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DXSMac
blink.gif I am planning a trip from WA to CA for Thanksgiving. My destination is Lancaster, and I'm seeing a very poor selection of RV parks there. I will try Antelope Fairgrounds. Normally, when I travel, I get reservations in summer, and in fall and winter, I "just show up." Well, around Thanksgiving, in Lancaster, is it a good idea to have reservations? Or can I "just show up?" I hate reservations, the whole "if you cancel we charge you" crap! mad.gif

JJ
Texasrvers
I think reservations are always a good idea around any holiday, but I understand your concern about having to pay if you cancel. If it helps we have been RVing for 7 years and I can only remember one time we had to pay for a night when we cancelled. Just be sure to ask about their policy when you make the reservation so there won't be any surprises.
RLM
I have previously reserved sites in one too many dumpy campgrounds, so I now also like to just show up and make the decision to stay. The exception to that is on a major holiday. Iíd prefer to pay a cancellation fee than deal with the hassle of trying to find a last minute place to stay.

I suspect that the campground would not have difficulty re-renting a site during a major holiday if you cancelled a day or two out.

The website http://www.avfair.com/rvpark/index.htm didnít have a cancellation policy, but it did have a list of 30 rules. By the time one finishes reading them all, itís time to leave.
DXSMac
Well, someone suggested a wonderful campground near where I am going. I called and they said they are wide open during the Thanksgiving WEEK but weekends are booked. Fortunately, I only need T-Th, so I can just "show up."

JJ
Texasrvers
Just be careful. We have had capmgrounds tell us that we did not need reservations because they had plenty of spaces. Then when we got there they were almost full. Course a lot depends on the area and the time of year. Basically I agree with RLM. I would rather pay a cancellation fee than have to find a place at the last minute, especially if you have plans in the area and can't look on down the road for another place. Better safe than sorry.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Oct 27 2007, 04:13 PM) *

Just be careful. We have had capmgrounds tell us that we did not need reservations because they had plenty of spaces. Then when we got there they were almost full. Course a lot depends on the area and the time of year. Basically I agree with RLM. I would rather pay a cancellation fee than have to find a place at the last minute, especially if you have plans in the area and can't look on down the road for another place. Better safe than sorry.


Ok, but the issue is.... I'm driving from WA to CA, and I don't know if it will take me 4 days or 5 days. I have never made a trip that far before in my RV. I'm planning to go 300 miles a day, which would take me 4 days, but I may need a "just in case" day built in. For that reason, I don't want to make a reservation, and then I don't make it on the first day, or I make a reservation and show up a day early. What do you do in that dilema? Wal-Mart it? (if you show up a day early....)

JJ unsure.gif
Texasrvers
I completely understand your dilemma. We have had the same problem on several occasions. In our case when I made reservations I explained the situation to the campground and asked about their change/cancellation policy. If they would not accommodate our possible change we did not stay there. However, I understand that your situation is a bit different. You must stay in the area where as we did not have to. You do not have the luxury of choosing another place a little farther down the road.

So if I were you I still think I would talk to the park. Some will accept a 24 hr notice to cancel/change without any penalty. Within that time period you should know if you will make it there or not and you can keep or change your reservation accordingly. If they will not accommodate you I personally think I would make the reservation for the first possible night knowing I might lose that night's fee. It's just that you will have driven a really long way, and you don't seem to have many choices for campgrounds in the area. I would not take the chance. I would pay an extra night's fee just have the peace of mind that I have a place to stay so that my trip wouldn't be ruined. This is just how I would probably handle this, but there is no right answer. You should certainly do what is best for you.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Oct 27 2007, 09:57 PM) *

I completely understand your dilemma. We have had the same problem on several occasions. In our case when I made reservations I explained the situation to the campground and asked about their change/cancellation policy. If they would not accommodate our possible change we did not stay there. However, I understand that your situation is a bit different. You must stay in the area where as we did not have to. You do not have the luxury of choosing another place a little farther down the road.

