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View Full Version : How early do you plan your summer boating trips?



bergermaister
01-12-2012, 05:26 PM
For those of us who don't have a 9-month long season....

How far in advance are you planning out your boating/camping trips? I was just talking to a buddy about a trip in late August we want to do to a nice campground and there's only one spot left in the whole place on the dates we were considering and you know it's going to be the least desirable one they have.

Around here they start taking reservations 9-months in advance and it is amazing how quickly all the weekends from the end of June to the end of August fill up. Our family does at least one week long trip per year and try to get 3 camp sites side by side. That is getting harder and harder to do without driving ~200 miles away.

Any place that has waterfront sites - forget it! They are booked solid every weekend during the summer starting at 12:01am 9 months beforehand. Curious what it's like in other parts of the country.

moombadaze
01-12-2012, 08:53 PM
Even tho our season is dang near year round, it was on about the 1st day of the year that I was checking out places to stay for the summer vacation.

Nobodyrides4Free
01-12-2012, 08:59 PM
Man that sucks, we can usually drive the RV out pick out a site and hook up Utilities. Holiday weekends or events are the only time you have to Pre-book, then you have to book 6 months in advance to get a good spot. Veterans Memorial weekend at one of our lakes is about 9 months out for good spots. Our lakes have some areas that are will call only, which means they do not take reservations for them.
No one like to drive to far, but to get away from crowds its nice sometimes. Hope you find something Berg

jmvotto
01-12-2012, 10:20 PM
For winter skiing we book in advance. Camp ground out east in Westerm new York are fairly easy to come by. Fortunately we just drve 60 minutes to our lake house. No reservations needed.....

viking
01-12-2012, 10:22 PM
Started to be that way around here the last couple years. Used to be you could just take off on a friday and find a spot no problem but now all the parks are taking reservations 9month ahead as well. I personally don't like it but that is the way it is getting. My wife and I had plans to get things booked but it's still hard to figure out exactly what weekends we want to go where. With the weather here it's a crap shoot too!!

kaneboats
01-12-2012, 10:26 PM
Lots of campgrounds book up early, especially holiday weekends (when I'd rather just stay home and cut the grass). Try to get together with Wolfeman the week after July 4th after everybody goes back to work. Usually get some good water that week. I don't have any big plans this year yet. Might have to check out the water near Jack in Tuscaloosa if my daughter stays on her current track. Could be time for a Bama Jama.

bergermaister
01-12-2012, 10:36 PM
Holiday weekends are tough to get in and book up early - that's to be expected. I'm talking every other weekend though! My brother doesn't find out his schedule for the year until early January so that puts us behind the curve on the family campout. We've lucked out the last few years but those have also been midweek.

I'm willing to drive a few hours for glass and less crowds - worth it to me. Just seems like it's getting tougher and tougher to get out and enjoy our limited summers here! For smaller groups we will dry camp on the beach out on one of the islands on the river for a weekend but the water was so high here last summer we had virtually no beach until mid August and by then it was pretty washed out and steep.

rdlangston13
01-12-2012, 10:50 PM
i tried to book a camp site at canyon lake last summer 2 months in advance they were full up on their reserved sites. ended up making the 3 hours drive and sitting outside the gate waiting for someone to check out of the first come first serve sites. for Texas Moomba Jam I will probably book it May or so, maybe April. If the water levels in Texas don't come up this year I can't imagine any of the camp grounds on lakes being that busy.

mmandley
01-13-2012, 05:36 AM
This is a perfect example while I goto Lake Billy all the time n the summer, it's good to know people with property lol

Hoping to make 3 or 4 4day trips this year.

We did do a trip down to Green Peter 2 summers ago and that was cool but honestly I'm not a an of sleeping in tents or on the ground anymore lol

sandm
01-13-2012, 09:25 AM
we are looking at a long weekend at a new lake this year and it's half booked already. problem is you get the guys that like to take the same weekend every year at the same spot and to guarantee that, you book early. pretty soon, they are all gone.

our home lake has docks and campsites that are free and no reservations allowed. to get a decent spot for the weekend, you have to be up by thursday at noon. big problem here are those with small boats or jetskis will zip out late wed night or thurs morning and set up a small camp, then leave until friday night.
sucks, but that is the reality of our ever-growing society, more boomers semi-retiring having more free time, and the economy boom of the mid-2000's that put more toys in the garages of more families..

I think back to when I was a kid in the 70's and I could count the number of boats/campers in a subdivision on one hand. now it seems that everyone owns one and look at the number of offsite storage units that have popped up in the last 15 years and how full they are....

rdlangston13
01-13-2012, 10:05 AM
we are looking at a long weekend at a new lake this year and it's half booked already. problem is you get the guys that like to take the same weekend every year at the same spot and to guarantee that, you book early. pretty soon, they are all gone.

our home lake has docks and campsites that are free and no reservations allowed. to get a decent spot for the weekend, you have to be up by thursday at noon. big problem here are those with small boats or jetskis will zip out late wed night or thurs morning and set up a small camp, then leave until friday night.
sucks, but that is the reality of our ever-growing society, more boomers semi-retiring having more free time, and the economy boom of the mid-2000's that put more toys in the garages of more families..

