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Old 04-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
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Location: Langley, BC
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Is it possible to hit the open road without booking sites ahead?

One of these days we would love to do a circle tour of the US or parts of it. Since that would be a long, long trip I am guessing that it would be rather difficult to plan how long each day would be, where campgrounds would be when you arrive at your next destination and if you want to possibly spend an extra day or two at a site to do some site seeing. Would it be mandatory to book all overnight sites ahead regardless?

Is it possible to just jump in the truck one day and go? What if we couldn't find a camping site?? Now that Walmart is not allowing RVs like they used to, what to do for an emergency backup overnight site? We are newbies at pulling a TT around so are not sure on how to handle finding campgrounds in unknown territory. DW loves to plan everything on paper every day, even at home. Me, I love to head out into the great unknown without a plan of any kind.

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Old 04-23-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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That’s the best way to do a long trip. The only time during a trip like that where you want to make your reservations in advance would be if on major holiday weekends such as Memorial Day or Labor Day.

Carry either a Woodall’s or Trailer Life campground directory with you so that you have an idea of what campground you want to stay at for the night. We’ve always been able to find a campground for the night. After a breakdown on a long trip in 2008 we had an unplanned stop over the Labor Day weekend and we found a park that could put us in an overflow site.


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Old 04-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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a lot depends on the time of year you're traveling.
spring and fall in the West Coast, you could get by, except holiday weekends.

but summer, you'll need reservations. and in Calif., you need to do it 6 months in advance.
Dan-Retired Firefighter/EMT
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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I once took 3 weeks of leave and we set out on a tour of the west coast. In three weeks we made no reservations and only made it from Seattle to San Francisco. We had an Idea of where we were going to stay and only had to find a diffrent campground once. The Woodalls came in handy and it was a blast!
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
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Location: Tennessee
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Last year we started in East TN and traveled to ME with only one booked site near Fort Kent. The return trip took us 6 weeks and never had a problem. Some of the best camp grounds where the mom and pop sites that we just found along the way. We stayed at one near Rock Port called Lobster Buey and we where right on the water. We where going to just stay one night and stayed for a week. ($115.00) We really enjoy just fliping a coin to see witch way we are goiing to go.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:23 AM   #6
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Sounds like you had a good trip? I would be careful in New England in the Summer as many of the camp grounds are booked and I have had problems getting one in the past. The cost is also higher in that part of the country. I would not go to ME in the summer without a reservation. Good Luck
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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Location: Anacortes, WA
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We usually go without reservations unless we're going to be in a very popular area over a holiday weekend. Out west here, there are lots of CGs and it's rare not to be able to find a spot.

When we go just for a short trip, we leave home Sunday after lunch, so the weekenders who have work and school on Mondays are gone by the time we're looking and we head home Friday lunchtime to leave room for the next lot of weekenders. We take our longer trips either before schools are out in June or after they've gone back in late August or after Labor Day.
Frank and Eileen
No longer RVers or FR owners
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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Location: Brookfield, WI
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Last year and this year we have travelled across the US without reservations. One thing we noticed is that traveling cross-country is different than weekend camping.

Commercial CG's generally have sites available for travelers. Finding one depends on what tools you have available to you. We have a GPS and an iPad which we use to find and rate CG's, after finding a CG we call for availability. Even the starting weekend of the Albuquerque Ballon Fest we were able to find one night in Albuquerque.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:46 AM   #9
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We always book ahead. We are going to the FROG Rally in Goshen again except this time we are planning a 6500 mile trip and will have all our CG's booked for the entire trip by the end of march early april.

John & Deb
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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We are fulltimers and book same day most of the time except when we know it will be crowded like holidays. No problems so far.

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