Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-11-2016, 09:38 PM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,579
Default Minnesota changes campsite reservations

I just read a story, and talked to the DNR about concerning the new rules for reservations that go into affect shortly.f

Minnesota State Park campgrounds will now be 100% reservations, with no driveup sites, or later released sites. All sites will be reserveable on the rolling 1 year ahead. This means the popular parks will inaccessible to anyone who can't plan a year out, because they will be perpetually reserved a year ahead.

I haven't been able to find out exactly where all this came from, but on the surface it seems to be tilting the entire system toward folks that are really in control of when they can get time off--- a year ahead of time. There are very few working families that I know where both workers are allowed to schedule their vacation a year in in advance, and many hourly workers are lucky to get two weeks planning on hours.

I would guess that over 1/2 of the non retired people we know would not be able to work within the new system consistently, so they would never be able to go to the popular state parks, ever, even though their taxes support them.

The very nice lady I spoke to at the Park dept said they did a study, and this is the trend across the county, so those of us traveling around are likely to be shut out of a lot of places that used to have some held back, daily sites.

The best line was that I was told that they did a pilot program at some of the parks for the last couple of years, and that the public really liked the system. Of course, they took the survey in the park, with the reserved campers that had the ability to schedule ahead, and never talked to any of the other campers that couldn't get in because everything was reserved way ahead. No bias in that sample They didn't send out any notices to park camping users either, for comment or input, ahead of time. The first we heard of it was in the newspaper.

It could be a very short time ahead that all the state parks, and probably the National parks also, will by inaccessible to those of us that don't want to schedule an entire trip, to the day, ahead of time. Of course, the parks nobody wants to go to will be available
__________________

booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 10:00 PM   #2
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,271
Default

So, are you saying that what has changed is that there used to be "non-reservable" sites but there won't be in the future?

Don't most states already work that way? Maybe I have just not been paying attention, but I rarely notice "non-reservable" sites. Frankly, I don't see it as that big a deal--I may even prefer making all sites reservable. In my experience, even popular campsites rarely fill up, except on high-season weekends. And even then, I don't think that sites reserved for drive-ups are very useful, since you can never count on them. At least, that is how I see it.

One important variable is the cancelation policy. Most reservable federal campsites can be booked a year in advance but can be easily cancelled. This means that you can almost always pick up a last-minute cancelation with a little persistence. I actually kind of like this system.
__________________

__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2016, 10:16 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,579
Default

In Minnesota, there were always some sites designated for driveups, and not reserveable. It made for a very nice balance of being able to plan a trip a year ahead (needed to get a reservation in a popular park like Itasca) or if you don't have that kind of scheduling flexibility, you could get in line for the non reserveables as they became available.

What they have assured is that no local, or others passing through, will be able to get into any of the most popular parks in Minnesota, as they will be 100% booked months ahead of time. Very many people have schedules that don't allow a year ahead planning, so they will have no shot of getting into a popular park.

IMO, this is very hard on some groups of campers, who don't have long term schedule control, and very favorable to others like retired folks who can schedule whenever. The old system took care of both pretty well.

I know other places do the same, Custer Park in South Dakota for one, and it can be very difficult get in there. Most of it fills up a full year ahead, and you only get in without a reservation if you hang around and hope for a cancellation or no show.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 01:30 AM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Boxster1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 884
Default

Thanks for the info. I'm planning several trips to Minnesota this summer and it's good to know that I may have to make some reservations.
This is the way a lot of state campgrounds are managed. I just finished a trip to Floida, stoping in Savannah on the way. I reserved a site for five days in a Georgia State Park near Savannah about two weeks ahead of the trip. I also reserved stays in two Florida State Parks about a week ahead of arrival. Those were in Nothern Florida. Trying to get into the state parks in southern Florida is not possible on short notice in the winter.
Last year I stayed in Glacier NP in July. Most sites there are on first-come basis. But the NPS has a web site where they record the history of what time each campground fills up. That way you know roughly what time you need to arrive to be able to get a site.
When I traveled to Alaska for a week stay in Denali NP I made reservations about four months ahead.
__________________
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter 3500 170Ext
Formerly: 1973 Dodge B300 DIY pop-top conversion
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 01:41 AM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,498
Default

The national parks are mostly first come first serve. In effect to get into Joshua Tree we boondocked nearby in BLM land and then cruised the campgrounds early morning and took one when someone left. Glacier was that way. Chiricahua NM was supposed to be that way but we found they started taking reservations.

