Do You Have To Reserve Campsites Months in Advance? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2015, 08:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Evergreengirl View Post
Cathy - what sort of campground are you talking about - State, CEO, BLM, County, private enterprise? Just for fun I went to Reserve America and entered Kansas and found lots of sites at Kansas State Parks open when I entered the arbitrary date of Aug. 27th for 3 nights. Of course you may be looking at different dates and for a very specific place, but it looked like there were things available. Am I missing something?
Don't know about Kansas, but in CA most schools now start about August 25th, meaning that the family camping season will have ended and a lot more sites will be open.

There have been a number of comments on other sites that the early school openings crunches up the rest of July and August, basically taking away as much as 2 full weeks of vacation time for families vs the old day-after-labor day school start date.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:36 AM   #16
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Definitely reservations for us, far in advance. Haven't had to cancel one yet. I agree there is a need to clamp down on abuses of the reservation system. Some states have, I hear.

I know that in the CA parks we frequent, only a portion of the sites are reservable online. Don't know if the rest can be reserved by locals in person, or they are purely first-come-first served, but there is always a line of hopefuls forming around 10 am. So it is still possible to travel spontaneously if you can live with uncertainty. Being fully self-contained and having a flexible schedule are required, both of which leave us out.

One underlying problem I perceive is a failure to invest in new federal, state, and local parks. Demand is lagging far behind supply. How many new parks have opened in your state/province in the last 10-20 years?
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Don't know about Kansas, but in CA most schools now start about August 25th, meaning that the family camping season will have ended and a lot more sites will be open.

There have been a number of comments on other sites that the early school openings crunches up the rest of July and August, basically taking away as much as 2 full weeks of vacation time for families vs the old day-after-labor day school start date.
I believe that! Kids here started going back LAST WEEK, on August 6th. Mine start tomorrow. It was definitely a short summer. We'll try to do some additional (non reservation, first come) camping in September and October, but won't go in August at all.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:06 AM   #18
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Opening and CLosing Campgrounds.

Three campgrounds in Newfoundland were Provincial Parks that have been sold by the province to individuals. None of them were large area campgrounds or parks though one is located on one of the island's best Salmon rivers.

We frequently stay at one in Codroy (Grand Codroy RV), a short distance from the ferry terminal, with large sites overlooking a river. The owner's family owned the land the Province built the park on and donated the land to the province. It was returned to the original owner's family. It has been maintained and upgraded with wi-fi throughout the park. (It's a little more expensive then we like to pay but we like the park and owners.)
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:00 AM   #19
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We were looking at COE and state campgrounds in a rather wide area and then we tweaked it and still nothing that would work. One thing I learned with the reservation system is that it will bring up a campsite that might be available for just one of the days that you have entered so I ended up with a list but none for the 2 nights, Wednesday and Thursday night. I don't understand why the system does that either.

We were looking at the area where the rally will be next month. Since we lived in the area we are familiar with the campgrounds. There was a possibility of a private campground but the distance to the public campground/lake and distance to town to look at the old homestead were too far so we would have spent most of our time in the vehicle.

This appears to be the way it will be. Campgrounds will close just as snowbirds go out. It really isn't set up in a way that families can go out. I do feel most sorry for the neighbor though as they were SO excited to find a camper they could afford and wanted to take their little boy out.

It cost $600.00 a year between personal property tax and insurance for our pop-up and it isn't valued at that much compared to what a new fiberglass molded would be. Expensive yard art. Too expensive.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:06 AM   #20
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Many of the prime lakefront state parks in New York's Adirondack Park are reserved a year in advance. Many campers return to the same park every year on the same week to a prime lakefront site....everybody seems to know everybody as repeat campers predominant the choice campgrounds.
I camp at these sites in the off season (early spring and fall) to avoid some of the crowds and even then reserve a site.

Try this website: campadk.com. this site has multiple pictures of every site in the Adirondack Park region....a very special place if you love nature in the raw!

Happy Camping!
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:38 AM   #21
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Cathy P., thanks for the clarification. I know it can be frustrating if you only have certain days free or want to go to a specific place/event! One thing I learned is that you can request that Reserve America send you email notifications for cancellations on the dates you're looking at. That's how we were able to nab a spot at the big Oregon Gathering rally this July when we decided to go at somewhat the last minute.

