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Is campground occupancy down?


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That article is not a general "camping" article, it is about dealer inventory and commercial RV parks.  I haven't been out since late last October, but I saw no sign of large numbers of empty campsites in the state parks and forests around here... tho in the off season (October and on) the parks do have vacancies mid-week, but certainly not on the weekend. Yes the dealer lots are once again full. Maybe people are finally getting fed up with the outrageously high cost of parking your trailer cheek and jowl with 100 other trailers, just so you can plug in. 😉

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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I know in Michigan our State Parks are jam packed! Getting a reservation for a specific park you want takes planning and luck, you have to be on the reservation site 6 months prior to the date you want, finger on the trigger to click the reserve button at exactly 8am! 
We love our state parks but this year opted to just do a few and camp more on our private property in northern Mi to avoid the reservation challenge. 

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I have been making reservations for Oregon state camp grounds and National camp grounds in Oregon for the year, and within the first 8 hours of the dates being available 25% of the spots are taken. I learned from last year when 5 months ahead of time I only found 1 spot available along the whole Oregon coast line. Fortunately the federal parks in the cascades don't fill up as quickly, since you are basically boon-docking. 

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I have been out camping in NM, SoCal and AZ since mid-Dec. Observations are as follows:

AZ
-While State Park campsite reservation systems have often shown no spots available, up to 1/3 of the campsites remain empty. Talking to camp hosts at several of the campgrounds they blame people who make reservations, pay and then don’t show. So no spots available but many spots empty. Frustrating!


NM

-State Park campgrounds continue to fill up in improved campgrounds with hookups. Where available, room remains in campsites without hookups

-the “reserve, then no-show” behavior noticed in AZ does not appear to be impacting NM State Park campgrounds ability to fill the improved campsites


SoCal

-had no issues finding campsites in FCFS areas within Joshua Tree

-had no issues finding campsites with hookups or without hookups along the I10 corridor 

 

General observation:

AZ and NM seem to be about as busy as they were during the 2020/21 and 2021/22 Winter seasons.  Even though the Canadians are back in full force, there does not seem to be a overload at State Park campgrounds or boondocking/BLM areas (including Quartzsite).  This tells me that more people are parking their RVs and not coming out to camp this Winter.  I just wish they would cancel their reservations so the rest of us can use the sites that sit empty.

 

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1 hour ago, Mountainman198 said:

 I just wish they would cancel their reservations so the rest of us can use the sites that sit empty.

Agree 100%.  We routinely see empty campsites with reserved cards on the site.  It’s inconsiderate.  My brother owns a restaurant here in Boerne, TX.  He had reservations for 290 people for last nights Valentine’s Day dinner.  Steak and Lobster.  184 showed up.  One customer bragged to my brother that he made reservations at 4 restaurants in town and decided on his.  My brother asked if he canceled the other reservations and he said, NO!  Why would he do that?  My brother explained that he was turning people away who didn’t have a reservation and he had ordered food for all who reserved, so not canceling was totally inconsiderate.  Maybe restaurants should require a deposit for reservations.  Maybe campgrounds should charge a penalty for not showing up with no notification.  How hard is it to make a call?  Mike

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28 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

Agree 100%.  We routinely see empty campsites with reserved cards on the site.  It’s inconsiderate.  My brother owns a restaurant here in Boerne, TX.  He had reservations for 290 people for last nights Valentine’s Day dinner.  Steak and Lobster.  184 showed up.  One customer bragged to my brother that he made reservations at 4 restaurants in town and decided on his.  My brother asked if he canceled the other reservations and he said, NO!  Why would he do that?  My brother explained that he was turning people away who didn’t have a reservation and he had ordered food for all who reserved, so not canceling was totally inconsiderate.  Maybe restaurants should require a deposit for reservations.  Maybe campgrounds should charge a penalty for not showing up with no notification.  How hard is it to make a call?  Mike

If he has any of that food left, we could be there by tomorrow evening and help him out with it. 

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32 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

Maybe campgrounds should charge a penalty for not showing up with no notification.  How hard is it to make a call?  Mike

Shame that I can only give this one thumbs up!!!!

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15 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

If he has any of that food left, we could be there by tomorrow evening and help him out with it. 

I’m sure he’ll be having a steak and lobster special for a few evenings.  Since he’s next door we would probably get some on Sunday but we’ll be out camping!

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We are overnighting near Fort Stockton. It’s windy getting cold. 

Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

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24 minutes ago, ScubaRx said:

We are overnighting near Fort Stockton. It’s windy getting cold. 

That’s where we stopped on our way home.  It was 80 here today but will be much cooler and windy tomorrow.  You’re bringing us cold weather!

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On 2/15/2023 at 3:22 PM, Mike and Carol said:

Maybe campgrounds should charge a penalty for not showing up with no notification.

I'm with you guys.  An inconsiderate fee; 3 times the normal fee for each night stay.

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I wish they’d cancel rest of booking if you fail to show up on check-in day or call and let them know you will be late.   Such a selfish mentality to not call and let them know as always folks who show up asking for a spot.  

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There are some National Forest Service campgrounds that require the site be occupied on the first night of the reservation - if not then they cancel the rest of the reservation.

Unfortunately even this is abused in that I had a camp host tell me that people will set up a cheap tent on the site (i.e. occupy the site with the tent) in order to get around this requirement.  Shame!

Bil

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