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.
Campground didn’t care about “the dilemma they put us in”
Austin C., unfortunately, had the same mistake happen one too many times. The campground just didn’t care how long their rig was. Is this a lack of customer service? Of care? Why did this happen at multiple RV parks?
Austin explains, “We ‘normally’ make our reservations months in advance. I clearly realize we are not the ‘average’ RV folks but our schedule allows for that model of reservations.
“This past May probably did us in. Both RV parks again had our reservations for many months. We even called ahead weeks before arriving to verify the office had the correct length of our equipment. Upon arriving, our well-defined truck and RV length did not fit the spots assigned to us. The assigned spots were way too short. In one spot we required the assistance of two park employees just to park and three park employees to exit the spot due to crowding. The office was not the least concerned about the dilemma they put us in.
Yes, I could have and should have just returned to the entrance of the parks and left.
“No more. My beloved RV is up for sale. I’m sad because, like most, this had been my dream for decades before I retired.”
Don’t last-minute plan
Jerry P. sees the problem of getting sites and getting parts as poor planning. He writes, “Our experience over the last couple of trips is that, yes, campgrounds are fuller than usual, but getting a site isn’t much harder. You just need to stay flexible. If you have a single two-week vacation and you have to go to Yellowstone, you can’t just show up at the gate. Or maybe you can. Cancellations make even short-term planning possible if you can be flexible. Membership clubs like Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome take the pressure off last-minute stops when a campsite at a commercial park falls through. We started our last trip wait-listed on a couple of the more popular stops and got a site anyway.
“The problems occur when you leave the planning until the last minute and have a specific place you want to be. I work at an RV parts store and we get a lot of calls from campers looking for a part on Thursday for a trip starting Saturday. Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
Don’t give up because of campground crowding
Daphne R. suggests we just wait it out regarding campground crowding: “I think that if we seasoned campers just hang on for a year, the over-camping will mitigate to a degree. I’m already seeing articles saying new RVers are selling their rigs due to overcrowding. Let’s not hastily give up something we love. Let’s wait a while and see what happens.”
A benefit to paying in full
Rich K. would like to see more popup campers. “We try to book our summer campsites months in advance, whenever possible, simply because they fill up so fast. I have no problem paying the full price for reservations. Frankly, it should encourage people not to reserve campsites they never intend to use.”
The good ol’ camping days never existed!
David C. offers words of wisdom: The only constant is change. He says, “Need to be aware that ‘old days’ of camping never really existed and will never exist in the future. The trips to wherever are whatever you make them to be, regardless of the number of campsites used, the type of people at the site, and their respect for the land/laws. I can personally say that I can see examples of rude people, trashy sites, large rigs, etc., in just about every campground we have stayed in, but that is not what we focus on when thinking about our memories of a place. Your memories are based on what you want to remember. I recommend avoiding the bad memories. In any event, always remember that the only constant is change, so some of the campground overcrowding issues will change over time.
“My wife and I are full-time RVers in a large rig and have stayed at many different campsites, including state parks, RV parks, and boondocking locations. For us, it is about balancing cost and our needs. State parks are a good value when you can get a reservation, and as long as we can access the campsite, we will continue to use this as an option as we travel across the country.”
Now, some questions for you:
• Are you finding more and more campgrounds booked up? Or is finding a place to stay not a problem?
• 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.
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