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Old 05-01-2008, 07:45 PM   #15
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Ashland , Missouri
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We've been getting Field and Stream also--without ever subscribing, to our knowledge. We've wondered...is it through RA? Good grief. You're right. We should just drop it off at a local office for waiting room reading material. I'd forego the magazine if through RA I could get a site in Florida on the water in winter without spending weeks calling at 6:57 am---always to no avail. This system does us no good. I look back fondly at the days when we could pull into a park and have a chance at a campsite. Sigh. ~G
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:14 PM   #16
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I use Reserve America for a Corp of Engineer campground at Cheatham Dam Lock A, Ashland City, TN. at least once each year. A change last year in their website took a little getting use to but I finally learned how to work it.

I sure am glad that Tennessee State Parks don't use the system.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:21 PM   #17
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I've gotten several women's magazine subscriptions this way, to my chagrin, and Marie's (and seemingly everyone else's that I tell) glee. Usually I get Prevention magazine, from Reserve USA, but when we reserved a site at the end of this month with Reserve America, I got enrolled in their Backpacking America (or whatever it's called) magazine.
The idea of me trying to backpack is pretty funny--I guess I can use the backpack to carry my cane. Now if I got healthy recipes magazine subscriptions, I'd be all over them, and probably reserve campsites just for the mags...
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:46 PM   #18
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We have always used Reserve America online and it works okay. Nice to have site maps.

According to several rangers we talked to, up until this month there was a way to "game" the system for Florida State Parks. The result was that the same cadre of snowbirds were locking up every site in the 4 state parks located in the Keys all winter long. We only found out after complaining about not being able to ever get in during the winter.

Apparently there were enough complaints that they put in a fix last month so maybe will have better luck this year.

They also just started holding about a dozen sites at Bahia Honda State Park (in Marathon) as "walk-up" only. That should work out great for folks who head down the Keys on the spur of the moment.

I have to say that even with the fees and the cancellation penalties, it's nice to be able to type in a location and get everything nearby -- save a lot of cell minutes.

mike
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:52 PM   #19
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I've no problems with reserve america at all.
Here in california to use the state parks you gotta use them or take a chance at just driving somewhere and getting lucky.I've already got at least 20 days reserved at high demand state parks. I never speak with anyone- do everything on line, kinda getting used to it. out here in order to get nice places you need to be on line 7 months in advance.Redwoods, pacific ocean beaches, deserts, Lake Tahoe, it's all good.
I myself do not think $7.50 is all that much. the cost of doing business!
I have more of a problem with park rangers than RA. lol
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:27 AM   #20
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1989 25' Excella
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We use RA for State Parks, NF Land, and others, all around New England and beyond. If anything, I find it to be very convenient. I like knowing we have a site waiting for us if we pull into NF Land at 9:00 on a Friday night after a 4 hour drive.
Have never had one single problem. We have even cancelled on the day of (got lucky and found a better site right on the pond) and received a refund (-$10 fee) for the balance within a week.
RI State parks went on RA starting this year. Without it you could not get in to the popular areas without driving down early in the week, paying for the entire week, and leaving your camper there. Big hassle. I find RA to be a blessing!
Free mags? I never got any…send the Backpacking rag to me….

Bill
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:51 AM   #21
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Reservations

There must be some kind of system for getting the good sites in Florida, Are there any tips anyone has ?
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:45 AM   #22
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If you want a site in any of the more popular parks handled by Reserve America you have to book 11 months in advance. Site come on line 11 months to the day from the check in date and most GOOD SITES will be booked almost immediately.

I got up and was on line at 8am EST the day one site in Oscar Shear was to come on line. I got it and went back to bed.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:24 PM   #23
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I use them for WI State Parks. No real issues, its kinda nicing searching for a spot 1 week before you want to camp and picking up a nice site cancellation.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:30 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
If you want a site in any of the more popular parks handled by Reserve America you have to book 11 months in advance. Site come on line 11 months to the day from the check in date and most GOOD SITES will be booked almost immediately.

I got up and was on line at 8am EST the day one site in Oscar Shear was to come on line. I got it and went back to bed.
not that I recomend it...but if you really want a spot

most parks you can reserve a site for multiple weeks after that 11 month date , so in essence you could reserve it 11 1/2 months out, then wait a few months and cancel the days you don't want
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:12 PM   #25
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I picked up someones cancelation for this Saturday thru Thursday at Bahia Honda SP, We will head out early in the morning,Rode thru there last year, it Looks awesome !!!! around 30 bucks a night , very hard to beat for the Keys, sounds like a good trip report when we return (my first trip report)
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #26
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$9.00 too much?


We have been camping at Poplar Point in the Adirondacks for 30yrs.

It was always a pain to reserve a site before RA. Sometimes it took more than a few phone calls to get thru to the Ranger when he wasn't out Rangering.
Although we are very familar with the three DEC Campgrounds on Piseco Lake, it was hard too remember just which sites we could fit on after moving up from tenting.



$9.00 works for us.

Your State DMV may be the one responsible for sharing your info and those unwanted subscriptions. It happens in NYS.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:26 PM   #27
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This sure clears up a lot of stuff for me and my wife. We have been receiving several different magazines and had no idea who subscibed to them. We took a trip to the Great Northwest in August 2007 and all (and I mean all) of our reservations were made through RA. Now I know "The rest of the story".
I don't mind RA because several states use them for placing reservations. State of Colorado uses them along with National Forest Park System. We use them at least twice a year.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:50 PM   #28
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Now I know why we have been getting Prevention.

It seems to me that once you set up the computer system, that part runs itself and then the fees are mostly profit. I think they are $6 in Colorado for SP's. Combined with the camping fee and the entry fee, it's not very competitive with private campgrounds so far as fees go. Private ones have amenities public campgrounds often do not, though it varies a lot. The public ones are often in a nicer setting, so it depends what you want. Privatizing the reservations system means higher prices.

I like to be able to find information on the internet about the availability and location, but have found that in the winter months RA shows everything reserved though reservations are not accepted. That has been true here in Colorado and I understand also in Cal. In the summer, the website has useful information.

I see that popular places are always reserved unless I reserve them long before I even thought of going there. What happens, I think, is that people that live within a few hundred miles are the ones who get the spots while those of us traveling long distances who make plans a few months ahead don't have much of a chance. When I've tried to use the online systems on the road, it's pretty hopeless the day before. What this means is there aren't enough public campgrounds. Here in western Colorado the FS has been closing campgrounds, not opening new ones.

What I've learned is that attempting to reserve a day or a week before is usually a waste of time. If it's off season or a less popular place, just going there and not reserving makes sense. If I have wifi somewhere beforehand, I may check to see if there are empty spaces at a park, then go there and get a space at the park and avoid the fee. If they have no more spaces, go somewhere else. If the park seems close to full and is a few miles off the highway, we may just go on down the road.

So I don't find the reservation system does much for us (except tell us how popular a campground is) unless we know long in advance what we want—I don't like making reservations months ahead of time for anything. Some destinations leave no choice. But I don't like being tied down to specific dates, especially when I'm traveling long distances and may not be there on the appointed date. What reservation systems do cause is that spontaneity is lost and out of state travelers have less chance at public campgrounds.

I've never tried to call RA. I prefer to avoid the phone because I assume service is poor—"your call is important to us…".

Gene
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