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Old 05-28-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
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Timing for making reservations

For the most experienced full-timers:

We are leaving in 2 1/2 weeks to travel in our 40' motorhome full-time. I have made reservations through the end of September, mostly because we need to get to Virginia by mid-September and we needed a set travel plan. After that, we can be much more spontaneous, so my questions are these: How far in advance should reservations be made for spots at RV parks, especially if full hook-ups are desired? I know some areas are likely to fill up quickly i.e.: Florida in winter, etc. Have you ever run into trouble by waiting too long? Or, have you generally had good luck operating on the fly? Also, does it make a difference if you plan to stay a few nights or if you intend to stay longer, say up to 3 months? How flexible are most parks?

Any insight you can give whether or not posed in one of my questions will be much appreciated.


Linda (and Rob) Cook, 2003 Itasca Horizon 39qv
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:03 PM   #2
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Linda (and Rob),
Depends on where you're going. Generally traveling cross country through the midwest, we'd book just before we wanted to stop. Probably 2 hours in advance (maximum). One of us would be reading reviews, one driving.

Exceptions were when we knew we were going to be at a location that had a high occupancy - such as JellyStone... Then we'd call a day in advance.

Some parks down here in Austin fill up for the weekend in the summer. They generally have water access (river/lake). I'd say they're the exception, not the rule...

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Old 05-29-2013, 08:27 AM   #3
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Thank you, cb1000rider.
Linda (and Rob) Cook, 2003 Itasca Horizon 39qv
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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When we are travelling, we usually call the night before. If we are going to something like Grizzly in W Yellowstone we will have those done a month out. Going to Ft. Wilderness about 13 months ahead. We always call, because who wants to drive all day and not have a place to sleep????
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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Our experience has been that state parks or COE campgrounds are booked well in advance for holiday weekends, but are lightly used during the week (in other words, make sure you get there Thursday and stay til Tuesday if you have no reservations for MD, 4th or LD). Most private campgrounds have room no matter what, with the possible exception of family "destination" campgrounds.

Hit the major national parks or big theme park stuff in the shoulder season instead of the summertime- no need to compete with Joe Everybody and their kids

Places like Key West are a must-reserve for winter because of the dearth of campsites, but you can always find a campsite close to the beach in Fla or TX. If you're flexible.

We've never once reserved a campsite in 3 years of fulltiming, but that's just us.

We also follow the Rule of Twos- drive about 200 (or 250) miles a day, stop before 2 pm and stay at least 2 days.

We rarely violate the Rule, and our travel is leisurely, relaxed and interesting.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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I'd offer that you need to decide where you want to park in the winter and get those reservations in place. Reason being, place to place down South during high season, a week or less at a time can be expensive for campgrounds. Its not to late to ID a park for "snowbirds" in FL. All depends on what you want to spend. South of Tampa - Orlando gets increasingly higher starting around $800/mo and going as high as a couple thou a month. If you can handle a few days in the 30s, Orlando to Gainesville offers a lot of affordable monthly alternatives, and can even be affordable a week to two weeks at a time.

Those inexpensive state parks and such have already been tapped.

Southern TX seems to offer a lot more opportunities in the Rio Grande valley, but again, don't wait to long to jump.

JMHO...and very much a newbie perspective.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
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Honey Badger, thank you for the input. It has definitely made me relax about reserving everywhere we go. I was looking into the Keys, yesterday. The place we'd like to stay is just under $2500 for a month. Yikes!! We have to decide if we want to spend the big bucks in the Keys or at Disney World. We will be spending our first winter exploring Florida (we're from California).

We also already have a travel rule. No more than 300 miles in a day with two or three nights down time before traveling again. Makes sense.

Thanks, again!
Linda (and Rob) Cook, 2003 Itasca Horizon 39qv
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:09 AM   #8
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I just got the last spot at Destin West Rv resort in FL for February 2014!!! Just saying.

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