Hidden Valley RV Park

To “Lock” or “Not To Lock” Your RV Site

Shopping for the perfect campsite 

Remember back in the day, when you reserved a site, you could ask for your favorite site and if was still available you could have that site saved for you?  Families would reserve the same sites each summer for their vacations.  There wasn’t any extra fee for this guarantee.

Fast forward to 2023, this practice still exists at some campgrounds but at many, you reserve a site type (pull thru, back in, 50 Amp, etc.) and get put where the park puts you.  Unless, of course you put in a site lock fee.  What IS a lock fee and why does locking a site have an extra fee?

Site Lock Fees

Ever drive around a sold out campground and wonder how a 14 foot pop up ended up on a 110 foot site?  Here’s how that happens. The guest booked that site online. They picked that specific site and locked it. Now its important to note that some campgrounds will not let you pick what site you want. You may not even know, or care. In the past, other campgrounds like Hidden Valley RV Park let you select the exact site you wanted when booking. However that sometimes hurts the campground, how?

Imagine this sequence of events:

July 4th weekend and Hidden Valley is almost sold out.  The only sites left are a 100′ and a 30′ site.  A family with a pop up goes online and books the 100′ site. Now a guest calls looking for a site for his

40’diesel pusher for the same days. The only site we have left is the small 30′ site the pop up should be sitting on. We turn away the larger camper because we have no site to fit his class A.  

Back in the days before site locking, we would just have moved the pop up to the 30′ site and use the large one for the motor home.  If we have the option to lock your site and the pop up guest has used that option, we cannot move him and we would lose the 40′ guest and have an empty 30′ site. Hence, to compensate for the campgrounds loss, if they provide the lock site option they need to charge a fee to make up for the loss it sometimes causes and the inconvenience of not having the most appropriate site for each RV size and type ay their discretion.  Campgrounds also use reservation software that automates this lock site choice if the guest desires so that when a guest locks a site, the automated system knows it can not move or relocate the camper off the site they rented. By locking the site, the campground also knows it can not move or relocate that reservation.

So due to the challenge of not being able to move an RV from one site to another to make room for an RV of different dimensions, RV parks and their reservation software have a fee for locking in a particular site to offset any resulting loss.  That fee differs from park to park depending on the issues it causes to arise.

So, to clarify, although locking a site is not a necessity, you WILL want to make sure you lock the site if you want a specific site, Otherwise the system sees you are not locked and may move you to another site appropriate for your size RV.  It’s important to note this does not affect the fact that you have a reservation – you are guaranteed a site with the same price and amenities, just not the exact one you may have selected, unless you lock it.  Also keep in mind, if you’ve not stayed at a particular park before, sometimes the park’s site map may not be a good indicator of a site type.  When you reserve online, you generally have a pretty good description of what’s included on the site type you may choose.  Sometimes reading the site captions is the only guide you have of what a site offers, shade, concrete patio, nearness to the bath house, etc. 

So, whether you lock your site or not, we always guarantee your comfort and enjoyment while you are with us. Hope to see y’all soon!