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Getting a spot where there are no reservations

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My husband and I are going to take our first ever van camping trip on Memorial Day weekend. We are going to Kentucky and North Carolina. I'm worried, however, that we're going to arrive and all the spots will be taken. Since we've never done this, I have no idea how many people use primitive campsites.or if this is likely to be a problem. Is a holiday a bad time to do this? 

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Welcome to the forum!

Most campgrounds around my area, holiday weekend are booked way ahead of time.  We do alot of boon docking so I don't worry about it.  Don't know where your going to be at, we do mostly the Dakotas.

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31 minutes ago, adventure mom said:

My husband and I are going to take our first ever van camping trip

With a small Vehicle it gets easier to find a spot to park. I frequently call about 2 in the afternoon as a cancellation my exist for overnight. A weeks stay takes some planning

Happy travels

Clay

 

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9 hours ago, adventure mom said:

My husband and I are going to take our first ever van camping trip on Memorial Day weekend. We are going to Kentucky and North Carolina. I'm worried, however, that we're going to arrive and all the spots will be taken. Since we've never done this, I have no idea how many people use primitive campsites.or if this is likely to be a problem. Is a holiday a bad time to do this? 

Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

Since you mention primitive camping, I am guessing that you mean no hookups and possibly no designated campsites and no facilities such as pit toilets. There are two National Forests in Kentucky, Daniel Boon NF  and Land Between the Lakes NRA. There are four National Forests in North Carolina, Croatan, Nantahala, Pisgah, and Uwharrie. The links provide information about the designated campgrounds such as number of sites, size of sites, amenities provided and whether reservations are available. For information on where dispersed vehicle camping  is permitted and information on how far you can park from the designated roads, you will have to consult the Motor Vehicle Use Map  (MVUM) for each Forest. Here is a link to a website with links to many of the MVUMs. You can also search each Forest's website for "MVUM". 

Hope this helps. Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums!

A great deal will depend on where you choose to go as some spots a very popular while others have little use. The other issue is what you want in a site. Most of the areas listed as campgrounds will have designated camping sites, which does limit the number of users and the space that each has but there are also areas that are not designated and in busy periods you could find it much like staying in a parking lot. With Memorial Day weekend being one of the busiest times of the camping season, I would suggest that you go where you can get reservations, just to be sure that you have a place to stay which you can enjoy for your first trip there.

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16 hours ago, adventure mom said:

...Kentucky...primitive campsites... 

Kentucky allows camping on some of its Wildlife Management areas. You will have to do some research to find out which ones and what rules apply. 

  1. "Camping is permitted only in designated areas. Check WMA maps by clicking here or call the WMA office for camping availability through Kentucky Fish and Wildlife or other campgrounds. Parking must be confined to designated parking areas if such areas exist. If no parking area is designated, parking is generally allowed alongside maintained roads in such a manner that does not block a road or gate or prevent access to a portion of the area. Unless otherwise authorized by the department, mechanized vehicles (excluding wheelchairs) are permitted only on maintained roads open to public use. It is unlawful to cut trees or fences, dump trash or litter, or damage any property or habitat in any fashion."

Here is a link

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TrailerTraveler gave you some good information.  If you are talking about national forest campgrounds then this site might be helpful. We used it all the time for our 40' motorhome.  You have to know the name of the national forest that you want to stay and then you'll find the campgrounds.

Some Corp of Engineer parks also have primitive areas.

We rarely made reservations even on the 3-day holidays.  We would choose places that didn't have any kind of water attractions - lakes, rivers, pools.  That's where the crowds will be.  If you want a quiet weekend it's doable by avoiding those places.

https://www.forestcamping.com/dow/pictures/pictures.htm

Edited by 2gypsies

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  TrY FreeCampsites.com; Free Campsites.org; or Free Campsites.net  

It could be  FreeCampgrounds. com; org or net. It has been about 10+ years since I used them.

 

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18 minutes ago, Pieere said:

  TrY FreeCampsites.com; Free Campsites.org; or Free Campsites.net  

It could be  FreeCampgrounds. com; org or net. It has been about 10+ years since I used them.

 

The Free Campsites website is a very good one. The Free Campgrounds website no longer lists camping locations.

Another good website for public lands including county and local facilities is the Ultimate Public Campgrounds Project.

It does not appear that the OP has revisited the forum since the initial post, so this will be my last response until their is some indication whether the information already provided has been helpful.          

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Since I don't know anything specifically about your area I'll just give you a very general answer. As an RVer for the last 30 years, a full timer for the last four, and someone who boondocks 95% of the time I have found it best to find a place well before the holiday where I can hunker down until it's over.

Finding a place to stay for a holiday is only part of the problem, and yes it's a big one. But for me the biggest part of the problem is having to deal with all the crowds. The holidays bring  people out camping that don't get to do it very often and they tend to bring their bad habits with them. Their barking dogs, their loud music, their excessive drinking, their extremely loud generators, and their kids that think it's okay to bounce a ball off the side of your RV.

Some people like the excitement and the party atmosphere of all that, but if that's not your cup of tea your best bet is to find a place in a National Forest somewhere and boondock.

Tom

 

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Ive read and seen how people reserve primitive sites..   They squat.

I watched a site that looked like it was taken with a tent and a lawn chair, but no one was there for a few days but then they showed up on the weekend.

Heck of a way to hold or reserve a primitive spot.. 

Edited by rebar

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On 10/17/2019 at 4:21 PM, Joyce wildasin said:

Holidays are very hard. Try to find a p

Hi Joyce - check the date of the thread starter - looking for a spot on Memorial Day - as well as the date of the last post - which was April 14th........*maybe*  you figured that out and simply stopped entering your message...."Try to find a p" .....you can delete.

Oh well - yes they can be  "(Holidays are)  very hard".

😁

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