Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Do I need to reserve in advance?
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 > Do I need to reserve in advance?

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SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Posted: 12/18/17 04:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

If you're limited in what sites you can take (say because you have a long RV and it's a park with mostly little sites, or because you want one of the few full hookup sites, or something), then reservations are more important than if you can take any old site.


This x2.

The longer the trailer the greater the difficulty will be in finding a campsite without reserving while ~ 20' & under will fit on pretty well any campsite anywhere. [emoticon]

The more amenities you insist on the greater will be your difficulty in finding a campsite. Be prepared to dry camp and your chances improve considerably. [emoticon]


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azdryheat

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Posted: 12/18/17 05:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends on if the park is a 'destination' park or just an overnighter. Then it depends on the day of the week. Examples - I just tried to book 2 weeks at our favorite park in San Diego over the 4th of July 2018 and there is no room. Several years ago we pulled into Minneapolis on a Friday summer evening and all of the parks were full. We had to drive 90 miles to the south to find a space. Now we always make a reservation even if it's for the same day.


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garyemunson

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Posted: 12/18/17 05:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like others have said...really dependant on when/where you are travelling. We will get reservations for 'destination' campgrounds and also make it a point not to travel during peak times. We rarely make reservations enroute although there have been times we had to find another campground as our 1st stop was full. We also avoid driving very late in the day in case of that possibility so there is time to find another spot. In many years of camping we only had to dry camp one time (Jackson Rancheria). They let us stay free in their parking lot.

ken56

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Posted: 12/18/17 05:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have managed to lose my deposit 2 times because things changed after a res was made. I only make a res when we stay for a week or more and for the most part its never necessary where we tend to camp. I suggest getting the RVPARKY app. We use it on the road for our overnight stops as it uses your location to find CGs on the route and gives the info on the CG and phone number so we call ahead to see if there is an opening. We have never been shut out.

Popular areas of course you may need to make a res way in advance like those poor folks on the west coast. Holidays, snow birding, beach destinations and the like will have higher pressure and compititon, and as mentioned before how big your rig is and if you want full hook up. Just go and have some fun, it will all work out. Don't sweat the small stuff.

stickdog

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Posted: 12/18/17 05:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We like state parks that have have some sites set aside for non reserved sites. Good for an over night if and a BIG IF you don't roll in just before dark after your 500 mile day of pavement. If you want to roll on the miles get up early to run them. Since we're retired we don't move till 9:30 or 10:00 but we're off the road at 3:00 -3:30. We've pulled in to RV parks that were empty at 3:30 but not a site left by 6:30.
I often check reserve america though I don't reserve there, just check out how many sites are non reserveral and how many reserveable are available. It gives me a view of what we may find .
Remember the parks close to the metro areas fill up with weekenders real quick. We were camphosts at a state park and the locals would come in on Thursday and takea site for the weekend as well as that Thursday night. They would set a pup tent up pay their fee for the weekend and Thursday night and be gone till the following afternoon.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 12/18/17 05:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the past I'd have said NO, but as it turns out it is less expensive to live in an RV than a Sticks and Bricks. As more and more figure that out. ..We are running out of spaces.

Well.. I have found many parks that were NEVER FULL now are filling up.

That said.. I have had good luck making my reservations just a few days in advance. In fact 2x a year (Spring and fall) I like to make reservations no more than one day out.

* Mod Note: Political side comment removed.

* This post was edited 12/24/17 04:39pm by an administrator/moderator *

mowermech

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Posted: 12/18/17 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few years ago, we traveled from Montana to Georgia, and the only reservations we made were for the week-long stay at our destination.
There are only a couple of RV parks that we are likely to stay at here in Montana. One of them does not accept reservations, and the others have always had a spot for us.
As for Forest Service campgrounds, a few accept reservations, many do not. State parks the same.
National parks (Yellowstone, Glacier)reservations are almost required, 6 to 9 months in advance. We never camp there.


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SoundGuy

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Posted: 12/18/17 06:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

...it is less expensive to live in an RV than a Sticks and Bricks. As more and more figure that out. ..We are running out of spaces.


An irrelevant argument when we're talking about transient camping in state parks, national parks, COEs, provincial parks, etc, etc, that don't allow RV "living" anyway. [emoticon]

The RV industry is running full tilt pumping out as many new units as it can, but the number of campsites nationally aren't increasing at anywhere near the same pace. Ergo, the more people there are competing for the same spaces the more likely it is you're going to have to reserve if you want to be sure to get a spot where & when you want it. If you exacerbate the situation by insisting on owning a 30' trailer, rather than a 20' that will fit pretty well anywhere, and/or insist on full campsite amenities, you can expect even more difficulty in getting a suitable site without reserving. Simple. [emoticon]

* Mod Note: Reference to political comment removed.

* This post was last edited 12/24/17 04:40pm by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 12/18/17 07:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It doesn't matter when or where we go, we always make a reservation for our final destination spot, getting there, sometimes we "wing it."

However, this last Summer there was no "winging-it". We traveled from Central Indiana to Mount Rushmore (South Dakota) over the 2 weeks of July 4. Believe me, there was no "winging it." We started searching for campground availability a year ahead, only to be told by many we couldn't make reservations until after a certain date. I waited for that date and when I finally got through to a live person, found out there was no more space available. And some of the locations would not let us just do an overnight either. They wanted at least 3 days.

We made our final destination at a Good Sam campground in Custer, SD for about a 10 day stay. We took 4 days getting there (3 night at different campgrounds on our route) and 3 nights coming back. We ended up NOT getting in where we wanted for those overnights. We ended up at different locations for all 3 nights going, and ended up using KOA campgrounds for the overnights. Close to where we wanted to do some sight seeing, but ended up being farther away than wanted for a comfortable sight seeing and activity run-around from where we landed. But we then discovered other attractions we visited where we did stop.

Returning home, we had no agenda. We ended up driving a more Southerly route through Nebraska and back to Indiana. Here we had no problems willy-nilly our way home. We did call ahead where we thought we'd like to stop to check availability. By this time in the experience, we just looked for KOA's as they almost always had availability on-the-fly.

Our winter and March trips to Florida and South Carolina (5 years in a row now), we always book the destination (State Parks), but found this time of year, traveling from Indiana, through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North/South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama are not so restrictive. Just call ahead and see if they can do an overnight for us. Which they usually can. BUT .... forget about Florida anywhere! If you don't make your reservation a year in advance, you probably will not get into the campground you want (state or private).

Bottom line, if you have a specific destination point you REALLY want to go to, make the reservations. Everything else, it all depends on location and time of year.


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MarkTwain

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Posted: 12/18/17 07:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reservations in Oregon. RVing on the Oregon coast, especially weekends is difficult if not impossible without reservations. Reservations are not "ball and chains". Reservations are just plans to deviate from.

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