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Active Advantage via Reserve America - good discount?


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We are doing full time camping and just started looking at the Active Advantage program discount via Reserve America.  Are folks pretty happy with using that discount program?  does it pay for iself pretty quickly as a full time camper?  Are there any other Loyalty Points or Discount Passes ways to save via Reserve America?

https://www.reserveamerica.com/outdoors/ActiveAdvantage-GearUp-Deals.htm

 

 

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8 minutes ago, SWharton said:

Looks like a waste of money to me. We have never paid for a cg reservation, plenty of planning apps available. Never heard of Reserve America before. Don't see any benefit at all other to lighten your wallet.

Reserve America is the one web site for most state parks across every state in the USA.  Almost every USA state park uses it everywhere exclusively.  They charge a fee every time you make a reservation (which sucks) but you do get the spot you reserve. Very good for busy state campgrounds, as if you just show up to most state campgrounds on a summer (in season) weekend, they are 100% booked.

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I vaguely recall trying the site(maybe) many years ago and all it ever did was send me to recreation.gov(if I recall correctly) so I couldn't see any benefit to it. If I want a state park I just use the state reservation system, haven't encountered a problem yet.

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33 minutes ago, SWharton said:

I vaguely recall trying the site(maybe) many years ago and all it ever did was send me to recreation.gov(if I recall correctly) so I couldn't see any benefit to it. If I want a state park I just use the state reservation system, haven't encountered a problem yet.

I don't believe recreation.gov includes State Parks now. It states: 

Quote

Search the largest inventory of federal land in America

Many of the state park systems we have used do not have their own reservation system. When you click on make a reservation, you are taken to the Reserve America website.

Some states do have park passes that either cover entrance fees and/or give discounts on camping fees. You can often get the discount on camping fees when making the reservation on Reserve America. Here are some links to information on State Passes: State Park Passes, State Park Camping Passes 

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We mostly camp Federal lands and haven't found a state that we camp in that didn't have a system. I guess it is where you go.

Question on Reserve America. If I give them a range of dates for a cg and there is no space will they keep pinging the cg to see if a space shows up. That would be worthwhile to pay a fee for.

We have the TX state pass since it is free for residents. NM is the only other one we have looked into and will buy it when we decide to do NM in depth

 

 

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1 hour ago, offroad said:

Reserve America is the one web site for most state parks across every state in the USA.  Almost every USA state park uses it everywhere exclusively.  They charge a fee every time you make a reservation (which sucks) but you do get the spot you reserve.

Actually, they have some federal and state parks but not nearly all of them. I have a regular account with Recreation.Gov and it costs me nothing to use it. They have all COE parks and a host of other federal and state parks. I have been using them for quite a few years now. I had previously been to Reserve America but this is the first I have heard of this new "service?" As far as I can see, they do nothing that Recreation.gov won't do free. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
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Given that they also sell campground reservation software, it seems as though this may be an attempt to widen their reach.

I have been wrong before, I'll probably be wrong again. 

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Reserve America is free to use for state parks. Most state parks use it. Recreation.gov is a division of Reserve America that takes care of National Parks, etc. It is also free to use. They both charge for online reservations. Active Advantage is an additional program that gives you discounts on some things including camping. You pay a yearly fee to join Active Advatage, but you do not have to join Active Advantage to use Reserve America. Also some state park reservation systems use Reserve America but brand their own state on the site. 

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I have never been charged for a reservation using recreation.gov. I have been charged a change fee but that is fine.

I also think the recreation.gov is contracted by the govt. to support the federal reservation system. May be the same company that created Reserve America and they may have linked them together but are seperate contracts.

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Looks like I will need to make sure I use Recreation.GOV more often to make sure I save on any fees.  When we lived in SC it all went through RESERVE AMERICA for state park reservations; and the same was true when using it for Florida State Parks, so kind of got used to it. 

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2 hours ago, Bearaboo said:

Reserve America is free to use for state parks. Most state parks use it. Recreation.gov is a division of Reserve America that takes care of National Parks, etc. It is also free to use. They both charge for online reservations. Active Advantage is an additional program that gives you discounts on some things including camping. You pay a yearly fee to join Active Advatage, but you do not have to join Active Advantage to use Reserve America. Also some state park reservation systems use Reserve America but brand their own state on the site. 

I guess that you mean it is free to look at sites and see what is available?  But to actually make a reservation you're going to get charged a fee.

I made reservations at Louisiana and Pennsylvania state parks this spring as we traveled from Texas to Maine. The only way to make those reservations was through Reserve America, and we were charged a $6.00 "Reservation Fee" each time. 

 

Mark & Teri

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5 hours ago, Bearaboo said:

Reserve America is free to use for state parks. Most state parks use it. Recreation.gov is a division of Reserve America that takes care of National Parks, etc. It is also free to use. They both charge for online reservations.

Welcome to the Escapee forums! 

I find a lot of links to state government sites for their state parks. I tested 16 of those with 15 leading to a state site that takes reservations and FL that does refer you to Reserve America. I stopped looking at that point as I was only trying to get some feel for what we may need to start doing as I have always gone to the specific state's pages as a first choice. ND is an interesting one as they give you phone numbers to call the park you wish to reserve a site in. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

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1 hour ago, Kirk Wood said:

I tested 16 of those with 15 leading to a state site that takes reservations and FL that does refer you to Reserve America.

It may not be all that obvious that the reservation system is actually run by Reserve America. For example, If you go to the Ohio, Mississippi or Delaware State Park websites and start through the reservation process; there is no mention that I can see of Reserve America. However, if I log into my Reserve America account, I see the OH, MS and DE reservations in addition to those in other states. If I login at some state sites using my Reserve America information, it only shows the reservations for that state. Another example is NM. The reservation page does not at first glance look like Reserve America. However, in the text it says:

Quote

NM State Parks offers additional FIRST COME /FIRST SERVE camping sites in conjunction with the inventory on Reserve America.

I suspect that a clue to what states are using Reserve America can be found in whether the site says:

Quote

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The state parks I visited most recently that use RA for reservations are FL, GA, SC, and NY. All charge a reservation fee. When a friend was opening a new RV park, he looked into using RA. The information he was given included a menu of fees for various services such as booking sites, changes, and cancellations. Part of the account setup would have allowed him to set how much of those fees were passed on to the customers. A few years ago for instance, FL state park reservations did not include a reservation fee. Rather than raise their rates, they changed their RA account  to pass a portion of the fees on to the customers. Below are screen shots of FL SP reservations made in 2014 and 2018. Note the difference in the reservation fee:

 

 

Dutch
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45 minutes ago, Bearaboo said:

Here is a link to all the places Reserve America does business with. 

https://www.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDirectory.do

I noticed that South Carolina state parks were no longer listed. It looks like SC is using their own system now.

Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F-53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/brake system

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/4/2018 at 10:56 AM, Dutch_12078 said:

I noticed that South Carolina state parks were no longer listed. It looks like SC is using their own system now.

also noticed that too Dutch.  Portent of a change for each state as they separate themselves from this original system that charges too much for each reservation fee? 

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2 hours ago, offroad said:

also noticed that too Dutch.  Portent of a change for each state as they separate themselves from this original system that charges too much for each reservation fee? 

I doubt it. The fees the RA deducts from the reservation charges are pretty much the same for all the parks in a given category. The fee amounts that are passed on to us are set by the individual park systems. 

Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F-53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/brake system

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