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Old 07-02-2016, 03:11 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
I think the best solution to all of the issues mentioned in this thread is to eliminate reservations and make all public camping, first come first served.
...
Now, having said that, I know it will never happen. Folks are too insecure to allow the possibility that their favorite spot won't be available when they arrive.
One result of that is the closest campers win. If I want to camp in Banff National Park on a weekend I will not get a site, because the Calgary residents will be there over two hours before I am (because they live over 200 kilometres closer) and they'll get them all. There are good reasons for reservations, and I wouldn't call it "insecurity".
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:22 PM   #82
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I guess I believe that a reservation for an airline is free as is a court at a tennis club, not to mention restaurants, car rentals and so on. These reservations are free to cancel.If I bought an item and then changed my mind about it, I could return it.
They are free to make, free to cancel, and are not really reservations. If you show up at a car rental agency and your promised car is not there, that's your problem because they don't make any commitment to actually have a car available. Restaurants will take reservations for more tables than they actually have, because they know some people won't show up; if they misjudge, you don't get your table on time.

Have you ever called a restaurant to cancel a reservation? The people at the restaurant are usually very appreciative - it's clear that almost no one has the common courtesy to call and cancel if their plans change.

When there is no consequence to cancelling a reservation people will make reservations that they don't need "just in case", they won't cancel them when they decide not to use them, and reservations run out even earlier. I would find it annoying to make a reservation and not get the money back when I change my mind, but that's nothing compared to the annoyance of being unable to travel as planned because all sites were reserved, then finding out that some jackass wasted a site I could of used by reserving it and not using it.

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If I bought an item and then changed my mind about it, I could return it.
You can only return an unwanted item if it can be sold again at no loss to the retailer (or if the retailer has an overly generous return policy as a way to attract customers). If you tie up a campsite until a couple hours before the reserved time, then cancel it, you would need a time machine to wind back to when someone else wanted that site to be able to "give it back".
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:27 PM   #83
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Those parks are part of your national heritage - and as Canadians, you should get the priority to enjoy them. They don't "belong" to the government, but to you.
Absolutely. Any good reservation system must be intended to provide fair access to all users. Of course there is likely to be a fee, both as an opportunity to cover costs from the people actually using the parks, and as a way to discourage reservations that will tie up spaces without actually using them.
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:29 PM   #84
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This is the way AZ parks were 3-4 years ago. You had to rip the kids out of school at the pickup line on Friday and race to the mountains to have a chance at a spot in the campground. If they were full had to try the next one and sometimes you would have to drive back home very discouraged. Now you know you have a campsite and you can go up at your leisure on Friday. Way better system than no reservation capabilities as it was before.
This makes perfect sense to me. The weekend rush out of Toronto got so bad that the exodus was starting early Thursday afternoon. That wasn't primarily a campground issue - it was people trying to avoid traffic.
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Old 07-02-2016, 03:45 PM   #85
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This describes speculatively booking sites for "resale" - not helping individuals make reservations as needed - and is absolutely unacceptable. Where's a vigilante hacker when you need one.
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The B.C. government is aware of the middleman campsite trade and isn’t worried about it.

“We do not limit commercial operators from making bookings since they play an important role in providing tourism services,” said Environment Ministry spokesman Dave Karn, who stressed the motorhome firms and their partners get no special access to campsites.
This is just garbage - speculative booking for resale provides no value to anyone, and only takes access away from those who should have it, for the benefit of the commercial operator. Karn needs to get a grip on reality.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:19 PM   #86
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So, if people are booking and then cancelling close to their arrival date, has anyone had any luck checking the reservation system for open spots close to the date they want? As opposed to the day they open up reservations?
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:40 PM   #87
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They usually cut off online reservations a number of days ahead Laura. So you can't check online too close to the date you are going.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:43 PM   #88
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You can only return an unwanted item if it can be sold again at no loss to the retailer (or if the retailer has an overly generous return policy as a way to attract customers). If you tie up a campsite until a couple hours before the reserved time, then cancel it, you would need a time machine to wind back to when someone else wanted that site to be able to "give it back".
Agreed but an unused reservation can be used (sold) again because it is unused. I'm discussing the event of cancelling a reservation several weeks prior to reserved camping time.

