RV route ping pong.......

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BinaryBob

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Feb 9, 2013
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1,920
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
I've just completed plans for our 2019 snowbird trip south from Minnesota.
Making reservations was not without challenges.
I needed to change dates to accommodate one destination. I got the LAST available site at an other destination. One was unavailable, necessitating a change in itinerary. This trip is 6 MONTHS away!
There's simply too many Boomers with RV's! I propose an organized campaign here at the RV forum to broadcast just how AWFUL the RV lifestyle is. Let's loosen up some RV parks!
Of course I'm being silly. Seriously... re .. alternatively..... it would be nice for entrepreneurs to see the opportunity to develop additional RV parks. There's certainly money to be made if done right.
 

Isaac-1

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Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,571
Location
SW Louisiana
I keep hearing about this shortage of rv sites, maybe I just live in the wrong place, or I am looking at the wrong type of rv sites, but I have not seen the issue, excluding around major rv destinations (Yellowstone, etc.).  I live in western Louisiana, so it is natural for me to check availabilty primarily around where I live, or where I am traveling.

Now I don't tend to travel on big holiday weekends (Labor Day, 4th of July, and Memorial day), but even those, just out of curiosity  the last year or so I have checked last minute availabilty at relativley nearby state parks, COE campgrounds etc.  Now sure 4th of July in the south may not be all that pleasant out, though one would expect some up-tick, Labor Day and Memorial day should show some popularity.  However what I have found in informal checking of online bookings for Louisiana, east Texas, and Arkansas State parks, along with COE  campgrounds, etc. is that all showed substantial availability on all the above holidays when searched even the week of the holiday.

Last summer I also made a 31 day, 4,200 mile loop from Louisiana to Wyoming and back to see the big solar eclipse and Yellowstone. Excluding the dates for around Yellowstone and the eclipse I made almost no reservations on this trip, call it 19 our of 31 days with no advanced reservations, though in a couple of cases I did call ahead same day to make sure there were vacancies.

Now on this trip I did experience a couple of popular overnight rv parks which did quickly fill up as the sun went down.  Many going from half empty at 5 pm to packed by sunset at around 9 pm.  By comparison others were virtual ghost towns, like on the way home I stopped for a Saturday night at the Kansas state fair grounds in Hutchinson KS,on a non event weekend 125 full hookups, 4 of which were occupied when I  arrived at around 5 pm, 7 of which were filled when I looked outside at about 7:30 am the next morning.  With similar ratios at various other community RV campgrounds, city park campgrounds, etc. I tried on the trip.

My return drive coincided with Hurricane Harvey hitting the Texas / Louisiana coast, and even the night Harvey made its final landfall on the Texas / Louisiana, when one might expect rv parks in the region to be packed with coastal refugees, I was staying at a KOA in Texarkana with no reservations, that was at most 3/4 filled.
 

wackymac

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Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Posts
676
Location
Ocala, FL
Isaac-1  We experienced the same thing.  We left Florida on June 4th traveling I-10 to I-40 to Santa Cruz , CA.  We would stop about 3:00 p.m. and use The Next Exit and our list of parks we've stayed at to call ahead for reservations.  The only park where we took the last spot was Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles, CA. on a Saturday night.  When we left Santa Cruz on July 17th we did the same thing and never had a problem.
 

Bobtop46

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Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Posts
735
Location
Dunnellon FL
We have experienced this in April and May, before school let out.  I agree there is room for expansion and money to be made in the right places.  Our new grand daughter was born in late March and we went near Blacksburg VA.  We were able to stay at the local State park for 2 weeks then had to move to a commercial park off Interstate 81 for 2 weeks and then had to leave because of no where to stay. 
  We then headed to Austin Tx area to see other family.  We were able to get a spot there at $1000 a month in a new 190 site park.  Our previous park was booked and our backup park that we have stayed at several times (and been flooded out of) the price has gone from $350 a month to $1300. 
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,030
Location
Where ever we park it!
Our experiences have been more in line with Bob's. We are however traveling in the west, and nearly everyplace we have stayed the last few months has been sold out. It's important to note that we are also traveling in a 40' Bus, so we can't fit in just anywhere.

