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Old 01-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #15
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During the week, I don't worry about reservations. I'll usually figure out how far I feel like driving after breakfast and then look for campgrounds along the route. For the weekends in the summer, the closer to a big city the more reservations are needed. Internet access on a smartphone or tablet makes finding campgrounds so easy compared to years ago.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:05 PM   #16
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As has been said - it all depends where you want to go and when. Have an extended east coast trip planned for 2016. Don't want to be at Grand Canyon or Gettysburg without reservation. Coastal state parks in Oregon or California in the summer - need a reservation. It is possible to take-off with no idea where you are going or where you are stopping for the night. However, you may have some surprises along the way. Not always pleasant to drive another 100 miles to find a place of your liking.

Going during the week or off-season, usually no need for a reservation. Sometimes it depends on how you like to camp: resort, private campground, state park, COE or USFS, or boondocking. Many ways of researching campground online now. Some people are planners and others like to fly by the seat of their pants and everything is an adventure.
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Coos Bay, Oregon
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
As stated, it all depends where you want to go. If you enjoy national forest campground or can use state parks during the week and have another option (boondocking) on the weekend, it can work very well. We rarely made reservations during our 16 years of full-timing and traveling constantly. But then, we don't go to RV parks, we enjoy natural surroundings and we don't need hookups.
When you say "boondock" do you just pull off the side of the road someplace if you can't find a spot in a campground?
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mransford View Post
When you say "boondock" do you just pull off the side of the road someplace if you can't find a spot in a campground?
It depends what state you're in. Some states have nice wide pull-over areas such as in Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, some of Oregon and Washington and Montana, Alaska. We have used places like this at times but not regularly. In many western states you'll come upon a nice mountain vista or stream and if it's getting to be 3pm or so, yes, we would just pull over and enjoy the peaceful evening. Most places like this would be on a secondary road that doesn't have a lot of traffic and very little during the night so it would be quiet which we like. (We typically don't drive on interstates. We like the back roads.)

True 'boondocking' in our opinion is stopping at the local national forest service ranger's office or a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office and they can give you direction on good areas and legal areas to stay on their lands. We do this a lot and find gorgeous spots.

When folks mention 'dry camping' that is staying someplace like a national forest campground with dedicated sites but the sites don't have any hookups. Again, there are some beautiful campgrounds like this and many on lakes or streams.

WalMart or other business parking lots are only meant for a one night stay and are typically called 'pavement parking overnight'. Those kinds of places are not meant to set up camp and haul out your BBQ, chairs, awning, jacks down, etc. We've done this very little because we find more quiet places to spend a night and they don't have to cost anything.

Hope these terms help.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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