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Old 07-06-2015, 11:34 AM   #1
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A friend told me about the campsites available on recreation.gov. We are new at this.

Do you have any experience with these campgrounds?



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Old 07-06-2015, 01:02 PM   #2
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I just loaded the app on my phone & iPad yesterday. The campgrounds included are those on federal land (national forest, national park, BLM, Corps of Engineers,...) While many of the sites can be reserved in advance, there are many sites that are available on a first-come/first-served or walk-up basis. These are usually sites with no water/sewer/electrical service, but they sure beat highway rest areas and store parking lots.

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Old 07-06-2015, 01:44 PM   #3
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We book often, FS CG especially. Heading out Monday for Dog Town Lake CG AZ. Last month we stayed at another FS place, Pine Grove CG AZ. Very nice.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:24 PM   #4
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If you are 62 you can get a lifetime pass for $10 and stay for half price at any federal park. I love the Corp of Engineer parks, they are usually on a river or lake and the sites are huge, level and paved. They will spoil you for any others.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:27 PM   #5
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It's a great site. I just used one of their camp sites this past weekend. I also, went one step further and looked at google earth images to help pick out my site.

Also, active duty military gets the national parks annual pass for free which gives 50% off of campsites.
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Old 07-10-2015, 11:00 AM   #6
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linebacker, I have used recreation.gov numerous times to make reservations, no problems ever.
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Old 07-10-2015, 03:09 PM   #7
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Linebacker, the Forest Service and other govt sites out there are some of the best in the USA. Most of the sites are dry camping, but are almost always very roomy with some privacy compared to the commercial campgrounds. Plus, they are located in the most beautiful areas, usually forested. We love them! I'm currently getting ready to head out and spend some time seeking cool spots in NM at many FS campgrounds in the high country there.

I have just one 135w solar panel to keep up with the demands of dry camping, but your generator can be used in these sites during reasonable hours. Go to Allstays.com where you can set the filter to show you the FS and other govt sites available in the area you want to go. As to the reservation system, yes it works fine, and is worth the extra cost paid to the 3rd party that handles it. If it weren't for Wi-Fi and laundry needs in this day and age, I'd never have any reason to go to a commercial CG. I guess I should look into getting my own source of Wi-Fi!
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Old 07-10-2015, 03:36 PM   #8
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It's a great site! Most if not all of the Fed CG's that have online reservations are through it and gives a description about individual sites.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:05 PM   #9
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I have visited a few campgrounds on Recreation.GOV

First: IF you qualify for any of the discount cards (I'm a senior so I do) GET IT,, the site will tell you if and how.

Now.. the COE parks I stayed at were all 50 amp, Nice clean level sites and water.. No sewer or wi-fi but there is a dump station.

Forest service park was as well.. I have been very happy with them

I log in, reserve a site, pay with my Debit card..Pre=fill the registration, Print out the hand to camp host paper and basically that's all there is to it.

Pull up to the gate house.. hand in the document show ID and Discount card (They have to verify) and go park.

Only commennt and this is a park by park things.. Some parks they used a very long yardstick.. So even though the site says "24' tents and tent trailers only" my 38 foot class A fits nicely with room to spare.

However.. You have to visit the park before you can count on that.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:10 PM   #10
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In a few of the national parks, such as Yellowstone, the camp grounds are operated by a private company, as a concession. Those hare their own reservation system, and do not use recreation.gov.

Using recreation.gov can often be a real pita. For example, last winter I arrived at a very out of the way camp ground in Big Cypress National Preserve. As usual, it was almost empty. Other than the host, only one site was in use. Despite that, the host told me that he couldn't give me a site until I called and made a reservation. There was no cell phone signal in the area, so he suggested that I drive the 30 mile round trip to the visitor center. There was no cell signal there either, but they lent me a land line so I could call recreation.gov to make a reservation for the site where my 5th wheel was already set up.

I can understand that having a central reservation system is convenient for the Park Service, but it is a major inconvenience for those of us who use it. Not being able to pay for a site in mostly empty camp ground without first calling and making a reservation is just plain dumb.

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Old 07-10-2015, 07:38 PM   #11
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we use it often-lots of times, it is the only way to make a reservation.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:58 PM   #12
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Birder, you may have been at a CG with no internet service at the check-in station. Without that they have no way to make a reservation or take a credit card for payment. They may get their reservations on a FAX machine. Many of the CoE campgrounds have walk-up campsites so they can handle it. You said it was out of the way so it must have been WAY out of the way. I have used Recreation.gov and ReserveAmerica.com (both are the same service) many times. One thing I learned on my last trip was being able to get a refund on a day I didn't use. I had to change a reservation to a day earlier and wanted to cancel the second day but the reservation service said there was a $10 cancelation charge. Since the cost for one day was $9 I decided to just forget about it and leave with out using the 2nd day. The camp host said he could get me a refund since I wasn't using the 2nd day, which is what he did, so lesson learned. The camp host could do what the reservation service couldn't. So if you have a change in plans and won't stay your original length let the camp host get you a refund for the unused stay. Also some State Parks will use Reservation.gov.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:22 PM   #13
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KT4Wextra, you missed the point. I was at a virtually empty camp ground. Knowing that it never filled up, I had arrived on the day that I want6ed to stay. I was willing to pay by cash or by check, as I do in the national forest camp grounds. They didn't need an internet connection. They had me set up in a site, because they knew that it was available. Why on earth did I then have to drive to the visitor center to call recreation.gov for a reservation? Why did I need a reservation at all?

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Old 07-11-2015, 05:29 PM   #14
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Not finding the app for my iPad? Any help?

Found it...Thanks

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