And the fact that our RV'ing preferences have changed dramatically in the past 20 years. Fortunately for me, the DW is a master at research and planning. And she enjoys it, which takes a huge load off of my plate. I have been blogging this years travel in the "Trip Reports, Journals, and logs" forum, and every park we stayed at has been sold out at least during the weekends during our visit. Even an over night stop in Burns, Or last night sold out, and it's in the middle of no where!
 

mel s

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Posts
836
BinaryBob said:
I've just completed plans for our 2019 snowbird trip south from Minnesota.
Making reservations was not without challenges.
I needed to change dates to accommodate one destination. I got the LAST available site at an other destination. One was unavailable, necessitating a change in itinerary. This trip is 6 MONTHS away!
There's simply too many Boomers with RV's! I propose an organized campaign here at the RV forum to broadcast just how AWFUL the RV lifestyle is. Let's loosen up some RV parks!
Of course I'm being silly. Seriously... re .. alternatively..... it would be nice for entrepreneurs to see the opportunity to develop additional RV parks. There's certainly money to be made if done right.

BinaryBob
Methinks you a planing to much.
For 12 winters we've travel throughout the south, (Nov-March), averaging almost 10,000 miles per year....and we've never made a reservation.
 

BikerFlex&HappyJen

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Joined
Mar 25, 2017
Posts
178
Agreed, it would be lovely to see more (especially good quality) campgrounds available. DH and I discussed how the camping boom seems to increase as more people have discretionary money to be able to enjoy camping. We have observed that it?s not just the rvers that are out there, we often see that even the basic tent campers are still in abundance. Camping is not going to become a ?thing of the past? it seems to keep building with the new generations, and maybe even expanding. People are still craving the ?simplicity? of this lifestyle (although we all know it isn?t always ?simple?  ???) and maybe even prefer it to the resorts and glitzy vacations. I know we do. If campground owners are seeing a trend of ?no vacancy? in their facility, suggestions by us rvers/campers of expanding their availability would be in their best interest for both them as well as their customers. Hopefully, many owners will put money back into their facility(s) and make additional room for their happy campers to be able to get a site.
 

HappyWanderer

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Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Posts
2,700
I once forgot to make reservations at our favorite state park on the day the one-year window opened. At 363 days out, I got the last site in the park.
 

HappyWanderer

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Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Posts
2,700
Rhode Island, in October. Forget about peak season - if you're even an hour late when the reservation window opens, you're out of luck.

That's typical for popular parks throughout the Northeast. A short camping season and high demand means you don't always get a site.
 

BinaryBob

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Posts
1,920
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
mel s said:
BinaryBob
Methinks you a planing to much.
For 12 winters we've travel throughout the south, (Nov-March), averaging almost 10,000 miles per year....and we've never made a reservation.

Possibly Mel.
We like to plan three or four different cities/areas of about 10 days each. Need full hookups. 
I don't make reservations for the interim stops along the way.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,030
Location
Where ever we park it!
You are not alone Bob. Diane is already starting to put a plan together for next year as we will be in the west again. To us planning is not a bad thing. It's wanting to stay where we want and not where we can. With a larger RV and we like services, amenities in the area, and we want to stay for a week usually.  "Getting that last spot" may only be for the night, and if so you may wind  up having to move sites again and again. That's why we plan.
 

Hfx_Cdn

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Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Posts
3,744
Location
Nova Scotia
    Over the years we rarely made reservation other than around holiday week ends or near major attractions.  But my pet peeve are campgrounds that advertise a certain number of site, but when you get there, there are only a handful of actual RV sites available, with the remainder taken up by permanent rigs, with decks, storage sheds, roof overs, etc, and oh they have the choice locations.  I think they should be made to advertise only those sites available for transient campers.

Ed
 

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,571
Location
SW Louisiana
Ed, I disagree, to a degree, as overall size does imply certain things about the rv park, like expected general size of laundry room, ...
 

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