Photo: Nikki Kirk & Demian Ross
Booking campsites seems to have grown slightly more difficult in recent years according to many RVers, so having several campground reservation systems available to you – and knowing how to find campgrounds with the specific amenities and location you are looking for – will help you make the camping reservations you need, when you need them.
The team at RV Today magazine put their heads together and compiled this comprehensive list of tools and resources for booking campsites. Many of these are apps and websites that we ourselves have used for finding campgrounds, booking campsites, and making campground reservations throughout our many years of RV travel. The list also contains some new, up and coming resources as well.
Not all camping reservation apps and websites are created equal. While some showcase crowdsourced reviews and photos, others help you to see available dates and sites, and book your camping reservations.
We’re even sharing an app here that gathers information from multiple campground reservation sites all at once and allows you to see the results in just one search!
Another main difference among the apps and websites mentioned below, is that some of these are available as a free resource, while others are available after you subscribe to their app, pay for premium features, or join their membership based program.
Of course, if you already know the name of the campground you want to stay at, many allow you to book directly on their website. (Although some still require an old-fashioned phone call to make your reservation.)
If you only know your location or route and you need to expand your search for overnight lodging that can accommodate your trailer, tent, RV, or motorhome, here are the tools you can use to make your camping reservations. These are in no particular order.
If you are planning to visit one of America’s extraordinary national parks – such as Joshua Tree, or Great Smoky Mountains – or you are looking to stay at an Army Corps of Engineers or national lakeshore campground, this is the site for you. Recreation.gov is a full-bodied campground reservation tool available via the web or in app form.
You can easily sort by either the dates you are looking to stay, or by the site number and quickly see what is available or already reserved. Many of the campsites also include photos so you can see if a fire ring or picnic table might be included at your campsite. The availability chart sits side-by-side with a map version of the campground so you can see where your spot will be.
Campgrounds on recreation.gov accept bookings on a six month rolling basis. So knowing the date that reservations open up for the date you want will give you a prime opportunity to book a great campsite. Spots at some of the most popular destinations in and around national parks will fill up fast.
While there is no cost to use this website or app, you will need to pay a per night campsite fee at checkout, as well as paying for any permits and passes required to get to where you are going within the national park system itself.
Cost to use: Free
If unique stays are your thing, then Hipcamp is for you. They pair people with land to people who want to stay on that land. Sites are available all across America on Hipcamp that might include camping for RVs, tents, cars, or trucks. You can even find glamping destinations, treehouses, wineries, farms, and more all as possible one-of-a-kind places to stay. This is camping on private land, so there is a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy some privacy. While the booking system itself is free to use, the host sets the nightly price for the stay.
Cost to use: Free
Campspot was built to streamline the online camping reservation experience for RVers and campers all across America. Basically, if there is a campground or RV park that accepts reservations online, you’ll find them listed here. Start by entering your desired location, dates, and number of guests. Once you do, then a list of area RV resorts and campgrounds will appear for you to continue your search.
Cost to use: Free
Campendium is part of the Roadpass Digital family, which offers other apps such as Overnight RV Parking (also helpful for finding a place to stay), Togo RV, Roadtrippers, and RV Village. Signing up for a paid membership account with any of those apps will allow you the premium features of Campendium.
Cost to use: Free for limited access or $49.95/year for premium features
While this app is primarily geared towards campers, there is naturally some overlap with finding campgrounds for RVers here too. To start your search on The Dyrt, simply enter your destination, plus your desired dates. Then, both a map and a list will populate with options. Both campers and property owners can suggest campgrounds to be added to the site. Searching is free. Users can upgrade to a pro version for additional benefits, including campground discounts, public lands and cell service maps, and more.
Cost to use: Free or $35.99/year for Pro members
Our partners at Heartland RV speak with Sarah Smith, Founder of The Dyrt.
Reserve America pulls together information for campsites all across the country and congregates the results in your search. While some of these sites will be bookable through the website itself, others will not be, and yet others will link out to the campground’s own website (such as KOA or Thousand Trails) to make your camping reservation. National Park Service campground reservation systems are not integrated with Reserve America. However, Reserve America partners such as Tentrr, are integrated into the site and allow direct bookings.
Cost to use: Free
Book Your Site
This is a basic website with search functionality for campgrounds. To start your campground search on bookyoursite.com, enter your desired location on the main page and you’re off and running. A list – as well as a map – of campgrounds in the vicinity will appear. This will show you all the details, along with a link to the campground website should you decide to book.
Cost to use: Free
Go Camping America
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) created this easy to use site. Members of the ARVC receive a complimentary listing on the website. To begin your search for a campground, enter your destination in the search field on the main page. A list of options will populate where you can click on each to see the name, photos, features, map, and links to the campground website to book.
Cost to use: Free
Recently launched in 2022, Book Outdoors is currently in 18 states across the U.S. So if you are looking for campgrounds in the states offered, this could be an option for you.
To find sites for RVs, use the search option at the top labeled “RV Sites” and enter your rig information. Your available options will show up, with unavailable options grayed out, making it easier for you to see what’s open for you. You can book directly on the website and earn rewards along the way. Book Outdoors also offers a feature called “weather protection,” allowing you to cancel and still receive a refund if the weather event is covered.
