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 > Fighting for campsites 6 months in advance!

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GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 01/14/18 03:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ralph Cramden wrote:

1stgenfarmboy wrote:

As long as the camping crowd keeps growing the prices are going to keep going up, for the folks that live in the Bible belt there is basicly zero BLM land so you must stay at a state park or private CG, S.P. CG are still cheap at 9-12 a night but if you want a weekend in the summer months you need to be there on Wed.




Where are the state parks with campsites @ 9-12 per night?

We've been to quite a few states and have not found those.


Rustic SP used to be 13 in Michigan. Now 17. Same for State Forest. Maybe using Gold Eagle 50% discount at National Forest CG?


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Durb

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Posted: 01/14/18 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We booked the last two sites at a popular state park in Oregon for Tuesday through Friday. Even though the park was booked full it was 80% empty and did not start to fill until Friday. People are gaming the reservation system and are even being coached how to do so on this thread.

In my mind - $200 booking fee of which $192 will be refunded to you when you physically show up on the first day of your reservation. Forfeited if the reservation is cancelled. Too many people with too much time on their computers taking pride in locking up campsites so others can't use them. Tough medicine but hitting people in the wallet is the only thing that will stop the abuse. This plan provides for no extra cost if you actually plan to use the site.

GordonThree

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Posted: 01/14/18 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Durb wrote:

We booked the last two sites at a popular state park in Oregon for Tuesday through Friday. Even though the park was booked full it was 80% empty and did not start to fill until Friday. People are gaming the reservation system and are even being coached how to do so on this thread.

In my mind - $200 booking fee of which $192 will be refunded to you when you physically show up on the first day of your reservation. Forfeited if the reservation is cancelled. Too many people with too much time on their computers taking pride in locking up campsites so others can't use them. Tough medicine but hitting people in the wallet is the only thing that will stop the abuse. This plan provides for no extra cost if you actually plan to use the site.


Nothing angers me more than showing up to a state park that showed sold out online yet is mostly empty.

Onsite staff don't even have the power to override the computer without a several day wait.

Thom02099

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Posted: 01/14/18 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GordonThree wrote:

Durb wrote:

We booked the last two sites at a popular state park in Oregon for Tuesday through Friday. Even though the park was booked full it was 80% empty and did not start to fill until Friday. People are gaming the reservation system and are even being coached how to do so on this thread.

In my mind - $200 booking fee of which $192 will be refunded to you when you physically show up on the first day of your reservation. Forfeited if the reservation is cancelled. Too many people with too much time on their computers taking pride in locking up campsites so others can't use them. Tough medicine but hitting people in the wallet is the only thing that will stop the abuse. This plan provides for no extra cost if you actually plan to use the site.


Nothing angers me more than showing up to a state park that showed sold out online yet is mostly empty.

Onsite staff don't even have the power to override the computer without a several day wait.



^^^ This! Total agreement.

Last year, on a trip to RMNP, Moraine Park CG had the sign out front that said Campground Full. And yet, there were sites on both side of us that were never occupied for the weekend, and several others in our loop that were also not occupied.

Same thing at a USFS CG. Sign out front said FULL, but a walk around the CG several times during the weekend, we saw several sites that were never occupied.

This is frustrating, for those of us that try to use the system correctly, and for those who want to try a last minute booking, or even a walk in to a specific CG. If the sign out front says full, can the CG host override that? Can the area Ranger? Seems like at some point the site should be fair game for any takers.


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Thom02099

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Posted: 01/14/18 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thom02099 wrote:

GordonThree wrote:

Durb wrote:

We booked the last two sites at a popular state park in Oregon for Tuesday through Friday. Even though the park was booked full it was 80% empty and did not start to fill until Friday. People are gaming the reservation system and are even being coached how to do so on this thread.

In my mind - $200 booking fee of which $192 will be refunded to you when you physically show up on the first day of your reservation. Forfeited if the reservation is cancelled. Too many people with too much time on their computers taking pride in locking up campsites so others can't use them. Tough medicine but hitting people in the wallet is the only thing that will stop the abuse. This plan provides for no extra cost if you actually plan to use the site.


