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Old 06-19-2021, 09:08 AM   #1
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View of the Road

As many of you know, our dear Lucy spends an average of 150 nights on the road. Last year with all of the Covid stuff, we decided to keep her home and not venture out. Lucy is now preparing to hit the road again for a cross country adventure. We plan to head out in the middle of July, and return to Florida sometime in early October. We think that we will head up to Maine for starters, then cross the northern tier to Montana and Wyoming. From there, it's whatever suits our fancy.

We are trying to get a feel for how the road is these days. We realize that there are a lot of new RVers out there. Is this creating a problem in finding campsites?

We do not make any advance reservations because we don't know exactly where we are going until we get there. We avoid travel on the Interstate Highways, and use US and State Highways whenever possible. We usually start looking for a campsite around three in the afternoon. We also avoid the big cities and popular tourist meccas.

We are just trying to get a feel for what it is like out there now.

Brian






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Old 06-19-2021, 10:43 AM   #2
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Hi Brian

We traveled across that area (black hills) but it was early in the travel season with school still in session. I booked as many campgrounds ahead of time as I could (something we never do) and found most half full when we arrived. That may not be true now. We will be heading out again after the 4th of July. I've booked one campsite in Pasa Robles for a week and have no idea where we are going next. I like you am weary of what I may find.
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Old 06-19-2021, 01:56 PM   #3
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Brian like you we only made reservations over National holidays. But this year we made reservations for each night from mid June to October. I don’t know how this is going work out. This year we are staying away from big tourist places. We started making reservations in January and found that a few parks were already full. It’s going to be a different summer traveling.
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Old 06-19-2021, 02:58 PM   #4
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We are also concerned that things are going to be different this summer. I guess that we just have to get out there and find out.

Brian
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Old 06-19-2021, 03:37 PM   #5
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We too will be heading west, but not until mid-August, as we have done for many years except the last two. We're not sure what to expect. We'll be getting there after school is back in session so we hope that will help. We'll have to see if we can spend any time in Yellowstone as we usually do.

Heat waves, drought, fires, crowds - it could be interesting.

The one thing we know for certain is that we have a site in Montana. Friends bought a house several years ago that has full hook-ups next the house!
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:59 PM   #6
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We are in a similar boat once we get to Wyoming. We have friends that have full RV hook-ups on their ranch outside of Cody.

Brian
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:38 PM   #7
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We are also concerned that things are going to be different this summer. I guess that we just have to get out there and find out.

Brian
Looking forward to another Lucy escaping thread, Brian. FYI you may have seen these recent threads which touch on how changes are occurring, as we speak, regarding reservation requirements, no-show policies, and so forth. A challenging season for trying to "plan" a trip, which you have always done so well IMO . . . .

Happy trails,

Peter

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f42...it-219486.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f42...ws-223896.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f42...ns-221256.html
Hurricane Season: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f16...-a-220682.html
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:50 AM   #8
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We used two just hook tip and go. Never worried about finding campsite. But, now things seem to be different. We could not get reservations in any state parks in FL in the Spring. We were able to get into state parks in GA though. I feel like I have to plan each location whereas I just used to count on finding a space. Times, they are a'changin'.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:20 AM   #9
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Definitely More Crowded .... But Manageable

We are on the road about eight months a year and haven't had any problems. Having said that, campgrounds are definitely more crowded (especially with camper vans) and we are having to make advance reservations more than we used to: mostly for the places that are most important to us, e.g. our Sunday/Monday laundry stop at an upscale RV park, National Parks, and the coolest State Parks. When we do make reservations, two to three weeks in advance has worked well for us. Also, date selection is key: we try and boondock on Friday and Saturday nights when campgrounds are most crowded and schedule our most important destinations for Sunday thru Thursday night. All in all, it's been manageable with few disappointments vs. a couple of years ago when 'reservationless' RV travel was much easier to pull off.

Cheers!
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Old 06-20-2021, 03:19 PM   #10
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We have been on the road for three weeks. Don't even think about heading out if you don't have reservations. We took off from Arizona and now at Estes Park Colorado. All campgrounds are full.
Signs at entry say reservation only. We will be on the road till September. Made or reservation in November and December.
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Old 06-20-2021, 05:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by demijac View Post
We are on the road about eight months a year and haven't had any problems. Having said that, campgrounds are definitely more crowded (especially with camper vans) and we are having to make advance reservations more than we used to: mostly for the places that are most important to us, e.g. our Sunday/Monday laundry stop at an upscale RV park, National Parks, and the coolest State Parks. When we do make reservations, two to three weeks in advance has worked well for us. Also, date selection is key: we try and boondock on Friday and Saturday nights when campgrounds are most crowded and schedule our most important destinations for Sunday thru Thursday night. All in all, it's been manageable with few disappointments vs. a couple of years ago when 'reservationless' RV travel was much easier to pull off.



