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Old 03-01-2013, 08:39 PM   #15
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In direct answer to your question, yes all those weekends will be booked by now and no you can't book for 2014 because the window doesn't open until 6 months before the date you want. Don't ask me who invented this system but I have given up and go mostly to regular commercial campgrounds. They have more facilities and don't cost that much more.

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Old 03-02-2013, 06:04 AM   #16
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^^ I guess you never camped in New Jersey or eastern Pennsylvania where a nightly fee can be $60+ per night at at private campground and with that you are almost touching awnings.

We love the federal (especially the COE), state (except NJ since they do not allow dogs) and county parks. I guess since we do not have children and do not need all the extra amenities that private campgrounds offer.

We pretty much have the year planed out in February.

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Old 03-02-2013, 07:36 AM   #17
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I try to book either six or twelve months out and have found that on holiday weekends that booking at 5 minutes after midnight will not always get me the site I wanted! I have needed to change plans twice this year and that yields a cancellation fee, but that is the nature of the game I guess. Had to cancel at a Good Sams campground last week and that cost $20. Ouch! It is usually around $10 to cancel at a state or federal site. Rarely make reservations at a private campground unless I know there is a major local event.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:06 AM   #18
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We have spent over thirty nights in our rig since August purchase. Never in a real camp ground. On collage campuses, SAMs clubs, city owned lake, friends driveways, casinos, restaurant parking lots and once on Main Street. And at a state lake once. Dry camp most of the time. I don't really care for so called campgrounds. Never even had to unhook our trailer, when we take it. Always jacks down and slides out. And a couple shopping malls. In this part of the country you can camp about anywhere. I don't like the packed in like sardines concept of camping. Not for us.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:12 AM   #19
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IMHO this issue is perceived as much worse by part-time/vacationer RVers than it is by full-timers because of the difference in the flexibility of our schedules. Weekenders or vacationers usually want to go to a particular park on a particular day which often coincides with the major summer holidays. As a result they find themselves competing against everyone else who has similar plans.

As full-timers, we do make sure we have a place to stay during the holiday periods, but we rarely even attempt to go to a state or national park. Frankly, those parks are so crowded on the holidays, we find it's better to stay away from them. During the rest of the summer we do make advance reservations at popular state and federal facilities, but there is usually far less competition for sites during non-holiday weeks. At popular "destinations" we make advance reservations at private CG's, but the competition for those isn't usually as bad unless they are on the beach.

Another likely reason why we don't report having as much trouble finding sites is that we rarely are anywhere near major population centers. We prefer to be in the states and provinces of the mountain west, rather than on either coast. If you live in the east and are used to the density of people, it is hard to explain that even on a busy day the "crowds" at places like Glacier National Park will seem small by comparison simply because it's so far away from the major cities. Even at parks like Zion which is a "short" drive from Salt Lake City the crowds aren't bad by eastern or California standards.

IMHO it's not that there are too many RVers, but rather they are too many of them in the same places.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #20
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Doc, you hit the nail right on the head. It's the plight of the Monday through Friday working class with kids... where we only have so much time... a very small window... and that we need to maximize it in the good weather months. Ever try to book a plane fight, hotel, or cruise around a holiday on a big school off week, or during the summer? If so, you know what I'm talking about...

KS, I like your style of RVing and really see us moving in that direction as much as we can.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #21
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Its not about the destination, its about the journey. Learn to boondock, be prepared for anything and hit the road. whatever will be will be ksayra
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #22
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Here in Michigan you can only book state park sites 90 days out. So on that 90th day we book the holidays and have always gotten our preferred site. We have never had a problem booking private CG's. Just lucky on the later I guess.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:47 AM   #23
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Reserve America reservation stinks. Thye show everything blocked out whether it is or not. You r best bet is to call the park directly to see if they have any spots.

Also, weekends and holidays are the worst time to get to popular destination areas, Corp of Engineers Park, State Parks, National Forest parks. Your best bet is for a private campground.

I avoid using RA unless it is the ONLY way to get a camping spot.

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Old 03-02-2013, 11:02 AM   #24
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A couple reasons that Reserve America shows complete blockouts...not all sites are reservable; some are open only for drive-ins without reservations. Also, if the reservation period doesn't begin yet, they will show blockouts.

We typically don't make reservations but on a few occasions we've had to because of having to be there at a specific time. We haven't had a problem with Reserve America. Also, a few times we've used the site to see how many sites are not available for reservations. If there is a good selection for our size needs and we're in a day or two drive, we'll go to the park without reservations, arriving early in the morning and have easily secured a spot.

One thing that is unfortunate is that folks reserve multiple blocks of time early in the season and then take months to decide which time they will definitely use and will either cancel the remaining blocks or worse yet, not cancel and when you pull in you'll see that there are free spaces unused by some inconsiderate folks.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #25
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