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Author Topic: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?  (Read 1337 times)

vito55

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Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« on: February 08, 2018, 10:01:20 AM »
I'm a very part time RV'er at best. Last summer I took only a very few trips with my travel trailer, and after my experiences I may be even more hesitant in the future. When possible I make advance reservations, but on long trips where I am not sure where I hope to be, or how long I hope to stay, I pretty much "wing it". My biggest trip last summer was for a month, and took me for about 6,000 miles. On numerous occasions I had to call several RV parks to find a place where I could spend the night. (Without a generator my a/c is useless, and most of my trips were during the hottest part of the season so boondocking was never really considered.) I did get lucky when we were on our way to Acadia National Park in Maine and was able to get the last available spot in a very large, very expensive RV park. Over the several days we stayed there I saw literally dozens of RV's of all types pull in and pull out from the office area since the park was totally full. During other parts of the trip  we faced some real challenges as well. I'm not sure I want to chance being stuck on the road. How about you?
Retired US Army; Honda Goldwing rider and former MSF Instructor, NRA Life Member

OBX

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 10:15:58 AM »
You need to assess the area you are going to in terms of the season and popularity and your typical driving range. New England (I'm a New Englander) has a short summer so all coastal campgrounds including the Acadia area get booked as soon they open online.  The same is true for NP and the better commercial campgrounds out West.  You also have to consider holidays. 

There are many people on this forum who swear up and down that reservations are not needed.  There are two primary ways this can prove to be true:
  1.  Arrive at campgrounds midweek for nonreservable sites.  Waiting for the weekend is too late.
  2.  Be willing to stay at any campground you find which is what you have done.  This can work but you may not find prime spots or convenient locations.

In terms of the driving-traveling component...I'm a huge advocate of KOA.  You can plot your driving distances ahead of time.  You can make reservations online in most cases and you can usually arrive late without issue.


Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 11:06:41 AM »
Yeah, it seems to be an ever-increasing problem as more and more people get into RVing.  However, even 15 years ago you could not expect to go to major destinations, e.g. the popular National Parks, in peak season and expect to find a site close by. When in popular areas, we book by phone or online as soon as we know about where will be the next day or so, and we always plan on stopping early. Early gets a site, often even in a park that was fully reserved , plus it's a more relaxing way to travel.

Prices are climbing rapidly too, as more RVers are on the scene, demanding more services.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Memtb

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 11:15:17 AM »
   No so much for us....yet! We primarily boondock, usually many miles ( often 100’s) from any large ( 50K+) city. However, as recently retired and traveling more (out of state), our opinion may change.  We “try” to avoid cities and campgrounds....but sometimes “sacrifices” must be made!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 11:17:38 AM by Memtb »
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winslow

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 12:00:51 PM »
You need to assess the area you are going to in terms of the season and popularity and your typical driving range. New England (I'm a New Englander) has a short summer so all coastal campgrounds including the Acadia area get booked as soon they open online.  The same is true for NP and the better commercial campgrounds out West.  You also have to consider holidays. 

There are many people on this forum who swear up and down that reservations are not needed.  There are two primary ways this can prove to be true:
  1.  Arrive at campgrounds midweek for nonreservable sites.  Waiting for the weekend is too late.
  2.  Be willing to stay at any campground you find which is what you have done.  This can work but you may not find prime spots or convenient locations.

Excellent advice, IMHO.

We've had good luck finding open spots on Sunday late morning to afternoon, just as the weekenders are leaving but others haven't shown up yet.

For our usual approach, we plan, plan, and then plan some more. We call ahead, talk to people on forums and the Xscapers FB group to identify good areas, campgrounds, and even prime spots, call the campground or ranger's office, basically do our due diligence. Kind of takes the spontaneity out of it, but we don't love to spontaneously be forced to sleep at truck stops in the middle of Kansas. If we were only taking a few trips a year, we would probably plan even more!
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OBX

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 12:13:00 PM »
Winslow, you make a great point about Sundays.  I often feel envious of those staying or just arriving as I head home for work.

I prefer to be spontaneous but work doesn't allow when RVing.  I will plan less when I retire.

Gods Country

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 12:21:08 PM »

  If you are going to very popular destinations you have to plan ahead or take what comes along.

Travel more in the off season. After Labor Day most campgrounds empty out.  The weather is great.  The prices drop. Even changing arrivals to Sunday-Tuesday makes a difference.

KandT

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 04:33:15 PM »
There are so many things to do in this world that it would be a shame to tie yourself to just one.  If you don't like Rving anymore move onto another adventure! 

I guess I am part of the problem having only started RVing 3 years ago but as Billy Joel says - "The good ole days weren't always good and tomorrow isn't as bad as it seems."

My plan is that this will be my last RV since they don't cross the ocean very well.  Once we have experienced everything we want too or RVing moves more from the adventure side over to the headache side we will move along.  Heck even learning a new skill in your hometown or hiking all those trails that the people from 6 states away come to hike can be exciting.

