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Old 06-29-2016, 05:30 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, 05:34 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, 06:06 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, 06:29 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, 06:39 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!

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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, 06:46 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, 07:37 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, 09:09 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, 11:26 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, 05:58 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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Old 06-30-2016, 06:50 AM   #31
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Same deal as ReserveAmerica down here, except there is one reservation fee per reservation, verses your per night.
....and ReserveAmerica also has a cancellation fee... $15.50 to reserve and cancel
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:01 AM   #32
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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
Hi: Donna D... It's really hard to discuss Provincial/State parks without getting political. Politics runs the show... and most of them don't go camping either. We have similar fees here in Ont. and while we love camping in our Provincial parks it's expensive even with my senior's discount!!!
I don't/won't have a facebook acct. so that's out for me. "I walk the line". Alf
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:44 AM   #33
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On the way back home from the Black Hills a couple years ago we stopped at a South Dakota state park campground. It was about 7 PM in the late fall so darkness was upon us. We tried the reservation phone but it was not working. We set up in a nice site in the near empty campground as had our neighbors across the road. When the ranger came
around the next morning he admonished me for setting up in a reservable site
And pointed out the possible conflict that could have occurred.( Late arrival) I pointed out the fact that the phone did not work. He asked me where my entry sticker was and I told him I had not paid it yet like the camping. He was a little miffed but then asked me where I had been. When I told him Custer State park he knew that park had a week long sticker. I dug it out of the trash in the car and he was pleased we had it. I had broken several rules mostly because their reservation phone did not work. In the end, he toured the Escape and told me thanks for staying with them. Nice guy who was a credit to Rangerism.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:19 AM   #34
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On the way back home from the Black Hills a couple years ago we stopped at a South Dakota state park campground. It was about 7 PM in the late fall so darkness was upon us. We tried the reservation phone but it was not working. We set up in a nice site in the near empty campground as had our neighbors across the road. When the ranger came
around the next morning he admonished me for setting up in a reservable site
And pointed out the possible conflict that could have occurred.( Late arrival) I pointed out the fact that the phone did not work. He asked me where my entry sticker was and I told him I had not paid it yet like the camping. He was a little miffed but then asked me where I had been. When I told him Custer State park he knew that park had a week long sticker. I dug it out of the trash in the car and he was pleased we had it. I had broken several rules mostly because their reservation phone did not work. In the end, he toured the Escape and told me thanks for staying with them. Nice guy who was a credit to Rangerism.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:33 AM   #35
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BC's Provincial Camp Grounds Rip-off

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Hi: Donna D... It's really hard to discuss Provincial/State parks without getting political. Politics runs the show... and most of them don't go camping either. We have similar fees here in Ont. and while we love camping in our Provincial parks it's expensive even with my senior's discount!!!

I don't/won't have a facebook acct. so that's out for me. "I walk the line". Alf

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I agree the discussion of camping fees overlaps into a discussion of how governments run state and national parks. My comment was simply stating an opinion that there's a mentality among many government officials that the campgrounds are theirs, and they Jack up fees with no regard to actual operating expenses, but rather, use them to cover revenue shortfalls in other areas. As campers, we should make our voices heard on the subject.

It didn't mention parties, political affiliations or candidates. It was specifically addressing the "rip-off" that's part of the title of this thread.

If that view violates forum rules and gets deleted, so be it. Wouldn't be the first time I've stepped in it.


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Old 06-30-2016, 11:37 AM   #36
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Iowa has a very extensive system of county parks and some Corps of Engineers facilities. Some years ago the DNR instituted a park entry fee. They projected the revenue this fee would generate based on previous years traffic counts. Resistance was so great that state park attendance fell drastically. County parks filled the gap and for years, even after the entry fee was repealed, state park attendance numbers were depressed. This resulted in lower camping revenues and fewer fishing licenses being sold.. County parks revenue for camping and attendance at nature center programs went way up. People will vote with their dollars.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:39 AM   #37
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Holy Cow! All the things you need to know about camping and yet I don't! I didn't have a clue about all these ins and outs of camping and making reservations. Jeez!

So, is there a Camping Reservation 101 tutorial somewhere?

Kind of joking there, but kind of serious as well.

And I agree with one comment, if you're not there the first day, your entire reservation gets cancelled and your fees should not be refunded.

Kind of sad that post with the Minister's (or whomever) address was removed. I thought it was great that person posted the contact information. Taxes and fees are a fact of life and I don't consider comments posted on them to be political. Now, if folks are stating who they're voting for and why so-and-so is an idiot (as a candidate or as a voter), then yeah, those posts shouldn't be allowed.

Awhile ago Dirk and I were talking about when we get the trailer and we commented that most of our camping might very well be during the week, definitely not on holiday weekends and maybe not so much during the summer. Some of it due to idiot campers and now maybe due to the reservation processes. Dang!
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:50 AM   #38
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Kind of sad that post with the Minister's (or whomever) address was removed.
That wasn't removed. See post #13
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:57 AM   #39
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That wasn't removed. See post #13
oops, my mistake! And I looked over the posts twice to see if I could figure out what was removed. Guess I need new glasses! Ack! thanks for pointing that out, Donna. Jeez Louise.

I can see we have a huge learning curve in regards to making and getting reservations! I need to start figuring out places to stay for the winter whale migration along the Oregon Coast, so I guess I'd better start doing that now instead of later.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:14 PM   #40
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Nifty trick campers have been using here to secure a site for a long weekend is, when booking opens for the week ahead of the holiday, they reserve for a week and a half to cover the holiday. A couple days later, they cancel the first part and just keep the long weekend. They do pay a penalty for cancellation. This gets them a booking before those who think they have to wait for the holiday opening.
Did you mean that there are 'holiday openings' that differ from regular openings?
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