It’s Fourth of July 2019, time to enjoy backyard barbeques, poolside parties, and the independence of summer! A short camping trip provides solitude close to home and far from the stresses of everyday life. Unfortunately, in the state of Florida, it’s not uncommon to hear campground and RV hosts saying, “Sorry, we’re booked for the year.” Between our Snowbirds, Seasonals, and growing Full-timers, parks are at their limit – almost indefinitely. That’s why we’ve come up with last-minute Fourth of July camping ideas to get you out on the road and back to nature! A little creativity and willingness to do this holiday differently, and you could be lulling yourself asleep to the sound of crickets in no time. Here are a few last-minute Fourth of July camping ideas we’ve considered.
Contact friends who make the Fourth of July an event and propose to join forces. Most campgrounds allow additional campers for a small fee as long as you remain on your site. You may not be able to bring your rig, but a tent and some blankets should suffice. Plus sharing the chores will allow more time for everyone! (If by chance your friends have decided to stay home this year – it would be worth considering the same offer. You can always park your rig in their driveway or pop that tent in the backyard. Remember to share hosting duties by offering your house next year. You may have a new tradition here…)
2. Try Boondocking.
“Boondocking” is camping without services. There are many apps/sites that provide ideal locations such as My Public Lands and Boondockers Welcome. We have found that most RV parks will also allow you to “Boondock” on their unused land as long as it’s short-term (1-2 nights). Even the simplest of parks have amenities these days, which means less packing and more time camping. Your favorite drinks, some creative meal planning, and a deck of cards are enough to fill what spare time you have left after a catnap and fireworks.
3. Take Risks.
If you have the slightest sense of adventure and enjoy meeting new people, there are several resources for campers who enjoy unique experiences. Farms, orchards, back yards, and driveways are quickly becoming RV-friendly on a commercial level. A little risk to step into the unknown could reap significant rewards AND a private camp spot. Be sure to ask what amenities, if any, are provided. A few of our favorite sites include Boondockers Welcome, Harvest Hosts, and Hip Camp.
4. Benefit by Traveling.
There are businesses out there who allow overnight camping for travelers. When you’re desperate to get off the road, it’s a great short-term option. It’s not the ideal camping scenario, but it will keep you from worrying about what you may have forgot. A well-lit parking lot, zero privacy, and a walk to the restroom are part of the adventures you’ll experience here. Be sure to inquire about overnight parking if you’re unsure whether it’s allowed and patronize the business if you can.
5. Identify Good Resources.
Thanks to great businessmen with a passion for the RV community, Fisherman’s Cove Resort is now offering RV spots for travelers – year round! This means last-minute Fourth of July camping ideas are still on the table (sigh of relief).
This tiny slice of “Old Florida” provides views of the saltwater, dock fishing, a boat ramp, and full amenities. Dine at the historic SeaHut across the street and join local festivities in or out of the park. For a great 360-view of the fireworks head to the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park or nearby beaches. Palmetto will be celebrating their Ninth Annual Fourth of July Festival in Sutton Park just south of here (a $10-15 Uber ride).
One of the things we love about RV’ing is the fact that you don’t always know where you’re going to end up. You’ve chosen the freedom of the road and with a little courage you can land in some magical locations. Whether you choose a campground, the end of a dirt road, or a parking lot as your last-minute Fourth of July idea, there are people and places out there supporting your venture. We wish you all the freedom you seek and a little more for good luck. Happy Independence Day!