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Are you making park reservations as you travel now?


Kirk W
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We are back on the road for a time and have been wondering if anyone has yet seen any change in RV site availability since the big increase in fuel prices? We have so far only made 2 stops this season, but both of those parks have been full. We have another reservation near Nashville that I made about a month ago and at that time they had no pull-through sites for the night that I was seeking. What are others doing and what do you find as you travel? Are most parks full every night? 

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Today I booked sites for the next two weeks, thru the 4th of July.  I left May 1st from So. Nevada and have traveled to South Dakota with reservations that I made the 1st of the year.  A couple places that I have in the new itinerary were not available, and one was too dang expensive! ($118.00 per night for a 30 amp pull thru).  I was able to find other parks that had openings and all worked out.  Was rather surprised I was able to book a week including 4th of July week-end at one of my favorite spots in Montana.  Granted, I'm not looking in heavily populated areas, but did check places along I-90 in Montana and they were booked or very, very expensive.  Many RV parks have told me they've had LOTS of cancellations....but then people like me call :)  One place in a very small town was booked solid, but the time I wanted was a festival in town and it's to be expected.  

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We like to stay at Corps of Engineer parks.  Most of them have a booking window six months out.  Just about all the sites  are booked up on Friday and Saturday nights as soon as the window opens.  You have to be quick on the mouse to grab one.

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Out of curiosity today, I checked availability at the NY state parks we have booked into October, and except for a few tent only sites, they all show up as full. I haven't checked the GA and FL state parks we have booked for our "winter tour" yet. If fuel prices stay up, I expect there may be more cancellations as the dates get closer.

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I can report on traffic on I80 in Nebraska yesterday. Usually this time of year campers are everywhere and traffic is very heavy with cars. At any given time you could look forward or backward and in a 6 mile range there would usually only be two or three cars other than trucks so traffic is greatly down. There were some older class a and c but very few pull type and fifth wheels.  That being said will the lack of campers show up in the RVpark prices?

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I prefer non commercial campgrounds for my trip to wintering in southern Arizona.  I only do a couple hundred miles per day & usually stay at least 2 days per stop, taking 2 months to get to Arizona. Last year was the first time I made reservations for both going & returning, going about 5 months ahead & returning about 4 months ahead.  I found a few campgrounds I wanted that were full, but most had sites.  While actually on both trips, I found around half the campgrounds were full.

Just made reservations for the trip out this coming October & only found one of the campgrounds full, so maybe I'll be able to go back to non reservation travel.

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44 minutes ago, vermilye said:

I prefer non commercial campgrounds for my trip to wintering in southern Arizona.  I only do a couple hundred miles per day & usually stay at least 2 days per stop, taking 2 months to get to Arizona. Last year was the first time I made reservations for both going & returning, going about 5 months ahead & returning about 4 months ahead.  I found a few campgrounds I wanted that were full, but most had sites.  While actually on both trips, I found around half the campgrounds were full.

Just made reservations for the trip out this coming October & only found one of the campgrounds full, so maybe I'll be able to go back to non reservation travel.

State and national park campgrounds often have one or two day openings here and there. But for one or two week stays, the choices can be pretty slim. At the state park we were in a week ago for two weeks, I watched one family change sites four times over the course of 12 days. 

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11 hours ago, DJohns said:

I can report on traffic on I80 in Nebraska yesterday.

We arrived in Lebanon, TN yesterday and traveling I30 to Little Rock and then I40 through Nashville, we were observing much the same thing. Only occasionally did we meet an RV heading the other direction and very seldom did we see one traveling the same way. In fact, it was so seldom that we both noticed the distinct lack of RV traffic. When we checked into the KOA at Lebanon for our night just before coming into Escapade, I asked about the effects of fuel prices on business and his comment was that they have seen very little if any decrease in business so far this year. They have 100 sites and we saw only 2 empty RV sites and tenting was about half full even though temperatures have been in the mid to high 90's here with humidity between 60 & 80%.

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12 hours ago, DJohns said:

I can report on traffic on I80 in Nebraska yesterday. Usually this time of year campers are everywhere and traffic is very heavy with cars. At any given time you could look forward or backward and in a 6 mile range there would usually only be two or three cars other than trucks so traffic is greatly down. There were some older class a and c but very few pull type and fifth wheels.  That being said will the lack of campers show up in the RVpark prices?

I left FL on May 1st. Booked several 2 or 3 night stays before leaving. Hard to get a week or more since most weekends are already booked. I'm in Omaha now at a city park. No reservations, first come first served, had to wait till a Tue to get in. Now Thurs is full again. As far as I-80 I see lots of traffic but not many RVs. Lots of semi traffic. Heading to So Dakota next week. Already booked there for 2 months. Having serious trouble booking my next winter stay in FL. Everybody is already booked for Jan, Feb and March.

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1 hour ago, Twotoes said:

I left FL on May 1st. Booked several 2 or 3 night stays before leaving. Hard to get a week or more since most weekends are already booked. I'm in Omaha now at a city park. No reservations, first come first served, had to wait till a Tue to get in. Now Thurs is full again. As far as I-80 I see lots of traffic but not many RVs. Lots of semi traffic. Heading to So Dakota next week. Already booked there for 2 months. Having serious trouble booking my next winter stay in FL. Everybody is already booked for Jan, Feb and March.

We reserved our January '23 Georgia State Park sites last December (13 month window) and our Florida State Park sites for February and March in March and April (11 month window) and our April return to Georgia last February. Thanks go to my Google calendar for helping me keep it all straight. :)

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We made reservations for our trip from Riverton to The Ranch and then from The Ranch to our first hosting gig (Lake of the Ozarks SP) a couple of months ago, with one exception. Our first night will be at a city park that doesn't do reservations, but only has a few sites. Three of the four nights going south are at KOAs, and when we booked they were reporting nearly full. We'll see in a couple of weeks.

COE is our first choice, too, followed by SP. We're learning to look for city/county campgrounds, as they are often free or very low price. They usually don't offer much other than hookups (shade is rare), but for an overnight they are fine.
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We just returned from the 7674 mile round trip from SW Idaho to Key West.
We made reservations a month or more in advance for places to stay on the way and had planned on several Boondock locations. Ended up using only 2 boondock.  We did use Scott AFB near St Louis MO, and the Naval Air Station at Key West, so If you're able to use Military FAM Camps, you might be surprised how nice some of them are.

Had some issues with the black tank valve so had to cancel the boondock locations and choose a couple of full hook up spots on the way back.

Usually, we were able to get an over night at a campground by calling a day or two ahead.  Only 2 places told me they had no spaces available. One of them put us in a electric/water site even though I specificially asked for full hook up.  Oddly, they had full hook up sites available when we pulled out the next morning.  The only "first come first served" place we tried was the Cabela's Campground in Sidney, NE. They had lots of open spots ($42 / night)

I used RV Wizard - RV trip planner with the advanced driving radius to choose a stop close to the end of my desired driving day. It worked quite well. Only went to the Campendium app once to find a spot..
As other have mentioned reservations are key, but in the mid west (NE, MO,WY) there seemed to be open spaces when we parked. In the South east (KY,GA, FL) not many open spaces or they were open waiting on the next folks to arrive.

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