View Full Version : Do I need reservations for long term stay?

11-08-2007, 07:44 AM
We are going to be is southern texas this winter, but we don't know exactly when. We leave here in mid-January, then it gets dicey. We need to be in Las Vegas around the 6th or 7th of February. We plan to start out visiting relatives around Plano and Lewisville, TX as our first stop. So we probably need a place near Plano for 2 weeks and then off to LV. When we return from LV we are heading toward McAllen and Mission areas. We were there 2 yrs ago looking around and visiting a cousin that helps out with a church group in McAllen. So that would be probably Mid-February before we arrive in S. TX.
Will we need a reservation? Or will we be winging it? I hate not knowing where I will be staying because we are new at this and have only been out once in our 5er. Are we better off staying weekly until we find a place that we like? Will there be any available spots in February? We would like to find a place to stay for a while - until at least May 15th or so.
Any help would be appreciated.

11-08-2007, 09:30 AM
Reservations ?? Been fulltimers for 4 years now, never had a reservation yet.

Mrs. CountryGuy
11-08-2007, 09:52 AM
You are talking the RGV here. You are talking February (January and February are the BUSY months).

You can find campsites by calling a day or so ahead, and who knows, maybe the fuel prices will make an impact, but, in the past few years, the prime campgrounds were pretty well filled up and there were no sites to be had in January or February.

There are campsites in other campgrounds, probably cheaper sites than what you pay at the primo ones anyway.

After being there 4 years, I would be VERY reluctant to just show up and hope to find something sorta nice.

Up to your comfort level I would guess.

On Edit: After April 1st you will have your pick of campsites. It starts gettin right warm (daily temps will exceed 90 degrees by April 1st and keep on climbin!!!! [8D])down there and there is a traffic jam getting out of the Valley on March 1st and again on April 1st. (Sorta kidding bout the traffic jam, but wowsers, there are a LOT of rigs heading north March 1st and April 1st.)

11-08-2007, 12:20 PM
Cool it Carol... We have been to all of these places and have never made a reservation...... There is always someplace if you check in early in the day.... If you can't get in one they will usually call around and find you another and as it's still early..... what the hey.


Mrs. CountryGuy
11-08-2007, 01:16 PM
Read again, I am referring in the most part to the really prime campgrounds. Many want to stay at the best. They are quite hard to get into in the Valley in January and February. That is all I am saying. [:p]

Again, due to fuel and economic conditions this year, it very well may be that what was true last year and in the last several years past will not be true this winter. But, where we stay and in several others that we have stayed at over the last 4 years, you will not get in there without a reservation. Last year at BPV, you could not beg, borrow or steal a site during January or February. Not even for in the middle of the week for a couple of days. This was also true at a few of the other parks we are familiar with.

Several years ago, we arrived about the 1st of February and we could not get into our park of choice, they did, as you say, call over to a sister park, and got us a site. The results were we were at a expensive site, and were not really happy. Lots of reasons why. Our lesson learned, reservations are better for ole Carol & Al.

Some are quite comfortable with just showing up in the AM and taking their chances, some of us (ME ;)) are not comfy doing so. I want to know I have a site to stay at. Do the same running down the road. Not comfy doing the Wal*Mart camping. I want to pull into a campground, with at least electric and set up. We each have our 'comfy zones'. Eh?? :D

osofine asked for some opinions, I gave mine, and that is my story and I am sticking to it! :D

Hey, Helen, how is that site in Florida?? Did your plants survive, etc??

Ya know, one more thought, this RVing thing has become soooooooooooo popular the last few years, baby boomers and retirees have more $$ to spend than ever before, campgrounds in a lot of places we stay at are booked well in advance, State Campgrounds specially here in Michigan, are starting to book already for next year. 6 months out, soooo, it is only a couple of weeks out from the reservation frenzy for Memorial Day 2008 in Michigan State Parks.

It is our experiences that formulate my responses. And, of course, again, our comfort levels. [:p]

Mrs. CountryGuy
11-08-2007, 02:16 PM
OKKKK, curiosity got me, SOOOOOOO, I checked TWO campgrounds out of what over 500 in the RGV, the one we stay at, and one that we stayed in a previous year.

The one we are booked into right now for this upcoming Winter session, says no campsites available from January 8, 2008 to March 9, 2008. The parameters I put in would apply to many of us MOC members.

The other one, wanted a $650.00 deposit, so, I decided I better back out of that hunt, but one of the first pages that came up said 3 or 4 month minimum reservations and a lot of other blah blah blah, that I did not really take the time to read! ;)

It is this site availability to which I have alluded in my 2 previous posts here.

TO REPEAT: THERE ARE MOST LIKELY SITES AVAILABLE in other campgrounds. But, also based on Texas MOC members that have tried to book in during the 3rd week of February in the last couple of years so that they could attend our luncheons, several of them had to go down their list of preferred campgrounds and check with a number of different campgrounds to get lodging.

