RV sales have skyrocketed and more people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before! In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. Maybe we can find some helpful tips and ways to work around the problem.
Here are a few observations from our readers.
Try the city parks
Nancy T. offers this advice to deal with campground crowding: “Try city parks. I used a couple this summer when I couldn’t find a traditional park. They generally have at least partial hookups (electric) and water available. Never had a problem.”
“I am a happy camper!”
Fred B. is a happy camper and has some great advice for us. “12 years full-timing so far and still very little if any problems with reservations. We do boondock frequently and love it. My tip: Set up your RV for boondocking, even if it’s not your first choice for camping. It will give you another option if campgrounds are full in the area you’re going to. Once you’ve tried boondocking, you may find you love it, and it may become your first choice. We will continue to travel full-time, regardless if reserving becomes difficult. Give me a remote spot in the mountains, or out in the desert where I can commune with nature, and I’m a happy camper, enjoying heaven on earth.”
Not just a North American problem!
Manfred M. says that campground crowding is not limited to the U.S. and Canada. “In my hometown of Trier, Germany, an ancient and historic city, all the campgrounds on the banks of the Moselle River have been sold out all summer.”
Canada campsites go to oil workers
Ron J. has had to get a seasonal site due to a lack of available campgrounds. “We have, in the past, had little difficulty reserving a site, but residing in a Canadian province with a robust oil economy, found that oilfield workers, due to the expense of motel or hotel living, began to use campgrounds for their worktime residences, thusly denying the RV user from using the campgrounds for the purpose for which they are intended. We have switched to a seasonal site but now don’t get the experience of traveling nearly as much as desired.”
Take away camping privileges for life?
Reader Timothy S. sent us a rather scathing commentary on folks who reserve multiple sites and don’t cancel. We’ll keep our personal opinions about this comment to ourselves, but we are curious to hear your thoughts (perhaps a little more politely…).
Timothy writes, “So far, I haven’t experienced any problems making reservations for camping. But I make my plans one year in advance and seek out restaurants, events/attractions, or just places to relax. The overcrowding comes into play when some idiot can’t decide where he wants to actually go. And he makes a reservation at numerous campgrounds. When he finally decides where he is going to go, he waits until the last minute to cancel and leaves the site open and someone without a place to go. These are the ones that make it bad for actual campers. This site has nothing to do with ruining anything, but warning everyone about what is happening. You just didn’t go far enough. Print this and it will explain everything to those who have had problems getting a site. We need to find these people and take away their camping privileges for life.”
Year in advance
Thomas E. confirmed what many of our readers say to do. Thomas says, “Planning is key. We reserve a year in advance. And I really liked the confirming a reservation idea except we don’t always get our emails when en route. Regardless, we do call and confirm our reservations weeks in advance to make sure they haven’t forgotten us – having made the reservations a year earlier. Most places price increases following inflation.”
Jim S. also books a year in advance and prepares to boondock too. “We spent the money on solar and inverters so now we do more boondocking. The campgrounds we love we book for the following year when we are there on our initial camping trip. This seems to be what it has come to. It’s not ideal but works for us. Gives us something to look forward to the next year without so much stress in finding a place later… GOOD LUCK!”
It wouldn’t be a secret if I told you…
Dave P. made me smile with his comment: “‘Do you have any tips or secrets you’d like to share about finding campgrounds that aren’t as crowded?’ Well, it wouldn’t be a secret if I tell you… right?”
You are certainly right, Dave!
Kudos to RVtravel.com
Ron S. sent us a nice email about the work we are doing. He wrote, “Chuck and all at RVTravel.com, please continue what you are doing. You give all of us great information and ideas for camping and traveling in our RVs. Last year we noticed a lot of newbies with first-time RVs just trying to get out and travel during Covid. We tried to help when they needed it and tried to steer them to your site. Yes, it is harder to travel and find places, especially one night while traveling, but we have also found great places this past year.”
Now that’s what we like to hear. Thanks so much, Ron!
Now, some questions for you:
• Are you finding more and more campgrounds booked up? Or are you having no problem finding places to stay?
• If campgrounds continue to be crowded and RVing continues to become more popular, will it affect how or when you RV?
• Do you have any tips or secrets you’d like to share about finding campgrounds that aren’t as crowded?
Please use the form below to answer one or more of these questions, or tell us what you’ve experienced with campground crowding in general.
Read last week’s Crowded Campgrounds column here.