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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Forest Service Campground - First Come, First Serve & hosts

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teejaywhy

Gilbert, AZ

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Posted: 06/23/21 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WhitehouseLV wrote:

cptqueeg wrote:

Locals here become friends w the hosts at non-reserved FS campgrounds so they get a call when something opens. The host typically puts the lawn chairs out to hold the spot until the camper shows up.


sounds like a good approach


Sounds like lack of ethics.


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Horsedoc

Dixie --- N. Georgia

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Posted: 06/23/21 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We ran a couple of state park CGs for two summers. one was a first come, first served and the other took reservations. Never had problems with the FCFS, but we did have a 'ace in the hole' site for those who came very late and were desperate. Very seldom ever used that.
The reservation CG was done through a reservation service and was subject to errors. We got reservation info via a computer where we printed the 'leaving on this date' cards. We kept a hole site for when the service messed up. This would happen, believe it or not. [emoticon] If the site was not used by 6PM then it became available to FCFS. Many times, even after dark we had people coming in.

WhitehouseLV

Cowboy State

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Posted: 06/23/21 08:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

teejaywhy wrote:

WhitehouseLV wrote:

cptqueeg wrote:

Locals here become friends w the hosts at non-reserved FS campgrounds so they get a call when something opens. The host typically puts the lawn chairs out to hold the spot until the camper shows up.


sounds like a good approach


Sounds like lack of ethics.


haha


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Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 06/28/21 09:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have preference for public campgrounds. And not a few are FCFS basis.

But noticed that there are lots of campers now that even so-so campgrounds are full.

Not risking this other leg of our trips and booked on independent/commercial campgrounds and then just used it as a base for the national parks we plan to visit.

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 07/05/21 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

azdryheat wrote:

First come - first served is a terrible way to operate a campground. If I'm gonna drive all day I want some assurance I will have a place to park at the end of the day.

Thinking you’ll be able to get a site after 1PM is about the same as getting one on Friday. Last week we made sure we were west of Denver on Wednesday so we could get to our first choice, no reservations USFS CG Thursday morning before 9AM. Snagged the only site big enough for our 45’. If we’d arrived at 11 it would have been gone and the CG was full until Sunday afternoon. If we’d not gotten in, there was dispersed camping close by that checked out.

Arrived at our favorite USFS no reservation CG in the Tetons later than planned, (yesterday, Sunday at 2PM) as the Military Vehicle Museum in Dubois was closed for the 4th. Unlike last summer the overflow area only had 3 rigs and we were able to get one of the new added sites. If we’d arrived this morning we could have gotten into our favorite, long site, with good Sat reception. We liked this new site well enough that we are staying put.

I’m glad many think they need reservations and FHUs, freeing up sites for those of us that prefer to wing it…. helps to be self contained.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
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hotjag1

Lake Chelan, Wa/Lake Havasu, Az.

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Posted: 07/05/21 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are in the group that likes FCFS campgrounds. We like to do do spur of the moment or short notice camping trips, so FCFS works good for us. Never had a problem with FCFS sites being reserved. I'd be heading to the nearest regional office if I was told that I had to leave a FCFS site because the host decided that he would reserve it.


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Reno

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Posted: 07/05/21 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am also FCFS only and camp only in off season and not on weekends or holidays to avoid crowded jammed up noisy campgrounds. Spent all of May camping and fishing in California and all 3 campgrounds at Lake Davis were nearly empty during the week so I had free choice of all FCFS sites. Also spent a week at Brannan Island SP and camp host (American Land and Leisure) allowed me site 98 even though new system allowed only reserved camping at all sites. On monday both large campgrounds were nearly empty for entire week. Spent another week at Air Force Inn at Travis AFB. Happy trails and happy days

cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 07/05/21 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hotjag1 wrote:

We are in the group that likes FCFS campgrounds. We like to do do spur of the moment or short notice camping trips, so FCFS works good for us. Never had a problem with FCFS sites being reserved. I'd be heading to the nearest regional office if I was told that I had to leave a FCFS site because the host decided that he would reserve it.


You'd never know, unless you saw the host place the chairs to hold the spot so it looks as if someone left for a few hours.

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 07/05/21 05:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple summers ago, we went into S Lake Tahoe on Labor Day without reservations, getting into our first choice, the city CG. NO, not on Friday but on Monday…thank goodness for the working folks who have to go home.
We usually leave on Friday (except 3 day weekends) to reposition and resupply at a Private CG. On Sunday afternoon we’ll try and get into our next CG…rarely have we not in 20 years of doing it this way…even last summer and so far this summer. Close to National Parks doesn’t thin out as muck as other areas on the weekends.

* This post was edited 07/05/21 08:08pm by Ivylog *

hotjag1

Lake Chelan, Wa/Lake Havasu, Az.

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Posted: 07/05/21 11:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cptqueeg wrote:

hotjag1 wrote:

We are in the group that likes FCFS campgrounds. We like to do do spur of the moment or short notice camping trips, so FCFS works good for us. Never had a problem with FCFS sites being reserved. I'd be heading to the nearest regional office if I was told that I had to leave a FCFS site because the host decided that he would reserve it.


You'd never know, unless you saw the host place the chairs to hold the spot so it looks as if someone left for a few hours.


That's why I said "if I was told" by the host that I had to vacate my site.

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