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Old 06-13-2021, 08:11 AM   #1
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Summer 2021 Travel

We like to travel with few, if any reservations at RV parks. I'm curious if what I hear in the main stream media about huge crowds at National, State and private parks is as crowded as they say.


We hope to leave around July 10 from the Texas Hill Country and head towards S Dakota then to Yellowstone then back home. Maybe a 3 week trip?


Does anyone have first hand knowledge of the crowd/availability of RV parks etc?
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:24 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rockcrawler View Post
We like to travel with few, if any reservations at RV parks. I'm curious if what I hear in the main stream media about huge crowds at National, State and private parks is as crowded as they say.


We hope to leave around July 10 from the Texas Hill Country and head towards S Dakota then to Yellowstone then back home. Maybe a 3 week trip?


Does anyone have first hand knowledge of the crowd/availability of RV parks etc?
Going to tourist areas (Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc...) good luck on finding a spot. We were in Mt. Rushmore area over Memorial Day week, we stopped in at Elkridge in Spearfish, they said they are booked until mid-September.
Traveling on the road was not bad finding places for a couple of nights. We stayed at Welcome, Minn. at Checkers off of I-90. Nice, clean park. Then in Mitchell, SD we stayed at Bett's Campground, nice park. We went into Mitchell and seen the Corn Palace while we stayed for 3 nights.
If you decide to go thru Sidney, Ne. we stayed at Cabela's Campground. It is a really nice place and clean. it is next to the big Cabela's store, where their headquarters used to be located.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:37 AM   #3
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I wouldn't get my hopes up on this. The days of impromptu camping at parks is done. Fed and State facilities are booked solid for months. Our usual private parks are booked up as well.

Yellowstone and similar areas do not have drive up camping now, or are very limited.

Unless you boondock, reservations months in advance are the norm.

Sorry. It is what it is.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:57 AM   #4
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Weekends are booked solid in MN, some openings during the week.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:06 AM   #5
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You might want to check into cancellations. I know of people that don't make lots of reservations and seem to get by getting spots other folks cancelled. That said, you may want to have plans A. B. and C just in case. If you have to have full hookups and a great view you may be out of luck.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. It looks like we will be boondocking and hitting the Walmarts and thats OK. We are usually pretty lucky so we will give it a go.
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rockcrawler View Post
We like to travel with few, if any reservations at RV parks. I'm curious if what I hear in the main stream media about huge crowds at National, State and private parks is as crowded as they say.

YUP - it's crowded - but IMHO, still possible - Need to Plan to Boondock on Weekends - when you find a place, work from that location. We did Yellowston to Taos last summer - then back east - before heading back again, all with two reservation - cancelled one and the other was not needed.

We hope to leave around July 10 from the Texas Hill Country and head towards S Dakota then to Yellowstone then back home. Maybe a 3 week trip?

You will be in the heart of the Summer - might call ahead and possible get on a list at a few spots close to where you hope to be. The trip will also be in the heat of the Summer, keep that in Mind - elevation is your Friend.

Does anyone have first hand knowledge of the crowd/availability of RV parks etc?
Sure everything is full - BUT - everyone makes changes, so just call before you arrive, just takes more calls and a little luck. AND there are so many other options close - Custer is always our choice for the Black Hills lot's of options - Cody is a good stop - Wind River Canyon - Chief Joseph and Beartooth Highways - Tetons have a lot available - West Yellowstone has cancelations - Island Park while 20 miles out is also a thought - Heading South Flaming Gorge - Dino, NM then on to Montrose and a little of the San Juan's to cool down - many options but very popular, Might even head over to Creede/Lake City - or Lizard Head Pass/Rico/Trout Lake.

So even if you don't make it to see everything you wanted there are so many options that the three weeks will just fly, allowing many other beautiful Options.

Go for it - Ultimatly you will Love It,
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:44 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for the help!
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:53 PM   #9
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Sisterdale! Haven't heard that name in years. My aunt and uncle lived in Comfort, and we visited them regularly. Remember wading in Cypress Creek (?) where there was a high water ford across the road on the way to their house. Uncle was a private pilot and kept his plane on the property. Fascinating to me as a pre-teen (early sixties). Beautiful country there!


We have reservations later this year from E. Tennessee to Yellowstone, down through Utah, and back home - all in about 5 weeks. Made all of them in late January/early February. Good thing we did!
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:12 AM   #10
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It’s a brave new world out there. With the influx of new RVers has come a new practice making multiple reservations for the same nights and not having the common courtesy of cancelling those one will not use. Therefore, many fully booked campgrounds are not fully occupied. This means last minute availability may be a possibility, but it’s not predictable.

This new approach has caused several organizations to adopt policies to deal with it. Just last week, Harvest Host published its policy which includes, among other things, expulsion if they catch you making multiple reservations on the same day. This problem will likely solve itself as alternative travel opportunities open up, but that may not be this year and probably will coincide with the expected glut in used units hitting the market - whenever that is.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:41 AM   #11
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When operating without reservations this is a classic case of size matters. The larger the RV the fewer opportunities you will have. A smaller A, B, C will have the easiest time and a larger 5th wheel the hardest time.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:01 PM   #12
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When operating without reservations this is a classic case of size matters. The larger the RV the fewer opportunities you will have. A smaller A, B, C will have the easiest time and a larger 5th wheel the hardest time.
We've never had an issue without reservations for our 40'. We fit in every national park we went.

Size isn't the issue. Many more RVers out there this year. That's the issue.
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:43 PM   #13
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Reservecalifornia.com a year ago discovered bots that make reservations for you for a fee.

These bots can hit the website hundreds of times every hour and grab a site without much effort. I have no reason to not believe that the bots are in work on others rv sites as well.

State officials promised to search and destroy the bots.....still waiting.

As far a peeps making many reservations at the same time, refund policies are changing to charge you more for cancellations.

The playing field is not level.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:35 PM   #14
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Just made the trip from Las Vegas to Hermosa SD. Stayed at KOA along the way. We had reservations but the campgrounds were not full. Currently at Heartland in Hermosa and it's not full but don't know if empty sites are reserved.
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