I doubt , other than the actual camping reserver (me), any humans are involved in the BC Provincial Camping reservation system .
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:50 PM   #89
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They usually cut off online reservations a number of days ahead Laura. So you can't check online too close to the date you are going.
Hey Greg, thanks for that info. I can tell I have a lot to learn about all this. Dangarang, we sure do!
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:20 PM   #90
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So, if people are booking and then cancelling close to their arrival date, has anyone had any luck checking the reservation system for open spots close to the date they want? As opposed to the day they open up reservations?
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They usually cut off online reservations a number of days ahead Laura. So you can't check online too close to the date you are going.
That's a good idea, but I see two likely limitations:
  1. the people employed by the tour companies will be checking right up to that cut off, too, and will likely beat you to them
  2. since the reservation fee is so low, many people will not bother cancelling, especially if they think there is a chance they'll still use it
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:22 PM   #91
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Agreed but an unused reservation can be used (sold) again because it is unused. I'm discussing the event of cancelling a reservation several weeks prior to reserved camping time.
Good point, but there will still be those who reserve any date they might want to use (when they are opened months ahead), and cancel them just before the deadline (still weeks ahead). I don't think that's a good thing to encourage.

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I doubt , other than the actual camping reserver (me), any humans are involved in the BC Provincial Camping reservation system .
I agree, but that doesn't mean that the system costs nothing to run.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:43 PM   #92
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Good point, but there will still be those who reserve any date they might want to use (when they are opened months ahead), and cancel them just before the deadline (still weeks ahead). I don't think that's a good thing to encourage.


I agree, but that doesn't mean that the system costs nothing to run.
It may not be a good thing to encourage but either is charging for something that is not going to be used (a reservation).

I'm quite sure the system costs something to run but I doubt it runs in the red.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:56 PM   #93
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It may not be a good thing to encourage but either is charging for something that is not going to be used (a reservation).
Aha, but you did use the reservation. You just didn't use the site.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:13 PM   #94
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Aha, but you did use the reservation. You just didn't use the site.
I dunno glen , did the mouse get charged for the hole when he ate the last bite of cheese?
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:21 PM   #95
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Economics 101... there's no such thing as a free lunch.


I buy a lot of car parts. I can be charged 10-20% restocking fee if I return a part. I know that upfront when I make the purchase. Not all things cancelled/returned are 100% refunded.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:27 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
I think the best solution to all of the issues mentioned in this thread is to eliminate reservations and make all public camping, first come first served. I for one don't need or want reserve America or whatever the reservation organization calls itself. Now, having said that, I know it will never happen. Folks are too insecure to allow the possibility that their favorite spot won't be available when they arrive.
Sounds like a good business plan for the airlines as well. No reservations just show up and hope you get on a flight. No sense making plans.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:22 PM   #97
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Right or wrong, a reservation system, with whatever limitations or flaws or restrictions built in or attached to it, is merely a symptom of a bigger problem. Too little supply, too much demand. Reservation systems are government's way, however misguided and unworkable they end up being, of trying to tone down demand for an increasingly scarce resource.

After decades travelling throughout BC, the western provinces, and much of the western US, and competing for campsites with numbers of campers -- oops! RV'ers -- increasing exponentially faster than the number of spaces to accomodate them, I'd like to see some creative ideas floated by the politicians and the senior policy wonks in government to creating more accessible spaces, or reducing the costs of providing & operating those available, rather than trying to stifle demand by unworkable reservation systems.

Maybe a system of operating parks using volunteers labour, or even community-based resources, as Arizona was doing when we were there a few years ago, might be a partial solution.

I definitely do not like, and would hate to see BC adopt, a two-tier pricing system for residents vs non-residents, as we have discovered is done in Montana & California. I don't believe protectionism is an appropriate solution.

In BC we're at least lucky enough to have the world's second-largest percentage of our land area set aside as parkland (after Costa Rica), even if most of it isn't accessible for folks without the hardcore outdoor skills necessary to hike for days or weeks to access it or the $ to helicopter in to it.
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Old 07-02-2016, 09:54 PM   #98
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Economics 101... there's no such thing as a free lunch.

I buy a lot of car parts. I can be charged 10-20% restocking fee if I return a part. I know that upfront when I make the purchase. Not all things cancelled/returned are 100% refunded.
Walmart refunds. You must know that.
Restocking fees for reservations?
True, there's no free lunch but the reservation is.
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:38 PM   #99
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Walmart refunds. You must know that.
Restocking fees for reservations?
True, there's no free lunch but the reservation is.
Of course Walmart refunds, it has to do with competition. Retail stores are in competition with one another. There isn't any competition for campgrounds. You take the rules as they are, or go stay on free land somewhere. No one is forced to make a reservation, you agree to the rules when you make them.
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:43 PM   #100
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Today I had to cancel a reservation we made for Manning Park in August--I paid 2 $6 reservation fees to get the site (exactly three months out and 2 sites were available to reserve)...Some I know were left as first come first serve--but we have gone up there and not gotten a site...

Today I had to pay a $6 cancellation fee...

I think when your 3 month time is near you have to get on the computer at midnight to reserve...

Have never tried to camp at Golden Ears because it is always SO busy even though it is super close to us.... This is the one I think that they were talking about on the news the other night....
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