Come on down to the RGV, and depending on your individual sense of adventure, call or not, reservation or not, you will still enjoy the Valley. Hope to see ya all at Pepe's on the River right soon!!!

11-08-2007, 03:13 PM
Wow! I hate to be spending 3 - 4 months in WalMart parking lots. Since we have never been down here in our RV, we don't know where to go. I have Trailer Life on CD and the book. Signed up for Good Sam, Woodalls, Camping Life and anything with the name RV in it. I will have my laptop and wireless card, or I can connect my laptop with my phone via cord for internet access. Since the truck and 5er seem sooooo big - I don't want to be dragging it in and out of parks trying to find a home. I'll probably park anywhere and call around for a spot. Since this is our first adventure we will be flying blind out there anyway - so we probably won't know what we are missing.
But if we are in the neighborhood of other MOC members we would love to stop by and personally see some of these great rigs and what the nice parks look like. I've been reading about them for about 5 months, since we bought our monty. I feel like I know some you already.
Retirement is 52 days away. Getting closer every day.
I don't think we will mind the 'not so fancy' places. Our last campground experience (other than our maiden voyage with our 5er) was in about 1984. So I guess clean showers and a full hookup should work until we feel our way around the area. Do you think we'll be able to find a $400 a month spot?

Mrs. CountryGuy
11-08-2007, 03:24 PM
Should be able to Sherry ($400.00 spot, and that will go DOWN after March 1st and again after April 1st.)

Look at all those campground books and look at the ratings. The higher the ratings, in a lot of cases, the higher the rent! [:p] There have been reports of those ratings being off, as in we don't always agree with the ratings! But, generally speaking they are a pretty good indicator. We find most are pretty close.

When you are 1 to 2 days out, say, San Antonio area, coming down I 35, start calling the parks you have chosen. You can call at lunch, you can call while Hubby is driving, try to call before 5 PM. You don't have to wait till you are in Mission.

Besides, by the time you get to Mission, from the sounds of your trip, you are gonna be old pros at this! :D

Remember the RGV goes from Brownsville to the south, Padre Island to the East, and way past Mission to the west, and at least to Edinburg to the north. That covers what, over 90 miles from Brownsville to Mission, it is a large area.

Here is another way to look at it, would you travel via car and go into a resorty type area without a reservation at the local Baymont or Hyatt?? If that is the way you travel, then going via RV without reservations will be bout the same to you.

And congrats on the retirement!

11-08-2007, 05:19 PM
I agree about not knowing where you will spend the night.

This last June Kevin and I made our first out of State trip...We went to Texas for son's graduation from Air Force Basic. Our trip there and back (with exceptions of the week stay in San Antonio)was just winging it.

Sometimes we spent more time just to find a campground we approved of....other times we were lucky and found a place, and payed high prices.

Next time I think I would like to be a little more organized and have more of an idea of a place to stay ahead of time.

Something else to consider......from our experience of looking for campgrounds, we found that in New Mexico and Texas, most of the campground offices closed by 1pm and did not answer the phones. But you could drive in and take a spot that was available. Again a lot of time spent to do it this way.

Reservation makes it more simple and easier to know where you will be for the night.
Wingin it you need to be flexable, and not worried about hopin from city to city to decide where you will be for the night.

Our joke, yet we were serious....was we could always rely on a Walmart.

Another note that I loved about Texas....All rest stops offer free wireless. And we did use the service to locate a campground. ( in 105 degree heat, in the shade at a table in the rest stop)

11-08-2007, 07:25 PM
I prefer to have the reservations also as I am new at this and don't want to be searching for a site when I get somewhere. When we came from Alaska, we always called ahead where we wanted to stay and made sure we had reservations. Although I am not going to the RGV this year, I have reservations in San Diego, Las Vegas, Apache Junction, Quartzsite and lastly Tucson, AZ. Two of these are mil famcamps that allow reservations, the others are not.

I guess: To reserve or not to reserve is another personal choice......

Happy trails......

11-09-2007, 07:04 AM
I have no doubt that you could find a site somewhere in the valley in February, but what site, in what park would be the if-y part. There are many nice parks, and some not so nice. I also would not want to travel all over the valley trying to find a place I liked. I would get a reservation for the nicest sounding park you can find, and go with that. You might try looking at the "Where we are staying thread" under the RVG for some ideas.

11-09-2007, 07:17 AM
I have looked at that - and will spend some time looking up the locations on websites. I may just try to get one of the nicer ones nailed down on a monthly basis, and just not arrive right away. If I lose a week or 10 days it is still as cheap as or cheaper than paying weekly at most parks. I never realized it would take so much time arranging an RV trip - what with the kitty and all the necessary stuff for her, the clothes for us, the necessities to live on the road, closing up the house, mail forwarding - wow! I am overwhelmed! Wouldn't be so bad but we both are still working until the end of the year.