We are heading down to south Florida to see family over this easter weekend, and planned to camp overnight in the Jacksonville area before the final stretch to Vero Beach. As half of my family is from Fernandina Beach (one of the most beautiful and stereotypical old Florida towns still around), we had hoped to stay in Ft. Clinch State Park, as the rangers assured me there was always a last minute opening.
Well, unfortunately, the exception to the rule was us, and though we had an gracious offer to crash on someone's land, and as I had two of my kids in tow, we took our chances at a KoA.
I've driven by countless KoA campsites in my life and never thought much of them, as I am a State Park guy, and until recently, car/family camped exclusively. Plus, seemed as if (and rightly so) that they cater to RV's, trailers, pop-ups and the like.
I called ahead, and let them know that I needed a tent site but also needed an area that would have enough trees for me to put up my hammock rigging. They were a bit confused at first but after explaining to them that this was my tent and the ground wasn't a place I could manage well, they understood and offered me the run of the place.
When we arrived, the employees were very gracious and helpful and allowed me to pick out a spot. The choices were a bit slim (they recently cut down some brush and trees). The price wasn't too bad, and the amenities (including breakfast) made it worth the money.
As far as the site was concerned, we were so close to I-95 that the traffic woke me up on a number of occasions. There are also street lamps on 24/7 which made it a little brighter than I like.
The temperature dipped in to the mid to low 40s and I was able to stay warm throughout the night but the girls had a rough time staying warm in their tent (they insisted on the 6 person tent vs. the 2 person tent because it is a little easier to put up and the queen sized inflatable mattress fits in it).
My biggest problem was that the ENO slapstrap Pros stretched so much that I had to adjust them twice. I finally relooped on strap and tied it to another to give it enough tension to hold me up. I'm not sure if it was the temperature or my weight or I was slipping down the tree (I doubt it as I had it pretty high). Nevertheless, I think I will experiment with a DIY rig or try something new. I DID wash my DN recently and it may have done some stretching of its own as well.
All-in-all, though I doubt I'll stay here again due to the traffic noise, I would consider overnighting at a KoA in the future. I know this may make me sound like a traitor or pariah, but hey, HYOH