cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Nowhere to go

Lightning55
Explorer
Explorer
I live in northern CA and went online yesterday searching for a camping spot for a future weekend outing with the new 5th wheel. EVERYWHERE is booked solid for months. Anywhere near the coast is impossible, and going into the mountains are slim pickings with all the state park closures due to fires.
I might as well just park it in front of my house and pretend we're in the mountains. Is everywhere else like this? Owning this rig and an expensive tow vehicle hardly seems worth it if we can't go anywhere.
15 REPLIES 15

CavemanCharlie
Explorer II
Explorer II
MN State Parks reservations are done 120 days in advance and you can only stay for 14 days. The really popular parks are always booked right away during the booking period. The less popular ones will have room at this time of year. And,,, if you keep looking sometimes you can get a spot in any park when someone cancels for some unforeseen reason. I've done that. Just have to stay diligent.

pbeverly
Nomad
Nomad
For SC State Parks I typically book 13 months in advance. I was actually doing this prior to COVID.
Ridgeway, SC
2019 26DBH Grey Wolf

blofgren
Explorer
Explorer
It’s the same around here, if you don’t book months ahead, you aren’t getting in anywhere, plain and simple. We have been thinking of buying an RV lot but they have skyrocketed in price as well with the pandemic. It is about the biggest reason why I’ve seriously contemplated selling the fiver recently.
2013 Ram 3500 Megacab DRW Laramie 4x4, 6.7L Cummins, G56, 3.73, Maximum Steel, black lthr, B&W RVK3670 hitch, Retrax, Linex, and a bunch of options incl. cargo camera
2008 Corsair Excella Platinum 34.5 CKTS fifth wheel with winter package & disc brakes

jdc1
Explorer II
Explorer II
PG&E have a few campgrounds not far from you. If you go into Nevada, you'll find even more along side the Walker River.

ktmrfs
Explorer
Explorer
been harder around here as well. However there are many county parks that don't use reserve america but local reservations, and I've found that many of them will have spots since they aren't as easy to find. And many are as nice or nicer than state/FS etc.

And then there are dispersed sites on BLM, FS lands etc.
2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2015.5 Denali 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison passed on to our Son!

rexlion
Explorer
Explorer
Plenty of open sites in Oklahoma. October weather here is mostly nice. Come for a visit!
Mike G.
Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. --Frederick Douglass
photo: Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point

lenr
Explorer II
Explorer II
It's not just CA. We gave up traveling in the fall in the midwest because everything is booked on weekends. Traveling for a month or two at a time requires weekends. I'm going to schedule next spring soon.

NamMedevac_70
Explorer II
Explorer II
Some Cal state parks stop requiring reservations on October 1st and is first come first serve according to the American Land & Leisure campground manager who told me this in May. I just returned from short fishing camping trip at Lake Davis in Plumas National Forest and their Lightning tree campground is fully open with no reservations or fees. You must pack out your own trash and no running water and no hookups but some vault toilets are open. Only 5 campers in the 50 campground site as of yesterday. The other two campgrounds are closed for the season.

Must be flexible and camping during week is always successful for me. I don't like weekend noisy crowds and their non stop barking dogs.

I frequently boondock on northern Nevada vast BlM lands that are completely free and open.

Mayor30
Explorer
Explorer
Go during the week instead of on weekends.We usually go in the spring and fall and from a Sunday to Thursday.We almost always can find a site.

corvettekent
Explorer
Explorer
We will be in CA for the month of December with no reservations and I know that we will not have any problem finding places to set up camp. Of course we don't park in RV campground with a few hundred others. We find places off grid with no power and camp the old fashion way.

It all depends on how you defined camping.
2022 Silverado 3500 High Country CC/LB, SRW, L5P. B&W Companion Hitch with pucks. Hadley air horns.

2004 32' Carriage 5th wheel. 860 watts of solar MPPT, two SOK 206 ah LiFePO4 batteries. Samlex 2,000 watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter.

bighatnohorse
Explorer II
Explorer II
Some places stop taking reservations in the fall and become first-come-first-serve - and their website shows "full" on their campground map.
But if you read the alerts, they will tell you so.
Other sites, like forest service campgrounds simply close and they too stop taking reservations.
2021 Arctic Fox 1150
'15 F350 6.7 diesel dually long bed
Eagle Cap Owners
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
-Yeats

toedtoes
Explorer III
Explorer III
First, you are limiting yourself to state park campgrounds. There is nothing wrong with them, but there is a lot more out there.

Federal campgrounds (USFS, COE, BOR) are a great option.
USFS campgrounds are usually open only during peak season with some being open during the shoulder season on a FCFS basis. Unfortunately, with the extensive fires in recent years, they are very likely to close earlier. And late snows can postpone their openings until as late as July. So it tends to change yearly.

Many of the COE campgrounds are in the foothills. That means they are open year round. During peak season, they are very hot (think valley weather in the summer) and very crowded due to the water sports people (boaters, skiers, jet skiers, etc). In off season, they can be great weatherwise and are far less crowded. I have never had a problem getting a reservation (or even just heading out without one) between October and April. You should check online and make sure the campground you choose doesn't have a closure due to maintenance, etc, as that can happen.

BOR campgrounds are fewer but follow the COE campgrounds.

For me, the most difficult time to camp is August and September. The weather is too hot for me in the foothills and valley areas, and the mountain campgrounds are getting hit by fires and closing.
1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

wowens79
Explorer III
Explorer III
Here in the south east, the state parks that you want to go to stay pretty booked. After labor day, some of the campgrounds on lakes you can find some sights. The Campgrounds in the mountains stay pretty booked.

You have to book way out, or luck into a cancelation.

There are some state parks that always have availability, but they are in the flats in the middle of GA, and not really an appealing place to go, no beach, no mountains, no lake.
2022 Ford F-350 7.3l
2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 268k miles (retired)
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
P.S. Check your PMs, Lightning55. I shared a secret spot with you.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230