Camp Assist and Campnab worth the money? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-24-2021, 09:41 AM   #1
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Camp Assist and Campnab worth the money?

These two services scan for campsite cancellations at full campgrounds and notify you when they detect one. Has anyone used one or both? I have been booking sites in South Florida for 2022 but despite all my 7:59:59 tries, have not been able to book my favorites.
Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:00 PM   #2
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"Services" indeed. The service they appear to provide is to allow those who send them money to "jump the line." Sort of like Lexus lanes on the FREEway.
I share your frustration. I met a couple who want campsites in Southern Arizona next year, who have SIX family members in different time zones trying to book them sites. And Forest Service spots that sit empty much of late May and June are now booked solid.
For us personally, we've sharpened our boondocking skills. I'm guessing there will be another summer of this, and then some folks who have to choose between dumping a black tank and sitting by the hotel pool sipping a martini may make the latter choice. And I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but recessions have a way of damping off demand.
I personally would never use a "service" such as these, and I hope they go under.
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Old 03-25-2021, 06:01 AM   #3
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Frankly, being able to reserve a site is jumping to the head of the line. With the Covid pandemic as the excuse, my two favorite destinations have gone reservation only. Last year Cape Hatteras National Seashore and now Grand Teton National park.

"One question you never thought youd have to answer to pitch your tent at Grand Teton National Park do you have a reservation?
Starting Jan. 26 at 8 a.m., camping in Grand Teton will be by reservation only. Park officials announced that the days of the spontaneous camping trips will end, to provide a better visitor experience for all the parks visitors.

This move was suggested by private concessionaires Grand Teton Lodge Company and Signal Mountain Lodge which manage the campgrounds within Grand Teton and approved by park administrators.

Moving forward, the first stop of any Grand Teton camping trip will be a visit to recreation.gov, either online or through their mobile app."


I find it ironic that to obtain a campsite at either of these public parks you must contact one private party (paying a fee for the privilege), and they in turn pay a second private party so you can stay in a public owned park. And to add insult to injury you must pay using the services of a third private party. Federal facilities who won't take federal currency.
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Old 03-25-2021, 06:09 AM   #4
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It is a frustrating situation. Technology has changed the landscape. I simply ask if anyone has actually used the services that scan for cancellations and whether they helped secure a reservation. Please don't cast me as a traitor because I accept the situation as it is.
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Old 03-25-2021, 06:22 AM   #5
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I find it ironic that to obtain a campsite at either of these public parks you must contact one private party (paying a fee for the privilege), and they in turn pay a second private party so you can stay in a public owned park. And to add insult to injury you must pay using the services of a third private party. Federal facilities who won't take federal currency.
40 years of starving government and this is what you get. Check out the backlog of maintenance the park and forest services have if you want to get a feel for the scope of the problem.
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Old 03-25-2021, 09:43 AM   #6
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This is how I understand the services mentioned. You are paying a company to send you, and possibly dozens of other folks looking for a site at the same location and date(s), notification of "a" cancellation. Even if only three or four get the same notification, the odds are still against "you" getting the site. Not for me.
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Old 03-25-2021, 09:59 AM   #7
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40 years of starving government and this is what you get. Check out the backlog of maintenance the park and forest services have if you want to get a feel for the scope of the problem.
Sad last time we were seeking "shovel ready" projects that the $13 billion maintenance backlog of the NPS was not on the list. To my knowledge, that did not include COE and forest service maintenance.
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Old 03-25-2021, 02:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nigeleccleston View Post
It is a frustrating situation. Technology has changed the landscape. I simply ask if anyone has actually used the services that scan for cancellations and whether they helped secure a reservation. Please don't cast me as a traitor because I accept the situation as it is.
Not taken that way at all! Just expressing my frustration. And yes, being able to reserve at all is "jumping the line."
The population has grown tremendously in the last thirty years, but the number of campsites has not grown proportionally, I'm sure.
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Old 03-28-2021, 07:48 PM   #9
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This is how I understand the services mentioned. You are paying a company to send you, and possibly dozens of other folks looking for a site at the same location and date(s), notification of "a" cancellation. Even if only three or four get the same notification, the odds are still against "you" getting the site. Not for me.
Easy solution: they just add a "premium" tier that gets even more of an advantage over the others and charge extra for it. That way only people paying them lots of extra money to a third party can use national parks.
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Old 03-29-2021, 06:46 AM   #10
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Years ago I gave up on bidding on ebay. I'd get within a few seconds of being the high bidder only to be out bid in the last couple of seconds. With a little research I found out the game was rigged. Guess what?

