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Old 05-15-2022, 05:45 PM   #1
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So We got our van last yr So not too many trips . I am sooo discouraged with what are called"campgrounds" these are just parking lots.Ghettos.( No boondocking here we are in the East)Spouse bikes. Open the door and there are three kids and a dog No privacy .No quiet. And becasue it is summer and also covid one of course has to make a reservation.There arent many left! Except one place that DOES NOT EVEN TAKE RESERVATIONS So if you show up and they are full you are outta luck Really discouraging Ought to go back to car and motels We love the van Any ideas? sadly.....
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Old 05-15-2022, 07:51 PM   #2
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So We got our van last yr So not too many trips . I am sooo discouraged with what are called"campgrounds" these are just parking lots.Ghettos.( No boondocking here we are in the East)Spouse bikes. Open the door and there are three kids and a dog No privacy .No quiet. And becasue it is summer and also covid one of course has to make a reservation.There arent many left! Except one place that DOES NOT EVEN TAKE RESERVATIONS So if you show up and they are full you are outta luck Really discouraging Ought to go back to car and motels We love the van Any ideas? sadly.....
There are TONS of National Forests all through the East, and all of them have boondocking opportunities. Many state forests as well in some states, at least. You just have to dig a little. Try calling the ranger office of some national forests and tell them what you are looking for. Their websites are often disorganized, but the information is there.
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:06 PM   #3
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Yeah.No. we want to go to a specific place. We want to go to Acadia park where there are safe carriage roads for biking. Campgrounds are either not open terrible ghettos and not near the park anyway, so you have to pollute the air more and drive your bike to the park.... there are buses that take bikes but they do not run til the end of June!!!, all we wanted was to find a place to park overnight for two nights. I w as hoping someone else had come up against this. Maybe locals would rent a backyard etc... I am writing to the chamber of commerce and to all the hotels We are a small self contained van who wants to stay in a certain location-- which is a wide area but it seems all about money. Just cram us in. I first encountered this idea of calling a parking spot and a picnic table"camping" yrs ago when in school. It is bizarre. The main roads are not safe to bike on so we wanted to be near the national park.( oh there is one in the park--no electric or water etc but they have no openings At all for months. We go when the weather looks good so then that is another whole business of losing deposits if book 6months ahead.. to get a national park spot. Not possible. Incredibly discouraging Just more motels who want my money and ... sorry very fed up
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:41 PM   #4
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I sympathize, but honestly, your expectations are not reasonable. Many of the National Parks are overstressed during high season, and Acadia is certainly one of them. To expect to be able to cruise into the park during high season without long-held reservations, camp in a secluded location, and step out of your rig with your bikes onto one of the carriage trails is simply not the reality. Many thousands of people want the same thing. How is that going to work?

I think you need another plan. There are many other wonderful things to do with a B-van in Maine. Also, Acadia can be very peaceful during the off-season.
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:57 PM   #5
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So We got our van last yr So not too many trips . I am sooo discouraged with what are called"campgrounds" these are just parking lots.Ghettos.( No boondocking here we are in the East)Spouse bikes. Open the door and there are three kids and a dog No privacy .No quiet. And becasue it is summer and also covid one of course has to make a reservation.There arent many left! Except one place that DOES NOT EVEN TAKE RESERVATIONS So if you show up and they are full you are outta luck Really discouraging Ought to go back to car and motels We love the van Any ideas? sadly.....
Have you checked out New Brunswick and Nova Scotia?
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Old 05-15-2022, 11:51 PM   #6
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I sympathize, but honestly, your expectations are not reasonable. Many of the National Parks are overstressed during high season, and Acadia is certainly one of them. To expect to be able to cruise into the park during high season without long-held reservations, camp in a secluded location, and step out of your rig with your bikes onto one of the carriage trails is simply not the reality. Many thousands of people want the same thing. How is that going to work?

