We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

My Review of ReserveAmerica – The Online Camping & RV Reservation Site

My Review of ReserveAmerica – The Online Camping & RV Reservation Site

Million Mile SecretsMy Review of ReserveAmerica – The Online Camping & RV Reservation SiteMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Million Mile Secrets team member Jesse recently planned a trip to Napa Valley using ReserveAmerica, a site that helps you reserve camping spots in the US.  And we thought it could be a useful resource for some of our readers!

ReserveAmerica Review
ReserveAmerica Can Help You Book Camping Spots Across the US

So here’s a review of ReserveAmerica.  And how to use the site.

ReserveAmerica Review

Link:   ReserveAmerica

ReserveAmerica is a website designed to help you find and reserve recreational spots across the US.  You can search for lodging, including camping and RV sites, day use, and picnic areas, in state and private parks that contract with the site.

Sites on federal land are NOT bookable on ReserveAmerica, even though you can search for them there.  So if you want to reserve a campsite in a national park, you’ll need to use recreation.gov.

But if you’re planning a cross-country road trip or a weekend getaway, it could be great to use if you’re traveling a little more off the beaten path.  Million Mile Secrets team member Jesse used ReserveAmerica to plan a 6-day bike trip through Napa Valley with his girlfriend.

ReserveAmerica Review
Use ReserveAmerica to Find Campsites, Day Use Areas, RV Parks, and Other Outdoor Accommodations

They used the site to search for campsites around the area, and decided to book either the Sugarloaf Ridge SP or Bothe-Napa Valley SP location.  They wanted to camp from Saturday through Thursday, but couldn’t find an open 5-night block, so Jesse’s girlfriend decided to call ReserveAmerica.

Luckily, the phone representative was able to find an open spot from Sunday through Thursday.  And mentioned that lots of folks check-out on Sundays.  And if you search for a reservation starting on a Saturday, their system will oftentimes show that nothing is available at all.  So you have to be a little flexible.

They were charged a $7 fee for booking over the phone, but felt it was worth it.  Because they might have cancelled the trip if they hadn’t been able to book a campsite!

Using ReserveAmerica

Here’s how to search for a site and make a reservation using ReserveAmerica.

Step 1.   Enter Your Destination

From the ReserveAmerica homepage, enter the city, state, or zip code you plan on traveling to.  Then click the search button.

ReserveAmerica Review
Head to the ReserveAmerica Homepage to Start Planning Your Trip

Step 2.   Refine Your Search

Then you’ll be able to filter your search results depending on the type of lodging you’re looking for, the number of people you’re traveling with, your travel dates, and more.

For example, you can choose to search for tent spots, campgrounds with RV hookups, day use or picnic sites, and more!

ReserveAmerica Review
You’ll Also Need to Enter the Number of Travelers, Your Arrival Date, and Length of Stay

Then click the “Search” button.

Step 3.   Make Your Reservation Selection

After you refine your search, you’ll be able to select the site you want to reserve by clicking “Book Sites.” 

ReserveAmerica Review
You Can Scroll Through the Search Results to See What Type of Amenities Are Offered at Each Site

You can even switch from a list view to a map view, if it helps you better visualize the location of each site!

ReserveAmerica Review
If You’re Planning a Road Trip, Using the Map View Might Help You Plan Your Route

Step 4.   Choose the Specific Site You Want

From there, you’ll see a map of the campground you selected, with a layout of every site.

ReserveAmerica Review
Take a Look at the Campground Map to See If There Are Any Particular Spots You Want to Avoid, Like One Close to the Entrance, Where Things Can Get Noisy

This can be particularly helpful if you want to be closer to (or farther from!) the restrooms, for example.  Or if you’re in a tent, and you want to avoid the spaces reserved for RVs.  Because it’s no fun being stuck in a sea of campers when you’re in a little tent!

Then, select the “Date Range Availability” tab to see which sites you can book.  And to choose the site you want.

ReserveAmerica Review
Being Able to See a Full Booking Calendar Is Helpful!