As for new State Parks - Oregon seems to lead the way. Cottonwood Canyons State Park opened in the fall of 2014 I believe and Stubb Stewart SP near Portland is pretty new too. Oregon sees the value of investing in these recreational lands which draw millions of visitors to the state every year. I wish other places would follow their lead. Here in WA I think the newest park is Rasar SP. The land was acquired in 1990 but I'm not sure when the park actually opened for business. It still has the look and feel of a very new facility. State budgets barely cover upkeep nowadays, let alone the development of new parks. It's a shame.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:50 AM   #22
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This past Friday after work, my wife and I walked around a street car show, and finally wandered home about 6pm. One of our neighbors was just loading his camper to go out for the weekend. It was a beautiful day. My wife and I looked at each other, and we both had that look, and we said, "Let's go."

My wife called the nearest state park, and they had 60 electric sites, 9 non-electrics, and a bunch of primitives available. We ate dinner, loaded the cooler, hitched up the trailer (took two trips to the storage garage because I forgot the tongue-lock keys...), and drove out to the park, arriving at 9:30pm. There were still 5 non-electrics available, not sure about the others.

So, for the last weekend before school, I was surprised. You won't get away with that kind of spontaneity on holiday weekends! This was northern Indiana.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:26 PM   #23
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I tend to travel without reservations, and rarely have a problem. I do make some calls to campgrounds in the area I expect to end up by the end of the day on mornings when I'm in popular areas or holiday weekends, and a few times had to change my plans to find a site, but so far I haven't had to "camp" in a Walmart or CrackerBarrel.

I should add that I usually stop for the day around 1:00PM, something that destination travelers might not want to do. It isn't unusual to find sites around that time, and the campground full by 7:00PM.

As long as you are willing to dry camp, at least in the West, it is usually possible to find something.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:56 PM   #24
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I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences with me. Good thoughts. We have to plan at least 2 weeks in advance which definitely takes away from the flexibility that seems to be required.

Dry camping really would be a nightmare for us unless we go back to a motorhome. We just would have to have "extras". We did it in the state parks with an old tent camper and for awhile with a tent. Also, at Gilbert Ray in the Tucson area and Picacho Peak which we really, really liked.

I also found that if you want to volunteer here for a campsite, they only appear to need volunteers during the winter months since the same people seem to snag the positions each year.

Oh, well, Plan B. Life goes on.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:18 PM   #25
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I also found that if you want to volunteer here for a campsite, they only appear to need volunteers during the winter months since the same people seem to snag the positions each year.

Oh, well, Plan B. Life goes on.
Yellowstone National Park had a shortage of both Volunteers as well as part and full time paid help this summer. Try www.yellowstonejobs.com or ygsjobs.com for next year.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:39 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Cathy P. View Post
Dry camping really would be a nightmare for us unless we go back to a motorhome.
In my experience, the toughest spots to snag without advanced reservations are state and national parks, which tend to offer dry camping more often than sites with hookups (at least, here in California). So, if you're leaning more towards partial/full hookup sites, private parks may be your best bet, which typically are easier to reserve with less notice. Allstays.com and RVParkReviews.com are both great resources for finding public and private parks.

Happy camping!
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:55 PM   #27
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Norm, I hope that delivered fresh lobster was yummy! Anyway, back to the thread. My wife and I do not own an RV yet. Just reading and learning. We have rented state park cabins in Indiana, which require getting onto a computer system a year in advance. I suspect that as more boomers and others flood campgrounds, reservation software will improve, providing safe-guards to prevent people from hogging up sites and not using them, etc. Computers, when they don't crash, can really make life a lot better in many ways. It's good to know from these posts that you can still go camping. Just have to plan a bit sometimes.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:04 PM   #28
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We do have a lot of issues that have to be worked out in order to put this together. I appreciate all thoughts and suggestions.

Whatever I do, it includes my adult son with Down syndrome and 2 large dogs one of which is chow/shepherd and banned from KOA and some other private campgrounds based on "breed". If one of the dogs was going to eat you, it would probably be the Lab as she always hungry. So, I have baggage.

The pop-up isn't really workable for SO many reasons and that is why I am looking for the molded fiberglass. Love being able to stop and go into the back for lunch/bathroom/breaks.

Big dogs have a bad reputation and mine are very good and well mannered, one spent her first year full-time in an RV park - the fierce and banned chow-shepherd.

Breed bans are worth mentioning and they do exist. The list of banned breeds gets longer all the time. "For insurance purposes".

I often tell people that sometimes the decisions you made in the past keep you from choices that you might want to make in the future.

So, I can see that boondocking would be a necessity if one is serious or at least being able to go without hookups. We had to use A/C and the furnace both each day when we were out last September. Kansas weather falls under my if you can't say something good about it, don't say anything at all so silence on that!

Thanks again. So, ability to not need hookups a must to avoid frustration.
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