What's with 11 month Reversation Windows?

Discussion in 'Reservation Systems' started by Ted S., Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    That's insane! I can't even get my PUP winterized before the war is on for getting that perfect campsite almost a year away. It's like you need to make reservations in a number of places for "what if" we want to go camping...otherwise you are SOL.

    It's like, "Hey Honey, I'm in the mood to go camping.." "OK baby, I'll make reservations, and if the kids don't grow out of it by then we'll go"

    Obviously our legislators own vacation homes.
     
  2. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    I agree. That's crazy. I have heard of one year windows where people camp, then, on the way out the gate, make their reservation for the next year. That REALLY sucks. I can't even plan 6 months out.

    Greg
     
  3. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I feel sorry for the folks in the East who don't have national forests or BLM land available. I could never camp at all if I had to plan 11 months in advance.
     
  4. Idahawk

    Idahawk " Esta Perpetua "

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    What type of campgrounds are we talking about ?
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We usually see 11-12 month reservation window eligibility for public campgrounds when it is for group sites or very popular areas. Most of the other ones begin 6 months before the reservation date, more or less. Some places go with 6 months from the actual camping date, others open by the month.

    When we facilitated the church camping weekend, a year in advance was the time-frame (I think it was actually something like 360 days). We had to plan a good way in advance to take into account school calendars, and the fact that some people need to request vacation time in January for the remainder of the year.

    The Forest Service campgrounds we're used for the CO Portal Rallies use a 6-month window. Again, some need to know so they can request the time off. OTOH, most of the time, we've been able to reserve relatively last minute at the same campgrounds on other occasions, even within a month or less. [They also all have FCFS sites, but we like reservations, esp. at the end of 5-8 hours driving to get to the campground.]

    I wouldn't like to plan every trip that far in advance, but we've found we actually camp more when we plan in advance and (usually) make reservations. If the trip is on the calendar, other things get scheduled around it.
     
  6. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I go when I feel like it, usually with little advance planning. I dislike reservation systems because with my approach to camping I can't get into places that allow 100% reservations -- they've all been booked for months. To me that's insane, just as the OP proclaimed. So, when I use a CG, I go to FCFS places almost exclusively. These are usually NF or BLM places. I rarely have a problem. (I did with Zion and Natural Bridges last Spring. I just skipped Zion and went somewhere else. With NB I just went to a nearby NF CG and returned the next morning to get a site in NB.) When I boondock the reservation point is moot.
     
  7. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    I just think a better process could be put in place.

    In CT, one state park I have a reservation at is an 11 month window, with I believe a 21day limit. If you do not plan way in advance, and know what you are doing with the reservation process, you are SOL.

    This is OK for me now, because I am learning and a planner, but some poor guy that buys a PUP or wants to go camping with his family is out of luck. It's just wrong, the parks should be enjoyed by all, you shouldn't have to learn and game the system to be there. I know there is limited good sites, but a more reasonable window and shorter limit seems in order to me.

    As it is now, I feel like I am trying to get concert tickets.
     
  8. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    PS -

    UT,

    Point well taken, boondocking is in my future. We will be dry camping next year for the first time. With three kids I need to unhook gradually.
     
  9. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I think you'll like it.

    I take the position that no public CG should be 100% reservable. IMO it should never be more than 60-65% reservable with the rest FCFS. Private CGs are free to do what they want but that doesn't concern me because I don't frequent them. (Well, to be 100% accurate, I did use two RV parks on my long trip last Spring when I couldn't find a site in a public CG in the area -- the local state park was full or reserved. Interestingly enough, both RV parks had lots of available space.)
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We've only encountered a few campgrounds that are 100% reserve-able, I think North Rim Grand Canyon is one. [There is a NF campground not far from the entrance plus a large one in Jacob Lake, and opportunities to boondock in the NF, too, so it is possible to find camping sites w/o reservations.]
    Friends ran into a state campground in CO a few years ago that was not only 100 % reserve-able at that date, but apparently had been over-booked in the transition from one reservation system to another. Not a great experience for anyone involved. However, no matter how it is set up, at some point, someone is going to be unhappy.
    In most places, if a site that has been reserved is not occupied by a certain time on the day after the first night, it is supposed to be released for FCFS (again, it doesn't always happen)..
     
