Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have resisted using the government parks reservation systems because we do not like to be on any kind of schedule. We don't mind not getting in once in awhile, or having to wait a couple days to secure a site. Often we get a space but then have to move several times because we can't find a site open for all the days we would like to stay. This is inconvenient but it still beats making a reservation and being put on a schedule. That said, we find it annoying that the parks do not always have a place for us to park while we wait for our next site to open. We like to hike and can't always be back by the time we are suppose to check out of our site. If our next site is not open by the time we plan to leave in the morning for whatever activity, we need a staging area to park our rig so that we don't have to be put on a schedule, which was our point in the first place. Is that too much to ask? Am I getting crotchety in my old age?
--Musical Chairs in Myakka
It makes sense that such a system should be available too alleviate the logistics problems that parks are now dealing with. However, some areas just do not have the space to create such a spot. Many times you can work a deal out with park personnel and find an open site to move to earlier, but some parks are more strict than others. Yosemite for example will not allow you to move until after noon. That means if your spot is open first thing in the morning you still can't move into it. That system really breaks up the day. The park system is evolving quickly as they come to terms with the growing number of RV owners who are traveling more. It doesn't hurt to become part of the evolutionary process. By being polite and trying to work out something with park officials, will at least highlight the fact that something needs to be done to address this time gap between the time the music is playing and everyone sits down.
More parks are dedicating space for overflow camping not only because they see the need but also because it is a money maker for them. Most people would rather stay in a large parking lot with no hookups while they wait for a site, than leave the park and find accommodations elsewhere. So for a reduced fee many parks are offering just that. This is often the area you would be able to use while you are in campsite limbo.
Staying in your site late, and making those with reservations wait, is not an option. That just makes you part of the problem and not part of the solution.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink