I guess because they don’t have enough to worry about with things like wars and natural disasters and politics, people are involved in a big debate going on online about the future availability of campgrounds and how hard it is becoming to find a last-minute campsite in many areas.
Some blame long-term seasonal campers, others bemoan the fact that so many places are filling up with park models, and there are half a dozen other reasons why we should all believe that we will never find a place to camp again. Greg Gerber talked about this in a recent post in the RV Daily Report, RV Industry Death Spiral – Part 5: Campgrounds losing capacity. With all due respect to Greg and all of the doom and gloom prognosticators out there, nonsense!
I’m sorry, I really don’t see what the fuss is all about. When we started fulltiming 17 years ago, I heard the same doom and gloom predictions. People said that as more and more baby boomers retired and hit the road, nobody was going to be able to find a place to camp anymore. We haven’t found that to be true at all. We have never had a problem finding a site, including in Florida or Arizona during the wintertime when all the snowbirds are there.
Last summer we spent 14 weeks on the Oregon and Washington coasts and we had a full hookup 50 amp site every night. Yes, we made our reservations well in advance for our time there.
We spent about the same amount of time in Florida this past winter, and again we made reservations in advance. And again, we had a 50 amp full hookup site every night.
In early June we left Florida and traveled to northern Indiana, with a stop in Alabama along the way to see my son and his wife for a week. We did not make reservations and we still had no problems finding a place.
“Yes,” those with a permanent gray cloud hanging over their head will say, “but I don’t want to do that! I don’t want to plan ahead like that. Campgrounds should keep a few sites open all the time for travelers who arrive without a reservation.”
I’m sorry, but if you expect to pull into a campground at the last minute on a holiday weekend or during the middle of the summertime (or the middle of the winter in the sunbelt), and you can’t find a place to park, that’s nobody’s fault but your own.
Plan ahead a little bit, folks. The world doesn’t revolve around you, and if a campground owner has a site to rent, he’s going to rent it, not keep it available in case you decide to show up unannounced. And if he did, and it was the last site, what about the fellow that pulls in behind you? If you want that site, call ahead. What’s so hard to understand about that?
While we make reservations in peak areas during peak periods, the rest of the time we don’t bother. We travel midweek and get where were going by Thursday, so we don’t have to compete with the weekend warriors for a campsite. And we know there are a lot of places where we can camp besides campgrounds. Do your homework, and learn about the other opportunities available. There are many small town parks with RV hookups, there are Corps of Engineers campgrounds, there are fairgrounds with RV hookups, if you are a remember the Elks or Moose or VFW, many lodges and posts have RV parking available, and there is dry camping on BLM land if you are out west. Really, there’s no shortage of campgrounds, so relax and stop getting all worked up about nothing.
But I guess if you just need to worry about something, that’s your right. As for me, I’m too busy enjoying the RV lifestyle to waste any time with all of that. Here under my awning, the sky isn’t falling.
Congratulations Carol Zack, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. We had 114 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon!
Thought For The Day – The noisiest drum has nothing in it but air.