I think you need another plan. There are many other wonderful things to do with a B-van in Maine. Also, Acadia can be very peaceful during the off-season.
This forum is a usually supportive community Someone else may have already solved this That is why I wrote
Bicycling people cannot do reservations way ahead becasue we watch the weather Noone can afford to lose thier deposits, we are not rich. We have gone to Acadia for yrs watching them struggle with the overload of cars, cars that speed on t he loop road, people that do many stupid things and are loud and irresponsible Our hopes now that we do not stay in motels are quite reasonable and are the hopes of many Access t o carriage roads by overnight parking There ARE two campgrounds in Acadia but only one is nerr the roads and it has no electric water or sewer( though only electric might matter and we would go there BUT it is full. NO reserved spots for those calling a week a head. You make it sound like we want some hi faluting weird snobbish thing. In fact if their buses ran before June 23 we would be fine as they have wonderful bike racks. I have found one motel with direct access to the carriage roads and will see if they will rent a parking space Actually what I describe is an un filled niche that many would like.And sure many other great spots but most multiuse trails allow ATVs and I have a relative we are trying to visit at Acadia.sigh
Most problems are solvable Lets see if anyone else found a place to let them park overnight
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Old 05-16-2022, 12:07 AM   #7
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I have been a biker for half a century and can tell you that I really don't think that somebody else, like campgrounds, should need to set policy based on the weather changing. I have sat in a tent waiting for rain to end but that is the way it is with weather. Many campgrounds have pretty laid back and not all that expensive cancellation policies, but many don't so that is a big variable, and the trend toward all reservation areas makes it tough for any drive up campers. Avanti's comments about BLM and other wilderness campgrounds is good for drive ups but you have to drive to get to any local stuff you want to do.



We all would love to have what you are asking for, but it really doesn't exist and if it did none of us would be able to afford a campsite because it would so inefficient.


The current crush of new campers do to the pandemic has made a bad situation worse as there are more people to try to accommodate, plus the newbies are often not aware of camper etiquette. The can be rude, messy, selfish and noisy which isn't good and should be addressed by the campgrounds as it happens. Last year we had two weeks of various bad neighbors in Custer State Park in our favorite campground so it happens to all of us, but it was still a wonderful trip.


I guess if you need to have what you mentioned out of camping, you may not be well suited to the activity. Hard to have say that, though, as we enjoy it so very much, worts and all.
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Old 05-16-2022, 01:14 AM   #8
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If you want to stay at a nice campground plan on making a reservation the day the window opens for your date. National Parks and a lot of state parks are open for reservations 11 months before the date you want. Sorry but itís been like that for awhile. Camping is popular. Some of the less than nice campgrounds have openings and you can occasionally find an opening because of a cancellation.

We love Acadia National Park but you need to book it 11 months before you go if you want a nice spot, itís been that way ever since we started going there. We like Blackwoods Campground and you can learn how to stay in campgrounds without utilities, you might need to alter your camper a bit.

We spent a number of winters snowbirding in Florida and it was a challenge to line up state parks even a year in advance. We have snowbirded in Florida without reservations but that requires flexibility because youíre not going to stay where you want to be.

In 2019 we gave up snowbird RVing when we bought a little bungalow on a tropical island - we now come and go when we want. No more reservations!

We sold our Class A and bought a Class B. The plan is now to watch for a cancellation at a Florida State Park we like and hop over there and stay a couple days and then go back to the bungalow. We just got tired of the reservation fight (and we hate the cold THAT MUCH).
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Old 05-16-2022, 01:37 AM   #9
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It has been a few years since we camped at Acadia, but when we did, the folks at the campground ranger stations would tell you when they released no-show sites. The odds are actually pretty good if you time it right, but obviously you would need a backup plan.
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Old 05-16-2022, 11:30 AM   #10
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Successful and satisfying ClassB camping requires flexibility. Plan B, C, even D. Often they end up better than Plan A.

