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Old 04-19-2016, 09:09 PM   #1
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Reserving a Site via www.reserveamerica.com

I have been using www.reserveamerica.com for almost 3 years and need to tout it's brilliance and ease of use for finding a site.

This portal gives you access to make reservations at almost EVERY National & State park in the US & it couldn't be more simple.
Once you determine what area you'll be staying search for a park in that area. If one is not available in that particular area it will show what is closest.
Once you make your choice you will be asked the length of your RV or trailer and if you need water, electric etc. As you continue to add amenities it will pare down the choices. Many state and National parks don't have water hook ups or sewer but you can fill with water and have a dump station on the way out.
It shows you on a map where that site will be in the park then it will show you a photograph of the specific site.
If you register it will keep track of all your current and past reservations so if you liked a spot you can reserve it again in the future.

Most reservations need 24 hours notice so it is not always possible to use it when you're on the road and need a site reserved ASAP but if you're traveling mid-week or in the middle of nowhere or off season. We've just gone to several of the parks under these conditions and have always gotten a spot.
There are no membership fees for using the site.
Happy camping!
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:23 PM   #2
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I have been using www.reserveamerica.com for almost 3 years and need to tout it's brilliance and ease of use for finding a site.
I've used it as well.

Similar is Recreation.gov, which covers many Corps of Engineers campgrounds, as well as US Forest Service camping areas. It's strictly Federal, though— no State facilities.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:37 PM   #3
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I've used it as well.

Similar is Recreation.gov, which covers many Corps of Engineers campgrounds, as well as US Forest Service camping areas. It's strictly Federal, though— no State facilities.
I will keep this in mind as well! Thank you.
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:09 PM   #4
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I usually only make reservations for rallies that a preregistration is required. Most of times that seems to go thru ReserveAmerica or Recreation.gov. Both very efficient systems and easy to use.
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:05 PM   #5
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The $10 fee for making a reservation is outrageous. Somebody is raking in boatloads of cash. I am against reservations for campgrounds.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:24 AM   #6
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The $10 fee for making a reservation is outrageous. Somebody is raking in boatloads of cash. I am against reservations for campgrounds.
We are fairly new to this, but reservations seem to be the only way to get a spot at a FL state park from October-November through March. What I don't like is how some people apparently abuse the reservation window system.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:18 AM   #7
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The $10 fee for making a reservation is outrageous. Somebody is raking in boatloads of cash. I am against reservations for campgrounds.
I believe we still pay a fee to Reserve America even without a reservation, at a site that uses their system.

Yep. They are making a ton of money.


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Old 04-20-2016, 08:12 AM   #8
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The $10 fee for making a reservation is outrageous. Somebody is raking in boatloads of cash. I am against reservations for campgrounds.
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.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:18 AM   #9
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I realize that. I had six servers in my little business. But $10 for a reservation is ridiculous. The system is mostly automated requiring very little human intervention. Canopener is the only time we used a reservation system. Any other time, we arrive early in order to secure a spot. We stay out west and have no need or desire to go to FL.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:47 AM   #10
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I just completed a 2500 mile round trip to the Keys and back attending the Florida State Rally and a week long visit to Key West. The only reservations I had was for the rally and that was arranged by the organizers. On the way down I stayed at private campgrounds and the Navy dry camping in Key West, no reservations. On the way back up I stayed at two Florida State Parks, one private and two Military campgrounds, again no reservations. Officially all the state parks were full. Not once did I get turned away. Florida State Parks always seemed to have a few spots for walk-ins.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:14 AM   #11
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I reserved a site at Heaton Bay on Dillon Lake last June via Rec.gov. Despite it being a Forest Service campground the site is managed by California Land Management
"This facility is operated by White River Recreation, a division of California Land Management and your comments are appreciated; comment forms are available from campground hosts or on CLM's website."

I reserved site C39, water and electricity and there was a $9 reservation fee. California has got to get there cut from Colorado.

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Old 04-20-2016, 09:30 AM   #12
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Uh, Kelvin, CLM is a private company that manages outdoor recreation sites. State of California, if that's what you meant, has nothing to do with it. There are a number of companies, Delaware North comes to mind, that manage CG's for various local, state and federal agencies under contract. In addition to all of the previous comments about costs they also pay the agency that owns the property. Lots of hands in the till as it were.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:43 AM   #13
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Florida State Parks always seemed to have a few spots for walk-ins.
Maybe I'm just unlucky. Last time I tried to visit a Florida State Park without reservations, they were full up, and I ended up detouring all the way to Georgia before I found a place to stay the night before cutting my trip short and heading home the next day, determined never to go back to Florida without reservations. But admittedly that was before my smartphone and thus before I had the Allstays app to do the looking for me.

And that was also when I was working for a living and couldn't control my schedule; camping back then was: pick a destination, hurry there, relax, hurry home, go back to work. If the destination wasn't available after making the drive, the trip was ruined. It's different now that I'm retired. I can take my time getting to a destination, and if it's not available I can take the time to look elsewhere and still have a nice trip.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:15 AM   #14
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We are fairly new to this, but reservations seem to be the only way to get a spot at a FL state park from October-November through March. What I don't like is how some people apparently abuse the reservation window system.
My only complaint is that there are a couple of campgrounds that we really like that we can pretty much never get a waterfront campsite at because locals go out on Thursdays and grab the good spots or sit on the reservation system waiting for the reservation period to open for the next period and grab sites.

When I retire, I aim to beat them at their own game...oh, wait, that makes me part of the problem.

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