Saturday, December 3, 2022


Yet another report of overcrowded campgrounds


Here is yet another email I’ve received about the current crowding in campgrounds and RV parks. I have experienced the same frustration as Brian and Sue Robertson express here. Please leave a comment. — Chuck/editor

Hi Chuck,
I know you have been paying attention to availability of parking spaces in RV parks and campgrounds.

We have been having a rough summer. We have been full-timing for 11 years now and this is the worst we have ever seen. Everywhere we go we have to make a lot of phone calls to find a spot. We are currently in northeast Ohio paying $30 for a back-in 30-amp site with no sewer in a horrible park.

full-753Manufacturers continue to build and dealers continue to sell but no one opens new parks or expands old parks. Rates keep going up. We were up in Nova Scotia and had to leave because we could not find a space. We do not travel in a way that allows for much advance planning – we wing it – spur of the moment – not much planning ahead. But now we want to go to Minnesota to see family and have called every place we can find around the Twin Cities and there is no room at the inn.

The RV industry needs to promote the idea of more parks and campgrounds and better places that are friendly to clientele or word is going to get out how bad conditions are getting out here and people are going to quit buying RVs. We hope you keep up your writing about this so maybe someone out there starts to pay attention.

Someone has to do something about the situation out here on the road in the real world. Those $10 or $20 quick overnighter spaces you talk about would sure help people like us. WE are going to try one of those Ohio turnpike plaza spots tonight that you wrote about. —Brian & Sue Robertson


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5 years ago

Maybe a new RV park model is needed. How about a parking lot type RV park with electric hook ups only at each site and restrooms with showers. It would be kind of like camping at Walmart but having electricity for AC and with showers available. The cost to set up such a park would be minimal and therefore the camping fee could be minimal also.

Debbie Wilson
5 years ago

I am currently workamping in a campground and we continually have to turn people away because we are full. Some people understand, others become angry and take our their frustration on us. One even told me over the phone “Ya’ll never used to be full and now I can never get in there. What’s your problem?” Well, it’s not the campground’s problem. It’s an industry wide problem so please, people, don’t get mad at the campground because they are full. Recently in the area about 40 miles from here. a corporation was going to put in a nice expensive RV park but when nearby residents found out about it, they went to the city council and raised a ruckus about “trailer trash” and “unwanteds” in their neighborhood. Result? The new campground put on hold.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
5 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Wilson

Very valid points, Debbie. Thank you for mentioning them. —Diane at

5 years ago

Opening RV Storage Sites will be where the money is at when the fuel prices rise back to $4 a gallon.
No that isn’t going to happen. If anything gas will be a production cut as we swing over to electric mode. The days of the corner gas station will eventually disappear.. Maybe they can make sites at these deserted stations giving property owner some form of profit to their ownership. The 4.00 gas is gone.

5 years ago

I notice that no one commented on the proliferation of cabins that have been popping up @ RV parks. These are taking away sites that were used (in most cases) for RV’s. I have to a few parks who have a pad next to their cabin for those who want to park their RV and stay in a cabin. I have only seen Travel & sprinter vans, SUV’s and cars parked on those pads. I like the idea of parks that have laundry rooms and showers available, but I don’t need those services unless it isn’t full hookups… Anybody else care to voice an opinion on these 2 issues….

Monty Arch
5 years ago

For a lark, I went to recreation gov., Saturday night Aug 5, to make reservations for a travel trailer at a National Park. for Sunday Aug 5, leaving Wednesday

Great Smokey NP: 96 sites available
Shenandoah NP: 87 first come first serve
Mammoth Cave NP: 4 first come first serve
Acadia NP: nothing available
Everglades NP: Nothing available
Hot springs NP first come first serve
Rocky Mountain NP: nothing available
Grand Teton NP nothing available
Yellowstone NP: nothing available
Grand Canyon (south rim) 1 first come first serve, nothing available at north rim
Arches NP: nothing available
Canyonlands NP: nothing available
Bryce Canyon NP: nothing available
Zion NP: nothing available
Capitol Reef NP: nothing available
Badlands NP: nothing available
Glacier NP: nothing available
Big Bend NP: nothing available
Yosemite NP: nothing available
Redwood NP: Nothing available

RV Nut
5 years ago

Don’t fret…

When the fuel prices get back up there (and it’s only a matter of time), those newbies will be parking the RV.

The down side to higher fuel prices and record RV sales will be the death spiral of RV prices.

For those on the sidelines, just give it a little more time. You’ll get a bargain.

Opening RV Storage Sites will be where the money is at when the fuel prices rise back to $4 a gallon.

John Petruccelli
5 years ago

We just completed a 17 day rv trip up the east coast. The only two campgrounds that we stayed in that were nearly full were Paradise Lake RV Resort in Jacksonville and Cherry Hill RV Resort in College Park, Maryland. There were plenty of openings in the state parks and other private RV parks we stayed in. I will say that we made most of our reservations before we left home but had no problems when our plans changed while on the road to get into a state park or private campground.

Barbara Miller
5 years ago

My suggestion for more campsites is for the highway motels (with large parking lots) install at least 10 – 20 RV sites in those lots. We would stop overnight at those motels as I’m sure others would also. We have stopped and motel”ed it – paying for a room while staying in the RV when we couldn’t find an RV park with an open site. Some of the motels advertised pricing same as RV parks on the highways billboards so it paid to stop and boondock. Do not try just stopping without paying. Motels will knock on your door and ask for payment.

