Saturday, June 10, 2023


If you’re canceling your campground reservations, do it as soon as you can

Record fuel prices are undoubtedly changing summer camping plans for RVers across North America. These high prices could force people to cancel their campground reservations. After all, a national average price of $4.325 per gallon for gasoline (as of Monday, March 14) certainly impacts trip costs when your motorized RV averages 8 miles per gallon.

Campground owners throughout the U.S. are just beginning to report an uptick in reservation cancellations for the 2022 summer camping season. Some owners are already reporting cancellation percentages in the double digits. Luckily for them, they are also seeing double-digit growth in advanced reservations so, at this point, it’s a bit of a wash.

Cancel campground reservations before it’s too late for others

Park owners are also concerned that campers won’t cancel their campground reservations until it’s too late for others to take their place.

“We are getting some cancellations due to fuel prices,” said Indianapolis KOA Holiday owner David Vaughan. “But we have also been turning campers away on dates we’re full. There is still a lot of demand out there.”

Vaughan said he hopes RVers who change their plans let campgrounds know as soon as possible, so other campers still wanting a site can take their place.

Western states could see higher cancellation rates

Cancellations will likely be particularly acute at campgrounds near popular national parks and monuments, which often require long trips from home. Western states will also likely see an uptick in cancellations due to fuel costs. California now has the highest fuel prices (well over $5 a gallon on average) and also has the largest percentage of RV owners in the U.S.

“We sure hope that campers who have already decided to change their plans let us know as soon as they can,” said one Western campground owner who asked not to be identified. “We have a long waiting list of folks who are still looking for places to camp this summer.”

If you’re canceling your campground reservations for any upcoming trips, do it now.



Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.


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1 year ago

Good reason to READ policies carefully. We cancelled a 6-week trip a month or more in advance. Public campgrounds got us for the $10 fee. However, several private CGs kept one night fee. None kept entire week. Several charged nothing!
All in all, $200 in cancellation fees which still was less than the extra cost of gas.

Also, we spend a week or so at a central location and do side trips vs setting up/breaking camp every few days. In the case of cancellations, this saved us $$ since CX fee is per reservation, not length of stay.

1 year ago

If this is the case…..WHY do we have to pay a cancellation fee if it’s outside of a month or whatever ridiculous length of time these campgrounds have established? They know darn well, they can turn around and rent that site back out within the day. This is campground owners gouging and getting to double-charge for sites.

1 year ago
Reply to  Nathan

Amen! Should have a laddered fee schedule. No incentive to cancel early…fees will be the same for one month or one week!

Marcus Price
1 year ago

If a campground doesn’t charge a cancellation fee it’s rude not to cancel as soon as you know, but if there’s no refund or an unreasonable cancellation fee I don’t see any obligation to cancel so they can resell the site.

Carol Fyfe
1 year ago

If canceling a reservation say 6 months or more before arrival, there should be no fee involved. However if someone does not show up on the arrival date, without a notification, then the rate should be tripled. I’d also like to see one or two reservation sites for all campgrounds that would detect multiple reservations for the same date. I realize there are local/state/federal and private campgrounds, but I’m wishfully thinking!!

Art Majerus
1 year ago

A couple days ago on an Rv Facebook site someone posted a question comparing 2 different parks. They had 2 reservations and wanted to know which one they should cancel. They had tied up spaces in 2 different parks for a period of time. Not a nice thing to do in my opinion.

The Lazy Q
1 year ago

I just canx 8 reservations for May travel from California to Oregon to Utah to Wyoming to Nebraska. Half the campgrounds asked if fuel prices were the reason.

The Lazy Q
1 year ago
Reply to  The Lazy Q

Oh, and got my refund back sans $10 cancellation fee.

1 year ago

I canceled a reservation 5 months in advance of my stay. I was told no refund. Why should I cancel, I might change my mind again. Maybe we need a tool like sporting tickets where we can sell reservations rather than lose the full amount.

Rodney Lacy
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary

That’s called scalping

1 year ago
Reply to  Rodney Lacy

Not really…that’s called read the rules before committing….period

michael p
1 year ago
Reply to  Rodney Lacy

actually it’s not scalping if she’s not profiting….

BILLY Bob Thronton
1 year ago
Reply to  michael p


1 year ago
Reply to  Rodney Lacy

And on the other side it is called price gouging.

California Travel Videos
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary

For the benefit of others, please feel free to share the campground names that have onerous campground rules. IMHO, cancelling a reservation 5 months in advance and getting ZERO refund is onerous and other RVers would love to know and share harsh “buyer beware” T&Cs. Hmm, sounds like an opportunity for a new “RVers Beware” group forum on Facebook, RVillage, etc.

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