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Old 06-29-2015, 09:16 AM   #1
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do you make reservations?

we will be taking an extended trip (at least 4 months). do we need to plan determining exact itinerary and make reservations? we have called a few places for the next couple of weeks and they say they are full. but planning a detailed route and how nights to stay at each place seems completely contrary to what we want to experience. but we also don't want to be shut out. what do others do? how far ahead must you commit to? what if you get to a place and decide you want to stay longer? leave earlier (especially if you had to pay in advance)?
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:25 AM   #2
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Hello, We plan 6 months in advance. To book Provincial Parks for the summer. They always keep some drive up site for travelers, generally try to be there at checkout to ensure you get a site. Booking a couple weeks ahead is most likely going to result is disappointment or no sites, especially prime destinations or popular tourist areas. A compromise would be to book the places you want to go in advance and see what you can find along the way. Most parks I know you have to pay in advance as well.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:38 AM   #3
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I am the type of person that I need to know where I will be sleeping. I am not one to sleep sitting in the drivers seat of my car because I could not find a hotel room.

If your set up allows you to sleep inside your unit, then your all set. No need to figure it out as you have your bed with you.

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Old 06-29-2015, 09:49 AM   #4
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Difficult to answer your question without knowing where you are going. Last summer we went to Alaska from Florida travelling through the Canadian Rockies on the way to the Alaska Highway. We had reservations months in advance for the popular locations in Canada (Banff and Jasper) and for Denali and Glacier parks in the U.S. The remaining locations we called ahead a week or two in advance when we knew more what our schedule would be. Except for the popular locations, RV parks had empty sites available. But that was in locations where there were many choices available.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:52 AM   #5
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I honestly don't know how we would schedule every day for 4 months.

Reservations only at the major attractions/destinations.

The in between travel we figure out a day or two ahead.

Of course we have a general plan of the area we should be at during the entire trip.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:00 AM   #6
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We Travel (Spring/Fall) never need Res! Summer trips you better call starting (Opening Day/Jan1st?)! We could Never enjoy a Trip if we had (Deadlines to Meet)! There is a LOT to See in the USA! Youroo!!
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:00 AM   #7
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If I'm just traveling spending one night, really no need to, but If I'm staying for awhile I think it is best to. In Virginia, they started that at certain COE parks it reservation only, but only a few. They are still required to keep a few open on first come first served.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:07 AM   #8
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Glen they are going for (4 Months)! Youroo!!
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:12 PM   #9
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We travel consistently without reservations but there is a catch. We have I phones with the Allstays app available. By mid afternoon DW starts searching 100 to 150 miles out for a good campground. That app shows you how many miles u are from the campgrounds you are reviewing. It also shows you all the info you need to take into consideration for a comfortable nights stay. Dump, full hood ups, size of sites etc., then when we decide on one she taps the phone button and we reserve a site. Works great in 10,000 miles or Rving and over 360 nights in the past year and a half.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:30 PM   #10
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We are currently on a 7 week trip. We have planned for some sites like the 4th and some weekends. We have also gone by the seat of our pants. Both ways have worked for us. I ama destination person. My husband is s fly by the seat of your pants person. This way has worked for us.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:37 PM   #11
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Having lived in California for nearly all my life, we've learned to always make reservations.
And most of those were 4-6 months in advance.

We're finding that camping in Washington isn't much different.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:46 PM   #12
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For the past few years we've been doing extended trips. We make reservations for the places we really want to see. This year we're headed to Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone so we made reservations there, not sure where we're going after that. Like Maron said we call ahead a few days in advance when we know where we're headed.
We usually plan for "free" overnight parking if we're not planning on staying. I use Overnight RV Parking to find places to stay.
Anything in Southern Calif we definitely make reservations.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:46 PM   #13
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I'm a planner myself; I make camping reservations at least 4-6 months in advance...more for weekends that tend to book up; holiday weekends I book for the next year when I check out of the campsite, since we go to the same campsite every year for holiday weekends (safer). For even road trips using hotels I book 2-3 months in advance. Low risk tolerance, I guess.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:47 PM   #14
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We did a 3 month, 13K mile loop around the country last year in May, June, and July. I used the Allstays app to choose campgrounds along the route well in advance, but didn't make reservations. The only reservations we made were at major sites (e.g., Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, etc.) when we knew we would be there over a weekend or holiday. The only place we couldn't find a full hookup was Grand Tetons NP. The other consideration though is the size of your rig and amenities needed. At the time, we had a small travel trailer and likely had better luck than we would with the motor home we have now. Maybe we were lucky, but I wanted the flexibility to change routes or stays anytime and we had no issues. Good luck and have fun. We had a blast!!!
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:45 PM   #15
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Most non-commercial campgrounds (State park, CoE) will be full on the weekends during the summer. Especially if you are near a big attraction. Commercial (KoA) could be hit or miss. Bearing in mind that I am speaking of electric or full hook-up sites. Non-electric sites are usually open enough to allow walk-ups just about any time.

During the week, it should be easy to find a spot just about anywhere except hyper-popular spots (Yellowstone)

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Old 06-29-2015, 01:47 PM   #16
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I always make my reservations, if possible It is disturbing to travel all day and then when arriving, discover that the campground is full and I have to strat looking for a place to stay.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:03 PM   #17
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If I'm going somewhere popular (like national parks in the summer time) I make reservations, otherwise I just take my chances.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:06 PM   #18
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The worst mistake we ever made was not having a reservation as we drove east from Chicago to NYC and needed to spend the night on 90 near Lake Erie. We ended up driving for 18 hours and sleeping in the car (with the 2 kids) at a rest stop already full of other unfortunates. I think we actually got the last available spot. It was the tail end of a month long cross country trip, and the only area where we hadn't done our homework. If you watch for the tourist areas, like others have said, you should be able to play it by ear elsewhere.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:17 PM   #19
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We plan our stops well ahead of time and make reservations, in the event something happens we can and have stopped at rest areas overnight.

This one is just outside of Rawlings, WY. stopped here because the wind was blowing hard and I was tired.

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Old 06-29-2015, 02:29 PM   #20
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Ford: That wouldn't happen to have been a week ago(06/21) this past Sunday would it? We were traveling from Yellowstone and spending the night in Rawlns. The wind was howling and the camper rocking. Wind advisories were out for small trailers and campers on I80 between Cheyenne and Rawlins that day. We spent the night at Western Hills RV Park and were glad we did not have to travel any further.



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We plan our stops well ahead of time and make reservations, in the event something happens we can and have stopped at rest areas overnight.

This one is just outside of Rawlings, WY. stopped here because the wind was blowing hard and I was tired.

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