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 > General Campground Question

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Raleigh, NC, USA

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Joined: 09/05/2003

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Posted: 09/07/17 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I have camped since about '87. Due to family situation (a 16 year old who would not go any more and my wife tending to her mom after her father's death) we got out of camping for the last 3 years. So, now the wife, dogs, and I are back in! Well, camper is on order. While shopping for a camper, we were told that the Millennials are getting into camping and it is taxing the RV manufactures. Oh, and down sized for several reasons.

So, on to my question....

Are campgrounds getting noticeably more crowded?
If so, is the crowd mainly in the private campgrounds?
What about Federal and State campgrounds?

Sorry Millennials. I do not mean any offense!!! Welcome to RVing.

Camp with my lovely wife and 2 rat terriers
2018 KZ Connect Lite C201 QB
2015 GMC Canyon, crew cab, long bed
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Pacific Northwest

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Posted: 09/07/17 11:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Owner of a large Northwest Arctic Fox (and others) dealer told me that it's baby boomers that are flooding the RV market...

...and yes, lots more RVers recently and very few if any new campgrounds. Result: more crowded, harder to get sites especially in prime locations during the "season." We never use to make reservations, we do now.

"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."

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Posted: 09/07/17 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I go camping maybe 6 long weekends a year and i always have to call a year in advance to get a spot. I do have a 42' fifth wheel though. All the campgrounds i always go to are fully booked almost every weekend. Another couple we go with has a smaller hybrid and they generally have to call 2-3 months out to get a spot. I am generally in the eastern Pa area.


Pronounced Ore-gun

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Posted: 09/07/17 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We camp host during the summer. For the last three years we have noticed that where we used to have sites available, now, there booked full. People that we have talked to that have been traveling say it is that way everywhere.

Don,Lorri,and Charlie Bear 2016
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Cape Cod


Joined: 07/29/2014

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Posted: 09/07/17 11:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We avoid holiday weekends during the summer. We can check-in on Sunday and be gone on Friday. I heard that the popular parks in CA are getting quite crowded, but that has more to do with over-population than any demographic buying more RVs.

Florida, south of I-4 in the winter is getting difficult to get a reasonably price spot for any length of time. This is mostly baby boomer snowbirds. If you want to stay north of I-4 or spend $100 a night, there are plenty of spots.

I wouldn't worry too much about millennials. The few I know don't have the patience to stick with anything very long. The RV fad will fade shortly after the tiny house fad and all the other HGTV touted activities. Most are not willing to make a lifestyle change.

Jerry & Jeanne
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Lenexa Kansas

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Posted: 09/07/17 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I suppose it could be the millennials but I suspect it also has to do with a strong economy for 8-9 years. We absolutely have encountered some difficulty getting in places we used to with no lead time. Great for the industry & the RV park owners I say.

Bill & Kelli
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Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 09/07/17 12:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's all us rapidly retiring boomers, bitten by the travel and camping bug, but unwilling to sleep on the ground. [emoticon]

My kids are millenials and have plenty of stick-to-it-ness. What they don't have is a lot of time off from work.

Key to avoiding crowds is to travel between Labor Day and Memorial Day---the other 9 months of the year. My first post-retirement trip is going to involve a mid-May departure from TN for Wyoming and Montana. That will put us into June for Glacier, well before the crowds there.

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On the Road Somewhere

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Posted: 09/07/17 12:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As full timers this my observation

1) More rigs - mainly among weekenders and 1-3 week vacationers.

2) More TT, 5er and small class C and A units.

3) State parks are the most impacted, harder to get into. Several states charge out of state residents extra fees so that state parks now cost as much or more than local commercial parks.

4) As always - popular National parks are almost impossible to get into / reservations.

5) Many COE, BLM and USFS campgrounds are getting full that didn't used to.

6) Commercial campgrounds near popular destinations are crowded and expensive. Three nights ago the KoA outside Devils Tower Nat Monement was charging $72 per night for a FHU site, and the park was almost full.

7) I strongly recommend make Reservations for Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day weekends as far in advance as possible. Especially if you want to go to a popular destination.

As always seasons matter a lot. Places like Texas can be very empty during the summer, but very crowded over Thanksgiving, the week after Christmas and spring break.

Most of the time a person can find a campground, but it might not have full facilities. I'm finding the weekenders and short vacationers are willing to pay a lot more money for a site than retirees.

Full-Time 2014 - ????

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Southern tip of ILL

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Posted: 09/07/17 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I were in California last year early summer, we made reservations for Sequois and Yosemite of corse but thought as we came on east over the mountains to 395 we would have no trouble finding a spot each night..........wrong..... during the week days " tues, wed,thur, we went to 8-9 campgrounds looking for a spot hookups or not we didn't care, we ended up staying in a hotel in Bishop CA for a couple nights.

to answer your question yes camping is really taking off seems to me and we make reservations every time we hook up to the camper now.

1993 Dodge W350 Cummins with all the goodies
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SW Louisiana

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Posted: 09/07/17 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I keep reading this, but I just have not seen it, though I too just got back into RV travel after a 15 year break last year. Sure the crowds may be up a bit, but there are still spaces out there. I just returned home to Louisiana from Wyoming where I toured Yellowstone and then watched the big Solar Eclipse. Sure I made reservations for Yellowstone, and the place where we watched the eclipse, but statistics say there were more vehicles visiting Wyoming that day than there are vehicles registered in the state. However for the 9 day somewhat round about drive home by way of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas thanks to Harvey I never made a reservation, and had no problems finding a place to spend the night. This included a popular small Forest Service campground, two nights in a popular state park, a couple of local city/county RV parks and even a KOA in Texarkana as Harvey was making its second or third landing in Louisiana. Now because I was taking my time waiting for Harvey to get out of the way, I was stopping earlier in the day most days, and there were few spaces left available at some of the more scenic campgrounds. However on the other hand I did spend the night at the Kansas State Fairground RV park where I was one of 5 or 6 RV at the 120+ space campground on a non-event weekend. Even the KOA in Texarkana was only half full on the Wednesday before Labor Day. I also had contingency plans for the Labor Day weekend if Harvey had stalled in Louisiana like it had in Texas, and had found multiple COE and State Park campgrounds in southern Arkansas with available for the weekend as late as the above mentioned Wednesday.

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