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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Free-wheel or plan everything: What’s your method?

On the road, do you plan everything, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

We tend to be a little more on the free-wheeling side of things.

Reader Bill Codd recently asked this question: “I was wondering if you free-wheel on the road as far as campsites or parks, or do you usually try to make a reservation beforehand. What RV camp app do you like?”

For most of our eight-month trip around the United States, we didn’t plan more than a few days in advance. We did try to secure reservations if we knew where we wanted to be, but many times we just showed up and hoped for the best.

This came back to bite us when we were in some popular locations, such as the Gulf Coast during spring break, where we found only limited options after everything else was booked.

We do use one app, Park Advisor, that works fairly well at showing what’s out there. In one memorable case, it led us to Cypress Lake RV Resort in Berwick, La., a really nice place with great facilities. 

Park Advisor offers a map view of campgrounds at resorts, state and national parks. Click on the icon and you’ll see a description, along with contact information and reader reviews. One caveat: You can't always trust the accuracy of what readers say about the locations.

What online tools do you use to book a stay? Let us know at and we’ll pass along your suggestions.

John Nelson is a freelance writer.