Explore 12,500+ Campgrounds With CampScanner
Harvest Hosts, the nation’s largest private RV camping network, has added a new product to its camping arsenal. If you’ve ever tried to get a prime camping spot at one of the big national parks, you know how hard it can be. CampScanner is a service that helps campers find availability for sold-out campgrounds.
Many national parks now require reservations due to the rapidly growing visitor count—and most campgrounds are already full for the summer months. For those still looking to plan trips or prefer short-notice vacations, the lack of availability can be challenging. While previously, those interested would have to manually check each site repeatedly, now as soon as an alert comes in, campers will be prompted to reserve through the campground’s booking system to secure their spot.
Let’s say you want to camp at the Grand Canyon during Memorial Day weekend. CampScanner allows you to plug in your dates. The program will provide you with text alerts when a campsite opens up. This program has 200,000 campsites, 12,500-plus campgrounds, and 4,900 parks.
“You can search for spots, set up text alerts for when spots open up, and book last minute with minimum stays at in-demand parks,” said Carrie Price, Harvest Hosts Director of Brand Marketing.
It’s no secret that campgrounds in the US have been experiencing record traffic since the pandemic. Some 92 million American households consider themselves campers, according to the 2023 KOA Camping Report.
“The process of booking campgrounds has become increasingly challenging with the recent road travel boom,” says Joel Holland, CEO of Harvest Hosts. “We are thrilled to launch CampScanner to help bring back the joy of last-minute travel and ease of booking on-the-go for campers across the country.”
How does CampScanner work?
According to Price, CampScanner pulls data from Recreation.gov. States such as Florida and New Jersey, which have their own booking systems, will be added soon. Canada will be included in the next tier launch.
“It has quite a large searchability,” Price said. “Campers can choose three different plans based on the number of concurrent scans, the number of scans you can have at one time, as well as how often it scans.”
- The Basecamp plan is $39 per year. It scans every 15 minutes and has five concurrent scans.
- The Trailhead plan is $49 per year. It scans every 10 minutes and has up to 10 concurrent scans.
- The Summit Plan is $79 per year. It scans every five minutes with up to 15 concurrent scans.
There is no limit on any of the plans on how many notifications you will receive.
The Summit Plan is recommended if you are looking for a really popular campground during a holiday weekend, such as Yellowstone during the Fourth of July weekend.
Where does CampScanner search?
Popular locations include Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, Glacier National Park, Yosemite National Park, and thousands more. Scans occur up to every five minutes and match CampScanner users with the thousands of last-minute cancellations daily.
CampScanner provides a more streamlined way to monitor multiple campgrounds simultaneously and the ability to act fast when spots open up. When camping is at an all-time high, the earlier you know about an opening and the faster you can act on it, the better your chances will be at securing your dream camping destination.
When you go to the CampScanner website, you choose your campground. Up to five campgrounds in Yosemite will be one scan. You add your arrival date with a one-day flexibility on either side of those dates. You also choose the duration of your stay and then other details such as whether you want an RV or tent site, an ADA compliant site, and rig size.
Once you have added your details, the program will start scanning for sites with availability. You will receive alerts via text.
“Basically, what happens is someone cancels, and you get notified,” Price explained. “It basically tells you that the site at such and such a campground has opened up for the Fourth of July weekend for two nights. Book now.”
There is a direct link in the SMS message that you can click on and make the reservation through the site.
“Some people have been confused by the idea that it’s a bot booking campsites for you,” Price said. “Sometimes when you book concert tickets, it is a bot. That’s not the case here. The bot’s only scanning for availability. You are the one that must book the site and you have to do it pretty quickly.”
Find the perfect campground for your next vacation
The process to create CampScanner was a short four months, Price said. It was launched shortly after CampersCard, another new Harvest Hosts product that helps you save money on campgrounds.
“The reason why Harvest Hosts wanted to create all of these products is that our mission is to put more people out there on the road to lead happier, healthier lives in the outdoors,” Price said. “Harvest Hosts obviously does this in unique ways by providing those overnight stopovers. It’s for all people who enjoy the outdoors, tent camping, and RV camping. We’re just trying to make it more accessible.”
While just doing some test scans, Price was able to secure a campground at the Grand Canyon for Memorial Day weekend. She also got one for Yosemite for Memorial Day Weekend. “It works,” Price said.
The future of CampScanner
The program is still in its infancy, with Price and other testers working out the bugs.
“We are looking at about a 40 percent success rate. When someone cancels a scan, we ask them, ‘Did you book your campsite through the scan?’ It’s an early stage. There are testers in there like me, but considering we’ve only been out for two weeks, that’s pretty good. It’s exciting.
The program only works on public sites for now. We want to make it for those that are really, really hard to get and rare, and should be great experiences.”Price
The CampScanner team is also excited to possibly be opening up in Canada in the near future as well.
Harvest Host members get a 25% discount, and then all access Harvest Hosts members get a 58% discount.
“I think it’s good for everyone,” Price said. “Campgrounds get to fill up their spaces and hopefully get more people out there.”
You can learn more about CampScanner on their website.
Get RV-safe directions
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Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.