Reservations ?

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by P_digby, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. P_digby

    P_digby
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    we live in South Georgia and plan on taking an out west trip next spring 2017 and only plan on staying a night or two in the different places we want to see. Will we need reservations at camp sites or will we be ok finding places to stay without reservations?
     
  2. docj

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    There are many more RVers on the road these days and far more people living on a long term basis in RV parks. We've been full-timing for nearly 6 years and have seen the parks get fuller and fuller each year.

    The answer to your question really involves how "picky" you are about where you stay. We try to stay in the best-rated parks at each stopover location and we always get full hookups.For areas that would not be considered "destinations" we usually could call the day before or even the morning of the day we were driving and that would be sufficient to ensure getting a site. But for "destination" locations you may have to reserve months in advance even though you are staying only a day or two. Also, reservations for the seasonal holidays (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day) are also hard to come by in nearly any location.
     
  3. BankShot

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    We live in No. Calif. and travel the west coast as well as Nevada and Arizona and,if you are planning a trip to any of the more frequented areas out this way during the heavier traveled months in those areas then reservations in advance are almost a must anymore. Areas in Arizona are most full to capacity in the spring months due to the snowbirds that flock out here to get away from the winter weather in their home states. Spring in Arizona is one of the heaviest seasons due to the much milder weather in most of the state, same for Nevada and the southern areas of California. As docj stated the "destination" parks require reservations usually months ahead as many folks will even book their next year's space before they leave to insure getting a good site to enjoy their stay next year, etc. Even at the better over-nighter parks along the various routes coming out here can get full up pretty quick so my suggestion would be as soon as you pick your route and determine how many miles per day you want to drive, check out the various parks and campgrounds along that route that lie within your daily drive distances and make a few reservations in them also. You can luck out at time and just drive in and get a space for the night but when you do opt for that, it can be very disappointing to find out the park is full and the next available one is another 100 miles or more down the road. I think most of us who have RV'd a while know that feeling. I've always felt much better, as we head out, to know that at least the majority of our trip is planned so we know where we will be tossing out our anchor for the night instead of boondocking it in a Walmart lot, etc. Somehow an evening glass of the grape doesn't go down quite as nice in Walmart lot.......... :(

    If you need some suggestions on where to stay just give a holler and I'm sure a few of us will jump and lend an hand in that area. Have a great trip, there are a lot of neat areas and places to visit out here that will fill up your book of memories quickly................

    Regards, BankShot..............(aka Terry)
     
  4. fanrgs

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    You didn't say "when" in the spring you will be traveling. Our experience with snowbirding in the Southwest is that most RVers leave southern Arizona and New Mexico around April 1 because it gets too hot to play outside after that.

    Last spring we were in the Phoenix area on the earliest 90 degree day in their history--February 17! In other words, we had to turn on the AC in mid-February in order to sleep at night. Of course, we also drove through a snowstorm in Albuquerque during the first week of April a few years ago and westbound I-40 was closed at Gallup due to winds that blew semis off the highway in early April another year. So spring weather in the Southwest is unpredictable at best.
     
  5. P_digby

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    Thanks for the info. It will be just the wife and I. We want to see rural America so I think we are gonna get in our class a and see how it goes.
     
  6. fanrgs

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    Sounds like a plan!

    Obviously you will need to start in the Southwest and on the Pacific coast and work your way north and east as it warms up. We had snow in the Denver area the first weekend in May of this year and even later in some years. Also, National Forest campgrounds in the Rocky Mountains and many of the most scenic Colorado state park campgrounds don't open until mid-May. And the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier NP doesn't open until mid-June or even later. But you should find plenty of private RV parks in the small Western towns that are open in the spring and plenty of great scenery to take photos of.
     
  7. Jack B

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    Get your reservations! We have some favorite overnight sites. They are not secrets, if you come up with a route post it we'll all be glad to suggest some possibilities.
    It is the destination parks that are the problem, not the en route parks. Our Summer park allows trailers owners to keep their trailers at the better sites all year long. This is another wrinkle in the on going saga of permanents. Except this is not permanent people, just the trailers. The trailer owners are willing to pay the monthly lot rent 12months a year in order to have a place for Summer weekends and vacations. The better lakeside spaces are passed on in the family.
    All the lakefront sites are permanently taken even though weeks go by and we rarely see anyone.
     
  8. Texasrvers

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    Another consideration about finding a place to stay is the time you stop for the night. Many of us try to get off the road by mid afternoon. This makes it a little easier to find a spot rather than waiting until the evening when the parks have filled up. We too have seen parks get fuller in the last few years. We didn't used to make reservations very far ahead or at all, but lately we have realized that if we want a good spot, we should get reservations.
     
