Monday, December 5, 2022


Can an RV park cancel your reservation for someone else?


Dear editor,
This newsletter has lamented for years that just taking off and finding a campground is getting harder or in some cases impossible. It is sad that you can’t just wander the country and see what you find. These days you just have to make a reservation and plan your trip. But that brings another problem.

What if you make a reservation and think everything is fine and then you get a call that says someone wants your site for three months and your deposit is being returned. This has happened to me and is happening to more people I talk to. My current neighbors are here now only because they thought they had a reservation for a month at at another place. But they got a call that said someone wanted their site for three months so “sorry”.  The response from the campground was that the RVers were offered another site but turned it down. That’s a lie!

I would bet these are not isolated incidents. Both mentioned here happened at corporate parks — Zelman and Encore respectively. It might be a good topic for the newsletter and start some lively and informative discussions. —Dave Gobel

Dear Dave,
I’ve never heard of this happening, but then I don’t visit very many different RV parks these days. If it is, indeed, occurring, that seems wrong to me. I hope some of our readers will weigh in on this by leaving a comment. If others are having the same experience, we need to raise awareness about this with the campground industry that this an unacceptable practice. A reservation is a reservation and that’s that.

Still, so much is changing in RVing these days due to crowding that many RV parks can pretty much do what they want and still fill up every night. —Chuck

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2 years ago

Holy breech of contract, Batman! I’m shocked no one has sued yet.

Donald MacGregor
1 year ago
Reply to  squeakytiki

Sue for what? A refund of your deposit is the most you’d get. Maybe if you had to stay at a site that cost more you’d get the difference, but good luck proving that you ‘had’ to stay at a more expensive site.

2 years ago

this is not fair but i really dont think anyone should be able to have a parking space over 14 days

Joe Eafrati
2 years ago

Yep, it happened to us. We had reservation in a Sun community in Florida eight months ahead of time for a six month lease. We got a call from the office telling me that they have to move me to a different site because someone else wanted that site for the whole year. The site that we put a deposit on was a concrete pad and wider. They moved us to a smaller grass site with no room. When we got here, we found out that the manager does this frequently for people she knows. I’ll never come back here.

2 years ago

We made a 6 day reservation for a choice site at a campground just outside of Pittsburgh 10 months in advance of our trip. We kept in touch with the campground in the coming weeks to let them know we would be arriving on the set date. The day before we were scheduled to arrive we received an email stating we were bumped off the agreed upon site and were being moved to a less desirable site in the rear of the campgrounds. After much protesting we were basically told take it or leave it. When we arrived it was explained that a Class A pulled in two days before us and wanted that particular site for two weeks so they gave our reserved site to them and moved us. There were other sites open but they wanted that site so it was given to them. We were very disappointing they did that.

Chloe Derian
2 years ago

Yes we thought we had reservations for a Sunday & Monday at River’s Edge RV park in Ehrenberg,Az once & had paid for it three months in advance. About two weeks before I got a call telling us the people in the spot they were going to put us in decided to stay longer & that sorry they didn’t have any other openings. They said they could get us into the park across the street thou so we said ok only to arrive & find that our 40’ toyhauler would hang out into the street two feet! Plus the trees hung on the roof & rubbed all night in the wind! We were led to believe that this was the sister park to the park we had reserved in which was a bald {bleeped} lie! The park we were put in had run down mobile homes, trash in the streets & very weird electrical setup. Never again! We let the mgr at the Rivers Edge know how unhappy we were since they led us to believe the alternative park was as nice as theirs. What a joke! They told us they do this all the time & no one has complained- I cannot believe that. We now bypass Ehrenberg because of the actions of this park.

Lee Cattaneo
2 years ago

This is getting to be the practice in Florida. The 3 month reservations are then getting bumped by the yearly.

2 years ago

If in fact this does happen and proof exists then the victim should immediately out the Park, Resort or Campground in Social Media to let everybody know. Once the RV Park operator figures out that there are repercussions to this type of business practice with today’s instant communication of the masses it will probably get their attention and potentially curb the practice.

Ray Zimmermann
2 years ago

I guess one takeaway from this is you should ask when you make the reservation if there is any chance thAT you will be bumped out of your spot. And if this dOes happens to you, please post a review on the RV park review sites to let other travelers know.

2 years ago

I can see this can be a big problem at popular parks. We’ve been fortunate where we return each year to our home town to visit our kids for about 3 months. We’ve been staying at an inexpensive campground on the edge of town that has become popular with seasonal rvers who pay the seasonal rate & there is usually a waiting list for the summer. But we only stay for 3 months at the monthly rate. So last year I asked them if I was likely to be bumped from my yearly 3 month reservation to allow for a seasonal rver. They assured me that would not happen. The park is run by the original owner’s son & his wife. They’re wonderful people & have said they are not interested in squeezing every last dollar out of the park. They like the variety of people coming & going throughout the summer season, so they want a mix of short & long term customers.

Joan Richardson
2 years ago

I have ‘workamped’ at 2 different RV parks, one in Northern California (privately owned) and the other in the greater Phoenix area on Indian land. In both cases if someone made a reservation/deposit it was their’s for that period of time. So they knew if they were a day late they still had a spot. There were no refunds.

2 years ago

We own an rv lot but because we can’t be there most of the year we rent it. I always respond to shorter term requests that we prefer longer stay commitments and then ask if they’d consider a longer term. This is all up front. It seems unlawful and plainly wrong to return someone’s deposit because of this issue.

Bill T
2 years ago

With the decrease in available campsites becoming greater and with the nightly costs of campgrounds going through the roof, I can see this becoming a real issue. Campground owners have an increasing economic need to keep all the spaces filled all the time. Increasing utility costs, taxation and so forth are eating into the profit margins and their subsequent ability to make a living. I agree a reservation is a reservation and needs to be respected. However, I do read in the fine print that some state that can cancel a reservation at anytime. Looking at their cancellation policies is something I look into when making reservations. It still sucks though when it happens mid trip.

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