NPS reservations

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memtiger

Active member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Posts
37
Location
Franklin, TN
You left out, in your last sentence...."and then destroying it, with trash and their inconsideration!"
Yes, very true statement. I have seen dogs on trails where pets are not allowed. Plus a lot of SP and some NP are in need of major repair with no funds to do the work so the excess use could cause things to break faster.
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,252
Location
Upstate NY
There are online articles about bots that snap up reservation dates as they become available. There are, also, many articles that deny their existence.

I'm very happy that you're so enamored with the existing system.

Perhaps you choose parks that others aren't interested in. Great.

As a test, here, just list a few major parks you've recently stayed in, after reserving sites on Reserve America. I'd like to try and reserve some sites to see if the process is as hassle free, now, as you wrote. My experience has been the opposite.

Here is an article that denies the existence of bots, while freely admitting that its company makes money by letting you know when sites are available:


Here's another interesting article:


I'm glad you are so happy with the existing system. I think it stinks, and I'm not alone.

Yikes! I wouldn't say I'm "so enamored" with the systems I use. Just pointing out-- politely hopefully-- that my experience differs from yours.

I'm sure there's all types of malefactors out there ranging from the types of bots you mentioned to RV travelers themselves who abuse the systems. Actually the few issues I've had with reservations were with the latter (but that's another topic altogether).

As for a list of major parks we've recently stayed, I'll copy/paste a partial list below from our log. Reservations for every single one was made online at sites like ReserveAmerica and various State, Federal, and Country Park reservation systems. Not a single problem with a even one. All transactions very smooth:

Alum Creek
Bayou Segnette
Bayou Segnette
Blanco
Blue Bluff
Brazos Bend
Brazos Bend
Cedar Hill
Cedars of Lebanon
Claytor Lake
Davis Bayou
Douglas Tailwater
Fairview-Riverside
Falcon Lake
Fred Gannon
Fuller State Park
General Coffee
Goliad
Goose Island
Gunter Hill
Lake Corpus Christie
Lake Lowndes
Lake Wood Recreation
LeFleur's Bluff
McKinney Falls
Meaher State
Mother Neff
Palmetto Island
Piney Grove
Shell Island
Skidaway Island
South Toledo
Stephen F. Austin
Sterling Lake
Three Rivers
 

SRGuy

Active member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Posts
27
Location
Austin, TX
Yikes! I wouldn't say I'm "so enamored" with the systems I use. Just pointing out-- politely hopefully-- that my experience differs from yours.

I'm sure there's all types of malefactors out there ranging from the types of bots you mentioned to RV travelers themselves who abuse the systems. Actually the few issues I've had with reservations were with the latter (but that's another topic altogether).

As for a list of major parks we've recently stayed, I'll copy/paste a partial list below from our log. Reservations for every single one was made online at sites like ReserveAmerica and various State, Federal, and Country Park reservation systems. Not a single problem with a even one. All transactions very smooth:

Alum Creek
Bayou Segnette
Bayou Segnette
Blanco
Blue Bluff
Brazos Bend
Brazos Bend
Cedar Hill
Cedars of Lebanon
Claytor Lake
Davis Bayou
Douglas Tailwater
Fairview-Riverside
Falcon Lake
Fred Gannon
Fuller State Park
General Coffee
Goliad
Goose Island
Gunter Hill
Lake Corpus Christie
Lake Lowndes
Lake Wood Recreation
LeFleur's Bluff
McKinney Falls
Meaher State
Mother Neff
Palmetto Island
Piney Grove
Shell Island
Skidaway Island
South Toledo
Stephen F. Austin
Sterling Lake
Three Rivers
BUZZ! I'm calling (censored) here: I live a few miles from Mckinney Falls. I try, on occasion, to get a site there for a quick one-night getaway. Everything is taken, or so the reservation site says. We drive out, half the damn park is empty! Total crap!
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,880
Location
Westminster, Colorado
BUZZ! I'm calling (censored) here: I live a few miles from Mckinney Falls. I try, on occasion, to get a site there for a quick one-night getaway. Everything is taken, or so the reservation site says. We drive out, half the damn park is empty! Total crap!
Some of those empty sites could be no-shows or last minute cancelations (likely not "half the park", though).
 