Step 5.   Complete the Booking

After you’ve selected the dates you want, pay for your reservation.  Just click “Book These Dates.”

ReserveAmerica Review
Enter Your Personal Details and Payment Information to Complete the Booking

Then you need to sign-in or create an account.  And you’ll have to enter information including your name, address, email, and phone number, along with your payment details.  Just keep in mind, ReserveAmerica charges a ~$10 booking fee that varies by campground.

You May Be Able to Erase the Cost With Miles!

And if you use a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard or the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you can use the rewards you earn to help offset the cost of your camping trip.

You can read my review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card here.  And check out this post for more about Capital One’s Venture Rewards card.

Are There Drawbacks?

The ~$10 booking fee can add up if you’re booking multiple sites or are traveling for an extended period of time.  Especially because you can call many of the sites directly, including those in state parks, and book over the phone without a fee.

That said, during the busy summer months, folks have complained about long hold-times when calling-in to reserve sites.  So paying a fee could might be worth it!

But keep in mind, many campgrounds reserve a few sites for same-day, walk-up reservations.  And some even offer sites reservable only by backpackers or those traveling by bike.

The main difference between ReserveAmerica and the other popular campsite reservation system, Recreation.gov, is that ReserveAmerica includes state and private parks, if they contract with them.  Recreation.gov only shows sites located on federal lands, like US national parks.

Bottom Line

I found ReserveAmerica easy to use, and liked all the search filters.  You can search by criteria like location, what type of lodging you’re looking for (campsite or cabin), and even whether pets are allowed.

But they do charge a fee, which varies depending on the site you book.  Unlike Recreation.gov, that’s free to use.

That said, Million Mile Secrets team member Jesse used the site to plan a bike trip through Napa, and felt that the service fees he was charged were well worth it.  Because Recreation.gov only shows sites on federal lands, and ReserveAmerica includes sites in state parks and private lands that they contract with.

Have you used ReserveAmerica?

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

5comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

This site is NOT user friendly. Tried to book One (1) site and did not get a confirmation until after third attempt. Then I received email confirmation and charges for THREE (3) sites. Cancelled two and was charged $15 for each cancellation. I will not be using this site in the future.

Just used ReserveAmerica…after three (3) attempts finally confirmed my reservation. Then I received an email confirming I had reserved 3 sites. Tried to cancel 2 (because I only wanted one) Cancellation fee $15 each cancellation. This site was very user unfriendly and I would not recommend to anyone.

I don’t feel Reserve America is a true reflection of our local parks just this weekend I have tried to find a camping spot for 5 days nothing available in 5 parks near me but u drive through them and sites open…rangers can’t help..can’t camp in the winter since snow birds own our parks but its our tax dollars that keep them open and we the locals can’t get in anytime unless you plan your life 12 months in advance! I tried to find a number yesterday to call Reserve America but wasn’t able to locate…I’m totally frustrated with the whole process

Hey Karen,

When my fiancee and I planned our trip to Napa Valley, we booked it out 5-6 months in advance. Many parks, however, have first come first serve sites that are NOT available on ReserveAmerica.

Their website said all of their sites (except for the one we booked) were full. However, when we arrived, we discovered they had plenty of sites available for first come first serve patrons and plenty of recent cancellations (they happen on a daily basis).

If you can’t find anything on ReserveAmerica, I would recommend calling the park itself to see if they offer first come first serve sites. Then, be flexible and willing to switch sites mid-trip if necessary.

You could always book out in advance and cancel. Per their cancellation policy (https://www.reserveamerica.com/showPage.do?name=common&commonPath=/usa/ca/cafeesmain.html) it’s a reasonable $7.50 if you decide to change your plans.

Finally, try this link: (http://activesupport.force.com/ReserveAmerica/RAcontact) We actually had better luck, and found more availability, reserving our site via telephone than their through their online system.

-Jesse

Reserve America is good to a point. If you’re trying to book anywhere halfway popular, good luck. Using the countdown clock provided, with multiple people on separate computers and the inventory still shows up as unavailable within 1 second of being “officially “ available. I think the fix is in. Looks like Chicago politics!