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Someone must know a secret.


solo318
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How in the world do you successfully get reservations from Reserve America? I'm trying to book for next year and even if I log on at 1201 AM 11months out (the supposed "booking window") all of the campsites are reserved. What am I missing? Do I have to do the "I'm a little teapot" dance? How in the world are people getting reservations that far in advance? I'm even a Florida resident!

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Sometimes my add-blockers give me fits on some websites, one is Privacy Badger that "learns" as it runs and can be irritating.  Try disabling your add-blockers.

EDIT: My state has a 6-month- in-advance window, further out shows as full.

Edited by Ray,IN
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If you are trying for a FL state park, I believe the booking opens at 8am not midnight.  And you have to hit the final ENter as their clock hits 8.  Are you checking the night before to find out which sites are not already boogked (by folks who are arriving on an earlier date but staying longer)?  Even with that I know there were times and certain high demand parks that my "click" was just not as fast as someone else's "click".  Good luck

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As said, the high demand parks can be really tough to get into during peak seasons. Two tips that have worked for me fairly often are one, as "Cats" mentioned, be ready to hit "Enter" exactly when that clock ticks 8:00 am. And two, if you don't hit on anything at 8, try again at 8:15. Some people have several computers lined up ready to go, sometimes manned by family and friends, hoping to hit on at least one of them. If they hit on more than one, then the ones they don't want are released back into the available pool after 15 minutes. I've gotten sites several times on the second chance try. You may not get the exact site you want, but if you're not too set on it, you may get lucky with another site. I finished our next winter southern GA state park reservations when their 13 month windows opened, and just finished our FL state park reservations last week. The only dates I still have to fill in are the national parks with 6 month windows. Fingers crossed on those, since it's not easy to fill in that late if I luck out on the preferred parks.

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I don't know what reserveamerica covers these days. The US Forest Svc I think used to use that but now use recreation.gov. And I believe most other federal campgrounds do too now.  That being said, I know the forest I am volunteering on has some reservation sites but have suspended reserving them for some time now. In some cases they just went 1st come 1st served so it is pot luck. A lot of sites were not open at all for the last year.  Just this week I heard that is in the process of changing in the near future but am not sure exactly when or even if it is true.  I do believe it will happen in my best guess.  I know we have had some people calling to try and reserve some as it has not been letting people reserve them on line and we can  not reserve or rent them at all as of the last week. Who knows what the next few weeks will bring. Also even in a normal season some of ours are only rentable  after the main season starts usually around May 1st or 15th. Some of it depending on location and elevevation. 

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Last night after posting I went to recreation.gov and saw that according to them some of our sites will be opening for at least the day use rental sites but the date varies. Some said April, some May 1st and some  May 15.  IE: most of the sites were listed as a per night fee when the sites are only day use. Like certain day use group sites and picnic pavilions. I am sure that is the case for a lot of the listings around the country.

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ReserveAmerica serves many state park systems as well as a large number of private parks. Aspira, the ReserveAmerica parent company, used to hold the contract for the Recreation.gov site as well, and had cross links with RA between the two sites. When Booz Allen Hamilton outbid Aspira for the Recreation.gov contract, those cross links were taken down, making both sites completely independent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Dutch for the updated info on Reserve and Recreation.  After I finished my degree in financial accounting many years ago both Booze Allen and Arthur Anderson offered me a job.  However, I had no desire to live in Chicago for even a short period of time and declined the offer and went my own way.  Last of The Independents was/is me. Gone fishing now and see you later.

Retired Acct & SEC CFP and former Legislative Aide and pilot to Two Texas Governors.

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Edited by NamMedevac 70
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On 4/9/2021 at 11:13 AM, hemsteadc said:

My secret is to know where the first-come first serve campgrounds are.

I learned that same secret many moons ago based upon 1. previous experience at those locations and 2. Visiting certain websites and finding the small print hidden in the details of campground. If you look closely some FS campgrounds and others will tell which campsites are non reserve first come first serve. Happy Trails

Former Accountant, SEC CFP, Legislative Aide and pilot to Two Texas Governors. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1739912699644241&type=3

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Edited by NamMedevac 70
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