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One RVer’s solution to campground crowding and no reservations: Own two RVs

RV sales have slowed (finally) and fewer people are buying RVs than has been the recent trend. Has that changed campground crowding? Is it easier to find a campsite now, particularly in state and national parks? Campgrounds are changing and evolving, some for the better and some for the worse. RV Travel readers discuss their experiences and offer a few tips to help other campers find that perfect spot.

Here are a few observations from our readers.

Dry camping isn’t always easy either

Roger A. can’t book ahead and is finding it difficult to get desirable sites. He writes, “For the most part we don’t get an opportunity to book way ahead due to health conditions and jobs. When you do get ready to go someplace it is so difficult to find a place for two to three days most times. There have been years where we don’t get to go to a nice park and end up going to a dry camp, and that is challenging too.”

A solution? Two RVs!

Now this is something we don’t hear every day! Jim J. has two RVs and it works out well. “Trends may impact how/when we use our small RV. We have a (well-maintained) larger travel trailer RV that is ‘permanently’ sited at a southern tier RV park for seasonal use. The park was sold earlier this year and the new owners converted more of the sites for long-term use. I get it—steady cash flow. We use a much smaller camper both for seasonal travel to the bigger RV and year-round for touring. We need a short-stay site even at the seasonal park to unload and winterize the camper before storage. Other parks are doing the same. Have to now carefully plan entire multi-stop trips and reserve well in advance. Forget ‘as weather permits’ driving days.”

An RV park with full-time residents is a trailer park

Lila M. writes about no-shows, Florida snowbirds, and full-time RV parks: “I live in Florida and already know I cannot camp from December to Easter. It is due to snowbirds, which is what our local economy depends on. And I also was aware of this when I moved back to Florida and started camping.

“Now from Easter to December what I have found is people booking reservations and not showing up. Campgrounds state that they’re full but they are not. I believe the individual campgrounds, state and county parks are also to blame. Why are they not being more proactive and following up with the no-shows? Blacklist the repeat offenders. People are just plain inconsiderate of others in today’s world and the parks need to take a stand. I understand they have their money so why do they care, but it is hurting others. There needs to be a solution. There are many solutions but it will take the park owners, state and county parks to put their foot down on this issue.”

“Also, RV parks should not allow full-time residents—that is a trailer park. I frequent a very nice RV resort and they have full-time/permanent sites but they are kept in a separate section and kept very nice. So there is a solution.”

Great trips after Labor Day

Jan B. won’t travel in the summer months again. Here’s why: “I left for a 5-week camp trip after Labor Day this past summer. I traveled U.S. highways and never made a reservation. I stayed at a few Army Corps campgrounds, KOAs, and some privately owned campgrounds. It was a great trip. I do not wish to travel during the summer months again. No crowds, just great camping!”

Want all the creature comforts of home? Then stay home!

Taylor D. wants people to stay home if they want all the creature comforts of home. They say, “I’ve been at the park for a couple of years now. It’s Van Horn RV Park in Van Horn, Texas, and yeah, people are getting worse. They’re being rude and they want all the creature comforts of home. Well, then, stay home. They don’t pick up after their dogs. And some of them have three and four dogs. They’ll set their trash out and expect you to just come pick it up right from their steps. I know that there are a lot of good people out there and that makes up for the bad. We have a lot of room here at Van Horn—we have a restaurant, a pond you can go fishing, a nice big dog run and lots of areas to walk around. It’s also all level spots that are pull-throughs. Sorry to sound like such a whiner, but please pick up after your dogs. Thank you.”

Selfish campers are not new

Frank B. reminds us that selfish campers have been around for a while. “Selfish campers are not new. They have been around for a long time. We boondock as much as possible to avoid ANY campground. (There are apps for that.) We put our money into making our rig self-sufficient rather than paying camping fees. No crowding, no selfish neighbors. Yep, MUCH better.”

