Reservation rule that should be enacted!

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UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Whenever anyone has an idea that the entire world should change to, I always wonder what justification they give for the change. Does it help the owners of the product? Does it add more money to the bottom line? How does it help the organizations that currently get money? Saying “Well it’s better!” Is not going to get anything changed. Better for who? You? There must be some reason the system is set up as it is, and wishful thinking won’t change it.
 

UTTransplant

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Jul 20, 2014
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Cedar Falls, IA
8 years since I have been on the road but I have lived in an RV park the entire time. Nothing has changed. There are always spaces open in this park.
You live in a long term park that isn’t in prime real estate. If you were on the road you would find the world has changed A LOT! We have been out for 6-8 months a year for the last 3 years, and 3-5 months a year for many years before that. It has changed, really. Thirty years ago we didn’t make reservations except rarely for places like Yellowstone. If you didn’t make a reservation, you still could probably get a site. That just isn’t true anymore, and the larger your rig, the fewer sites are available since rigs are much larger than they used to be.
 

JayArr

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Jun 13, 2020
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Mission British Columbia Canada
Here in BC the government has changed a few things over the last few years. One of them is that you need to register your name and drivers license when reserving. This immediately stopped the RV places from buying bulk sites to give away.

A lot of our sites are already not completely reservable, that sounds awkward but what I mean is that anywhere from 20% to 50% of the sites are not in the reservation system and are allotted for first come campers. It's still a gong show on a long weekend but on a normal week if you go out on Thursday you can snag a nice spot and keep it through the weekend.

A third change was that the reservation system only works 60 days in advance, today I can book up to Aug 13th and no further, there are no further reservations available. Tomorrow it will be Aug 14th.

Lastly you cannot reserve single days on long weekends, it's all three or nothing.

So, there are some tweaks and changes that can be made but I'm in the camp that thinks that once I've paid for a site it should not be given away for any reason.
 

TheBar

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Jun 25, 2018
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MS
There are a lot of COE campgrounds here. They have switched to reservations only. Walk-ins must call or get online before they let them in. Gate keepers don't take any form of payment or give refunds.

There are few things more frustrating than your reservation being given away. I've been there. You've already had a bad day is why you are late. Here you are in the dark in an unfamiliar place knowing you have to drive 2 hours to another place. Which might also be full by the time you get there. Walk-ins know they are rolling the dice by not making a reservation. If they don't get in whose fault is that? Its none of their business whether spots are open or not.
 

SeilerBird

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St Cloud Florida USA
You live in a long term park that isn’t in prime real estate. If you were on the road you would find the world has changed A LOT! We have been out for 6-8 months a year for the last 3 years, and 3-5 months a year for many years before that. It has changed, really. Thirty years ago we didn’t make reservations except rarely for places like Yellowstone. If you didn’t make a reservation, you still could probably get a site. That just isn’t true anymore, and the larger your rig, the fewer sites are available since rigs are much larger than they used to be.
I am located less than twenty miles away from Disney World and Orlando, the number one destination in the US for tourists. Can't get much more prime than that.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

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Globe
I saw a Article on the TV about this yesterday. Apparently the Texas Reservation system has changed a bit as of 1 June 2021. If you are a no show at 12 noon the day after your reservation starts the booking is cancelled and put back in the gene pool of sites. I guess this new booking rule applies to, if they can get off their fat a_ _ and do their job. They are probably too busy solving world problems on their IPhones to make any progress at their real job.

I will agree there is alot of Reserved flags at each empty site I have witnessed.
 

phil-t

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Jul 10, 2017
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Ogdensburg, NY
I don't know; but I just hate the thought of throwing my $$$ away on a reservation that I won't keep. Probably why we seldom make a reservation more than a day ahead. Still not having any problems finding a site .
 

Ex-Calif

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So, there are some tweaks and changes that can be made but I'm in the camp that thinks that once I've paid for a site it should not be given away for any reason.
I can't imagine booking something I won't use. Maybe there are folks like that.

But I agree 100% that if I reserved it and I paid for it then it's mine.

I could easily see a 24 hour auto cancellation if I am a no show. I reckon 24 hours is a reasonable amount of time for me to deal with whatever made me late and still inform the park that I am either coming or not coming.