SRGuy

Active member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Posts
27
Location
Austin, TX
Some of those empty sites could be no-shows or last minute cancelations (likely not "half the park", though).
Yep. Thing is, the staff is very happy to tell folks that they have no sites left, when half the park is empty. Far less work for them to do. Extremely frustrating for us, though!
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,880
Location
Westminster, Colorado
Yep. Thing is, the staff is very happy to tell folks that they have no sites left, when half the park is empty. Far less work for them to do. Extremely frustrating for us, though!
Perhaps so, but generally the staff has to follow the rules of their park service, and they may not have roamed throughout a (often large) park to see what is empty. Office staff who answer the phones may not have all of the info that some rangers might from patrolling the parks, so internal communications (and money [pay] is involved, as well.

I agree that the empty spaces are a problem, but often that's the fault of dozens (maybe up to hundreds) of customers who reserve things they won't use just so they can make a last second decision and still have things available to them. And since the cancellation fee is maybe $10 they figure it's a cheap price to pay.

And in recent years the problems is exacerbated by (for example State Of Colorado) requiring reservations, no walk-ins or same day reservations in person, period. The office staff and rangers can't change that.

So their rules (set by bureaucrats) are often at fault, but the staff, as such, is so often NOT to blame -- it's the rules, and you're addressing that in another post.

In other words, "they have no sites left" available that they can help with.
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,252
Location
Upstate NY
BUZZ! I'm calling (censored) here: I live a few miles from Mckinney Falls. I try, on occasion, to get a site there for a quick one-night getaway. Everything is taken, or so the reservation site says. We drive out, half the damn park is empty! Total crap!
WOW. Such hostility!! I don't get it. Everything I've posted reflects my experience. To repeat, reservations at all the sites I posted previously, were made online with not a single issue. Not one. You can insult me with whatever expletive you want, nothing changes that reality.

Yep. Thing is, the staff is very happy to tell folks that they have no sites left, when half the park is empty. Far less work for them to do.

I'm doing my best to be polite here but if you truly believe this particular conspiracy theory, well, there's not a lot more I can say.

So you're saying that these bots gobble up all the sites, then they go unused? That's quite a business model. Yes, bots are a problem and probably a significant issue in some instances.

But that is surely not what you're seeing with the empty spaces you're talking about.
With very few exceptions I've found the staff at all these parks to be very competent. For the most part they take pride in their work and I make a point to compliment them for that work. Are there some exceptions? Of course, but I've encountered only a handful.

Go back and read what Larry N. posted. He nailed it. I too have seen numerous empty sites at parks when the system says no sites available. BUT, it's not the reservation system or the park personnel you're railing about-- it's the inconsiderate selfish campers!! THOSE are the facts.

Larry N. quote:

I agree that the empty spaces are a problem, but often that's the fault of dozens (maybe up to hundreds) of customers who reserve things they won't use just so they can make a last second decision and still have things available to them. And since the cancellation fee is maybe $10 they figure it's a cheap price to pay.

And in recent years the problems is exacerbated by (for example State Of Colorado) requiring reservations, no walk-ins or same day reservations in person, period. The office staff and rangers can't change that.

So their rules (set by bureaucrats) are often at fault, but the staff, as such, is so often NOT to blame -- it's the rules, and you're addressing that in another post.

In other words, "they have no sites left" available that they can help with
 

SRGuy

Active member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Posts
27
Location
Austin, TX
I didn't insult anybody. You misunderstood my post. Of course I understand that the big thing, these days, is to be so easily bruised by anything and everything one says/writes that even remotely disagrees with what someone may believe.

FWIW, you folks who are citing a $10 cancelation fee must be going to different parks than me. When you cancel a reservation within less than a certain specified time period, you lose the whole first night. If a camper is waiting until the last minute to cancel a reservation, due to weather, or whatever, he/she is losing around $40, or more. Several sites have it written that all reservations are nonrefundable.
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
6,097
Location
Scotland
I think it probably depends on the park or State and the rules.

We were in Thermopolis in 2018 and got a walk-in site out of town at the river. Most of the other sites had reservations on the posts from the next day for the weekend.

Over the weekend hardly any sites were occupied. We have seen a lot of empty sites in some parks but that was the most we had experienced.

Interestingly it looks as though Wyoming have changed their camping policy this year... scroll down to Refunds.

 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,252
Location
Upstate NY
I didn't insult anybody.
Ok, then I guess I misunderstood where you said in response to my post: "BUZZ! I'm calling (censored) here". My apologies.

You misunderstood my post. Of course I understand that the big thing, these days, is to be so easily bruised by anything and everything one says/writes that even remotely disagrees with what someone may believe.
I hope you're not implying that I am "easily bruised". Far from it I assure you. I didn't every realize it was the "big thing , these days"! Guess I'll have to take your word for that. :)

I simply and calmly related my experiences with respect to reserving a camp site.
 
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