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Old 06-29-2016, 04:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Nifty trick campers have been using here to secure a site for a long weekend...
Same down this way plus some reserve a night early (Thursday, for example) to secure a campsite and then not show up until the following day (unoccupied reserved sites are prohibited but difficult to enforce). The ranger has told me that they are aware of all these tricks. I don't know what they can do about it though unless they impose higher penalty fees to make it uncomfortable. My last camping trip, the rangers gave a warning to a couple who were saving a site for someone; if they do it again, they will be banned from the state campgrounds for some period of time. I was pleased to hear this.

Of course, there will always be cheaters. And that's exactly what they are when they game the system and not play by the rules. No honor there...
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:34 PM   #22
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They caught on to people doing that in Oregon state parks and there is now a hefty change policy to stop that behaviour, I approve. Obviously wouldn't stop people that Greg describes though, only people who don't want to pay a hefty change fee.

"Reservations greater than five nights in length that are later changed to fewer nights will be charged the nightly rate for each night dropped, in addition to the $8 transaction fee. An example: You have a reservation for eight nights, but decide to drop three nights. The nightly rate is $25. You will be charged $75 (3 times $25) plus an $8 transaction fee for a total of $83."
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:06 PM   #23
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They caught on to people doing that in Oregon state parks and there is now a hefty change policy to stop that behaviour, I approve. Obviously wouldn't stop people that Greg describes though, only people who don't want to pay a hefty change fee.

"Reservations greater than five nights in length that are later changed to fewer nights will be charged the nightly rate for each night dropped, in addition to the $8 transaction fee. An example: You have a reservation for eight nights, but decide to drop three nights. The nightly rate is $25. You will be charged $75 (3 times $25) plus an $8 transaction fee for a total of $83."
This is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, for many it would not be enough of a deterrent to ensure a camping spot for a long weekend.
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:29 PM   #24
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I totally agree with everything that is being said about the annoying and costly reservation systems. In BC though, don't forget about former Ministry of Forestry sites that are largely free or in the $10-12 range. They are non-reservable so you should be able to drive up. Some are hard to get to unless you're in a 4X4 towing a smaller Escape, but worth checking out. See www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:39 PM   #25
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At least many states/provinces have the six month (or some other) before the date of occupancy when reservations open. Not so here in MB. April 4th at 7:00 am we all have to jump on the website and hope that by the time our "ticket" comes up the spot you want is open. This is for any campground any time in the 2016 season. This year they had issues with the website as well. It took me two hours to book for the MB rally for us and Iowa Dave, and I didn't know that I couldn't book two sites so had to phone Dave and get all his info and create a user code for him, what a pain! Many comments were shared about the issues this year on the MB rally thread on FGRV.

And the cost of campsites today! I was thinking as I camped with grandkids last week that the "basic" site in MB is $18.75 a night. I recall in 1964 a basic site in ON was a buck. Now I think that year my Dad made $10000 salary - he had a pretty good job - don't think if he were still working the same job today he would make $187,500!

Adrian

BTW I did get the only two sites left in the bay we wanted for the rally
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:46 PM   #26
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..... and I didn't know that I couldn't book two sites so had to phone Dave and get all his info and create a user code for him, what a pain!.
On the BC site I could pay and set up the reservation, but I had to give my buddies contact info for them to send the confirmation to.

Once I decided on the double site I wanted, it took less than 10 minutes to get them booked. At least with this campground, I had to wait until 3 months before our camping date to reserve.
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:37 PM   #27
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BC's Provincial Camp Grounds Rip-off

Camping at a state, national or provincial park should not be a for profit endeavor by the government imho. The parks don't belong to them, but to the people. As long as the administrative and maintenance costs are covered, that should be the determining factor in the fees. Unfortunately, like all other areas of government, they use it as a tax and generate additional revenues by it.

The fix involves work. Find out where your government officials stand on such practices, and vote accordingly. We get the government we deserve.


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Old 06-29-2016, 08:09 PM   #28
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... some reserve a night early (Thursday, for example) to secure a campsite and then not show up until the following day (unoccupied reserved sites are prohibited but difficult to enforce). The ranger has told me that they are aware of all these tricks. I don't know what they can do about it though unless they impose higher penalty fees to make it uncomfortable.
The first step is obvious to me: if you don't show up for the first day, your entire reservation is cancelled, with no refund of the reservation fee, plus you would be charged for the wasted night and a penalty... with the extra charges payable before another reservation can be made for the same name, same credit card, or same license (or whatever they use to identify people).

I have little patience for people who think they are entitled to more than others.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:26 PM   #29
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We just got back from a couple of nights at Whitewater State Park in S.E. Minnesota. We found out that the MN State Parks have switched to a system where all sites must be reserved, but there is no reservation fee if you are reserving a site on the same day you are going to occupy it. They made the reservation for us at the park office when we arrived, but since there isn't any cell service in the park, we would have been out of luck if we had arrived 15 minutes later. There isn't any way to tell if a site is reserved or not since they no longer have the little tags on the pole at the end of the campsite. So theoretically (or maybe not so theoretically) if we had arrived after the office closed and simply chosen an empty site, some one could have shown up at 10:00 PM, produced a reservation slip, and asked us to move.

As some one who enjoys having a lot of flexibility when traveling, I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, now we can call from the road or from home and be guaranteed that there will be a spot for us when we arrive. But on the other hand, I kind of like showing up, driving around and going through the little ritual of choosing "The best" campsite. I suppose this system does away some paper, and eliminates the need for the ranger to drive around the campsite checking to make sure everyone has their sticker properly displayed. I will have to see how it works out in the long run. My guess is that at some point, they will institute a reservation fee even if you are reserving on the same day.

My neighbor used to work for the DNR, and she has talked about the funding cuts they have had in the past 15-20 years. I think that between 2002 and 2010 the amount of money they got from the general revenue fund dropped something like 30%. As a result, maintenance has been delayed, grass is mowed less often, some parks open later in the year and close earlier etc. They also rely more on volunteers for some jobs.

We paid $31.00 / night for a site with electricity but no water. They aren't making a "profit", but the money to keep the parks maintained and looking nice has come from somewhere. The increased fees aren't a big deal for us, but I feel sorry for folks who have less disposable income, especially young families with children who may be missing some opportunities to learn about the outdoors.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:58 AM   #30
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Careful folks please. This thread is not for political discussion. I've taken several posts out. If you want to discuss politics, go out on Facebook
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