use the language: equestrian, group and primitive camping. The camping that can accommodate RV’s is the equestrian areas. But the best way to make sure is to call. There is a phone number for each of the regions and I was always able to get someone on the phone. They were extremely nice and helpful so don’t hesitate to call and ask questions and verify you can camp there in an RV.
I love reading your blogs. I live in Florida and never knew of most of these places. Thanks for the heads up. I envy your life!! One day…
Thanks but you know there is no need to be envious, you can join us. I hope we see you out here camped next to us one day soon.
Born For Travel
I love living through your adventures and will keep my eyes peeled for you on your travels. How cool would that be to see your rig driving down the road!!
Thanks for the great site! And personally I much prefer the slide show!
We do get around you know so its a great possibility. We run into people all the time at rest areas, in towns and even at the wild camping locations in this post. Glad to hear you liked the slideshow. We will do more of them!
We also spent quite a lot of time one winter in the interior of Florida doing some free and cheap camping. So yes, we know that it does in fact exist! I think the reason people say things like “there’s no free camping in Florida” is because most people expect to be camping near the ocean while in Florida, and of course there’s very little free or cheap camping near the ocean!
Awesome! We ran into a lot of Floridians who had no idea the water management recreation areas existed. It was crazy.
If you folks are still in South Florida, kayak down the Loxahatchee River. Hidden gem! It is a very special experience.
We are not in Florida anymore but I will have to put this on our list for next time. Thanks for sharing!