Grrr, there's something rotten with Nat. Forest reservations

Discussion in 'Trip Planning and Travel Concerns' started by Fitzjohnfan, Jan 4, 2022.

  1. Fitzjohnfan

    Fitzjohnfan
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    So, a little frustrated, and thought i'd vent here (since no place else would listen) . Every year we go to the colorado mountains several times, and frequently drive by a particular national forest campground which has wonderful views and is right in between two lakes my wife likes to fish at. Each year, i've vowed that "next year, im going to get an early reservation and stay there.
    I checked the rules to see when they open the reservation system, and they open up 6-months in advance. I put in a reminder on my calender to check Jan. 4th to make reservations july 4th weekend. Of course, you guessed it, already full up! You're telling me, there are at least 40 other families logging in on the same day with my same plans?!

    I wonder if some of it is bots, putting in the reservations, but then who are they going to? Is there a website like Stubhub or Ticketmaster that sells these reservations at higher prices?

    I just dont get it.

    Thanks for listening.

    Chris g.
     
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  2. BankShot

    BankShot
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    Something does sound a tad funny Fitz. However if you look at the current membership on CGRVLife it is fast approaching 700,000. It seems a greater number of those members never even post on the forum but I see many reviews by them on the flip side. And with the number of folks now on the road in RVs 40 reservations for a quality park in a great location as you mentioned doesn't really sound like a lot. And if they are "tuned in" to making their reservations early just as you are, then opening reservation weekend is surely swamped. There are several parks that are favorites for us and in one particular park we make our reservations on the day we leave for our next visit the following year. Lots of changes in reserving a site since COVID hit the road with all of us. Sorry to hear you weren't able to get in to this park, hopefully your travel plans for this upcoming Colorado trip will turn out okay and to your liking. Now then, as to those bots you mentioned and the "Sitemasters" that could be buying up spaces in top rated parks and reselling them? Wouldn't surprise me one bit in this old world we live in now...........:rolleyes:

    Safe travels, BankShot..........(aka Terry)
     
    #2 BankShot, Jan 5, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2022
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  3. Rollin Ollens

    Rollin Ollens
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    Sorry you have been disappointed Chris. Bots may be being used but I doubt it. We were camp host for Alberta Parks for a few years. Their reservation system opened up in February and one could book out as far as three months. Within minutes we were booked solid. And every day, at 9:00 AM, the next day would become available and again, but within seconds, it was filled. We, as camp hosts were asked to make sure booked sites were not being resold. We checked to make sure the campers that checked in were the ones that booked the sites. If they were not, we were not allowed to question them but we were told to notify Alberta Parks and they would send out a Conservation Officer to investigate. Very very few were being resold. And since is it very visibly stated when the reservation was made that they are not transferable, those folks that re-bought were asked to leave and to try and get their money back from the seller. The person that originally booked the site was also contacted by Alberta Parks. From what I have heard this process is used all over North America.

    Having said that, check every day for a cancellation. We discovered that a lot of folks book what ever they could just willy nilly and then cancel when they discover that what they have will not fit their plans. Our system showed cancellations at 9:00AM every morning.

    To sum it up. There are just way more campers out there than there used to be. Blame the COVID shut downs for that. We quit being camp hosts simply because so many new campers (We called them the COVID hoard) did not have a clue about camping, how their rigs worked, how to park their new trailers, where to set up their tents, how many people could fit onto a site legally and how ignorant they would become when we had to tell them that six families and twelve cars were not allowed on one site. I wasn’t fun anymore. Anyway, here’s hoping that once COVID is behinds us, things will get back top normal.

    Darrell
     
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  4. NYDutch

    NYDutch
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    If enough people make longer reservations that end with the 4th of July weekend 6 months ahead of the first day of their stay, you're out of luck for getting a weekend only reservation. It's not fair, but some people do make reservations two weeks out from their desired departure date, and later on shorten it up to just the weekend, etc, just so they can lock up a site for the holiday weekend.
     
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  5. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    Was a nightmare for us a few years ago trying to book a very popular provincial campground. I wanted 4 nights and was planning to build the rest of the vacation around the stay. I was already warned online that the stay was nearly impossible to book. 6 months in advance with the reservation clock ticking down to booking, I had 3 windows open clicked on reserve on all 3 windows and I was unable to get any, repeated the same the next 3 mornings and same thing all over again. This does have an happy ending during the same time I kept checking during the evening and sure enough a reservation probably from a cancelation showed up which I quickly grabbed.

    Assateague State Park, MD is another where you have to book 1 year in advance, but before covid I would at least have a few HOURS to book a site, now it's SECONDS

    Mike
     
  6. NYDutch

    NYDutch
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    I booked our first state park reservation for January 2023 in December. Trying to plan 13 months out for one state and then filling in the calendar when the states with 11 and 9 month windows open, plus the 6 month national park window would have me tearing out my hair if I had any left!
     
  7. Cephalopod

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    I got stung on this problem once. It’s probably because the 40 reservations are arriving before you and then staying past the 4th. So they could reserve earlier than six months from the 4th if their reservation first started say on July 1st.
     
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  8. NYDutch

    NYDutch
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    Yep, as an example, we made a 14 day reservation at a NY state park (9 month window) starting June 23 and ending July 6 moments after the window opened. If we weren't actually planning to stay that long (we are), now we could go back in to the system and cut the stay down to just the holiday weekend for just a $7.25 fee with the balance refunded. That's obviously not fair to everyone, but I'm not sure what could be done to control it. I'm sure there are many folks that need to make legitimate changes when reservations have to made that many months out.
     
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