wondering about cost and availability

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8 months 4 weeks ago #16615 by airlifter
wondering about cost and availability was created by airlifter
We are not full timers and probably never will be because of commitments here. We have an Aliner at the present time but hope to upgrade to a larger travel trailer soon. We do a bit of traveling when we can and enjoy the travel trailer. We like knowing who last slept in the bed. We try to stay in state or federal campgrounds when famcamp is not an option.

We are traveling from southwest Virginia to Colorado Springs next spring and have considered taking the trailer. My question is, what is the best source to use to plan the camping stops. Most of the stops will be scheduled but we like to take some side trips. There are several clubs out there that claim to help find places on short notice. Have any of you guys used these clubs? Which are the most reliable and user friendly?
8 months 4 weeks ago #16618 by Wadcutter
Replied by Wadcutter on topic wondering about cost and availability
For many years we have used Trailer Life RV Parks & Campground Directory. It's now called Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide. Regular price is about $20 but if you're a Good Sam member or Camping World member current price is $6.95. It's also available thru Amazon.
It's about 2" thick and covers every state, Canada, and military campgrounds. It claims to list over 12,000 campgrounds. Each campground listing tells a bit about that campground, how many sites, what kind of connections (w,s,e), length of sites, previous year's cost and if the have Good Sam discounts, location and driving directions, maps showing location, contact info, and a rating system for completeness of facilities, cleanliness of restrooms/showers, and visual appearance. Usually the ratings are fairly accurate. Good Sam also use to have a smartphone app or CD with the directory, maybe still do. We've never used the app so can't comment on it.
This is not a book you need to buy new every year. The information doesn't change all that much from year to year. Ours last several years until pages start getting torn and coming out. Our last one was a 2010 edition and we just replaced it.
We very rarely get reservations when we travel because we don't like being on a schedule and we might decide to stop along the way if we find something we want to see. Normally how we travel is about mid-afternoon we determine about where we'll be when we want to stop for the day, look up that location on the map, then go to the directory to find campgrounds in that area and select one. My wife will then call ahead to see if that campground has any vacancies. I can think of only 2 or 3 times in the last 30 years where we have hit an area where the campgrounds were full, usually due to a local event that brought in a crowd for the event. But even then we asked the campground if they knew of any nearby campgrounds that might have vacancies and they have been very helpful getting us the contact info for the other campground. We've never been stranded nor forced to Walmart-it.
8 months 4 weeks ago #16619 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic wondering about cost and availability
If you want to look online for whatever area you're headed towards - this site is pretty complete. You can search by area, or state parks, or national parks, or private campgrounds.

8 months 4 weeks ago #16621 by Hank85713
Replied by Hank85713 on topic wondering about cost and availability
we are like wadcutter and just travel and stop wherever we may be. I used to get the book he describes but we never really used it. We stop primarily at KOA's mainly due to them have standards to be met and 99% actually do. Even a bad 1 or 2 we have been to have had their pluses. To do reservations on a pleasure trip just puts you on a stressful level. Problems unexpected or just a slight detour may break the schedule and cause you to fume about it. They are just not worth it unless you KNOW for CERTAIN you will be there and want to just ensure you have a place to stay. I did this for the Santa Fe KOA for us and a friend we were traveling with and we were just traveling thru but this is a nice park to stay in.

In reality it all comes down to what makes you comfortable. We have stayed in overflow lots overnight to get a spot the next day. One had water and elec the other was just a place to park for the night. I do not relish roadside parking or walmart type but if push comes to shove we are flexible enough to do what is needed. Some KOAs offer mil discounts about the same as good sam but a dollar or 2 is not really enough to worry about. You have an rv/trailer or whatever. Enjoy it.
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