Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have been living the RV lifestyle for almost two years. We have
traveled all over the country visiting all the interesting places we
have always wanted to see.
I think one of the biggest adjustments we've had to make is planning
far enough ahead to be able to find suitable parking accommodations
for our rig.
We never realized how crowded the RV parks and campgrounds would be
when we planned this retirement life.
There have been areas we just had to skip, because we could not find a
place to stay.
Is this normal or are we just a couple old RVers that need to learn a
few new tricks?
--Double Parkered in Arizona
I think it depends a lot on how you define, “suitable parking accommodations.”
There is no question that the whole RV camping industry has embraced
the reservation system. From RV luxury resorts to pit toilet forest
service campgrounds you can now make site reservations, and many
This has to be a generalized answer because of the huge range of ways
in which RVers like to travel.
To stay spontaneous, you still need to move around without booking
yourself months in advance. To do this successfully you need to be
able to roll with the punches. It actually takes more planning to
travel without reservations, at the drop of a hat or the spur of the
Willing to dry camp, take available partial hook-ups, or play
campground bingo on your computer as you get closer to a destination
is a necessary evil.
We seldom use reservations, and we are seldom blocked out, but often
we have to move several times around a campground to stay as long as
we wish or find nearby dry camping.
Another thing that will make a difference is time and experience.
Eventually, you will discover many places you do not even know exist
that fit your bill for accommodations. You just have to spend enough
time in an area, talk to other RVer’s, search online, read enough
articles, and keep good notes.
We can’t even read our Rand McNally because we have so many notations
scribbled all over it. If you are in California and someone tells you
about a great spot in Florida, write it down. Chances are you are
going to be in that area eventually. That tip could come in handy down
the road (pun intended).
Joining a club like the Escapees can help both with camping and also educationally thru their seminars.
Learning to master the fine art of popular online reservation systems can also open some doors.
Always talk to park management when trying to shoehorn into a
particular park. They often know of situations that may not show up
Think of this as a challenge, not a stumbling block. We have found
some of our most rewarding, enjoyable, and beautiful camping spots by
being forced to think outside the box.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink