I’m shocked, as I write this, because if you’re a van camper you’re not welcome at Savannas Recreation Area in Fort Pierce, FL.
Incredibly, the campground manager informed me that only “bonafide” campers were allowed in the park and that people who had converted their vans for camping were considered to be in the same category as those who slept in the front seat of their car.
I asked about camper vans made by Volkswagen and Winnebago (who convert Volkswagen vans into campers, as well). The campground manager said that she didn’t know if they would meet the requirements or not.
I asked for the definition of a “bonafide” camper and she said that she’d have to look into that. I’ve made two follow-up calls, over the past few months, and she’s assured me that she will send me the information on what constitutes a “bonafide” camper. I will share it with you if it shows up.
I pointed out to her that a van with no rear seats and a full sized bed installed, as well as under-bed storage and other camping accoutrements had been considered to be a “bonafide” camper in countless other campgrounds that we’d stayed at, but she was not swayed.
That said, let me take you on a tour of their campground.
This is the sign that will greet you at the entrance:
As you enter the facility you’ll be greeted by this sign:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that there would be alligators present in Florida marshes.
As you continue down the driveway you’ll notice several day use shelters which can be used for scenic picnics:
The next sign you’ll encounter directs you to the Trading Post, which is where camping registration takes place:
This is the Trading Post:
Canoe and kayak rentals are available and I would highly recommend availing yourself of the scenic marshes:
Here is the boat launch, located next to the Trading Post. There is a 5hp limit for watercraft, here:
The playground seemed to keep several children entertained as I snapped this pic:
As I turned the bend into the RV camping area I was disappointed to see campers lined up, close together, on unkempt sites. I believe that campsites should be rustic and spacious, but if they’re going to be close together they should be somewhat polished.
This is the least scenic part of the campground:
Here are a couple of empty sites in the RV area:
There’s a section of the campground located on “Gator Island” where the site numbers are preceded by the letter “G.” These seemed to be much more attractive sites to camp on. I was surprised that so many of them were empty.
Here is site G5 which, like most sites in this section, backs up to an attractive canal:
Sites G8 and G9:
Here are sites G8, G9 and G10 in one photo. While they’re not terribly private they might be nice for several families camping together:
These two sites are located on the way out to the primitive camping area and did not impress me very much:
The RV sites include hookups for water, electric and sewer:
Here is one of the electric pedestals:
Some sites in the first section, mentioned earlier, have a “V” preceding the site number. These are vendor sites for the big Powwow event put on by the Florida Indian Hobbyist Association each March. During the rest of the year they can be used by campers:
The tent sites are pretty open but are in a more attractive part of this park than the picture shows:
This picture could be attached to the right of the above pic. It shows a nicely situated picnic shelter adjacent to the tent camping area.
The tent camping area has a small bathroom, nearby, to save precious steps in the middle of the night. Showers are only located in the main bathhouse, however:
A look at the facilities in the tent-area bathroom:
The tent-area, including its bathroom, viewed from a distance.
This is a view of the main bathroom facility:
The sinks and commodes were reasonably clean:
Commercial grade toilets:
The showers were done reasonably well:
The primitive camping area is on a little island and is only accessible by foot bridge:
This is the foot bridge:
This scenic canal runs alongside the primitive camping area:
This area is accessible by vehicle and would be great for those who like to camp without hookups but, curiously, there’s no camping allowed there:
Another shot of the same area:
There are many scenic spots around the campground and along the canal:
The basketball court has seen better days but is still capable of providing plenty of entertainment for the kids:
This pavilion is a great place for group activities:
This is the laundry building:
The washing machines were plentiful and in a good state of repair:
There are plenty of dryers, as well:
One very nice touch is the onsite dog park which provides separate areas for small and large dogs:
These are the posted rules:
This area is for small dogs:
Here is the area for large dogs:
This family gave me permission to take their picture for this post. The dogs were having a blast:
Here is the dump station:
If you sleep in a “bonafide” camper or tent you might very well enjoy this campground. If you’re a van camper, however, you’ll need to visit one of the other area campgrounds. like St. Lucie Lock Recreation Area or Phipps Park Campground, which are both far nicer campgrounds.