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Vladimir

Changes to Federal Campground Reservation Systems.

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On 8/8/2018 at 1:30 PM, Mr. Camper said:

Thanks for sharing your political views.

Nothing political about it, it's merely capitalism at work. However, if the status quo is to be changed, it is we who must become interested enough to do something.

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Some of the same issues apply to rentable facilities in parks.  There are 2 covered pavilions for day use that are rentable at one location I volunteer.  They can be a big headache as some may rent but not show up and others will show up to picnic early and take over then if the renter shows up there can be an issue getting the first  bunch out .  I am a volunteer and good at BS'ing and can usually  get them to another location if I catch them on first arrival.  There often may be no paid staff anywhere near to help me.   Some years ago we had 2 sets of folks rent 1 each but the 1st group showed up early and took over both sites.  We nearly had a physical fight beentween a large scout group and a local business. Luckily that day we happened to have an LEO nearby.  Both sites are supposed to be for 30 people but usually there are at least 40 or 50, sometimes more.

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Our daughter got married in a state park. We rented both shelters because we weren't sure how many people would show nor what the weather would be. The weather was wonderful so we didn't need the second shelter since we could party outside. I walked over to tell the people who were hanging out at the second shelter that we weren't going to use it so they should feel free to do so. That seemed only fair to me. I wish campers who reserve sites they won't use would be as considerate.

Linda 

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3 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Yep, it's so much more exciting to drive a thousand miles or so only to find there are no sites available.

….. honestly, has never happened to us - even for the popular national parks.

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7 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

….. honestly, has never happened to us - even for the popular national parks.

Try getting a site in Florida at any national or state park south of Orlando in January or February for a two week stay without a reservation made months in advance.

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15 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Try getting a site in Florida at any national or state park south of Orlando in January or February for a two week stay without a reservation made months in advance.

And in Yellowstone or Yosemite in the height of the tourist season.

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8 hours ago, 2gypsies said:
 
12 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Yep, it's so much more exciting to drive a thousand miles or so only to find there are no sites available. 

….. honestly, has never happened to us - even for the popular national parks.

 

 

40 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Try getting a site in Florida at any national or state park south of Orlando in January or February for a two week stay without a reservation made months in advance.

We have had the same experience as Dutch even in Northern Florida and Southern Georgia in February and March. In my experience a lot depends on the size of your RV and what if any amenities you want. If you have a large enough RV that you can not fit in every site, the fewer the number of sites that you will fit in, the more likely it is that you will not get a site at prime times of the week or year. If you want at least electric, that will also reduce your chances of getting a site.   Last October, all the electric sites at Rhiana Campground at Abuquiu, Chochiti Lake Campground and Oliver Lee State Park in New Mexico were full when we got there. All of the sites at Oliver Lee were full when we drove through at 1 PM. A couple of years ago, all of the sites we would fit into in the several National Forest campgrounds along the Red River in New Mexico were full.

In my experience, there are more RVers, but another factor is that many Forest Service Campgrounds that use to be open all year if you could manage to get to them and get in now close. Some right after Labor Day and many by the end of September even though the weather is still pretty good.

24 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

And in Yellowstone or Yosemite in the height of the tourist season.

Yellowstone has been tough for decades. I remember, in the early 1970's, trolling through the 450+ site Fishing Bridge Campground (not the Trailer Village) at 7AM looking for people getting ready to leave. I believe that it was the largest campground in the park before it was closed. It took me a couple of tries to get into Slough Creek. The last time we were in Yellowstone, about 5 years ago, the full sign was at the entrance to Slough Creek all week as we toured the Lamar Valley looking for wildlife.

 

 

Edited by trailertraveler

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Yep, the problem isn't the registration system. The problem is the increased popularity of RV'ing without a similar increase in the number of camp sites. And with the high costs of campground development or expansion, I do understand the reasons for that lag.

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Agree on the heavier use of campsites. We have had the unpleasant surprise of arriving at "favorite" Texas State Parks where we never needed reservations in past years, only to be turned away because the park is full. Even places way off the beaten path like Balmorhea State Park in far west Texas have been full-up the last two times we tried to get in. 

We're finding that the reality is that for many parks, at least during peak season, the idea of just dropping in without reservations is not as practical as it used to be. Or, that you'll be able to drop in on a early weekday, but you'll have to be out by either Thursday or Friday night as all sites will be reserved. 

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2 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

And in Yellowstone or Yosemite in the height of the tourist season.

Yellowstone we have gotten in during the height of season - multiple times at Mammoth (no reservations accepted) and at Madison and Bridge Bay - just drove in a secured a site without reservations.  Done months of July-Sept.

Yosemite is our least favorite national park so wouldn't want to stay there. We've done day trips from SKP Coarsegold and that place is much too crowded for us - worse than Yellowstone.

Cochiti Lake COE in NM we've gotten in along with Glacier (Apgar), Grand Teton (Colter Bay & Gros Ventre), Zion (Watchman) Bryce (North c.g.) and many others.

I will say you have to get there very early morning. We stay just outside the parks the previous night.  We always have a back up plan just in case.

I'm just stating our experiences and yes, the parks were very crowded but it can be done.

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Just because a CG takes reservations does not mean you must have one.

Except for Zion etal and really popular tourist places, I've found no problem getting a site Su-Th sans reservation.

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