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Old 02-19-2017, 02:52 PM   #1
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Advance Reservations for Campgrounds?

I plan on taking a month long trip from Florida to the North East states and not sure how detailed I should plan for campgrounds. Should I reserve campground sites for my entire round trip or take my chances that campgrounds will have open sites to reserve as I go? It would be great to hear from others how far in the future reservations should be made or if campgrounds usually have openings. Some stops will be overnight, but others will be 3 to 4 nights and some for a week. These will be primarily private and KOA campgrounds.

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Old 02-19-2017, 03:35 PM   #2
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It's all about supply and demand

If you want the BEST sites at the best campgrounds during the summer holidays or weekends, make your reservations now...

If during winter and/or during the week or overnighting at NOT a destination park, less demand ...

Also depends on how picky you (but mostly, your companions ) are !

for an overnighter on the way back to DFW from Hilton Head, we weren't sure how far we would go each day and so made reservations about noon each day - one time we got a GEE-OR-GEOUS site on someone's mini-farm overlooking a green meadow with horses and so quiet it was almost TOO quiet !

Another night we got a DUMP that I didn't want to walk the dog in !!!

good luck and there's something to say about just winging it - a long time ago we used to do just that and it made for relaxing travel and breaks if we found something surprising and unique... but many more of the baby boomers out there on fewer rv spots

but there is always Walmart that could be used !!!
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:16 PM   #3
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A couple of things we learned.

For State and National, even Municipal camgrounds that use Reserve America, it pays to register well in advance because you literary are picking the exact spot and features you would like and because some parks let you reserve a year in advance, or more, the nice spots can be booked early.

For private campgrounds, they may have some premium sites over standard but within those groups they put you where they want. Because you aren't picking the site, you don't really care about reservations other than making sure they have openings, and they can tell you on the phone typically if it is the time of year that they normally book full.

Pre-planning every day can go as smooth as glass if you stay on schedule, or it can unravel pretty fast if you get delayed or have RV trouble. Most campgrounds require 48 hr or more cancellation notice or you loose the fee, even state, national, municipal campgrounds, so your attention to detail can cost some money if you deviate.

Try to find a balance. reserve your prime sites in advance, and wing it on the travel out and back. Some of the best campsites I've ever stayed at were found by taking the exit with no plan.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:56 PM   #4
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You have to be very careful at state/national parks, the reservation site may say they will accomodate big rigs but due to low trees, rock borders, or very tight turns you can't get to that big site. Usually while I'm relaxing at one site I'm looking for & reserving my next stop, usually only a day or two in advance, but we are retired fulltimers so if we need to stay an extra day it doesn't mess up the whole plan.
Also when reading reviews remember most people only write a review to bitch about nothing (example; rated the park 2 stars because they didn't furnish of poop bags). I usually check reviews in 2-3 sites before reserving or not.
Best plan is to go enjoy the experience & don't fret the small stuff.
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:07 PM   #5
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Many times for overnight stays I will make reservations because on an overnight stay, I want a site that is long enough that I do not have to unhook my truck from my Redwood.
Many campgrounds have such sites but not a lot of them and they tend to be filled up if you do not arrive early.
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:12 PM   #6
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I would think, what month and which days. M-Th take your chances. Weekends are in advance height of the summer reservations are a must.

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Old 02-20-2017, 03:05 AM   #7
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It depends on what you mean by north east. and also when you plan on going. Here is what you need to deal with. Quebec has what it calls "construction shutdown" and with it most industries/companies follow the same time period of letting their staff go on vacation. They go the last full week of July and what ever falls into August. So this year from July 22 till Aug 6 the CGs from Maine to Virginia Beach to the Canadian border gets booked really early. Especially the better areas. If you can avoid this time period you will find it easier to find good sites and it will be a little cheaper.
good luck.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:50 PM   #8
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I like being spontaneous, but only as it fits into my plan.

We prefer to not drive down a country road to get to a campground. We have also run into several areas that we could not find a campground (or a Walmart) where we wanted to be--that we fit into. We have been surprised at how many campgrounds don't manage big rigs effectively.

I try to have reservations for several weeks--but check to make sure there isn't a penalty fee for cancellations. It is easier for me to make several reservations at one time and then not think about it again.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:42 AM   #9
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One thing to keep in mind, the further you get into the "old" country the older the campgrounds and the smaller the sites


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Old 02-21-2017, 12:53 PM   #10
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we are a lot less spontaneous with the Redwood than the trailers of the past . I prefer not to try and shoe horn into a site made for a 32' trailer..

I guess I am just getting older... BUT I will say that around here in the NE , weekends from Late spring to early fall are usually booked. I know that when we book our trips to the DE beaches, they are booked 7 months in advance..
And I can only attest to weekends, as we are only weekend warriors for now..
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