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Old 03-20-2013, 11:56 PM   #29
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It depends on the time of year and the destination. I have left for CG's a day or two before long weekends because some have a combination of booked and unreserved sites. I prefer not to book as it generally means I feel a bit locked in and honestly, to book means that sometimes you have to know months in advance that you are going to a place. Seldom am I that clear about what I want to do for a weekend 4 months in advance. I will book however, if I have to be able to stay at a place and the timing dictates that it would be wise. The only problem that I have ever come across is that of people holding unreserved spots for others who haven't arrived by paying for the site and putting a lawn chair in front. I have complained about that practise as I feel that holding sites for others is really trying to reserve a site that is not reservable. I mean you are either there or you aren't, you can't have buddy Jim who can be there early hold sites for others who aren't. Very frustrating when you get your rear in gear early to make sure you can get a space only to see 3 or 4 sites sitting vacant but otherwise occupied by invisible campers.

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:53 AM   #30
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We are full timers...when we started, we would have reservations WAY out...like weeks or even months. Now (almost 4 years later), it's usually one stop ahead. But we do make reservations...seen too many people sleeping in parking lots, Walmarts and rest areas (who didn't want to). Not that adventurous here I guess. HA!! However, we do not make reservations (or usually stay) at campgrounds that required full payment in advance and do not have a refund policy. Can't plan those breakdowns.

Richard & Samme..and Honor the cat.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:20 PM   #31
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We do a lot of State Parks and County Parks in Florida .... if you are staying more than 3 days you need reservations due to popularity.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #32
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We don't do any planning,just talk about the general direction or some place we want to go and head out.We know if we have to walmart will always have a spot.Spent most of my life in business and always was planning,no more thanks.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #33
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Great topic!

Last year on a 3 week vacation I booked one week near the family and had the DW call ahead the rest of the time... day by day. Four days getting there and the rest of the trip home was by the seat of our pants. She enjoyed having internet and looking up places to stop for the night... she was empowered to make decisions!

It really worked to our advantage on the way home as we put in some awfully long days and didn't start looking until about an hour before I knew I wanted to stop. I'd tell her what town was coming up and she would start looking and calling.

We only had two CG that were full and in those same towns we were always able to find another campground that had room.

No Wal-Marts or rest stops for the DW!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:26 PM   #34
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On our trip to Yellowstone last summer (late july, early August) we booked all sites on a plan on the way out and booked none on the return. This gave us both experiences and we enjoyed both for the right reasons. As others have shared, getting off of the road early is important if not planning ahead.

In our area (Oregon) for our weekend trips, we reserve all ahead of time. These are almost all at state and county parks. I actually have the whole RV season in the "for sure" planned weekends reserved by February for March - October. Most camping in our area you need to plan if you want the best sites (or any) on the weekend. During the week - lots more options open up.

We aren't doing an extended trip this year due to a trip to Hawaii to visit friends; we are going to the redwoods next year and I will probably do the same as the Yellowstone scenario.

I'm very thankful to have an RV as it opens up more options than we had tent camping to "wing it"
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:23 PM   #35
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While I don't make reservations in advance, I do plan my route and the approximate number of miles I want to travel the next day and then I list the campgrounds and exit numbers in the target area. If you call by noon on your day of arrival you will never be disappointed and you have time to go to plan B if you have to. I then use RV reviews to weed out the ones that don't look good. This technique worked well last year with a trip from FL to Yellowstone, then Montana, then down to AZ and then back home. I never found a no vacancy sign. However this year I will be planning the entire trip in advance as a way of imposing some discipline on my driving ambitions. I have the urge to get to my next destination as quickly as possible. This causes me to drive to far in one day and sit in the drivers seat too long. As a result I drove from AZ through Texas and then on to South Florida with a Deep Vein Thrombosis in my leg. Could have killed me. Truth be told, my DW was not a fan of my planning techniques as she is not a fan of surprises nor rushing to get someplace. Memo to self, listen to DW more. That is a summation of my experiences, yours may be different.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:33 AM   #36
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We make reservations before. I guess since we still work and plan vacations it looks like that is the norm.

Also reservations "make" us go, without reservations weather of things around the house might prevent us from going.

We pretty much have everting booked for the year as of middle March.

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