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Old 03-15-2016, 05:12 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2016 22' Sport
Palos Verdes Estates , California
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 32
No reservation campsite strategies

Hi All,

We are newbies about to venture out in California. Any strategies on how to successfully get a campsite at a no reservation campground? Do you just drive in and see if anything is available or do you ask other campers if they are leaving? What is camper etiquette under these circumstances?
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:14 PM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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The only time I make reservations is for organized rallies. I just drive in and ask for a spot. In 5 years I have never been turned away. Funny how parks that say they are full always seem to have a few spots open for drive ups.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:18 PM   #3
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1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
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They do seem to have walk-up only sites. If I see someone packing for sure I would ask otherwise I know I would like to be left alone to enjoy my camping experience.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:23 PM   #4
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El Dorado Hills , California
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Get to the campground around 10 to 11 am and wait for someone to leave. Scan the tickets on the posts for those that are departing that day. Confirm they are leaving by asking. Lurk around. Park somewhere and take a folding chair to place in the drive to signify occupied after thay depart while you get your trailer and pay your fee. Try to avoid changing campsites on a Friday or Saturday.

Most no reservation campsites I've been to don't have a ranger booth or anybody in authority to assign campsites. First come first serve. Sometimes a camp host but they're not there to deal with campsite assignment.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:34 AM   #5
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2016 22' Sport
Palos Verdes Estates , California
Join Date: Feb 2016
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No Reservation Campsites

Kscherzi you suggested 'scanning the tickets on the post' for those leaving. What does that mean exactly? Is there generally a post? Like a bulletin board or like a pole? Where typically is it located? Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:42 AM   #6
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1961 19' Globetrotter
1962 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
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I'm not kscherzi but the poles are usually at each camp spot. They usually write the date that you are leaving on a paper tag of some kind. That way the host knows you are still within your dates of expected stay. When the host rides around they may pull your ticket on the date of leaving to remind them go check on you again at check out time and tidy your spot.

So if you ride through the camp ground you can also see the dates and know that spot might be opening up.

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Old 03-16-2016, 09:14 AM   #7
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Normal , Illinois
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These no reservations campgrounds that have poles for your are usually allowed to confirm a departure in a site you want, go ahead and pay for however many number of days you want, then slip your tag beneath the one of the folks that are leaving.

You can then take possession of the site as soon as the current occupant departs.

In very popular, high demand campgrounds, it can get a bit cutthroat, but the early bird gets the worm...or site, as the case may be.

Find a need and fill it.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:52 PM   #8
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,523
I have arrived early, dry camped in the parking lot until the attendant arrived, then gone in and asked for the first available site. I've never missed. Maybe some sleep while waiting for a departure.
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