On a three month trip from Florida to alaska and back, we made reservations for Calgary (for the Stampede) and at Denali. Everywhere else, we would figure out about where we would be that night, look at the woodall's and call for a space. We never had to boondock and we have a 42' DP.
I'm brand new to the rv world, and the first thing I've recognized is that nothing around me has opening for at least 2 months out. That was a surprise. I don't know what I was expecting? Maybe I thought they'd have my cozy little beach spot waiting for me? NOT. So, I quickly took in a few reservations over the next 6 months. Otherwise, I don't know how we would camp?
Are you guys saying that you can almost bank on cancellations? And the boondocking comment was comforting. If you do show up late in the evening and no spots are available, do most campgrounds allow you to dry camp in a parking lot or something?
The region you’re in may have a big impact. In the west there’s a lot of public land, like national forests. I mostly dry camp in them anyway, so I just pick a spot and stay overnight. Boondocking. I don’t rely on cancellations; I do rely on someone leaving in the morning. There may be some campgrounds that have an overflow area one can stay in overnight. But I haven’t seen any or at least noticed any so I wouldn’t count on it.
Many people with big rigs and MH’s will park overnight in commercial parking lots. It’s not camping or boondocking but it gives them a place for the night if they can’t get or don’t want a campground. Incidentally, if you’re thinking commercial campgrounds we’re on different frequencies. I predominately boondock or stay in national forest campgrounds with national parks running second and rarely ever in a commercial park.
I always make reservations and make notes of places to stay on either side of that CG. I'm a working stiff and don't like surprises... My rig is just too big (40'6") to just "wing-it" and hope to get a spot that I don't have to loose hair over to get in.
2009 Cardinal 38BHQSLE
2008 GMC 3500/CC/D/A
DW,DD & two DS's. Life is good
Sometimes we will call a few hours ahead. In over 200,000 miles I think we made reservations way ahead of time for a special event 3 or 4 times total.
2010 Ford Expedition TV
2010 Outback 230RS Toybox, 5390# UVW, 6800# Loaded Not yet camped in Hawaii, 2 Canada Provinces, & 2 Territories I can't be lost because I don't care where this lovely road is going
Our last long trip, (Texas to Maine 5,000 miles) we didn't make reservations because we really never knew where we would be at any given time. Never know what you might find traveling the back roads. Pretty neat.
"All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing"
John & Kathy & Gizmo (maltipoo)
1999 38ft Monaco Diplomat DP
Leakey, Tx (Texas Hill Country)
Since we're still working and have kids in school, our trips are often limited by time constraints, so yes, we usually make reservations. On ocassion we'll choose to be flexible and not make them for part of a trip, but then we always have a Plan-B, just in case. But 9 times out of 10 we make reservations.
In our experience, about half of the places we've stayed are have been completely full and we wouldn't have found a site we fit into if we hadn't had reservations.
This summer we're hitting the road for a full month, but we have certain places we want to hit, and still be home in time for some family commitments. So the plans are made, the reservations are booked, and we're counting down the days...
One day when we have the freedom of retirement, then we'll just cruise along without a schedule and without reservations.
2003 Country Coach Intrigue, Cummins ISL 400
Toad: 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) toad, with just a few mods...
Other rig: 2005 Chevy Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually / Next Level 38CK Fifth-wheel Toy Hauler w/ quads, sand rail, etc...
If you don't make reservations in a campground that takes reservations you could get kicked out when someone shows up with reservations to your site. That happened to us two weeks ago. Good thing we think Arapahoe Forest rates the lowest in Colorado because we are not going back to that forest. They are suppose to mark them but if they don't the camp host won't admit it.