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Old 04-20-2016, 12:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mrprez View Post
The $10 fee for making a reservation is outrageous. Somebody is raking in boatloads of cash. I am against reservations for campgrounds.
mrprez.... The Reserve America "Transaction Fee" for making the reservation in the Florida State Parks is $6.70. If you revise a reservation, the fee is $10.00. If you cancel a reservation there is a $17.75 fee. That beats losing 100% of your stay fee if you cancel a commercial campground reservation.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:13 PM   #16
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Ten dollars is a cheap assurance that a camping spot will be waiting for you at the end of the day's drive. Their system works well...have used it for years to reserve camp sites in CA and FL, never had a problem. $10 to me is well worth not having to worry whether I'll get a site or not, or having to rush to get there early. But to each their own. jon
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:58 PM   #17
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The $10 fee is applied whether or not you use the website.
If you reserve in person at the park office, they are just using ReserveAmerica.com or Recreation.gov to book the site for you and the price is exactly the same.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:58 PM   #18
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You assume that the fee is all profit. It costs quite a bit to maintain the reservation system, keeping it online and accurate in real time. It takes real people (system administrators and technicians) who expect to draw a paycheck. It requires servers and data lines that must be paid for. I don't know how much it costs, but the Army Corps of Engineers where I used to work paid about $8000 a month to maintain their website and Internet gateway and data lines. Just for the hardware, not for salaries. And it was a much less complex system than Reserve America's.

Sure, there's a profit in there, but it might only be $1 of the fee. No company is in business to lose money. But especially when I was working for a living, being able to make a reservation well in advance was worth the fee. The alternative would be to travel without reservations, only to discover that I made the trip for nothing and had nowhere to stay at my destination, and wasted my limited vacation time. Now that I'm retired, reservations are less important for casual travel. But still important for rallies. The Canopener Rally at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park fills up months in advance, and traveling to Florida without a reservation is a hopeless cause.

And anyway, last time I made a reservation through Reserve America, for Fontainebleu State Park in Louisiana, just a couple of weeks ago, the reservation fee was only $6, not $10.
Well stated. Reservations keep things in order and eliminates disagreements. It's also great to see photos of grounds and sites Governments use these systems to save money. That leads to finer park maintenance.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:02 PM   #19
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So many RVs so little campsites.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:49 PM   #20
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I refuse to pay regardless of price. Would you pay $6 for a hotel reservation? We've been on the road for 9 months and have made reservations twice. One was for a private RV park near Glacier NP and the other was for Canopener where you need to reserve a site early in order to get a good site.

The trend of reserving USFS campsites and letting concessionaires run federal campgrounds is not good. We rarely plan ahead of time and remain flexible avoiding most NP or very popular campgrounds.
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:32 PM   #21
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Lots of fees, but one anomaly I found you get to pay a cancellation fee if you use reserveamerica to cancel but if you call the cg directly they will change it to a no show and only charge for the first night which you would get charged by reserveamerica plus the fee. Maybe that helps explain some of why there are sites when they are booked as full, they also have a variable policy by cg of how many sites are available by the reservation system at reserveamerica.
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:39 PM   #22
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Reservations are helpful during busy times, but not necessarily needed other times. We stayed at a COE campground one night for $7, and had the park to ourselves. A few weeks ago we stayed at an Iowa SP overnight and, again, had the place to ourselves.

The reservation fee applies to the reservation, not per night, so when you make a reservation for 10 nights that $7 fee comes to only 70 cents per night.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 2dabeach View Post
mrprez.... The Reserve America "Transaction Fee" for making the reservation in the Florida State Parks is $6.70. If you revise a reservation, the fee is $10.00. If you cancel a reservation there is a $17.75 fee. That beats losing 100% of your stay fee if you cancel a commercial campground reservation.
We just had a completely different experience with one place through resrveamerics and another working directly with a private park when we were forced to cancel the last week of our trip due to a family emergency.

To cancel at reserveanerica would have cost more than to just pay and not stay. There doesn't appear to be a contact phone number, either. Even "big corporate" airlines, on the other hand, can be very understanding in the case of extreme family emergencies, and American, on a non-changeable ticket, compassionately recently rescheduled part of a trip and refunded the other part when we spoke to a sympathetic individual.

We had the same experience for this current trip with a private park, who gave us a full refund on our reserved stay and "hoped we'd come back"--which we certainly will.

So reserveamerica? Only if we are forced to.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:17 PM   #24
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I use reserveamerica a lot and I have never had a problem. I would not go with out a reservation. The only problem is some of the best parks are not on reserveamerica, if states have a busy park you have to reserve it through the state site.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:31 PM   #25
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Reserveamerica

We use Reserveamerica fairly often and feel comfortable that the campsite will be there for us. Unfortunately, we just had to cancel an outing due to the rains coming in Texas. We were afraid it would be raining (in a teardrop, no less) and we were right. It was a 12 inch rain, so glad we were able to recoup most of our fees.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:54 PM   #26
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Same two sides to the argument. If you see benefit, use it. If you don't like the fee structure, don't use it. Me, I'm going to add it to my resources.
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:11 PM   #27
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Um.... methinks there is a little irony in being able to afford an Airstream but balking at a reservation fee. No doubt hotels simply hide the cost of their own reservation costs in the room charge.

We often travel a long way to get to a campsite in popular National Parks, and these campgrounds do fill up, notably in the high season. We've had a few road trips with "no room at the Inn" and the experiences were not pleasant.

One other thing about a reservation is that, if you book early, you can often have your choice of sites.

We have cancelled a couple of National Park reservations, and you do lose your $10 if you do that, although the camping fee is fully refunded. We're OK with $10 buying some peace of mind.
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:18 PM   #28
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If you call Recreation.gov and speak to a human to make your reservation there is no extra fee. Just the cost of your site.

Both ReserveAmerica and Recreation.gov have no way to make reservations for more then one site for the same day. I am meeting 2 people from other areas of the country out east this Summer. We want to camp in adjoining sites. So I called to see how to do multiple sites and they were more then happy to do all three reservations a one time. I needed to have each campers info, but all was done in one call with no extra fees.
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