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Old 07-11-2015, 07:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
Using recreation.gov can often be a real pita. For example, last winter I arrived at a very out of the way camp ground in Big Cypress National Preserve. As usual, it was almost empty. Other than the host, only one site was in use. Despite that, the host told me that he couldn't give me a site until I called and made a reservation.

I can understand that having a central reservation system is convenient for the Park Service, but it is a major inconvenience for those of us who use it. Not being able to pay for a site in mostly empty camp ground without first calling and making a reservation is just plain dumb.

Joel
FYI. If the "host" was a volunteer, that person does not and cannot have access to the computer and thus the reservation system. They also cannot handle any form of payment.

Thus a "host" in many government parks cannot help you with reservations.

Not dumb, just the way it is.

From a volunteer host on a government campground.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:30 PM   #16
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Dog Folks, you too re missing the point. The camp ground was essentially empty. We stayed there for ten days. For eight of those days, we were all lone except for the hosts. Why did we need reservation?

As for payment, I could have put either cash or a check into an envelope, filled out the info on the envelope, and stuffed it into the slot in the post, just like I do in the national forest camp grounds. Except, there were no envelopes, and there was no post with a slot.

None of that would have required the host to deal with reservations, or to handle money. I fail to understand why the Park Service insists on making things so difficult. Actually, I do understand. It makes things easy for them. They don't care how inconvenient it makes things for all of us.

Joel
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:53 PM   #17
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Just curious...what campground were you?
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:39 PM   #18
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Just curious...what campground were you?
It was Mitchel Landing. I have also had similar experiences at Monument Lake. It is never as empty as Mitchel, but I have never see it full either. Both of them are in Big Cypress National Preserve, which is a part of the national park system.

My experience at Monument showed me another problem with the recreation.gov reservation system. Again, knowing that it never filled up, I tried to make a last minute reservation for week. No way! There was nothing available. I was, however, able to reserve a site for 2 nights, then a second site for 3 nights, followed by a third site for 2 more nights. It was a real pita to have to hitch up and tow the 5er a few hundred feet, and then to have to do it again 3 days later.

It would not be terribly difficult to arrange the short term (1 or 2 night) reservations in such a way that they could keep larger blocks of time available for some sites. Unfortunately, that would require thinking.

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Old 07-12-2015, 06:50 AM   #19
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KT4Wextra, you missed the point. I was at a virtually empty camp ground. Knowing that it never filled up, I had arrived on the day that I want6ed to stay. I was willing to pay by cash or by check, as I do in the national forest camp grounds. They didn't need an internet connection. They had me set up in a site, because they knew that it was available. Why on earth did I then have to drive to the visitor center to call recreation.gov for a reservation? Why did I need a reservation at all?

Joel
Sometimes in life there are rules that make no sense we have all run into this at one time or another.

Just chill step back and take a breath. Life goes on.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:10 AM   #20
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Dog Folks, you too re missing the point. The camp ground was essentially empty. We stayed there for ten days. For eight of those days, we were all lone except for the hosts. Why did we need reservation?

As for payment, I could have put either cash or a check into an envelope, filled out the info on the envelope, and stuffed it into the slot in the post, just like I do in the national forest camp grounds. Except, there were no envelopes, and there was no post with a slot.

None of that would have required the host to deal with reservations, or to handle money. I fail to understand why the Park Service insists on making things so difficult. Actually, I do understand. It makes things easy for them. They don't care how inconvenient it makes things for all of us.

Joel
I am sorry I could not help you. This question is difficult and probably cannot be answered by the members here. Not many of us will know the WHY of such procedures, and I suggest a RV forum is not the place to seek an answer.

If it bothers you that much I would suggest you write/contact the Park Service or Recreation.gov for an explanation. If you are able to find the answer, please post it here. Many people will be interested in the answer.


If you just wish to rant, then your intention has been met, and that is perfectly O.K. Many folks rant here.


Happy camping.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:04 AM   #21
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Sometimes in life there are rules that make no sense we have all run into this at one time or another.

Just chill step back and take a breath. Life goes on.
Yes, sometimes in life there are rules that make no sens. And, if enough people complain about them in the right places, sometimes, they get changed.

Joel
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:49 AM   #22
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Recreation.Gov is one of our prime resources when scouting out places to stay in an area. I think we are likely Preferred Customers by now. Would recommend the website without concern. \ken
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:52 AM   #23
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Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Because I'm only going to be camping for two days therefore I should take a site I don't like so YOU at the last minute can have a week block, hmmmm does that sound right? The thing I am seeing is reserving a place that is big enough for my rig but not able to pick the site I want, and the reservation site itself not working correctly. Does Hoodoo run the whole system or is it just in the NW?

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Old 07-12-2015, 10:05 AM   #24
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It is worth knowing, that there are some National Parks that it isn't as easy as suggested here....Yosemite, for instance...the reservation system opens up 120 days in advance, but on the third Tuesday of the month (or something like that), and not all sites are available because of potential "flooding" (even though California hasn't seen rain for the last 20 years)...ust kidding.

Then you can only examine one site at a time, unless you know the secret code to look at availability for two weeks at a time. Once you get by this and try to make a computer reservation at 11AM Eastern Time, operate four computers at one time to increase your chances by trying to get a "hit" on one of four sites, etc, etc, etc

I'm not poo pooing ... just suggesting, that sometimes it is tough to get a reservation. For each park, make sure you read the fine print on how they reserve...not all are the same. Then call and make sure you understand how they operate. That will increase you chances for the busier parks.

Then look at the pictures of the sites when available...you may not fit, or you may not like the tree branch heights if you worry about paint jobs...this is a good feature, but you need to use it. And understand, many of these parks were built in an era before the 40+ foot motor coach.

That said, you can't beat staying in the park for the beauty, and the peacefulness of camping.
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