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Old 09-27-2022, 12:29 PM   #1
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camping getting tough

Camping is getting tougher and tougher. I was hoping that the "covid" crowd would be bowing out by now but I guess I am wrong. This is Oregon - - similar problems in other states?

https://katu.com/news/local/crowded-...s-camp-pirates
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Old 09-27-2022, 12:50 PM   #2
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Not as bad here in the Allegheny Mountain Region of PA.

State parks are wide open through the week and several empty sites on weekends.
Private campgrounds have open spots.

The campground 1/3 mile from my house (that I drive past almost daily) has open spots all the time.

Popular places are still busy but not unobtainable except like in the next few weeks as the leaves change and people flock to see that.
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Old 09-27-2022, 01:13 PM   #3
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Our campground has completely open sites between Labor Day and October 15th.

There's nothing really to do because the lake is closed and they don't bother with activities after that but you can literally have any site you want in the weekend section.
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Old 09-27-2022, 01:31 PM   #4
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I just read an article last week about how campground fill rates are down throughout the country as compared to the last two years, and appears to be continuing to decline. They also cited dropping RV sales and future RV sales outlook. I tried to find the article, but couldn't find it.
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Old 09-27-2022, 01:32 PM   #5
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Here in NC the parks (during the May-Aug) timeframes seem to be booked fairly solid. We just made our reservations for 2023 and most of the parks we selected we're about full already.
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Old 09-27-2022, 01:39 PM   #6
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People don't realize how different it is in the West Coast states, especially their state park campgrounds.

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Old 09-27-2022, 01:46 PM   #7
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I just read an article last week about how campground fill rates are down throughout the country as compared to the last two years, and appears to be continuing to decline. They also cited dropping RV sales and future RV sales outlook. I tried to find the article, but couldn't find it.
yeah, inflation and interest rates will do that.
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Old 09-27-2022, 01:50 PM   #8
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In Central and East Texas it's been my experience that state parks are booked however even though every site says reserved no one is there. Guess people have money to burn and reserve "just in case?"
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Old 09-27-2022, 01:51 PM   #9
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yeah, inflation and interest rates will do that.
Or maybe covid restrictions lifting?
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Old 09-27-2022, 01:54 PM   #10
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Our camping spots have all basically returned to pre-covid levels. But as others have mentioned western, especially SW is very different than back east. We used to RV back east at least once a year but now (last 5 years or so) opt to hotel and AirBnB it due to population density.
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Old 09-27-2022, 04:52 PM   #11
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Here in NC the parks (during the May-Aug) timeframes seem to be booked fairly solid. We just made our reservations for 2023 and most of the parks we selected we're about full already.
We're seeing the same trend in NC.
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Old 09-27-2022, 05:21 PM   #12
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For the Alabama state park I visit in winter, I have to book a year in advance and stay up to midnight to log on and get any chance of scoring a site. I’m camped in North Carolina now. The National Forest campground books up pretty solid 6 months in advance. Yes, getting a good campsite is challenging these days. Kinda takes the fun out of it.
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Old 09-28-2022, 10:31 AM   #13
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For the Alabama state park I visit in winter, I have to book a year in advance and stay up to midnight to log on and get any chance of scoring a site. I’m camped in North Carolina now. The National Forest campground books up pretty solid 6 months in advance. Yes, getting a good campsite is challenging these days. Kinda takes the fun out of it.
Alabama's state parks are exceedingly low in the number of RV spots throughout the state. Add to that two of the better RV sections were destroyed by tornado's in the last 5 years. I don't now if either came back. I did see on the news the legislature just authorizes some covid money to do some much needed upgrades to the state parks and I believe RV spots were included in those upgrades

I started RV'in in 2020 and though we picked up our camper on the day Alabama locked down our purchase was years in the planning and had nothing to do with covid, we've been out every month since. When we first started during the lockdown we pretty much got reservations anywhere we wanted but once the lockdown ended we've been fighting for spots ever since.
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Old 09-28-2022, 11:10 AM   #14
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In the past, I subscribed to the weekly newsletter RV Travel. I stopped reading it because every issue harped on campground overcrowding. Seeing they are based out of I believe Oregon, I tried to overlook their commentary being West Coast-based.