Cheers!


Ditto… experience, also we’ve had good luck at first come first serve government campgrounds arriving on a Tuesday generally fair number of open spaces.
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:47 PM   #12
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We were out traveling for three weeks in May. We made advance reservations in March. There was a lot more flexibility pre covid. We did have a minor change in plans and scored a campsite in a dumpy place for the night. Walmart might have been better.

We will try traveling again come September.

You might keep Airstream Forums courtesy parking in mind. You might score a nice spot behind the barn. I met a nice couple from Montrose Colorado at a vintage rally who have courtesy parking with nice mountain views. I hope to stay there someday.

David
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:19 PM   #13
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I dunno Brian, I think it will be hit or miss. State Parks here in Ga have been pretty full. You kinda have to look for those spots that are off the beaten path but I know that you already do that anyway. Not sure is you use any of the apps like Campendium, Dyrt, etc but that may help you find some spots. If your travels bring you through North Ga them let me know. I know a few hidden spots that I’m sure you can get in.
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Old 06-21-2021, 11:33 PM   #14
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We did two two-week trips this year. In April we went from Colorado to Laurel, Mississippi. We did a mix of reservations and Harvest Hosts. At that time it was easy to get reservations at State Parks and at Harvest Hosts, we were the only guests at each site.
The trip in May was three National Parks and reservations were made in January. We did Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier. We did a Harvest Host in Loma, Montana (Farm), and on the way back to Colorado we stopped for the night in Douglas, Wyoming. Douglas has a park next to the River that is free and has a dump station. It was almost full on a Wednesday night, so I imagine the weekends are busy.
All state parks in Colorado require reservations in campgrounds. Not like the old days for sure...
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:11 AM   #15
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Great update . . . thanks.

Peter
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:58 AM   #16
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We are just trying to get a feel for what it is like out there now.

Brian
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We have been on the road since May. LA.TX. And now NM. Plan on being out until OCT. Depends on your comfort level. We stay somewhere for 3-5 days and only travel 250-300 max per trip. We have found out having reservations are hard to come by as you get closer to the weekends.
And that a lot of places are full weeks in advance. Our plan right now is to book the next 2 stops,when we arrive at the current destination. Example: We just pulled into Santa FE...Taos and Chama are now booked.
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Old 06-27-2021, 09:37 AM   #17
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Hi All,
Just returned from a two week trip through Oregon and Northern California. Thank goodness we made advance reservations (over a month in advance). All campgrounds were full and No Vacancy signs were everywhere! Good luck to everyone on the road this summer!
Susan
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Old 06-27-2021, 09:41 AM   #18
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Thumbs up

Great update, Susan, thanks.

Peter
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Old 06-27-2021, 10:04 AM   #19
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I am currently 3 months into a 4 month trip. We have been from Florida our home base to Portland, Oregon. Oregon campgrounds we’re reported to be full. I didn’t check. I used Harvest Host and Boondockers Welcome which filled in nicely when I didn’t have campgrounds available. We wandered over to Idaho found a city campground, dry camping, in Richfield where we stayed for a couple of days to take in Craters of the Moon National Monument. Headed to Montana stayed at a wonderful Boondockers Welcome site. Headed over to North Dakota to TRNP. Cottonwood was full. Headed over to Buffalo Gap Campground which is half full. We have Boon docked a fair amount usually on forest service land. Camping is different this year, not as congested as I expected. We never do reservations only because we don’t have a plan except an end point. We avoided the most popular parks and have had a fabulous adventure.
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Old 06-27-2021, 02:55 PM   #20
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Campground in Bitterroots and along Salmon River

We just returned from camping at Indian Trees state campground in the southern Bitterroots south of Sula MT. Almost empty.
Roadside campgrounds in the Pioneer Mountains in the Big Hole of MT were nearly full and also full of mosquitoes. The Big Hole this year is great for fishing, and the mosquitoes swarm in clouds.
The roadside campgrounds along the Salmon River between Salmon ID and Stanley ID also had ample free spots. No skeeter concerns.
All campgrounds around Redfish Lake south of Stanley ID were great - well distanced, level, with views here and there of the magnificent Sawtooths - and were almost 100% full. Camp hosts were doing their best to accommodate late comers, cancellations, and the occasional creative claim jumpers.
Roadside campgrounds along the Salmon River south of Stanley were also partially available.

The high temps might lead to forest fires this summer. When we had the fires all through the northwest last year in September, visibility was terrible. The air everywhere was bad to very bad. You could not see more than half a mile. Everybody wore masks outside. We carried a small Hepa air cleaner inside the trailer and were glad we did.
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