  11. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    In this economy, when the state governments can collect money up to a year in advance and have the whole park reserved, they are not going to give up that money.
    Pure and simple. Rainy weekends where people don't show are eliminated. If it's a bad weather weekend and you cancel, depending on how much notice, you can lose some or part of your reservation. The state makes their money no mater what. So do you really think they'll be willing to give any of that up?
     
  12. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Watchman at Zion is 100% reservable. So are the main CGs on both rims of the Grand Canyon. The reason I got into Mather last May was that someone had just cancelled their 3-day reservation. I wanted to stay there longer but the site was taken by another party after that date. Mather is FCFS in the winter months. Desert View is always FCFS. Ten X (a NF CG just south of the main GC park entrance) is partly reservable and partly FCFS. Sites 1-13, 22-30 and 45-70 are FCFS. I'm not 100% sure on this but I think that the Xanterra-operated CGs in Yellowstone are also 100% reservable. Some in the Yosemite Valley, too?


    Storm Trooper: I try to avoid state parks because IMO they charge too much. I like to stick with federal stuff.
     
  13. Bullfrog Bheer

    Bullfrog Bheer Active Member

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    Wisconsin's the same way at the SP's. 11 months out. Heck, I don't even know if I'll have a job next month, muchless what the schedule is for next summer. [:(]
     
  14. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    Hey - at this point I'm just happy our governor here in the great state of PA hasn't closed any parks due to budget constraints or made them all giant "camps" for Marcellus Shale gas drilling !! I'll live with the 11 month reservation thing !!
     
  15. Ted S.

    Ted S. Member

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    This indeed is a good point. We should be thankful we have so many great places that have been protected as parks and forests and monuments...I do really appreciate this about our country.
     
  16. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Problem is that in the Northeast, Federal Parks are very, very, very few.
    One in CT has 22 sites. (CT has a population of 3 1/2 million people.) That doesn't go very far.
     
  17. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    Well, I'm most certainly grateful for living here in the Mountain West. It is definitely nice to be able to just pick up and go when we want. The only time I've ever done reservations is for places like the Grand Canyon. We have a lot of national forest and BLM land here in NM, and a plethora of CGs which are operated by those bodies...the vast majority of them are FCFS dry camping.

    Our SPs do take reservations, but only for a handful of sites at most of them. These are usually in the hookup loops, and yeah...they can be difficult to get a hold of sometimes. No bother to me, I prefer to dry camp primarily for the less crowded conditions. Most SPs here, less than 50% of the sites at any given CG are reservable, which is nice for the people that just decide they want to pick up and go camp.

    I don't think I could manage if I were forced to make reservations that far in advance...I never know what I'm doing that far in advance.
     
  18. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    I am with you David on the 11 months. I have never had to sit waiting for the clock or date to change to make a reservation in a PA park. Other than for the big 3 holiday weekends the parks I go to are never full, not even close. I tend to go on the holiday Monday and stay to the following Sunday anyhow if I go around those holidays. This year was the first time I have made reservations even close to the 11 months in advance, as I wanted to be with a group for a bluegrass festival next August. When you make those reservations you pay right then the full amount.

    PA does a good job of keeping out the people who are looking for a place to "live" instead of camping, like the Marcellus Shale workers. First off very few PA parks have full hook ups, most only have electric and only on some of the sites. Also during the summer there is a 14 night stay limit and a 21 night limit prior to and after the summer season. I believe you have to vacate the park for 48 hours, you can not just relocate to another site. I don't have a problem with the reservation policy at all. Its the same for everyone no matter if your a PA resident or not. Anyone can go online or call the reservation center.

    The Marcellus gas well and pipeline workers have turned some of the private campgrounds around SW PA into nothing more than trailer parks. The owners of those places evidently have seen the easy $ signs, without thinking that eventually those workers will be moving on once the infrastructure is in place, but that is their decision.
     
  19. DrGronk

    DrGronk New Member

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    I tried to make a reversation the other day but they took it back. *comedic drum fill*
     
  20. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    [LOL] You make a reversation to cancel a reservation. Its also the preferred method for putting your camper on a camp site........ you make a reversation.
     

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