Discover more from Our Solar Electric Trailer Journey
Three Tools to Help You Find a Campsite
RV Life, Good Sam and The Dyrt Offer Apps and Websites to Make Finding the Right Campsite Easier
With our Aliner popup camper back in shape for camping, we were excited to get back out there. Then a new problem popped up. We couldn’t find anywhere within 150 miles to camp!
First, we wanted to get back to Jetty Park at Cape Canaveral. We love the campground for reasons many do not: it has very little shade! The lack of tree cover is optimal for our solar panels!
At the moment, we’re busy planning Devin’s upcoming conference, SuperCrowd23. We have to give up some of the weekday camping as a result. The weekends are booked full.
Using Florida’s excellent state campground app, we were able to check every spot in the state instantly and finally found one—six weeks out. There are dozens of campgrounds in Florida within 150 miles of us, but only one campsite open. Wow!
We haven’t experienced this problem before. We traveled up and down the Atlantic coast last fall and had little difficulty booking campsites. We suppose this is partly due to our weekend limitations. But it may also be impacted by the pandemic boom in RV sales.
There are a lot of apps and websites we’ve used to find campgrounds and RV parks. We’ve used at least three:
We haven’t done enough searching, booking and camping via the three to give you genuine reviews and decide which is best, but we can tell you a bit about each.
RV Life offers a search tool on its website and an app you can use on your phone. The search tool allows you to enter a city near where you’d like to camp and see all the campgrounds marked on a map. The list includes some campgrounds that don’t offer RV spots and some that are closed.
Those on the list with RV sites generally have a collection of reviews, allowing you to see feedback from campers vital to making decisions.
Some listings include links to online booking options. We’re surprised how many campgrounds still require a phone call to make a reservation.
Good Sam offers annual memberships and roadside assistance program. We haven’t signed up for that, but we can still access their campground database. About 2,000 campgrounds in the database are designated as Good Sam parks, and they show up first in search results. They may not be the best or best for you.
The search tool on the web doesn’t include a map (that we could find), but the app does, enabling you to quickly find campgrounds in the place you want to be.
The reviews on Good Sam are particularly helpful for folks like us—with no bathroom in the camper. The reviews all include a rating of the park’s restrooms!
The Dyrt app and website is one we pay to use. The price is $35.99 per year; don’t think of that as an endorsement. We’re still testing the waters.
It has a great map search feature on both the app and the website.
The paid membership, called “pro,” gives you discounts on some sites—similar to Good Sam.
For each site, we’ve linked below to the page for the Gainesville RV Park. It was most challenging to find the page using RV Life and easiest on The Dyrt. You’ll want to click through the links to the listings below to compare them. It will give you a sense of the sites.
The book now buttons on the three behave a bit differently. RV Life and The Dyrt direct you to the reservation page of the campground’s website. The Good Sam link leads you to a third-party reservation site.
The reviews vary meaningfully among the three sites. The Dyrt has just two reviews with an average overall score of three out of five stars. RV Life users, 25 of them, rated it an average of 6.8 out of ten (can we call that 3.4 out of five?). Seven Good Sam users rated it 4.7 out of five.
Please tell us which you prefer in the poll above (or in the comments after the voting ends). In the comments, share your experiences.