Campsite Reservations

RCBRCB Member Posts: 150
The recent uptick in rv sales and rv travellers has meant for us, a more involved and precise travel schedule in terms of reservations. I have done my rv’ing in Ontario and Quebec and need to plan any trip in detail and once completed, there is very little (if any) flexibility. To those of you in the US, can one travel generally without reservations or is a precise itinerary necessary. If so, where ?
400 - 2019
St Catharines, ON


  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 4,276
    Ir depends on where you want to go.  Our National and many state parks are becoming very popular and require advance reservations and planning.  Other rural areas do not.  Happy and safe travels.
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • TabbyShackTabbyShack Member Posts: 782
    I live in the DC/MD/VA  area and me and my other [email protected] owner friend had to book our entire 2022 season in advance. We have 12 trips pre-booked since Dec/Jan. I think though as soon as air travel returns to normal reservations will ease up BUT it was already challenging in 2019.
    2022 [email protected] 400 (Previous 2015 320, 2019 400)
    2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe (Hybrid 375hp 470 Torque)
    [email protected] Name: [email protected] Shack
    Fort Washington, MD
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Member Posts: 1,695
    @RCB this answer will also depend on what time of the year you are traveling as well as where. RV snowbirds fill far southern campgrounds in the winter but those same campgrounds almost always have availability in the much hotter summer. Before our Memorial Day and after our Labor Day are more relaxed seasons without having to always compete for campground spaces. Good luck and enjoy!
    2017 [email protected] sofitel([email protected])TV 2015 Silverado 2500hd(Behemoth). Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • Dutch061Dutch061 Member Posts: 687
    The "good news" is that the price of fuel will be a limiting factor for a lot of people this year. If the prices don't come down, I suspect there will be lots of cancellations. We like dispersed camping, so it really isn't much of an issue most times.

    2020 400 BDL aka "Boonie"
    2021 F-250 Tremor with PSD aka "Big Blue"
    Concord, NC 
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Member Posts: 438
    We don’t reserve in advance by much.  Some times a couple weeks in advance but normally a day or so.  We’re pretty adaptable.  We also like to sightsee so being on a schedule to make it to a reserved site sometimes becomes a hassle.
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • montanahopemontanahope Member Posts: 10
    I think we will be fine just stay on top of booking your site. Boondocking will always be a good option !
    Fact is that the average person only books 12-14 nights per year for camping.

  • Maple_GeekMaple_Geek Member Posts: 66
    I live in Ontario and all but one camping trips are booked for 2022. May-September in Quebec and Ontario.
    This will be the first year using the [email protected] but I've been camping for many years.
    Looking forward to it!
    2022 [email protected] 320S Boondock
    2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Instagram: [email protected]
  • berggerbergger Member Posts: 518
    As mentioned above it does really depend on where you want to go.  In Colorado National Parks and State Parks are extremely popular and book very quickly.  It is also like this in most of the surrounding western states.  We usually plan several longer trips each year and we book our site 6 months in advance, as soon as the booking window opens.  We booked a trip to our favorite campground in the Black Hills of South Dakota this July and actually had to move the date up a day just to get one of the last two sites.  On the flip side, Colorado and many western states have numerous Forest Service/BLM campgrounds that are first come first serve and many free dispersed camping options.  
    2021 [email protected] 400 BD  "Vixen Gail" 
    2018 Nissan Titan Pro 4X "Big Bird"
    Leadville Colorado
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 329
    edited April 14
    Last year, we found limited campsite availability in many of the Pennsylvania state parks we wanted to visit, even when trying to book weeks ahead of a stay. In most cases, when we got to the park we found quite a number open sites that were apparently reserved, but not used. This was the case, but to a lesser extent, in some of the parks we visited in VA and NC last summer. More surprising, this also seemed to be the case even late in the season, well after Labor Day.
    We're new [email protected] owners, so it's not clear if 2021 was an outlier or if this is more or less normal for RVing.
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2022 Telluride - Phillies/Eagles/Flyers Country
  • MouseketabMouseketab Member Posts: 1,152
    We have a limited amount of time on our road trips, and my spouse doesn't deal well with "surprises", so we book everything in advance.
    [email protected]
    2007 Dutchmen [email protected] Clamshell, 2021 F-150 502A Lariat SuperCrew, 3.5 EcoBoost 4x2
    Harvest, AL
  • HellFishHellFish Member Posts: 17
    Advance.  Driving and wondering if we'll find a campsite just isn't a negative thought process I want as I travel.
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 1,139
    @CharlieRN ;  I'm with many others in the make reservations when possible group.

