To Reserve or Not to Reserve

by Lorraine
(New Westminster, BC)

We are setting off on our first 2-week trip, heading east on I-90 in WA in a few days. We're wondering how most RV parks work. Do they accept some reservations and hold some spots? Do they not accept any reservations? Only reservations? If you don't have a reservation how early do you need to stop in order to get a spot?

Comments for To Reserve or Not to Reserve

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Jul 11, 2013
Good Advice!
by: Lorraine

Thanks for your quick and thoughtful comments Marianne! Since we're heading out on a Saturday we wanted to have something reserved for that night and I just got confirmation that Yakima River RV Park has a pull-through site for us @$21 using our PA discount! I think we will wing it after that...

Jul 10, 2013
it depends.....
by: Marianne Edwards

Whether to reserve will depend on a few factors. Are you going to a really busy tourist area where there aren't enough campsites to meet peak season demands?

We never make reservations and have always managed to find something. The problem with them is that you are then on a schedule. If you don't get to the reserved site because you were side-tracked (by something more appealing) you'll lose your reservation fee and be behind for the next reservation too.

I'm not sure what campgrounds are on your route but there are usually some (esp. smaller or National Forest campgrounds) that have at least some first-come, first-served sites.

Here are a couple of tactics we learned for getting a first-come site on the busy California coast:

Never arrive on a Fri or Sat. Weekdays are best but the best day is Sunday (a lot of week-long campers check out Sun morning). Walk around the campground - checkout dates may be marked on the post - if not, ask campers whether they're staying another night. Arrive around 9am - after campers are up and around (maybe starting to pack up).

When we were totally stuck ( twice in Yosemite National Park) we ended up sharing our campsite with another couple - once we asked them (we paid for the site), the other time someone approached us.

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