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Old 04-14-2014, 08:44 PM   #15
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Take your time.....drive only a few hours each day.....use rvparkreviews.com to check out CGs ahead

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Old 04-14-2014, 09:01 PM   #16
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The only time we really do reservations is summer. Coastal state parks and some of the most popular national parks will fill up in summer, esp. While kids are out of school. If you really want to stay at particular state/national parks then it is worth booking. However if you're willing to be flexible you'll often find nearby private parks that have space, even in high season.

The other time we book is winter, if (and only if) we're going to Florida. Florida books up very, very early in the state parks. There are cancellations so you can still "wing it" here if you're willing to be flexible, but if you want to stay in specific spots at specific times it's worth booking ahead. If we stay in the SW in winter we don't book anything.

Fall and spring tend to be pretty easy. We almost never book these seasons.

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Old 04-14-2014, 09:13 PM   #17
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The other thing I'd add to the reservation thoughts; if you know which national parks you want to goto, go to their sites and understand the process each one goes through for reservations. I had no problems scheduling into Grand Canyon in April (lots of spring breakers there), but Yosemite was tough...their approach (new campsites are released at 11 AM (EST) on the 15th of the month, with four months in advance the latest) creates a pent up volume of requests hitting their reservation server, that, IMHO is like roulette to get a Summer site. I know ... I had four computers set up to hit send on the reservation request for four different sites and did so at 11 AM exactly...two months in a row. Sadly, I'll be staying at a private park outside. Unfortunately, I assumed, prior to Jan 2014 that you just call for a reservation. Morale to the story...read and understand the park's procedures for reservations.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:55 AM   #18
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We are still pretty new to this forum and I am really starting to appreciate the information I learn from these posts. I thank the members who mentioned Allstays since I had never heard of it, so I am going to try the app. We carry a Good Sam's phone book with us to look for RV sites because I like to write the experience we had in the book by the RV park name and the date we stayed there.

When we first started, I would make all of our reservations ahead of time. We have learned that we can usually find a spot somewhere and now we just call when we are getting close to an area to check for vacancy. Or many of the small towns have their own little city park campgrounds that we have also enjoyed.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:59 AM   #19
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Depends on if you have a DP or a gasser!
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:13 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
2 or 3 days in one location will quite often not allow you the scent of many local "roses". It will also tire you (BTDT) of the road when the joy is in walking the extra local trails and finding the un-advertised gems in out-of-the way places!

It aint how far you go or how fast, and it sure aint no darn race. Fewer stops and drinking-in more of the local flavors a bit at each stop is much more relaxing and fullfilling.

Saying you "were" somewhere does not mean you "saw" it, unless you actually do.

Make no reservations. Take only pics, leave only footprints, but never miss a busy BBQ place at noon in the South!

Happy trails!

X2.....thumbs up!! and a big double ditto on the BBQ spots!
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:24 AM   #21
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The shorter your stay the less you need reservations. We don't worry about them unless we plan to stay a week or longer.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:46 AM   #22
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Wink Your travel site

Originally Posted by itgeekgal View Post
The shorter your stay the less you need reservations. We don't worry about them unless we plan to stay a week or longer.
Your site is terrific visted every page and enjoyed "the trip" Thank you for sharing your marvelous adventures..
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:10 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TurtleKent View Post
Florida in the winter can require 12 month advance reservations for anything near the water.
In the Keys, 11 months in advance is the max. In the Winter you get about 1/2 a second to book a site when it becomes available. We already got our site for next year!
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:05 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by TurtleKent View Post
Florida in the winter can require 12 month advance reservations for anything near the water.
We just spent 10 weeks in Florida, from early January to mid March. We stayed in national parks, national preserves,national forests, and state parks. Once, we made a reservation 5 days in advance. Several times, we made reservations 1 to 2 days in advance. Mostly, we did not make reservations.

There was one state park that we wanted, where we could not get in. Otherwise, we had no trouble at all.

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Old 04-15-2014, 01:05 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by homeless View Post
Depends on if you have a DP or a gasser!
Not sure what this has to do with making reservations?? We have a 40' DP and typically don't make reservations even for major national parks in the west.

FiveStarDEF: Your suggestion for using city parks is a very good one. We have found, in the western states, at least, some wonderful city parks in small towns and county parks, too.

Finding parks really is not difficult. I think the key is to get off the road by at least 3:00 pm, find your spot and you'll have time to relax before the next day's drive. For popular parks, plan to arrive in the morning and the first part of the week if you want a long stay.

Holidays: Don't go to popular areas and never to places with water (pools, lakes, rivers) if you want a nice relaxing weekend. We let the weekenders have their fun at these times.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:50 PM   #26
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Everyone - thanks for all the good advice!

Luckily we don't have to worry about Florida - we're escaping from here and will be close enough in retirement to visit areas we've missed (mainly north & west).

Looks like I can plan on making reservations for peak season at the most popular locations and take our chances on the rest. We're not looking to plan every minute but want the best experience for our "must see" points.

We know we will be only scratching the surface and will have to miss many things along the way but we only have one year - unfortunately that is set in stone. So we are picking the major points we "must see" then filling in a tentative route with "want to see" points.

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