The Campnab Blog

Get Notified About Campsites Set to Unlock in Florida and California

Posted Monday, January 3, 2022

Eric Karjaluoto

Eric Karjaluoto

I’m one of the two people working on Campnab. I like to run, ski, bike, and camp with my family and friends. (I love saunas.)

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Last year, Reserve California and Florida State Parks started holding some canceled campsite reservations for rebooking. These newly canceled campsites would appear on their booking system with a lock icon and typically get released the next day at a set time.

As you probably know, we listen to members like you. We read every message you send us, and take your requests to heart. So, we paid attention when a Campnab member named Kenny reached out last month.

He asked if there was a way for us to notify him of campsite availabilities set to unlock at California State Parks. He figured this would be more convenient than manually checking Reserve California every morning.

Well, we did it, Kenny! We can now alert Campnab members when Reserve California or Florida State Parks set a recently canceled campsite reservation to Locked. When we send that notification, we also note what time that campsite is set to unlock for booking.

Like other Campnab alerts, these notifications won’t give you a leg up on other campers. You’ll still need to compete for that campsite just like anyone else—and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it. That said, this new feature can save you from needing to refresh the booking page all day long manually.

Instead, we’ll alert you when we spot a “locked” site that matches your scan parameters. Then, as a reminder, we’ll send you a heads-up message 30 minutes before the site is set to be unlocked.

Our Lock/Unlock Campsite Alerts are new to Campnab, and we’re still working to improve this functionality. Sometimes we’re able to see when a site is scheduled to be unlocked or released for booking, which seems to be mostly accurate from our testing.

In some cases, though, the unlocking date will change after sending our alert. Such changes can result in the site not becoming available at the time our alert states. We’re working to improve this to decrease false alerts.

Another thing we’ve noticed is that sometimes a site is set to unlock at a random time, like 9:49:57 AM, so it won’t appear available until almost 9:50:00. For this reason, we recommend hitting Refresh until a bit past the unlock time we mention in your notification.

I should also note that booking systems sometimes change release times for locked campsites. As such, we’ll report the most accurate information we can to you. However, all information provided is subject to change.

As is likely evident from my notes above, this is still a “beta” feature. As a new tool, we’re still working out some kinks and details. We’re hoping that it’ll be helpful—and welcome you to reach out and tell us how it works for you. 🤙

P.S. Thanks to Ronan Furuta for the beautiful sunrise image up top!

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