Do you pre-book your stops en route to avoid the dreaded "No Vacancy" sign?

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
We have only been camping for a couple years, but have had many instances of calling ahead to book a site while en route to our final destination and hear those dreaded words, "we are all sold out for tonight." Those words can put you in a position of having to drive well after dark, which we prefer not to do. We boondock on occasion, but are usually traveling during the heat of the summer and much prefer to plug into power for the A/Cs. How do you handle your overnights en route?
 

Azjeff

Member
Wayne, I've been camping since before I was born when my dad rented a small Scotty trailer for a week vacation and sure enough 9 months later I appeared! In the years since I've probably seen and/or done every possibility while travelling. My parents would take a 2 week vacation every summer and hit the road with a pop-up and the goal was to see as much as possible. Pretty sure mom would plan a general route and have a punch list of sights and dad would have to find places to stay each night. I remember times we'd have to go on because the campground was full but mostly not so I'm guessing they didn't reserve ahead. What I do remember was my sister and I just wanting to stay somewhere for a few days and swim, play, fish, whatever. As a result of that when we started camping with our kids we'd pick a destination and drive there and stay a week and do things and get to know the area. Usually reachable in a day's drive but when it took more than a day we'd have a spot reserved somewhere to have 1 less thing to stress over after a full day of driving. Coming from the East where all camping is in some sort of campground I just can't get comfortable alone back a dirt road, don't sleep well. Now the kids are long gone we still drive to a destination and set up a base camp. As you know in the West you can boondock almost anywhere and we've done it a time or 2 including in a Walmart lot and back a dirt road but we'd rather pay the $25 and plug in and hook up water and not worry about the battery and like you say it does get HOT around here and I hate hauling a generator.
 

Wayne

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Thread starter
we'd pick a destination and drive there and stay a week and do things and get to know the area.
We do this often and find it's great way to get see many things in about a 50 mile radius of the campground.

we'd rather pay the $25 and plug in and hook up water and not worry about the battery and like you say it does get HOT around here and I hate hauling a generator.
Couldn't agree more.

I hate hauling a generator
We always take our with us and often take it out to run the microwave to heat up leftovers while at a rest stop. It's a Honda 2200 and can be carried with one hand. You'll never run more than one A/C with it, but we plug in most of the time anyway.
 

Azjeff

Member
I have a Honda 3500W that I got to prepare for the Y2K blackout that didn't happen. It's too heavy and noisy to use around other campers. I didn't think a 2200W would run the AC. Electric is not my strong suit.
 

Wayne

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Thread starter
I didn't think a 2200W would run the AC.
It will only under a couple conditions. You'll have to shed all other electric loads like the fridge, water heater, etc and leave them off or powered by propane. For a 2200w generator, you'll need a soft starter like the Micro-Air EasyStart. Our 2200 will start one air conditioner and run it as long as you supply gasoline to the generator. We've probably used the generator to power an A/C for about 100 hours in the last two years.

I'll do a write up on the EasyStarters.
 
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