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Old 08-13-2019, 01:20 PM   #1
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Lesson Number 1

State Parks fill up FAST for holiday weekends! Even the little bitty ones I've never heard of are out of electric camp sites for Labor Day Weekend.

I suppose I should have known, but I guess I never really thought about it since we've never gone away for a 3-day weekend before. I hate planning stuff months in advance! I have to schedule my work vacations 6 months out and that sucks big time. I mean, maybe we'd rather go north than south that weekend...how are we supposed to know?

I guess we need to get a generator sooner rather than later - plenty of "basic" no-service sites left.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:26 PM   #2
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That's why we never do holiday weekends. If around the holiday, stay prior or after, but not during. Hence, got a SP site yesterday from 3-7 Sep, with FHU.

Like you, hate planning months in advance, usually 2-4 weeks prior.

Safe and happy travels.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:41 AM   #3
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We book our sites at the beginning of the season but this summer we went on a last minute 8 day trip. We had nothing booked and just figured that around 4pm we would stop at the nearest state park or national forest. We have a nice inverter generator so we weren't worried about any hookups. We ended up with beautiful sites every night. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Get a genny and go!
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:06 AM   #4
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Yep, you gotta know how much in advance the state parks will take reservations. Recreation.gov, the federal reservation system, takes theirs 6 months in advance. Need something Memorial Day week? Better be ready to lock in the last week of the previous November. Some states will take reservations up to a year in advance.
Makes it tough to be spontaneous!
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:20 AM   #5
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The local CG's around where I live, neighbor books their days a year in advance. If you don't...you're out of luck. You can usually get sites during the week, but the weekends are booked thru the summer. Non reservation sites require you to have your trailer on the spot by Wednesday or Thursday...at the latest or they're full by Thursday afternoon. Between that and finally finding an acreage with a cabin is the reasons we put the TT up for sale this summer and already sold the 3/4 ton GMC.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
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Yep...at this point I have searched LITERALLY every park in our state - and there's a LOT of them...even little parks I've never heard of. I have found exactly one park that still has four sites that we would be allowed in (there are a number that still have ADA sites, but we're both able-bodied). It's a good 5+ hour drive and husband doesn't want to go that far for just a couple days.

So...guess I know better now. So much for 3-day weekends without taking vacation time.

But I do have a commercial campground booked for this weekend (assuming we don't cancel today as my husband is sick in bed right now) and one booked for Sept. 6th - though that's more in lieu of a hotel or a tent for a nearby medieval reenactment event we're headed for. We're looking at a longer (week) trip the first week of October.

I wonder what Columbus day is like? Maybe I should check that one. Or Veteran's Day? We get those off work. About the end of any camping there November 11th...but we bought this darn thing and I want to USE it if I'm paying interest on it!
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:24 AM   #7
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A couple of US forrestry service CG's in our area do not take reservations. First come, first serve... which I like since I can not schedule 6 months to a year out either. But generally no full hookups and you better get there on Thursday evening during season.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:47 AM   #8
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Back when my kids were in school, we would plan out RV trips in September, January or May to avoid the crowds.
Easy to do on year-round school schedules.
My family never vacationed in the summer...still don't .
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:09 AM   #9
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Hope you DH is better soon.

We stay at a couple of national parks which require reservations six months in advance. Most have some sites which are first come first serve. They will probably be gone as campers go & just park their TT to hold the site a day or two early for three day weekends.

Weekends are just hard for state & national parks.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:42 AM   #10
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Hope you DH is better soon.

We stay at a couple of national parks which require reservations six months in advance. Most have some sites which are first come first serve. They will probably be gone as campers go & just park their TT to hold the site a day or two early for three day weekends.

Weekends are just hard for state & national parks.
First, thanks, I'm sure he'll be fine. But will he be fine by the weekend? That remains to be seen. And we have to cancel today or lose our $$.

There are a lot of sites open yet - but only ADA sites and equestrian sites and luckily we're fresh out of disabilities and horses. I have a friend who has been thinking of getting a miniature horse...I wonder if that would qualify. I can just picture us pulling in with the little guy in the back seat with his head out the window like a big dog.


Weekends are what we have. We both work full time. While we're without children to worry about school, we still aren't going to be traveling after we winterize the trailer, which I figure needs to be done by December. My work has me scheduled through November 14th!!! I don't have the kind of job I can just say, "I think I want to take off in a couple weeks."

...and my boss wonders why I'm freaking counting the days to retirement.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:39 AM   #11
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"My work has me scheduled through November 14th!!! I don't have the kind of job I can just say, "I think I want to take off in a couple weeks."

...and my boss wonders why I'm freaking counting the days to retirement."




So many companies are going with the idea that you need to work xx amount of days to earn one day of personal time off. It really hurts when they start requiring you need to work xx amount of hours to earn 1 hour of PTO. When the company I worked for was bought out the new owners changed our hours to 12 hour days but vacation was applied to 8 hours. They calculated the time as you needed to work 72 hours to earn 1 hour pto and you could accumulate time for 6 months out. If you had 40 hours in for the week you would needed to work another 32 hours to earn the 1 hr pto. If you had pto accumulated and did not use it by the end of the 6 months, you lost it.