It's SOP with me anyway that if I am going to be delayed past office hours I call anyway so that I can get instructions on where to park and how to set up after hours. I think part of that is common courtesy anyway.

OTOH - if the park is going to cancel me and they have someone to pay for the space, I should get all my money back.

Not throwing a dart at anyone but if you look at it from the other side there are some issues there too. Parks are more crowded - that's a given fact. The internet makes booking a lot easier than the old phone and paper days. If one can't understand that reservations are necessary, sometimes well in advance, then that's something one needs to on-board.

Driving around, especially to popular places at popular times, and expecting to be a walk in is just ludicrous. If that's your thing then expect to be parked far from where you want to be. I have never not been able to find a place to stay.
 

timjet

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Aug 7, 2012
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386
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Tampa Bay
No shows at state parks are a problem, I've seen it. The problem is most states have turned their reservation system over to Reserve America and most parks within the Reserve America Reservation system have lost control over the reservations in their parks. Some can reserve empty sites to walk ups but many require a reservation from the Reserve American web site even for a walk up. Reserve American is contracted to handle reservations not penalize a camper that fails to cancel. Until that changes I don't see much progress made in filling uncancelled camp sites.

What I would like to see is a system whereby rangers at each campground report reserved but unused campsites to Reserve America each morning. Those campers that failed to cancel would be barred from making additional reservations for 30 days.
People will come up with all sorts of excuses but until some penalty is issued this problem won't change. Sorry I don't buy the "I can't get a cell phone signal" excuse. It would help if Reserve America repaid the entire reservation fee as long as the camper cancelled his site reservation within 24hrs and did away with the ridiculous "reservation fee".
 
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Rene T

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May 20, 2011
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Farmington NH
I feel that if I rent a site for 5 days and it falls on a weekend and I pay for it in advance when making the reservation and I decide not to show up at all anytime during those 5 days then so be it. It’s my money and my lost. But that particular site should be mine for the duration of my reservation even if I decide not to show up.
 

Skookum

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Dec 19, 2018
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218
It was a real problem when we were staying in Washington State Parks. Their reservation system is a solid F+ if not a D-. "Campground Full" ...and 1/2 to 3/4 of the sites are completely empty. I can't tell if it's a problem with their reservation site which went live in 2018/19, or if people just aren't showing up. Their cancellation policy is already aggressive and they require you pre-pay your stay in advance, so you'd think that would incentivize people to show up or cancel in advance.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Cedar City, UT
Obviously in the last year it's been very unusual what with Covid and such,, many folks felt it wise to stay away from densely populated areas, and that made a poor situation worse..>>>Dan
 

ChasA

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Mar 21, 2009
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Many campgrounds have been limited to 50% or less occupancy for awhile because of covid.
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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SW Louisiana
Lots of good points have been made, but here is another one, the cost of making a reservation is often only a tiny fraction of what the RV trip costs, so when one is forced to reserve a site months in advance, being out the cost of the rv site is trivial in the greater scheme of things.

Lets take Yellowstone as an example, if I were to drive there this summer in my coach from Louisiana, my cost to get to the entry gate and back would included spending something over $1,200 of gasoline, take 8+ days of my time even pushing it with long driving hours, realistically it is 5 days there, and 5 days back at around 325 miles per day, so probably another $300+ rv park fees along the way, not to mention food, etc. Making the $35 or so per night at the destination paid out months in advance trivial when considering the overall cost of the trip.

If I were still working full time, I can see how it could make sense to book sites at 2 or 3 different destinations months out and just loose out on the ones you choose not to go to, due to whatever reason, wild fires in the area that year, not being able to take off the extra vacation time, so falling back on the closer to home backup trip instead, etc..
 

JayArr

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Jun 13, 2020
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Mission British Columbia Canada
Those campers that failed to cancel would be barred from making additional reservations for 30 days.

Why? What causes this to be some crime?

They paid for the site and they didn't use it.

IMHO - That's simply not an action that requires punishment.

People will come up with all sorts of excuses but until some penalty is issued this problem won't change.

That there is no one camping in the paid for site is not a problem that requires solving.
 

NY_Dutch

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Nov 22, 2010
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Where our wheels take us!
JayArr makes good points... Consider if I buy the last TV in a store and you come in next and can't buy a TV. Does it make any difference to your situation whether I actually use that TV or not?
 
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