Jan 29 2011, 12:37 PM
[size=7]We purchased TT and ROD. We are in our eighties. Use to travel extensively, 1970-1980s, mainly to northern British Columbia, Dease Lake. Started with a tent, ended with a MH. Problem now is that my wife has MS and we had to purchase a MH with a wheel chair lift, which also means 39' compared to a 28' MH. Since we use to boondock, use city parks, etc, we used parks as little as possible. Now, with age and the disabilities accompanying age we bought into two of the member park systems. What is needed is what kind of problems are we going to encounter with these reservation systems. We do not care to schedule our travels. Therefore, making reservations, even one month a head of time presents a problem. Our travel schedule will probably start this April and extend through next September or October. Starting in through the Southwest, moving into the Northwest, perhaps British Columbia and Montana. Hopefully, the later part of the year Main down the east coast to home. Any advise, information will be greatly appreciated.
Jan 29 2011, 09:37 PM
Don't know about membership parks, but in general, I have never made reservations with the exception of Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. And even then, without reservations, I have gotten in, or else boondocked at Wal-Mart.
I don't like to have a schedule, either.
Now, if you stop at State Parks, you are going to have a problem on weekends. State Parks are usually BOOKED on weekends, you are better off going into a private park on weekends.
Jan 29 2011, 10:52 PM
I certainly congratulate you and your wife on your spunk. It is certainly to be admired. We rarely make reservations except on holiday weekends, but we always have the option of boondocking. Normally we just decide in the afternoon how much further we want to go. This seems to work for us. You might try making reservations a few days in advance and working it back as you got experience. Phoning ahead is very cheap now with cell phones and many parks have toll free numbers. There is so much to see out in the US, we frequently decide to go a different way, stay over a day, or not stay some place that wasn’t like we had hoped.
Jan 30 2011, 09:52 AM
We travel the same as JJ and Lindsay all over the USA with no reservations. We travel in the off time of year spring and fall. To hot in summer months and to cold in winter months. We have a travel plan but only use it as a guide to places we plan to see. We like Lindsay change plans all the time as we travel. If we like a place we may stay longer. If we are moving west and find a new place we have not been to we turn south or north, check it out and then move west again. We travel around three months each time we go if possible. In a motorhome you can stay about anyplace with little trouble. The weekends are the only time we find state parks and COE parks full. In LA all RV parks will be full on weekends so plan around it
Jan 30 2011, 09:00 PM
Like JJ noted, we have only resorted to reservations in order to stay at a popular area over summer holiday weekends. The worst scramble we've encountered was the coastal Morro Bay to Pismo Beach, California areas this last summer. Wanted the better parks (clean, working order restrooms, showers and swimming pools) so to host the visiting grandkids. Usually we are safely holed up as far from the thundering herds as possible during those traditional camping weekends.
Once we leave California, the crowd thins out a bit, however we have learned to steer clear of popular hot-spots and natural wonders (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc.) til the off season.
Use the internet to learn of area annual events. Those will really throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans. Couple examples: Albuquerque New Mexico area has an enormous hot-air balloon event. Winchester Bay-Reedsport, Oregon has an annual Sand Dune event. Sturgis-Rapid City, South Dakota has a monster motorcycle ralley.
Smaller events add sparkle to your stay. The monster events just add headache if you have not reserved a site.
Jan 30 2011, 09:21 PM
You've got a lot of good advice here. I know your situation might be different, as you may need some ADA sites. Good luck in your travels.
Jan 30 2011, 11:11 PM
I usually call for reservations the night before we will be arriving in an area. That way we can still be pretty flexible about where we are going and at the same time have the peace of mind that there will be a place for us when we get there. Also remember that the earlier you stop in the afternoon, the more likelihood that the park will not be full. However, I agree that there are times and places that will require you have a reservation. We just don't usually go there then.
Jan 31 2011, 09:22 PM
Did I misinterpret the Original Post? I thought Old Prospector was asking for advice concerning making reservations at TT and ROD parks for his travels this year between April and Sep/Oct. If OP sees this post, maybe he could clarify what information he is requesting. If I am wrong about this, most of the previous responses are on point for "off season" travel, but you may need to be a bit more ready to reserve weekends in advance during the summertime. That, of course, depends on the area and the type of park you want to stay at for the weekend.
Jan 31 2011, 11:47 PM
I read the first post again and think Jerry is probably right. I now believe the OP was asking about reservations at these two membership parks. I did not catch that at first. It would still be good if Old Prospector would clarify this.
Feb 1 2011, 05:45 PM
Yes, I was concerned with TTN and ROD. Like most we have never had to concern ourselves with reservations. I know ROD demands reservation, but can you chance drive up with TTN? We have nothing against using Walmart, but at our age, and with two aging pets we feel that we need to lay up once in a while. I hate schedules, but I guess that one must except how they choose to travel. Like I said, I was primarily interested in drive up availability and if not how far in advance one should make reservations. I know once we make the rounds we will know how to gauge ourselves, but for planning purposes I figure that someone could give us , let us say, the tricks of the trade.
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