    As for your non-scientific survey about many reserved sites being vacant,  I've seen a few but not really that many.  Have seen several 'vacant spots' filled well past dark and the RV pulling out again at sunrise
    . . . not my idea of RV traveling.

    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  40   Nights:  234 
  • gulfareagulfarea Member Posts: 393
    I mentioned this before, as getting no place to stay is becoming a bigger problem, why not stay at other [email protected] owners property (where allowed). I am one mile south off I-10  exit 17 a in Alabama and would love to meet tabers! When I had  a CASITA the casita folks did it. We would stay at other Casita folks places. But beware of my guard animal Alligator (really) in the back yard. Not always there! You can send me a pm if you want to come. Art
    2019 TaB 320 S Boondock Edge
  • SLJSLJ Member Posts: 138
    I miss the days where you drove in, found an empty site on the water, set up, and then went back and told them what site you're on. Those days are long gone in campgrounds in the Northeast. Now it's a race to get a site booked on-line six months in advance at 6:00 in the morning the day it becomes available.
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock
    The Finger Lakes of New York
  • AnOldURAnOldUR Member Posts: 613
    edited April 15
    gulfarea said:
    …. why not stay at other [email protected] owners property (where allowed). I am one mile south off I-10  exit 17 a in Alabama and would love to meet tabers!   Art
    hmmm … I wonder if that would work here on the Forum? Kind of a Boondockers Welcome just for [email protected]’s. 

    Could we start a thread here with the only posts being [email protected] owners willing to host other [email protected] owners? The post would contain a general location and a simple description  Requests for visits would be made by a PM to the member, not a post in the thread. At any time if a member wishes to opt out they could edit or delete their post. 
    The only intervention from mods would be to delete posts other than the ones offering up host locations.

    For me the post would read:
    Small ranch home with paved 50’ double wide driveway within city limits of a rural community. Would welcome [email protected] owners passing through for a maximum of two nights. 20 amp electric could be made available if needed. We’re a few miles outside of the river town of Stockton, NJ and about eight miles north of the artsy New Hope shopping area. Pet friendly with fenced in backyard.
    Personally I’m a bit leery of Boondockers Welcome, but would have more trust in other [email protected] owners either staying at my place or me staying at theirs. Do you think there would be interest in this or would it open up liability for the forum owners?
    Or is this an old idea that didn’t work?
    2020 nuCamp [email protected] 320S * 2D Jeep Wrangler * Stockton, New Jersey
    [email protected] since Feb 2021
    9 outings * 34 nights in 2021
    2022 tour in progress * 1 outing * camped in 27 States so far

  • gulfareagulfarea Member Posts: 393
    As far as liability, I am asking my friends that I have not met yet to come on over and talk [email protected], Only liability would be my guard pet in my backyard! Art
    2019 TaB 320 S Boondock Edge
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 8,418
    @AnOldUR - gulfarea introduced the idea in this thread:

    You are welcome to start a thread. 
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • AnOldURAnOldUR Member Posts: 613
    @Sharon_is_SAM, I hadn’t seen that thread. Since it didn’t gain any traction at all, it appears that there is not enough interest to make it work. A good idea in theory, but this may not the time or place for it.
    2020 nuCamp [email protected] 320S * 2D Jeep Wrangler * Stockton, New Jersey
    [email protected] since Feb 2021
    9 outings * 34 nights in 2021
    2022 tour in progress * 1 outing * camped in 27 States so far

