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Old 02-11-2019, 01:44 PM   #21
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Could anyone recommend some campgrounds federal state or county in the Rocky Mountains which I love not too high up as I had trouble breathing last year. Near Monarch Pass really do love that area. Any where that you might have visited and had a really great time. We've actually went to Durango did not like it too crowded. Glad I didn't make reservations there because we stayed about two hours and left.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:49 PM   #22
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Yes, I'm also in Florida. It is a real problem. very discouraging for sure.
I've seen it transition over the years. I remember when we had our popup we could usually get in someplace. Part of that was because it was smaller and I could fit in more places I know...but that's not it totally. A few of the popular parks, such as on or near the beach, would be tougher to get in around school holidays and such...but it was still possible a few weeks out.
Then it became nearly impossible in those places, but inland less desirable parks were always an option.... Now even those are hard.

There are a few state and county parks here in FL that I've been trying to get into off an on for many years...some going back maybe 14 years or so....that I have never been able to find openings that would work for us....often even looking very far out.

Planning ahead works occasionally, but I'm finding any more that planning ahead even several months isn't any better. It's not realistic for me and many other weekend warriors to always plan ahead like that. I was looking about two months ago for plans for this coming weekend, and for Easter weekend. Basically I found nothing anywhere even remotely close to places we'd want to go.

and campgrounds that are first come first serve.... yeah, no thank you. That's all I need... Pack up Friday evening, load the family, drive a couple hours....or even just 30 minutes...only to find out they're full. Or worse yet, take a half or full day off work for either Friday or Monday when the kids have no school...only to find the same thing....no spots available...
And even without that worry I never cared for that personally. We've gone up into the GA state parks several times which are fist come first serve. You had a reservation...so you know there is a spot available....but which one. I don't even like that. Driving in trying to pick a spot.... well that one is no good, lets keep going around to see if there's anything better.... nope, the only other open one is worse....let's go back to that first one.... ugh, someone else snagged it. Yeah, no thanks.

....and about the "van life" thing.... I've been thinking over the last few years wondering if they are perhaps a big part of the reason more and more places like walmart are posting no overnights...and even the local ordinances that are prohibiting those type of ways to use an RV. I'm finding even that kind of thing to be more difficult....

It' like anything I guess...the law of entropy is king... and when there's something good, some few folks will use and abuse ruining it for everyone.

From what I can tell it' better out West in some areas because there's so much more BLM land available.

But here, I'm finding it very discouraging and have been thinking more and more about throwing in the towel with the RV for now.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:51 PM   #23
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oh, one more thing.... I read something a few months ago about the whole thing about sites reserved but not used. I think it was about the federal reservation system....There's some push to improve that system to make it more live....so that last minute cancellations will show back up on the reservation system so that someone else can have the spot.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:58 PM   #24
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Well spoken blw 2
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:21 PM   #25
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Itís good and bad really. Itís great for a lot of people if you can make reservations way in advance, it helps me. The bad is obviously someone reserving spots but then they donít show up and itís wasted. Overall though it should be encouraging that so many people are camping maybe that will mean that more parks will be made because there seems to be more money in it now. That being said we try and decide this year what is the one big trip we want to do next year and work planning that, I research when can you start making reservations, whenís the best time to do etc. then once that is figured out and scheduled then when camping season starts we back fill the other weekends we want to camp. Based upon availability and distance. I think sometimes we have unrealistic expectations of just being able to pick up and show up at Glacier or Yosemite. Besides having large local populations there is a whole country of people that also want to see those same parks.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:42 PM   #26
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...we've staying in a LOT of places, a lot of DIFFERENT places, and in a lot of different seasons and situations... I can say we've seen it all....but,

I'll have to challenge the idea that we just 'simply' need more campgrounds... that may be a shortsided thought, as it depends on what you mean by 'more' campgrounds.

RV parks and Campgrounds WANT to be full, just like airlines and hotels, every flight, every day, every night - that's their business. That's the business side of it.

State and National/Regional/local parks, on the other hand, aren't as 'business' oriented, but more regimented in government rules and processes. Whether they are full or not probably doesn't come into play, but only that they do their job, and then close at the end of the season, until it starts again the next year.

Some parks are very, very, very, very, very, very popular, for the same reasons that YOU want to camp there, everyone else does too. It makes sense that it is crowded, packed, full, and otherwise hard to find a site to reserve, at least when YOU want to be there. Everyone else wants to be there on the weekend, too. It's just normal. There are only so many spots.

We've been there, and done that, on many occasions, when the timing was needed, or when the location was required, but mostly we've always tried to stay off the beaten path, at more 'mom and pop' campgrounds and rv parks, or even city/local RV parks that most don't even know about, aren't advertised, and are mostly only there for the 'locals'... most governmental entities don't have the same 'business' requirements for profit, only a set budget to spend on the campground, and therefore the number of campers is not really relevant, more for just keeping the 'park' functioning.


