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National Parks


SWharton

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We don't like to make reservations and was wondering if National Parks had drive up campsites available? Could we call them in the AM for a site? We have rarely boondocked in the past but would like to start.

 

This might belong in the boondocking thread, not sure.

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This would not be called 'boondocking' . . in national parks it's called getting a 'dry' site. :) Boondocking is staying where there are no official camp sites carved out ....out in the boonies....and usually on national forest and BLM lands. National parks typically have campgrounds to stay - 'dry' (no hookups) and those with hookups. You can't just plop down anywhere in national parks.

 

Yes, some parks have walk-up (drive-up) sites but you can't call and ask for a site. You have to be there in person. We've done this and have gotten sites, particularly in Yellowstone.

 

Even if a campground takes reservations, we've also gotten sites by just staying nearby the previous night and showing up early morning at the campsite office. There are usually no-shows and cancellations.

 

No guarantee on a site though. You take a chance but like you, we don't do reservations and really...with our 40' motorhome we've always stayed where we planned.

 

Dry camping or boondocking is not hard to do and is very enjoyable. We love it. This lets you stay in awesome places. You do have to watch your onboard electric and water consumption but can easily be done for a couple nights with normal batteries. Many folks use generators or solar to generate their power. We used solar and could stay indefinitely but the holding tanks will dictate when you need to move and empty them and refill with water. We could last about 12 days max.

 

Give it a try!

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I stand corrected. I thought boondocking was no hookups, period.

 

I am trying to convince DH to do some boondocking, National Parks is our first try at no hookups. Little steps. With our MDT and 38' 5th wheel we pretty much never fit into National Parks. The small MH, 36', gives us so much flexibility.

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In most of the NF, BLM, NP campgrounds, if a campsite is not reserved you can at least park there until the next reservations is scheduled. Many NF sites have a 3 day advanced notice for reservations. Meaning if you try to make a reservation for today or tomorrow, the reservation site will not accept a reservation until 3 days (sometimes 2 days) from today. So usually if the campsite does not have a reserved sign on it, it will be available for the next 2-3 days. Best to check with the camp host to be sure.

 

I make extensive use of the reservation systems for the above mentioned places. I look to see how many campsites are open, if there a lot of unreserved sites, I just show up and take what is available. However if I want to stay several days I will make a reservation so I don't have to move if someone reserves the site I am in. Most of the NF & BLM campsites don't have a way for the local people to reserve the sites for people who just show up.

 

Be sure to practice your dry camping before moving to a boondock or dry camping place. Do this by just disconnecting from your shore power for as many days as you want plan for.

 

BTW, there are a lot of people who do call dry camping, boondocking. However I agree with 2gypsies that parking in a place with designated campsites and no water/electric is dry camping. Parking someplace with no defined campsite would be boondocking.

 

I like to go one step farther in defining camping or parking outside of a RV Park. That would be Over Night (O/N) parking. That would be in a place where you would not normally put out your lawn chairs, BBQ grill and make it look like you are setting up camp. Places like a Walmart parking lot, or a roadside rest area.

 

Other folks may disagree with the above definitions.

 

Good luck with your dry camping or boondocking.

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We are going to Assateague National Seashore for a few days to try dry camping out. I had wanted to also go to Acadia Blackwoods but we are too tall. We do plan to go to Sleeping Dunes in October so we will give dry camping reasonable try before getting to winter quarters.

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We are going to Assateague National Seashore for a few days to try dry camping out. I had wanted to also go to Acadia Blackwoods but we are too tall. We do plan to go to Sleeping Dunes in October so we will give dry camping reasonable try before getting to winter quarters.

FYI, there is an MD state campground there too with dry camping sites.

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