It sounds like your frustrations lie in the fact that the campground you want doesn't have a spot waiting for you whenever you decide you want to stop there at the last minute.  I used to think that way but now I realize lots of people want to see the really exciting destinations.  That's not a bad thing.  They tend to be nice people with the same sense for fun that I have.  They deserve a chance too.  The world isn't there for my taking.
2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD
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Isaac-1

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 05:02:36 PM »
I keep seeing posts like this, but it does not match my experience, last summer I took a 4200 mile trip from Louisiana to Wyoming and back, seeing Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and the big solar eclipse, passing though parts of 9 states.  Excluding the days around Yellowstone and the site for the eclipse I did not make any advanced reservations for the drive up and back, where I used a variety of commercial campgrounds, National Forest and State park campgrounds, a couple of municipal rv parks, and even a state fair campground.  Some of which were nearly empty, though I did get the last available spot in one small forest service dry campgrounds in the mountains outside Laramie WY on the night after the solar eclipse.  By contrast I spent a night in central Kansas at the state fair rv park in Hutchinson on a non-event weekend, 125+ rv hookups and less than half a dozen RV's, most of which pulled in shortly after I did around sunset.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

OLDRACER

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 06:07:19 PM »
X2, have not found it a problem. Then again, I am not looking for "Resort" parks Resort areas! :)

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 06:49:23 PM »
Quote
X2, have not found it a problem.
X3
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

RVRAC

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 10:15:07 PM »
We plan ahead and travel 200-250 miles a day.  So, we look for camps within that distance and call ahead of time.  If we are spending a month in a place, we reserve it well in advance.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 12:12:11 AM »
 The answer to your question is NO..It has made me wiser at planing.>>>Dan
38' American Tradition 38TT/330 turbo Cummins
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      Albert Einstein.

malexander

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 06:12:44 AM »
I've never had a problem finding a "spot". We do reserve at one of the COE campgrounds that we frequent from time to time, but generally, that's about it. We're usually "on a mission" to be somewhere, if it's more than a day away, we'll overnight (when we feel like it) in a parking lot along the way.

To answer the OP's question, not in the least.
Marshall Alexander
2007 Fleetwood Bounder 38N DP, 2008 GL 1800 Goldwing, 2007 VTX 1300, Cessna 150 & 172, Rans S19 Venterra

jackiemac

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 08:38:19 AM »
See below our 6 month trip from last year.  We booked most of these a few days in advance at most.  Yellowstone we booked less than a week, we could only get 4 nights but we were OK with that as it fitted in with our plans and although we would have liked 5 we managed to stay where we were for an extra night.

Year before we did about 4 months and didn't book much in advance either.  The key is that you may not get to stay exactly where you want, but we have always found something nice.


Date                   Campground                     Town       State   Nights
10/05/2017   Oasis RV Resort                 Las Vegas          NV     4
14/05/2017   KRS Camp James           Kernville             CA     6
20/05/2017   Bass Lake RV Resort           Oakhurst          CA     5
25/05/2017   Alameda County Fairgrds   Pleasanton        CA     4
29/05/2017   Skyline Wilderness Park   Napa                CA     3
01/06/2017   Manzanita Lake,            Lassen           CA      4
05/06/2017   Indian Well                   Lava Beds           CA     3
08/06/2017   Crooked River Ranch RV   Terrebonne        OR     7
15/06/2017   Deerwood RV                   Eugene           OR     3
18/06/2017   Evergreen Museum           McMinville           OR     1
19/06/2017   Battleground Lake SP           Battleground   WA     4
23/06/2017   Harold & Rebecca's Yard   Battleground   WA     3
26/06/2017   South Fork RV                   Dayville           OR     3
29/06/2017   Riverside RV                   Boise           ID     6
05/07/2017   Mt Heyburn, Redfish Lake   Stanley           ID       5
10/07/2017   Wagonhammer RV           North Fork           ID     4
14/07/2017   Grandview                           Hardin           MT     1
15/07/2017   Chris' Camp                   Spearfish           SD     8
23/07/2017   Tie Hack Campground   Buffalo           WY     4
27/07/2017   North Fork, Buffalo Bill SP   Cody                   WY     3
30/07/2017   Yellowstone RV                   Gardiner           MT     5
04/08/2017   Fishing Bridge RV           Yellowstone NP   WY     4
08/08/2017   Gros Ventre                    Teton NP      WY    14
22/08/2017   Pine Forest RV                   Flaming Gorge   UT     3
25/08/2017   National 9                           Wellington           UT        2
27/08/2017   Canyonlands RV                   Moab           UT     4
31/08/2017   Mountainview RV           Blanding           UT     2
02/09/2017   Kit Carson RV                   Flagstaff         AZ     8
10/09/2017   Crook Campground           Mogollon Rim   AZ     5
15/09/2017   Aspen Campground           Mogollon Rim   AZ     2
17/09/2017   Crook Campground           Mogollon Rim   AZ     3
20/09/2017   Usery Mountain SP           Phoenix           AZ     2
22/09/2017   Lake Havasu SP                   Havasu           AZ     5
29/09/2017   Oasis RV Resort                   Las Vegas           NV   33
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touchracing

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 01:59:35 PM »
It comes down to plan in advance or learn to be flexible.  I have my TT setup so an unplaned night or two boondocking is not a big deal.
Wherever I may roam

halfwright

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 02:53:45 PM »
someone who would give up RV'ing because they think it is over-crowded really did not want to RV very bad in the first place. Seven years full time and we have never made a reservation or could not find a place to park over night.
Jim And Darlene Wright
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blw2

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2018, 03:50:53 PM »
I think it has a lot to do with your location and "style".....
Out west, wide open spaces, BLM land, yeah maybe not ever a problem....
& Sure, during the week typically, no problem. 