I would suggest that rather than looking at camping or rving as a 'destination' project, to everyone's favorite FULL campground, be open to travel and to areas that might not be as 'popular' - there are SO MANY places that we've run across, sometimes even accidentally, that it boggles the mind that more folks aren't there, too. Beautiful places with great local rv parks and campgrounds - some full hookups, 50amp, and some with none - just a drycamping in the woods experience, but still a welcomed change from the 'norm'.

If you like camping in the same place all the time, you'll always struggle with this issue you bring up - but if you plan on seeing places outside your normal area, you might find that there are plenty of rv parks and campgrounds waiting for your enjoyment.

I also find that many regional and state campgrounds use the fairly typical same reservation systems - they aren't well designed to 'help' you find a vacant site, but more for just the reservation itself. If you find that your favorite campground is 'full', meaning that it is not allowing your dates to be available, then use only a single NIGHt, rather than the whole set of days - this might show an available site, for at least the first night. You might also find another site for the next night - though you'll have to move - but it still works, if you want it to.
Also, many campgrounds provide 'walk up' NON-RESERVABLE sites that are always open, if no one has yet arrived for them. You may not be able to stay there more than a single night, but you can always use that to start your trip, then check with the office for any cancellations.
We have stayed at a certain COE(corp of engineers) park many times - sometimes any site we want is available, and sometimes almost none are - we've used the 'walk up' site as a starting point, and found that overnight a cancellation has occurred. Since their reservations system does not provide data for any cancelled sites, only the LOCAL office can give it to you. If you are already there, you have a big head start on anyone else getting it.
The worst thing that can happen is you have to leave the park, oh well.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:12 PM   #27
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There was a recent post here "KOA's campground of the future". Not sure how to post the link but this was my comments regarding over-reserving and scarcity of sites.


"An evolving problem for sure. Next change coming is price increases. As more and more campers hit the roads and less sites become available, supply and demand will jack prices up. Same principal as hotel rooms in seasonal destinations. The $30 perfect spot will go away. The same thing that happened to golf courses will happen to campgrounds. The land will become more valuable for something else than a campground. The income potential per square foot of land will be the division bell, especially in the high volume areas like Central Florida and areas around National Parks."

Change is coming but good change this time. Just this weekend in my local Walmart there was an idiot in a huge 5th wheel with jacks (and leveling blocks) down, 1 slide out and right at the entrance to the parking lot. I wanted to kindly let him know he was sticking out like a sore thumb but realized...stupid is stupid and there's no fix for it. Prices will start to increase once campgrounds start filling up consistently as they turn down others all afternoon. There are changes coming out west to address the over-reserved and "no-shows". Once you start hitting people in the pocketbook, they will reduce the abuse. There is also a survey of public opinion addressing the problem out west. Once they start charging for the "free stuff", the "vagabond, everything for free, bathe once a week" crowd will migrate back to places like "Slab City" and Quartzsite. Then we will find places open up.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:21 PM   #28
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I've noticed that state parks (where we like to frequent) tend to be a bit run down...not overall necessarily...but here and there. It often seems to me that for whatever reason there just isn't enough in the budget. That's just the feeling I get....so why not increase income a bit by adding sites?

I often wonder what the thought processes are for determining when to refurbish a loop...or more to the point of this thread to add a loop.. Because it seems that more often than not these state and other govt parks could easily handle some percentage more sites without negatively impacting things.
Plenty of acreage available....sometimes I even see places in an existing loops where there is plenty of room to add a site here or there without impacting at all the separation between sites...the nature or feeling of privacy that I value greatly....... and in these cases the power and water is already running right down the road so it would be easy and cheap to tap in.
or
another thought I've considered is the idea of having overflow options...even dry camp areas or lots that might be useful occasionally during peak demands. Always of course a balance though, of limiting the impact, overcrowding, etc... I just think it could be done in some cases.

I don't know...I guess I see turnerfarm's point about these not being business oriented.... I just wonder what that decision process is like then if it's not about keeping visitor numbers up.

And yes, I certainly understand the idea of a goal to be 100% full every night.....but there's also an idea a business should hold onto about never having to turn away customers.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:03 PM   #29
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Well I live in Florida in Emma cute Lee aware of the problem as I check reserve America twice a day for a cancellation in a couple weeks. Our favorite campsite in Ocala has a plan for new sites however the problem is that they would have to redo their dump station and the director said it is 5 to 6 years off due to money. This is a state campsite. I donít think many people realize the cost to run these and the subsidy that we still get paying $25-$30 a night. I wish it was different as well but I reserve sites 11 months in advance and try to cancel as soon as I know I wonít use them for the next person. It is a tough situation when you pay so little for the campsite and recoup only 50 or 60% when you cancel. Many people just will not cancel and that makes it awful for all of us. There is a great county park in Panellus County where I live and they run 20% empty with full reservations every weekend according to their director
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:12 PM   #30
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:25 AM   #31
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I do see a lot of rigs on the road but haven't had much trouble getting reservations. Being retired, if I cant get a reservation at my desired destination, I will just shift gears and go to a Thousand Trails resort. Plan A changes to plan B and we just roll with it. It doesn't happen very often as the wife and I like to avoid crowded places that attract large numbers of tourists.

