Hoping to Snag a Last Minute Campsite? Campnab Can Help!

The Website Watches for Cancellations to Help You Book the Campsite You Want

Image Caption: Image Courtesy of Larry Crain/Getty

Booking a campsite on short notice or at the height of peak travel season can be frustrating. Even when making reservations plenty early, it’s not uncommon to find popular campgrounds already at capacity. Now a website called Campnab promises to make the process much easier and can even help you snag a last-minute booking.

Campnab is a web-based service that automatically checks the availability of campsites at specific locations and alerts users when openings become available. It continually monitors the online reservation systems for national and state parks and numerous commercial campgrounds across North America. When an open spot becomes available, the website sends a text message to let the user know about the opening.

To create a scan, users first type the name of the park or campground they’re looking for into the Campnab search engine. Next, they choose which campsite from a list of possible options based on the location. Finally, they provide their preferred dates for their camping trip and a cellphone number to receive text message updates when a campsite opens up.


Image Courtesy of Campnab

The idea behind Campnab came when site creator Eric Shelkie and his wife Kim bought a camper van a few years back. Excited to hit the road and try out their new RV, the Shelkies began searching for campsites near their hometown of Vancouver. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a single opening for hours in any direction.

Frustrated, Kim began repeatedly hitting the refresh button on her web browser while connected to the camping reservations site for parks located in British Columbia. Eventually, an opening appeared, and she quickly booked a spot at an ideal location. Later, she and Eric realized that they were only able to reserve their campsite because someone else had canceled their reservation. They’d only been fortunate enough to be on the website at the right time.

Looking to avoid a similar situation in the future, Eric wrote a web application that automated the process and sent him text messages alerting him of openings. Soon, he was getting more notifications than he could ever possibly use, so he consulted a friend named Eric Karjaluoto on the viability of opening the website to the general public. Karjaluoto quickly recognized the potential of such a site, and Campnab was born. Since then, the two Erics have been updating and expanding the website’s scope.


Image Courtesy of Campnab

Campnab is a paid service with options for casual campers and full-time RVers alike. Users can choose a pay-as-you-go option that costs just a few dollars per search, or they can opt for a monthly membership instead. Monthly plans cost between $10-$50 depending on the number of active searches a user needs. Those plans also allow for multiple active scans simultaneously, providing more flexibility in terms of monitoring dates and locations.

It is important to point out that Campnab doesn’t make reservations for its users. It simply alerts them when reservations are available. Also, the service only runs on the web, so no smartphone-specific apps are available. That said, the site is mobile-friendly and is accessible from any device with a web browser.

If you’re looking to book a campsite at a popular location soon, head over to campnab.com to take the service for a test drive. A single search doesn’t cost much, and you just might be surprised at the results.

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