  9. BankShot

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    What Texasrvers said above about getting off the road by mid afternoon is really good advice. We do the same thing, get an early start in the morning and be at wherever we are staying by around 3 pm. With reservations you are good in most parks but after the 3 pm hour w/o reservations you are going to start running into parks that are full up for the night. One other thing is when we take our annual sojourn to AZ every year, we always go in either Jan or Feb and we go to the southern part of the state as the weather at that time of the year is really great. However it's a different ball game up around Flagstaff and in the northern part of the state as the snow is usually still on the ground at that time. As Fangrs stated, it would be a good idea to start in the southern areas and work your way north as the weather starts warming up. Stay away from the general Phoenix area and areas in So. Calif. such as Needles and Palm Springs, etc. after April./May as temps start really climbing quickly once June makes it's appearance. Sounds like a great trip, be sure and post reviews as you go and have a great time......................

    BankShot............(aka Terry)
     
  10. NYDutch

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    As the economy has perked up, and RV sales keep climbing, reservations are becoming more of an issue even for overnight stops in some places. A few years ago we could go to Florida for the winter and pretty much have our pick of parks and sites no matter the length of our stay. Now we find ourselves needing to make reservations for the next winter for even a few days while we're still there for the current winter. I called a friend of ours last week that owns a campground in NY's southern tier to make sure he would have an overnight spot for us the day after Labor Day next month on our way to NC. He said they were already booked solid, but he'll do us a favor as long time friends and move his own motorhome off it's storage site for the night so we can at least plug in. After that, I went online and booked every stop the rest of the way down to our months ago reserved site near Asheville.
     
  11. P_digby

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    Thanks everybody good information
     
  12. fanrgs

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    A big difference of camping in the West vs. the Southeast is that we have thousands of very inexpensive (especially with the Federal Senior Pass) National Forest, National Park, BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, and Corps of Engineers campsites in improved campgrounds, in addition to many other areas of Federal land where you can boondock for free. If you really are planning to only stay one or two nights in most areas and are equipped for dry camping, these campsites are often in the most scenic places you will visit. The primary limitation with many of these sites is sufficient length and width for modern RVs with multiple slides. But Federal campgrounds are adding more electrical hookups to their campgrounds every year, so check out their Websites before you leave home and while you are on the road to find ones that provide power, water, and a dump.

    In addition, try to stay in at least a few New Mexico State Parks--they are the best bargain campgrounds in the West (we know from experience because we have RV'd in every Western state, including Alaska). They charge $14/night (which includes a car windshield park pass) for campsites with electricity and, usually, water hookups and always have a free dump nearby. Some of our favorites are Lake Alice CG at Sugarite Canyon SP near Raton, South Monticello CG at the north end of Elephant Butte SP, Sims Mesa CG at Navajo Lake SP, Bluewater Lake SP on I-40 near Grants, and Grassy Point CG at El Vado SP between Abiquiu and Chama. Except during holidays, spring break, and the prime summer camping season, you should be able to find an electric site at most of those parks without a reservation.

    Even during the snowbirding season, we tend to stay in RV parks outside the major cities and commute to the places we want to visit. Just as a couple of examples, we stayed in Casa Grande last February when we visited the Phoenix area and have stayed in Benson, Green Valley, and Marana when visiting Tucson and other southern AZ tourist destinations. We also commute before or after the morning and evening rush hours in these cities to avoid the traffic on I-10 and other freeways. And we always stay at Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces (the intersection of I-10 and I-25) on our way to and from those cities from our home near Denver.

    Finally, when you are just driving from one tourist destination to another, try Indian casinos for brief overnight stops. There are dozens of these casinos throughout the West, often near prime tourist destinations and with a few in every Western state. Many have paved sites with electric hookups for a reasonable price (some even free!) and a few actually have developed, landscaped RV parks. You can look them up on-line and find the ones that may be located along your route. Casinos are great alternatives to staying at a Flying J truck stop or a Walmart parking lot when you are just "travelin'" and not "camping."

    Have a great trip!
     
  13. Meyer Camping

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    We take a different approach, since we usually have a destination that we want to spend as much time as possible at. Therefore, we tend to have long travel days which means we get in later. As a result, we find reservations are a necessity. When planning the trip, I look for pull through sites where we don't have to unhook our travel trailer which means we can get out quicker in the morning. As virtually everybody else has mentioned, the destination parks all require reservations and I usually start on them months in advance. This makes for a less flexible schedule but, like I said at the beginning, we want to maximize our time at our destination. Not everybody's cup of tea but it works for us.
     
  14. Cyclonic

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    I make reservations for my end points, the places I know I want to be at by a certain time.

    We are in our late 30's, with no children, but still tied down with work, but we can plan to travel on shoulder seasons, before schools let out and those destinations get really busy. As such, I tend to leave the travel days open, with no reservations, to allow flexibility if we find we are moving along further than expected or we want to stop sooner, just so long as we get to that final location on time.

    In Early June I was on the road in the Midwest for three weeks with just six nights reserved when I left. Everything else was left open ended and it worked out. But, as with anything, YMMV.
     

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