Frustrated Regarding Reserve USA -- Let's Share Tips

Discussion in 'Reservation Systems' started by JunkyBurrittos, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    So now this is the third day that I staked out my site(s), brought up the official US time clock adjusted for any internet lag, logged in, practiced my mouse taps on the second, attempted to reserve my site as the second turned to site-opening-time, and in the 1/10 second it took my page to load the site was already gone.

    They have always said there are no bots on that site but interestingly this week they added one of those "I am not a robot" check boxes that expires after a minute. I was hopeful that with these bots successfully tackled a mere human could actually book a site but nope. Gone.

    And of course every one of these greedy moo hogs books the entire 14 days they are allowed. In my experience they will alter the reservation to shed off a few days at some indeterminate time, or, FAR WORSE, they will just leave their reservation intact and wander in for a few days leaving the coveted site booked and unavailable to anyone else. Every time I have been to the campground I'm trying to book, I see the best sites sit empty for days but per the site and the rangers they most assuredly are not available. This also only gives me four chances at a site in July/August. Maddening.

    So it seems the one thing I'm missing from my system is to somehow adjust for the 1/10 second lag time in my computer responding to my clicking the mouse. But if I adjust 100th of a second too early, then it will tell me to check back at 9:00/10:00 depending on day and the site will absolutely be gone in the two seconds it takes me to recover.

    The only time I ever successfully booked at site opening was two years ago when there were three sites available and I was using 3 devices simultaneously. I got my third choice.

    This is not what camping should be about.

    I could of course relax my standards and book an ugly site on a different loop but what's the point? I have fallen in love with this small quiet loop and don't want to be pressed up against people in the hooting hollering banjo playing 23 screaming babies pooping on your site section. Weirdly those sites are still available. o_O

    Right now I just have to hope someone is decent enough to release what they don't need and that I manage to find it in the ensuing moments before some one else does. Hoping someone here has some tips regarding what I am missing.
     
  2. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    I guess I'm a moo hog. If we're wanting to stay in a high-demand area, I'll try to make a weekend reservation starting the Tuesday or Wednesday before we want to arrive. Then cancel the extra days well in advance of our arrival.

    If you can't get the site you're looking for when the reservation window opens, keep checking back because people cancel. A couple years ago I'd tried to reserve an absolute primo site at a USFS campground in Colorado when reservations opened and was shut out as you describe. But I kept checking back and lo and behold, I found an opening on dates that worked for us. It's a crap shoot, but if you put in a little effort you can usually come up with something that works.
     
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  3. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    Thank you for the great idea to book dates a few days before your actual arrival! Has that let you book your dates at the high demand locations like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, etc. in the first few minutes vs. milliseconds of the opening window? So you actually pay or deposit for the full number of days reserved, then when you cancel the ‘pre-days’ you get a refund? What is the general cancelation fee for ‘pre-days’?

    DW and I were discussing our plans to asses our calander availability and back that into the 6 month rolling for The Grand Canyon & Samuel P. Taylor (SF Bay Area), as well as Yosemite’s 5 month (15th of month) rolling reservation Windows.
     
  4. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    No no no not you, kcsa! I was talking about those OTHER people. Lol. And you release the dates you don't need so that's respectful. It's these people who just block everyone else with no intent of using those nights... Grrrrr.

    Unfortunately this system breeds bad behavior. If i want to come in Friday and the site opens up Tuesday, i have no choice but to book it as it absolutely won't be there for me Friday.
     
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  5. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    If I recall correctly the cancellation fee is around $9. Change fee is 7.25.
     
  6. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    Are the $9 + $7.25 charged per day cancelled, or $16.25 to cancel several days? Or (2), $9 for each day cancelled plus a single $7.25 change fee (for this transaction)?
     
  7. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Can't speak to Yosemite, but we decided we wanted to go to a very popular campground on Table Rock Lake for July 4. Our plan is to arrive on Saturday afternoon and stay for eight days leaving on July 5. About a month ago (six months in advance), I was able to get a reservation starting the previous Wednesday. It's a COE campground and Recreation.gov requires you to wait at least 18 days before making changes. When I cancel I'll receive a refund for the first three days, less a $10 change fee.
     
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  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, i always book a day early and or late as my shift changes all the time. Also depends on my work load, so sometimes my site sits empty for a day.
    As for booking , some stuff is a pita, some sites worse then others. Some i can't even figure out. I never try for the best site or area of the place if it is in demand. I go for the middle ground and hope i get a site at the time i need.
     
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  9. JunkyBurrittos

    JunkyBurrittos Active Member

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    We've all been there Spencer. A day is no biggie, reserving for two weeks and just coming for the weekend just plain stinks. Some karmic bird poop's gonna land on those people.

    I just booked another campground, fifth row back from the ocean, five months and three weeks ahead of time. Already most remaining sites are about 25 rows back. So i did okay without more adrenaline pumped moments and angst. So yes I hear you on the moderate approach when it's not an overwhelming quality difference. Just looking forward to some camping!
     
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