That being said, just the other day I checked in on RVT to see if they had any refreshing new insights into RV'ing. They did have a good article on the huge drop in orders for new RVs, from records in the 600K range with a downward slide to around 450K. Along with these stats they commented on the drop in reservations for KOA's and revenue drop projections for the same.

During our two-month cross-country trip from May to July, we never had a hard time finding campgrounds last minute for parts of the trip we purposely didn't hard plan to allow flexibility to visit out-of-the-way places.

The worse I've noticed hard to book CGs are local state parks that we use for refresher weekend getaways. We get a good influx of Canadian RV'ers in WNY and NY SP pricing along with U.S. fuel costs make WNY a favorite destination for our Northern neighbors.
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:08 PM   #15
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Most campgrounds in my neck of the woods are about 1/3 full during the week when schools are in session. During times when schools are closed, they counter the open week days by making you book/pay for a minimum 7 day stay (whether you are there or not). Weekends are booked solid a full year in advance. We're booked for all times available in 2023 already. I notice quite a difference in the age of campers during each of the periods mentioned above. Don't know if that's good, bad or neither.
Any campground; be it private or State park, that doesn't do reservations is not for me. I have very few days to partake and don't want to travel to a location only to be denied a spot.
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Old 09-29-2022, 09:38 AM   #16
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In 2021 almost 40% of new RV purchases were made by youngins 40 years old or younger! A good majority of those rigs bought were your entry-level type TTs.

I think we've all been at a campground and your neighbor has a nice 21 ft. TT and you'll see four or more vehicles parked around it all day and kids everywhere.

I believe there will be a huge buyers market for used RVs, especially those TT bought by millennials when they realize their 20-year loan on it is worse than their student loans.

This will free up alot of campsites.
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Old 09-29-2022, 11:35 AM   #17
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I believe there will be a huge buyers market for used RVs, especially those TT bought by millennials when they realize their 20-year loan on it is worse than their student loans.

This will free up alot of campsites.
I agree with your conclusion but not your reasoning. If indeed a bunch of people with young kids bought during 2021 you will see an eventual selloff, but not because of the interest rate which was low in 2021. but when those kids approach high school and college they will drain every resource their parents have. Ask me how I know.
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Old 09-29-2022, 11:36 AM   #18
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This millenial is still loving his entry level TT. Though, I chose a basic one I could afford without a loan. A 20 year loan on anything seems crazy to me, let alone a toy.

I'll be on the lookout for a small used fifth wheel for a good price once prices on HD trucks come down.
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Old 09-29-2022, 01:41 PM   #19
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For the Alabama state park I visit in winter, I have to book a year in advance and stay up to midnight to log on and get any chance of scoring a site. I’m camped in North Carolina now. The National Forest campground books up pretty solid 6 months in advance. Yes, getting a good campsite is challenging these days. Kinda takes the fun out of it.

Joe Wheeler State Park in North Alabama finally opened back up. Two sections are still closed as I recall but the rest has recovered from the tornadoes and are open.
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Old 09-29-2022, 02:15 PM   #20
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I agree with your conclusion but not your reasoning. If indeed a bunch of people with young kids bought during 2021 you will see an eventual selloff, but not because of the interest rate which was low in 2021. but when those kids approach high school and college they will drain every resource their parents have. Ask me how I know.
We started camping when we only had 2 kids and they were both under 3 at the time. Then a few years later we added a 3rd kid. Continued camping and upgrading our trailers all throughout their lives.

Our youngest was even a bowler from middle school through HS. There were a few times we stayed at a CG close to the bowling alley she had a tournament in.

Now that all 3 are grown and out of school my wife and I still enjoy camping on our own. The kids join us on occasion.

We still have a few years until our trailer is paid off but definitely never had a need to sell it.
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