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 > Empty parks with no open sites.

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dieseltruckdriver

Black Hills of SD

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Posted: 06/22/22 09:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:


If you never showed up, and don't call you forfeit the right to use site. Why should the site go unused? It's not about the money. If you have unforseeable circumstances call CG and expalin when you plan to arrive otherwise you forfeit.
There are those wealthy enough to book every site in the CG for an entire month. Do they get to tie up the CG without occupying the sites simply because they can afford to?
I agree completely. Day before yesterday we left a campground that had 25 empty sites and 15 of those were reserved. That was on a Monday night. Every weekend every site is booked, and there are ALWAYS empty sites. If you don't show up, you should lose the site, and the chance to reserve next time. I do agree with the option to call the campground and have an excuse. No call, no reservation, give it to someone that is looking for a site. It would make people take a little responsibility for themselves.

This was and is at a state campground. Private parks can set their own rules.


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toedtoes

California

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Posted: 06/22/22 11:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

afidel wrote:

Lantley wrote:

afidel wrote:

toedtoes wrote:

Interesting article. Sounds like there is an institutional failure at Colorado State Parks.

I was at Lassen Volcanic National Park the other week and the camphost checked for no shows and opened the empty campsites that same day. And this was without cell service or wifi in the campground. Very effective.


Hmm, I'm not sure I'm ok with that. If I've got a week long reservation that I've paid for and something has delayed me a day (weather, mechanical issue, food poisoning, whatever) I shouldn't lose my entire stay because I can't get there on the first day. Heck, I've had traffic accidents that caused such delays on trips that an 8pm arrival became 1am and I decided to Walmart the first night so as not to be rude to the other campers, being courteous shouldn't be penalized.

If they've got a way to contact the park and you're a no show no call on day 2 then fine cancel the reservation to free the spot up but otherwise I payed for the spot and if I need to delay my arrival then so be it.


I think the responsibilty should be on the camper to contact the CG if there is an delay or arrival issue. Not the other way around.
No contact from camper within the 1st 24 hours and the site should be available to others. That gives the camper 24 hours to inform CG which should be ample time to make contact.


I think we agree, toedtoes was talking about a location without communications clearing out sites in less than 24 hours. You should absolutely need to contact the park before close of business on day 2 to keep your site.


Actually, it was not "less than 24 hours". Check in was at 1 pm on day 1. The host didn't cancel the reservation until after 1 pm on day 2. And the host left the campground to do the cancellation - to where there was service. So it was not just someone randomly cancelling reservations without any checks and balances. And the policy is that if the reservation is cancelled due to a no show, the fee is refunded partially (you usually forfeit at least a nightly fee).


Regardless of if you "paid for it", the state and federal parks have an obligation to make the park available to everyone - not just those with the extra money they are willing to throw out for an unused campsite. If you can't make it, then call and let them know. They can hold your reservation if you will make it the following day, etc, or they will cancel it so someone else can enjoy it. If you don't call, then you cannot expect them to hold it indefinitely for you.

You're not buying the campsite. You're renting it. If you reserve a rental car and don't show as scheduled, they rent it out to someone else. You don't get to lock it up and leave it sitting.

Hotels will give away rooms if you do not show - unless you ask for a "late arrival guarantee" and are willing to forfeit a night's fee. They don't leave your room empty for a week.

If you rent equipment and don't pick it up as scheduled, they don't leave the equipment sitting around. They rent it out to someone else.


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Tvov

CT

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Posted: 06/23/22 04:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One way to help this would be to make reservations 100% prepay in advance, and cancellations require a 2 week notice - or you lose your prepayment.

There have been so many times where I read about people using "the system" to reserve and cancel at popular places in order to get what they want. Fort Wilderness is a prime example of this - or at least was 10 years ago, the last time we were there.


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pbeverly

South Carolina

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Posted: 06/23/22 05:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tvov wrote:

One way to help this would be to make reservations 100% prepay in advance, and cancellations require a 2 week notice - or you lose your prepayment.

