RVtravel.com reader Jeffrey Torsrud has been an avid RVer for nearly two decades and has owned several RVs. He offers this warning about fees when booking your campsite online:
As most RVers know, making reservations in advance is a must these days. However, I’ve come across a very troublesome problem.
Some RV parks, usually the ones in popular tourist locations, use online reservation systems. I have found it is wise to understand the online system thoroughly before making a reservation to avoid extra fees. In some cases, extra fees will be added during the process, like pet fees, extra fees for 50-amp service, AND THE BIG ONE: cancellation fees.
These online systems are set up as a convenience, which provides an extra fee for the online system provider.
I recently had to cancel an upcoming trip, where we would have stayed at six different RV parks. I was only penalized $10 by one park for using their online system. Another park on this trip would have charged me another $10, had I used their online system (which I didn’t). The park in question at the first stop charged the entire stay to my credit card, so now I have to wait for their system to refund the fees back, which can take up to seven days. You have to make sure this is done or risk losing the entire amount.
BOTTOM LINE: It is better to simply call the RV parks you wish to stop at and make the reservation over the phone. Many parks have some form of a cancellation fee, if you don’t cancel within a certain time frame, say 24 hours.
I understand the need for parks to protect their reservations, especially in the busy seasons, but the consumer/RVer needs to be aware of the hidden fees within the specific online reservation system (and they vary from state to state). Be thoughtful when you book, and you could save yourself a lot of money.
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