Weekend warrior though, especially holidays and even more popular locations can be hard to come by these days...especially without planning months in advance.  We've had plenty of problems these last few years.  Last minute  "on the road" type stopovers....sure we've always found something but it gets hairy.  Again weekend warriors so we aren't stopping early afternoon....

It seems like years back in the popup  camper we had, we would have issues getting into the most popular state parks on the beaches near here, but with just a little planning ahead, not extreme, we could make it work.  Inland places.....never a problem even relatively short notice..
The last few years we've had several times when we wanted to go looking a week or two out, and nothing was available, even the inland places that used to always have openings...

can be the same for tenting and backpacking....Just earlier today I was looking to reserve a spot on Cumberland Island 2 weeks out.  Had an opportunity pop up that I can go, so I figured I'd do a little backpacking....nope.  Looks like it aint gonna happen.  I figured the campgrounds would be full, but the long distance hike in primitive stuff is taken too....
again, furring the week, it would be no problem.

hummm, let me think......Now where is that thread about retiring early???
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
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'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Rob VanVoorhis

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2018, 05:00:14 AM »
My suggestion is a simple one, if your going to wing it be prepared to do so or don't do it and make arrangements in advance. We always have a site booked for the final destination but not always for the travel portion if it's going to be more than a day. However, we have everything we need for a comfortable overnight stay wherever that might be. Generator, solar, propane, food & water.

Having said that I must confess, we're not real fond of boon docking so if I can't find a site we will most likely stay overnight in a hotel or motel. Best of luck to you!

Rob
Rob VanVoorhis
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decaturbob

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2018, 06:30:14 AM »
We plan ahead and travel 200-250 miles a day.  So, we look for camps within that distance and call ahead of time.  If we are spending a month in a place, we reserve it well in advance.

this pretty much what we do. Last year we were in arizona from end of February to April 1 at an RV resort that I made reservations for 6 months ahead of time.  This year we are in florida from Jan 25 to april 24th.  I made all reservations 6 months ahead with no issues.  While taveling, we do 250-300 miles a day and call RV parks we think we may stay at each morning and then zero in on those that have open spots after lunch.  So far no problems.  I have more concern on finding gas stations
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2018, 06:59:52 AM »
We're currently making our reservations for next winter in Florida as the 11 month reservation windows open for the state parks we want to visit. We try to schedule the most popular parks first while we have more flexibility in our schedule, and then fill in between them with the less popular parks. We always try for a good mix of return visits to parks we really like and new parks we haven't been to before. We also have reservations for the 4th of July and Labor Day weeks at NY state parks where we have site preferences that were also made at window opening. The rest of the time we pretty much wing it, with reservations made at most a couple of days ahead. Our travel schedule getting to Florida is also very flexible with several days where we can go or stay depending on weather conditions before we tighten up to hit our first firm reservation on time.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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SargeW

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2018, 10:04:13 AM »
By now you should be getting the idea that there is a major mix of camping styles out there. Major long range planners (like us) to seat of the pants campers that will and can stop anywhere when the mood strikes them.  For us, logistics also plays a big part.  We are 40+ feet long, and don't fit in some places, many that we used to. That, and our camping "style" has changed dramatically over the years. 

And since we full time, we don't "vacation" anymore. We live here, wherever "here" is.  So we want certain amenities, comforts, and surroundings, and are willing to plan/pay for them.  It's all about your wants/desires.
Marty--
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Yonder

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Re: Has overcrowding caused you to consider giving up RV'ing?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2018, 10:41:14 AM »
Nope. No way. We love it and it suits us to a "T". Been doing it more than seven years now. I grew up doing a lot of sailing on boats to great destinations (can't really do that in Montana) so this is now Land Yachting to me.  We HAVE changed our rig (from TT to 5er to Motor Home) and we HAVE modified our expectations and learned to plan better for the "special" places. I make reservations where I can well in advance. Otherwise we wing it and do what we can.  We are okay with WalMart or a truck stop or even a rest stop of that becomes the only option for an overnight. As someone else said here, we always make reservations well ahead of time for the destinations.  If we cannot get to 'the' destination this year then I book a reservation for next year.
Yonder & BabyCakes + Missy & Shadow - (The Aussies)
2008 Itasca Horizon 40TD, 425 HP Cummins
2006 Harley Davidson Ultra Glide (Toad)
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