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Old 10-01-2017, 03:51 PM   #1
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National Park Campsites and reservations

Received an interesting email from a member here on the forum, wanted to share their information.
Hello again Jim,

To reintroduce myself, we met at the Escape Rally at the Riverside Campground in the Niagara region on September 16th. I had driven up from Massachusetts to check out the Escape models (we weren't able to be there with our 13' Scamp, unfortunately the 'boss' hasn't retired yet!).

I had mentioned I was going to look into the fees for national park campsites. Turns out there's one "reputable" site and then there's one that charges a 10% fee on your total bill!

RECREATION.GOV is the reputable site for making national park reservations:
https://www.recreation.gov/marketing...esPolicies.htm

NPS.GOV is the actual National Park site and this link gets you to Plan Your Visit page which includes info about campgrounds, etc.
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/index.htm

The site that people complain about, that charges a 10% fee, is DECEPTIVELY labeled as 'nationalparkreservations'...this service is NOT affiliated with the NPS. They apparently own the domain name and actually will make actual reservations for you but for a fee...here's the link: https://www.nationalparkreservations..com/

You may want to look through these sites and see what actually shakes out for campground info.

It was a pleasure meeting all of the Escape community campers and everyone was so pleasant and inviting. Thanks to you all for being willing to let us all tramp through your homes!!!

And as there are no fiberglass camper showrooms anywhere, it was worth the 6 hour drive to see your campers in actual living conditions.

Thanks again and hopefully we'll be in a 21' fifth wheel in the near future...a year or so we think. Just have to get the boss retired!

Safe travels,
Michael (Mike) & Virginia (Ginny) Bilz
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:46 PM   #2
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Great tip!

It does make sense to look at the domain for a website. In the United States - but nowhere else - government institutions are in the ".gov" domain; in contrast, www.nationalparkreservations.com is in the ".com" or commercial business domain.

It can also pay to read the fine print, such as this notice right on the home page (although in deliberately hard-to-read text) of that commercial booking service:
Quote:
National Park Reservations is a reservation service providing lodging and activity reservations. National Park Reservations is not an authorized concessionaire of any National Park nor are we in any way affiliated with the National Park Service of the Federal Government. For this service, National Park Reservations charges a ten percent non-refundable reservation fee based on the total dollar amount of reservations made.
The equivalent federal government domain in Canada is ".gc.ca", and includes the Parks Canada and the Parks Canada Reservation Service.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:53 PM   #3
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Some of the NPS campgrounds are managed by 3rd party and will have a different website for camping reservation.. what I found pretty reliable is to go through the nps.gov website for the park(s) I want to visit and follow the link from there...

recreation.gov does charge a reservation fee, I think like $8 or $9 per site per reservation... so is reserveamerica.com which a couple of states use for state park reservation system...
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caddoster View Post
Some of the NPS campgrounds are managed by 3rd party and will have a different website for camping reservation.. what I found pretty reliable is to go through the nps.gov website for the park(s) I want to visit and follow the link from there...

recreation.gov does charge a reservation fee, I think like $8 or $9 per site per reservation... so is reserveamerica.com which a couple of states use for state park reservation system...
The reservation fee is set by the organization at both Recreation.gov & reserve america.com. I was charged a $10.00 reservation fee for a BLM campground (Fishermen Bend) at Recreation.gov...
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