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Old 02-26-2021, 01:08 PM   #1
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Reservations or no reservations?

We are planning a 4 month trip up the east coast from Florida up to Maine and then across the midwest and meander our way back home. I understand that reservations are a must at popular parks, etc but was wondering, with the increase in RVing that has taken place, should I just plan on making reservations as we go day to day so to speak or should I make them well in advance? Many in my RV group say to "just wing it" but I'm sort of anal on planning stuff like this and wondering if I should get out of my comfort zone. Wondering what the "old time RVers" on this site say.
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:16 PM   #2
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I just wing it but have had some times where I had to go an extra 20 miles. But we call right before we arrive
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:03 PM   #3
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I tend to want to have the trip planned out in advance. I always make reservations.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:07 PM   #4
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In our travels across Canada and through most of the USA east of the Mississippi we have found that reservations are good to have for weekends but during the week is usually OK
without one. More popular places are always good to have a reservation (ie Nashville, Memphis etc). There is usually campsites available if you are prepared to go without hookups for a night or two at most campgrounds.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:31 PM   #5
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We are finding some campgrounds are already booked for our June thru August trip from SC through the upper Midwest.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
We are finding some campgrounds are already booked for our June thru August trip from SC through the upper Midwest.
So by knowing this: you've already got a head-start on Plan B...
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:52 AM   #7
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There are "wanderers" and there are "planners" and sometimes stles must be adjusted. You sound like more of a planner. Are you willing to search out a place to boondock when you find no available campsites? It's not always a simple thing.

Our trips usually involve other's schedules, so we need to plan it all out. Campgrounds are often packed on weekends and especially so around holidays. Campgrounds near attractions or beaches tend to reserve out early, too, as you said.

Since you are "meandering" plan in plenty of exploring time. Happy trails!
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:59 AM   #8
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We plan it out 6 months in advance at least.
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:13 AM   #9
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In our travels we always had good luck during the week, but always got reservations for weekends & holidays a couple days in advance especially in vacation destination areas.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:13 AM   #10
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I would say weekends are probably going to be hard to just pull up to during the summer. Add in the covid stuff and all the extra rvers now I would plan as much as you can. Worst case if you can’t find something if you don’t plan find a Casino or even a night or two in a motel.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:13 PM   #11
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I usually plan out the busy locations that I plan to travel through and "wing" it along the way during the weekdays. We are starting to look at a 5 week trip from Calif to Kentucky and back this summer. We will have another couple with us that will need to get a room each night on the road plus we are planning to tow our car. Those limit our choices of distance travelled each day so we are looking at planning to stay at KOA's/Campgrounds that offer a cabin for our friends to use each night and we stay in the motor home. Looking at travelling 400 or so miles each day for 4-5 days to get to Kentucky. So for this trip we need to make sure we can get a cabin each night on the road for our friends(could also be a motel).

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Old 02-28-2021, 12:25 AM   #12
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We used to just go, and plan on finding a place to stop when we're ready to stop. This was many years ago now. We were headed up to Lake Superior, through MI. Thought we would stop for the night somewhere around Saginaw or Bay City. It was around 9pm and we started calling ... Nothing. Totally nothing. Nothing anywhere! There was a classic car show or somesuch going on in Bay City, and everything was booked, and something else further along ... We didn't find anything until Gaylord (more than 200 miles up the road). Including a short nap in a parking lot in Roscommon, 4 hours had gone by and we finally got a place at 1am. We had a pop-up at the time, so were looking for a hotel/motel (didn't care at all whether it was fancy/nice or not - anything with a room was good for me) and wallydocking wasn't really an option.

We've made sure we have reservations ever since.
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:55 AM   #13
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I usually plan where I would like to stay enroute and list a few parks at each overnight. Then go down the list for that day at lunch stop or later... I do make reservations at destination.
I try not to get locked in by a rigid string of reservations when I want to change route or need and extra day..
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:53 AM   #14
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I make reservations for the destination and the major intermediate stops but not for the daily stops. Being retired, we only go 2 or 3 hundred miles a day. For these stops we make no advanced reservations. At lunchtime we will use an app, rvparky mostly, to look for a convenient place to lite for the night. We'll call and make arrangements.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:55 AM   #15
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Like most everyone else has stated, we will make reservations at major attractions, National parks etc.. but while in route we just wing it, sometimes we stay at an RV park other times at rest areas, truck stops etc.. this way we can drive as long as we want and not be tied to a schedule.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lt Keefer View Post
I make reservations for the destination and the major intermediate stops but not for the daily stops. Being retired, we only go 2 or 3 hundred miles a day. For these stops we make no advanced reservations. At lunchtime we will use an app, rvparky mostly, to look for a convenient place to lite for the night. We'll call and make arrangements.
This is our way, as well. Currently planning a 3-week trip South and West to OK through VA, TN, AL, MS, AR; then returning via MO, IL, IN, KY - to visit Creation Museum/Ark Encounter. Thanks, by the way, for the reference to the RV Parky app!
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by On-The-Road View Post
This is our way, as well. Currently planning a 3-week trip South and West to OK through VA, TN, AL, MS, AR; then returning via MO, IL, IN, KY - to visit Creation Museum/Ark Encounter. Thanks, by the way, for the reference to the RV Parky app!
If you are going down IH81 in Southwestern Virginia and looking for a stop try Claytor Lake SP. In East Tennessee there is a lot to see and do in the Pigeon Forge area. That is if you are doing the interstates. Northern Alabama has not only natural beauty, but the space center in Huntsville.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:48 PM   #18
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I'm a planner type. I use RV Trip Wizard for every trip. It's just too easy - we see all of the campgrounds on the route, then we pick an interesting one and make a reservation. Most let you cancel it with no charge so if something happens, you can adjust,

The software calculates time between campgrounds (we like to do a max of 5 hrs driving each day) and from there I also pick fuel stops.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:08 PM   #19
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I've done your trip in reverse leaving MN all the way out to Maine then down to FL where we stay for the winter.

We've had very limited issues finding places to stay when we "wing it". Just be cautious if you're planning to stay on a holiday weekend such as Memorial Day, July 4th etc. as campgrounds book well in advance and prefer longer stays than just overnight.

Have fun and enjoy the drive.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:24 PM   #20
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I donít know when you will be in New England, but where and when you will be will matter. There are fewer places to stay overnight on travel days and a lot of the state parks have a hard time handling over 30 feet. We used to be able to find some place to get away for the weekend when we first started with less than three weeks notice, but that has been harder and harder and virtually impossible with our first choice parks. There are a few places that donít do reservations at all, like BarHarbor Campground in Maine, that have always worked well for us. A lot of New England places do close up around Columbus Day, so that is something to consider. Driving south and back to Florida and from CA to NC I never had trouble finding a place for the night May/June.
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