RV Destinations Writer Focuses On Big Rig Friendly Florida State Parks
As a full time RVer, mother, homeschooler, and writer/photographer for RV Destinations Magazine, I recently turned my attention to Florida State Parks. Since we travel in a large fifth wheel, we focused on those state parks that were also big rig friendly.
If you are ready to hit the road in your RV and explore all that Florida has to offer, you’re in luck! This sunny state has some of the most beautiful state parks, and many are big rig friendly, meaning if you have a large motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer you’ll have no trouble getting in and getting settled.
Whether you’re looking for a beachfront spot or a spacious inland site, this list of the best big rig friendly campgrounds will have you revving up your engine and packing your bags in no time. Read on to find the best Florida State Park campgrounds to begin your Florida adventure.
Camping in state parks
Sometimes large RVs and state park camping don’t go well together. Some state parks have tight turns, low trees, and smaller campsites. However, if you love camping in state parks but have a large RV, there are some great camping options for you in Florida that are big rig-friendly.
State park camping is our family’s favorite. Camping in state parks is a great way to have a larger campsite surrounded by nature. We’re drawn to the more private natural campsites and enjoy having more room to spread out. The nature and outdoor activities in many parks also provide many things to do during the camping trip.
As full-time RVers, we have a 42-foot fifth wheel RV towed by a long-bed dually truck. This setup is big enough for our family to call home and for daily living, but it can also sometimes limit the campgrounds where we can fit. Because we spend most of our winters RVing through Florida, we were determined to scope out some state park options that were big rig-friendly. We found some incredible spots to share with you.
How to find state parks that are big rig friendly
One mistake some RVers make is assuming that if a campsite is big enough for your RV, the campground will work for your RV. We’ve also made this mistake before and booked a large enough RV site only to find when we arrived that the surrounding area obstacles made it too hard to back into or that the park had tight turns and low trees.
Two other things we do now to determine if a state park campground will fit our RV size are to read reviews and look at a satellite view of the campground and its roads. A great place to look at campground reviews for free is RV LIFE Campgrounds. Many reviewers will tell you their rig size and type of rig, which can help you decide if the campground could work for your rig size. Viewing the campground on Google satellite and street views, or with RV LIFE Trip Wizard, can also help you look for low trees and tight turns on campground roads. Another option is to call the park directly and ask.
The best Florida State Parks for big rigs
Florida has a great state park system with many great campgrounds to choose from. Not all state park campgrounds are big rig friendly, but surprisingly, many are. Here are our favorite parks for large RV camping.
1. Silver Springs State Park—Silver Springs, Florida
Silver Springs State Park in North Central Florida is nature’s amusement park. It’s the first big tourist attraction in the state—and for good reason. This enormous natural spring is one of the largest in North America and is a must-do activity if you haven’t yet visited one of Florida’s springs.
The crystal-clear, deep, cold water looks like an aquarium. You can easily see the bottom, and it’s full of fish and turtles. This original state tourist attraction started with a man who cut out part of the floor in his small personal boat to add a glass section for boat tours, which began the tradition of glass-bottom boat tours that you can take if you visit the park today. The famous boat tour takes you down part of the Silver River, where you can view underwater statues and the springs.
This state park campground is unique because it’s wooded and private, but the campsites are huge and big rig friendly. There’s a nature center and many great hiking trails near the campground. We love to camp here and bring our paddleboards along. The Silver River is our favorite place in the state to paddle. It feels just like you’re paddling in a natural aquarium. It’s simply gorgeous.
2. Jonathan Dickinson State Park—Tequesta, Florida
A relatively unknown state park camping gem in Southeast Florida is Jonathan Dickinson State Park. This campground is in a prime location to explore Florida’s lesser-known rocky beaches and the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway.
The campground is only a few miles from the river and the ocean. Check out the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and DuBois Park. These beautiful places sit on the inlet and are great places to watch for dolphins and sea turtles. The color of the water in this area is unreal.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park campground has two different sections. The Pine Grove Campground is big rig friendly and perfect for large RVs with plenty of space to park and spread out. The only drawback is that there’s limited to no shade in the campsites of this section. The River Campground has more shade but is better for smaller RVs.
One of the reasons why we love camping in this state park is its many available activities. This state park is enormous and offers outdoor activities for any interest. The park offers horseback rides, guided boat tours, private boat and watercraft rentals, a dirt bike course and bike club, a lookout tower, and loads of hiking opportunities. Jonathan Dickinson is a great park to add to your RV camping list.
3. Bahia Honda State Park—Big Pine Key, Florida
Bahia Honda State Park may be the most well-known Florida state park among RV travelers. This park is famous for its incredible oceanfront campsites with views for days. It is a Florida Keys paradise for those lucky campers who can score a campsite here. The Buttonwood Campground has many campsites that are big rig friendly. Most of the campsites that sit on the ocean are perfect for larger RVs. It’s an island paradise for campers.
Bahia Honda State Park is popular for more than just camping. There are many incredible outdoor park activities to enjoy. Paddling and paddleboarding are popular park activities. Look for the giant spotted eagle rays that hang around the bridge posts. Snorkeling is also incredible here along the Florida reef. The state park offers guided boat snorkeling day trips. You can also rent water sports supplies from the park.
The beaches are incredible for beachcombing and relaxing. Don’t miss catching a sunset over the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. The beaches of Bahia Honda are our favorite beaches in the Florida Keys. They’re simply stunning.
4. Curry Hammock State Park—Marathon, Florida
Curry Hammock State Park is a lesser-known Florida Keys camping option. Many people think of Bahia Honda State Park or John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park when they think of Florida Keys parks. Curry Hammock is a hidden gem with a lot to offer RVers who love to camp near the water.
Curry Hammock is less known for its beaches because the beach area is smaller and narrower than the beaches of Bahia Honda. But the beach there is still beautiful. This shallow area is a great place for paddling and snorkeling. This beach is top-rated for kiteboarders. We loved watching all the kiteboarders hit the waves here.
Curry Hammock is a tiny state park campground with only 28 campsites, but they are all big rig-friendly. Some of the campsites are right on the ocean with incredible water views. It can be tricky to secure an RV campsite here, but it’s worth getting one.
5. Salt Springs National Recreation Area—Fort McCoy, Florida
The last campground on our list is technically not a state park, but it is an incredibly big rig friendly place to RV that deserves a spot on this list.
Salt Springs National Recreation Area is part of the Ocala National Forest. This beautiful campground is perfect for large RVs and sits next to a large natural spring you can swim in.
Plus, it’s in a great location to explore the national forest’s outdoor recreation. You may even get lucky and spot one of Florida’s black bears in this area. It’s a great place to add to your Florida RV destination travel list.
Get RV-safe directions
Now that you know about some of the best big rig friendly state parks in Florida, it’s time to start planning your next RV trip. These parks have something for everyone with their incredible campgrounds and nature activities. I hope you’re inspired to check out one of these great state parks on your next RV adventure. For more great RV destination content like this, check out our proud partner, RV Destinations Magazine at https://rvdestinationsmagazine.com/RVlife.
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.
About The Author
Vanessa Russell has been full-timing for eight years with her husband and daughter. Learn more about the Russell’s and their travels at https://theadventuredetour.com/.
Written and Photographed by Vanessa Russell licensed through RV Destinations Magazine. RV Destinations is the premier destination magazine for RVers, providing you with beautiful imagery and brilliantly written destination content.