5 years ago

On our cross country trip last summer we made sure to have advance reservations in all the major stops,(Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Las Vegas). We had to make these reservations in both National Parks and private campgrounds a year in advance.
Thankfully it worked out. There were long lines at all of these spots with RV’s looking to get in.
Kinda reminded us of winter in South Florida. If you don’t reserve well in advance, you’re sleeping in a rest area!

5 years ago

We have been fulltiming for 11 years and yes it is ridiculous and prices are crazy. Our solution has been to travel in the off season This year we explored Southern Quebec and Ontario mid April to first week in June. Then we picked a place, Oregon, and we will stay put for the summer using the car to explore the state from our camping base. It use to be we would have a hard time finding a camp spot to stay for a month or two. Now we have a hard time finding a camp spot for a day or two. We can run into some crazy weather in the off season but I prefer this to overcrowding. I feel bad for families. Our kids were practically raised in our Pop UP. I don’t see my grands having the same opportunity .

Patrick Granahan
5 years ago

Just spent several hours doing campground research in Woodalls publications from AAA and the Internet in search of a monthly reservable RV site in North and South Carolina (need it while looking for a new home)
To my surprise even large RV Parks with hundreds of sites there is
“No Room in the Inn”….all sites 100% booked. Owners said they would call me if any site opens up.
The campground problem is real…I have been a RV travel trailer owner since 1983 and have never encountered anything like this before.
Wake up call for the industry.

5 years ago

We’ve had to cancel or change reservations several times over the last couple of years due to doctor appointments or family commitments. Reserve America and always charge a fee, no matter how long in advance. When making reservations so far in advance, changes in plans are inevitable. It would be great if fees recognized amount of lead time given and were tiered appropriately. I already got charged a reservation fee. Why should it cost so much more to make a change over the internet? There are no other options for public campgrounds.

Don & Nancy Schneider
5 years ago

We have to plan 3 months ahead of time and make reservations then. When we have pulled into many parks in CA, NV, and UT this year there are signs on the door – No Pull thrus available. This is the first year we have seen this and we are towing so need pullthrus. One park in NV had only 13 pull thrus of the 120 sites. Plan ahead or be disappointed.

Patrick Granahan
5 years ago

If you own a travel trailer you should learn how to back it into a site. Many campgrounds and RV Parks do not have pull-thru sites.

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

Exactly right. Learning to back in is an essential skill, and not that hard to master.

5 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

But if you are a motorhome towing a car then you will either need a pull through or else have to disconnect the car in order to back in.

5 years ago

Another problem that overwhelms RVers is the number of Full Timers being allowed to stay in some parks. I understand that park owners want to insure their income, but I think they need to limit their parks to say no more than 10 or 15 percent of their spaces to Full Timers. Making ample space for those of us who are NOT Full Timers.

5 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Not sure on the term Full Timer, have been a “full timer” for 16 years, living a traveling in a 40 ft 3 slide motorhome with DW and dog. We have never stayed in a park longer than a month at a time unless we were camp hosting there. We do see more and more permant residents livin in parks, most have hit on hard times and this is the cheapest way for them to live,
There are many many fulltimers on the road, I was president of the Holiday Rambler Fulltimer chaper before it finally folded. The definition determing full timer was no house and living in rig full time. I really think you meant permant resident.

Lynn Decker
5 years ago
Reply to  Walt KAISER

Walt, I think you are correct. The term “full timer” is someone who chooses to live full time in an RV and travel, staying someplace 1 day to a season. Permanent residents are those, who for usually financial reasons, find living in an RV an inexpensive alternative to brick and mortar. We have been full timers for 6 years and are finding more and more permanent residents each year. And although the longer you stay, the cheaper each individual night becomes, owners like that because they are able to count on a steady stream of income year round. Thus it leaves fewer sites available for transients….

5 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

The term you are looking for is “annuals” or
Seasonals”, these are the folks who live in an RV park with an annual or seasonal lease. Newsflash: Annuals (some of them), think that they are sustaining the park and resent “short-termers”, who come in after dark and start setting up, desturbing their sleep or peace and quiet. So there is merit to both sides of the issues, and the best resolution is to co-exist…….

john stahl
5 years ago

We had a great 26 day RVing vacation traveling to 6 beautiful national parks. But we made all our reservations way in advance so we could get a nice place. It would be nice to be able to NOT have to plan so far ahead but if you don’t then you cannot get a good place. We reserved a couple places almost a year in advance. But if you breakdown or get sick and have to cancel some stops then you lose your money in many of those places. The refund policy is very inconsistent. I am a detailed planner so it is not so problematic. But it would be nice to be able to ‘wing it’ sometimes. I think those days are over. The USA is so beautiful so we go and enjoy God’s great creations. Even with the shortage of good RV stops I do not think that will slow down the RV travels or RV purchases. When we exited Yellowstone we went out thru West Yellowstone about 10 am. The car lines going in were so long that I do not think those people go into the park for at least 2 or 3 hours. I do not think the problem will ever be solved but I hope someone will come up with a helpful solution. But as you know, money talks. So the only way something will work is if it makes a nice profit….like Starbuck’s. I am itching to hit the road and I think that is built in most Americans so the crowded conditions will remain. I love RVing. .

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