As for Minnesota, welcome to Florida methods. Florida is that way. We now have the always off-grid capability to use state and national forests in northern Minnesota so don't care so much though the BWCAW border sites fill up readily like Sawbill NFS and Trails End NFS. We will see about mid week access for the Minnesota state parks. That is what we mostly do now anyway as the weekends are a zoo.

Campgrounds everywhere are inadequate in numbers with the growing baby boomer population retiring. I have been concentrating on those locations where Class As, Class Cs and 5th wheelers can't get in. Last week in Ramsey Canyon, AZ we watched a 5th wheeler try to get in a campsite and finally gave up after a half hour and left. Chiricahua NM has a concrete dip at a dry wash that anything over 29 feet cannot negotiate. A lot of national forest sites will not fit anything over 24 feet. Many say 22 feet but 24-26 feet is realistic in those campgrounds but not for all the sites. Many are not close to level as they were originally intended for tent campers. We were at a totally level 10 campsite Cochise Stronghold NFS campground and there was just us and one other tent camper over a weekend. The 22 foot requirement and traversing some deep dry washes keeps the big rigs out. This another reason we prefer off-season travel. We've seen nothing but mostly clear skies and 70-80 degree temperatures in over a month and a half in southwest Arizona and southern California with no reservations to get into campgrounds.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 02:19 AM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,579
Default

22 foot maximum should keep you out with a 24' Springer, shouldn't it?
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 01:31 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Greer, South Carolina
Posts: 2,609
Default

Ah, what's 2 feet amongst friends?

Just another symptom of the booming sales. It amazes me that the situation isn't worse - hundreds of thousands of new RV's are sold each year, yet the number of campground spaces really isn't growing. Are most just spending the season parked in storage?

Just makes the B all that more attractive. We don't really need a campground with a little planning. Although, it would be nice to have a database of camps of "22 feet" and under.
__________________
2019 Winnebago Travato GL
Follow my blog: https://www.wincrasher.blogspot.com
Our Facebook group is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClassBCamperVans/
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 01:43 PM   #8
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,271
Default

Sadly, I am guessing that the vast majority of new RV purchasers head directly to KOA.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2016, 01:52 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
eric1514's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ID AZ
Posts: 617
Default

^Don't be sad. That and Nascar races lower the pressure on Nat. or State parks.
__________________
"Il Travato Rosso"
2015 Travato 59g
eric1514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2016, 04:00 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,498
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
22 foot maximum should keep you out with a 24' Springer, shouldn't it?
No. I have camped at all the NFS campgrounds off the Gunflint Trail and fit easily in all of them. Just recently here in Arizona the 10 site Cochise Stronghold says 22 foot but 26 foot would fit in all easily. I think NFS post conservative info because everyone will stretch even the 20 foot Class Bs with 4 feet of hitch cargo carriers. Length is the discouraging posted factor for a variety of reasons for campgrounds and roads when I think it is more for discouraging RV types or there are access restrictions like dry was dips that will hang up a large RV. Chiricahua NM has that restriction even though my campsite there was 40 ft. long.

Also most of the NFS campgrounds were originally built for tent campers. The longest vehicle was assumed under 22 feet. Because of that I found one NFS campground in Georgia impossible to level an RV even though the sites were long enough. I just parked at the adjacent level trailhead.

In some cases they use the smallest campsite as the length guide. Joshua Tree NP is like that though the sites vary a lot.
__________________

__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.