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Author Topic: RV park 'opening' hours  (Read 5156 times)

alfapete

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RV park 'opening' hours
« on: July 09, 2005, 08:53:13 AM »
In anticipation of our trip to Florida next Easter which we're already planning in detail, can someone give me a general idea of when RV parks accept arrivals and departures during the day?  I know I could contact several parks to find out but we just want a general idea, and you guys make it all so easy and convenient to find out, especially with all your experience! We are wondering whether arriving at 7.00pm is acceptable, or whether they only operate 'office hours'. Thanks in anticipation, Peter
Peter

Tom

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2005, 08:58:28 AM »
Peter

I've seen many campground offices open until 8 or 9 pm and others close at 5 pm. It's dependent on the park and time of year. But most allow you to arrive late and check in the following morning, especially if you call ahead before they close.
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Ron

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2005, 09:22:23 AM »
Peter,

As Tom indicated it depends on the park.  We very seldom make any reservations in advance except when attending a rally.  When traveling we seldom drive beyond 16:00 but then we don't normally have a schedule to keep. We just take our chances and hope the park we select has room, can't remember a park not having room that early.  In the rare case where we do travel much later we might  a park and call ahead.   Usually if the park office is closed and they have empty sights  they will have self registration envelopes available.

Hope this helps.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Tom

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2005, 09:28:43 AM »
Ron

Good point that parks are more likely to have space available earlier and more likely to be full later.
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Bob Buchanan

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2005, 10:42:58 AM »
Hello Peter:

In anticipation of our trip to Florida next Easter which we're already planning in detail, can someone give me a general idea of when RV parks accept arrivals and departures during the day?  I know I could contact several parks to find out but we just want a general idea, and you guys make it all so easy and convenient to find out, especially with all your experience! We are wondering whether arriving at 7.00pm is acceptable, or whether they only operate 'office hours'. Thanks in anticipation, Peter

You can think of an RV park much the same as a hotel or motel as to operating hours. They think of "nights" of rentals, not days. Usually, the rental period is from 11:00AM until 11:00AM the next morning. The check out date of one rental is the check in date of the next rental. Park office hours will vary -- but all parks will accommodate early and late arrivals in one way or another. I do reservation software and am also a full time RVer so have witnessed most situations.

Check-in time is usually a function of availability coupled w/an announced check in time. If the person in the site you want or they want to give you has not checked out, you would have to wait. A park will usually have temporary space available until your site is open. It may be an open field, it may be a temporary RV site. Hotels/motels have to wait until the room has been cleaned, whereas with an RV site you can move right in as soon as the site is vacated. I have occupied a site as early as 8:00AM. It was open, so they let me go ahead and park. Other parks are more hard nosed -- in that if you move in early, you are using utility bucks against that site. Of course, that is true with check out as well. If you linger in a 50amp site to finish washing your cloths while sipping a drink with ice from your ice maker, e.g., that will be frowned upon. ;)

As to late arrivals, I have never witnessed a park that didn't have an after hours check in procedure. It will range from an envelope/drop box to just a sign that reads, "park anywhere that's open and check in in the morning". My SW provides the park with a clip board ready listing of those due out and due in each day. It also presents a map of the park with available sites displayed. Parks using it will post a copy of that map on the front door to display open sites for late arrivals. The next AM, they check in via the SW backdating to the preceding night. Of course, it you have a reservation, you best call ahead. If the park is crowded and you don't show by an announced time, they will rent it to someone else. And, just as with a hotel, you may get dinged for a one night stay on your credit card if you neglect to call and cancel a reservation.
Bob (fulltimer - Rocklin, CA residency)
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joelmyer

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2005, 11:54:56 AM »
Interesting twist with National Park Campgrounds.

They (at least Badlands) have a kiosh at the entrance with instructions to select an unoccupied site then return to check in, swiping your pass (if any) and credit card.

We did.  The machine said the site was occupied.  Fortunatly the volunteer camp host happened by and went behind the curtain and explained the facts of life to the machine.

Well, as it turns out, checkout time was noon, this was about 11AM, so the site was "occupied" for another hour!
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

Ian H

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2005, 03:26:24 PM »
Hi Alfapete
most of the sites we have arrived late at ,but had a reservation for have put a letter on the door or notice board with our site details.All we did was phone them to let the know we will be late
Ian and Doreen
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Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Ron

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2005, 05:13:13 PM »
Ron

Good point that parks are more likely to have space available earlier and more likely to be full later.

Just another benefit of not driving long days. ;D  We normally get on the road between 09:00 and 10:00, sometimes earlier if we just happen to wake up early, and stop for the night between 15:00 and 16:00.  After spending a month in the Eastern Time zone we were on the road by 07:00 couple mornings after reaching the Mountain time zone.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2005, 06:39:51 PM »
Many federal (e.g. Corp of Engineers) and some state parks close their gates about 10 pm and nobody, including already registered guests, gets in after that time unless you park your vehicle near the gate and walk in.  Some others give registered guests a gate code so they can return late to their site, but newcomers could not enter.   This is done as a security measure.

Few private parks do this, but there are a few.

7 pm arrival would certainly be OK in just about any campground.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Carl L

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Re: RV park 'opening' hours
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2005, 08:02:00 PM »
In anticipation of our trip to Florida next Easter which we're already planning in detail, can someone give me a general idea of when RV parks accept arrivals and departures during the day?  I know I could contact several parks to find out but we just want a general idea, and you guys make it all so easy and convenient to find out, especially with all your experience! We are wondering whether arriving at 7.00pm is acceptable, or whether they only operate 'office hours'. Thanks in anticipation, Peter

Being cautious souls, we generally use the old cell phone to reserve that night's stop.   Using the phone number in Trailer Life's Campground Directory we call the park.  Some ask for a credit card, some don't -- if they do, we give it to them.   When we show up at some ungodly hour, the park will invariably have a note on the door telling us which site to use.   Over a ten year span we have had it fall precisely once -- at a park in Ehrenburg that we had used for number of years prior -- but not since.

Reservations are so easy, and most RV parks are so cooperative that it seems a shame not to use them.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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