Nothing angers me more than showing up to a state park that showed sold out online yet is mostly empty.

Onsite staff don't even have the power to override the computer without a several day wait.



^^^ This! Total agreement with GordonThree.

Last year, on a trip to RMNP, Moraine Park CG had the sign out front that said Campground Full. And yet, there were sites on both side of us that were never occupied for the weekend, and several others in our loop that were also not occupied.

Same thing at a USFS CG. Sign out front said FULL, but a walk around the CG several times during the weekend, we saw several sites that were never occupied.

This is frustrating, for those of us that try to use the system correctly, and for those who want to try a last minute booking, or even a walk in to a specific CG. If the sign out front says full, can the CG host override that? Can the area Ranger? Seems like at some point the site should be fair game for any takers.

For anyone who may be interested in booking within the 180 day window in Colorado for locales that use recreation.gov, 01/20/18 is the first day for booking 07/20/18. So far, I've been able to book CG that I want, though I've had to go with a 3rd choice for some locations.


GordonThree

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Posted: 01/14/18 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cover our arse is chief operating policy I guess is why the computer gets to have priority over the local rangers.

4 out of 5 times I bet doing an override works great. But that fifth time, it's someone who made a reservation 11 months ago and was a day late cause they rescheduled a chemo treatment, and then the media gets ahold of it and suddenly it's a human interest story on the national news.

toedtoes

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Posted: 01/14/18 01:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In our area at NFs, if you don't show the first night of your reservation and you don't call the rangers, you forfeit the entire reservation. There is no, well I'll book 14 days and then choose which ones to go.

If the campground is not busy, they may allow you to arrive the next day without forfeiting, but that is at the mercy of the host/ranger making the runs that day.

I have seen a campground with reservation cards on every site when the campground is empty, but that's because all those cards show a reservation for the next weekend (so you can walk in during the week and stay, but not expect to stay in that site over the weekend).

It seems to work well. The campgrounds are reserved early, but they are never empty when they're booked up.


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spoon059

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Posted: 01/14/18 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This happened last year to my friend at a Deleware State Park. They booked for 4 nights, then decided they wanted to stay an additional 2 nights. The site they were in was booked after the 4, but there was another site available for the 5th night. They moved to the new site for night 5. Nobody occupied the old site night 5. My friend asked if the campground could contact the people with the reservation to inquire if they were planning on coming for night 6, they refused to do that.

Night 6 was "fully booked" so they had to leave, even though there was a spare camp host site. My friend tried to reserve the camp host site, but was told that it wasn't reservable, it had to be held open in case they accidentally overbooked. My friend asked if they could "accidentally" overbook him for night 6 and he would gladly move to the camp host site. They told him that they had no way to overbook (then why have a policy if they do overbook...?)

So they left after the 5th night and went home. The original spot (which was reserved and not available for him to book) was never occupied and after 2 days of no-show the park cancelled the reservation and allowed someone else to come in.

Very frustrating when people game the system. Its people that are only concerned with themselves. The same people that putter along in the passing lane on the highway because they don't care how they affect others, the same people that leave every outdoor light on because they don't care how they affect others, the same people that take 30 minutes to polish their black tanks at the dump station with a line of campers behind them because they don't care how they affect others. I almost wish that I had that ability. My father raised me to be aware and conscientious of other people. Life would be so much easier if I didn't care about my surroundings...


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goducks10

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Posted: 01/14/18 03:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

According to Recreation.gov;
Reserved campsites and group overnight facilities will be held until check-out time on the day following your scheduled arrival. Group day use facilities will be held until check-in time on your scheduled arrival date.
Many CG's don't do that and it can be frustrating with no shows.

spoon059

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Posted: 01/14/18 03:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

In our area at NFs, if you don't show the first night of your reservation and you don't call the rangers, you forfeit the entire reservation. There is no, well I'll book 14 days and then choose which ones to go.

I like this idea. I'm not sure how to prevent these types of bookings, short of a stringent cancellation fee and forfeiting sites like you mentioned. It still doesn't help the average camper, who checks availability before leaving and it shows booked because the date hasn't yet arrived to forfeit the site.

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