So if I were you I still think I would talk to the park. Some will accept a 24 hr notice to cancel/change without any penalty. Within that time period you should know if you will make it there or not and you can keep or change your reservation accordingly. If they will not accommodate you I personally think I would make the reservation for the first possible night knowing I might lose that night's fee. It's just that you will have driven a really long way, and you don't seem to have many choices for campgrounds in the area. I would not take the chance. I would pay an extra night's fee just have the peace of mind that I have a place to stay so that my trip wouldn't be ruined. This is just how I would probably handle this, but there is no right answer. You should certainly do what is best for you.


Texas, that sounds like a good plan. I'll try that.

JJ
Parkview
biggrin.gif

I agree with Texasrvers, call the park. It certainly can't hurt. We deal with this question often. Although we have a written cancellation policy, we generally do not enforce it in the off season. We do, however, strictly enforce it during the summer when we 100% booked with weekly reservations. We turned away approx. 2500 people this past summer, and if someone cancels at the last moment or no-shows us, we keep the deposit. In such situations we may usually rent the site for 2 or 3 nites, but seldom get the full week originally booked, leaving us with empty sites. In the off-season though, we do not enforce it at all unless the person no-shows and doesn't bother to call us.
Texasrvers
I just have to add that I like to be on the safe side so I usually make reservations whenever we travel. In our experience we have found that campgrounds almost always try to accommodate us if we need to make a change or cancel. Course I try to respect the campground's side and give them as much notice as I can when we have a problem. We have found that if you communicate your needs in a polite manner you can usually work something out. I'm sure CG's get slammed all the time with someone making a reservation for a week or so and then not showing up or even calling to cancel. I would never do that. I may have to cancel for some reason, but I would always call. And on short notice (less than 24 hrs) I would expect to pay a cancellation fee, but it would be nice if there weren't any.

The only time I can remember losing a whole night's rent was at a Corps of Engineers park. They have a very strict reservation policy and a fee for cancelling and/or changing your reservation. One time we were delayed by bad weather and couldn't get there for our first reserved night. We knew we would be charged a cancellation fee for that night, but when I called the reservation system to cancel only the first night I was told that if we didn't come in that first night it would cancel the rest of our stay. So I offered to pay the full night's fee just in order to keep the rest of our reserved time. They said that didn't make any difference. If we weren't actually in the spot on the first night--even if I paid for it--we would still lose the other nights. Now I have to admit I was not happy about that. I felt that if I paid for a spot I should be allowed to NOT stay in it. I know that in some cases this would not be fair to other campers if they couldn't get another space, but that was not this case. The park was no where near full and we were only talking about one night out of a 7 day reservation. Anyway I called the park office direct and explained the situation. They were so nice and said not to worry at all about losing our spot. They would certainly hold it for us. So I was a happy camper again.

Parkview, I would like your thoughts on the situation above. How do you feel about someone paying for a spot and not staying in it? Is this a no-no from the CG owner's view? We certainly don't do this on a regular basis, but I would do it again if it were the only way to keep the rest of my reservation. Also when someone is not going to be in a spot they've paid for do some CG's rent out their spot to another person even if the first person has also paid? Do you think it is ok for a CG to do this? I'm just curious. Also I have really appreciated your sharing your owner's point of view as there are always two sides of a coin.
Parkview
biggrin.gif

Hi Texasrvers,

I too do not understand the rationale of someone paying for a site and not being permitted to leave for a day or arrive a day later as long as they let us know. That is a common occurrence at our park because of the heavy demand for summer reservations here. All of our sites for June and July and much of August are fully booked by the week a year in advance. This is because our summer reservation policy gives those who have a site for 7 nights or longer the right of first refusal to rebook their site for the same week the following year as long as they leave their deposit prior to checking out. It is common here for people to reserve a week and only spend 4 or 5 nights of the 7 reserved. They still pay for the week so they can reserve it for the following year. We have even had people send in full payment for a week even though they can't come at all just so they can hold on to "their" site. We hold sites for people with reservations for 24 hours, and if they have not shown up or phoned us by the end of the 24 hours, we release the site to rent to a drop-in or for someone else in the park to upgrade if they wish. If a person shows up later (after the 24 hour period), we will accomodate them if we have a site available. Doug
Texasrvers
Parkview,

