Author Topic: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements  (Read 4237 times)

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Offline tlmason

Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« on: February 06, 2015, 08:03:57 pm »
My wife and I are planning a tour and we're running into minimum stay requirements at some campgrounds. What has your experience been dealing with them? Do you find that most people are flexible when it comes to folks who are just passing through and need a place for the night? Do you have any tips and/or tricks for reserving for less than the minimum stay?

Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

Offline dombrosk

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 08:43:01 am »
I've often found that campgrounds have more flexible rules for bicycle tourists.  I stayed in some RV oriented sites that do not allow car campers, but DO welcome bicycle tourists.  Before giving up hope I'd politely ask about exceptions for bicyclists.

And for what it's worth, I usually write out the entire word bicycle, because some folks will take the word 'bike' to mean motorcycle.

Happy trails!

Offline DaveB

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 08:44:09 am »
Are you just bike touring or are you bringing a SAG vehicle and just doing day rides?  Many commercial campgrounds, particularly in desirable areas,  are aimed at motorhome/travel trailer "campers" that remain for an entire season so if you are bringing a motorhome or similar vehicle, they may indeed require a minimum stay. 

State Park, National Park and most local campgrounds don't have that requirement and particularly don't have it for tent campers.  There are national chains like KOA that also allow one night stays.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 10:06:26 am »
My wife and I are planning a tour and we're running into minimum stay requirements at some campgrounds. What has your experience been dealing with them? Do you find that most people are flexible when it comes to folks who are just passing through and need a place for the night? Do you have any tips and/or tricks for reserving for less than the minimum stay?

I guess it must depend on the locale and the type of places you stay, but I have never been told I had to stay a minimum stay.  I usually stay in places like town parks and so on, but do stop at the occasional campground.  What part of the country are you touring in? Most of the places I have toured are either usually fairly easy to camp for free or have hiker biker sites.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 05:06:12 pm »
I've stayed in hundreds of campgrounds while bicycle touring, and I've never encountered a minimum stay requirement. I'd say you're looking in the wrong places.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 07:24:21 pm »
I'd say you're looking in the wrong places.
Or at least way different places than where I typically tour.  I am curious where that is a problem and at what kind of campgrounds.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 07:02:18 am »
I got curious about this and did a google search.  I found that there were more places with minimum stay requirements than I would have thought.  It looks like many are for holiday weekends only and others are for weekends only.  Maybe you can just avoid that type of campground on the weekends.  Probably worst case, but I guess you could pay for the minimum stay and leave early.

On most long tours, it shouldn't be too hard to just plan around staying in those places on the weekends.  I know that I have toured across the country a couple times and done some other long tours and never once run into that problem.  I guess that especially for weekend tours in a specific locale the choices might be more limited.

Offline tlmason

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 09:58:26 am »
Thanks, everyone, for your feedback! We're heading up to the Adirondack and Green Mountain loops. The campgrounds are sparse and the ones that we've found that fit in with our daily mileage have some minimum stay requirements. The tip about just mentioning "bikes" and not "bicycles" is helpful. We're in the early phases of planning and most campgrounds are closed for the season still, so we'll have to just wait to call once tour time approaches.

Again, thanks for all the insight!

Offline indyfabz

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 02:49:35 pm »
Thanks, everyone, for your feedback! We're heading up to the Adirondack and Green Mountain loops.

As an aside, if you are on that part of the GM loop, I recommend Brighton State Park outside of Island Pond, VT. There are groceries and at least one place to eat in Island Pond. Stayed there during ACA's Green Mountains Loop tour in 2010. Lake Carmi was also decent, but there was not much around. IIRC, you would have to go off route a bit to Enosburg Falls to get food, etc.

Offline tlmason

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2015, 03:15:06 pm »
Thanks, everyone, for your feedback! We're heading up to the Adirondack and Green Mountain loops.

As an aside, if you are on that part of the GM loop, I recommend Brighton State Park outside of Island Pond, VT. There are groceries and at least one place to eat in Island Pond. Stayed there during ACA's Green Mountains Loop tour in 2010. Lake Carmi was also decent, but there was not much around. IIRC, you would have to go off route a bit to Enosburg Falls to get food, etc.

Thanks for the beta! Because of food allergies, we have to bring what we eat. It's difficult for us to find food at most grocery stores (most of our food gets ordered online). So we typically end up touring heavy to start, and getting much, much lighter as the trip progresses.

I think Brighton is going to be one of our stops, definitely. Looking forward to this trip. Our last trip was from Jacksonville, FL to Key West and back to Miami, so touring in the less-populated mountains will be a nice change!

Offline BobG

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2015, 03:43:54 pm »
Vermont State Parks do have minimum stays but fortunately they do not apply to bike travellers. From their brochure.......

Minimum Reservation Periods
 
All parks have minimum reservation periods.  If you are making your reservation prior to March 1st of the current camping season, the minimum reservation period is 4 nights at most parks. If you are making your reservation after 9:00 am, March 1st, (or 9:00 am the first business day following March 1st if March 1st falls on a weekend) the minimum number of nights drops down to two nights.

A complete listing of minimum reservation nights can be found on our fee schedule.
 
Bicyclists and paddlers who are arriving at the park under their own power may make 1-night reservations, through the park or the reservation call center.

Offline tlmason

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2015, 03:46:58 pm »
Bicyclists and paddlers who are arriving at the park under their own power may make 1-night reservations, through the park or the reservation call center.[/i]

That's good to know. I can't remember which state we were looking at, or what campground it was for, but the website made it seem like it was 2-nights minimum regardless.

Offline jcostanz

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 01:22:36 pm »
Usually the Minimum stays are only for reservations, typically with Reserve America(used by most north east states for reservations).  Usually if you show up and there is room you will only pay for 1 night.  I have reserved for 2 days and left after the first day with no problems except for paying for both days.  Vermont requires that you call to make the reservation for 1 night and you must tell them you are doing a bicycle tour, the online reservation system didn't allow for 1 night reservation.

Jeff

Offline pptouring

Re: Question About Minimum Stay Requirements
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2015, 11:58:51 pm »
I've often found that campgrounds have more flexible rules for bicycle tourists.  I stayed in some RV oriented sites that do not allow car campers, but DO welcome bicycle tourists. 



I wish we could say the same thing; however, our experience so far crossing through Arizona and New Mexico has been anything but RV friendly places and the couple private campgrounds that will allow tenters are asking stupid prices ($30 to $60) to pitch a tent. If you're not afraid to camp out in the desert it's free, quiet, and very beautiful.