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  #1  
Old 03-12-2011, 02:50 PM
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Default Florida camping regs

Some one just told me that 4 years ago he was camping in Florida and sleeping in a standard van, (not a camper with a raised roof), and got a ticket. The Officer said that the van was not a RV, but considered a car. And it's illegal to sleep in a car in Florida State Parks. I have visited their web sites and can find nothing about this. We have done this for years!!!

We have reservations at Grayton Beach SP in a month and a half and sleep in our van. Will I go to jail for not sleeping in a tent?

Your thoughts!

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garmp View Post
Some one just told me that 4 years ago he was camping in Florida and sleeping in a standard van, (not a camper with a raised roof), and got a ticket. The Officer said that the van was not a RV, but considered a car. And it's illegal to sleep in a car in Florida State Parks. I have visited their web sites and can find nothing about this. We have done this for years!!!

We have reservations at Grayton Beach SP in a month and a half and sleep in our van. Will I go to jail for not sleeping in a tent?

Your thoughts!

Thanks
I'll see what I can find out for you and get back ASAP. We've never had a problem sleeping in our van at a State Park.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2011, 06:12 PM
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Let's suppose that you have a campsite reserved and have a tent, but decide to sleep in your vehicle... No police officer can command you to setup the tent, plus you already paid for the site.

I would recommend to contact the park you reserved, but haven't seen anything like this.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2011, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by thekamperman View Post
Let's suppose that you have a campsite reserved and have a tent, but decide to sleep in your vehicle... No police officer can command you to setup the tent, plus you already paid for the site.

I would recommend to contact the park you reserved, but haven't seen anything like this.
Well. Yes. You are right. They 'cannot command' you set up your tent. They 'can' inform you of no sleeping in a 'car' in Florida State Parks and issue a trespass citation if you refuse to leave. And if a trespass is issued there may and probably will be other citations.
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2011, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garmp View Post
Some one just told me that 4 years ago he was camping in Florida and sleeping in a standard van, (not a camper with a raised roof), and got a ticket. The Officer said that the van was not a RV, but considered a car. And it's illegal to sleep in a car in Florida State Parks. I have visited their web sites and can find nothing about this. We have done this for years!!!

We have reservations at Grayton Beach SP in a month and a half and sleep in our van. Will I go to jail for not sleeping in a tent?

Your thoughts!

Thanks
I went to the Information Specialist for Florida State Parks. I did not get the statute or regulation number, but, "Sleeping in a 'car' in Florida State Parks (and most county parks) is not allowed."

Our van is a standard window van with curtains. Inside we have a full size mattress, cabinet for storage of camping gear, small folding table and two folding chairs and a port-a-potty (never used). I also have a clamp on awning that adds to the 'camper look.' We keep it clean and uncluttered.

We've been asked if we're sleeping in the van and the answer is, "Yes. It is self contained. Would you like to inspect it?" Never had a problem sleeping in the van.

Just a suggestion. A small tent and air mattress does not cost much or take up much room in a vehicle and would satisfy the requirements to camp in the tent area. (One might set up the tent, climb into the van after dark and climb out before daylight. Just an idea.)

You'll probably drive past my house on the way to Grayton Beach. I can loan you a small tent (provided one of the grandkids aren't using it) if it will help make your trip more pleasant. No need for strife when your trying to relax. We can help you with local information if you like.

Last edited by SteveC; 03-23-2011 at 08:44 AM..
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2011, 02:47 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. I really believe that our "rig" is suitable for camping as it does qualify as self contained. And we've never had any issue in any state, corp or federal park.

Thanks again to all.
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2011, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by garmp View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I really believe that our "rig" is suitable for camping as it does qualify as self contained. And we've never had any issue in any state, corp or federal park.

Thanks again to all.
Good deal. I hope you have an enjoyable trip. Like I said in the email, if you need info when you get down here give us a shout. I can give you some info on free to $10.00 camping places in NW Florida and lower Alabama. Happy Trails.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2011, 12:35 PM
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Im just wondering what the guy looked like? If he didnt seem right to the cop ie young then hed give him a ticket but a family or husband and wife obviously camping id bet hed look the other way
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2011, 01:00 PM
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I also wonder where he was camping when he got the ticket? People park their RVs in Walmart parking lots, and some people park their cars in the streets. This day and age, just cuz you sleep in the car you can't call it camping, anymore that in some neighborhoods you can't park your RV on the street and even though it's self-enclosed you can say you're camping. It might not be allowed.

There isn't enough information to make a judgement on the OP and this "camper" who got a ticket. I happen to agree with most responses that if you bring a BICYCLE and sleep on the ground in a campsite is probably legal, unless the campground has additional codes to follow that might cause them to call the police. There's more than just municipal codes to worry about and CGs could have additional rules.

I planned a cross country trip with just my truck and truckbed tent and in calling ahead I found many RV parks would not allow me there because they required Full hookup capability for their sites and didn't have tenter sites. It's their choice, too, just like we feel it's our choice.



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  #10  
Old 04-29-2011, 02:49 PM
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Just returned from our trip and in all honesty, forgot to ask about sleeping in our van. But at each stop/campground we were greeted with " Oh, an RV, No Problem. Find a site Sir". This not only was in Florida, but MS, GA, AL, TN and MO. Camp in designated areas, abide by the rules and you'll have no problems. Treat their park as though it were your own and all is fine!

later
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2011, 07:20 AM
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Great that you had a nice trip!
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