The Secret To Scoring Last Minute Camping Reservations

The Secret To Scoring Last Minute Camping Reservations

How Do You Find Last Minute Camping Reservations?

Finding a last minute camping reservation can be a problem. With campgrounds filled to the brim, you are likely better off planning your trip way ahead of the game. Sometimes, however, life just doesn’t work that way and you need somewhere to stay.

Check out these pro tips for finding and booking a last minute camping reservation.

Make phone calls

I know it seems counterintuitive to use your phone to make an actual phone call, but talking to someone could get you into that park you want. As I have been that person on the other end of the line, I know that there are often a few sites held back for a variety of reasons. Some parks save a few just for one or two-night stays, and some people cancel at the last minute as well. A phone call could mean it’s your lucky day.

If you find an opening, don’t hesitate to make the booking, as there are probably plenty of people behind you that would like that site as well.

Get on a waiting list

If you have a busy RV resort on your bucket list, you could get on a waiting list for a last minute reservation. As those who handle reservations know, we call from the top of the list, and some have already secured a reservation elsewhere, and others don’t answer the call. Most reserve from the wait list on a first called, first answered basis.

Show up early for first come, first served sites

Many parks have a small set of first come, first served sites. Check the park’s website to see if they list typical fill times so you know how early to arrive.

Be flexible in your timing

If you can, be flexible in your timing. Instead of arriving on the weekend, you might be able to arrive on a weekday and have a better chance of securing a site.

Be flexible in your location

If you can’t get into the park you want, you might try a location nearby. Sometimes other, lesser-known campgrounds have more openings or more flexibility and are still close to the sites that you want to see. Who knows, you might find yourself a new favorite campground.

Use campground availability checkers

Campground availability checkers like RVSpotDrop allow you to scan for sites at campgrounds and RV parks. You sign up and indicate your preferences; the checkers monitor openings, and you get an alert when the park you are interested in has a cancellation so you can get in and grab your site. You still book your site on the campground website.

campground full sign

For the more adventurous campers

Change your format

This might not be for everyone, but you could ditch the RV for a weekend and choose to tent camp. Tent camping sites are often more readily available. If you have a family, kids love this. These days, tents are super easy and quick to set up, and there are plenty of comfortable sleeping pads, air mattresses, or cots to satisfy mom and dad or even grandma and grandpa.


Avoid the reservations altogether and choose to boondock. Dry camping is all the rage these days, and with the right equipment, boondocking can be a lot of fun and very freeing. Camping on BLM land is free; you just need to find the right spot and enjoy your time away.

Get RV-safe directions

You don’t have to miss out on a great RV park or resort if you have a few simple solutions in your back pocket for getting a last minute reservation.

Flexibility is always key when you plan a last-minute trip. A little bit of tenacity, some research, and patience are needed. If you don’t get what you want, pivot and you might just have an adventure you can talk about for years to come.

For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.

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