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RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

Salt Lake City, UT
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52 posts
15 reviews
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RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

Hi,

We're planning a trip to Alaska in early August. We've reserved an RV for the whole two weeks. My question is how necessary are reservations for RV parks and campgrounds? We will definitely make reservations for a campground in Denali. As far as the rest of the state goes, if we just show up, is there likely to be a space at a decent campground? Besides Denali, we're visiting Homer, Seward, and Fairbanks.

I checked out the Alaska state parks--many of them have campgrounds but no reservations.

Thanks for your help!

Mike

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,152 posts
38 reviews
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1. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

I have been pondering the same things Mike, as we'll do doing a similar trip as yours in 2010, although a bit later in the year (last week of August/first week of September for 17 total days).

I am planning to make reservations at the fishing place near Homer (Afishut.com) to avoid disappointment. Beyond that, since we know where we want to be and on what days/nights, to the extent possible, we are planning to reserve ahead.

We are using the RV of someone we know, rather than a rental and I think they will be a wealth of info. Perhaps your rental agency can give you some advice on this too.

Von

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3,796 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

I've been debating this also, and decided to make reservations only at Denali and Seward.

Denali because I didn't have reservations on my last trip so had to camp in Healy and wait a few days for a seat on the shuttle. The other reservation is Seward. It will be our first time in an RV so I wanted the first night to be at a good site with all the hookups while we get accustomed to the RV. After that we're taking our chances, primarily because I don't want to that tied to an itinerary. Not to say that I don't have places in mind.

The planning and research sure is fun!

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
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10,440 posts
166 reviews
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3. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

Part of our trip a couple of years ago was by RV and we only had reservations one place for the same reason you mentioned--flexibility! And also we were cheap!!lol, and didn't mind not having hookups sometimes. (It was a little noisy and not very scenic in the supermarket parking lot in Soldotna where we parked one night....but the price was right) I guess if you want a specific campground or a campground with hookups it would be better to have reservations, but we didn't have a problem finding a place to park for the night. I'm no expert since we've only done the one RV trip, but thought I'd let you know we did fine without reservations.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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39,853 posts
44 reviews
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4. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

Well, I do go camping in the summer on the Kenai peninsula (and the journey down there and back) and we never make reservations, BUT it is a good idea to be in your campground before the weekend (ie Friday afternoon), as that is when they fill up as local Alaskans go fishing, etc. There are a few spots that seem to always be full - like by the Russian River when salmon are running, but other areas only pack out during the weekend.

Always a good idea to have reservations for Denali. :)

NYC
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18 posts
9 reviews
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5. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

Sounds like we all agree. There is some happy medium between getting to stay where you want, and not being too tied down. We started in Denali with reservations, and had them for Seward, since we were a big group. We brought Mike and Terri Church's book on Alaskan Campgrounds, and did the rest of the reservations just a day ahead or not at all.

One note about the state campgrounds. Though the websites and phone banks may say they are full, they may not be full at all by our experience, specifically at Williwaw in late August, which we found to be a great campground.

Don't forget to look for trip reports for some more ideas.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3,796 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

Hi Hudsonny,

Yes, trip reports are a great resource! And yours is one of several that I saved; it was a fun read plus informative.

I'm still a tad nervous about the RV experience, but I assume those jitters will disappear after I run my first car off the road, and empty the waste tanks for the first time. haha. Seriously though, between trip reports, Milepost and TA, I feel pretty confident about this trip. We have a few must-do's and must-sees and they're well planned, but there will be new places that will capture us along the way, and I want to be able to stop and enjoy them too. If worse comes to worse the RV is self contained so we can stop along the road just about anywhere. And we'll take Coalminers advice about weekends.

carol

Cadiz, Kentucky
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1,473 posts
129 reviews
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7. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

As a previous poster did, we started in Denali where we had made reservations at TEK, and then were out on our own! I'd definitely do the same thing again! The city campground in Seward is FANTASTIC, and I'd definitely try to stay there if you don't plan it for a weekend. The only place we had an "almost problem" was in Valdez since it was a weekend, and all the locals were there for salmon fishing. But, even there we found a campsite. Russian River is also a very popular spot that you probably can't get in without reservations. Here's a link to our trip if you have time on your hands LOL! tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28923-i349-k14973…

USA
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9,465 posts
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8. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

Denali NP needs reservations & Russian River CG during the 1st & 2nd salmon runs. The rest of the places we wing it & never have had problems.

9. Re: RV Park/Campground reservations necessary?

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