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Old 01-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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Making advance camping reservations?

Bought our Sunseeker motorhome at the end of the camping season last year. Really have not used it yet and am wondering about need for advance camping reservations. We are new to this and are planning on doing a lot of very short trips this first year.. Living at the Jersey shore we have a lot of campgrounds close by, as well as easy jaunts to MD shore, Poconos, Lancaster, NY,& VA. I like the idea of having flexibility to go wherever we feel like it, but most trips will be for 3-5 long weekends. Will we have a hard time finding nice camping spots if we don't make advance reservations?
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Yes. Our Wisconsin State Parks fill up very fast, sometimes 9 months in advance. Private campgrounds fill up quickly for holiday weekends or if located near popular attractions.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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While some campgrounds require reservations a year ahead of time in hot locations during festivals and celebrations (Gettysburg area during the 150th Anniversary comes to mind), you should be OK at most campgrounds 30 days or so prior.

You can also "wing it" and have good success for an over night (provided you can camp with no hookups if you need to stay in the parking lot.

Depends on where and how popular the campground is.

Showing up at Disney World or Wildwood, NJ in the summer without reservations would most likely be a bad idea.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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in California, you don't camp in our state parks without making reservations, if you plan on camping on weekends.
even in the off-season.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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7 Reservations for 2013 all made!

Hi-We always make our reservations far in advance. In order to get the sites we want (which are usually waterfront) we book as soon as we can. I think more and more people are getting into camping and the campgrounds are filling up sooner. I actually tried booking a particular site 14 months in advance and was told it was already booked! Good Luck!
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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One of the things I do is when visiting camp grounds I take the map and mark the most and least desirable sites. That way I have and idea when making reservations where I want. Best go first. Weekends fill up first and fast. Ohio state parks open reservations 6 months in advance. Best site gone right away. I'm retired so I tend to go middle of week. Most have some first come first serve sites but that's risky
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:45 PM   #7
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on our first trip to Yellowstone, we made reservation in advance in Cody and Custer SD. the stops we made in between were not a problem. we could probably have gotten away w/o reservations at Cody but needed them in Custer. Where u r, i would make reservations. it's good to know u have somewhere to park when u set out.

our last trip to SD and NM, we had an itinerary but no time table. we would start calling ahead just after we left the campground. it worked out for us but we were also prepared to change our route if needed.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #8
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Thank goodness I asked this question. I was planning on taking the kids to FrontierTown in Ocean City, MD and just tried to make reservations. Had to settle for only water/electric site! I had no idea it would fill up this early! Thanks for the good advice!
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:16 PM   #9
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private camp grounds in Iowa reserve up to and beyond a year in advance.
state parks are 90 days reservable.
All state campgrounds only have half available sites for 90 day reserve other half are not reservable.
dnr/county parks are not reservable


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Old 01-21-2013, 12:06 AM   #10
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I just went to reserve at a popular COE campground near Nashville for the third week in July. We had marked 8 sites on a map during a previous stay. First day and first 3 minutes that the week was able to be reserved, 7 of 8 sites were already reserved. I guess Reserve America allows people who reserve the week previous for a 2 week stay to hold those sites for the week I wanted. Amazing!
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