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Vegas and surrounds for a week in Oct

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So my wife and I both happen to have a week of vacation we need to burn off in October. We were thinking of hitting Vegas and some nature areas around, like the Canyon and Zion.

I was thinking 3 nights in Vegas and 4 nights traveling around, particularly to the Grand Canyon.

The thing I'm having the toughest time is figuring out where to sleep. In the second week of October the Canyon inns all seem to be totally booked already, and even Holiday Inn in Flagstaff want $200/night. I was thinking we could either rent a small 2-person camper (we did that for three weeks around Australia and it was great), but most seem like ripoffs. Car camping would be an option too -I found a gesture place that rents gear (we'd probably take our small subzero sleeping bags but rent the rest), but Im having a tough time figuring out where we'd camp. If the hotels are any measure the Canyon National Park campgrounds will be totally full, and I don't know where else would be good to camp. Plus we'd like to travel around a bit and see a few things.

Anyone put together a similar itinerary that worked for them? We're pretty flexible, and just want to have a good time. And have any comments about the sleeping situation?

Thanks!

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