You also need to accept reality rather than focusing on "the way it should be". For example, we like Yosemite. We do not like crowded Yosemite. Yosemite is crowded. Therefore, we find someplace else.
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Old 05-16-2022, 11:41 AM   #11
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Don't know if this would help, but we are members of DaysEndDirectory ($15/year) and this is a listing near Tremont:
ME, SOUTHWEST HARBOR: O/N RV pkg. $5. Village Green Way, pkg lot above police sta. Follow signs for RV pkg. Pay & obtain permit at police sta. Sm-med rigs. Sherman & Joanne Lanz #118589 viewed Jul 20.
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Old 05-17-2022, 07:08 PM   #12
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Also Bar Harbor Campground. Cash only, no reservations - first come, first serve. We go every year and even in peak time we have no difficulty finding a spot there. Closest campground to the Park that is not actually in the park. If you are there when the buses are running they stop at the campground and you can use them to navigate the park.

Full amenities and the sites are much larger with more privacy than Blackwoods. Of course if you want a site with hookups you will likely have a difficult time if it is busy. We just pick a non-hookup site and use our solar and the water and dump stations to get by.

There is little benefit to the campgrounds in the park as you pretty much need to drive or bus to most places you would want to hike or bike anyway.
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:56 PM   #13
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Don't know if this would help, but we are members of DaysEndDirectory ($15/year) and this is a listing near Tremont:
ME, SOUTHWEST HARBOR: O/N RV pkg. $5. Village Green Way, pkg lot above police sta. Follow signs for RV pkg. Pay & obtain permit at police sta. Sm-med rigs. Sherman & Joanne Lanz #118589 viewed Jul 20.
EXACTLY the kind of help I knew someone would have thanks
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:01 PM   #14
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Yes I wondered about that place No reservations means if you get there and there openings you might be screwed and drive around looking for They do not take credit cards either which is no big deal on my end but as a business owner I would rather build the 3% fee in and not get bad checks Seems odd Oh and they do not take messages on their phone line.

All my problems would have been solved if the buses ran before JUne 23! Not a country with mass transit .... we did find a a place thanks all
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:48 PM   #15
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Try the app Hipcamp. They list private property that owners tent for tent and RVs for the night. Primarily its only one or two sights so no crowds but few amenities.
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Old 05-23-2022, 03:45 PM   #16
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It is true that you might arrive and find no openings, however in about twelve years of going at all different times from June to October we have never once seen it anywhere near completely full. There is quite a range of sites and of course the best ones fill up fast, but the least desirable ones (which are still perfectly fine for someone who is out enjoying the park all day) always have availability.

It has gotten busier over the years though, with far more full-time campers arriving near the season opening and then squatting on the best sites for the whole summer. That pushes vacation campers to less nice sites which is a pain. I can't fault them for them for wanting the assurance of long term residence, but they would probably achieve higher occupancy levels if they limited long term campers to the medium quality sites and / or introduced a pricing differential for the better locations to disincentivize squatting on them all season. Right now the best sites cost exactly the same as the worst with pricing only differentiated by hookups.

They don't have a problem with bounced checks because they don't accept them. Literally green rectangular cash only accepted.
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Old 05-24-2022, 03:14 PM   #17
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Forget the National Parks. Our country has become so overpopulated that the parks have gone from a joy to visit, to a stress-filled hassle. Last month we were roaming around Utah and wanted to just drive through Arches - not even camp. We were told to get a "ticket" and wait 3 hours just to get through the gate. Just like Disney Land? We hit the road and will never go back there. The only way to see the parks is go in the off season, which of course has its own problems. We have taken up dispersed camping and the spontaneity has been a lot of fun. Where is that time machine that will take me back 50 years?
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Old 05-24-2022, 03:55 PM   #18
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Glad we saw all of Utah's parks and Yellowstone, Glacier, etc. before covid. The availability of campgrounds was a major factor in us buying a cabin in the mountains. And with the Roadtrek we can camp wherever whenever the weather is nice.
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