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Old 05-02-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
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check-in early at CG?

Do most CGs allow you to check in a little early or have you been turned away? A local county ran CG has a 3 pm check-in time. I was hoping to check in early to allow me time to set up solo before picking up my kids from school.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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Most let you check-in early .... asking permission to check in early goes a long way

Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never been turned away early.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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It often depends on if someone else is in your site until 3pm. Sometimes we book the day before so we can come in early in the morning.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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We almost always arrive early. In WI, with state and most county CGs, there is no early check in charge. A few, very few, private CGs will charge for early check in. But even one's we've been to with policies that charge for early check in, have not charged us.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
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In Michigan you are supposed to vacate the site by 1pm and check in is 3pm. I try to arrive around noon and have never been turned away.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:00 PM   #6
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In Cali, if there is no one in your booked site at a private campground, they usually let you check in early. Some of the state parks or city/county parks are sticklers - they have a computer system that won't allow them to check you in sooner than 15 minutes early without paying for a full night.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:37 PM   #7
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I've had to wait at a couple that were full until the current occupant of my site left. If there are empty sites, some parks will let you in early, others won't. I've never been charged extra for early check-in. Each park varies, so it is best to ask in advance.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfarmall View Post
In Michigan you are supposed to vacate the site by 1pm and check in is 3pm. I try to arrive around noon and have never been turned away.
X2

If the site is vacant, USUALLY they will let you check in early with out hassle.

On a couple of occasions, I checked in to my reserved site and went to occupy my site only to find someone already on it. Both times the people on it refused to leave, so I had to go get the State Park ranger who kicked them off my site.

On one occasion, it was a case of they had the same numbered site but in a different area of the park.

On the other occasion they thought it was 'first come, first serve'. The ranger had to explain the difference between a state park and a state forest campground.

Its for those reasons I always reserve my sites thereby paying for it in advance.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:16 PM   #9
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It is a good idea to call the CG and make sure you do not arrive and have to pay.
Some do, most don't. It's a free country and I don't mind rules, just like to know ahead.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:55 PM   #10
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Sometimes we book the day before so we can come in early in the morning.
We will often book both the day before and day after if the cost night is reasonable enough so we can arrive when we want and leave when we want. There are a few county parks around here that $28/night so an extra $28-$56 to be able to maximize the arrival and depature days can be a good deal for us.
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