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Old 01-31-2010, 11:29 PM   #15
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Parking with flashlights hard? Heck, 2Air's and the Area 33 gang have been parking me by LANDING LIGHTS for years now... notta problem!

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Old 02-01-2010, 12:41 AM   #16
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Bing Maps

Also, try using www.bingmaps.com . It's like Google Earth, with better pictures. This is not available in all areas but we've found the photos very helpful in finding particular campsites. Once you find the campground or address (try finding your own house for starters) , chose the "Aerial View". From there, chose BIRDS EYE VIEW. You will be amazed at the picture quality that is available.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:58 AM   #17
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I've started making campground recon videos when I can. Posting these to You-Tube can help other campers.
Perhaps the Air Forums can set up a convenient place for accessing campground videos the Air Forums members have posted. One persons good or bad experiences can be helpful for others.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddyGrn View Post
Another option, when you have plenty of lead time, is to post a question here on the forums and see if anyone is familiar with a particular campsite... they can usually tell you if the roads are full of potholes or if there are lots of overhanging trees if they have been there in the past year!
This is a great idea.

Hunting Island is one of our favorite places--we try to get there a couple times a year. We typically walk around any park we are staying with a campground map and circle the sites that we could comfortably get our 34 in. Also make notes about the extra nice spots that would be better than others. Comes in very handy when booking in the future as Reserve America is positively useless in that regard.

On my little map of Hunting Island, I have a big 'NO WAY' marked on site 195!! There are so many pine trees in the campground and the roadways are tightish.

When we were there in late 2008, we came across a gentleman at the campstore with a fairly new longer Airstream who had just finished crinkling the rear of his trailer courtesy of a pine tree. He was not a happy guy--sure it made for a long trip home for him.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:45 AM   #19
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Also, try using www.bingmaps.com . It's like Google Earth, with better pictures. This is not available in all areas but we've found the photos very helpful in finding particular campsites. Once you find the campground or address (try finding your own house for starters) , chose the "Aerial View". From there, chose BIRDS EYE VIEW. You will be amazed at the picture quality that is available.
Great ideas to use Google Earth and other tools - but if the campground is heavily treed then it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to see what you're doing.

Too bad that all campgrounds aren't set up the way Fish Creek Pond is - accomplished by one of our forum members (CampADK). Each site is photographed several times, a complete description is offered and Dave has assigned a rating to each campsite, based on specific criteria.

Fort DeSoto park - each site has has a nice photograph, giving you a decent snapshot of what to expect.

I can imagine it's not difficult to hire a student, give them a camera and let them walk the campground and photograph each site, preferably with a few extra photos showing entry to each site.

Though I realize that budget constraints may prevent that sort of endeavour, but it's always a very helpful tool for planning a trip.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:44 AM   #20
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I'll put in my playbook for reserving with Reserve America. I wish it were possible to talk with someone on the site itself who could make a reservation based on your specs, etc like good private campgrounds.
Well, you can forget about ever talking to anyone who is actually at the park. I use RA a lot and really do like the system. We were going to Mt. Rainier a few years ago and there had been a lot of damage due to flooding. One of the loops had been closed but was now open again as per a conversation I had with a Ranger. RA still had the loop closed and you could not reserve. I called the RA number and ended up talking to someone in South Carolina or somewhere. They simply read the same message off of the computer screen that I was looking at. The parks use this system because it works (most of the time) and they don't have to deal with anything. Here is one of those cases where you pay your money and you take your chances.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:19 AM   #21
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Well, you can forget about ever talking to anyone who is actually at the park.
Last season it took awhile to get thru, but luckily here in NY it was still possible. Most of the phone numbers for the CG we use are online.

Little Sand Point
Address:County Route 24, Old Piseco Road, Piseco, NY 12139
GPS Info. (Latitude,Longitude): 43d24'51.25"N, 74d33'18.21"W
Campground Phone: (518)548-7585
Regional Office Phone: (518)863-4545
Camping Fee: $20

What with all the closings here in NY, looks like we will be doing a LOT of recon work. Not about to give up though.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:47 AM   #22
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To read some real horror stories go to this site.
Reserve America Sucks
Seems that many people have issues with this company. Not sure the link will make you feel better but at least more information may help in the healing.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:01 AM   #23
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Yeah....RA can be a real PITA.

We wanted to extend our stay at a site we were already at. Couldn't be done at the Ranger station. Limited cell, 5mi down the road to call RA, although the Ranger had internet service, SOP required the phone reservation. taxes at work for our well being.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:25 AM   #24
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more of the same...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ica-41673.html

i like checking the 'earth shots' but another problem with ANY of the satellite imaging sites is WHEN the image was taken...

a lot of those shots are OVER 5 years old and the park may have changed or added loops...

cheers
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:51 PM   #25
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Here is a example video I did a couple of years ago for Elk Neck State Park's campground in Maryland.

YouTube - Elk Neck State Park, MD

I did this for my own use and some may disagree with my assessments, but at least you can visualize the place and make your own opinions.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:49 PM   #26
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I agree with 2Air "there is NO substitute for having been IN the park once already, when it comes to understanding site issues..."
The Airstream adventure has been a live and learn process as is life! I do not plan to arrive at a park I've not checked out again late in the day without a backup plan. Also, I plan to use the forums when checking on an unfamiliar park in advance. It is a great resource and is very much appreciated.
As for having a smaller unit for unfamiliar parks, I love my 34 and would rather do more research in advance or avoid those few parks that aren't suitable.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:18 PM   #27
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I use Reserve America (we have a choice?) I also look up the park in Google Earth and see if I can tell where I am going to end up. I used Reserve America for a site in a Virginia state park, the site we chose intially was unavailable for the length of stay so we were reassigned to a site that you would have been hard pressed to get a pup tent on , much less a 26'+ popup (when open) with a side slide. Fortunately there were other sites open that we were able to choose from that were more suitable. Unfortunately it is not a perfect system, but it is what we have to work with.

Aaron
Thanks Aaron. Great idea! I set up Google Earth tonight specifically to scout out campgrounds I've not been to.
Stewart
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