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Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

Ventura, California
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86 posts
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Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

Hi,

I read that the booking window for Housekeeping Camp begins 365/366 days prior to the date you wish to book. Is the "ordeal" similar to booking campsites? Specifically, a mad dash at whatever moment DNC opens, with every site vanishing within 2 minutes. I am hoping to book for a larger group and may require 3 sites for the same dates in July. This would be impossible with the campground reservation system, so I am putting my hopes on Housekeeping Camp. Any info would be appreciated, as always.

Thanks!

Santa Clara...
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1. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

It depends. We have gotten 2-3 sites in the same loop in the valley during the summer. But it does take some persistence. Any time during the summer is going to be busy. The difference with Housekeeping vs the campsites is that you can cancel the Housekeeping sites without any cancellation fees up to 7 days. If you cancel the campsites for any reasons, you are out $10 per site. If you find 3 Housekeeping site that works for you, snatch them. Then if you find 3 Pines sites that works, cancel the Housekeeping. For me personally, I much prefer to sleep in my truck camper or tent than the Housekeeping bunks. But I know folks who LOVE them and stay there yearly.

Edited: 21 May 2013, 16:27
LA
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2. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

I would say that Housekeeping Camp is not as popular as other places so you don't have to get overwrought about it. But if you really have a specific date, then be on the computer at 7 am for that/those days.

And buy the Travel Insurance, especially for a bigger transaction like this.

However, anything that involved July 4th holiday week/weekend is possibly going to be a feeding frenzy.

Santa Clara...
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3. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

Oh my.. sorry for all the typos. I haven't had my coffee yet...

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

When I booked Housekeeping Camp several years ago, they had a $10 handling fee instead of a cancellation fee. But because the handling fee is non-refundable so that works exactly the same way as a change or canceling fee. It looks like the same policy is still in place: yosemitepark.com/reservation-policies.aspx

So Cal
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74 reviews
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5. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

You don't pick a specific site online for HKC, you just reserve a unit. Perhaps you can request a specific site by phone - I haven't tried. I do know that river units must be requested by phone (but even then, I would still book online, then call in and see if river is available). When I booked four sites for my extended family, I did it online and just requested adjacent units. That worked out perfectly. You have to reserve them separately, though, which can be a bit of a pain.

HKC is popular enough that I would book it early, just to be safe. I think we booked about 10 months or so in advance of a May trip (and river units were sold out already). For my last-minute trip next month, I tried booking in April (sold out) and kept calling, piecing together the nights I wanted. I don't think I could have got more than one unit.

I wouldn't worry about travel insurance for this - the cancelation policy is very generous. (Al is correct about the $10 handling fee.)

Santa Clara...
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20,112 posts
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6. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

Thanks for the correction about the $10 fee. I haven't cancelled with DNC before after booking but have done so plenty of times with Reserve America. Even still, $10 per booking is still reasonable.

OP - is your family's preference for a campground or for HKC?

Ventura, California
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86 posts
10 reviews
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7. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

Thanks for all of the responses. I spent some time looking at Trip Advisor ratings of Housekeeping Camp and they were mixed. Apparently, half of the people expected something more like a cabin. We are avid tent campers and are only looking into booking Housekeeping Camp because (I am assuming) it is less competitive than trying to get campsites for three families in July. We would prefer campsites, but know the best we could probably do is get them for the same dates if we are persistent and piece them together slowly. Also, we would love to have 3 campsites together (otherwise 14 people crowd into one site for meals and playtime during the day/evening). However, I think that this is a pipe dream that is better suited for Sequoia/Kings. The only reason we are considering Housekeeping Camp is because of the ability to "easily" book 3 separate sites next to each other without playing musical sites to accomplish it. The proximity to the river and the views of the riverside units are very intriguing, but it seems like even that is a crapshoot and specific sites won't be guaranteed until arrival.

On a side note, I would like to get on board the "I am dissatisfied with DNC" train. They should be doing a much better job. Some of the photos and descriptions that I read in the reviews are disappointing to say the least.

Thanks again for all of your input, I suppose I will find out when the time comes!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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8. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

If it were my trip, I'd ask the other two families to get several computers going on the date for campsite reservations and then try to find 3 together. With 6 or 9 computers, you might get lucky and get some adjacent sites.

But making "lodging" reservations a year in advance at Housekeeping Camp is a good plan.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

I love HKC because you get a nice combo between camping and curry village tents. First.. Electricity!! That means toasters, coffee makers, phone chargers, power tools, etc. Second.. A private fire ring for fires and smores. Something you cannot get in Curry Village or the Lodge. Third, bunk beds!! What kid does not love bunk beds when camping? Fourth; bring you own sleeping bag like in camping. Fifth; 3 real walls is much better than tent camping or CV Sixth: You are allowed 6 just like camping. That means 2 in your group gets to sleep on the floor-- just like camping. Seventh: Smores. Eighth: And more Smores!!!

Anyway, if you do not end up with a tent site, HKC is a much better alternative than CV.

So Cal
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74 reviews
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10. Re: Booking Housekeeping Camp a year in advance.

Er, they do frown on appliances - toasters etc. And you'd have to lock up anything food-related when you're not using it. (My confirmation email specifically prohibits "refrigerators and other electric appliances"; not sure if they've gotten fed up with the scavenging critters or the blown electrical fuses.) But you can still cook on camp stoves, boil water etc.

Re the views: I wouldn't worry about it. The units we had last time were, objectively, in the worst possible spot - next to the restrooms, up against the main road. We started calling out "car!", "bus!", "trash truck!" when anything drove by and by the first morning it was just a game. Restroom access turned out to be a good thing, and the kids ran around and rode bikes in the open space next to the road. Wherever you end up, you can make it work.