Thanks for your reply. I think you have said the magic words "as long as they let us know." I think park owners on the whole are far more willing to accommodate customers as long as the customers communicate with them and do not create any surprises. If a customer lets the park know that they will not be occupying a spot that is courteous. If they just don't show up, even if they've paid, that is rude in my book, and I can see how some owners may react with a little less than normal cordiality. You sound like you run a great park, and I'll bet your customers come away with a happy experience.
Cheryl
And then you have the park that not only doesn't refund any of your money (you had to pay in full in advance to get a site) even when it is due to a death in the immediate family. Then they turn around and re-rent your site. And yes, I called them the day before we were supposed to arrive.
John S.
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Oct 27 2007, 03:21 PM) *

QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Oct 27 2007, 04:13 PM) *

Just be careful. We have had capmgrounds tell us that we did not need reservations because they had plenty of spaces. Then when we got there they were almost full. Course a lot depends on the area and the time of year. Basically I agree with RLM. I would rather pay a cancellation fee than have to find a place at the last minute, especially if you have plans in the area and can't look on down the road for another place. Better safe than sorry.


Ok, but the issue is.... I'm driving from WA to CA, and I don't know if it will take me 4 days or 5 days. I have never made a trip that far before in my RV. I'm planning to go 300 miles a day, which would take me 4 days, but I may need a "just in case" day built in. For that reason, I don't want to make a reservation, and then I don't make it on the first day, or I make a reservation and show up a day early. What do you do in that dilema? Wal-Mart it? (if you show up a day early....)

JJ unsure.gif



You should be able to get 400 miles a day in atleast the second day and maybe the first one too if you leave earlier in the morning. If you can not drive that far it is fine but if you are not nervous and just set the cruise at the speedlimit you can cover alot of miles that way. You seem stressed about the trip and it will take you about 500 miles to get used to it but it becomes easier and easier
1200 miles is a 2 day trip for me and it is an easy second day and after you have done it a while you will find out you can go further than you think if you like to drive. If you have never driven very far in a car or hated it then an RV will not be any easier for you.
DXSMac
QUOTE(John S. @ Oct 29 2007, 08:45 PM) *

1200 miles is a 2 day trip for me and it is an easy second day and after you have done it a while you will find out you can go further than you think if you like to drive. If you have never driven very far in a car or hated it then an RV will not be any easier for you.



I have done this before in a car, I have cris-crossed the country (east to west) four times during my working career. Didn't bother me. But driving that far in an RV is making me nervous!

JJ ohmy.gif
Texasrvers
1200 miles in 2 days would not be an easy trip for everyone. We would probably take 4 just because we would like to make short stops and enjoy some of the scenery along the way. That's what RVing is all about. So DXSMac, you take as much time as you feel comfortable with. There are no rules except to have fun. smile.gif
ddbradley952
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Oct 8 2007, 08:53 PM) *

blink.gif I am planning a trip from WA to CA for Thanksgiving. My destination is Lancaster, and I'm seeing a very poor selection of RV parks there. I will try Antelope Fairgrounds. Normally, when I travel, I get reservations in summer, and in fall and winter, I "just show up." Well, around Thanksgiving, in Lancaster, is it a good idea to have reservations? Or can I "just show up?" I hate reservations, the whole "if you cancel we charge you" crap! mad.gif

JJ



Mapquest is also a great recource for campgrounds. They are a division of Info USA. Just put the word Campground under the Name and then put in destination city and state or zip. Refine by distance. Did you know that? ?



Click to view attachment
DXSMac
QUOTE(ddbradley952 @ Nov 8 2007, 01:40 AM) *

Mapquest is also a great recource for campgrounds. They are a division of Info USA. Just put the word Campground under the Name and then put in destination city and state or zip. Refine by distance. Did you know that? ?



Didn't know that, I will see what Mapquest has! biggrin.gif

JJ
denbroncs
The bigger question is can you find a campground that is open?? Especially up in the northern states. If they are open, the facilities will be limited.

If you have any special needs i.e. handicapped, big rig, towing, 50 amp etc., I would certainly ensure that I could be accomodated. Even in large campgrounds, I've found that they often only have a few sites available for winter camping - in which case you would need a reservation. Good luck!
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