Cost to use: Free
Our comparison chart puts campsite booking apps side by side to help you choose the right one, right away. Enter your email address below and it will be delivered straight to your inbox.
While all of the websites and apps listed in the section above allow you to search and book directly through the site, the list below includes the champions of helping you find campgrounds, even without the ability to book directly through their site. The apps below are great for helping you scope sites out in advance, find boondocking or dispersed camping sites, or look for something last minute.
Allstays is the ultimate app for finding an RV spot for the night anywhere you are traveling to or through. It is easy to use. Just select the state where you would like to see options, and choose to view by either map or list. On the map screen, you can zoom in and out to see “stays” for the exact location of your choice.
Allstays includes every kind of RV spot or campground you can think of, including rest stops, BLM land, resorts, campgrounds, Walmarts, casinos, and more. When you find a campground or spot that interests you, you can easily click through to the website via the link on Allstays. All the information you need is in one place.
Allstays also offers an app specifically for “Camp and RV” for a one-time fee of $9.99. While Allstays is not available as an app for Android, it is designed to be used on any browser.
Cost to use: Free, or $9.95 for Camp and RV version
RV Life Campgrounds
RV Life Campgrounds mainly operates as a reviews site, with an active and involved community of RVers ready and willing to share their experiences and photos. It is a great place to find campgrounds and campsites that meet your needs. There is no option to book campgrounds once you find them there, however, website links to the campground can easily be found on the listing. One thing is for sure about this app — you will definitely find all the information you need to make a decision on where you’d like to stay. Once in the app, other upgrades are available, such as RV GPS.
Cost to use: Free (in-app purchases available.)
A favorite among avid boondockers, freecampsites.net is one of the best places to quickly see your options for free (or very inexpensive) camping. Users are able to post photos and reviews, along with ratings for cell phone signal strength. All of these things help you know what you are getting into before you go and if the “free” price is worth the stay. Because most boondocking is first come, first serve, there is obviously no option to book through this site.
To start your search on freecampsites.net, enter your location and see what populates in the map and the list. Zoom in and out to see more details, and click on the listings. No apps are available (it looks like an Android app exists, but was last updated in 2015), but the site is easy to use through any browser on desktop, or mobile.
Cost to use: Free
Although primarily targeted towards overlanders, this tool can be helpful for RVers as well. iOverlander collects information from users, maps it all out, and helps other travelers find places to stay on their route, whether that is a campground, BLM land, or a more untraditional place to stop for the night such as businesses that allow overnight parking. You’ll also find reviews and helpful information such as whether or not the spot is big rig friendly.
Cost to use: Free to use or donations accepted
Totally bummed that the campground you wanted to stay at is sold-out? Then this is the website for you. Campnab alerts you when there is a cancellation at the campground of your choice. From there, you can go about booking campsites directly on the campground’s website. You’ll just be one of the first to know when an available spot comes open, thanks to your Campnab membership status. There is no app needed to use Campnab, just open your browser.
Cost to use: $10/month or pay-per-use options available at $10+
To get started with Sēkr and search their database, download the app. The app offers extras such as the ability to see who else on the app might be in your area to help you keep in touch with fellow travelers. Geared towards vanlifers, and overlanders, RVers looking for campsites will also find the app useful.
Cost to use: Free, or Sēkr+ for $1.99/mo.
Search for campgrounds and see results categorized as either free or paid to quickly discern your best options. You can search by location, or use filters that allow you to search by price, vacancy rates, cell coverage, the weather, hookups available, and more.
Cost to use: Free, donations accepted
Save your time searching through multiple websites and apps for the campsite you want, and find them all here in one place. The main feature of Campsite Tonight is that it will search many of the websites and apps listed here in this article, but it searches them all at the same time for you!
The app is designed to begin your search with just one tap once you open it up. You can layer cell coverage maps, fire/smoke maps, and more over your search results to help you find the place that works best for you. If by chance your desired campsite isn’t available, you can set an availability alert to notify you when a spot you want opens up.
Within the app, you are also able to fill in the details about your rig so that you don’t have to re-enter this information on every single campground search. It was created by full-time RVers shortly after hitting the road. While you can’t book directly in the app itself, links within the app will redirect you to sites to book.
Cost to use: Free or $29.99/year for Premium features
Harvest Hosts & Boondockers Welcome
Harvest Hosts is a membership based program for RVers with self-contained RVs. It gives you access to camp for up to 24 hours at a time at places such as farms, wineries, and more. There is no nightly camping fee once you join. There is a recommended minimum purchase of $20 for you to spend with the host. As an upgrade to the Harvest Hosts membership, you can add on a Boondockers Welcome membership to expand your camping location options. Other upgrades are available as well, such as access to stay at golf courses.
Cost to use: $99 – $179 per year
Whether you are looking for the perfect campsite for your trailer, tent, van, or RV to enjoy a restful weekend of stargazing and campfires – or you simply want a quick place to overnight, park and rest your head – we hope you’ve found the list above helpful in your search for booking campsites.
How do you go about making campground reservations and booking campsites? Have you used any of the websites and apps above to make camping reservations? What is your favorite and why?
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