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Holiday weekends are coming – Plan ahead!

By Bob Difley
Although we may quibble about the definitions of boondocking, blacktop boondocking, Walmart boondocking, and dry-camping, we’re talking about essentially the same thing – camping without hook-ups. It is where we do it that alters the definition.

But wherever you do your boondocking, you most likely don’t look too far ahead, preferring to camp where your RV leads you, since you can’t reserve most boondocking campsites.

That’s the way I’ve always done it. And I always found a spot. Well, almost always. The “almost” refers to those #@&%$* national holidays when I happened to be in an area where there were no public lands (BLM, Forest Service, etc.) where I could boondock, and was resigned to finding a campsite in an established campground.

After all, I don’t boondock (meaning, in this case, out in the boonies) all the time. There are terrific state park and public utility campgrounds, beautifully scenic or historic national parks and monuments, private campgrounds along the coasts, and RV resorts located at popular and heavily visited tourist attractions that I also enjoy.

However, I learned (after my wife too often had to drill it into me), that there were some times when planning ahead (arrgh!) was the reasonable antidote to the stress of wandering frantically about for hours, sometimes after dark, looking for an open, unreserved campsite on a busy weekend.
NOW YOU MAY THINK I am being theatrical in proposing that you start thinking today about Memorial Day. I know – it’s weeks, months away. But nevertheless, many state parks have already opened reservations for the holiday, and sites can go really fast. 

With the improving economy and busy winter RV shows where lots of new RVs were sold, RVers will be out in droves, like marching ants, snatching up every available reservable campsite, leaving non-planners like me scrambling for any tiny patch of “first-come, first-served” campsite.

So – and I know how hard this is for some of you (believe me, I know) – you just might want to bite the bullet and make a reservation somewhere for Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28 (that’s Memorial Day – I know you didn’t know the actual date).

But, you can totally ignore this advice if you absolutely KNOW that you will be somewhere on public lands on those days and feel confident that you can find a real boondocking spot – out in the boonies – and don’t have to be concerned with the weekend riffraff. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

##RVT837

Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


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Mary Carlson (@guest_21897)
5 years ago

Some campgrounds now start taking reservations a year in advance or more. Don’t assume 6 months in advance is plenty of time!

Ellen (@guest_21817)
5 years ago

We are also planners and yes we have our holidays and summers trips booked through Labor Day in our state parks. It’s getting harder every year.

Susan F. (@guest_21702)
5 years ago

Yes, yes, yes!!! You are spot on here! We are “planner” types and just finished our travel route for 2018. We are headed to some of the popular national parks,etc and already found limited availability for sites in several RV parks.at our destinations and the places we will be over major holidays. Get busy people! 🙂

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