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Author Topic: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??  (Read 431 times)

raybbj

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Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:26:01 PM »
I'm planning a big trip from Vancouver, BC to DFW and back. Just so you know, I'm a planner, not a "figure it out as you go" kind of guy.
I plan on making reservations at every stop, but I know weather (wind) can sometimes force you to stay an extra day or 2 at any given stop, which would then throw all your other reservations out of whack.
I know you can't speak for over 1000 campsites in America, but generally speaking, how forgiving or flexible are destinations when it comes to changing reservation dates by a day or 2 with only a day or 2 notice? What are typical reservation change polices (private RV parks and state parks).
Having said that, I certainly don't expect to be able to change my reservation from July 2nd to July 4th....obviously.

Thanks for your insight,
Ray
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jackiemac

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2017, 01:37:22 PM »
Check their online policies about cancellation as if you change within a day or  two some may consider it a cancellation and new booking.  I would imagine if not full, most would be OK with it though. Not being a book ahead person I haven't had any experience of this but I'm sure others have. Thanks for the 4th July reminder,  we may need to book that!

Safe travels
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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SeilerBird

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 02:47:51 PM »
I have no idea. I never lock myself down making reservations. There is always empty campsites all over America.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 04:38:48 PM »
There is no meaningful answer to that. If the park has openings on the desired days, they will rent the site to you. If not, "flexibility" has little to do with it. Busy weekends or holiday are problematic. I've also unexpectedly stumbled into conflicts with college homecomings and local festivals.

Parks in popular destinations often have cancellation policies but most of them seem generous, e.g. cancel before 2pm or 4 pm on date of arrival. Again, you may encounter some with much stricter policies - it will depend on how often their clientele makes last minute changes. If you are booking far enough in advance that changes are a potential, ask (and take notes) about cancellation policy.

These days, trip planners like yourself don't need to book everything weeks or months in advance (except for holidays and major attractions). With cell phone and internet access, you can make your plans a few days or a few weeks in advance, when your plans are more firm.  Changing several weeks worth of rez because you decided to stay an extra day somewhere early in the trip would be a real hassle.
Gary
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HappyWanderer

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 05:10:24 PM »
It depends on the campground. My favorite campground has a reservation window of one year. I once forgot and made my reservation 364 days in advance, and got the last available site.
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ArdraF

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 05:26:44 PM »
Yup, they're all over the place.  Some say one week, some say one day, and some don't care and won't even take your name!  We call ahead an hour or two unless it's a holiday or special event where we really want to stay at a particular place at a specific time.  Do make sure to ask about their cancellation policy when you make the reservation because they can sometimes be really picky and we've had people who have had to pay anywhere from a day to a week if the campground wanted to nitpick.

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JFN

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 05:57:13 PM »
Every time I reserve stops for an entire trip I inadvertently stay a day longer at one place, so early in the trip, this could lead to multiple phone calls for changes which I have not had a problem with up to this point. Now I book the destination on a certain date in advance and meet that date if at all possible and finding stops en route, I have found this has been ok, but you must call early in the day. 
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 06:03:45 PM »
Our practice was to book major stops that we were very confident about, and also any that were in major destination areas or on holidays. The rest we played by ear, anywhere from a few hours to a few days in advance.
Gary
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Tom and Margi

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 06:31:45 PM »
I realize there are planners and non-planners in this RV World.  Sometimes I think over planning creates more problems than winging it. It takes many phone calls to re-route and re-plan.  Perhaps a combination of the two would work for you.  Book dates around holidays or known town celebrations.  At other times, call ahead at the beginning of your daily trip or even the night before to secure your next night's stop? 

ArdraF

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 06:42:39 PM »
Margi has a really good point.  A number of years ago we were going to Newfoundland from California.  We booked quite a few places for that trip including the ferry because of several appointments and rallies along the way.  That was the year I fell off a ladder in Oregon.  Trip over!  Jerry spent a couple of days cancelling everything and getting refunds.  I think we ending up paying one campground cancellation even though they had a two-week warning.  Medical emergencies can change everything in a hurry and, frankly, the aggravation of cancelling everything was something we didn't need when x-rays, surgery and physical therapy were more important.

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jackiemac

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2017, 08:12:04 PM »
Few good points above.

Here is another suggestion - plan a rough route. You can note several campgrounds that you would like to stay at for each stop,  then just hit the road and book as you go.. You then have known options.

We sometimes stay longer or decide we don't want to stay as long. We just arrived in Oregon and tried to book Bend/Sisters RV Garden Resort. This was on a Thursday so we thought we would be fine. No spots. We looked online and i tried another but left a message as no answer. As it was mid afternoon and i wasn't sure if we would have mobile signal i found anothdr Crooked River Ranch. We booked a week and when the lady called from the other place i apologised and thanked her for her call. She was ok.

We arrived and the campground is very quiet. Nice trees in a canyon. Restaurant and bar with pool tables and music shich iz open till late. It was about half the price of the others.  We are between Bend and Sisters. Perfect. Turns out there was a Rodeo in Sisters and most of the campgrounds were really busy. We prefer quiet.

I am a believer in things happening for a reason.

Let us know how you get on.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

raybbj

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 10:11:59 PM »
All good points.  I definitely have specific campgrounds picked out. I guess I just need to choose 1 or 2 backups per stop, so I at least have an idea as to where I'll be heading in the event choice #1 is full.

Thanks all,
Ray
Ford F-350 - 6.2L Gas - CC - 4WD - SRW - Year unknown because I haven't bought it yet
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GR 'Scott' Cundiff

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Re: Reservations.....How flexible are they ??
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 12:52:59 PM »
All good points.  I definitely have specific campgrounds picked out. I guess I just need to choose 1 or 2 backups per stop, so I at least have an idea as to where I'll be heading in the event choice #1 is full.

Thanks all,
Ray

We do a lot of planning and make reservations out in advance.  By the very nature of our kind of travel some reservations are "harder" than others.  If you are going to a private campground when things aren't real busy the owner will most always work with you on arriving a few days late or early.  Also, we usually have a few Thousand Trails sprinkled into the trip and, as members, we can change reservations up to the last minute if need be. 

Generally, we stay pretty much right on schedule so it isn't an issue.  If we do, we usually catch up in a stay or two, and get back on the original plan.

Probably the key for a planner is to have a mix of harder to change reservations and easier to change ones. 

BTW, funny for me to read this today.  We're at the factory doing an upgrade on our 5th wheel.  They told me this morning that they won't finish today so I'm going to call the campground we were headed for tonight and tell them we'll be arriving tomorrow.  In this case, for example, we'll change our stay there from 7 nights to 6 - then we'll be back on schedule. 
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