How do you plan your camping trips?

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by jm88, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. jm88

    jm88 Member

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    It's great to be able to make reservations so I know I have a place to stay when I get there, but it also sucks that I have to decide from now if I want to go camping on a certain weekend in August. About 10 years ago, my wife and I would go tent camping at least 4-5 weekends per year. I do remember a few of the elite places where we would reserve them right when the booking window opened because they would fill up immediately. But other than that, I don't really remember planning out a whole summer. What do you guys do? Do you book places you really want to go to way in advance and leave several other weekends open for last minute getaways? I seem to remember being able to find a spot for a tent last minute and am hoping it will be the same with a PUP. Just looking at most of the state park sites, the ones with hookups seem to usually be all out in the open, right next to each other like a parking lot. I hope one of the advantages of the PUP is it will be more like tent camping than RVing as you can find more of the smaller private sites that you would have with a tent. I am starting to ramble on here, so I guess back to the main question, I am just wondering how most of you do it. I would love to go camping any free weekend we have this summer, but I don't know that from now!
     
  2. thelmuth

    thelmuth Member

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    For us it's a matter of when we have available. My wife teaches Sunday School and I work in the A/V Booth. She doesn't teach the first week of the month and I block myself out for the first week. So our camping is mostly limited to the first weekend of any given month.

    We mainly camp in FL State Parks and have booked as much as 11 months out as that is the max allowed. We also have a group of friends that we camp with, so in order to find enough suitable sites we have to plan ahead quite a bit. Most of our group have camper trailers, one is 31' and the sites that can accommodate them are limited, which also adds to the lead time.

    Spontaneity is not an option for us.
     
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Camping has gotten a lot more popular in recent years, especially in some places. There has been a larger growth in campers than there seems to have been in camping sites and campgrounds. Once upon a time we didn't make reservations, now we usually do.

    For us, we actually found that we got more camping done by putting it on the calendar, reservations or not. We work with my husbands schedule, which gives him every other Friday off. We add that to trips to eke out more time than we'd have with just vacation days. Works for us, very well.
     
  4. Westcoast

    Westcoast New Member

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    We have to book 6 Month's in advance or no site's in California. [SUN] [SUN] [SUN]
     
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I myself usually have one 5 to 6 night trip a year and multiple weekend trips. I make reservations for all, but the week long trip I make well in advance. I'm very fortunate in that my weekend trips I can reserve between a month or last minute at times with little problems. Then again I'm not picky about camping without hookups and most of my camping is without hookups anyway. Then again my weekend trips are not normally at big tourist areas. If I did want to stay at places like that I make well in advance reservations. My parents prefer full hookups including sewer and they have no choice but to make advanced reservations. There sites are usually more open anyway because it's the bigger rigs that use them the most. Most of the state and national parks I stay at don't have water or electric anyway and I found those in bigger campers stick to places with services more,in my experience.
     
  6. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Right now we have reservations for Memorial Day and July 4 holidays and a week in Northern Colorado in August.

    The rest of our camping this year will most likely be at one of two lakes about 1.5 hours from home. Both have big state parks and multiple COE campgrounds. With one exception, most of the areas we like are less popular, so getting a good campsite is normally not a problem.

    The lakes are 15 miles apart so we store the camper and boat in a little town in between. That makes it pretty easy to go last minute. I have more vacation than I'll probably be able to use, so we're talking about taking some Friday's off for three-day weekends. [:)C]
     
  7. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    No real planning for me. I have one week long trip every summer with my son while he attends Camp Half Blood in Austin, TX. I make those reservations once we get confirmed for his camp session, usually 8 months or so in advance. We are heavily involved with scouts so our weekends get pretty busy. Last year we were able to use the PUP on 6 outings (including one camp driveway). This year may be a little less due to our overloaded schedule. Generally I know about a month out, and if we decide to make a run for it I will check surrounding state parks. I am lucky living in TX that we have an awesome state park system with multiple locations within 2-3 hours drive. I can almost always find a place to go.
     
  8. jm88

    jm88 Member

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    I like this! A lot of summer weekends in the past go by wasted because I want to stay home and do stuff around the house...and nothing gets done. I think I will just put dates on the calendar like you said. I'll make some reservations for a few of the weeks, and the others just leave them open and we can go somewhere less popular.

     
  9. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    Another non planner here.

    Forecast was for 6-10 of snow, I had time available, my wife had plans for a girls week coming up, I decided to head south. Left DE early for this am. In Santee SC tonight, will head a tad fitter south tomorrow. Eventually will find nice weather. First solo trip in the new aliner[emoji3]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



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  11. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    This year, I tried the new Reservation system for our Provincial Park for Alice Lake and we got in...not only that, we got the site we wanted. Thank god for the new changes, it was always impossible to book there due to these tour companies that would book a block of sites andd then resell them to tourists for higher camp fees when they rent their motor homes. Now it is mandated that the person who booked the site or their designate be present for the entire stay. This levels the playing field...now at least we stand a chance to book.
     
  12. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    We plan and book sites in January. Two, one week trips, the three holiday weekends, and Halloween. We fill in the gaps at less popular SP's with last minute reservations.
     
  13. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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    At our favorite State Park, I have to reserve in December for our two trips, one in May (5 days) and one in August or September (5 days). Other trips I can usually get them reserved with in 30 days.
     
  14. Jenkamus

    Jenkamus Active Member

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    We have to schedule our trips on the calendar otherwise life gets in the way and we don't camp. So this year we scheduled 2 trips in our NTU pop up for April and September, these we aren't reserving any spots, we just get there on Thursdays before the crowd and always get a spot.

    We just decided in December we are taking a week long trip for Disneyland and San Francisco so for these we are going to be reserving spots (campgrounds and RV parks) just to make sure we have the places we want on our itinerary and aren't spending time looking for a place that has availability.
     
  15. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    W plan our longer trips or those on weekends, usually around Jan !, but some places are 90 days out. In general, I have found that if you are camping midweek, there is no issues unless in a destination area. We also have a few locations up in Northern MN at some State Forest campgrounds and we can just go to those whenever, pretty much never full and very nice if you like no utilities and bare bones camping (nice lakes though). For a longer trip, I get out the spreadsheet and google maps and do serious planning, can't be left high and dry on those.
     
  16. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    With so many campers today it's getting harder & harder to reserve a sunny and warm weekend months in advance. Not that I would trade away youth for retirement, but it does hold one positive. I hardly ever make reservations anymore since I retired because I avoid weekend & holiday travel and camping. If the days are going to suit me I hit the road. Weekday camping and traveling is much easier when the campgrounds and roadways are less crowded. See? There is something to look forward to in your drooling years:D!
     
  17. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    We plan most of our trips....SC state parks 50% black Friday sale up to 13 months out!!!! the majority of our trips are thursday night/fri-sun, We also have several other destinations we plan to hit up, but still make several last minute lets go here weekend trips. We started reserving trips several years ago and found that we camp a lot more often than before.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  18. mrobuck

    mrobuck New Member

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    Really depends for us... when using popular campgrounds and "destination" places or National Parks, we'll reserve. But we still leave a number of weekends free (and keep the PuP loaded and ready to roll) for those spur of the moment trips. Being in Colorado, we'll use a number of forest roads and go boon docking those weekends. (never had trouble getting a spot...finding sometimes takes a little longer, but always works out)
     

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