There have been so many times where I read about people using "the system" to reserve and cancel at popular places in order to get what they want. Fort Wilderness is a prime example of this - or at least was 10 years ago, the last time we were there.


In SC you pay 100% when making reservation. A No Show would get no refund. Here is the cancellation policy. So if you cancel 3 days or less you get nothing back. SC is still making money on No Shows and no incentive for SC to release the sites. Win for SC and a loss for those looking for last minute sites.

60 + days away – no charge
15 - 59 days away- $10 Administrative Fee (non-taxable)
4-14 days- 1st night's stay
3 days or less- no refund.

I had to cancel a beach house years ago and due to the timing of the cancellation the policy was if they rented it out during the time I had scheduled then I would get a refund, otherwise I would not.


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valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 06/23/22 06:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

If I pay for it it should be mine for as long as I have paid for it even If I never show up. Just because you think it is empty and someone else has payed for it and isn't there yet don't mean you get the space


The problem is people have abused this in the past. State parks are notorious for filling up the first day a site is available for reservation.

What happens is reservations can be made starting 180 days out (for example). So 173days out, a scammer books 2 weeks never intending to use the 1st week. He now got a site before anyone else was able to book it. Yeah, it cost him a little extra but for a busy holiday week, he got the site.

Heck, 40yrs ago in Michigan (before the computer reservation systems), people would take the camper up the week before and then go home to effectively do the same thing...eventually, they cracked down by saying someone had to be staying in the camper.

Keep in mind public parks are not private businesses where profit is the only motivation. They are owned by the public, so providing access to that public is a core purpose. If the public is being systematically kept out, that is a problem that needs solving.


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goducks10

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

If I pay for it it should be mine for as long as I have paid for it even If I never show up. Just because you think it is empty and someone else has payed for it and isn't there yet don't mean you get the space


Most campsites I stay at have a stipulation that if you're not there by checkout the day after your reservation begins then you lose the site.
It's been my observation that if people don't show the next day they never show. You snooze your lose.

phillyg

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't know about the OP's particular circumstances, but I've been told in FL state parks, and in retail parks, once the reservation is made they cannot book someone else in it. I've seen sites empty for a week at a time, yet the park shows no vacancy. It's very frustrating.


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monkey44

Cape Cod, MA and Central Fla

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Posted: 06/23/22 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We live in Florida as well, and have seen the same problem. Site vacant for days, but can't use it because it's reserved, but no one occupies it.


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ferndaleflyer

everywhere

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Posted: 06/23/22 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So you think you should be given something I already paid for. Really?

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 06/23/22 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

phillyg wrote:

Don't know about the OP's particular circumstances, but I've been told in FL state parks, and in retail parks, once the reservation is made they cannot book someone else in it. I've seen sites empty for a week at a time, yet the park shows no vacancy. It's very frustrating.


If you read the article, in Colorado, if a reservation doesn't show up after a certain time limit, the staff at the park are supposed to log in and cancel the reservation opening it up for other people (all per the terms of the reservation).

If the journalist is correct, staff were simply not going into the system to cancel no-shows or it was suggested, purposely gaming the no-shows to resell to friends and family.

I'm not sure about Florida state parks but private parks (retail parks) would just need to include a clause in the reservation that if you don't show up or notify the park in a certain time frame, they can resell the site and there is no refund but that's a different matter. Private parks are under no obligation to maximize the sites that are occupied. It's up to the owner to determine the policies and how much it is driven by profits.

Public parks have an obligation to the public (who are ultimately the owners) to make a reasonable effort to give access to the public. They should attempt to cover their costs but not at the expense of letting the public utilize the park.

If the article is correct, in Colorado, the staff are at the very least guilty of not doing their job and at worst committing some form of graft. If this was corrected, it sounds like a lot of sites would be recycled back into the reservation system allowing more people to utilize the parks.

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