I think back to when I was a kid in the 70's and I could count the number of boats/campers in a subdivision on one hand. now it seems that everyone owns one and look at the number of offsite storage units that have popped up in the last 15 years and how full they are....

so we just need something to happen to reduce the population by half and somehow not affect anyone we know or care about, then there will be plenty of campsites and gasoline for everyone! hhhmmm

bzubke1
01-13-2012, 10:15 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caVyKR6GtD8

sandm
01-13-2012, 11:23 AM
so we just need something to happen to reduce the population by half and somehow not affect anyone we know or care about, then there will be plenty of campsites and gasoline for everyone! hhhmmm

you know about the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon??
we all know everybody :)

zabooda
01-13-2012, 07:11 PM
I have the usual camping trip in July reserved in November with other people as the reservations fill fast. I plan another trip over the 4th of July and that camp site never fills and it is right on the water. Something about one lane dirt roads, no utilities and 100 degree temperatures that turns people off from this site. Sand beach cove and the water is 20 feet from the door. I'm usually the only one with a motor home there. A boat launch, docks and an stinky outhouse (I couldn't go in there the last time I was there) what else does a person need?

viking
01-13-2012, 09:49 PM
Everywhere we typically go (except 2 or 3 weekends) happens to be on lakes a few hours away from home and we camp there nearly every weekend. 3 different places and all of them take early reservations so every weekend starts to book up 9weeks in advance. It's a royal PITA. That's why i wanna buy a lakehouse :)

rdlangston13
01-15-2012, 12:47 AM
So since the 4th of July is in the middle of the week how many people are going to celebrate the weekend before, the actual day of, or the weekend after?

viking
01-15-2012, 08:24 PM
Everywhere we typically go (except 2 or 3 weekends) happens to be on lakes a few hours away from home and we camp there nearly every weekend. 3 different places and all of them take early reservations so every weekend starts to book up 9weeks in advance. It's a royal PITA. That's why i wanna buy a lakehouse :)

9months that is :)

bergermaister
01-16-2012, 08:49 AM
So since the 4th of July is in the middle of the week how many people are going to celebrate the weekend before, the actual day of, or the weekend after?

Still depends on availability of camp spots here. I kind of like going after the holiday as most of the crazies and big groups seem to plan to go beforehand, then after the fireworks are over they start to dwindle and we have the place to ourselves more.

kaneboats
01-16-2012, 10:58 AM
Still depends on availability of camp spots here. I kind of like going after the holiday as most of the crazies and big groups seem to plan to go beforehand, then after the fireworks are over they start to dwindle and we have the place to ourselves more.

Totally agree. The lake is a lot more fun after the worst idiots are already in jail.

sandm
01-16-2012, 12:54 PM
we are fortunate here to have docks and campsites on the lake that are only accessible by boat. went up last year and camped over the 4th weekend. was a lot of fun to just chill, drink a few and watch the traffic on the lake. don't think I moved the boat once we built camp..

not sure what this year will have instore, but I believe it'll be after the holiday for us as well. might head up thursday and camp for the weekend.

zabooda
01-16-2012, 01:58 PM
For those who have problems with campsites where squatters leave their junk especially at free campsites there are some rules in place at USACE sites. At Dworshak in Idaho, the Corp actually put a piece of tape across the door and 24 hours later if the tape wasn't gone or broken they hauled everything away. Kinda fun to see especially after the year before I called the District Office with the complaint. It appeared the locals used the free campground as their second home and the local Corps law enforcement didn't do anything about it. Similar laws may apply to other state and federal jurisdictions.


327.15 Abandonment and impoundment of personal property


(a) Personal property of any kind shall not be abandoned, stored or left unattended upon project lands or waters. After a period of 24 hours, or at any time after a posted closure hour in a public use area or for the purpose of providing public safety or resource protection, unattended personal property shall be presumed to be abandoned and may be impounded and stored at a storage point designated by the District Commander, who may assess a reasonable impoundment fee. Such fee shall be paid before the impounded property is returned to its owner.

(b) Personal property placed on Federal lands or waters adjacent to a private residence, facility and/or developments of any private nature for more than 24 hours without permission of the District Commander shall be presumed to have been abandoned and, unless proven otherwise, such presumption will be sufficient to impound the property and/or issue a citation as provided for in Sec. 327.25.

sandm
01-16-2012, 04:03 PM
we have a small problem with that, but since all the sites need a boat to access, you can imagine with all the funding cutbacks how it's policed.
we see it and know it's going on when you show up on a thursday morning to grab a spot for the weekend and a few choice ones are taken. you take what you can and never see any activity on the spot until friday night.
been tempted to let the popo that watch the lake know as they are the ones that have primary responsibility for the water(not to mention 2 really sweet jetboats and 3 jetskis), but just never have..

they enforce the 4day max. stay pretty well so we don't get "squatters" per-se, but families that want the best spot for the weekend.

zabooda
01-16-2012, 04:54 PM
At Dworshak they would police the boat in camps as people would leave their tents and never come back and the tents would be in shreds from the winds and look like trash. It got to the point that we would go there on a Tuesday and every site was full and not a sole around. That time someone did come back later in the week and found his chainsaw gone. So it works both ways.

sandm
01-16-2012, 07:01 PM
I have some friends that LOVE to surf there. said the water and campsites are nice. never been up that direction.. cda twice as the closest. my boat actually came from the skiers dealer in spokane. brad(salesman) was great to work with, but had a few funny quirks. wish it wasn't such a long drive and I had a dual axle trailer..

bergermaister
01-17-2012, 04:28 PM
Most of our paid campgrounds are very well maintained. Dry camping out on the island can be a different story. The sheriff marine patrol will cruise through on busy weekends and make sure we're collecting trash and our dogs are leashed (for the 5 minutes they are there anyway).

Only real concern I have out there is broken glass and those who don't know how to use a damn shovel with their makeshift restroom arrangements.

I've only left empty tents overnight a few times to reserve a spot on the island. Once got totally trashed in a windstorm. I've seen plenty of tents that get left out for weeks on end and get trashed, sometimes stolen from what I hear. I guess I like my camping gear too much to do that.