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Old 12-02-2017, 07:57 PM   #21
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Jon, did you read my post #12? It will put things in context.
It does. Thanks. State parks are more fully staffed and will typically take walk-ins and accept cash without having to pay the online reservation fee. I can see it becomes burdensome when you are touring and staying in a different place each night.

It is interesting how different styles of travel yield different needs and perspectives. You say you will quit if online reservations become universal, and I say I will quit if they go away. The best solution is a system that allows for both.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:23 PM   #22
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I have traveled all over the country with my Scamp13 and only booked reservations for fiberglass rallies or in Florida in the winter.
I hate making reservations when touring because I like not knowing the next stop. I do see reservations as being more necessary in the future though and the cost is more than money. I will miss that sort of ersatz vagabond feeling of just being on the road.

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Old 12-02-2017, 10:23 PM   #23
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Between the folks that are going to boycott the National Parks if they raise their rates and others boycotting reservations, I'm hoping there will be a little relief on the crowds!

All kidding aside, I have never seen crowds at the National Parks like I have seen this year. We stopped at Zion NP a couple of weeks ago. They closed the gates a couple of days in a row due to no room for any more cars.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:36 PM   #24
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Between the folks that are going to boycott the National Parks if they raise their rates and others boycotting reservations, I'm hoping there will be a little relief on the crowds!

All kidding aside, I have never seen crowds at the National Parks like I have seen this year. We stopped at Zion NP a couple of weeks ago. They closed the gates a couple of days in a row due to no room for any more cars.
I've been to most of the national parks. I found most of them to be a beautiful moment in a trip filled with the experience of seeing the real wonders of this nation. Each trip would have been complete without the park.
The best run and most satisfying park in the country can never charge admission without betraying the promise made to those who sacrificed to contribute the property.
(Not that that can't happen)
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:42 PM   #25
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We find camping at the more popular National Parks and even some State Parks is becoming impossible. Some require reservations a year in advance. Getting a decent campsite is like winning the lottery. It's a shame, but until or unless our state and federal governments dedicate more resources to expanding and improving park infrastructure, it will only get worse.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:20 AM   #26
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This summer we returned to a small (9 site) NFS campground. Not a destination campground just a nice place to spend a night. Since our last visit, the place was now run by a concessioner. Seven of the 9 site were now reservable. Of the two first come first serve sites one was a double, twice the cost, the other occupied. We had to stop at each site to check dates. We found one that was available. Several though reserved, were never occupied. When the caretaker drove through I brought it up. As long as the sites were paid for he could care less.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:17 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post

It is interesting how different styles of travel yield different needs and perspectives. You say you will quit if online reservations become universal, and I say I will quit if they go away. The best solution is a system that allows for both.
Iowa seems to have a good system. We stayed at four different Iowa State parks. They all had a kiosk at the entrance to the campground. There, a list of which sites were first come first serve and which of the reservable sites were taken. You could take any site that was not occupied. You picked your site, put your money in envelope and put it in the pipe safe. A host was at a site very close to the kiosk and seemed to be running the campground. No booth. No guys on golf carts riding around all day. The facilities were clean and up to date. No hook ups $11-$13. Add $5 for electricity. That said, I have no idea whether the parks are self funded or are receiving state dollars. Iowa seems to be triving so it would not surprise me if they did. Still, the model seems very efficient.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:27 AM   #28
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...Several though reserved, were never occupied. When the caretaker drove through I brought it up. As long as the sites were paid for he could care less.
From what I can see as well, that's the biggest problem with reservations. It hurts all of us- speculative reservations block those who really intend to be there, and unused sites are unavailable for last-minute overnighters.

Of course the caretaker wouldn't care (pun intended )- it's one fewer site to clean, and there's no rule being violated. This is an issue that can only be addressed at the policy level. Unfortunately at that level, they have every incentive to allow empty, paid-for sites. More revenue and less cost- what's not to like?

The situation will only change if there are complaints- lots of them- as well as letters to lawmakers. It has happened in some states. If you hit no-shows in the pocketbook, it will generate revenue in the short term and change behavior in the long. How about a $50 no-show penalty? Waived if you call or log in by 5pm so the site can be resold? That's in addition to the usual cancellation penalties.

It's a game, and park administrators need to up theirs!
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:02 AM   #29
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It is interesting that we have threads about the arcane reservation systems in public parks and the attending difficulties, while other threads complain about those who overnight at Walmart while in transit.

We travel from N IllAnnoy to Sebring in January every year. The travel dates and overnight stops while in transit are determined in large part by the weather. It can be dangerous and damaging to persons and equipment to drive through winter storms and bad road conditions, so we must adjust for weather conditions.
If it were necessary to further complicate matters with in transit reservations, the trip would be impossible or at least too risky.

Some times we are delayed and sometimes we must drive straight through to avoid a storm,thus arriving a day early.
Once when that happened we overnighted under the no overnighting sign at the local Walmart in Sebring. Another time we were allowed to have our site a day early since it was available and the ranger on duty dared to make a decision. The rangers at Highlands Hammock even have a flat field where they can allow early arrivals to park at their discretion.

Sometimes the rules hurt when they are intended to help, so as in any business, some latitude must be given to local authority to accommodate those times. Florida seems to do it well.
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Old 12-03-2017, 02:02 PM   #30
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????

"other threads complain about those who overnight at Walmart while in transit."

didn't notice anybody "complaining" about that
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:51 PM   #31
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"other threads complain about those who overnight at Walmart while in transit."

didn't notice anybody "complaining" about that
It has been done many times on a lot of threads, this one may go there too .
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:05 PM   #32
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"other threads complain about those who overnight at Walmart while in transit."

didn't notice anybody "complaining" about that
And it says you are a senior member too!
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:22 PM   #33
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I think "complain" is the wrong word. I've seen many comments to the effect that they would not want to "camp" at a Walmart, but that is not a complaint.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:53 PM   #34
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I think "complain" is the wrong word. I've seen many comments to the effect that they would not want to "camp" at a Walmart, but that is not a complaint.
When I wrote it... it was "complain" in lieu of "comment" and "overnight" instead of "camp".
Your version is interesting too...I'll keep it in mind!
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