  • gulfareagulfarea Member Posts: 393
    @Sharon_is_SAM I did what you suggested and put it in the Camping And Traveling area, thanks for all you do and want to tell folks there are No musquitoes in my back yard as the fish eat all the larve in the water! Sorry no fishing as I feed a LOT of turtles and when they get hooked almost impossiable to get them off the hook without harming them. They are my only pets, when the gator comes around I send my wife down to chase him away, Art
    2019 TaB 320 S Boondock Edge
  • PassportPassport Member Posts: 72
    We have a new Tab 320S we bought in April of this year and have only slept in it once so we are anxious to do a "test hop."  We've made reservations but storms prevail in our area, hail, tornadoes, massive rain falling and had to cancel the reservation due to the aforementioned.  We lost money on COE camp sites and have one more reservation pending and we'll probably have to cancel it also near the Red River area which is projected to have bad weather this weekend.
    We can't go in any direction from Okla City, fires in AZ, NM, harsh weather north in Kansas and Nebraska.
    But we are going to look for a break in the weather and make a run for South Dakota next week if the weather is conducive.  We probably will take our chances at RV sites by driving up to RV parks and praying that they allow 15 foot TT's.  Our planned mileage per day is 350 miles and stop.
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Member Posts: 2,351
    I’m in Washington State and want to know ahead where I’m staying each night. I book State Parks nine months out and they’re almost always with a group I camp with monthly April through September. Idaho State Parks are booked
    through ReserveAmerica six months out. If one misses that window there’s always cancellations but you have checking. On my Grand Adventure in March I did book some stays the day before once I knew which direction I was heading. Harvest Host sites and KOA’s are good for that! Depending on what amenities you want (hook ups vs just parking) you’ve got lots of options. Good luck and enjoy your journey! 
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • MarkAlMarkAl Member Posts: 347
    edited May 5
    We just joined Boondockers Welcome and are finding odd sites that will allow nice travel stopping points. We feel the pain on the need for reservations - costly and limiting last minute changes.
    Snohomish WA, 2015 Diesel Grand Cherokee
    [email protected] World: 2021 320S Boondock
    2-6V, with opt remote solar
    managed by VE Smart Network
  • Maxcamp8Maxcamp8 Member Posts: 56
    We are finding state park sites ad hoc weekdays, mostly  planning boondocking weekends as even if we find a site the grounds and trails are too darned crowded.  Avoiding national parks. Often a regional park will have wonderful natural features  and a tiny fraction  of the visitation.

    2021 T&B 320S Boondock/ Tacoma 4 cylinder truck
  • DenisPDenisP Member Posts: 461
    Just completed (3/22-5/2/22) a 42 night 8500 mile cross country trip  Made reservations were made well in advance but due to weather/circumstances some changes were made on the fly.  The breakdown was National Park Campgrounds 6 sites/11 nights, State Park 3 sites/5 nights, Harvest Host 3 sites/3 nights, County Park 1 site/1 night, Casino (no reservations) 2 nights and private campgrounds 11 sites/20 nights.
    The trip was planned and reserved three times over two years due to the Pandemic. The reservations at National Parks were more challenging the final time even made six months in advance (on the first day available/2 hour - only on site available at Watchman campground at Zion NP).  Even Harvest Host now requires advanced reservations (and cancellations must be done at least 24 hrs ahead of time).
    We have travelled extensively (48 states and three Canadian provinces) since buying our 2018 Tab 400 in July 2018 and while reservations are tighter, trip planning is still doable.  Last minute trips are much more challenging now.
    2018 [email protected] 400 with Solar
    2013 Tundra TRD 5.7L
  • SlackersSlackers Member Posts: 201
    Don't hesitate to make an old fashioned phone call for reservations.  We had luck last year calling for reservations at Yellowstone even though no sites fitting our tab/truck combo were shown on the website.  We made the phone call about 6 months out.
    2019 Tab 320 CSS, 2019 Ranger TV, OH
  • DenisPDenisP Member Posts: 461
    @Slackers great advise advise to call worked well when we had to make changes while our latest cross country trip was underway. We also had the same experience at Yellowstone in 2019 to obtain a site when the website had no sites available. 
    2018 [email protected] 400 with Solar
    2013 Tundra TRD 5.7L
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