Truckers hate RVs

Barry G. says there are jerks everywhere: “Staying at RV parks/campgrounds or boondocking, there are jerks at all of them (sad, but comes with all). For example: if you plan on long trips try to avoid staying at truck stops for convenient overnight stays. Truckers ‘HATE’ RVs and will park so close you can barely open the door to get out. This includes rest stops!!!!!”

Now, some questions for you:

  • Are you finding campgrounds booked up? Or is finding a place to stay not a problem?
  • Are campgrounds changing for the better or for the worse?
  • Are you seeing more permanent and seasonal RV parks?
  • Are rising costs affecting your camping style?
  • 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.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Read last week’s Crowded Campgrounds column: Has slowdown in RV sales helped with campground crowding?

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Dennis G.
1 month ago

Would say, some-truckers hate RVs. Have a dad and brother-in-law who drove semis.
From their perspective, many RVers can’t keep their vehicles inside of the driving lanes, cut off semis, and….well… let’s just say, being 4-Wheelers.
With that said, truckers are just as harsh to truckers who drive sloppy. They are called, steering-wheel-holders.
We’ve had to use truck and rest stops to overnight before. We either park in RV designated spots, or fit our class-a in with the passenger cars.

Lori B
1 month ago

I purchased one last year, my office was cold. It worked wonderfully!!! The only issue was not letting individuals see that I had it.

Big Bill
1 month ago

I have many years of rving all over the country. I say hello and chat with truckers all the time. Most of them are just as friendly in return. I make sure my rig does not interfere with trucker parking. Truckers these days are a mix of men and women of all sizes and ethnic groups and most return a friendly greeting the same way. You get what you give!

John H.
1 month ago

Truckers do not usually hate rvers. They normally park very close to each other anyway and do not differentiate. The truck parking situation is worse than the campground spot situation to boot! Add in the Electronic logbook that tells them when they have to stop or get a costly citation and you can see their tough situation. Truck stops need to be for the trucks. . .

wanderer
1 month ago

Let me rewrite “Jim”s two-RV solution from a different perspective: “My solution to overcrowding is, I tie up one desirable site in Florida for 365 days a year, although I am not there much of the time. Then I take up sites around the country with my smaller rig. When I come back to my annual site, I take up a second site there, too, to park the smaller rig for a while. So basically, I tie up two sites, plus a home base house up north. I don’t know why people are complaining about a shortage of housing or RV sites.”

Heather
1 month ago
Reply to  wanderer

My thoughts exactly.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

When I was still trucking, I didn’t hate RV’ers (maybe because I was one as well) but resented those who couldn’t park between the lines and effectively took up two spaces.

Don H
1 month ago

Truckers don’t HATE RV’s. But they do resent them taking up space at truck stops and rest areas where they have traditionally been the Kings of the Road. I’ve had lots of truckers admire my rig when fueling up (we use a truck-stop fuel card) and at rest areas, but I don’t overnight at truck stops or rest areas, and I try to move on asap anytime the area is crowded.

Diane Mc
1 month ago
Reply to  Don H

Yes, our experience as well with truckers. Why we had the Flying J card before and now the TSD card. So we can fuel and go with out having to go inside (and of course the discounts…but I hated having to go in to get pump turned on, then wait for call from husband to get back in line to pay). We may use a parking spot for lunch if fueling at same time, but only if there are many spaces open. Truckers are working

Jewel
1 month ago
Reply to  Don H

I agree. We treat truckers with respect – no reason not to. We understand their jobs have demands. We won’t use a truck stop to rest – we do use the truck lanes for fuel but never linger at the pump. It helps that those pumps are fast and we only have a 36 gallon tank!
We rarely stop at rest stops to sleep but at least in Texas there are a lot of state safety rest areas that have designated truck area away from the RV and passenger car space. If not separate they still have lots of room for parking. If we do stop, it would only be where there were lots of open spaces.

As for driving around them, we stay right and use our signals and flashers to communicate. Most of the seasoned truckers seem to appreciate that.

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