As to van dwellers taking up campground space, I don't think so. They like to stick to free spaces with little or no rules. Just google CRVL and watch some of Bob Well's videos. While there, you may find some camping areas to visit that will help you when you cant get a reservation at that too popular spot.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:28 AM   #32
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In case it helps, Georgia has recently switched to reservations...
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:38 PM   #33
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Lazinskm, I assume you are talking about the Fort down there. Very interesting about them running 20% empty.

That's one of the CG I check from time to time and so far for years I've not been able to get in.... Well not totally true... I have on rare occasion found for a weekend I'm looking for where they might have 1 or 2 spaces when I look....but never a water front one and usually next to a dumpster... For me it's too far and a primary destination for me there would be that site so I'm not too interested in taking a poor site like I would be if I were primarily using it as a home base for local activities all day....so I would just assume go someplace else in that case.

RVmichael..you mean you reserve by site number in GA now? I'm sure some folks don't like it that way but I think it's an improvement for sure!
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:48 PM   #34
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You are correct blw2. In another diabolical twist on this Panellus County residents are allowed to reserve one month earlier than everybody else. The people that are not showing up for the most part live in the county
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:24 PM   #35
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Lazinskm, I assume you are talking about the Fort down there. Very interesting about them running 20% empty.

RVmichael..you mean you reserve by site number in GA now? I'm sure some folks don't like it that way but I think it's an improvement for sure!
Sorry, yes reserve by site number. To each their own regarding the degree of planning. Me, I don't like "surprises" so I plan every night where I'm staying. Also, planning will get one into the nicer spots like on the waterfront or next to the showers, etc.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:15 PM   #36
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GA state parks used to be mainly a 'arrive and pick your own any vacant site', but have NOW transitioned over to the more normal 'reserve by site number' protocol....

though, nicely, most parks also have several 'walk up' non-reservable sites available to those without reservations, for one night.

I used to actually like the 'pick your own site' because you could also change each day, anytime you found a newly vacant site that worked better for you... at least if you got to it before someone else did : )
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:56 PM   #37
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....

I used to actually like the 'pick your own site' because you could also change each day, anytime you found a newly vacant site that worked better for you... at least if you got to it before someone else did : )
Yeah, that is a good point. Yeah, prob too much of a pain in the neck to change like it is in FL (or in GA now)...I've never tried though, it might be no more difficult than a trip to the ranger station
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:19 PM   #38
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And you throw in the parks that are still closed due to Hurricane Florence. I was over at the Croatan National Forest Office this afternoon inquiring when they'd be re-opening Flanners Beach, Fisher Landing, and Cedar Point CGs. Not too soon is the answer I got.

The explanation I got was that while the campsites are now safe to use but the shorelines are still a mess. Lady in the office said they'd put up Keep Out signs in the past but campers would ignore the signs on head on down to the water with quite a few being injured. Also said it would take heavy equipment, which they don't have an abudance of, to get the beaches and shorelines cleaned up and safe to use.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:23 PM   #39
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I just finished booking reservations at 19 different campgrounds for our 5 week D C. trip in June. A lot are just over nighters but many are for 3 to 5 nights

I started off with the plan to just book the mulit day cg and wing it for the over night stays. But i found several cg were almost filled up. This was based on their online reservation system. I called to confirm and most said book now because they will be full

I dont want to drive 250-300 miles then try to find a spot. So i booked every site. The average price for the overnighters is probably around $40. They are all pull through so no need to disconnect the jeep

Yes it cost a little more but i dont see myself at a walmart bbqing and sitting in a chair in their parking lot. They dont want to see that either

I know lots of folks just wing it but its just not me

Jerry
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:42 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by halfprice View Post
I just finished booking reservations at 19 different campgrounds for our 5 week D C. trip in June. A lot are just over nighters but many are for 3 to 5 nights

I started off with the plan to just book the mulit day cg and wing it for the over night stays. But i found several cg were almost filled up. This was based on their online reservation system. I called to confirm and most said book now because they will be full

I dont want to drive 250-300 miles then try to find a spot. So i booked every site. The average price for the overnighters is probably around $40. They are all pull through so no need to disconnect the jeep

Yes it cost a little more but i dont see myself at a walmart bbqing and sitting in a chair in their parking lot. They dont want to see that either

I know lots of folks just wing it but its just not me

Jerry
These reservations that you made did any of them require deposit and if so what are the policies if you don't make it
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