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Thread: Camping FAQ's

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,620

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by noFanofCB View Post
    - Not just for tents- Experience suggests that people can reserve NFS campsites online at no charge. This means that you can roll into a nearly empty campground and find reserved tags on all the sites. Checking with the campground hosts might reveal that if you wait until some deadline time (unknown to me) has passed that they can put you into a site regardless of the reserved status.
    I fully agree that you should always check with the Campground host or other manager, even if all the sites look to be full/reserved. I have had several situations where that has helped me land a campsite.

    However, I'm curious which NFS campsites you've seen with no charge reservations? I can't say that I've ever encountered that. If anything, my frustration with campsite reservations is that campsite reservation fees often cost nearly as much as a single night of camping. Most NFS campsites tend to work through Recreation.gov, the last time I used it not only charged a $10 reservation fee, but required prepayment of the site. The not only was the reservation fee not refundable, any cancellation would involve another $10 service fee.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    358

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post

    However, I'm curious which NFS campsites you've seen with no charge reservations? I can't say that I've ever encountered that. If anything, my frustration with campsite reservations is that campsite reservation fees often cost nearly as much as a single night of camping.
    I'm speculating that there's no charge because my full-but-empty camground experience was so common in 2018 (eastern Idaho, edge of Wyoming). Maybe people just don't care about dropping their money like that?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,355

    Default I just bought my equipment. Now what?

    I JUST BOUGHT MY EQUIPMENT. NOW WHAT?

    Go on some weekend runs to a campground fairly close by. Bring what you think you need. Add some paper and a pencil (to make a list of things you wish you'd brought). Don't forget food. Try out your new equipment on several occasions before venturing further from home or the nearest store.

    If you bought some form of RV, don't forget to practice driving it, backing it up, and making huge turns in it. As you're driving it, and you encounter a double-left turn lane, take the outside lane. You'll have wider swing room. If you're attempting to turn right, learn the phrase, “Swing wide, sweet chariot”, and DO it. If you have a towable, learn to hitch up. It's helpful to have two people for this process, but a number of people have devised systems to do it single-handedly. Have a check-list available for your hitch-up process so that you won't accidentally miss a step and drop your trailer on its nose (or the back of your brand new pick-up truck, as happened to friends)

    When you're comfortable, try a “shake-down cruise”. This would be further afield, perhaps a long weekend a little farther away from home.

    Once you've done all that, you're probably ready for your camping vacation. Doing practice runs close to home is much better than trying to learn all this while in strange places.

    A few smaller tips:
    Don't leave your sewer hookup open when you're in a camping site. When you get ready to leave, attach the sewer hose and “dump” at that time. You might want to wear protective gloves for this purpose. Leaving your sewer open into the drain leaves you vulnerable to a stoppage.

    Carry a spray bottle of bleach, a water pressure regulator, a water T (2 hoses on one water spigot), a pair of protective gloves, and a rag. At one time or another, you'll appreciate having them.

    You may also want 50' of water hose and 50' of electrical cord, plus pigtails that fit your rig. If you only have a 50-amp hookup for your unit's electrical, get a 50-to-30 adaptive pigtail. You may also want a 50-to-20, but DO NOT run your AC or furnace if you have to use that pigtail!

    If a seasoned RV-er in a campground gives you some advice, consider it carefully. One veteran suggested to a newbie, “Retract your awning tonight”, and he didn't. In the middle of the night, the wind whipped up and destroyed said awning. For that newbie, lesson learned.

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