When you RV full-time, weekends are sometimes a problem. It's easy to find availability Sunday through Thursday, but Friday and Saturday are difficult. What's worse though? Holidays. Memorial Day weekend, for example, was booked solid, no matter where we called. Here are a few strategies for dealing with holidays when you don't have reservations.
Get on a waiting list.
It makes sense to get on a waiting list for spots that may become available, but it's not obvious. Be sure to ask if you can get on a waiting list if you have a heading.
Check Free Camping (Boondocking)
The interesting thing about free camping is that it's often available when the RV Parks aren't. Use Campendium to check the area you're heading for free camping to see if it's possible. You can always tough it and boondock on a holiday if you need a place to stay.
There are other alternatives that are sometimes not top-of-mind during the busy season. Here are a few you may not have thought of:
If you've been around the RV world for long, you know of Harvest Host. If you still don't have it, you should get it. Harvest Host is an incredible resource that we use when we're breaking up our long trips, or when we just want a unique experience over the weekend. It's not “free” like free camping because it's assumed you will patronize the business that hosts you, but that's ok by me. I'd rather pay someone 30 bucks for a tasting and bottle of wine than pay an RV park too setup for the night.
Boondockers Welcome (paid service)
Boondockers Welcome is a service where folks list their properties for others to stay at for free. Sometimes it's someones home, other times it's a farm, or even a restaurant parking lot. This is an option if you're good with boondocking.
This one is a little harder to come by, but you can often camp at state fairgrounds for a small fee, and if they're nearby, it might be a good option for a stay on a busy weekend.
Use ReserveAmerica to find other available campgrounds
You might already know this, but if you use Reserve America, you can find campgrounds nearby with suitable availability if the one you're searching isn't available. We've used this method to find campgrounds that are near our route, even if not on it.
That's all I've got. If you can think of other tips, email firstname.lastname@example.org. and I'll add them here!