How to Create Campsite Availability Alerts

September 26, 2020

Popular campgrounds open for reservations months in advance—and sell out in minutes. But many of those campsite reservations get canceled. So, we built an app that scans sold-out parks for new availabilities and sends notifications about them. Since we did, we’ve helped campers all over North America find campsites that might have otherwise gone unused.

The problem with sold-out campsites

Hi—I’m Eric.

I’m one of the people working on Campnab.

Have you ever said, “Hey kids—let’s go camping!” only to find that all the parks were sold out? That’s what happened to my good friends Eric and Kim.

They wanted to try out their new campervan but the local campgrounds were totally booked.

You see, parks open for reservations months in advance, and some sell out in minutes.

They were bummed out, but Kim wasn’t willing to give up. So, she went back to the park’s website and hit Refresh over and over again. To her surprise a spot actually opened up!

The idea for Campnab

So, this got Eric thinking. He wondered if he could automate the process so his wife wouldn’t have to keep refreshing that website.

Within a few weeks he had a rough working prototype of this for us to test.

From it we learned that a lot of campsite reservations get canceled. (I mean like thousands and thousands.)

And often these spots go totally unused. This chips into revenue for parks. It also means that folks like you, and me, and Kim and Eric miss out on camping trips.

So we decided to make it available to everyone.

Eric built the app out more fully and I prettied it up a bit.

​How to scan for canceled campsite reservations

Here’s how it works: To create a scan you visit and search for the place you want to camp.

We currently scan around 3,200 parks and roughly 7,000 campgrounds—and we’re always adding more. [We now scan for backcountry permit cancelations, too!]

You then note your arrival date, length of stay, and how you want to pay. Once you’re done, Campnab scans that park for an opening that matches your needs. If it spots one, it notifies you with a text message.

At that point, it’s up to you to visit the park’s website and book the spot if it’s still available. because they aren’t always.

Popular parks get rebooked really, really fast. So, you need to move quickly.

How much Campnab costs

You can run just one scan with our pay-per-use option. Or you can sign up for a membership to run more scans at a lower cost per scan.

Our plans start at $10 a month and I think they offer the best value.

​You might not get a notification

Now I’d love for you to use Campnab and find the spot of your dreams, but our system doesn’t guarantee that you’ll book a campsite.

Sometimes it’s too last minute. Sometimes no one cancels their reservation.

Reviews for our campsite availability app

I've got to say, though, our customers have found an enormous amount of success through this product.

You can see on the screen right now [pictured in video] a few of the messages we’ve received from folks in our community.

We’ve been at this for a few years now and Campnab is pretty much a full-time job for me and Eric.

He’s continually improving the system and adding features. I tend to help more with support.

I hope this video has answered your questions on how to scan sold-out parks for new availabilities.

​How to get help with your camp alerts

If you have other questions, though, we’re happy to help.

Click on the chat icon on our website and one of us will respond.

One thing though… Sometimes we’re camping, out riding our bikes, or doing things with our families.

So, please provide your email address when prompted in chat. That way we can respond to you once we’re back at our desks.

So that’s it from me.

Happy camping!


Get notified when a sold-out campground has availability

Tell us when, where, and how long you want to camp for. We’ll notify you (via SMS) when a suitable spot opens up at that campground—so you can nab that sold-out campsite reservation!

Create a scan