The previous owners would pay out unused time at the end of the year.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mrs.Shockley View Post

There are a lot of sites open yet - but only ADA sites and equestrian sites and luckily we're fresh out of disabilities and horses. I have a friend who has been thinking of getting a miniature horse...I wonder if that would qualify. I can just picture us pulling in with the little guy in the back seat with his head out the window like a big dog.

From what I was told by disability rights advocates, I believe a miniature horse qualifies as a comfort, service or disability assistance animal by the ADA and must be allowed in places open to the public..
https://www.today.com/pets/miniature...als-2D80556031
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:44 PM   #13
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So many companies are going with the idea that you need to work xx amount of days to earn one day of personal time off. It really hurts when they start requiring you need to work xx amount of hours to earn 1 hour of PTO.... If you had pto accumulated and did not use it by the end of the 6 months, you lost it.
.
I actually work in state government. Our leave policy isn't terrible, but it is similar - so many hours earned per month, etc. I'm up to 14 hours per month because I've been here so long, but if we accumulate too much (for me 336 hours by October 1) we lose it. I'm not going to have that problem this year, but I have in the past and had to take vacation instead of sick leave (we get 14 hours of that too monthly) in order to not lose it. You can accumulate all the sick leave you want. It eventually gets paid - when you leave.

My problem with vacation is my actual position. I'd rather not say exactly what I do but it's a quasi-judicial position and I preside over administrative hearings and we are swamped. As I said, right now people are being notified they get their hearing in November. I hate to even call in sick when people are waiting that long to have their day in "court". Hard as it is to believe, a lot of us bureaucrats actually do care about the people we serve. So getting time off - you really have to plan ahead.

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From what I was told by disability rights advocates, I believe a miniature horse qualifies as a comfort, service or disability assistance animal by the ADA and must be allowed in places open to the public..
https://www.today.com/pets/miniature...als-2D80556031
Oh, I actually knew that. I was thinking more of taking him to the equestrian sites. You can't check into those without a horse.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:56 PM   #14
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I booked our Thanksgiving trip this year back in March at our favorite NC state park and I still didn't get either of our top 2 choices of sites! Still got a great site, but I keep checking daily in hopes of a cancellation for one of them! Futile I know, but hey checking is free and if by chance a site opens up, changing the reservation is free. The "free changes" to the reservations are the only reason I booked so early. We still may have to change plans but 7 days camping at any time of the year is ok with me if we have to change! So win, win in reality!

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Old 08-14-2019, 05:37 PM   #15
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Get that genny and get off the grid. Might be more enjoyable than playing follow the leader.


https://freecampsites.net/#!Missouri&query=region
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:14 PM   #16
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Get that genny and get off the grid. Might be more enjoyable than playing follow the leader.


https://freecampsites.net/#!Missouri&query=region
That actually is the plan. Just not in the budget until next year.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:12 PM   #17
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I did find a lovely campground in Kentucky and we picked a wonderful site for our vacation the first week of October. There's a photo on Campendium with the site we reserved and its right on the lake.

Now I know... reserve early, at least until we get that generator.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:31 AM   #18
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I hate to even call in sick when people are waiting that long to have their day in "court". Hard as it is to believe, a lot of us bureaucrats actually do care about the people we serve.
Good for you!

I think many forget that bureaucrats are just like us. Although, that might also explain the people who bad mouth bureaucrats & government officials.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:23 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mrs.Shockley View Post
Yep...at this point I have searched LITERALLY every park in our state - and there's a LOT of them...even little parks I've never heard of. I have found exactly one park that still has four sites that we would be allowed in (there are a number that still have ADA sites, but we're both able-bodied). It's a good 5+ hour drive and husband doesn't want to go that far for just a couple days.

So...guess I know better now. So much for 3-day weekends without taking vacation time.

But I do have a commercial campground booked for this weekend (assuming we don't cancel today as my husband is sick in bed right now) and one booked for Sept. 6th - though that's more in lieu of a hotel or a tent for a nearby medieval reenactment event we're headed for. We're looking at a longer (week) trip the first week of October.

I wonder what Columbus day is like? Maybe I should check that one. Or Veteran's Day? We get those off work. About the end of any camping there November 11th...but we bought this darn thing and I want to USE it if I'm paying interest on it!

Where my wife and I work, we not only accrue a pretty good amount of PTO, we can pretty much take off when we want, as long as we give proper notice, ie. at least a week or two in advance. So we used to plan our summers in the winter and make appropriate reservations 6 months ahead of time. But we were lucky that way, and most people can't do that. Buttttt....we only had two reservations for this summer because next summer we will be retired and not have to mess with all that stuff. We're gonna be like the other guys and just go!
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:26 PM   #20
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I don't know what state you are in, but there is a little known secret to getting in a FL park...I may regret this but here goes


Florida State Parks have usually anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of the sites UNRESERVABLE. They are called walk-up sites and are first come-first served. You can call the actual park office and confirm openings before you head over. So if you are willing to pay for a few extra nights you just roll the camper over on Wednesday before the weekend and get a site, park your rig and go home until the weekend. Come back on Friday and enjoy the stay. At $27 per night we consider this a small price to pay for spontaneous enjoyment.
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