https://thebolditalic.com/how-tech-i...ng-7481c587d94
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:48 AM   #11
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To answer the original inquiry: we found that you become a part of another list that you may not be high up on, so you have effectively just moved to a smaller list of the same people that want that same campsite.
We are becoming very adept at shoulder-season camping in the more popular places. In summer, we just go to our favorite, tiny, USFS CG's (typically at higher elevations, and small enough that larger rigs don't fit!!)
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:08 PM   #12
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The reservation companies charge the same price as private campgrounds even though the campgrounds are paid for and maintained by the taxpayer. They make a huge profit while the national park maintenance is underfunded. Grrr! ��
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Old 03-31-2021, 04:47 PM   #13
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Interesting thread. I read a while ago, pre COVID I think, that Trump singed a law putting a lot of money into the national forests. I think we are indeed spending real money on the parks. If they were only open to us people with fiberglass RVs then we can go whenever we want.
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Old 04-01-2021, 02:15 PM   #14
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Interesting thread. I read a while ago, pre COVID I think, that Trump singed a law putting a lot of money into the national forests. I think we are indeed spending real money on the parks. If they were only open to us people with fiberglass RVs then we can go whenever we want.
The Great American Outdoors Act provides money for maintenance backlogs of our national parks and forests from profits from all forms of energy produced on federal lands, including oil and gas drilling and renewables. A kind of catch-22.
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:30 PM   #15
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I pull my trailer with gasoline and Im happy to contribute to the great American outdoors act.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:03 PM   #16
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Hi all—

I’m Eric, and I’m one of the two people working on Campnab.

I don’t want to sell you on our product. That said, I stumbled upon this thread and noticed some inaccuracies about what we do. I hope you’ll be OK with me clarifying those details.

We don’t get anyone to the front of the line. In fact, our product is effectively useless on opening morning. Also, we don’t book, hoard, or resell reservations—because we aren’t jerks.

You don’t need to use Campnab. You can just visit the parks page and hit Refresh until something comes up—because people are always canceling their reservations. The only downside to doing this manually is that it’s a drag. Our app simply make the process less time-consuming.

I want to stress that we’re just two guys working on a product. It’s something my friend built for himself, as he couldn’t find any available campsites. We ran it off the side of our desks for years—and it’s now becoming a pretty full-time gig for us. That’s why we charge for it. We’re working on it at all hours.

We don’t want to screw anything up for anyone. We love camping and want to help more people get out. The reality is that a lot of booked campsites go unused. We’re trying to get people into those spots.

I hope this makes sense—and if you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I’m happy to answer. :-)

Eric
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Old 04-02-2021, 03:38 AM   #17
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"The reality is that a lot of booked campsites go unused. "

I stayed at a NFS campground that had just started taking reservations. I was lucky, I got the last fcfs site. Others got turned away. While the campground was fully reserved atleast half the sites remained empty. When I spoke to the concessioneer he said he didn't care, it "filled" the campground. Perhaps if those that got turned away had bought your app.....
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:09 AM   #18
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Yeah—that’s a real bummer. Like in any large organization, there are a lot of people with varying motivations. I’m sure some individuals (like the one you mention) don’t care. That said, many in parks organizations do care and want to see people get outdoors and make use of public parks.


FWIW, our product wouldn’t have been helpful in the situation you outline. So long as those campsites were still reserved they wouldn’t be able to release them—and our system wouldn’t see them (as they’d still be booked).


This is why it’s so important that we all cancel our reservations if we can’t use them. If we don’t, they’re typically held for a period of time before being re-released. That said, if the people who didn’t use their reservations had cancelled, the park attendant could have rented those spots to those who were waiting.
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:10 AM   #19
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Hi all—

I’m Eric, and I’m one of the two people working on Campnab.

I don’t want to sell you on our product. That said, I stumbled upon this thread and noticed some inaccuracies about what we do. I hope you’ll be OK with me clarifying those details.

We don’t get anyone to the front of the line. In fact, our product is effectively useless on opening morning. Also, we don’t book, hoard, or resell reservations—because we aren’t jerks.

You don’t need to use Campnab. You can just visit the parks page and hit Refresh until something comes up—because people are always canceling their reservations. The only downside to doing this manually is that it’s a drag. Our app simply make the process less time-consuming.

I want to stress that we’re just two guys working on a product. It’s something my friend built for himself, as he couldn’t find any available campsites. We ran it off the side of our desks for years—and it’s now becoming a pretty full-time gig for us. That’s why we charge for it. We’re working on it at all hours.

We don’t want to screw anything up for anyone. We love camping and want to help more people get out. The reality is that a lot of booked campsites go unused. We’re trying to get people into those spots.

I hope this makes sense—and if you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I’m happy to answer. :-)

Eric
Hi Eric,
Thanks for the information regarding your site/service. My question to you is how would your service be beneficial to those of us who use Reserve California given that their system is only updated everyday at 8am to reflect cancellations. Those of us who use Reserve CA to camp at SoCal beaches know that you have to operate at nanosecond speed starting at 7:59:59 to snag a cancellation.
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:38 AM   #20
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40 years of starving government and this is what you get. Check out the backlog of maintenance the park and forest services have if you want to get a feel for the scope of the problem.
Its not just lack of maintenance. Its also the lack of expanding facilities. Many NP campgrounds date back to the 1930s. With RV sales reaching all time records year after year, you have more competition for the same sites.

While several recent presidents have added vast swaths of land to the park service, none have budgeted for improvements, despite the need for "shovel ready" projects.

Not a campsite, but a similar frustration. I tried for many months to get a room at Phantom Ranch (bottom of the Grand Canyon). Reservations are done 15 months in advance. Ended up paying a "bounty" to get a site as part of a tour package. Interesting the tour companies had no problem getting sites. Now the NPS has gone to a lottery, which is an improvement.
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